John Isner Saves Two Match Points in Win over Robby Ginepri

GSM Isner

By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2014) ATLANTA – It was a showdown of Americans with local ties tonight at the BB&T Atlanta Open.  Former University of Georgia standout, top ranked American, and number one seed John Isner took on local Robby Ginepri, from just up I-75 in Marietta, now Kennesaw.  It was their fourth meeting, with Isner holding the edge, 2-1.

Ginepri, currently ranked 281, though as high as 15, was in the tournament as a wild card.  As expected in any John Isner match, things started with an ace.  Ginepri returned the favor with his very first serve and had a very easy hold.  From that point forward, it was evident that Ginepri was dialed in on the Isner serve.  He made Isner work by getting balls back in play off huge serves.  Isner did not help his own cause by only getting forty six percent of his first serves in and it led to the inevitable break with a sizzling passing shot by Ginepri to get him to 3-2.  Ginepri consolidated the break with a hold and the match stayed on track until Ginepri served the first set out 6-4.

As with any John Tiebreak, rather, Isner match, the second set went exactly that way.  There were threats of service break, again with Ginepri seeming to have really timed Isner’s deliveries.  It certainly seemed to take its toll, as Ginepri was flexing his wrists after blocking back 140 MPH or so blasts.  Isner served 71% of his first serves into play, converting 73% of those points.  Ginepri had no break points against his serve, while Isner saved the two opportunities Ginepri had.  There were mini-breaks of serve in the tie breaker, but the master of the breaker prevailed in a tight one 7-5.  Of course, the last point was an ace.

In the deciding third set, Ginepri seemed struggled a bit more to hold his serve, facing 7 break points.  He even dug out of one 15-40 hole and punctuated the hold with a yell.  It was inspired Ginepri tennis.  Isner had the customary two break points and saved both.  In Ginepri’s final service game, he was trying to hold for 6-5 and it couldn’t quite hold on.  The whole state knew what was coming next, but Ginepri was game, going for a new racquet in his attempt to break Isner’s  serve.  He never needed it.  Ace, ace, ace, ace.  Game, set, match; Isner 4-6, 7-5 (5), 7-5.  Isner said “It’s not easy, coming in playing your first match.  Having a bye is nice, but at the same time you are playing someone that has played a match.”  Isner will play Matsovci on Friday, surprisingly at 4 PM.  The feature 7 PM slot will see Jack Sock take on Lukas Lacko.

The crowd was well entertained and solidly behind good play, getting loud for each player in appreciation.  Of course, there was barking for Isner and shouts of ROBBY in support of Ginepri.  Some would have been concerned about turnout if Ginepri had won, but the crowd support for both men made it clear that Atlantans appreciation of good tennis should not be underestimated.


Lucky Loser Thiemo de Bakker Knocks Out Second Seed Kevin Anderson in Atlanta

Thiemo de Bakker

Thiemo de Bakker

By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2014) ATLANTA – Play began on Thursday at 4 PM in Atlanta, just ahead of the usually scheduled afternoon summer thunderstorms.  Thiemo de Bakker and Kevin Anderson were on court holding serve through 3-all until the stadium got a bit loud- thunder and distant lightning.  De Bakker took heed and stepped up his returns to get a break for 4-3.  With a quick hold, he was looking to close out the set on Anderson’s serve.  It wasn’t before the rains came, as it was Anderson 30-15 when play was suspended.

Two hours later, it did not seem to have mattered, as de Bakker finished off the set quickly 6-4.  The second set stayed on serve through 3-2 Anderson with de Bakker serving.  De Bakker could not find the service box and Anderson took advantage of the second serves for a break at 4-2.  De Bakker was far from done, as he returned the favor in similar fashion with a fist pump, though he consolidated with a quick hold to get the set to 4-all.  They finally got back on track through 5-all, when Anderson seemed to get a bit unsettled and sent a wild miss over the baseline to get broken.  De Bakker served it out and just like that, the No. 2 seed and last year’s runner up, Kevin Anderson was out.

Yen-Hsun Lu and Benjamin Becker were on grandstand court and also had to run for cover.  That match was completed with Becker the winner, 6-4, 6-3.

In an exciting singles match on grandstand, Marinko Matsovic took out Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-5.  The match was a battle of service breaks, with Matsovic managing two more.  Reportedly, he also chose not to play a ball judged on the line that was a match point.  That could have been a real learning experience.  Matsovic will play No. 1 seed John Isner in a surprising 4 PM start on Friday.  The feature 7 PM match will have Jack Sock playing Lukas Lacko.

The top seeded doubles team of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock were also in action over on the grandstand, taking on Benjamin Becker and Frank Moser.  The difference in the match was the inability of the German duo to convert their second serve points.  The Wimbledon champs were not broken, though did save three break points.  They closed the match out in under an hour 6-4, 6-1.

With the rain came a schedule adjustment.  The Chris Guccione and John-Patrick Smith vs Nicholas Barrientos and Victor Estrella Burgos doubles match was cancelled for the day.  It will go on at noon Friday.  The Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey vs Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky match also was postponed.  That match will follow the previously mentioned match on stadium court.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.


Tennis Results Round-Up for July 24, 2014

atp wta


ATP – Atlanta Open


Singles – Second Round
[1] J Isner (USA) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) 46 76(5) 75
[LL] T de Bakker (NED) d [2] K Anderson (RSA) 64 75
B Becker (GER) d [7] Y Lu (TPE) 64 63
[8] M Matosevic (AUS) d T Smyczek (USA) 64 75

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) d B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER) 64 61


STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) vs N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM)
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[1] J Isner (USA) vs [8] M Matosevic (AUS)

7:00 pm
J Sock (USA) vs L Lacko (SVK)

Not Before 9:00 pm
D Sela (ISR) vs [4] V Pospisil (CAN)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 6:30 pm
Not Before 6:30 pm
B Becker (GER) vs [LL] T de Bakker (NED)

$ 250,000.00
20 – 27 JULY 2014

RESULTS – JULY 24, 2014
Singles – Second Round
S Voegele (SUI) d [1] S Cirstea (ROU) 61 61
[2] E Svitolina (UKR) d S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 75 62
K Mladenovic (FRA) d D Vekic (CRO) 26 63 60
F Schiavone (ITA) d J Glushko (ISR) 62 76(2)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) d N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR) 63 62
[3] I Olaru (ROU) / S Peer (ISR) d A Hesse (FRA) / P Parmentier (FRA) 61 61
A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR) d K Bondarenko (UKR) / N Melichar (USA) 76(5) 64
F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI) d [WC] O Korashvili (UKR) / T Martincova (CZE) 62 63

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] M Eguchi (JPN) vs [5] B Jovanovski (SRB)
S Voegele (SUI) vs S Peer (ISR)
P Parmentier (FRA) vs [2] E Svitolina (UKR)
K Mladenovic (FRA) vs F Schiavone (ITA)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) vs A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR)

ATP – Gstaad


Singles – Second Round
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) d K De Schepper (FRA) 63 64
[7] R Haase (NED) d [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) 64 16 75
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) d [1] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 57 64 11-9
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) d D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT) 76(3) 64

Doubles – First Round
[3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) d [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) / Y Marti (SUI) 63 62
[4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA) d M Granollers (ESP) / E Schwank (ARG) 57 63 11-9


CENTRE COURT start 10:30 am
J Monaco (ARG) vs T Bellucci (BRA)

Not Before 12:00 noon
J Struff (GER) vs [4] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 36 11
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) vs [7] R Haase (NED)

Not Before 3:00 pm
P Andujar (ESP) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP)

Not Before 5:30 pm
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) vs J Struff (GER) or [4] F Verdasco (ESP)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA)
After Suitable Rest – [3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) vs P Marx (GER) / B Rola (SLO)

$ 125,000.00
19- 27 JULY, 2014

RESULTS – JULY 24, 2014
Singles – Second Round
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) d I Kremen (BLR) 63 64
[3] M Doi (JPN) d L Zhu (CHN) 62 46 63
[4] L Kumkhum (THA) d M Melnikova (RUS) 64 61
[6] S Zheng (CHN) d Y Xu (CHN) 67(5) 63 62
[WC] Y Wang (CHN) d T Mrdeza (CRO) 64 64
L Zhang (HKG) d A Raina (IND) 62 61
F Liu (CHN) d N Kolar (SLO) 62 64

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX) d I Kremen (BLR) / N Lertcheewakarn (THA) 57 61 10-8
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) d G Barbieri (ITA) / M Melnikova (RUS) 63 61

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) vs Q Wang (CHN)
L Zhang (HKG) vs F Liu (CHN)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
[3] M Doi (JPN) vs [6] S Zheng (CHN)
After suitable rest – [1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) vs L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA)

COURT 2 start 5:00 pm
[WC] Y Wang (CHN) vs [4] L Kumkhum (THA)
[3] C Chan (TPE) / Y Xu (CHN) vs C Liang (CHN) / L Zhu (CHN)

COURT 3 start 5:00 pm
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) vs [2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX)


   Vegeta Croatia Open Umag
RESULTS – THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014Singles – Second Round

[1] F Fognini (ITA) d A Montanes (ESP) 76(2) 60
T Gabashvili (RUS) d [4] J Sousa (POR) 36 64 62
[Q] P Cuevas (URU) d [6] A Seppi (ITA) 63 61
[WC] B Coric (CRO) d [Q] H Zeballos (ARG) 76(4) 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals

[2] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG) d G Duran (ARG) / T Gabashvili (RUS) 76(5) 61
[4] F Cermak (CZE) / L Rosol (CZE) d P Riba (ESP) / J Sousa (POR) 36 63 10-6SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

CENTRE COURT start 5:30 pm
[5] L Rosol (CZE) vs [3] M Cilic (CRO)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] F Fognini (ITA) vs [WC] B Coric (CRO)
D Lajovic (SRB) / F Skugor (CRO) vs [2] P Cuevas (URU) / H Zeballos (ARG)

GRANDSTAND start 5:00 pm
T Gabashvili (RUS) vs [Q] P Cuevas (URU)
P Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [2] T Robredo (ESP)
[1] J Knowle (AUT) / O Marach (AUT) vs [4] F Cermak (CZE) / L Rosol (CZE



Tennis Results Round-Up for July 23, 2014

 atp wta

$ 250,000.00
20 – 27 JULY 2014

RESULTS – JULY 23, 2014
Singles – Second Round

[5] B Jovanovski (SRB) d K Piter (POL) 63 61
P Parmentier (FRA) d [8] J Cepelova (SVK) 76(2) 64
S Peer (ISR) d [Q] V Dolonc (SRB) 36 62 63
[Q] M Eguchi (JPN) d U Radwanska (POL) 62 61

Doubles – First Round

F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI) d [2] J Husarova (SVK) / K Jans-Ignacik (POL) 36 64 10-2
N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR) d M Eguchi (JPN) / P Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 62 46 10-5
A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR) d B Jovanovski (SRB) / D Kovinic (MNE) 64 57 11-9

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] S Cirstea (ROU) vs S Voegele (SUI)
J Glushko (ISR) vs F Schiavone (ITA)
K Mladenovic (FRA) vs D Vekic (CRO)
S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs [2] E Svitolina (UKR)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
K Bondarenko (UKR) / N Melichar (USA) vs A Panova (RUS) / H Watson (GBR)
[1] O Kalashnikova (GEO) / O Savchuk (UKR) vs N Abduraimova (UZB) / A Fomina (UKR)
A Hesse (FRA) / P Parmentier (FRA) vs [3] I Olaru (ROU) / S Peer (ISR)
[WC] O Korashvili (UKR) / T Martincova (CZE) vs F Schiavone (ITA) / S Voegele (SUI)


ATP – Atlanta


Singles – Second Round
[4] V Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] I Marchenko (UKR) 75 63
L Lacko (SVK) d [6] D Istomin (UZB) 57 61 64
D Sela (ISR) d [9] S Querrey (USA) 62 64
J Sock (USA) d [Q] M Venus (NZL) 64 62

Singles – First Round
[7] Y Lu (TPE) d [LL] A Kuznetsov (USA) 64 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals

K King (USA) / M Venus (NZL) d [WC] R Ginepri (USA) / R Harrison (USA) w/o (Harrison – foot)

Doubles – First Round
[2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d M Ebden (AUS) / Y Lu (TPE) w/o (Ebden – wrist)
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) d J Erlich (ISR) / R Ram (USA) 36 63 10-6
N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM) d S Ratiwatana (THA) / S Ratiwatana (THA) 67(2) 63 10-8


STADIUM start 4:00 pm
[LL] T de Bakker (NED) vs [2] K Anderson (RSA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] J Isner (USA) vs [WC] R Ginepri (USA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
T Smyczek (USA) vs [8] M Matosevic (AUS)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 4:00 pm
[7] Y Lu (TPE) vs B Becker (GER)
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) vs N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM)
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) vs B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER)
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)


ATP Gstaad


Singles – Second Round
[2] M Granollers (ESP) d [WC] Y Marti (SUI) 61 64
J Monaco (ARG) d [3] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 26 64
T Bellucci (BRA) d [5] F Delbonis (ARG) 64 64
P Andujar (ESP) d B Rola (SLO) 63 63

Singles – First Round

[WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) d [Q] G Mina (FRA) 76(5) 76(3)

Doubles – First Round

D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT) d [2] M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) 75 75
F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG) d [WC] A Bossel (SUI) / M Lammer (SUI) 63 57 10-5
P Marx (GER) / B Rola (SLO) d D Brown (GER) / D Thiem (AUT) 63 64
R Junaid (AUS) / M Mertinak (SVK) d T Bednarek (POL) / H Kontinen (FIN) 63 36 10-8
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) d M Emmrich (GER) / C Kas (GER) 26 76(6) 11-9


CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) vs K De Schepper (FRA)
[WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) vs [7] R Haase (NED)
[WC] V Troicki (SRB) vs A Golubev (KAZ)
Not Before 5:30 pm
J Struff (GER) vs [4] F Verdasco (ESP)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

[1] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs F Bagnis (ARG) / F Delbonis (ARG)
Not Before 12:30 am
M Granollers (ESP) / E Schwank (ARG) vs [4] J Brunstrom (SWE) / N Monroe (USA)
P Andujar (ESP) / J Monaco (ARG) vs D Meffert (GER) / P Oswald (AUT)
[3] A Begemann (GER) / R Haase (NED) vs [WC] H Laaksonen (SUI) / Y Marti (SUI)



$ 125,000.00
19- 27 JULY, 2014

RESULTS – JULY 23, 2014
Singles – Second Round
Q Wang (CHN) d N Lertcheewakarn (THA) 61 76(2)

Doubles – First Round
[1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) d D Jakupovic (SLO) / N Kolar (SLO) 63 67(3) 10-7
[2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX) d S Jang (KOR) / Y Wang (CHN) 62 62
[3] C Chan (TPE) / Y Xu (CHN) d [WC] X Sun (CHN) / W Zheng (CHN) 63 61
C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN) d [4] M Doi (JPN) / S Hsieh (TPE) 63 75
L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA) d X Han (CHN) / K Zhang (CHN) 61 60

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
[1] [WC] S Peng (CHN) vs I Kremen (BLR) 00

Not Before 6:00 pm
N Kolar (SLO) vs F Liu (CHN)
I Kremen (BLR) / N Lertcheewakarn (THA) vs [2] Y Beygelzimer (UKR) / M Minella (LUX)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
L Zhang (HKG) vs A Raina (IND)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[3] M Doi (JPN) vs L Zhu (CHN)

COURT 2 start 5:00 pm
M Melnikova (RUS) vs [4] L Kumkhum (THA)
T Mrdeza (CRO) vs [WC] Y Wang (CHN)
G Barbieri (ITA) / M Melnikova (RUS) vs C Chuang (TPE) / J Namigata (JPN)

COURT 3 start 6:00 pm
Y Xu (CHN) vs [6] S Zheng (CHN)
TBC – [1] M Adamczak (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) vs L Kumkhum (THA) / T Tanasugarn (THA)


Atlanta Open Tuesday Wrap


(July 22, 2014) ATLANTA – It was college night here at Atlantic Station!  There were Panthers, Owls, Yellow Jackets, and Bulldogs – Oh My!  At the USTA Family Zone, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State, and Georgia Tech mascots all helped to promote tennis this afternoon with some fun and games for fans.  The University of Georgia Pep Band serenaded the crowd with some tunes and tried to fire them up for the evening.

Speaking of UGA, in his news conference this afternoon, former Bulldog John Isner elaborated on his college experience; “I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Coach Diaz was so instrumental to me!  It was perfect.  There’s no hurry at 17, 18 years old to get out on the tour.”  He feels that almost every young player could benefit from the experience of playing in college and being part of a team experience.  When asked about multiple withdrawals and the pressure of being the marquee name in the tournament, Isner said, “It’s disappointing not to have those guys in the field this year.  It’s a very tough field.  I hope the fans come out as they always do.”  He went on to talk often being the last American standing in tournaments and that he doesn’t he feel any special pressure.  “It’d be better if we had more guys with more success.”  He’s really looking forward to the hard court season and indicated it was critical to his year.  Atlanta gets that all started in a place where he likes the surface and it is just an hour down the road from Athens where he spent four great years.  He will take on another tour veteran in his second round match.  It will be a match with lots of local interest, as local Robby Ginepri came through in three sets today.

Ginepri took on Sergiy Stakhovsky.  The first set was a tight affair, as Ginepri let a few nerves help Stakhovsky earn a break at two all.  He had a few chances to break back, as Stakhovsky had six double faults, most to the ad court in the opening set alone, but Ginepri finally drew even and earned his way into a tie break.  He owned the breaker, closing it out 7-3.

Ginepri served to open the second set and was broken early.  Stakhovsky ran out to a 4-0 lead with another break and it looked like Ginepri was ready to concede the set when Stakhovsky got a little loose and Ginepri got one of the breaks back.  It almost looked as if Stakhovsky was trying to extend the set to tire Ginepri, though he finally hung on to force the third set.

Turned out it was Ginepri who was saving himself.  He called on his veteran poise and settled in, winning all of the points on his first serve in the deciding set.  He never faced a break point.  It did not hurt that he converted all of his break points and 9 of Stakhovsky’s 10 second serve points.

The feature match was a decidedly collegiate affair.  A few players from Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech tossed a few shirts into the crowd to get everyone fired up.  After some loud barking, University of Georgia great and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker came out to do the coin toss for the Lukas Lacko v Nathan Pasha match.  Pasha is a player for Coach Manuel Diaz at Georgia.  He had a very good year, but had been taking some time off to rest and only got word four days ago that he had a wild card.  Despite some nerves, Pasha came out serving hard with a 135 MPH ace in the first game.  Unfortunately, he was soon broken and the set was Lacko’s, 6-2.  The second set was a much more even affair until Pasha earned a break to put him up 5-3, serving for the set.  Four double faults undid what he had earned and Lacko got a firm handle on the doorknob that Pasha could not find and slammed the door shut for a 6-2, 7-5 win.  Pasha showed lots of game and lots of promise.

In other action, Ryan Harrison fell to Tim Smyczek 6-0, 6-2.  Harrison was broken on his first two service games and never got on track.  Reports indicate he is dealing with some sort of foot injury.  Blisters, a stress fracture, and a broken foot have all been speculated, though no confirmation on any of those was available.  He has partnered with Robby Ginepri and they already completed their first round match, so a withdrawal would certainly be another disappointment for the tournament.

In other first round action, Marinko Matosevic made short work of Victor Estrella Burgos 6-0, 6-2.  John Patrick Smith fell to Illya Marchenko 6-4, 6-4.  Jack Sock beat Alejandro Gonzalez for the first time of the day 6-2, 6-4.  Rajeev Ram lost to Denis Istomin 6-1,6-4 and Benjamin Becker beat Mattew Ebden 6-4, 6-2.

The evening concluded with an entertaining doubles match on stadium court.   Colombians Alejandro Conzalez and Juan-Carlos Spir took on Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.  Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he couldn’t take advantage of the second chance.  Sock earned an early break with an outlandish overhead off a smash.  Yes, an overhead off of a smash – the ball was slammed into the court so hard it came down like a lob and Sock timed it right back forcing a volley error.  That was all they needed to claim the set, as the only other break point was saved by Pospisil/Sock.  The second set only had 4 break points, with Pospisil/Sock saving both of theirs while converting one of the Colombians’ pair.  The final point of the match had a short delay, as a ball girl was the recipient of a rather hard Sock service fault.  It was one very well earned tattoo and rewarded with the ball autographed.  Sock apologized profusely, but play continued and they closed it out 6-4, 6-4.

Wednesday’s play will feature Sam Querrey facing Dudi Sela for the 7 PM match.  Here is the rest of the order of play:

STADIUM start 2:00 pm
[3] C Guccione (AUS) / J Smith (AUS) vs J Erlich (ISR) / R Ram (USA)
[Q] M Venus (NZL) vs J Sock (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[9] S Querrey (USA) vs D Sela (ISR)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm
N Barrientos (COL) / V Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs S Ratiwatana (THA) / S Ratiwatana (THA)
[Q] I Marchenko (UKR) vs [4] V Pospisil (CAN)
After Suitable Rest – M Ebden (AUS) / Y Lu (TPE) vs [2] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

COURT 3 start 3:00 pm

[7] Y Lu (TPE) vs [LL] A Kuznetsov (USA)
L Lacko (SVK) or [WC] N Pasha (USA) vs [6] D Istomin (UZB)


Querrey Opens with a Win in Atlanta

By Herman Wood

(July 21, 2014) ATLANTA -  The US Open Series officially is underway!  Fittingly, Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson got things going.  The doubles partners, and good friends, played a very tight match, with Querrey winning out 7-6(3), 7-5.  Querrey fired 20 aces while saving the only break point he faced.  He converted 1 of 2 break points and that was all the difference.  Johnson only won 22% of the points Querrey served.  The two will take on Denis Istomin and Marinko Matosevic later in the doubles portion of the tournament.


After an impressive opening ceremony honoring our military, another American, Donald Young took on Dudi Sela.  Unfortunately for Young, Sela had his number.  It was not Young’s best night, as he struggled with consistency and could never get control of the match.  The second set really seemed to get away from him, as Sela closed him out 6-3, 6-0.  The crowd warmed up to Sela and gave him a nice hand as he left the court.


In doubles play, the paring of Becker/Moser dominated Lovett/OShaughnessey 6-2, 6-0.  The featured doubles match in the stadium was a much tighter and entertaining affair.  The British brothers Ken & Neal Skupski (via LSU) took on Ryan Harrison, who partnered up with local Robby Ginepri.  Each side broke serve only once, splitting sets, forcing a tiebreak to decide the match.  Harrison hit the shot of the tournament so far, with a screaming forehand around the net post for a winner.  The match kept the crowd on the edge of its seat all evening.  Ginepri/Harrison saved two match points, one with a clutch forehand passing shot, overcoming the Skupski bros 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.  It was a new pairing, and both men seemed very pleased with the pairing.  Ginepri said “Love playin’ here in the ATL.”


As of this writing, matches scheduled for Tuesday are below.  The evening match on stadium court will feature Nathan Pasha of the University of Georgia.  Herschel Walker, UGA football great, will be on hand to get things underway.  Expect barking – lots of barking.



Singles – First Round
[9] S Querrey (USA) d S Johnson (USA) 76(3) 75
D Sela (ISR) d D Young (USA) 63 60

Doubles – First Round

[WC] R Ginepri (USA) / R Harrison (USA) d [4] K Skupski (GBR) / N Skupski (GBR) 46 63 11-9
B Becker (GER) / F Moser (GER) d [WC] K Lovett (USA) / B O’Shaughnessey (USA) 62 60


STADIUM start 2:00 pm
T Smyczek (USA) vs [WC] R Harrison (USA)
[WC] R Ginepri (USA) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR)
D Sharan (IND) / D Young (USA) vs K King (USA) / M Venus (NZL)
Not Before 7:00 pm
L Lacko (SVK) vs [WC] N Pasha (USA)
[1] V Pospisil (CAN) / J Sock (USA) vs A Gonzalez (COL) / J Spir (COL)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm

[LL] R Ram (USA) vs [6] D Istomin (UZB)
J Sock (USA) vs A Gonzalez (COL)
[Q] J Smith (AUS) vs [Q] I Marchenko (UKR)
S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs D Istomin (UZB) / M Matosevic (AUS)

COURT 3 start 1:00 pm

V Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs [8] M Matosevic (AUS)
[Q] S Diez (CAN) vs [LL] T de Bakker (NED)
M Ebden (AUS) vs B Becker (GER)



Monday Dispatch from Atlanta – Withdrawals Provide Opportunities


By Herman Wood

(July 21, 2014) ATLANTA- Qualifying wrapped up on Monday in Atlanta at the BB&T Open, with the weather finally cooperating. Qualifying dodged rain all weekend, with the second round ending up under the lights last night.  Unfortunately, the qualifying matches today were almost an afterthought with the main draw withdrawals.

Radek Stepanek withdrew due to an injury over the weekend.  He posted on his twitter account “Sad to pull out of the @BBTatlantaopen this week but had fun talking to the media here and signing some autographs :)” along with a picture of a young fan.  Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet also withdrew, leaving the tournament in a bad spot.  Of the 24 players entered in qualifying, seven will make the main draw, apparently with one directly advancing to the second round.

There was some other ball played this afternoon, with Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock getting some basketball tips from Atlanta Hawk Demarre Carroll at a hoop set up by the team just off the USTA YouthTennis court.  Turned out Carroll got schooled in a game of HORSE.  Sock returned the favor with a tennis lesson for Carroll on the court afterwards and then had a press conference with his Wimbledon partner, Vasek Pospisil.  The two will be the top seed in the doubles draw.

Young Americans have quite an opportunity with the withdrawals.  Scheduled matches today feature world number 61 Sam Querrey playing number 64 Steve Johnson.  Official opening ceremonies will follow and lead into local Donald Young playing Dudi Sela.  Another local, Robby Ginepri, will team up with Rhyne Harrison to take on the British duo of Ken and Neal Skupski in the opening round of doubles once the singles match concludes.


Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.


The US Open Series Begins this Weekend in Atlanta



By Herman Wood

(July 17, 2014) ATLANTA – Preparation for the US Open is underway.  The BB&T Atlanta Open gets things started on Saturday, July 19th for the men.  Qualifying begins at 10 AM.  The BB&T Atlanta Open is an ATP 250 event, with a 28 player draw, four of which come from the qualifying tournament.  The qualifying field will have 32 players.  The doubles draw is a 16 team field.  Last year’s champ, John Isner, is returning, along with fellow Americans Sam Querrey, Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock, and Donald Young.  Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Radek Stepanek, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, Lleyton Hewitt, and the other half of the Wimbledon doubles championship team, Vasek Pospisil, are also expected in the tournament.  The tournament aspires to be a mini US Open, with the venue set among the skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta at Atlantic Station.  Atlantic Station is a community within downtown that provides homes for 10,000 people integrated with shopping, restaurants, and retailers that make it a hit with the players.  Besides the attractive venue, players will get a jump on the US Open Series Bonus Challenge, where nearly $40 million in prize money is up for grabs.  This is the third year the tournament has been held at Atlantic Station.

It is a familiar place for Americans, with Isner winning last year, Roddick in 2012, and Fish in 2011.  It has also been comfortable for big man tennis- last year Isner, at 6’10”, overcame Kevin Anderson at 6’8” in three tiebreaks.  Fans in the first couple of rows certainly had to pay attention with the huge serves coming their way.  It is especially familiar for Isner, who competed collegiately just an hour down the road for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, leading the team to a national championship and winning every possible team title in 2007.  He’s usually a fan favorite, with at least a couple of barks from Georgia fans in his favor at each match.  Isner may not be the only recipient of barks; University of Georgia player Austin Smith has accepted a wild card into the main draw. The sophomore from Cumming, Georgia excelled this season as the Bulldogs captured the 2014 SEC Championship. Smith finished with a 35-12 record, and went 9-1 in SEC matches. He has won four USTA Pro Circuit matches. A tournament qualifier in 2011, Smith will be playing his debut ATP main draw match.

Another American, Jack Sock, could very well get on a roll at this tournament.  After winning doubles with Pospisil at Wimbledon, he rolled into Newport and eliminated Isner in the Newport Hall of Fame event on grass just a week ago.  Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to keep that momentum and was eliminated by the veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who went on to win the tournament.  Hewitt’s feisty shouts of “C’mon!” have endeared him to the Atlanta fans in past years.  Fresh off his renewed success at Newport, he could very well win Atlanta.  The main draw was just rounded out with the addition of Ryan Harrison and Robby Ginepri.  “We’re ecstatic to welcome back two of our fan favorites in Ryan Harrison and Atlanta metro resident Robby Ginepri,” Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez said. “One of our goals is to highlight American talent and both of these players are great examples of the fine players this country has produced.”  Harrison won the doubles last year, partnering with Matthew Ebden.  Ginepri appears for the fourth time, with a onetime ranking of fifteen.  He is a graduate of Wheeler High School, just a few miles north of Atlantic Station.  He currently resides in Kennesaw, another couple of miles north.

The draw will be finalized over this weekend with the completion of the qualifying tournament.  Promising American junior Francis Tiafoe has accepted his first tournament qualifying wild card. Tiafoe, 16, is a talented young prodigy who rose to No. 2 in the world junior rankings this spring. Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt and Alabama’s Becker O’Shaughnessey have also accepted qualifying wild cards. Rakitt, a Marietta native and All-ACC selectee, is competing again for the second year. O’Shaughnessey of Macon, Ga., led the Crimson Tide in singles wins (22) this season.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.


John Isner Wins Atlanta Open

Haas d Isner semifinal (4 of 5)

(July 28, 2013) In a battle between two of the tallest players in tennis, six-foot-10 John Isner saved two match points to beat six-foot-8 Kevin Anderson 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Sunday to claim his seventh ATP World Tour title.

Neither player was able to break serve during the entire almost three hour match. Anderson failed to convert any of 11 break point chances against Isner. At 2 hours and 54 minutes it’s the longest three-set final on the ATP tour this year.

“This is a tournament where I could’ve been out in my first match,” Isner said. I lived on the edge all week and seemed to come through each and every time. It’s very encouraging.

“I’ve been on the wrong end of a final that close before, so it feels good to be on the other end of that. I never wavered. I believed that even at 0/40 that I could still hold on and was able to come up with the goods.”

“There’s no question I play my best in the U.S. This is where I’m very comfortable. I compete extra hard and things seems to work out for me when I’m playing in the U.S.”

“I was holding easily and trying to give myself chances, which I did,” Anderson said. “Just wasn’t able to capitalize on them. That was the difference today… He stays in there. He serves well, he plays well when it matters, and he definitely played two better tie-breaks than me.”

Isner took home a check for $98,700 as the winner. Isner lost in the finals of the Atlanta Open in 2010, and 2011, each time to Mardy Fish.

Of Isner’s seven career ATP World Tour titles, three have come after saving match point and winning in a third set tiebreak – ’10 Auckland, ’12 Winston-Salem,  and ’13 Atlanta.


A Tale of Two Giants

John Isner-2
(July 27, 2013) ATLANTA, GA – The tallest final in history will go down at this year’s BB&T Atlanta Open. John Isner standing at 6’10″ and Kevin Anderson at 6’8″ is a recipe for a serving war. Predicting the winner of this match is no easy task. Head to head, here are the stats that count.

Isner vs. Anderson

Aces 463 409

Double Faults 48 120

1st Serve Points Won 77% 75%

Break Points Faced 166 237

Break Points Saved 69% 65%

Service Games Won 88% 85%

Ist Serve Return Points Won 24% 30%

Break Opportunities 165 287

Break Points Converted 35% 39%

John Isner has an edge in aces, double faults, and break points faced while Kevin Anderson’s numbers are better in 1st serve return points won, break opportunities

and break points converted. In short, John may serve better, but Kevin returns better. Who’s going to win this match, your guess is as good as mine but I’ll make mine

anyway. With Isner leading the tour with the tiebreak record of 23-6 and the crowd behind him, my gut says Isner in 3 tie breaks, but I’m not putting my money on it!


By Tina Taylor-Brown, Special to Tennis Panorama