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Florida's Isner Out of French Open

May 21, 2009 07:00 AM
Florida's Jesse Levine could get a "lucky loser" wildcard into the French Open after it was announced that Tampa's John Isner will miss next week's French Open due to mononucleosis.

Isner earned a wildcard into the French when he beat Boca Raton's Levine in the final of the USTA wildcard tournament last month at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton. The event also included U.S. players Scoville Jenkins, Evan King, Donald Young, Michael McClune, Nathan Pasha, and Rhyne Williams.

"Isner has mono and will not be playing," said Patrick McEnroe, U.S. Davis Cup captain and the USTA's general manager of elite player development, speaking to reporters on a conference call. "We're in the process of figuring out what we're going to do, but there is nothing to report on our decision as of yet."

The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement, exchanging wildcards for their respective players at the French Open and US Open. The illness is a blow for Isner, who was looking to compete in his second consecutive Slam after winning the USTA wildcard tournament for a spot in the Australian Open main draw. 

McEnroe is a fan of the knock-out tournament format for awarding wildcards rather than bestowing them on up-and-coming Americans.

"We're trying to teach players from a young age that you've got to earn it," McEnroe said of the format. "It's pretty simple. Nobody can stop you if you're good enough. We're just trying to send that message."
 

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