Federer v Isner 6-4 7-6 (2-3)
GAME, SET, MATCH: FEDERER
6-6 (7-5): A stunning first serve from Federer and it’s match point. Isner serves but the return from Federer trickles over the net to give the Swiss player the win. The first thing Federer does is give his opponent an apologetic handshake, a fine display from both players.
6-6 (3-4): Some excellent forehand work from the world no.1 brings the tie break to 4-3 with the American to serve, but John Isner offers up a forehand masterclass of his own before a smart shot at the net makes it 3-4.
6-6 (2-3): All of a sudden Federer looks up for this, hurrying his opponent’s serve. Maybe not the best idea when your opponent is John Isner who slams home an ace to make it 2-2. More great play at the net gives Isner the lead as Federer comes up to serve.
6-6: It’s a tense service game for Federer as an unforced error takes it to deuce. Both players hit the net as the nerves begin to take their toll before an excellent Federer forehand forces a tie break.
5-6: Isner holds to love once more to get his nose out in front again. Federer doesn’t look to be enjoying the windy conditions out there, while Isner on the other hand looks comfortable and composed. Meanwhile, the crowd are indulging in an old favourite; the Mexican wave.
5-5: Nervous times for Federer as he challenges a late call and loses, bringing Isner within two points of the set. However, more strong play and a stunning ace from Federer brings the second set back to a tie.
4-5: Isner shows that he is similarly mean on his own serve and makes his prowess at the net show. Another hold to love gives Isner the lead yet again.
4-4: We’re one hour in and Federer is in no mood to give up his serve. However he does relinquish a point to his opponent early on as Isner takes a quick 15-0 lead. A couple of long hits from Isner and a brilliant cross-court backhand give Federer the game.
3-4: Isner is ahead once more as another strong service game goes his way.
3-3: The wind is starting to whip up and even the great Federer seems to be a little bit put off by it, soon finding himself 30-15 down on his serve. A miss hit backhand from Isner lets Federer back into it and the world no.1 holds with a minimum of further fuss.
2-3: It’s a case of ‘whatever you can do I can do better’ as Isner also hits a double fault. The American’s composure seems to be slipping and a stumble at the net gives Federer the first break point of the second set, but a deft passing shot from the Wimbledon champion goes just a little wide. Isner gathers himself, takes a deep breath and produces two strong serves to snatch the game.
2-2: Federer commits to the net early in his second service game of the set, but it pays off. Another quick service game from the world no.1 is derailed by a rare double fault and some beguiling net play from Isner brings the game to deuce. Federer looks unconcerned, however, and a long hit return from Isner levels the set.
1-2: Isner shows that it’s not just Federer who can hold to love. Excellent serving from the American edges him ahead of the world no.1 once more.
1-1: A third hold to love in the match for Federer is completed by a nicely hit overhead. 1-1.
0-1 : A fantastic return down the line gives Federer a point on the American’s serve but it is an otherwise routine game for Isner who holds comfortably.
SET TO FEDERER: 6-4
6-4: A well contested game leaves Federer serving for the set, but Isner isn’t finished just yet. Some hustling play from the American gives him an early point. A stunning showdown at the net and a great return from Isner forces his first break point of the match but a strong serve from Federer takes it to a second deuce in as many games. It is the Swiss player who holds his nerve and takes the set with an unreturnable serve.
5-4: Possibly a turning point in the set. Federer races to 0-30 on the American’s serve, but Isner remains un-rattled. Isner hits wide, challenges and loses, giving Federer his first break point of the match so far, which Isner promptly saves with a stunning ace. Another save takes the game to deuce where Isner squanders an advantage following an excellent volley. Federer forces the advantage and a misplaced smash from Isner gives Federer the break.
4-4: Isner is enjoying himself out there but will need to break the world no.1 at some point if he hopes to win this match. He will have to bide his time though, Federer holds to love for the second game in a row with a great volley.
3-4: It’s looking dusty out there as the wind continues to pick up. The American looks unfazed, however, and takes the game with an ace.
3-3: The longest rally of the match so far draws both players into the net, but Isner passes wide. A strong serve from the Swiss player takes the game to 30-0 before Isner plays two shots too long to give Federer the hold.
2-3: It’s Isner’s turn to charge at the net and he does so successfully to bring the game to 15-15 as the wind picks up. A typically strong serve and some good play at the net from the American gives Isner the game.
2-2: Federer continues to serve delightfully and hints at a charge from the baseline before Isner hits the net. Another sublime serve gives Federer the hold.
1-2: Some powerful serving from the American gives Isner a routine hold.
1-1 Early exchanges both go with serve as Federer holds.
World no.1 Roger Federer will have one eye on a gold medal as he prepares for his Olympic quarter final match-up on Centre Court today, but he will face a stern test in tenth seed John Isner.
Federer and Isner have met four times previously, with the Swiss maestro emerging victorious in three of those encounters, but it is Isner’s four-set defeat of Federer in the Davis Cup back in February that will loom large over the two players as they prepare for their meeting today.
The American gained his quarter final spot after an impressive but hard fought straight sets win over world no.8 Janko Tipseravic. It took a marathon tie break to decide the second set of that encounter, Isner finally triumphing 16-14.
Federer’s progression to the last eight was slightly more straightforward; a 7-5 6-3 victory over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin securing the Swiss player a berth in the quarter finals.