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Isner Over Alves; Gives U.S. 2-0 Lead in Davis Cup

John Isner bombed 30 aces en route to a straight sets win over Thiago Alves. The U.S. team is now up 2-0 in their Davis Cup tie with Brazil.

By Erik Gudris

John Isner (February 1st, 2013) -- Even after he was confirmed on the schedule, only John Isner himself really knew if he was ready to take on Thiago Alves today in the second singles rubber between the U.S. and Brazil in their Davis Cup tie down in Jacksonville, Florida.

The fans inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena were ready, including one standing court side donned in an Eagle costume and another one in the stands holding a giant-sized cardboard cut out of the U.S. No. 1's face. But Isner, who has been dealing with a knee injury that forced him to withdraw from last month's Australian Open, was probably hoping for an easy afternoon that would build upon his teammate Sam Querrey's earlier win over Thomaz Bellucci.

On his part, Alves had to hope he could break Isner's huge serve sometime during the match. But he got zero chances to do so in the first set as Isner bombed down nine aces and posted a comfortable 71% first serve percentage as he claimed the set 6-3.

But Isner made things somewhat interesting as his level dropped allowing Alves to stay even with him in the second set. Alves managed to earn three break point chances late in the set, two of which were set points on Isner's serve. But the American fought them off to eventually force a tiebreak. Isner fell behind an early mini-break but turned things around to go up 5-3.

Two back to back aces later, Isner closed out the breaker seven points to four. After going up an early break in the third set, Isner ended any hopes Alves had that the American might fade away. At 5-3, Isner hit his 30th ace of the afternoon en route to wrapping up the 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory.

Isner dominated with 72 winners and only 18 unforced errors in the win that now gives his U.S. team a 2-0 lead heading into tomorrow's doubles between the Bryan Brothers and Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.
(Photo Credit: Corleve/Natasha Peterson)


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