Alexander Zverev ready for Roger Federer challenge

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Alexander Zverev ready for Roger Federer challenge

German rising star Alexander Zverev didn't hide his happiness after reaching his maiden Nitto ATP semi-final. The 21-year-old defeated big-serving American John Isner 7-6 (5) 6-3 to secure a place in the semi-final. World No.

5 Zverev saved a set point in the 12th game of the first set to force a tie-break -- where he converted his first set point to claim the opener. The German broke the American in the eighth game to take a 5-3 second-set lead before he served out for the match in the following game.

"'Obviously I'm unbelievable happy to be in the semi-finals now. John is such a tough opponent. The last two matches could have gone both ways for him really. The first set was unbelievably tight. I'm just happy to be through," Zverev said post-match, per George Bellshaw.

Zverev will be facing record 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer in the semi-final -- who finished at No. 1 in Group Lleyton Hewitt. Federer, 37, leads the head-to-head between the two 3-2. "We played so many times together in my short career.

He's leading with one win over me. I'm hoping to try and change that. It's going to be a very tough match but I hope I'm ready for it," Zverev said on facing Federer. Also read: Sam Groth: Professional help could unlock Nick Kyrgios' potential