Atlanta: Top-seeded John Isner kept his bid for a third straight ATP Atlanta Open crown on track on Friday, booking a semi-final clash with fellow American Denis Kudla.
Isner needed one hour and 21 minutes to get past Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
A day after his 33-ace outburst against Radek Stepanek, Isner blasted 19 aces and converted his lone break chance against Berankis.
He booked a first career meeting against Kudla, a qualifier who defeated Israel`s Dudi Sela 7-5, 6-0.
The other semi-final will pit fifth-seeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis against seventh-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
Baghdatis upended second-seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) to reach his third semi-final of the season while Muller dispatched Japan`s Go Soeda 7-5, 6-1.
Isner said he was expecting a tough match against Kudla, who as a qualifier has won five matches in six days to reach his first ATP semi-final.
Kudla converted six of 11 break chances against Sela to wrap up the win in just 61 minutes.
"He`s very solid," Isner said of his 22-year-old compatriot. "He returns really well. He`s quick. The best part of his game is that he stays very composed out there and doesn`t let things rattle him too much. It`s paying dividends.
"He`s working really hard and he`s very young too, so he`s got a great future ahead of him. Me being the elder statesman tomorrow, I need to show him no mercy."