Back in September 2003, Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer at Rod Laver Arena in the Davis Cup semi-final, bouncing back from two sets to love deficit to secure the victory for Australia over Switzerland. From 2005, Roger was there to help his country in the World Group Play-Off for five consecutive years, missing the competition in 2010 when Switzerland dropped out from the elite level.
Federer led them in two ties in 2011 against Portugal and Australia, sending Switzerland back into the World Group and hosting the USA in the first round in 2012 in Fribourg on indoor clay. Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer were there to defend the national colors in front of the home fans but it wasn't to be for them, suffering a severe 5-0 loss and propelling the Americans into the quarters.
On February 10, John Isner defeated Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 to send the USA 2-0 in front, as Mardy Fish prevailed against Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the deciding set of the first rubber after four hours and 26 minutes.
It was the first Davis Cup singles loss for Roger since the mentioned one against Lleyton eight and a half years earlier, losing ground after the opening set against the rival who did everything right to secure the triumph and push the USA closing to the finish line.
Roger grabbed a break in the third game of the opener and brought it home with a hold at love in game ten after 29 minutes, with Isner who forged the advantage in the sixth game of the second set when the Swiss netted an easy forehand.
Serving for the set at 5-3, John landed an ace to take it 6-3, gathering momentum and fending off three break chances in the sixth game of the third set with some brave hitting to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.
A forehand winner was there to get Isner out of jail in the eighth game as well, staying in touch and taking a tie break 7-4 with a volley winner to make a big step towards the finish line. The American fended off three break chances in the fifth game of the fourth set, closing it with a forehand winner and stealing Roger's serve in the very next game, sealing the deal with a return winner at 5-2 to produce one of his biggest victories in a career.
"I thought he played great," Federer said. "He played it tough and served great when he had to. I just missed a couple more opportunities than he did, and that's what cost me the match." "It feels good; it's a massive win for me, the biggest one of my career and it makes me proud," Isner said.
"We are up to a 2‑0 start, which is excellent. That was our goal coming into today, and we accomplished it. Mardy put forth a great effort in the first match and it took much pressure off of me. We both scored huge triumphs.
When I play Roger, I don't want to get in baseline exchanges with him because he's going to win the majority of them, plain and simple. I needed to go out there and hit my shots big and go for them, using controlled aggression as much as possible.
I was up a break and I had absolutely nothing to lose. No matter what the score was, I just tried out to not let the score dictate how I play. So when I was in a hole, I kept going for my strokes. If I miss it, so be it, that's how it's going to be; the goal was to keep the rallies as short as possible, especially in my games.
I was happy with the conditions out there. I don't mind playing on clay. It gives me more time, which sometimes is what I need. Clay isn't such a bad surface for me. With my game, I don't need to adjust how I play to my opponent.
No matter if I'm playing Federer, if I'm playing a guy ranked 800th in the world, I need to play the same. Captain Courier has been keeping it simple and right with me. Without him in my ear this week, I wouldn't have won that match; he has done a great job."