Isner, Johnson Wave American Flag at ATP Winston-Salem; Preview

by Staff | August 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm

No Top 10ers but plenty of players in Winston-Salem next week looking for that last-minute match play before moving on to Flushing Meadows and the US Open.
Here’s a look at the field:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., USA; Surface: hard

Seeds: Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, John Isner, Pablo Cuevas, Steve Johnson, Paolo Lorenzi, Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon, Yuichi Sugita, Viktor Troicki, Aljaz Bedene, Chung Hyeon, Borna Coric, Daniil Medvedev, Jiri Vesely, Joao Sousa

Floaters: Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ernests Gulbis


All 16 seeds receive opening-round byes…48 players are in the field…

No Top 10 seeds, and three of the Top 20…

Potential tough starts for (7) Lorenzi vs. The Dog, and (17) Sousa vs. the mercurial Gulbis…

Wildcards were awarded to Gulbis, Cyprus’ Petros Chrysochos, Coric, and American Taylor Fritz…

Pulling from the field were Kevin Anderson, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Thomaz Bellucci, Ryan Harrison, Nicolas Mahut, Sam Querrey and Diego Schwartzman…

Carreno Busta beat Bautista Agut in last year’s all-Spanish stadium-emptying final…

Former champions in the field are Carreno Busta (2016), Isner (2012-11), and Verdasco (2009).

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9 Comments for Isner, Johnson Wave American Flag at ATP Winston-Salem; Preview

the_mind_reels Says:

Anyone know why Isner is even playing this event? He’s not defending any points and just cracked the top 15 again in the rankings. For a guy who seems to peak in the American hardcourt summer, I’d think he should save himself for the USO given how much he’s played over the last month (14 matches in 30 days).

These kinds of decisions are the quieter part of what separates the very top from the rest of the pack.

rognadfan Says:

First reason, Money grab!.
Second reason, I think he is emotionally close to the tournament because it’s in his home region.

But I’d like to think that bigger reason is the first one. Remember He is only making a living (a good one of course) by playing tennis. Besides that there is really no hope for these big servers (In terms of being a legend/superstar or winning big titles). I thought you knew that already. Everyone, watching his matches say ‘I hate these kind of players, they just have a big serve and just try to go to the tiebreak and really hope that the other guy makes one or two mistakes down the stretch’. It doesn’t matter who these big servers are playing, a journeyman or Federer or Nadal, they all have one thing that is most likely, tiebreaks. And this only works so many times.

But I like to acknowledge his hardwork and the fact that he is making a darn good living by using just one simple thing, ‘A tennis serve with > 135 mph average speed.’ Of course, the training he put in to be able to find a job to use that weapon should be appreciated by everyone (But then again, in every profession, hard work really doesn’t have any alternative).
So there you have it, make money when you have the job (and you know tennis is very uncertain job especially these big fellas).
Good luck to him!

Margot Says:

Put all the players over 6’5″ in their own special league and let see how many people would pay good money to see them. Not me.

rognadfan Says:

Second that.

the_mind_reels Says:

@rognadfan: fair enough that most guys outside of the top 10 are going to be motivated to play more matches simply because they can earn the money, but Isner stands to make less than $90k (before taxes, etc) if he wins Winston-Salem? Sure, maybe there’s an appearance fee, but he’s not the defending champ or anything. And that’s less than $90k assuming he wins!

If playing this week takes enough out of him that he loses early in NYC instead of maybe pushing it to the round of 16, that difference is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars given the prize money at the US Open. Doesn’t make sense to me.

J-Kath Says:


Alas, I agree with the sentiments expressed by rognafan & Margot – essentially “A bird in hand is better than 2 in the bush”….and most have to settle for this level of aspiration.

rognadfan Says:

Very well put. Perfect sentence to describe what Isner likely did there.

rognadfan Says:

I see your point too. But like JK said, because ‘a bird in hand…’.
But come to think about it, he will probably win a few matches at USO, I mean he expect to win, which will fetch more money for sure. So, he may have jeopardized his USO run by appearing at WS. Again, WS is money he’s going to grab, USO is the money he could potentially grab.

J-Kath Says:

And re: this conversation – it’s also OK to hope / to dream – certainly this forthcoming US Slam may be unusual – no Nole, no Stan, maybe No Andy (and if he plays it’s with a big question-mark), no Nishikori – Cilic? Raonic? etc.

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