Nadal comes back to beat Isner at French Open

Updated: 2011-05-25 09:46


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Nadal comes back to beat Isner at French Open
John Isner of the US reacts during his match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 24, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

There was still work to be done, and to Isner's credit, he made Nadal earn it right to the end.

Isner saved one match point while down 5-3. In the next game, four hours into the match, and with Nadal serving at 5-4, they played a 25-stroke point at 30-all. It was a classic clay-court point, carried out from the baseline, and Isner hung right in there until Nadal whipped a forehand winner.

Isner paused beside the green courtside advertising signs, leaned over and put his hands on his knees.

"That's one of the reasons why he does what he does," Isner said. "I mean, he just outlasted me there."

One point later, the match was over.

"You need to see the positive side of things. I was stressed, but I managed to overcome my stress," Nadal said through a translator. "The negative is that I was in control of the match, and then I lost control, and I spent two hours more than what I should have."

Boynton also made sure Isner would try to view what happened Tuesday in a positive way.

"It's A-plus from Johnny's side, I think. I couldn't be any more proud of him," the coach said. "My message to John was, 'You got beat by the best clay-court player of all time; you didn't lose."


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