Roger Federer looks to tame the monstrous serve of John Isner when they meet in the quarter-finals of the Olympic tennis event on Thursday.
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Federer may have suffered the disappointment of an early exit in the men's doubles but his singles hopes are still alive after a 7-5, 6-3 third round win over Denis Istomin. It wasn't vintage Federer and the rain certainly helped him out. The heavens opened with the Uzbek poised to pounce, with Federer serving at 5-5, 15-30.
"I thought I played a pretty good match," Federer said afterwards. "He did really well to come back into the first set because I didn't play a poor game to get broken in the first set. So things got a bit complicated. He played well. Then obviously the rain delay made it a bit more nerve‑wracking. But happy I found a way out of it. Took the right decisions in the rain delay to come through and not panic. So I'm very happy with my performance."
Isner has looked pretty relaxed and impressive all week and he saw off Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 7-6 to reach the last eight. He beat Federer in the Davis Cup earlier this year and with his serve he always has a chance of grass especially over best of three sets.
However Federer is an expert at defusing the threat of big servers by chipping his returns and getting into the points and that's a tactic he'll look to use to make things difficult for the serve-volleying Isner.
Prediction: Federer in three.