Between the second and third sets, the match was delayed for 25 minutes when a circuit breaker overheated in a bank of lights in the northeast corner of the stadium court. Isner will play 19-year-old Jack Sock on Friday, not before 9 p.m. The No. 1 seed and a former standout at Georgia. Sock was the winner over Steve Johnson in a matchup of wild cards.
Isner said he did not feel comfortable early in the first set in which Bemelmans broke his second serve because he was playing his first hard-court match since Miami in March. Isner said that he just told himself not to get too frustrated and to try to let the match run its course.
In each of the next two sets, Isner bounced back, breaking Bemelmans’ first serve to take command. After taking the title in Newport, R.I. last week, Isner is attempting to win his second consecutive tournament. He is one of four U.S. players in the BB&T who will represent the U.S. in the Olympics.
In the finals of the past two tournaments in Atlanta, Isner lost both the games to Mardy Fish. The No. 2 seed and two-time defending champion, Fish was leading Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 3-2 when he pulled out.
Isner said that he thinks we are all wishing a speedy recovery for Fish. He was winning that match and most likely was going to win it. That is terrible.
Kei Nishikori will meet Go Soeda on Friday in the first matchup between Japanese players in the quarterfinals of an ATP World Tour tournament in the Open era (since 1968), while in other quarterfinal matches Friday; No. 4 seed Andy Roddick faces Michael Russell. Their match will take place no earlier than 4 p.m.
Nishikori defeated Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4. Soeda, the No. 8 seed, defeated Igor Kunitsyn, 6-1, 7-5. Both matches were played Wednesday. Since the Open era began in 1968, the ATP World Tour said Nishikori and Soeda are the first two players from Japan to face each other in an ATP quarterfinal. Both players will represent Japan in the upcoming Olympics.
BB&T Atlanta Open Outrights have odds John Isner 2, Andy Roddick 4, Kei Nishikori 11/2, Go Soeda 20, Gilles Muller 14.