Now Roger Federer and company are on the ropes.
Isner challenged the 16-time Grand Slam champion in long rallies on the indoor clay court, sending Federer to his first loss in Davis Cup singles in eight years and silencing a Swiss crowd unaccustomed to such outcomes.
“I thought he played great,” Federer said. “He played it tough and served great when he had to. I just missed a couple more opportunities than he did and that’s what cost me the match.”
The 26-year-old Isner called it the “biggest win of my career thus far.”
“I’m very proud of it,” he said. “I played those break points down very well. It turned the match a little for me.”
“It’s been a difficult day for us,” Federer said, adding: “We still have a chance to go through. I’m going to enjoy the challenge.”
Seven other first-round series in the top tier of Davis Cup were contested Friday. Croatia and Japan were tied 1-1, same for Canada vs. France. Ahead 2-0 were Serbia (vs. Sweden), Austria (vs. Russia), Argentina (vs. Germany), Spain (vs. Kazakhstan) and Czech Republic (vs. Italy).
Before a crowd of 7,000 at Fribourg Forum, Federer started in routine fashion by winning the first set without dropping serve. Isner broke in the sixth game of the second set, but failed to exert any pressure in the third.
Still, the third-ranked Federer couldn’t take capitalize on break-point chances in the sixth and eighth games — winning just one of his 12 opportunities in the match — and the set drifted into a tiebreaker.View Entire Story
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