DELIC DECLINES ISNER — Amer Delic found himself in the laughable position (at least he was laughing telling the story) of having to say no to playing doubles at the US Open with John Isner, his friend and a dream doubles partner for any player due to his giant service delivery and NCAA doubles dominance. Isner asked Delic, who had already committed to playing with Justin Gimelstob, who is competing at his last US Open before retirement. “In the beginning I wasn’t really a fan of Justin, but as I got to know him we became friends,” Delic said of Gimelstob. “It was an honor that he asked me to play at his last US Open, but it was hard to say no to Isner.” Delic says in the end it might have been for the best. “Isner told me that it’s probably a good thing for me,” said Delic after Isner informed him that he and partner Scott Oudsema drew the Bryan brothers in the opening round. Coaching-wise Delic is now working with Scott Humphries, who has worked with Mardy Fish.
SWISS MISSED — Word out of the international media at the US Open is that Martina Hingis was the dumper, and Radek Stepanek was the dumpee when the two recently ended their odd-couple relationship, though the Swiss Miss refuses to talk to her home media or anyone else about the relationship. The international media also laments that Hingis, so media-friendly upon her return from retirement, has become difficult with the press once she again climbed back into the Top 10. The Swiss remains a big fan favorite at the US Open judging by the rows deep of fans clamoring to catch her practices, especially pre-tournament when Hingis and a scantily-clad Daniela Hantuchova giggled their way through a friendly male-magnet hit-around. Hingis powered past Mathilde Johansson 6-0, 6-3 in her opener Tuesday at the US Open.
BLAKE “WELCOMES” ISNER TO FLORIDA CAMP — James Blake has lived in the Tampa are around seven years, attracting Mardy Fish and the Bryan brothers to set up their own mini American training camp. Now American breakthrough player John Isner has joined the Tampa camp, and has been going through the rookie hazing period. “We’re giving him a hard time so far,” Blake said. “He’s putting up with it well. He’s a great kid. Fit in very well down there. We like him a lot. I know he’s — I have a feeling he’s going to fit in on tour as well with how big his serve is. I think he’s going to be around for a long time. He’s got a great game and a great attitude, too. We like having him around.” Losing a wager to Blake in at the ATP stop in Washington, Isner was forced to wear a shirt with Blake’s picture on it to his post-match conference. “I don’t think he’ll be wearing those any more unless we make a few more bets or anything else,” said a chuckling Blake prior to the start of the US Open. “He put up with our harassing him. He’s going to come be a practice partner at the Davis Cup. We’ll continue a little more harassing. He’ll get over it and he’ll be done being a rookie pretty soon, get to give some new guy a hard time in a couple years I’m sure, too.”
UN-DO: apologies for an earlier note that has since been removed referenced Roger Federer speaking tongue-in-cheek about Tim Henman, rather than Andre Agassi who it was attributed to.
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