• Isner wins a spot in French Open

    5/1/09 4:24 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner wins a spot in French Open John Isner clinches a wildcard entry into next month's French Open, defeating Jesse Levine in a USTA playoff on Thursday afternoon in Boca Raton, Florida.

    John Isner played his way into a wild card for a second straight Grand Slam event on Thursday in Boca Raton, Florida. Isner defeated Jesse Levine 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 in the final of a playoff to see which American would get the United States Tennis Association’s lone wild card into the upcoming French Open.

    After Isner took the first set in a tiebreaker, Levine looked ready to even the match at one set apiece with his 6'9'' opponent serving at 3-4, 0-40 in the second. The world No. 113, however, saved all three break points, eventually held serve, and did not lose another game en route to taking a two-set lead. Isner went on to finish off the three-out-of-five-set battle in straights.

    As part of a reciprocation agreement with the French Tennis Federation, the FTA gives the USTA one wild card for the French Open and the USTA returns the favor at the U.S. Open. Instead of simply handing the wild card to a player of its choice, the USTA decided to hold a playoff, just as it did for the season's first Grand Slam. Isner also won the playoff for the USTA’s spot in the main draw of this year’s Australian Open, where he went out to Dominik Hrbaty in the first round.

    “We're trying to teach players from a young age that you've got to earn it,” said Patrick McEnroe, head of the USTA’s elite player development as well as the United States Davis Cup captain. “It's pretty simple. Nobody can stop you if you're good enough. We're just trying to send that message.”

    “It's huge,” admitted Isner after his clinching win over Levine. “It's a long way to go, kind of a crapshoot to win three rounds of qualifying matches. It takes a lot of pressure off me.”

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I definitely share Ricky's enthusiasm for this news. Hopefully he can snatch a match or two there...

thefanchild , 5/1/09 5:39 AM


kaitepai01 , 5/1/09 6:45 AM

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