John Isner cracked the Top 10 in 2012.
© Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA
Irina Falconi was one of four metro Atlantans in the main draws.
© Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern
© Bush Enos
By Alex Welch, USTA Southern Intern
USTA Southern has a strong presence at the 2012 French Open with seven players from the section competing at Roland Garros. John Isner heads the group as the No. 11 seed in the men’s draw, looking to surpass his best showing at the tournament since his third round appearance in 2010.
The duo of Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Lucas Gomez made a good run in the junior boys' doubles tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals. They were unable to break into the semifinals, though, as Thiago Monteiro and Gianluigi Quinzi eliminated the pair after coming out on top of three sets 5-7, 6-1, 11-9.
Taylor Townsend, the No. 1 seeded player in girls singles, was stunned in Round 3 by Anna Schmiedlova as she lost 7-5, 6-2, 6-1. Townsend was a clear favorite to win after taking the junior title at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Townsend and Bouchard were also knocked out of the girls doubles tournament. The No. 1 seed lost to Montserrat Gonzalez and Beatriz Haddad Maia 2-6, 6-7 in the semifinals.
In Previous Action
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and his partner Lucas Gomez advanced to Round 2 of the boys’ doubles tournament as they defeated Ndayishimiye and Chung 6-1, 6-3.
After a grueling second round match against Laurent Lokoli and Armel Rancezot, Kwiatkowski and Gomez came out on top winning 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-8. The two fought hard and found their way into the junior quarterfinals, where they will take on Thiago Monteiro and Gianluigi Quinzi.
Taylor Townsend did not breeze through the second round like she did in her opening match, but the No. 1 seed fought off Carol Zhao to advance, winning 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. She now awaits Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia in the third round of girls singles play.
Townsend and her partner Eugenie Bouchard dominated the first round of girls’ doubles, besting Justine De Sutter and Darya Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2. The No. 1 seeded team faces Anett Kontaveit and Ipek Soylu in Round 2.
Ryan Harrison and Matthew Ebden saw their run end at the hands of the No. 1 doubles seed. Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor defeated the two in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Despite being unranked, Harris and Ebden made a nice run in doubles action.
The Marathon Man, John Isner, lived up to his nickname in the second round of the French Open, as he and Paul-Henri Mathieu played the second-longest match in the tournament’s history. Unfortunately for the United States, their top-ranked player will not be advancing to Round 3.
Mathieu might be ranked No. 275 in the world, but he didn’t let that stop him from pulling off a huge upset over the former UGA tennis star. Isner fought hard and dug deep when he needed to, but it just wasn’t enough as he lost 7-6, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 18-16 after an incredibly tiring fifth set.
By simply looking at the statistics from this match, it would be hard to believe Isner was the defeated one. He had 41 aces, 107 winners and a first serve percentage of 74. However, his 98 unforced errors would determine his fate at the end of the day.
Mathieu hit just six aces and 69 winners, but he was able to work around Isner’s mistakes. After two hours and 28 minutes, the Frenchman emerged victorious.
Isner blew past his Round 1 opponent, Rogerio Dutra Silva, in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The Greensboro, NC. native and four-time All-American at the University of Georgia is the highest ranked American in the men’s draw this year.
Brian Baker from Nashville, Tenn. advanced to the second round after beating Xavier Malisse 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-5). He was unable to continue his run, though, after running into No. 11 Gilles Simon. The Frenchman struggled against Baker, but Simon eventually emerged victorious, winning a five-setter 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 1-6, 6-0.
Donald Young from Atlanta, Ga. faced off against Grigo Dimitrov in his second French Open appearance. The 22-year-old kept things close in the first set, but Dimitrov eventually overpowered Young in three sets.
The youngest player from the USTA Southern section was also defeated by Gilles Simon. Ryan Harrison, who just turned 20 several weeks ago, took on Simon in the first round. He was able to steal the second set, but ultimately lost in four 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 1-6.
Ryan Harrison moved onto the third round with Matthew Ebden in doubles action, defeating Gicquel and Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3. Their competition continues to get tougher, as they face the No. 12 seed Eric Butorac and Bruno Soares in Round 3.
On the women’s side Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga. won her first match ever at the French Open, defeating Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-3 in the first round. She went on to lose in the second round to No. 21 Sara Errani 2-6, 3-6, but with Oudin only turning 21 this year, she shows plenty of promise for the future.
Irina Falconi, another Atlanta resident, won her first round match against Edina Gallovits 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. She faced a tough draw in Round 2, squaring off against the No. 6 seed Samantha Stosur. Stosur would go on to win in straight sets 6-1, 6-4, but Falconi walks away with her first ever victory at the French Open as well.
The Auburn, Ala. native Jamie Hampton kept things close in round 1 against Arantxa Rus, but she was forced to retire with a back injury in the second set down 3-4.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of Charlotte, N.C. will compete in the juniors section, entering in both boys’ singles and doubles. Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga. will also be in juniors action, as she is the No. 1 seed in the girls singles bracket and part of the No. 1 seeds in doubles play as well.