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12 March 2012

Isner wary of France’s team depth


Photo: Paul ZimmerJohn Isner (USA)

One of the best players from the 2012 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round, John Isner, is looking forward to the exciting tie that will see USA face the powerful French Davis Cup team at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the French Riviera on 6-8 April.

Isner, who is 6’9” tall, is enjoying a fantastic start to the season and, at world No. 11, he is on the brink of breaking into the Top 10 for the first time in his career.

Isner’s highlight of the season so far has been his victory over Roger Federer during the first round tie that took place on 10-12 February in Fribourg, Switzerland. The American was clearly the underdog back then, playing against the Swiss maestro in front of his local crowd, but managed to earn the second point of the tie with a 64 36 67(4) 26 win. The Americans ended up winning the tie 5-0 in one of the biggest upsets in recent Davis Cup history.

The next stop in USA’s campaign for this year’s Davis Cup title will take them to France and Isner is aware of the difficulties of the task, especially after the French chose to play on clay.

“They’re playing in Monte Carlo, I think it’s a slower play court,” said Isner. “Obviously, they don’t want to put it in altitude because in Switzerland it was a bit in altitude, they don’t want to put it indoors because they saw that we are a pretty tough team in those conditions. It’s going to be challenging.”

Another element of concern for the North Carolina-born player is the abundance of quality players in France.

“Their advantage is that they are very, very deep, they can throw a number of guys at us. So depending on the matches, it’s going to be interesting. (For the USA) it’s going to be myself and Mardy and the Bryan Brothers, we’re not as deep so they know what we are going to bring out but we don’t necessarily know what they are going to bring at us.”

The Americans are not sure which line-up they are going to face but Isner believes that their No.  1 player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, will be there.

“I would imagine that he will be there, he’s playing well this year. He can play in any surface because he’s just very good, as simple as that so I would be a little bit surprised if one of us didn’t see him on that first day,” said Isner.

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