Gilles Simon hopes to end American hopes in Indian Wells when he plays John Isner in the quarter-finals tonight.
Simon scuppered the hopes of teenager Ryan Harrison late on Wednesday night. Harrison fought hard against the world number 13 but he was ultimately outlasted 7-6(0), 5-7, 6-1 by one of the toughest streetfighters on the tour.
"I believed if I could get it to two hours and 30 minutes on court, I would be good and maybe he would get tired, and that's what happened," Simon said. "I managed to save those two break points [at 2-1 in the third set] and go 3-1 up, and then he dropped down, and started to miss a lot. I maybe was a little bit lucky as it could have been 3-1 for him. But I'm very happy because when you lose the second set, it's not that easy to win the third one."
Isner is through to his second successive Masters quarter-final having also made the last eight in Paris in November. He simply served too well for qualifier Matthew Ebden in the fourth round, dropping just four points when he landed his first serve. He'll need to repeat that against Simon who's a much better returner.
Isner won their only previous clash 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in the fourth round of last year's US Open. "I think it's going to be very difficult," Simon said. "Last time at the US Open, I had some opportunities. It's a match where I should have been better. I know it will be difficult to be in the same position, but I hope that this time, if I am, I will finish it."
Prediction: Isner in three.