One year ago, Brit Kyle Edmund ended Steve Johnson's Winston-Salem Open and his US Open. Not this year.
The American routed Edmund 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday to reach his second Winston-Salem Open semi-final (2015, l. Herbert). The 28-year-old Johnson needed only 64 minutes to beat Edmund, winning 80 per cent (35/44) of his service points and saving all four break points.
“I think it was my best serving day in a long time so that's always helpful, and when you get early breaks in both sets that definitely helps your case. Your confidence builds and maybe the doubt in their game maybe creeps up a bit more,” he said.
Johnson, a champion at Houston and Newport this year, will try to reach his third final of 2018 when he meets second seed Pablo Carreno Busta. The 2016 champion broke four times and advanced past South Korean Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-4.
“Playing like this I am going to win a lot of matches. I think my opponent today played very good,” Carreno Busta said.
The Spaniard leads his Fedex ATP Head2Head series with Johnson 2-1, including a straight-sets win earlier this year on the Miami hard courts.
Russian Daniil Medvedev and Japan's Taro Daniel will face off in Friday's other semi-final. Medvedev beat American Ryan Harrison 7-6(4), 6-4, and Daniel came back from a set and a break down to knock out Chile's Nicolas Jarry 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. The Japanese right-hander played two full matches on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals.
“Another really tough one. [Medvedev] has been accumulating a lot of experience on the tour,” Daniel said.
Medvedev reached his fourth ATP World Tour semi-final and his first since January when he won his maiden title at the Sydney International. “It was a great match for me. I played quite good tennis I think. You can always do something better but I think it was a solid match,” he said.