LOCAL PROFILES: International Tennis Stars Lucas Pouille & John Isner - Brookfield Place Tennis Open & US Open (8.27.18)
In case you didn't know, the Brookfield Place Tennis Open is well underway. From now until Friday August 31st, you can get FREE open court time, tennis lessons, and more right outside Brookfield Place on the water (seriously, there's no better courtside view).
For those who are as in to tennis as we are, we were lucky enough to join the Brookfield crew for the kick-off this past Saturday, celebrating tennis & the US Open. We sat down with US Open (and tennis) superstars John Isner (currently ranked #11 in the world) and Lucas Pouille (currently ranked #17 in the world) to get their insight into this year's game ahead of the opening matches.
If you're not familiar, John arrives at the 2018 US Open with some serious momentum, making it to the 2018 Wimbledon semifinals, a.k.a. the second longest professional tennis match in history (NOTE: John also won the longest professional tennis match in history in 2010 at Wimbledon). Lucas returns to the US Open this year, where in his last appearance in 2016, he made history by knocking out 4-seed Rafael Nadal in 5 sets in the fourth round to reach the quarterfinals, where he went head to head with his countryman, Gaël Monfils, and another Frenchman, Tsonga also made it to the quarterfinals; this marked the first time three French men reached the singles quarterfinals in the same Grand Slam (during the Open Era). We caught up with John and Lucas during the Brookfield Place Open to discuss tennis, the US Open, and New York...
The US Open is all about watching incredible moments in tennis history unfold in front of us - what are your favorite US Open memories?
John: Lot of good moments for me, like in 2009 when I beat Andy Roddick. That was a good moment for me; I had only been on tour for a couple of years, so that was nice.
Lucas: 2 years ago, when I beat Rafa and got to the semifinals - that was one of the best moments.
The last few years have seen lots of changes at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens - most recently, the construction of a new Louis Armstrong Stadium, which will also be hosting a handful of night matches this year. How do you feel about the new addition?
John: I haven’t been on the court yet, but I’ve seen pictures - it looks absolutely incredible! I think the players will love it, and more importantly, the fans are going to love it as well. So adding the night matches, a whole night session on that court is a very cool addition.
Lucas: I just practiced there this morning, and I expect the atmosphere to be incredible on this court.
Who are you most excited to play against and/or watch?
John: Well, I’m most excited to play against my next opponent - I know it’s cliche, but I’m sure Lucas would say the same thing. As far as watching goes, outside of Lucas of course, I always prefer watching Roger Federer - he’s the best!
Lucas: I would say Roger too. It’s always interesting to see hit great shots. And Nick Kyrgios as well.
Can we talk about about technology in tennis? About a decade ago, Hawk-Eye was introduced, and became the most visible use of technology in the sport to fans. Do you use any interesting sensors or biometrics when training to improve your game?
John: We all use heart rate monitors to monitor ourselves when training hard on the court and training hard off the court. I use a muscle stimulation machine when I lift weights as well - it helps contract my muscles even more than I can ever do myself. I think technology is always evolving for the better, especially in the world of athletics.
One last question - what do you do in New York when you’re not on the court?
Lucas: Visiting, sightseeing, shopping, and enjoying all the nice restaurants.
John: I like to eat! Whatever your taste is, you can find it in New York. The food is absolutely incredible!
Brookfield Place Tennis Open HOURS:
Monday, August 27: 7am - 7:30pm
Tuesday, August 28: 7am - 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 29: 7am - 8:45pm
Thursday, August 30: 7am - 7:30pm
Friday, August 31: 7am - 3pm