What an insane match. This helped show that American still has some great tennis talent and can gring out an enexpected historical matchup between these 2 Americans that can serve easily over 125 mpy consistently. You see John Isner defeated Andy Roddick, 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6. So far, It’s the biggest upset so far in the men’s draw with the #5 mens seed now out. Isner beat Roddick at his own game, tallying 38 aces and winning two tiebreaks to advance, marking the farthest he has ever lasted in a Grand Slam.
“This is hands down the biggest win of my career,” Isner said after the match. “The hair was kinda standing up on the back of my neck at some points. But I never panicked. I knew I had a shot.”
Here’s the final tiebraker in the 5th set of this insane match.
In the biggest match of Isner’s young career, the lanky 24-year-old didn’t shrink on the biggest of stages.
“We were waiting around in the locker room forever. But I actually kind of enjoyed that. I figured if I had a decently long match with Andy, it would kind of end at nighttime. I wanted that atmosphere,” said Isner.
Initially, it seemed as though Roddick was content to let the big first serves go by him, as Isner racked up eight aces in his first three service games. Break chances would turn out to be few and far between. In the eighth game, Roddick had three chances but Isner came back with five straight points to hold serve. Isner eventually won the first set tiebreak on, you guessed it, an ace that Roddick flat-out whiffed on. Isner took the second set, 6-3, breaking Roddick in the 6th game. It was the only time he broke Roddick the entire match.
But even up 2 sets, Isner not only had to beat one of the tournament favorites, but the fan favorite as well. Heading into the third, the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium began to rally around their man Andy. And the former US Open champ was quick to appease them. After Isner saved two break points (both times with aces), Roddick managed to return another big serve, baiting Isner toward the net, and then ripping a backhand winner down the line as he stumbled toward his chair. It was the first break of the match for Roddick, and a sign that the tide was turning.
“I did have the momentum after winning the fourth set,” Roddick explained. “Any time someone comes back from two sets, momentum is certainly on your side. You kind of know what’s ahead of you.”
What was ahead for Roddick in the 5th set was Isner’s relentless serve, which kept the momentum from ever shifting too far to the side of the veteran. In fact, both players’ service games kept any sort of drastic swing from occurring. Neither allowed the other a break point in the deciding set. Neither even allowed a deuce.
And when the tiebreak came, they both had plenty left. Isner clocked 130 on the gun on his first serve of the tiebreak, followed by a 126, and 133 from Roddick. But leading 3-2 in the breaker, Isner defended Roddick’s serve and volley attempt and hit, “a little dip backhand passing shot,” as Roddick put it, for the only non-service point win of the tiebreak.
Amidst the chants of “Let’s go Andy!” Isner then successfully executed his own serve and volley, to put him in a position to win. With three match points to save, Roddick aced two of them, but couldn’t break Isner on the third, giving Isner the victory over a man that meant so much to him. In a stirring confrontation between two of the biggest servers in the game, Isner won the first two sets, lost the next two, then overcame that disappointment and cramps in his right leg to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time.
“Andy in general pushes every American player,” said Isner. “He’s the guy we all aspire to be.”
Isner’s performance was all the more impressive because he spent three months, from mid-April to mid-July, recovering from mononucleosis. But he played well in his comeback, reaching he semifinals at Indianapolis and Washington, and the quarterfinals at Los Angeles.
On Saturday, however, Isner was content to be himself, and look forward to the fourth round of the 2009 US Open.