John Isner admits that the vocal crowd support for Frenchman Gael Monfils on Louis Armstrong Stadium at the U.S. Open bothered him Thursday night. Fans frequently chanted “Monfils, Monfils!” as the American was nearing a straight-sets win. Isner won the match in a fourth-set tiebreaker.
“I noticed it,” Isner said. “He’s a fun‑loving guy and an exciting guy to watch no matter where he is playing, but honestly it was a little bit surprising. I know the New York fans, they like to see long matches and fifth sets and whatnot, but it's not like there was no one cheering for me. I was a little bit disappointed in that, actually. Not going to sugar-coat it. It was certainly, if I was playing him in France, it certainly wouldn't be like that."
Isner said it was a great atmosphere and he has had a similar experience before, just not at home.
“I played a similar match when I played Tommy Haas in Paris,” he said. "I had about five people cheering for me, and those were the five people in my box. So the French people were cheering for the German there. I could say something else, but I'm not going to. It was fun overall."
Near the end of the tiebreaker, some people in the Armstrong crowd broke into a "USA, USA" chant.
“I had a lot of crowd support on my side,” Isner said. “I had a college buddy of mine I noticed in the crowd, and in the opening point he was hammered. Every time they were chanting "Monfils" I could hear him, his voice is pretty booming, and he didn't like that too much But, once I got up 6‑4 in the tiebreaker, the USA chant was pretty cool.”
After he won the match, Isner imitated Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s signature Superman celebration. Isner is from North Carolina and is a Panthers fan.