Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt delivered one of the biggest early round upsets on Saturday, toppling American John Isner, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4.
The top ranked American Isner struggled throughout the match during key points and could not find a way to get his big serve past the scrappy Hewitt at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
"Lleyton is such a good competitor. I don't care what he's ranked ... I felt like he's better than that number, whatever it is," Isner said after the match.
Isner did not make excuses for the defeat, telling the media he is practicing fine and his knee is healthy. Because of the upset, Sam Querrey will likely become the top-ranked American man for the first time in his career.
"There's nothing I'm doing wrong off the court. Things just gotta go my way a little bit better on the court," Isner said.
Isner admitted he was a little nervous entering the match, telling the media he prefers to work his way through a tournament not in the main stadium.
"I thought he hit his forehand pretty well today, his backhand was definitely weaker," Hewitt commented after the match.
During the match, Hewitt's fans yelled out "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" and waved an Australian flag. Isner fans answered with chants of "USA, USA."
Hewitt, who has been dealing with foot surgeries, said everything in his game has changed a little bit but feels comfortable.
"[I] missed this tournament through surgery last year. In the past I have always played pretty well here," Hewitt said. "Yeah, it's nice to beat a big name. John's obviously a tough match for anyone to play, and especially coming off a good result here last year."
Hewitt moves on to face No. 18 Stanislas Wawrinka.