On Sunday night, John Isner suffered one of the worst defeats in a career at RAC Arena in Perth, losing to Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-1 in an hour! It was only the fourth time in Isner's career that he failed to win more than four games on the ATP level, struggling from start to finish to propel the Russian over the finish line in just an hour.
John fired only four aces and lost almost half of the points in his games, failing to impose his shots or grab some free points with the initial stroke alone against the rock-solid rival who did just about everything right on the court.
The Russian lost 11 points in his games, fending off both break chances offered to Isner and crossing the finish line in no time at all to move his country over the top. John saved break points in the third game of the match before Daniil broke him at 3-3, closing the set with another break at 5-3 following a backhand winner.
Presenting one deep return after another, Medvedev grabbed a break at 2-1 in set number two, saving those break chances in the next game and forging a 5-1 advantage after another break in game six thanks to a backhand crosscourt winner.
Serving for the victory, Daniil held with ease to seal the deal in style and leave Isner empty-handed for the second time at the ATP Cup following that tight loss to Casper Ruud. Speaking after the defeat, John gave full credit to Daniil, aware of his terrible form down under in the last couple of years and hoping for a better run at the ASB Classic and the Australian Open.
"I got my ass kicked out there," Isner said. "I wasn't even close. Generally, with my game, I can keep matches close and make it depend on a few points here or there, but that wasn't the case against Daniil.
I didn't serve as well as I needed to, and that was trouble once that was the case. I've been terrible down under for the last three, four years; that trend is certainly continuing right now; I play my best in the United States.
I'll continue to work; I'm not just going to complain and lament my bad form right now. Things are pretty dire right now for us here at the ATP Cup; there's no doubt. But it's not all doom and gloom in the locker room; there are some smiles."