Isner Saves Three Match Points to win Winston-Salem Open

John Isner saved 3 match point to defend his Winston-Salem Open title, defeating Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(9).

“It’s a great feeling, ” said Isner. “Both my titles this year are the exact same titles I won last year. Defending a title is not easy. There’s pressure on you coming into the tournament so I think for me to do that, at both Newport and here in Winston-Salem, it should help me a lot going forward in the coming years. I’m absolutely thrilled.”

“It was a very good match, an incredible atmosphere. It was a lot of fun to play out there. There were certainly some tense times all throughout the match. At times probably wasn’t the prettiest of tennis, but I was able to gut it out and am very, very proud of that.”

“Last year it served me very well. I won here and made the [US Open] quarter-finals, lost to Andy Murray in a very tough match. I’m heading to New York filled with confidence. I’ve played very well since my first round loss at Wimbledon. I’ve only lost three matches, so I’m heading into New York feeling good about myself.”

Berdych was gracious in defeat. “I hope it’s going to be enough time to put this match from my mind and keep all those matches before – and those before were pretty good,” noted Berdych. “Even this one was not bad until the end. It just happens. I won a couple of matches, which was the goal and the [reason] why I wanted to come here. I made it pretty successful, but still one I was missing, so it will take some time. Next week, already Monday or Tuesday, I’m starting in New York so it’s not much time to think on the past but to be ready for what’s happening there.”


Roddick, Lopez Ousted at Winston-Salem Open


Singles – Third Round
[1] J Tsonga (FRA) d [Q] S Stakhovsky (UKR) 76(1) 64
[2] [WC] T Berdych (CZE) d [16] J Nieminen (FIN) 63 62
[3] J Isner (USA) d [13] J Melzer (AUT) 64 63
[4] A Dolgopolov (UKR) d [14] [WC] D Nalbandian (ARG) 63 64
S Darcis (BEL) d [5] A Roddick (USA) 76(6) 76(3)
[6] M Granollers (ESP) d [Q] E Gulbis (LAT) 46 63 62
[7] S Querrey (USA) d [9] F Lopez (ESP) 63 64
D Goffin (BEL) d L Kubot (POL) 63 16 76(5)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[WC] J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) d J Cabal (COL) / A Falla (COL) 63 75
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d J Knowle (AUT) / F Polasek (SVK) 61 36 13-11

Doubles – First Round
[1] R Bopanna (IND) / M Fyrstenberg (POL) d E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) 64 67(4) 10-3
D Marrero (ESP) / A Sa (BRA) d [2] J Marray (GBR) / F Nielsen (DEN) 63 76(3)



CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
S Darcis (BEL) vs [2] [WC] T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 3:00 PM
[7] S Querrey (USA) vs [4] A Dolgopolov (UKR)
Not Before 5:00 PM
[1] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [6] M Granollers (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] J Isner (USA) vs D Goffin (BEL)
[1] R Bopanna (IND) / M Fyrstenberg (POL) vs P Andujar (ESP) / L Mayer (ARG)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
J Melzer (AUT) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs D Marrero (ESP) / A Sa (BRA)


US Open Series Approach Shots: Winston-Salem Open Tournament Director Bill Oakes

Tennis Panorama News will be covering all of the US Open Series tournaments this summer. The final entry in our series of short Q & A’s with the Tournament Directors of some of the US Open Series tournaments is with Bill Oakes, the Tournament Director of the inaugural Winston-Salem Open.


Oakes recently served as the tournament director for the Atlanta Tennis Championships and as Director of Professional Tennis, Sales and Marketing for the USTA Southern Section.

TPN: What was the process of Winston-Salem obtaining a tournament?

BO: It was a long process, a group of people in WS have been working to bring an ATP event to WS for over 10 years.  With the tremendous success of the Davis Cup ties the last few years it put the USTA on the lookout for any events that may change hands.  When an event became available, WS was the first choice.


TPN: Did hosting Davis Cup twice fuel the desire for the city trying to lure a tournament to Winston-Salem?

BO: It certainly did.  The success of the Davis Cup tie showed that the community can support a tournament, and they just needed to find the right event.


TPN: How are you involving the community in the tournament?

BO: In many ways, with the recreational tennis community we are working with the staff at USTA NC to provide opportunities for juniors to experience the event, whether they are new to the game or the top juniors in the state.  Between our Kids Day on Monday that will provide an opportunity for new players to try it out, and the top juniors will come to a weekend camp to hopefully hone their skills and see what it takes at the top levels to succeed.  We are also working on a few other projects that hopefully we will have more information on in July.


TPN: You’ve been involved in many aspects of the tennis world through the years, what do you think will make the Winston-Salem Open successful?

BO: I started on February 10, and the progress in just 4 short months has been nothing short of phenomenal.  The tennis community, business community and WFU have stepped up very quickly to provide a great base for the tournament.  This support is a thorough and solid as I have ever seen, and I know that with this support we have a great starting block.  I think that 2011 is just the start, we will have a wonderful event, but we will continue to improve for 2012 and beyond.  Many of our sponsors are committed for 5 years and I think that really shows how committed they are.

Tennis Panorama News will be onsite covering the Winston-Salem Open this week. Follow our updates on the website and on our twitter account @GVTennisNews.