John Isner was always going to be a tough nut to crack and he proved his worth against the world no.1 on Centre Court today. Roger Federer eventually triumphed in straight sets, but it took a nervous tie-break to separate the two players in the second.
The tenth seeded American showed steely resolve in the first set, holding strongly in his first four service games before a lengthy deuce in the ninth game of the set gave Federer a chance to break. The Swiss player took it, and then dutifully served out the set.
The second set was similarly tight, with both players holding to love on more than one occasion. Break points were few and far between and the crowd settled in for the inevitable tie-break.
Isner’s game suits a tie-break situation – or at least it would against a normal player – but Federer switched on the class and won the match with a low return that trickled agonizingly over the net.
Federer will now meet another giant in the semi-final. This time in the form of Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro.