Isner outserves a fatigued Federer

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer endured a tough time against big-serving 2.08m-tall John Isner. He was knocked out despite holding serve throughout the match in Paris.
Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer endured a tough time against big-serving 2.08m-tall John Isner. He was knocked out despite holding serve throughout the match in Paris.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

PARIS • A long season took its toll on Roger Federer as the Swiss world No. 2 was knocked out of tennis' Paris Masters on Thursday.

He suffered a 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) third-round defeat at the hands of big-serving John Isner.

Federer held serve throughout but lost two tie-breaks against his American opponent, who takes on Spain's David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

The third seed, who won the Basel title last Sunday, seemed to be cruising after breezing through the second set. But Isner pushed him to another tie-break, using his devastating serve to prevail in the decider.

Isner, who fired down 27 aces, ended the contest on his fourth match point with a service winner.

Said Federer: "At the very end of the season, going two tournaments in a row after playing a lot of tennis in Basel the week before... there's maybe a bit of a letdown after Basel."

His defeat was the first upset at Bercy after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and second seed Andy Murray were joined by Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

The Spaniard saved a match point before subduing South African Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori retired with an abdominal injury in his third-round match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a scare with the ATP World Tour Finals just over a week away.

He is one of eight players who have qualified for the World Tour Finals, which will be played at the O2 Arena in London from Nov 15 to 22. Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Nadal, Tomas Berdych and Ferrer are the others. Gasquet is the first reserve.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Isner outserves a fatigued Federer'. Print Edition | Subscribe