San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Top-seeded and two-time defending champion Milos Raonic got the best of Denis Istomin in a rematch of last year's final at San Jose during Friday's quarterfinal action at the SAP Open.
Raonic had 14 aces and needed just one hour and 20 minutes to dispose of the Uzbekistan native, winning in straight sets, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 at HP Pavilion.
Over the course of his career, the 22-year-old Canadian has yet to lose in San Jose and is trying to become the first player in the Open Era to capture three Bay Area titles in a row.
In order to do so, Raonic will have to get through third-seeded American Sam Querrey, who avoided the jaws of defeat by rallying late in the third set to claim a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 decision over Colombian Alejandro Falla.
Second-seeded American John Isner advanced to the semifinals here for the first time in his career by narrowly escaping a first set tiebreaker before breezing through the second set in taking a 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 decision for a third straight victory over Belgium's Xavier Malisse.
Isner will take on fourth-seeded former world No. 2 Tommy Haas of Germany, who topped American wild card and former NCAA champion Steve Johnson, 6-4, 6-2. It's Haas' first semifinal appearance in San Jose since 2005.
The 2013 San Jose titlist will collect $98,700.