(August 29, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In a tennis atmosphere that could have been Roland Garros instead of Flushing Meadows, 13th seed American John Isner defeated former top ten player Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the second round of the US Open amongst a crowd in which many of whom were cheering for Monfils.
“I noticed it,” Isner said of the cheering for Monfils in Louis Armstrong Stadium. “You know, he’s a fun loving guy and an exciting guy to watch no matter where he is playing, but honestly it was a little bit surprising. You know, I know the New York fans, they like to see long matches and fifth sets and whatnot, but, you know, it’s not like there was no one cheering for me. I was a little bit disappointed in that, actually. Not going to sugar coat it. It was certainly, if I was playing him in France, it certainly wouldn’t be like that.”
Asked if he had ever played in an atmosphere like this in the US, the 6’ 10” North Carolinian said:”No. I mean, the crowd support, it was a great atmosphere, it was a lot of fun, I’m not saying it wasn’t. You know, I played a similar match when I played Tommy Haas in Paris. I had about five people cheering for me, and those were the five people in my box. So the French people were cheering for the German there I could say something else, but I’m not going to. No, it was fun overall. It was a lot of fun, and when the match finally ended, to be able to soak it in, was a lot of fun.”
At the end of the fourth set tiebreaker, chants of “USA, USA” could be heard.
“I certainly had I just had a lot of crowd support on my side,” said Isner. “I had a college buddy of mine I noticed in the crowd, and in the opening point he was hammered. Every time they were chanting “Monfils” I could hear him, his voice is pretty booming, and he didn’t like that too much, Iner said smiling. “But, you know, no, once I got up I guess it was, yeah, 6-4 in the tiebreaker, the USA chant was pretty cool.”
“He (Monfils) enjoys atmospheres more than anyone else in the world. He wants to soak it up and play to the crowd more than anyone, really. That’s just how he is. Like I said, he’s a fun loving guy and enjoys playing matches like that. For me, I didn’t want to get involved in a little hit and giggle thing with him and try and get going back and forth, where I just wanted to stay focused. I didn’t want to keep it I didn’t want it to be too friendly out there even though he’s a very good friend of mine.”
“It was surprising, actually,” Monfils said of the cheers. “It was surprising — but it was good.”
Next hurdle for Isner is Philipp Kohlschrieber. It’s crazy, playing him in the third round just as I did last year at this event,” said Isner. “That match last year was very disappointing for me how it went about. I sort of lost it I lost it in the fifth set there, but he’s extremely solid. He’s been so solid for so long now. He’s made his way through his first matches pretty easy, as well. Going to be a tough match.”