So as I sit with much anticipation for the Memphis Tournament this year, where I will be ONE week from now, I think about last year’s tourney and how special it was for me as the big tennis fan that I am. The 2010 Regions Morgan Keegan Championship was the first ATP/WTA Pro tournament that I witnessed LIVE. Yes it’s really true. I decided to make the long drive from Atlanta to Memphis when I saw that two up and coming Americans were getting through the rounds with relative ease. Those two Americans: Querrey and Isner.
Since I am an American and I am somewhat partial, yes I wanted to see Quisner go far. And go far they did. They both made it to the finals in both singles and doubles. Honestly, I was thinking the entire time that Isner was going to walk away with the title, but Sam was not going to have any part of that plan, no. John was up a set and a break in the 2nd set and I was all but walking out of the stadium thinking “I wonder when the dubs match will start”? But Sam came roaring back like thunder, and then a bolt of lightning struck! He broke John, and came back to win the set in a tie break. I was like.. wait, whooaa, hold on a minute! Umm, John was a few points from the title here Sam, like.. what are you doing? Isn’t he like your best friend? Hahaha, friends aside, you have to go out there and compete regardless of who is on the other side of that net and compete is what they did.
So when you’re Isner, you have the advantage of being almost 7 feet tall, and what does this mean for a tennis player? You have so much Geometry to play around with that many of your opponents cannot “prove the theorem”. Yes, I think even Descartes himself would have trouble figuring out the mathematics of Johnny’s serve (and possibly Euclid and others…) LOL… ANYWAY, well there was a slight, minor problem in this because, you see Querrey has a bomb of a serve too. So, when Sam got the ball back in play, he was dictating and punishing it. In the third set subsequently, after Isner was broken, all Sam had to do was stay the course… and the match was ultimately his. It was bittersweet for me to say the least. To see Querrey hold the trophy was beautiful, and to see Isner not hold it was unthinkable.
During the trophy ceremony, Isner looked despondent, still unable to comprehend how that match got away from him. And I have to admit, I was sitting there thinking the same thing. When the interviewer went on to Querrey, Sam says “Oh I’m sure we (he and John) will laugh about this later”. Well guess what: I don’t think Isner was laughing about it later. In fact, when John got back to his hotel room, I bet he wanted to put his (very large) fist through that hotel’s wall. Nothing of this nature would ever happen though because the man has too much composure. I mean, when Lady Gaga wrote the Song “Poker Face”, I’m certain she was thinking of Isner when she wrote the lyrics. Lololololol.
So the good news is that after that wonderful 3 set singles match, Quisner went on to win the Dubs final shortly thereafter, swiftly beating Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr in Straights (6-4, 6-4). Beautiful smiles ensued from all four players when it was over and Isner was consoled lifting up the winners trophy with his good friend Querrey, who had just defeated him in singles a couple of hours earlier.
So, what do I think will happen this year? It is a BIG mystery to me for sure, that much I can tell you. The field of players is so strong and several of the players are former top 20 (and even top 5) who have been out injured over the past year (i.e. Del Potro). The pun is definitely intended. Look at all the BIG men who are competing: Delpo, Karlovic, Querrey, Isner, Monfils. I mean it is going to be one big Ace Fest, at the very least I can assure you. And anyone who has ever been to Memphis before can attest to the fact that you are SO close to the players (in any seat), so BEWARE if you are there… because you could get a serious black eye from those serves coming at you. Not kidding folks. Also, one thing to note, I think Querrey will go far in this tourney. Why? I saw him defend his title in LA against Murray, and I saw a focus there that I don’t typically see with him. I think the fire will be in his eyes again and he has had time to rest up. FOR SURE.
And by the way, this is totally random but earlier I mentioned being so close to the players… Well, Sharapova is SO much smaller (and what I mean by that is, skinnier) in person. She really is… TALL but TINY. Anyway, more to come later tennis friends, so stay tuned.