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Defending champion John Isner is on course to successfully defend his Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island after beating Izak van der Merwe in the quarter-finals 6-4 7-6.

The big-serving 27-year-old American sent down 12 aces on his way to overpowering his South African opponent in just 83 minutes.

Isner, who beat Olivier Rochus in last year’s final, has already reached two finals so far in 2012 - at Indian Wells in March and in Houston a month later.

After beating van der Merwe, Isner said: “When good servers meet on a court like that, it’s not necessarily going to be so pretty. It was the sort of match I expected. I’m sure I could have played better, and more aggressive, but all in all I’m very happy with the result.”

Isner, who is perhaps best remembered for featuring in the longest ever professional tennis match when his Wimbledon encounter against Nicolas Mahut two years ago lasted more than 11 hours, has won three titles in his career to date.

He was victorious in Auckland in 2010 before clinching last year’s tournament in Newport and sealing victory in the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina.

Isner will meet the sixth seed Ryan Harrison in an all-American semi-final. Harrison was leading Benjamin Becker 6-4 3-0 when the German was forced to retire with a left hamstring injury.

Harrison, who is currently at a career-high world ranking of 48, is through to his third semi-final of the season and is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour final.

With Flushing Meadows rapidly approaching don’t forget to check out the latest Betfair US Open Tennis Odds as well as news, tips, advice and expert opinion over at the new and improved Betfair Tennis website.
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