Saturday, April 28, 2012

Isner shapes as American hero

Updated April 09, 2012 15:58:48

John Isner gave more evidence to suggest he may become the tennis star the United States has been waiting for after leading his country to an upset Davis Cup victory in France.

Isner steered the States into the semi-finals at the weekend, beating Gilles Simon and then Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets as France were humbled 4-1 on the famous clay courts of the Monte Carlo Country Club.

The 6ft 9in big server defeated Roger Federer, also on clay, in February's first round 5-0 Davis Cup whitewash of Switzerland.

USA captain Jim Courier, who won back-to-back French Opens in 1991 and 1992, lauded the efforts of Isner who fired down 16 aces and unleashed 56 winners in his 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-3 win over Tsonga.

"I am not surprised by the way John has played. We were hoping he could be at this kind of level and he was. He was exceptional," said Courier.

"He is continuing to progress. He was a lot stronger than he was against Switzerland."

The 32-time Davis Cup champions now face a third road trip in this year's tournament and have the imposing task of ending Spain's 23-tie unbeaten run on home soil.

Despite the absence of Rafa Nadal, Spain comfortably beat Austria 4-1 with Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer both winning two singles games.

The other semi-final will feature Argentina against the Czech Republic after both recorded 4-1 victories over Croatia and Serbia respectively.

Both semi-finalists' stars came to the fore with Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych winning both of their singles matches.


Tags: sport, tennis, united-states

First posted April 09, 2012 11:53:35

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