By Karen Pestaina
(August 23, 2014) NEW YORK, NY – John Isner was one of the four tennis pros in attendance along with 150 people at the “Party with Pros event,” a part of Taste of Tennis Week, at the Measure Lounge of the Langham Place Fifth Avenue Hotel in Manhattan produced by AYS.
I asked the 29-year-old Isner who played college tennis at the University of Georgia, about what he thought about Division I college singles rule change to using the no-ad scoring system.
He replied: “I think in doubles it’s good. Singles – if I had it my way, I’d probably not choose it that way, but at the same time you can argue that it will make players play better under pressure, when it does get to deuce, that no-ad point, there is going to be so much riding on that game, because the is.
“Sometimes college matches can drag on a little bit too much. I can understand what they’re doing, but if I was in charge I wouldn’t have that.”
After the US Open, the North Carolina native will be traveling to the Chicago area to lead the United States Davis Cup team in a critical World Group playoff tie versus the Slovak Republic. The winner will be in the World Group in 2015 while the loser will be relegated to Group 1 in their respective zone.
“Well it’s going to be a tough tie, “Isner said. “I think our chances are very good of moving on, but at the same time, it’s going to be extremely tough.
“I don’t care who we are playing against, I always believe that our team can win. It’s an extremely important tie for the fact that it’s a relegation tie. It’s a must win for both countries, but we do have the home court going for us. We’ll try to get that win to get back in the world group and start fresh next year.”
Isner pulled out of the Winston-Salem Open with a sprained left ankle earlier in the week. He said that he’s “doing very well.”
With the week before the US Open full of parties and photo-ops, I asked him if enjoyed participating in these type of social events before a major.
“It draws attention to our game,” he said. “Obviously we are here at the US Open. The US Open draws enough attention by itself. You know it’s a worldwide event and this city embraces the US Open, some people are watching it from all over the world, that’s why they have record crowds come in every year.
“Events like this draw more attention to the game. I guess people get to meet me. Hopefully they have a good impression of me and they try to watch me on TV cheer me on. If I can gain some fans by interacting a little bit it’s well worth it.”
The 13th seed at the US Open, Isner begins his quest for a US Open title when he faces off against fellow American 21-year-old Marcos Giron in the first round.