Isner sets up Djokovic clash

American John Isner is through to the semi-finals at the Indian Wells ATP Masters after a 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/3) victory over Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.

Isner, the 12th seed, now faces second-seeded Novak Djokovic, a two-time Indian Wells champion who overpowered unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1 6-3.

The 28-year-old American saved a set point before winning the opening set in a tie-breaker after the first 12 games went with serve.

Isner dropped serve twice to fall behind 4-2 in the second, but broke back to level the score at five all and then dominated the tie-breaker.


"I had all my energy going for me," said Isner. "I know I have those serves in my arsenal. It's just a matter of me pulling them out and I went for them."

Isner defeated then number one Djokovic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells in 2012 before falling to Roger Federer in the final.

Isner also beat Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters last year, his only two wins over the Serbian in six career meetings.