Roger Federer Vs John Isner US Open Round 4 Preview

US Open

Photo courtesy of www.zimbio.com

Roger Federer and John Isner will contest what is easily the highest profile US Open fourth round battle this year. The Tennis Review previews the action and predicts the winner.

Head to head:

Roger Federer leads the head to head 4-1, and has won all three of their hard courts matches (US Open ’07, Shanghai ’10, Indian Wells ’12).

The only set Federer has dropped to Isner on hard courts is the first set they played in their US Open ’07 match which Federer lost on a tiebreak. Federer has won the other three tiebreaks they have played.

Isner’s sole win over Federer came in 2012 in the Davis Cup on Clay in Switzerland.

US Open History:

Roger Federer is a five time US Open Champion (2004-08), a one-time runner up (2009) and has a 72-10 record at Flushing Meadows.

John Isner has been to the US Open quarter-finals in 2011 and the fourth round in 2009. He has a 17-8 record at his home slam.

Form coming in:

Federer won the ATP 1000 Cincinnati Open in convincing fashion, not facing a single break point as he beat world No.2 Andy Murray and world No.1 Novak Djokovic for the title.

That title run featured great serving, his now signature shot the SABR and the aggressive tennis that has seen him dominate the tour’s hard court events the past two seasons (Dubai, Shanghai).

Isner had a strong US Open Series winning the title in Atlanta and making the last eight in Montreal where he lost to Jeremy Chardy in three tiebreakers. The American was also runner up to Kei Nishikori at the ATP 500 Citi Open.

At the Open so far both men have been impressive. Neither one has dropped a set, Isner has not lost his serve and Federer has only been broken twice (versus Kohlschreiber).

Federer has had arguably the tougher draw though. He faced world no.34 Leonardo Mayer in round one and 29th seed Kohlschreiber in round three.

Who Will the Conditions Favor?

The night time conditions will mean the already heavy balls will fly through the court a touch slower, but that will not make much difference to these two.

Whatever the conditions, both men will attack and come in on short balls. The night time conditions actually give both men an extra edge- Federer might get more balls back and lure Isner into error while Isner will have more time to set up his forehand.

Federer will have the biggest advantage, however. The slower conditions will mean longer rallies and Federer, who remarked in Cincinnati his backhand had much improved over the last couple of years under Edberg, is the much steadier of the two from the baseline.

Isner can be very effective in slower conditions, too – he nearly got the better of Nadal at Roland Garros and has great records in Indian Wells and Miami- and will take some confidence from his only win over Federer coming on the slowest conditions they have played on – indoor clay – and what he describes as the best win of his career.

The Favorite?

Federer. He has better baseline skills and will have more time on the return. He also has the more complete service game.

Isner could win if…:

Isner would have to repeat the high level of his 2012 Davis Cup win over Federer to get a win over the second seed right now. Or Federer would have to be below par.

Federer was looking a little under the weather in his third match against 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, and the German said himself Federer’s form was not that impressive.

Federer dropped serve, twice, in that match, the first time he has done so this tournament and during the US Open Series. If Federer is under the weather and his serve and net game are below bar, Isner has a chance, especially as the night time conditions will give him a little extra time on the return and he can run round that forehand.

Prediction: Federer to win in four sets.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.
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