American John Isner provided the shock of the third round at the BNP Paribas Masters Paris after he shocked third-seeded Roger Federer 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(5). The win sent Isner into the quarterfinals where he’ll meet David Ferrer. With the loss, Federer will be seeded third in the ATP World Tour Finals in a couple of weeks. The loss also ensured Andy Murray will get the second seed to avoid Novak Djokovic.
Isner Takes Opening Set In Tiebreak
In a match between Isner and Federer, you’re expecting plenty of service holds and very few breaks of serve. The American had the first chance to break in the sixth game with a 15-40 lead, but the Swiss was able to fend the off both of them. Federer then had a look in the ninth game to break but was also unable to convert. Isner held after a drop volley winner.
Both men continued to hold their serves and just like most Isner matches, this match featured a tiebreak. The American number one opened up a mini-break lead after he absolutely vaporized a forehand winner over 100 MPH to put him up 2-1, and he held both of his serves to put him 4-1. After the Swiss number one held his two serves, Isner went back to work with a forehand winner behind Federer and made it 6-3 after a netted shot from the Swiss. The set was clinched after a wayward Federer forehand sailed wide.
Federer Gets Decisive Break To Send It To Decider
Isner continued to look sharp as he nearly broke Federer to open the second set with three opportunities to put a stranglehold on the match, but he was unable to get the job done. Federer then had his turn to move up a break in the fourth game before being denied. However, he only needed one chance in the sixth game to go up 4-2. The world number two continued to get Isner in baseline rallies which is where he held a distinct advantage in.
Federer held his serve for 5-2 to consolidate the break and held once more to force a decisive third set. The Swiss maestro knew he needed to win in order to keep his hopes of earning the two seed in the O2 alive.
Arm Injury Bothers Federer As Isner Clinches Big Win
Both players were focused on their service games as they knew one break of serve would all but end the match. Isner and Federer both had slight wobbles on their serve, each facing at least one break point, but no harm was done. In the set, Federer called for the trainer to check out his arm. It looked like he had an arm injury that has been bothering him since his title in Basel.
The arm looked to be bothering him during the breaker as Isner raced out to a 4-1 lead. The American held three match points, but as we all know, Federer does not go down without a fight. Isner used a body serve on the fourth match point for his biggest win of the season. Isner now moves one spot behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the second alternate spot. There are differing reports whether or not the Frenchman will be headed to London or not, so to be safe, Isner will need to defeat Ferrer to ensure he is the second alternate and finishes the year inside the top ten.