Isner Upsets Federer In Three

BNP Paribas Masters, Paris

[CR2] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [CR13] John Isner (USA)

Isner is known for his serve and his famous marathon match at Wimbledon in 2010 against Nicolas Mahut.  He is the next great hope for American tennis, wearing the mantle since Andy Roddick’s retirement in 2012.  Interestingly, 2012 was the only time that Isner was able to defeat Federer.  Despite coming close many times, pushing many sets to a tiebreak, he just could not overcome the obstacle named Federer.  Today was the second time in seven matches that Isner was able to win the first set, and the first time in seven matches that he was able to win the match after winning the first set.  Isner started off well; yet, psychologically, it had to be nerve-racking to know that you have only defeated your opponent once.  Even more daunting for Isner was the realization that he had to defeat Roger Federer to get to the next round.

Federer’s aura of invincibility may not be as pervasive as it once was, but he is still a very difficult opponent to beat. Therefore, despite the fact that Isner won the first set, there was still that sense that Federer was going to win.  That’s how good Federer is, you never think he is going to lose and with very few exceptions he rarely does. This 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(5) victory was very important psychologically for Isner and perhaps he can use it to propel himself forward.  He was once ranked as high as number 9 in 2012. He has been hovering just outside the top ten for a few years now and his confidence has not been the greatest.  It would give his confidence a great boost if he can end the season ranked in the top ten. Unfortunately, his next opponent in the quarterfinals is David Ferrer.  Isner has only defeated Ferrer once in six attempts and that was in 2011. Will Isner get his second consecutive upset victory in this tournament?

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