America Defeats France in Davis Cup on Back of John Isner: Fan’s Take

John Isner defeated Jo-Wilifried Tsonga today to give the United States Davis Cup team the second round victory over France. For casual tennis fans, this might seem like a massive upset. For those of us who have followed Isner over the past year, it seems like just the next upset in what is becoming an amazing season for the 6'9" American.

The United States now enters their first Davis Cup semi-final since 2008. That particular team was led by Andy Roddick, a player whose oft-injured status the last few years was what gave Isner a chance to participate more regularly on the team. He has come through in spades for an American team that really wasn't expected to do anything this year. Against massive odds, Isner is 3-0 in Davis Cup play this year. He's defeated the top player for both France (World No. 6 Jo-Wilifried Tsonga) and Switzerland (World No. 3 Roger Federer).

As far as the rest of the team is concerned, it's a contrast in experience and results. The Bryan brothers, Mike and Bob, continue to exert doubles dominance and can be counted on a rubber match victory virtually every tie. Ryan Harrison, however, has shown his inexperience and youth in his few chances to play this year. Granted, Harrison did push Tsonga to four sets in the first rubber, and perhaps that had some effect on Tsonga when he went four sets with Isner earlier today.

However, it's likely that Mardy Fish will come back and replace Harrison for the semi-final against Spain and America will need him to play well to have any chance. Spain has reached the semi-finals despite not having World No. 2 Rafael Nadal play for them yet this year. They've won on the backs of No. 5 David Ferrer and No. 12 Nicolas Almagro. The semi-final tie will be held in Spain from September 14-16, which is right after the U.S. Open. It's likely that the court surface will be clay once again, and the Spaniards should be heavily favored.

Regardless of the outcome against Spain, however, America has a lot to cheer and be proud of with this year's Davis Cup team. John Isner, in particular, is showing that American tennis isn't as weak as previously thought by some (like me).

Julie has followed tennis her entire life. Despite having graduated from the same school as John Isner (University of Georgia), she's not been a big fan of the Bulldog. That has been quickly changing this year.

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Updated Sunday, Apr 8, 2012