Top American John Isner arrived to the Linder Family Tennis Center for his first practice Saturday and was pleasantly surprised.
Several hundred fans were on hand to watch his practice with rising German star Alexander Zverev.
“Fans everywhere. It's great to see,” said Isner, currently ranked No. 19. “It’s what makes this tournament one of the best in the world, not only because of the stature of the tournament, but the support we get on the men’s and women’s side, to see all these fans come out for qualifying and to watch practice.”
The Western & Southern Open officially opened Saturday with Kids Day and the first round of singles qualifying with the first sellout of 12,975 spectators.
While many fans were catching the qualifying action and early-morning children’s tennis clinic, others were watching practice sessions with some of the top players preparing for the main draw.
“We don’t get that every week, and it’s one of the reasons why this tournament is one of the best,” Isner said.
Isner is coming off an appearance in the finals of last week’s BB&T Atlanta Open, one of his “hometown” tournaments. The North Carolina native was a four-year star at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Want to watch Isner practice again Sunday? He and fellow American and occasional doubles partner Sam Querrey hit the practice courts Sunday at noon on court 11. Isner faces Fabio Fognini in his opening-round match.
A Look at Sunday’s Practice Schedule: Courts across the grounds will be crowded with matches and preparation. Here is a quick look at some notable practices (times subject to change):
10 a.m. - Agnieszka Radwanska, Court 14
11 a.m. - Tomas Berdych/David Ferrer, Court 5
11 a.m. - Milos Raonic/Stan Wawrinka, Court 15
12 p.m. - Simona Halep/Louisa Chirico, Court 8
12 p.m. - John Isner/Sam Querrey, Court 11
1 p.m. - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/Joao Sousa, Court 15
1:30 p.m. - Garbine Muguruza, Court 8