Welcome to the Top 10 club, John Isner.
On Day 11 in the BNP Paribas Open, American John Isner upset the tournament's defending champion Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (5).
The day brought Isner his first victory against a World No.1, his first time to reach an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and the first time he will break into the Top 10. (He is currently ranked No. 11 in the world.)
During the two hour and 45 minute play time, Isner fired 20 aces (one that went 135-mph during his forth match point) to topple the world's best male tennis player.
From the BNP Paribas Open:
"I had in the third set a couple of times 30-all and some chances really where I was in the rally, but he came up with some incredible groundstrokes winners, and that's it," said Djokovic. "I have to shake his hand and congratulate him for the win."
Isner will face either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, who are facing each other for their 28th match, in the men's semifinal. The final round will be his shot at a fourth ATP World Tour singles title. He hasn't won one since last August in Winston-Salem.
If Isner were to win the final, it would move the University of Georgia graduate to No. 8 in the world, which would place him in front of countryman Mardy Fish, making him the No. 1 American in the world. It's a spot he recently said he knew Fish wasn't ready to relinquish.
Before Saturday's upset, John Isner's most notable victory was his four-set defeat of World No. 3 Federer in Davis Cup action last month to help the USA earn a Davis Cup win against Switzerland.
(Although many fans do know Isner as the a 6-foot-9 American who had the marathon 11 hour and 5 minute match that lasted three days against Nicolas Mahut. Isner won.)
Isner is an unconventional professional tennis player in the fact that he attended four years at an American university before turning pro. He was a Georgia Bulldog who said the losses he suffered in college built his game and his confidence. To Isner, success after college would have been just cracking the top 100.
He's well surpassed that mark.
From USA Today:
"I do feel like it's my time," Isner said. "I think my career best tennis is ahead of me, and I hope it's here in 2012."