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‘Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This’: John Isner Excited To Play In-Front of Home Fans at ATP Dallas Open 2022

Published 02/06/2022, 2:13 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Dallas Open 2022 is about to take place from 7th-13th February, and a lot of fanfare is anticipated from the same. With the return of professional tennis to the region, the tickets for the final six sessions were all sold-out, forcing officials to release extra tickets. This event is even more special for John Isner, who lives less than a mile away from SMU’s Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex, where the event will be held.

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Isner, who has been active on the tour since he turned pro in 2007. He technically has three places to call ‘hometown’- Dallas, Atlanta, and Winston-Salem. Amongst these, the tournaments held at Atlanta and Winston Salem have been some of the most successful tournaments of John Isner’s career.

He won the former six times, and the latter the first two times since its inauguration. Since the arrival of the Atlanta Open in 2010, he has played 11 finals, winning six of them.

John Isner set to host the Dallas Open

He has maintained that Dallas could be a great place to host a tournament. Now he will finally get a chance to play there, in a tournament that he is also supposed to host.

‘Always Will Be Class’: John Isner Impressed With Novak Djokovic’s Humility During Tough Times

“It doesn’t get any easier than this. I could walk there if I wanted. To see this come to fruition with a tournament of this magnitude being here and knowing that the fans are gonna really get to come out all week long is very, very cool,” he said.


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While active players rarely host tournaments, Dallas Open tournament director Peter Lebedevs said they approached Isner in order to “push the envelope of things we can do.” Isner’s acceptance of the offer helped the authorities promote the event. He was also instrumental in selecting the players from the tour to come and play.

“With sports teams, your star quarterback or point guard could be doing things, but in tennis — because it comes into the city for a week and then leaves like golf tournaments — you don’t always have that 365 opportunity... Having John in-market, it’s been great,” Lebedevs said.

Brad Gilbert says Isner will have home advantage

Brad Gilbert, a former world No. 4, said that playing in a hometown tournament was a different feeling altogether. He even noted that to him, it was a bigger deal to play at the ATP Tour stop in San Francisco, his hometown, than it was to play the US Open.


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“There was no place I wanted to play and do well [more] than in my hometown tournament, which was probably even more important for me than the US Open,” Gilbert said.

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Since the Dallas Open boasts of quite the accomplished draw with Taylor Fritz as the top seed. Reilly Opelka, Sam Querrey, Brandon Nakashima, Jenson Brooksby, and Jack Sock are also part of the draw. It thus won’t be easy for Isner.


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“It’s a home game for John Isner,” Gilbert said. “I’d give a slight advantage on home games to John Isner,” Gilbert said about how that John Isner had the hometown edge going for him.

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Rishma Banerjee

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Rishma Banerjee is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having done her masters in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, Rishma's outlet from the hustle-bustle of academics has always been sports, especially Tennis. A die-hard fan of Rafael Nadal, she admires his grit, determination and dedication towards always being better. When not writing content for firms dealing with fintech to social media marketing to sports, she finds herself in journals and books dealing with geopolitics and strategic studies or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr!