Roger Federer has said that he was aware he was in for a tough time of it when he faced John Isner in the second round of the Paris Masters, with the second seed suffering a 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(5) defeat.
Isner made the most of his big serve on Thursday night, blasting down 27 aces on his way to claiming the victory in two hours and 16 minutes.
Federer grabbed the lone break of the match in the second set, but was unable to keep up with his American opponent in the tie breaks. While the defeat may come as a surprise to many, Federer has insisted that he certainly did not take Isner lightly.
“When I saw the draw and I saw I had a possibility of playing him in the second round,” he said. "It's the kind of draw I don't really like to see.”
The Swiss added: “I think he serves consistent throughout the year. I think with him it's more can he serve big when he really needs it the most? Does indoors maybe help him there a little bit? Potentially.He's got the size, got the power, got the angles. I thought he did very well today when he needed it. The breakers, he served great. Those are the ones he needed. That was the difference."
Federer downed Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-1 in just 47 minutes in his opening round clash on Wednesday, having won the Swiss Indoors Basel on Sunday where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final. The world number two was in no mood to make excuses for his defeat to Isner, stating that his earlier adventures had little – if any – impact.
“Maybe the eye was a thousandth of a second slower,” he said. “…I mean, what do you want me to tell you? I was definitely not tired from last night. I was ready to go today.”
Federer's early exit means that he now has ten days off before the start of the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London, and he's eager to get back on court at the O2 Arena.
“It's one of the tournaments that I’ve enjoyed most and that I’ve had a lot of pleasure winning," Federer said of the event. "I'm happy I'm qualified. We'll see the groups, the round robins. I'm very eager to go to London and get prepared as well as I can. I'm in good shape. I'm healthy, so I want that tournament to start.”