Olympics Tennis Results 2012: Why John Isner Will Bring Home Gold
Luckily for Team USA, Isner has a great shot of earning some hardware after breezing through the first two rounds, taking down Belgium’s Olivier Rochus and Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri without dropping a set. He'll start to face some tougher opponents in the third round, when he faces off against Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic, but the lone American man is up for the challenge.
Let’s take a look at how Isner will get the job done and bring home gold for the U.S.
One of the Best Serves in Tennis
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At 6'9", Isner is built for strong serving, and his big frame delivers. In his most recent match against Jaziri, Isner reached a maximum service speed of 138 mph. Not only is his serve powerful, it's also extremely effective. He double-faulted just twice against the Tunisian and won 80 percent of points on his first serve.
Isner tends to pair his strong serve with a strong forehand, ending points in a one-two punch format. Although his overbearing frame effects game’s best serve, it also hinders him from moving to the ball as quickly as some of the other competitors. However, if Isner can keep up that textbook service game, he should be able to take to the podium come Saturday.
Motivated by Wimbledon Upset
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Not only is John Isner motivated by the chance to bring home gold for the U.S., he'll also want to redeem himself after a first-round exit in this year's Wimbledon.
Just a few weeks ago, Colombian Alejandro Falla upset Isner in five sets, but this time around at the All England Club, Isner is playing hard to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Isner has played a clean game so far at the Olympics: his service game is strong, he's making few unforced errors down and he’s yet to drop a set. However, he can improve his mental game. Isner converted only 22 percent of his break points against Jaziri, and if he wants to stay in the men’s singles tournament, he’ll have to toughen up to not break under pressure.
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Despite Isner’s weak mental game thus far in the Games, U.S. fans shouldn’t worry since Isner has proved that he is more than capable of being tough.
In 2010, Isner broke a stack of records after taking down Nicolas Mahut of France in the longest tennis match ever. After 11 hours and 5 minutes, Isner defeated Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68, in a match that will stand alone in the record books for years to come, along with the memory of Isner’s phenomenal play. Not only did he prove that he is physically capable of a enduring a tennis match that lasted over three days, he also proved that he doesn’t buckle under pressure. It’s that type of focus and passion that will help push Isner through this tournament.
Bottom line: Isner’s serve, desire for redemption and previous display of endurance equal gold for the U.S.