2014/09/02

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.

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Rafael Nadal Pummels Robby Ginepri in Paris First Round

 

(May 26, 2014) It was an easy day at the office for 8-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal who destroyed U. S. wild card world No. 279 Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

I think I played after the first game that was not good, I played a solid first set,” the Spaniard said.  I start first six games of the second I didn’t play well, and he had a terrible game with the 3 All, a lot of mistakes.  After that I think I started to play a little bit better again.
“So in the third I finished the match playing not that good, so it was a solid start, happy for that.”

“A tough pill to swallow for sure,” 31-year-old Ginepri said of the loss.

“Always wanted to play him on clay and see how good he is. He showed me a lesson today. It was fun out there today, even though the scoreline didn’t really reflect it.”

The world No. 1 whose record at Roland Garros is now 60-1, has a record 8 Paris titles but is looking to become the first man to win five times in a row.

There was some controversy with Nadal’s court assignment for Monday. Instead of the 4-time defending champion opening his defense on the center court Phillipe Chatrier, he was placed on the second show court Suzanne Lenglen which raised eyebrows.

“Doesn’t really matter a lot,” the 27-year-old said.  “Always playing Roland Garros is a pleasure for me, is a really honor, and is a special feeling.  So all the memories at this place give me are unforgettable.
“And doesn’t matter if it’s Chatrier or Lenglen or another court, be around here in Roland Garros always gonna be great.  And I started in Lenglen this year, is a great court.

“I am not sure, but probably next one I gonna play in Chatrier.  That’s it.”

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Keys and Levine Book Their Spot into 2012 Australian Open Main Draw

By Erik Gudris

NORCROSS, Georgia – For the players in today’s Men’s and Women’s Finals at the Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs, there was only one goal – win the match and earn the right to walk right into the main draw of next month’s Australian Open.

Madison Keys (Photo by Erik Gudris)

The Women’s Finals featured two young American players, Madison Keys, who won the U.S. Open Wildcard earlier this summer, and Gail Brodsky who is currently ranked No. 229 on the WTA Tour. Keys went in as a slight favorite and her huge serve and powerful groundstrokes allowed her to dictate the tone of the first set. Going up a quick 4-1 on a double break, Keys briefly allowed Brodsky back into the set but managed to serve it out at 6-3.

Brodsky did her best to keep fighting with Keys who often had the last word in some of the longer rallies. Brodsky managed to get two break point chances in the second set at 4-2, but Keys fired off two consecutive aces to hold for a 5-2 lead. But when Keys was serving for it at 5-3, she just let up on her intensity enough to allow Brodsky to break back. Keys resumed her momentum in the next game and on her first match point, she hit a sizzling forehand winner to clinch her wildcard berth into Melbourne with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Brodsky said afterwards that she didn’t feel that Keys played with any pressure on her. Keys agreed with that thought and spoke about her recent success and how her young age actually helps her when competing, “I’m one of the younger ones still so I’m not really supposed to be winning matches. I’m the underdog when I come into matches so I usually try to play like that but I’m also trying to play more free. That helps me keep it all in perspective.” Keys now plans to travel to Iowa, Boca Raton and then California before heading down under.

 

Jesse Levine (Photo by Erik Gudris)

The Men’s Finals featured a first time meeting between Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, FL and Kennesaw, GA native Robby Ginepri who is working his way back into the sport after injury sidelined him for most of this year. Local fans were hopeful that Ginepri could delight them with a win today, but unfortunately Ginepri had one of those days that all tennis players can relate to in that nothing worked for him on court. Levine played a steady match throughout while Ginepri often saw his shots sail wide or found him making unnecessary errors on what looked like easy winners.

After losing the first two sets in quick succession, Ginepri took an extended bathroom break before the third set to change his clothes and hopefully change the match. Despite Ginepri mixing up his game with some serve and volley, Levine remained consistent while the errors continued to mount for Ginepri. After breaking Ginepri for a 4-1 lead in the third set, Levine stayed the course and earned a convincing 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 victory that assures him a wildcard berth into the main draw of the Australian Open.

“I was in the zone today and was trying to stay with it,” said Levine about his performance. “After that first set, I was thinking can I keep this up? Robby is a really great competitor and he’s in really great shape. Honestly I was hitting the ball as solid as I could hit it and it all worked out for me today.”

Levine has played mostly challengers during 2011, but his recent results including today has him excited for next year. “I had a really good finish to the year and winning the title in Knoxville was a big boost to my confidence. And so getting back into the big leagues again proves all my hard work is paying off. I’m really excited to be back in the big show again. It feels good.”

Erik Gudris writes and moderates Adjustingthenet.com, a tennis news site. Follow him on Twitter @adjustingthenet.

Tennis Panorama News will be media covering next month’s Australian Open in Melbourne from January 16-29, 2012.

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Hometown Hero Isner Survives Opener Against Blake in Atlanta

John Isner

By Erik Gudris

NORCROSS, Georgia – Before the Atlanta Tennis Championships started, defending champion Mardy Fish quipped that local favorite John Isner had four hometown events based on his growing up in North Carolina, going to school in Georgia and training full time in Florida. Today’s action down at the Racquet of The South saw several local favorites in action, but it was Isner match against a resurgent James Blake that had Isner drawing on all the home court support he could get.

Atlanta’s Donald Young teamed up with Ryan Harrison in doubles as they took on the German pairing of Matthias Bachinger and Frank Moser. Despite coming from behind in the first two sets, in large part based on the skillful net play of Harrison, Young and Harrison lost momentum late in the match and a slew of errors early on from Harrison in the match tie-break saw the German team finally win 4-6, 7-6, 10-6, giving Young a sooner than expected exit from his hometown tourney. Another local hopeful, Robby Ginepri, who’s returning to the ATP tour after an extended break due to injury, couldn’t keep his comeback going as he lost to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 7-6 (6) 2-6, 6-2.

James Blake

But the main event was Isner taking on his ATC doubles partner Blake in a long duel that lasted almost three hours. After winning the first set in a tiebreak, Isner jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second set before Blake broke back to level things and eventually force another tiebreak that he went on to win. The third set saw both men stay even with each other early until the 4-3 game when Blake started turning defense into offense, coming up with stunning winners on the dead run. Isner, despite looking tired, managed to serve himself out of trouble when facing break points against him. Eventually Isner finally broke Blake to go up 6-5 in the final set. Blake, knowing he had a tremendous chance to close out the tiring Isner, swatted his racquet against the ground several times as Isner’s serves sailed by him. Blake hit one more return long to give Isner the match 7-6 (8), 6-7 (3), 7-5.

During his on-court interview when asked about the copious amounts of fluids he drank all match said, “I was dying. I went through nine shirts this match and I was down to my last one. It was disgusting.” He later admitted to being a little bit more lucky than Blake this evening but he will probably hope for a match that requires less effort when he takes on Yen-Hsun Lu in the next round.

Erik Gudris writes and moderates the tennis news site Adjustingthenet.com. Follow him all week on Twitter at @GVTennisNews

 

Atlanta Tennis Championships – Wednesday Results, Thursday Order of Play

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