World no.49 Jérémy Chardy of France faced down seven match points to dispose of John Isner of the US in three sets (6-7 (9), 7-6 (13), 7-6 (4)) and reach the semifinals of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
Without counting the long rain delay, the match lasted 3:38. When the players came back on court after the skies had cleared, not many people would have bet on the Frenchman. Isner was leading 7-6, 3-1 and had just broken Chardy for the first time in the match. In the second-set tiebreaker, the American had five break points and then produced two more at 5-6 in the third. But Chardy stood tall.
“I was really strong mentally,” recognized Chardy. “I saved match points for the second time this week and I’m very pleased.”
Drained after his North American run, which earned him a title in Atlanta and a runner-up trophy in Washington, Isner was very bothered by his left knee. But he relied on his serve—his favourite weapon—and hit 32 aces in the match. Each player was only broken once, both in the second set.
Today’s match was the players’ fourth duel. Versus Isner, Chardy has a perfect 4-0 record.
“This is my first Masters 1000 semifinal and it’s happening in Montréal,” exclaimed Chardy. “I love the city and life is great. The fans supported me and luck was on my side.”
Isner, whose recent results have propelled him to the world no.12 ranking, will now have a few days to rest his battered legs, shoulder and elbow—time he certainly needs.