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Though, he is not looking nowhere near to his last season’s form, what matters at the moment is that defending champion Novak Djokovic is in the semi-final of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open and this defiant Serbian obviously believes in the end result – and never wastes his energy to focus on how he reaches there. Well, the rising American and one of the most devastating serving giants of the game – John Isner is pitted against the top-seeded Serbian. Currently ranked as World No. 11 in the ATP Rankings, it is time for the American to prove that he has certainly come of age – it’s time to claim his share of titles and prize money.
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic has had a dream run last year as he thoroughly dominated the proceedings on ATP World Tour and finished the season with a record five ATP Masters titles and three Grand Slams. Though, Djokovic has not been looking in the same form so far in the new season, he has it to repeat that feat – provided he will not put too much pressure on him. The Serbian has a stellar 14-1 win-loss record in the new season and he has Aussie Open title already in his kitty. His only defeat came last month in Dubai, where he was subdued by Andy Murray in straight sets. Djokovic is gunning for his 30th career title. Djokovic was tested here in the round of 16 encounter by unseeded Spaniard Pablo Andujar, but finally the World No. 1 prevailed with a 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2 scoreline. He looked flawless in this quarterfinal match, as Djokovic subdued the Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in straight sets 6-3 6-4 to come this far in the tournament.
On the other hand, eleventh seeded Isner has been looking like a totally different contender since the last five months. The American failed to make it the quarterfinal in his first twenty three ATP Masters events, but now he has made it to back-to-back semis. Last season he reached the Paris semis. This tournament offers a great opportunity for Isner because if he manages to win this duel, he will break into the Top 10 and if he goes all the way to win the title – then he will surpass his compatriot Mardy Fish in the rankings and become the new American No. 1. Well, all these permutations and combinations can work as perfect morale booster for the American – and he can play out of his skin to upset Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head record against the American with 2-0. Last time they met in 2010 Beijing Open, where Djokovic beat the American in straight sets. Well, Isner pushed Roger Federer to four sets in 2007 US Open and then tested Rafael Nadal in 2011 Roland Garros. So, stage is set and it’s time to go full-throttle against Djokovic.
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