6-2 Game, Set, Match Ferrer Even at this stage Isner manages to run around a backhand and hit a strong forehand to the back of the court. Ferrer returns with a drop shot which proves too much for Isner: match point. Ferrer serves, Isner returns weakly and wide; Ferrer wins; the crowd erupts. Ferrer was just too strong, too fit and too quick for Isner today; a deserved victory for the world no.5.
5-2 Isner looks exhausted but manages to muster enough energy to gain the advantage on his serve. Serving for the game, he lacks the venom and vigour he showed earlier in the match, but manages to wrongfoot Ferrer after a brief rally. Isner holds, but how much has he got left?
5-1 Deuce. This is why Ferrer is world no.5. Isner plays a crushing serve which Ferrer returns, before anticipating the American’s next move and threading the needle with an unreturnable backhand. Exquisite stuff from the Valencian. Ferrer is hungry for another break in this set, he wants to finish it now, and finds himself at match point. Isner faults on his first serve but a strong forehand forces deuce.
5-1 The crowd are in good voice now, as the strains of “ole, ole, ole, ole” ring out around the court at Gijon. Ferrer quickly reaches 40-0, buoyed by the home support. He can’t finish it just yet, hitting long and giving Isner the tiniest amount of breathing space. Any designs the punch-drunk American had on breaking back in this game are quickly snuffed out as Ferrer holds to make it 5-1.
4-1 Break! The trapdoor is yawning for the American now. Isner gains game point and plays a great volley from close to the net. Somehow Ferrer gets there and the home crowd erupt as he plays stunning winner from the back of court. The Spanish player pushes on, forcing an advantage. Isner knows it’s now or never and rallies his strength for another attack on the net, his drop shot is weak, though, and rebounds off the net and back onto his side of the court. Surely Ferrer has done enough.
3-1 Deuce Ferrer is moving as freshly as he was two and a half hours ago and attacks the net, forcing Isner backwards. Isner returns but hits the net, Ferrer had it covered anyway; two break points. Isner saves one with a perfectly placed forehand which gives Ferrer no chance, and then the other by attacking the net himself and hitting a smash down the middle. Deuce.
3-1 The open door offered to Isner by Ferrer is quickly slammed shut as Ferrer gains the advantage. Unwilling to give Isner another chance at a break point, Ferrer plants a perfect forehand for the American to chase. He doesn’t reach it and Ferrer holds.
2-1 Deuce Ferrer signals that he wants to kick for home with a strong first serve and once again Isner’s racket is on the floor in frustration. The Spaniard can sense Isner’s tiredness and tests him with a drop shot that the American doesn’t even attempt. Ferrer gambles on the second serve and double faults, following up by hitting the net on a the next point and somehow Isner is at break point. Ferrer saves the point with a cruelly executed drop shot to force deuce.
2-1 Break! Ferrer plays a perfectly controlled forehand that makes Isner look to the heavens in appreciation. Isner is determined not to let Ferrer repeat such a shot and attacks the net with brilliant aggression. It’s difficult to lob a guy who stands 6′ 9″ in his bare feet, but Ferrer tries anyway, only to experience a wicked smash which wins Isner the point. Ferrer is still getting some joy against Isner’s serve and suddenly finds himself with two break points as the American hits wide. Isner saves one with aplomb, wrong-footing Ferrer brilliantly, but gives him just a little too much room on the second. The Spaniard breaks; this could be critical.
1-1 Both players are showing signs of fatigue and trade mistakes early in this game. Ferrer gets his head together and gambles successfully, hitting an ace on his second serve to take it to game point. The Spanish player holds his nerve, and his serve.
0-1 Straight away Ferrer takes a point on Isner’s serve. The American will need to settle quickly if he is to force a fifth set, but his serve is as reliable as ever and Isner achieves an important hold early in the fourth set.
0-0 If Ferrer wasn’t tired before his bathroom break, he will be afterwards. The Spanish player receives a guard of honour on the long walk from the court to the locker room at Gijon. With the momentum in his corner, don’t bet against Ferrer jogging back.
6-4 Game, Set Ferrer Isner throws his racket down in disgust as a Ferrer serve sits up awkwardly for him and his return goes wide. The American receives a dash of luck on the next point, hitting the net and watching the ball trickle over to Ferrer’s side. Despite the heat, Ferrer continues to move exceptionally well and ensures Isner gets no further luck as he takes the set.
5-4 Isner is struggling to hold, despite needing to to remain in the set. He eventually muscles his way to 30-40 and opts for a risky second serve. It pays off and Ferrer looks in disarray as he scrambles to return. Isner follows up with a drop shot which even the agile Ferrer can’t reach. Isner manages a vital hold, but the two hours played under the Asturian sun are starting to show on both players.
5-3 Ferrer is displaying a bit of power on the serve now, repeatedly forcing Isner to the back of the court. The Spanish player anticipates a drop shot and rushes to the net, only to see the ball sail high over his head. It’s long; Ferrer leads 30-15. A Ferrer forehand goes wide, tying the game at 30-30 but he’s back on track with the next point, leaving Isner looking despairingly at another forehand that whizzes by him. Ferrer holds for a two game cushion.
4-3 Break! A big backhand pushes Ferrer deep into the back of the court. Ferrer manages to pull off a drop shot which Isner reaches but his passing shot falls agonisingly on the wrong side of the net. Three break points to Ferrer, who returns Isner’s second serve well, pushing Isner deep and wide. The American’s forehand return goes long and Ferrer breaks.
3-3 A savage forehand is returned by Isner but followed by with an even savager smash. Isner is moving exceptionally well though, and returns with a winner. Impressive stuff from the American, but not enough to prevent Ferrer pulling away to 40-15. A strong serve from Ferrer ties the set.
2-3 Isner wheels out the artillery on his serve once again and is quickly leading 0-40. A double fault disrupts his rhythm momentarily but a 14th ace of the match. gives Isner an impressive hold.
2-2 Possibly a critical game in this third set. Ferrer goes from saving a break point to advantage in a matter of seconds. A lovely drop shot makes Isner charge towards the net but to no avail. Ferrer holds.
1-2 Deuce Isner is making Ferrer work harder on his serve and the Spaniard slips attempting his trademark forehand. 15-15. A bit of groundstroke sparring from deep brings the game to 30-30 when some powerful hitting from Isner forces Ferrer to hit long. Isner squanders the break point by hitting long himself but looks to the umpire in disbelief. USA captain Jim Courier shakes his head and Isner obeys and keeps his cool.
1-2 Ferrer quickly finds himself at game point and tries a Ferrer-style forehand from the back of the court. Ferrer is as lightning quick as ever and returns, but his passing shot goes long and Isner holds. An uncharacteristically routine start to the third set of this match.
1-1 Ferrer really took his foot off the gas at the end of the second and it was only his hard work early in the set that carried him through. He is not about to let Isner do the same to him in the third. Isner hits the net with an attempted drop shot to give Ferrer game point. Ferrer faults on his first serve and the second is returned, however Ferrer finds space for another devastating forehand after a brief rally and holds comfortably.
0-1 Isner will be hoping to employ similar shock tactics to the ones employed against him by Ferrer at the beginning of the second set. So far so good, Isner smashes another serve at a mind-boggling angle for an 11th ace and an early hold in the third set.
6-3 Game, Set Ferrer. Ferrer’s body language is not befitting of a man serving for the set, but he begins to chip away at Isner’s defensive. Ferrer goes for a big serve to win the set, but faults. He decides to risk another big serve and Isner’s return goes long. The match is squared at one set all.
5-3 Isner has settled again and races to 0-40. Ferrer is feeling the pressure and the big American holds with ease.
5-2 Break back! The home crowd is still tense despite Ferrer impressive lead in this second set. Maybe Isner sense’s that Ferrer is not yet fully comfortable and succeeds in breaking the Spanish world no.5. Game on.
3-1 Ferrer looks understandably bewildered but he composes himself and really attacks a weak return of serve from Ferrer. Isner’s aggression has returned and he wins the ensuing encounter at the net, putting his exceptional reach to good use. Isner tries another drop shot which Ferrer reaches once again, but his passing shot is too heavy and goes wide. Game point to ISner but the American is stalled by a comfortable Ferrer forehand at the back of the court. It’s only a stumble though, Isner takes the next point and the game. 30-40.
3-0 Ferrer knows what he must do here; quickly hold serve and get the crowd to urge him on. A poor return of serve from Isner hits the net and gives Ferrer a 30-15 leade before an unreturnable serve from the world no.5 leades to game point. Five times Ferrer unleashes his howitzer of a forehand and five times Isner returns it. It’s lucky number six for Ferrer, and he punishes Isner’s lack of variety with a hold to 15.
2-0 Ferrer quickly achieves another break point, but against a server like Isner it’s difficult to press home the advantage. He does, however, finishing Isner with a strong backhand from deep.
1-0 Ferrer is forced to work hard to hold serve as Isner races to a 0-30 leade. The Spanish player manages it eventually, though. Triumphing after a tense deuce.
6-7 (2-7) Game, Set Isner A spirited display from John Isner gives him the set.
6-6 (1-4) Tie break Another ace gives Isner a 1-3 lead in the tie break. The Americans in the crowd are loving it and Isner looks lifted, taking another point and racing to a 1-4 lead as the serve goes back to Ferrer.
6-6 A long rally ends in a mistake from Ferrer at the net. Isner is showing that there is more to his game than a big serve and a strong forehand saves game point. It’s only temporary though; Ferrer quickly closes out the game to bring us to a tiebreak.
5-6 A second double fault from Isner gives Ferrer another break point. Isner is taking risks; sometimes they come off, sometimes they don’t. A powerful forehand smash saves it and again Isner gambles with a strong second serve. Ferrer returns but gives the towering American time to play a cheeky little volley at the net. Isner finally finishes a nervous service game with a neat forehand.
5-5 Deuce Isner suddenly finds himself facing another break point at a critical time, but a fifth ace of the set forces deuce. As long as Isner has a cannon like that he can cause anyone trouble. Isner gains the advantage and forces Ferrer onto his backhand. It looks like the American has got him but hits the return a little too long and we’re back at deuce. Another advantage comes and goes for the American.
5-5 Both players making mistakes, but Ferrer holds comfortably and ties the set.
4-5 Isner is up for this, make no mistake, but his aggression causes him to double fault. Ferrer seizes the advantage and races to a 30-0 lead. An unwise shot from Isner gives Ferrer another easy forehand opportunity and it’s break point again, but Isner saves. Ferrer hits long, Isner faults but makes up for it with wickedly powerful second serve to hold.
4-4 Ferrer quickly gains the advantage but squanders it with a long-hit forehand. Another drop shot from Isner brings Ferrer to the net and a volley gives the American break point. Ferrer coolly saves it in front of the home crowd. Now it’s Isner’s turn to hit long and does so, twice. Ferrer holds after a nervous game.
3-4 Deuce Isner tries something new, going for the drop shot. Ferrer is too quick though and gets there with ease, making the 6′ 9″ American commit at the net. A smash gives Ferrer game point but a mistake at the net, a stunning return from Isner and an even stronger forehand at the net bring Isner right back into it.
3-4 That is exactly what Isner needed. A wicked serve down the middle gives Ferrer no chance, another ace and a comfortable hold for the American.
3-3 Break back!Ferrer is really making Isner pay on the forehand as the American is dragged back and forwards across the Asturian clay, but a mistake gives Isner a lifeline in this game. Ferrer must now face his first break point. The world no.5 goes for a powerful first serve and fails, following up with a weak second serve and hitting the net after a short rally. Isner is back on terms.
3-2 But Isner can hit a wicked forehand too and follows suit with a hold to love. Isner will be relieved to have held serve so comfortably, but still has a lot to do.
3-1 Isner plays into Ferrer’s hands once again, playing more tame shots right onto the Spanish player’s forehand. Ferrer will punish you for such errors and does so, holding to love.
2-1 Break! Another stunning ace gives Isner the advantage, but Ferrer remains calm and brings it back to deuce with a deft volley that leaves Isner stranded. Soon the American is facing break point for the second time in the game. This time Ferrer is more clinical and breaks his opponent.
1-1 Deuce Ferrer is looking strong on the return and making the American work. Isner gives himself a bit of breathing space with an ace but finds himself facing two break points which he saves with some tremendous serving, the 6′ 9″ player finding some jaw-dropping angles on the serve.
1-1 If Isner can be aggressive on his serve, so can Ferrer, but he really needs to get those first serves in. Still, some excellent hits on the forehand give Ferrer the hold to 15.
0-1 Away we go. The big American is serving aggressively, but neither player has found their range yet. A mistake by Ferrer gives Isner the chance to finish the game, which he does with a telling smash. First blood to Isner.
0-0 Isner wins the coin toss in Gijon and will serve. Players are now warming up after a marathon walk from the locker rooms to the court. Bathroom breaks are going to be a right laugh.
Almagro – Isner 6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 7-5
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 7-5 MATCH ALMAGRO! Almagro takes a 30-15 lead, just to see another ace coming his way from the American’s racket. A big forehand winner follows, but Isner is unable to convert his first game point as he nets a ground stroke after Almagro comes into the net. He earns himself another chance to close out the game, but misses an easy forehand volley after a serve and volley play. The tiredness seemed to have taken it’s toll as he nets another forehand volley sitter, giving Almagro his fourth match point, which he finally converts.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-5 A superb game from Almagro, comes back from 15-30 down to seal the game and all eyes will be back on Isner, who will be serving for the second time to stay in this match.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 5-5 Isner goes for a big forehand, but misses (0-15). This is followed by an ace (15-15). Another longer rally and the American is visibly trying to run around his backhand, but it doesn’t pay off for him as he hits a forehand long (15-30). A backhand unforced error from Isner hands Almagro two matchpoints (15-40). Fist one is saved by the American (with a help of Almagro’s backhand miss), and he fires an ace to take it to deuce. One more match point for the Spaniard, but Isner comes up with another ace. Almagro has only managed to convert 2 out of 18 break points and the American makes sure this stat doesn’t improve for the Spaniard as he levels the score at 5-5 (with yet another ace).
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 5-4 A very quick procedure from the Spaniard, cruises to take the 9th game to love and the pressure will be back on the American, who will have to serve to stay in the match.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 4-4 The crowd is at the edge of their seats as the score is levelled after four points at 30-30. Despite Isner not beeing able to serve an ace for the last 22 points, he somehow manages to battle his way through. And guess what – he finally comes up with an ace to seal the game and lever the score.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 4-3 The Spaniard plays a very effortless tennis in the 7th game, serving two aces and coming up with two winners to capture the game to 15. Really hard to guess right now who is going to break under pressure first….
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 3-3 Isner keeps his focus and tries to forget the missed chances in the previous game. He holds to 30.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 3-2 The game starts with a nice and controlled play from Almagro, moves Isner around the court, trying to drain a bit of energy from the American. The crowd has gone a bit more quiet, perhaps they are tensing up a bit too? All of a sudden, the Amerian earns himself a break point as he finds his way back from 0-30 to take a 40-30 lead. Unfortunately for him, he misses a crucial forehand return and throws away the first chance. A few points later, he gets another opportunity to take his opponent’s serve, but Almagro wins the longest rally of the match and averts the nightmare scenario for the Spanish. The power and the composure take him through the game…
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 2-2 Isner takes a 30-15 lead when Almagro smashes a forehand return winner. The Spaniard manages to force deuce but that’s about as far as it can get for him. Isner closes out the game with another serve bullet.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 2-1 One thing is for sure, we are going to witness a big showdown here in the decider. Almagro seals the third game to love with his fifth ace. You have almost got to say, if the US team want to win this tie, this is a must win for Isner here.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 1-1 This match is getting better as we go along. Most points are being won rather than lost now, both players showing an immense will to win. Isner levels the score at 1-1, dropping a single point on his serve.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 1-0 The Spanish crowd is trying to cheer up their countryman and he thanks them with a game to love, coming up with a superb forehand passing shot in the process. He seals it with an ace – a very positive start for Nico..
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 SET ISNER! The big man serves it out with a game to love and after 3 hours and 3 minutes, this match will be decided in the fifth set.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-5 BREAK! Here we go! Isner earns himself the first break point of the set after passing Almagro at the net, taking a 40-30 lead. As Almagro comes into the net, Isner hits a very unpleasant ball right at his feet that the Spaniard can’t seem to handle. Isner will be serving to force a decider.
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-4 The American finds himself in trouble once more after Almagro goes 40-15 up and Isner is starting to look a bit tired out there. But yet again, the serve helps him to bring the game back to deuce. Unfortunately for Isner, Almagro seems to be on he case now, ripping a backhand passing shot down the line to give himself another chance for a break. Another superb save from the American and he goes on to take the game in the end, keeping his chances alive..
6-4 4-6 6-4 3-3 Almagro keeps his composure despite throwing away a huge opportunity to break his opponent in the previous game. Despite coming up with a couple of unnecessary errors when 40-0 up, he finally seals the game and levels the score at 3-3.
6-4 4-6 6-4 2-3 Isner’s forehand fails him three times in a row, hitting the net on each one. Three break points for Almagro at 40-0. The American managed to stage a huge comeback and taking the next 5 points, he averted the worst possible scenario. He holds and takes a lead.
6-4 4-6 6-4 2-2 The Spaniard doesn’t seem to be very vulnerable on his service games at the moment, Isner helping him with quite a few return misses. One break of serve decided each of the previous sets. Who will be the first player to strike in this one?
6-4 4-6 6-4 1-2 Isner goes 15-30 down, but finds his first serve as he fires an ace out wide into the ad court. With a well controlled overhead he earns himself a game point. One delicate dropshot and the game is his.
6-4 4-6 6-4 1-1 Almagro holds to 15 as his team mate Ferrer watches on. Isner is finding it a bit tough to move on the slightly wet court as the sliding suddenly becomes harder.
6-4 4-6 6-4 0-1 After a little longer break (mainly because of over-watering the dry clay court), the players are back in action. Isner serves a 224 km/h ace to go 30-15 up just before producing a forehand unforced error. However, the American keeps his composure and takes the next two points, capturing the opening game of the fourth set.
6-4 4-6 6-4 A great start for Isner as he pushes Almagro into the ad corner, forcing him to miss a backhand. The second point has to be repeated after a ground stroke from Almagro is called out, but the umpire overruled the call. The Spaniard has to dig deep after falling 15-30 behind, but his serve and a wide backhand down the line from Isner hand him a set point, which he converts as Juan Carlos Ferrero watches on.
6-4 4-6 5-4 Isner holds to 30 and now it will all be up to Almagro – can he close it out?
6-4 4-6 5-3 A long rally with a better finish for the Spaniard marks the opening of the 8th game. He seems to be in charge of this one now. One game away from taking a 2-1 set lead.
6-4 4-6 4-3 The Spaniard is starting to warm up again, finding his rhythm once more as he storms to a 40-0 lead on the American’s serve. He misses the first two break point opportunities after hitting the net with two service returns and Isner fires down a forehand winner to take the game to deuce. The American keeps his hopes alive as he eventually holds.
6-4 4-6 4-2 Almagro hits another running forehand winner in front of the almost packed Gijon stadium. As he pulls out an ace and a very elegant looking dropshot, he moves closer to seal the third set.
6-4 4-6 3-2 The quality of this match is still not quite as high as some might have expected. But what matters the most for both teams, is the outcome of it. Isner reduced Almagro’s lead after dropping only one point on serve.
6-4 4-6 3-1 A confident hold and Almagro consolidates the break with a hold to 15. So far, one break of serve decided each of the two previous sets. Will one break be enough for the Spaniard to take the lead in the match?
6-4 4-6 2-1 BREAK! It looks as another straight forward hold for Isner, but he squanders a 40-15 lead with a sloppy dropshot and an unforced error. Almagro then follows up with an amazing running forehand winner to earn himself a break point. The American comes into the net after a short ball, but the Spaniard hits a good enough forehand to make Isner miss the volley.
6-4 4-6 1-1 Almagro’s playing standard has dropped a bit, maybe also due to Isner’s better defensive game. Without hitting a single first serve, he goes down 30-40, handing the American a break chance. But the Spaniard’s first serve finds it’s mark when needed the most and averts the disaster. A very tight hold, but Almagro will take it..
6-4 4-6 0-1 Isner stages a big comeback in the opening game of the third set. After going 0-30 down, he hits 4 aces and you can’t really find a better answer to the given situation.
6-4 4-6 BREAK and SET ISNER! A little bit shaky start from the Spaniard as he nets a forehand and subsequently produces a double fault. With a bit of luck, Isner hits the tape and the ball trickles over onto Almagro’s side. Three set points for the American! Right out of the blue, Isner manages to convert the second set point to level the match at one set apiece.
6-4 4-5 Nevertheless, the American cruises past his own service game with a hold to love and Almagro will be serving to stay in the set.
6-4 4-4 Almagro seems to be calm, but Isner doesn’t help his confidence by missing really simple ground strokes. If this goes to a tiebreak, the American will have to regroup himself on the return to give himself a good chance to control the rallies.
6-4 3-4 A huge hold! Isner struggles for the first time on his serve in this set. At 15-30, he decides to play a serve and volley (behind his second serve), which doesn’t seem to do the trick as Almagro places the return right at his feet. Two break points follow for the Spaniard, but Isner comes up with a forehand and a volley winner to take it to deuce. A terrible smash miss from the American follows, but Almagro is unable to convert his third break point opportunity as he goes long on a backhand return. Isner goes ahead and the pressure is back on Almagro.
6-4 3-3 The American is getting closer to taking his opponent’s serve. Another deuce game, but unfortunately for Isner, Almagro keeps a cool head and after 27 minutes of play, the score is levelled at 3-3.
6-4 2-3 The rallies are far shorter than we witnessed in the Ferrer v Querrey match. Once Isner’s serve finds it’s mark, there is little doubt who goes on to win the point. Alberto Costa also watching on from the crowd, they all would wish for Almagro to secure the second point for Spain before tomorrow’s doubles match.
6-4 2-2 Courier is looking quite calm despite Isner’s struggle to inflict any kind of damage on Almagro’s serve. Despite the Spaniard producing two backhand errors with the game going to deuce, he takes the next two points with comfort and it is quite obvious that we won’t be seeing too many breaks of serve in this set. Whoever takes the first opportunity, might bag it..
6-4 1-2 There is one positive thing in the American’s game though, he seems to be holding his serves with a lot more ease. 12 consecutive points on serve now for Isner.
6-4 1-1 Almagro will be hard to break unless Isner will use his chances with a lot more precision. It is very clear that the American is trying to shorten the rallies, but often rushes the shots, producing too many unforced errors.
6-4 0-1 Briliant start from Isner, a hold to love should give him the much needed confidence at the beginning of the second set.
6-4 SET ALMAGRO! The Spaniard wraps up the first set after 45 minutes of play. The American doesn’t seem to be able to find his rhythm when it comes to longer rallies, so he is trying to for early winners, but misfires most of the time.
5-4 Isner has to dig deep as he trails 0-30 in this ninth game, turning it around by winning the next four points. As he fulfills his duty, Almagro will get a chance to close out the set on his own serve after the change of ends.
5-3 Almagro rock solid on serve, uses the new balls to his advantage. The Spaniard is attacking Isner’s backhand which pays off for him. A couple of missed slice backhands from the American and the Spanish matador is one game away from taking the first set.
4-3 Good serving from the American, holds to 15. He will need to take Almagro’s serve soon though, otherwise this set will be history for him.
4-2 Isner gets a bit more aggressive on the returns as he goes 30-0, just before Almagro finding his way back into the game. As the American hits a backhand approach long and the Spaniard fires an ace into the ad court, the score stands at 4-2.
3-2 The Spaniard is on fire, takes a 30-0 lead on the American’s serve, but Isner manages to get out of trouble with a couple of demolishing serves to level the score at 30-30. One ace and one double fault make it a deuce just before Almagro attacks a short ball from Isner to earn himself another break point. A couple more points and the American finally holds, reducing the Spaniard’s lead. This was a crucial game as at two breaks down -the set might have been over..
3-1 Almagro consolidates the break. After dropping the first point, he storms to take the next four and finishes the game with a delicate dropshot.
2-1 BREAK! Isner shakes off a 15-30 start into the game, one ace and a nice topspin second serve give him a game point. But Almagro disagrees with his intentions as he hits a forehand passing shot to take it to deuce. After a sloppy dropshot and an easy looking forehand miss, Isner hands Almagro the first break point of the match. The American comes up with another loose forehand and the Spaniard goes ahead.
1-1 Although the American has got a big serve, Almagro isn’t that far behind either when it comes to smacking the first serve. If it finds it’s mark, it can cause the opponent all sorts of trouble. Isner takes this game to deuce, but the Spaniard holds to level the score.
0-1 Isner opens up the match with a hold to 30 with the help of a couple of aces. It will all come down to the American’s serve, but you have almost got the feeling that the Spaniard is the slight favourite to win this one. We will see..
Isner to serve…
The players have just started to warm up..
Ferrer def. Querrey 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-4
4-6 6-2 6-2 6-4 GAME, SET, MATCH FERRER! The Spaniard earns the first point for his country in this semifinal tie against USA. Despite not playing his very best, he has stepped up when it mattered the most and with a service game to 30, he captures the match after 2 hours and 58 minutes.
4-6 6-2 6-2 5-4 BREAK! After all the failed break point opportunities for Querrey, he tightens up on his own serve and after going 0-40 down, there is no way back into this game for him. Ferrer will be serving for the match and on 1-0 lead for Spain.
4-6 6-2 6-2 4-4 As we are approaching the end of the set, this could go either way. Ferrer has got to pay attention once more as he goes 15-30 down, but he regains his focus and turns around the happenings in this 8th game. Lot of defensive skills required to keep the Spaniard in this set..
4-6 6-2 6-2 3-4 Querrey falls 0-30 behind, but Ferrer misses an easy approach shot and squanders his chances to take the American’s serve. Querrey comes up with a couple of big first serves and takes the lead in the fourth set.
4-6 6-2 6-2 3-3 Ferrer now has to dig deep on every single service game, after 30-30, a forehand volley gives him a game point and after a specatacular rally that follows (definitely rally of the match), the Spaniard seals the game and the crowd gets louder again.
4-6 6-2 6-2 2-3 The Spaniard’s backahand is looking a little bit vulnerable as Querrey holds to 30. Bit of a sloppy game from both players, with some unforced errors on both sides. Let’s see whether the American can attack Ferrer’s serve just like he did in the two previous games.
4-6 6-2 6-2 2-2 A little loss of concentration from Ferrer and Querrey has got a tripple chance to take his serve at 40-0 up! However, he misses two easy returns and after Ferrer puts away a smash, the score is levelled at deuce. The American forces another break point chance against the seemingly struggling Spaniard, but fails to take it. Ferrer punishes him for it and one must wonder – how many break points will the American need to take the Spaniard’s serve?
4-6 6-2 6-2 1-2 Querrey shakes off his 5 missed break point opportunities as he holds to 30.
4-6 6-2 6-2 1-1 After a lenghty chat with Courier, Querrey’s mind seems to be a bit more refreshed and he is clearly trying to step inside the court, taking advantage of any shorter balls. He earns himself four break points (one at 40-30 up and three more after forcing an advantage). The Spaniard struggles with his smash in this service game, missing one sitter and looking a bit unsecure on another two overheads. But the Spaniard shows a lot of courage as he averts the 5th break point against him with yet another second serve ace. He eventually holds after the longest game of the match.
4-6 6-2 6-2 0-1 Good start from Querrey after Ferrer takes a short break after the finish of the third set. And ace and a forehand winner followed by a backhand unforced error secure him his first love game of the match. Ferrer has got 3 love games to his name so far in this match..
4-6 6-2 6-2 SET FERRER! There is not much Querrey can do right now. Although Ferrer tightens up a bit on his forehand, he follows it up with an ace to earn himself the first set point. The first one goes missing, but the second one is in the Spaniard’s bag after Querrey goes long on a backhand return.
4-6 6-2 5-2 BREAK! This is now slipping away from Querrey. He is trying to push Ferrer behind the baseline, but overhits on a couple of occasions and the Spaniard forces another error from Querrey after making him hit a running forehand, that sails wide. Ferrer will be serving for a 2-1 set lead.
4-6 6-2 4-2 Ferrer consolidates the break with a hold to . Quick feet, even quicker hands do the job for him. Suddenly, this match is rapidly going in Spain’s way and the crowd is having a great time out there…
4-6 6-2 3-2 BREAK! Querrey takes a 30-0 lead just before the Spaniard levels at 30-30 after coming up with two forehand winners. The crowd is sensing an opportunity for Ferrer here, who forces another break point as Querrey nets a forehand down the line. After the American hits another forehand sitter just a bit wide, it’s break for Ferrer!
4-6 6-2 2-2 Ferrer doesn’t waste too much time levelling the score, he holds to 15 with the help of his first serve finding it’s mark on a bit more regular basis.
4-6 6-2 1-2 A couple of forehand errors from Querrey give the Spaniard a 30-15 lead. Ferrer is offered another break chance at 40-30 up as one more forehand from the American goes astray. Querrey saves the first break point with a backhand winner and fires an ace on the second break point down just before sealing the game and taking a lead in the set.
4-6 6-2 1-1 Querrey trying to take Ferrer’s second serve on the rise (perhaps an advise from Courier). But Ferrer is not too bothered and despite missing an easy smash when 40-15 up, he subsequently comes up with a second serve ace to the surprise of everyone around the stadium.
4-6 6-2 0-1 Both players entertain the crowd with the rally of the match, a dropshot – lob – dropshot from Querrey win him the point. At 30-30, a forehand winner gets the American out of trouble and despite the game going to deuce, Querrey uses his third game point after unleashing his 5th ace of the match.
4-6 6-2 SET FERRER! The Spaniard being a lot more consistent in this set, not allowing Querrey much from the baseline. Manages to convert his second set point as Querrey goes wide on his forehand.
4-6 5-2 BREAK! Ferrer really beginning to break down the American’s defence, goes 30-0 up on Querrey’s serve. The Spaniard moves around Querrey quite nicely, forcing him to net a backhand and earn himself two break points at 40-15 up. First one saved, but Querrey misses an easy looking forehand volley on the second one and Ferrer will be serving to level the match at one set apiece.
4-6 4-2 A very important hold for the Spaniard and he gets himself into the same position as in the first set. Will he make the most of it this time around? Or will Querrey find his way back once again? My guess would be that Ferrer is ready to level the match and start to dominate this semifinal encounter.
4-6 3-2 Ferrer makes Querrey think twice about coming into the net as he fires a backhand cross-court past him, but the American responds with an ace. As the game goes to deuce, Querrey hits his 13th forehand winner just to follow it up with two unforced errors. But Ferrer is unable to convert any of the two break points that he earns himself, which might prove to be costly for him. We shall see..
4-6 3-1 This is more like it for the Spaniard, better movement and some solid ground strokes give him a 3-1 lead. His serve looks to be back on track as well after letting him down in the 10th game of the first set.
4-6 2-1 This must be the stat of the match, but I am just wondering whether they have got it right: Querrey has won 18 out of 18 points behind his second serve, truly amazing! Of course Ferrer is not doing himself any favours by staying a bit defensive on the American’s serve. A hold to 15 from Querrey and he reduces Ferrer’s lead.
4-6 2-0 A hold to love from Ferrer and the Spanish crowd is in a party mood again. The Spaniard seems to be swinging at the ball a lot more freely once more.
4-6 1-0 BREAK! Querrey is unable to carry the momentum over to the second set and he drops his serve at the very beginning of it. Too many unforced errors in this game hand Ferrer a well-needed lead in set two. However, we have seen the exact same scenario in the first set, so everything is possible here…
4-6 BREAK and SET QUERREY! A bit of tension on the Spaniard’s serve, produces two double faults to give Querrey a 30-15 lead. After his forehand down the line misfires, we have got two set points for the American! Ferrer saves both of them with a cool head to the cheers of the Gijon crowd. But another unforced error from the Spaniard gives Querrey another set point and this time Querrey takes it to the surprise of the majority of the spectators.
4-5 The American takes a lead in the match for the first time as he holds to 15, firing down some big serves, including his first ace of the match. Ferrer will serve to stay in the opening set.
4-4 BREAK! Querrey comes up with an amazing backhand down the line winner, definitely his best shot of the game so far. It seems to put a bit of pressure on Ferrer, who goes down 15-40 after his first double fault, handing Querrey another two break points. After the longest rally of the match, Querrey hits a forehand winner to lever the score at 4-4.
4-3 Querrey is certainly found his rhythm on his serves. His groundstrokes are also a lot more poisonous, making Ferrer work harder for each point. The American holds to 30, closing the gap between the players.
4-2 The American seems to be picking up his level game by game. Goes up 30-15 as he pushes Ferrer behind the baseline, forcing him to come up with an error. He lures Ferrer into the net, just to hit a passing shot to earn himself a break point. Ferrer averts and after he fails to convert two game points, he takes the third one to go 4-2 up.
3-2 The American shows that he can also dominate on his service game. A couple of big serves and a confident volley to finish off the game. However, he will need a break to get back into this set.
3-1 Ferrer can play these longer rallies all day long. He absolutely loves this surface and the support of the home crowd gives him an extra boost. Serves out the game to love.
2-1 Querrey is trying to go for the big shots, and it pays off for him this time. He gets on the scoreboard with a hold to 15 and a bit of luck as he hits the tape and the ball falls onto the Spaniard’s side of the court.
2-0 The Spaniard consolidates the break with a hold to 15. Although his is not 100% consistent when rallying, he is clearly in full control right now.
1-0 BREAK! Ferrer shows his huge strenght on clay from the very start, the longer the rally, the more likely that the Spaniard is going to prevail. A delicate lob and a precise dropshot set up a break point for Ferrer, but Querrey averts it. However, the Spaniard strikes once more and manages to convert his second break point chance with the help of Querrey’s forehand unforced error.
Sam Querrey to serve…
Sam Querrey’s Davis Cup record – W-1 L-4
David Ferrer’s Davis Cup record – W-19 L-4
The players are warming up and the stadium in Gijon is filling up slowly..Both captains – Alex Corretja (Spain) and Jim Courier (USA) are also ready to lead their teams to victory.
Live Commentary will commence here as soon as the players start warming up. The first singles match is scheduled for Friday 12pm local time (Gijon, Spain).
In the 2012 Davis Cup semifinal encounter, USA will play defending champion Spain.
Venue: Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon, Spain
First singles matches:
David Ferrer – Sam Querrey
Nicolas Almagro – John Isner
In the first singles match of the day, 2012 US Open semifinalist David Ferrer will face American Sam Querrey. This will be followed by the Nicolas Almagro vs John Isner encounter and looking at both teams, the crowd should be in for some high quality tennis. The Saturday’s doubles encounter will feature the reigning US Open champs Mike and Bob Bryan, who will square off against Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. In a possible showdown on Sunday, David Ferrer will meet John Isner and Nicolas Almagro will take on Sam Querrey.
The head to head between the two teams stands at 5-5, which only confirms the great rivalry of these two nations.