U.S takes surprise 2-0 lead against Switzerland; Isner beats Federer, Fish wins thriller

Davis Cup 2012
By Rajesh Srinivasan, February 10th, 2012

In a highly anticipated First Round Davis Cup Tie on Friday, the United States playing Switzerland away at Fribourg on indoor clay took a surprise 2-0 lead as John Isner pulled off a shock win over World No.3 Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2.

John Isner defeated Roger Federer in Davis Cup 2012

John Isner defeated Roger Federer in Davis Cup 2012

After losing the first set, World No.17 Isner played with confidence to get a break in the second set and served out the set. Federer was playing in the world group for the first time since 2004 and was on a 15 match winning streak in Davis cup matches.

At one set all, Federer seemed rattled and made some easy errors and was quickly down multiple break points early in the third set. However Isner did not capitalize on those opportunities and the set went to a tie breaker. Isner led 4-2 but Federer fought back to level it at 4-4. Isner then attacked the net and came up with some good volleys at the net and Federer netted a makeable passing shot which proved to be the difference. Isner came up with a delicate drop volley on set point to take the third set and two sets to one lead.

The fourth set saw both players miss break opportunities and Isner found himself down 0-40 at 2-2. Isner who led Nadal two sets to one at the French Open in 2011 only to lose in five sets must have been sensing a feeling of Déjà vu at this stage. However Isner came up with big serves and attacking play to hold to 3-2. The next game saw Isner earn a break point and he promptly broke with some big returns and ground strokes to force the error from Federer. Isner broke Federer’s serve again at 5-2 with some stunning returns off both flanks. After the match, Isner termed this as the biggest win of his career and praised Mardy Fish for his effort in giving them the lead which enabled him to play more freely.
The first match saw World No.8 Mardy Fish beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 9-7 in a thrilling match that lasted 4 hours and 26 minutes. Fish was down two sets to one but fought back with aggressive tennis to win the fourth set easily at 6-1.

In the fifth set, the American had two break points in the third game but the Wawrinka came up with some huge serves to close out the game. In the fifth game, Fish broke serve but soon found his serve in trouble at 0-40 at 4-3 but came up with some great shots including a tremendous topspin lob to maintain the lead.

Fish then had the opportunity to serve for the match at 5-4. Facing match point, Wawrinka came up with a blistering forehand crosscourt winner and then proceeded to break back to 5-5. At 7-7, Fish broke again to lead 8-7. Wawrinka saved another match point with a breathtaking back hand return winner as Fish served and volleyed. However Fish was not to be denied on his third match point as he came up with an exquisite touch volley to win the match and give the U.S a 1-0 lead.


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