Skip to main content

Isner beats Federer as U.S. take commanding Davis Cup lead

February 10, 2012 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
John Isner played the match of his life to beat Roger Federer in their Davis Cup tie.
John Isner played the match of his life to beat Roger Federer in their Davis Cup tie.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer beaten in Davis Cup tie in Switzerland
  • John Isner wins in four sets as United States take 2-0 lead
  • Mardy Fish saw off Stanislav Wawrinka in earlier match
  • Holders Spain leading Kazakhstan 2-0 in Oviedo

(CNN) -- Roger Federer suffered a stunning upset defeat to John Isner as the United States took a 2-0 lead Friday in their Davis Cup World Group first round match in Switzerland.

Home favorite Federer was in action for the first time since losing to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Australian Open and could find no answer to an inspired Isner, who won 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-2.

It followed an earlier 6-2 4-6 4-6 6-1 9-7 win for Mardy Fish over Stanislav Wawrinka in the first rubber of the tie.

World No.3 Federer was expected to tie it up on the indoor clay court in Fribourg, which was selected by the Swiss hosts, but Isner, best-known for his marathon match against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon, again showed his aptitude on the slower surface.

Spain fury over drugs slur

After dropping the opening set, the American took the next three to close out victory in two hours 40 minutes, ending a 15-match winning streak for Federer in the Davis Cup.

"The way I played today is the way I need to play in all my matches," said Isner after his surprise victory.

"I owe it to Jim Courier (American Davis Cup captain) -- he was on at me to hit all my shots. It's the win of my life."

Fish, despite his higher ranking, was not favored against Wawrinka, but showed his fighting qualities in a four hour 26 minute match.

He played superbly in the fourth set to level the match for the loss of a single game and always looked the stronger in the 16-game decider.

"I lost a couple of long ones in Austin last year, and that feels so bad I just needed to win this one.' Fish told the official Davis Cup website.

Wawrinka and Federer will pair up for Saturday's doubles where they will take on Mike Bryan and teenager Ryan Harrison.

Meanwhile, holders Spain took a 2-0 lead over Kazakhstan after the opening day of their first round tussle in Oviedo.

With World No.2 Rafael Nadal missing the tie for the home team, it was left to Juan Carlos Ferrero and Nicolas Almagro to step up to the plate.

Veteran Ferrero needed five sets to beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 4-6 7-6 4-6 6-4 while Almagro eased past Andrey Golubev 6-3 4-6 6-1 6-1.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
ADVERTISEMENT