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Isner nears third straight Newport title

July 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

NEWPORT, R.I., July 12 (UPI) -- John Isner moved a step closer to his third straight title at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships Friday by downing Ivo Karlovic in the quarterfinals.

Isner survived tiebreaks in both sets to create a semifinal matchup with Lleyton Hewitt, the player he defeated in last year's championship match.

Isner eliminated Karlovic 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3). When those two meet, which they have done four times, they create the tallest tennis match in ATP Tour history. Isner stands 6-foot-9 and Karlovic is an inch taller. They have now split their four career matches.

Hewitt earned his spot in the semifinals by downing Jan Hernych 6-7 (6-4), 6-2. The only time Isner has defeated Hewitt in four career meetings came in this event a year ago. Hewitt defeated Isner this year at Indian Wells, Calif.

Saturday's other semifinal will send Michael Russell against Nicolas Mahut, who was the runner-up in this tournament six years ago.

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