American stars will be shining bright during the day hours at the BB&T Atlanta Open today. Starting off this Super Saturday will be a doubles delight, as two young men from Atlanta, Donald Young and the pride of Georgia Tech, Chris Eubanks, take on the No. 1 doubles team in the world, the rockin' Bryan Bros., Mike ’n’ Bob.
While the 19 year-old Eubanks and the 26 year-old Young are looking to win their first ATP World Tour doubles title, the Bryans have captured 106 in their record-setting career, along with 16 Grand Slam titles, 5 Olympic medals and a Davis Cup championship.
The local guys have had a magical run this week at Atlantic Station, beating the No. 4 seeds Pavic/Venus in the first round and Krajicek/Monroe out here yesterday, both in spine-tingling three-setters. The Bryan twins from Southern California beat the hard serving Aussie tandem of Groth/Guccione, 6-2, 6-1 and fellow Americans Stevie Johnson-Treat Huey, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) on Thursday evening.
At 4:00 p.m., the big man from Greenboro, North Carolina, John Isner, who was a star for the Georgia Bulldogs, will battle giant killing Denis Kudla from Maryland. Isner is the No. 1-ranked American and our top seed and he is seeking to win this tournament for the third year in a row.
Kudla, who had a red-hot run to the fourth round of Wimbledon three weeks ago, wants to prevent big John from pulling off his hat trick. Kudla qualified this week and in the main draw he upset the No. 3 American Jack Sock and then turned aside diminutive Dudi Sela from Israel, 7-5, 6-0.
Isner stands 6'10” and will hit thunderclap serves and crackling forehands, while Kudla will counter with crisp groundies and lotsa hustle around the court. Like with the earlier doubles match, there will be some entertaining contrasts in this contest.
While the day time session will showcase wall to wall Americans, the evening matches under the lights will have an international flavor. The charismatic man from Cypress, Marcos Baghdatis, the #1 junior in the world in 2003, has a career high pro ranking of #8 and after a few injury plagued seasons his ranking suffered and he is now headed back into the top 50. This smooth stroker will take on the the resurgent and hard hitting lefty from Luxembourg, Gilles Muller.
Muller will have a busy night. After his singles semi with the Cypriot, he will take a quick shower and come back out for the doubles semi as he and his partner, Colin Fleming of Great Britain, will battle American Eric Butorac and Artem Sitak of New Zealand. Late last night this dynamic duo reeled in Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick, 7-5, 6-2.
Saturday will, indeed, be sensational and star studded.