John Isner gives U.S. victory over France

Davis Cup 2012
By Rajesh Srinivasan, April 9th, 2012

World No.11 John Isner displayed great calm and composure to beat World no.6 Jo Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 to hand U.S a winning 3-1 lead over France in the Davis Cup 2012 quarter-finals held at Monte Carlo Country club. Tsonga stayed even till 3-3 but played a horrendous game at 3-4 to drop serve serving two double faults and some unforced errors. Isner then served out the first set at love with an ace at set point.

John Isner

John Isner

Both players faced trouble on their serve early in the second set facing break points but managed to hold serve with some attacking tennis and good net play. At 6-5, Tsonga had 0-30 lead on Isner’s serve but two big serves made it level to 30-30. Soon it went to a tie breaker and the outcome hinged on one point at 4-4. Isner ran around his backhand and hit a blistering forehand return winner to get the mini break at 5-4. Tsonga missed a passing shot to give Isner two set points and he duly converted with an ace.

The third set saw Tsonga gain two break points at 1-1 but Isner came up with courageous tennis to hold serve. At 5-5, Tsonga had two breakpoints again which Isner saved with brilliant aggressive manner but finally lost serve on a double fault. Tsonga served out the third set at 7-5.

Isner then got back on track in the fourth set breaking early to 3-0. World No. 1 Djokovic was an interested spectator as Isner maintained the lead at 5-3 and then served for the match. Isner again displayed no nerves closing out the match with a drive volley on match point. There is no reason why John Isner on this form cannot challenge for a grand slam title soon if he keeps improving like he has done in the last year.

After the match an emotional Guy Forget, the French Davis Cup captain stepped down after 13 years. During his tenure, France won one title and reached three finals. In the last dead rubber Gilles Simon beat Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-3 to make the final score at 2-3 for France. The U.S will now face Spain away in the semi finals in September. After the match, Isner said that it was one of the biggest matches of the year and he was very happy that he rose to the occasion to secure victory. American captain Jim Courier said that his team will now enjoy the victory as they have exceeded expectations beating Switzerland and France away on clay.

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