South African, American to meet in quarterfinals
In 2007, 6-foot-9 wild card John Isner made a towering impression just two months out of college, rolling to the finals of what then was called the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, where he lost to Andy Roddick. Five years later, another long-limbed player -- albeit with more experience -- is serving similar notice on the same courts.
On Thursday afternoon, 6-8 Kevin Anderson of South Africa blasted 12 aces and won nine of 10 service games in a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Florent Serra of France to advance to the quarterfinals in the Citi Open.
The 26-year-old Anderson, the third seed, faces an enticing heavyweight matchup Friday with Sam Querrey. The 6-6 Querrey was an equally decisive winner over Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-3, firing eight aces and winning all 22 first-serve points.
The third-seeded Querrey, 24, is coming off his seventh ATP victory -- but first in two years -- Sunday in Los Angeles. Adding intrigue to Friday's match with Anderson is that they are an imposing doubles duo this week at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.
"I've played doubles with John [Isner], James [Blake] and Andy [Roddick], and we've played each other in the same tournament," Querrey said. "It's just one of those things that happen. It is not that big of a deal."
In another day of few upsets in Rock Creek Park, top-seeded Mardy Fish needed just 60 minutes to advance with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. The American will take on unseeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium on Friday.
Fish faced only one moment of stress. Berankis, a finalist last week at Los Angeles, had two break points late in the first set with a chance to even the match. But Fish fired two of his 10 aces to dig out of the hole and win the game and the set.
In a battle of Americans in the women's draw, No. 4 Vania King outlasted No. 7 Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will face a similar challenge Friday in the semifinals, taking on top-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. King has won the last three meetings.
King left little doubt about her strategy for the power-hitting Pavlyuchenkova -- extend points and the match.