WASHINGTON -- No. 11 seed John Isner made his third career semifinal at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic with a win over No. 3 Viktor Troicki, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1.
After the two split the first two sets, the third set did not follow the script of a typical Isner match at all. Troicki was not able to hold serve a single time, winning his only game of the set when he managed to break Isner's serve in the fifth game. Isner attacked Troicki's weak second serves, coming into net to finish points the way he normally only does on serve.
The win puts Isner into his third semifinal at this tournament. having previously made the final in 2007 and the semifinal in 2009, both times losing to Andy Roddick.
If top seed Gael Monfils wins his upcoming quarterfinal against No. 6 Janko Tipsarevic, it will set up a rematch of the 2007 final, in which Isner defeated Monfils 7-6(4), 6-7(1), 7-6(2). The thriller featured 34 consecutive holds of serve before Monfils broke Isner's serve for the first time in the third set. Isner followed suit, breaking back in the next game to force the third set tiebreaker.
Though he would lose to Andy Roddick in the next day's final, the win over Monfils' in the semifinals of only his second career semifinal announced Isner's arrival onto the scene with a bang, a bang he still recalls fondly.
SBN: John, more specifically, what are your memories about that 2007 match here against Monfils? I remember it was all holds until 5-5 in the third when you two traded breaks, and you had all those friends of yours from Georgia up here. What are your memories of it?
John Isner: Yeah! I remember that he broke me for the first time at 5-5, and he let out this huge scream. And I think if you ask him, that kinda took a lot of energy out of him, the way he reacted.
And in the 6-5 game, I felt like he was maybe a little bit tired from that emotional outburst he had. And then when I got to the tiebreak in the third, I just remember it was a packed house, and the crowd was getting on its feet. Kind of a spine-chilling, goose bumps moment.
That was a very, very fun match, and one of the matches I'll always definitely remember.
Stay tuned to SB Nation's coverage of the 2011 US Open Series at SBNation.com as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .