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Clash of the titans at the Paris Masters

 John Isner, seen here serving to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics, beat Fed in Paris only to lose to David Ferrer.

John Isner, seen here serving to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympics, beat Fed in Paris only to lose to David Ferrer.

No sooner had The New York Times announced in a brief that Roger Federer had moved into the third round of the Paris Masters with a dazzling attacking display than, oops, he lost in the third round to John Isner and his 27 aces.

Ah, those Federinas. They always live in the hope that each Fed win will spell the return of the king – until, of course, the moment when he’s tripped up by someone who’s a one-trick pony. The truth is Isner is a big guy (6 feet, 10 inches) with a big serve. Period. When he’s on, though, he’s tough to beat, as Feddy Bear himself acknowledged in his delightfully solipsistic manner.

“It’s tough going out of a tournament without losing your serve, but that’s what happened,” Federer said. “I’m not sure what I could have done differently.”

Translation: Fed may not win, but he never loses. Jeez.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s comeback hit a snag as he lost to Stan Warinka. He’ll play Novak Djokovic, who was tested by Tomas Berdych but nonetheless won his 20th straight match, in one semifinal.

In the other, Andy Murray will play David Ferrer, who had no trouble beating Isner. Perhaps he didn’t serve as well.

I’m putting my money on a Stan-Andy final even though I’m hoping for a Novandy one.