Hewitt is in search of his first ATP title since 2010. To have a shot at it, he’ll have to get past big-serving Isner, who defeated James Blake 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/5).
Hewitt has won four of their five prior encounters, including a victory over Isner in the Newport semi-finals.
Yesterday’s other semi-final was to pit second-seeded South African Kevin Anderson against American Ryan Harrison.
Anderson fired 12 aces in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 quarter-final win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
The 27-year-old Anderson, who has reached a career high 21st in the world rankings, is in the final four the second time in as many tournaments after making it to the semis in Bogota last week.
“In the third set I had to dig deep,” said Anderson, who rallied from 0-40 down at 2-2 in the third to hold serve. “I had quite a few break points. I thought I played some good points. I don’t think he gave it to me. I used the momentum and that’s what tennis is. It can change just like that. It’s important to stay in the moment as much as possible.”
Harrison reached his first tour-level semi-final in more than a year with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2) victory over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.
AP, UMAG, Croatia
Seeded Italian players Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini reached the semi-finals of the Croatia Open on Friday.
The second-seeded Seppi advanced after Horacio Zeballos retired while trailing 6-5 in the first set. The Argentine had two set points at 5-4.
Seppi next faces fifth-seeded Tommy Robredo from Spain, who needed five match points to defeat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-1, 6-4.
Robredo has lost only 13 games in three matches so far in Umag.
Fognini, seeded No. 3, defeated Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2 for his 12th consecutive singles victory and his third semi-final at Umag.
Fognini won four consecutive games after trailing 3-1 in the first set. Another four-game run in the second set at 1-1 set up the victory.
“I played much better than on the first day, I felt great,” Fognini said. “My game really works good at the moment. Still, the top 10 is not my goal now, it is a long road. I just entered the top 20.”
Fognini next faces Gael Monfils of France, who needed 2 hours, 16 minutes to defeat Spain’s Albert Montanes 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Monfils had a chance to finish the match in straight sets when leading 5-3 in the second set, but he lost four games in a row.
“I got a bit tight when I served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. I should have been more aggressive,” Monfils said. “I am very pleased with this, I’ve never beaten Albert on clay before. It was good clay-court match. I could have served better and surely it might be improved tomorrow.”