U.S and France level at 1-1 after first day

Davis Cup 2012
By Rajesh Srinivasan, April 7th, 2012

In the Davis Cup quarterfinals held at Monte Carlo, John Isner beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to level the tie at 1-1 after Jo Wilfried Tsonga had given France the lead by beating Ryan Harrison 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

John Isner beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to level the tie at 1-1

John Isner beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to level the tie at 1-1

Playing his first live Davis Cup rubber, 19 year old Harrison broke early taking a 2-1 lead but gave away the advantage with two double faults to drop serve in the very next game. Tsonga saved breakpoint at 2-2 with a deft volley and up 6-5 stepped up his game and put pressure on Harrison with some heavy ground strokes and net rushing tactics. Tsonga wrapped up the set with a volley winner.

The second set saw Harrison gain 2 break points in the third game but Tsonga came up with delicate drop volleys to save both and go ahead 2-1. In the next game Harrison served a double fault down break point and went down 1-3. Harrison lost his cool and smashed his racquet. The next game was another pivotal one as Tsonga was in trouble facing break points and missed game points as well. An ace enabled hold to 4-1 and he won the set at 6-2. The third set saw turn around as Harrison broke thrice to win it 6-2. The fourth set Tsonga took early lead at 3-0 after breaking serve. Tsonga then maintained the lead to win the set 6-2 and a 1-0 lead for France.

The second rubber saw John Isner overpower Gilles Simon with some huge serves on important points and terrific forehands. Isner took an early lead and served out set after overcoming two double faults and a break point. A big serve and drop shot enabled him to win the set in 43 minutes.

Isner continued his good play breaking with a drop shot in the very first game. Soon he was up 4-0 and won second set easily at 6-2. The third set saw the crowd get behind their man and Simon responded playing better and took lead at 5-4 and had set point as well. But Isner came up with a big serve and forehand to hold serve. The set turned quickly as Isner broke serve pulling off a tremendous reflex volley at break point. Isner served out the match at love to draw U.S back to level terms. Isner later said that the clay surface does give more time for the rest of his game like returns and forehand and he does like playing on it.

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