American John Isner wants to take the heat for USA’s first round Davis Cup loss this weekend to Great Britain in Glasgow. There was no shame in Isner’s straight set loss today to Andy Murray in Britain’s clincher, but Isner is still focused on his poor play Friday when he blew a two set lead to unheralded James Ward in a nightmarish opening day defeat.
“This one is on me,” Isner said after the Murray loss. “My teammates may say otherwise, but if you look at the match-up on paper, I lost on Friday and put us in a huge hole. It is disappointing for me. There are not many people that could beat Andy and I certainly tried my best and was close. But on Friday, my match hurt us a lot.”
Isner, who turns 30 next month, has lost nine of his last 10 five set matches. He’s just 5-13 in his career in 5-set matches that go the distance.
Captain Jim Courier took a different position.
“I don’t feel that way,” he said in regards to Isner taking the fall. “We win and lose as a team. John came out and gave everything he had. He came up a little short in two matches. Today’s match was not as long, but it was close. He played the tennis he needs to always play today. If he played that tennis on Friday, we might still be in a live match or maybe not. But, I would have felt better about our chances if he played a little more aggressively like he did today.”
With the loss, the U.S. will now drop down to a September playoff to have a chance to return to the 2016 World Group main draw.
“Our team changes,” Courier said. “You always try to make some adjustments and go forward. We play again in September, so I have time to assess everything. It takes time to process defeats like this and try to figure out what you can learn from it and improve going forward.”
After the second straight year beating the U.S., Murray and his British team will host France in a July quarterfinal.
“This is a deserved win,” Murray said. “The attitude of everyone was excellent. Everyone fought extremely hard, especially when we were behind in the matches, no one gave up. Every person played extremely hard.
“It was huge momentum for us in winning James’ match. We were also so close yesterday to winning 3-0, so I felt some pressure today to close it out. The way John approached the match made it difficult.”
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