John Isner and Alex Kuznetsov played doubles in the RBC Tennis Championships. Courtesy of Tennis Championships of Dallas
Last year's singles champion, Fort Worth-native Mitchell Krueger is returning. Courtesy of ATP Tour
The RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas brought all American champions, but John Isner stood out as usual.
I attended Friday evening’s match to finally see the 6-foot-10 Isner compete in person. I’ve been a fan since the legendary Isner-Nicolas Mahut match at Wimbledon in 2010, the longest tennis match in history. Isner prevailed 70 games to 68 games in the fifth set after 11 hours.
In Dallas, the new dad competed in doubles with his partner Alex Kuznetsov at TBarM Racquet Club.
Isner and Kuznetsov started out strong on Friday, winning the first set easily, 6-1. But things quickly changed in the second set when their opponents, Ante Pavic and Ruan Roelofse, came back and won it 7-5. They then closed it by winning the third set tiebreaker 10-7.
“The other team just sort of turned it around to their credit,” Isner said afterwards. “And sort of got on top of us a little bit, unfortunately.”
Despite the loss, it was still fun to watch Isner serve and hit some crisp down-the-line winners.
Fort Worth’s own Mitchell Krueger, a 25-year-old player who grew up training as a junior at TBarM, ousted the No. 1 seed and last year’s runner up, Mackenzie McDonald, to claim this year’s singles title. The two young players battled it out in three sets on Sunday, with Krueger ultimately winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-1.
Krueger was seeded No. 14 in the tournament and has a career high ranking of No. 169 in the world. After graduating from high school, Krueger contemplated playing tennis for Texas A&M University. But after good results in juniors at Wimbledon and the French Open, he decided to turn pro.
In the doubles draw, the American team of Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov defeated Pavic and Roelofse in two sets in the final.
As for the world No. 9 and the big draw?
Isner is already back on court and competing in the New York Open with doubles partner Brendan Evans. Their Round of 16 match is Monday night.