John Isner out to an early US Open Series lead

JohnIsnerThe 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series is underway, with just a month to go before the start of the U.S. Open in NYC. John Isner and Dominika Cibulkova jumped-out to early series leads with their wins in Atlanta and Stanford; while Maria Sharapova withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Toronto (hip) and the Bryan Brothers bowed-out of this week’s Citi Open (Bryan’s shoulder).

With a packed house of Georgia fans cheering-on their alum, the John Isner vs. Kevin Anderson match-up felt like a collegiate national championship. Isner was a 4-time All-American for the Bulldogs and led Georgia to the 2007 NCAA championship. South African Kevin Anderson was a 3-time All-American at the University of Illinois, before dropping-out to turn pro in ’07. It was a hell of match on Sunday, running nearly three hours without a single break of serve. Isner finally edged Anderson in the final tiebreak, winning the match 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 7-6(2).

  • Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Igor Sijsling won the Doubles Title over Colin Flemming and Jonatha Marray 7-6(6), 6-3

Bank of the West Classic: Dominika Cibulkova

Earlier this year, Agnieszka Radwanska crushed Dominika Cibulkova in the Sydney Final 6-0, 6-0. They’d played three times before the Australian Open warm-up, all convincing victories for Radwanska. In the first event of the 2013 U.S. Open Series, Cibulkova finally rose to the challenge and came back from a 2-4 deficit in the deciding set to win the title 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Monday, expect Dominika to rise to #21 on the WTA Tour while Radwanska will most-likely remain #4 behind Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

  • Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears won the Doubles Title over Julia Goerges and Darija Jurak 6-2, 7-6(4).

2013 U.S. Open Series Standings:

The Fellas:

  • John Isner - 70-points
  • Kevin Anderson - 45
  • Ryan Harrison - 25
  • Lleyton Hewitt - 25
  • James Blake - 15
  • Ivan Dodig - 15
  • Santiago Giraldo - 15
  • Denis Istomin - 15

The Ladies:

  • Dominika Cibulkova - 70-points
  • Agnieszka Radwanska - 45
  • Sorana Cirstea - 25
  • Jamie Hampton - 25
  • Vera Dushevina - 15
  • Olga Govortsova - 15
  • Varvara Lepchenko - 15
  • Urszula Radwanska - 15

Win Series and get paid at the OPEN

  • Winner - $1,000,000
  • Finalist - $500,000
  • Semifinalist - $250,000
  • Quarterfinalist - $125,000
  • Round of 16 - $70,000
  • Round of 32 - $40,000
  • Round of 64 - $25,000
  • Round of 128 - $15,000

This week, the U.S. Open Series heads to Carlsbad, CA for the Southern California Open and to Washington D.C. for the Citi Open. Dominka Cibulkova is the defending champion in Carlsbad, strictly a WTA event; while Alexadr Dolgopolov and Magdalena Rybarikova are the defending champs in D.C.

With the U.S. hard-court season underway, clay continues to be the surface of choice in Europe leading up to the U.S. Open…

In Umag, Croatia – Tommy Robredo picked-up his second title of the year with a 6-0, 6-3 routing of Fabio Fognini in the Final. Robredo started 2013 ranked #114 in the world. He’s now back in the top-30.

  • Doubles Final: Martin Klizan and David MArrero def. Nicholas Monroe and Simon STadler 6-1, 5-7, 10-7

In Gstaad, Switzerland – after Roger Federer’s third consecutive early round loss – 31-year-old Mikhail Youzhny won his 9th ATP World Tour Title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Robin Haase.

  • Doubles Final: Andy Murray’s brother Jamie picked-up his 9th title with Australian partner John Peers def. Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4

Meanwhile, in Azerbaijan – Elina Svitolina won her first WTA title on the Baku hard-courts, defeating Shahar Peer in the final 6-4, 6-4. Elina is just 18-years-old, the first teenager to win a WTA title this year.

  • Doubles Final: Irina Buryachok and Oksana Kalashnikova def. Eleni Daniilidou and Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 7-6(3), 10-4

This week, the WTA focuses on their two U.S. Open Series events in Carlsbad and D.C., while the ATP World Tour hosts an additional clay tournament in Kitzbuhel, Austria – featuring names like Philipp Kohlschreiber, Juan Monaco and Fernando Verdasco…