INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Big-serving John Isner overpowered Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open with a 7-6 3-6 7-6 upset in the last four on Saturday.
The 26-year-old American blasted a total of 20 aces past the Serb, the last of them a 135 kph serve to clinch the final-set tiebreak 7-5 and end the match after two hours, 45 minutes.
Isner will meet either three-times champion Roger Federer or twice winner Rafa Nadal in Sunday’s final. Swiss Federer and Spaniard Nadal were scheduled to play later on Saturday in a heavily anticipated showdown, the 28th time the pair will have met in their ongoing rivalry.
Left-hander Nadal holds an 18-9 career advantage over the Swiss and has won four of their last five encounters, though they are 5-5 on the hard court.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Steve Keating