Federer loses to big-serving Isner in Paris Masters

John Isner came through a tense third-set tie-break to beat Roger Federer 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(5) at the BNP Paribas Masters. The American secured the win on his fourth match point after two hours and 16 minutes and improved his ATP Head to Head record against the No. 3 seed to 2-5. Both of Isner’s wins (2012 Davis Cup, indoor clay) have come indoors.

“I think he serves consistent throughout the year,” said Federer. “I think with him it's more can he serve big when he really needs it the most. Does indoors maybe help him there a little bit? Potentially. He's got the size, got the power, got the angles. I thought he did very well today when he needed it. The breakers, he served great. Those are the ones he needed. That was the difference.”

Federer went down despite claiming the lone service break of the match, midway through the second set. The third-seeded Swiss struck 13 aces and saved all six break points faced, but misfired on a forehand to drop the first set and was on the receiving end of an unplayable 145 miles per hour Isner serve on the final point of the match.

“If you know me, you know that that's my favorite serve,” said Isner about his play selection on match point. “It's sort of one of those things, a lot of people know I'm going there. Catch it if you can. It's like a pitcher with a fast ball, I guess. It's a shot I have hit a million times. I have played a lot of matches in my career now. I have been in that situation before.”

Federer, the 2011 Paris champion had been perfect in tie-breaks against Isner since the pair’s first meeting at the 2007 US Open (5-0), but lost the initiative in both on Thursday. In the first-set tie-break, Isner fired a forehand winner to move ahead 3/1 before serving it out. In the decider, the American found the critical mini-break by drawing Federer to the net and forcing the Swiss into a backhand overhead miss.

“At the US Open, I won my tie-breakers,” Federer said. “Here, I lost them. It's a pity. I didn't play a bad match. I haven't been broken during six sets against him, and I lost the match. It's tough to get out of the tournament not having lost your serve. This is how it happens against John. It's always on his racquet, especially indoors.”

“This is a very big tournament,” Isner said. “He's an incredible player. My favourite player and the greatest of all time, in my opinion. It was a huge win for me. I'm very proud I was able to get it done.”

Aside from his powerful serves, Isner showed some deft touches; notably when saving a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a clean backhand volley.

“That arguably saved the match for me,” the 30-year-old American said. “If he goes up a break, things probably don't look good.”

Isner will contest his 10th quarter-final of the season against David Ferrer, who topped Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes.

Next up for Federer is the ATP World Tour Finals from November 15-22, where he has had his share of success in the past. In fact, the World No. 2 has held the trophy at the year-end showdown on no less than six occasions.

“I have been there since 2002,” he said. “It's one of the tournaments that I’ve enjoyed most and that I’ve had a lot of pleasure winning. I'm happy I'm qualified. We'll see the groups, the round robins. I'm very eager to go to London and get prepared as well as I can. I'm in good shape. I'm healthy, so I want that tournament to start.”

Date: 5th November 2015, Source: ATP


Post a Comment