ATLANTA, Georgia: Australian Lleyton Hewitt booked his third ATP semi-final in four tournaments on Friday (Saturday in Manila), beating Ivan Dodig to set up a clash with top-seeded American John Isner at the Atlanta Open.
Former world number one Hewitt, who reached the final at Newport earlier this month but lost to France’s Nicolas Mahut, rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over third-seeded Croatian Dodig.
“At the start of the match I couldn’t get into it much,” said Hewitt, ranked 64th in the world, adding that the 36th-ranked Dodig just didn’t give him any early openings.
“He served fantastic, hit his spots every time. I didn’t think he could play any better for a set and a half,” Hewitt said. “I was just trying to hold serve and stay ahead in the second set. I played a good game at 4-3 to break. I was able to get up an early break in the third set and got a few more cheap points.”
Hewitt is in search of his first ATP title since 2010. To have a shot at it, he’ll have to get past big-serving Isner, who defeated James Blake 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5).
Hewitt has won four of their five prior encounters, including a victory over Isner in the Newport semi-finals.