Isner Charity Challenge (with Roddick, Bryans)

John Isner had his Ebix Charity Challenge event in Charlotte yesterday. This event involved an exhibition match against Andy Roddick followed by those two taking on the Bryan brothers in a doubles match. However, before the event, they held clinics (one for adults and one for juniors), which I was lucky enough to attend and it was fantastic. This is my account.
The adult clinic included about 45 men and women, along with some local pros, Isner, Roddick, Mike, Bob, and Wayne Bryan who ran the whole thing (Wayne is a fantastic host/emcee). These guys were really welcoming, funny, and gracious.

They split us up into 5 groups to play some situational point play type of games. I started on a court with 8 other players around a 4.5 level (give or take a couple guys at 5.0 and 4.0). We paired up and played approach shot games against John Isner and Andy Roddick who were at the baseline. Andy actually seemed like he was working his backhand and didn't seem to hold back as much on that side.

Next court was us common folks at the baseline trying to win points against the Bryans at the net. For me, that was fantastic. They pulled off angles and touch shots that no one ever sees on a club court.

After that we rotated through the other courts with the local pros before splitting into teams of 4 or 5 and playing games against the other teams, including the 4 world class pros. It was here that you really got to see the competitive spirit, especially of Andy Roddick. I think he was the most competitive of the 4, and his team ended up outlasting the other 9 teams to win the final game to end the clinic. During my team's game against Roddick, he may have thought I greased him on a line call, but I really think he knew it was out but wanted to keep the pressure on us because our game was close. When my team played Bob Bryan's team the game was mini tennis doubles, which is of course right up his alley. What an experience to trade touch angles with a Bryan brother.

I was not able to stay in town for the exhibition match, so hopefully someone who was there can chime in.

As for gear, everyone was playing with their normal sticks, which i didn't really get to look too closely at. Overall, an awesome and very memorable experience with 4 pros who were equally as great as people as they are as players.


Bionic Poster
Isner is a good guy. After his tough 3 setter loss to Nishikori in the Washington finals, he stayed around to spend time with the crowd and do pictures with the kids, since Nishikori had to do media with Europe / Asia and had to leave.