Reversing the result of their semifinal here a year ago, John Isner on Friday served his way past defending champion Kevin Anderson 6-2, 7-6 on a chilly night in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach International.
It was a morale-boosting win for the 6-foot-9 American, whose confidence does not always match his stature on a tennis court.
Forced to miss the Australian Open with a knee injury, Isner lost in the first round last week at Memphis following a semifinal showing at San Jose, and now seems to be hitting his stride in testing conditions.
With the weather hot, humid and windy early in the week before rain washed out Wednesday's play, Isner had to adapt to temperatures that had plunged into the 50s.
The chill did not help Anderson, a U.S.-based South African who underwent elbow surgery in Melbourne at the end of January and needed time to warm up. Before he did, the first set was gone in a blur of Isner thunderbolts that included five aces.
Twelve more followed in a protr...