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Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 13:31 UK

Wimbledon 2010: John Isner thrashed by Thiemo De Bakker

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
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John Isner

'Marathon man' Isner crashes out

By David Ornstein
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

John Isner seemed to struggle with the after-effects of his epic victory over Nicolas Mahut as he lost in straight sets to Thiemo de Bakker at Wimbledon.

The American 23rd seed looked exhausted from his first-round win against Mahut - the longest match in tennis history - and fell 6-0 6-3 6-2 in 74 minutes.

De Bakker outclassed his opponent from start to finish, although Isner did require treatment for a neck problem.

He was due to play doubles later on Friday but withdrew with a toe injury.

"I was just so exhausted," said Isner, who He failed to send down a single ace in the whole match, compared with 112 against Mahut. "I felt a bit drained and didn't have much in my legs and shoulder. It stinks to lose in the second round.

"It was brutal and things were looking pretty bleak right from the start. But full credit to my opponent; he still had to play well and was far better than me. I wasn't going to quit, I wasn't dying out there, just tired.

606: DEBATE

"I also had a pretty bad blister on my left toe and that bothered me as well. I have a nice break now so I need to stay off my feet and let the blisters heel. Then I'll hit the gym and practice court and get ready to go again."

Isner became the story of the opening week after his historic duel with Mahut, which spanned 11 hours and five minutes, but he appeared to have nothing left in the tank for De Bakker.

Their meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, only for Isner's first-round marathon - which started on Tuesday - to take three days to complete.

De Bakker, who faces Paul-Henri Mathieu in round three after the Frenchman's surprise win over 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny, had been involved in an energy-sapping first-round battle of his own - beating Santiago Giraldo 16-14 in the deciding set - but that was nothing compared with Isner's heroics.

While the 21-year-old from the Hague arrived at a packed Court Five to generous applause just before 1200 BST, the crowd were left waiting another 10 minutes for Isner.

John Isner

Isner keen to move on from epic

When he finally made his way through a sea of back-slappers and tennis lovers, the 6ft 9ins right-hander was greeted by huge cheers but that was where the smiles would end for the 25-year-old and his followers.

It was swiftly evident that Isner, who did not attend the morning practice session he had booked at the All England Club, was lagging physically and a string of wayward groundstrokes saw him broken easily in each of his opening two service.

World number 49 De Bakker, the Wimbledon boys' singles champion in 2006, was reeling off aces, winners and service holds and moved serenely through the first set.

Shortly before Isner served at 4-0 down, a fan attempted to rally his man by shouting "Come on John, fire it up", but the languid American was broken to 30 and De Bakker then served out to love with an ace down the middle.

"It's tough because he was struggling but you never know what's going to happen," said De Bakker. "Luckily I could take a rest now and again before he was suffering.

It's tough because he was struggling but you never know what's going to happen. Luckily I could take a rest now and again before he was suffering

Thiemo de Baker

"In first set he didn't try at all but afterwards he did. Breaking early made it easier for me because if he did that it might have given him momentum. I was lucky that I got him today - it's pretty tough when you've just played for 11 hours."

It seemed we might be in for a premature conclusion when the trainer was called to treat Isner's neck and, although he came out for the second set, he dropped serve for the fourth time in game one.

While Isner's first service hold was heartily cheered by the crowd at the end of game three, any prospect of a fightback was snuffed out by the talented De Bakker and, at 5-3 up, he broke to love to move 2-0 ahead.

Isner looked resigned to his fate and became increasingly passive, his neck issue seeming to affect his ability to serve and get down low enough to return De Bakker's flat groundstrokes.

He netted a straightforward volley to hand over another break in game six of the third set and, on De Bakker's third match point in game nine, went wide with a backhand down the line.

And with that, his tournament was over. He shook hands with spectators and signed autographs before being clapped back to the locker room.

"I think I can go a lot further here in the future," added Isner, who has still never won back-to-back matches on grass. "With a few adjustments I have the game to do very well on grass and I'm already excited about coming back in 2011."



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see also
Wimbledon day five as it happened
25 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon 2010 - day five photos
25 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Indefatigable Isner back on court
24 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Weary Isner wins marathon match
24 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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