No. 1 seed John Isner was forced to withdraw from the Winston-Salem Open due to a foot injury sustained in last night's 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over Mikhail Kukushkin. Isner was scheduled to play No. 7 seed Lukas Rosol today at 5 pm.
At 5-5 in the second set, the 6-10 Isner rolled over on his left ankle resulting in a mild sprain. While it didn't swell up until he went to bed, Isner immediately knew it was serious. He continued playing and won the match in a tiebreaker 7-3. This morning, he woke up with limited motion of his left foot and decided that defaulting was best for his long-term health.
"This really one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. Not playing here last year was devastating. I got to a point point where I can't risk further injury with the US open around corner."
Isner admitted, however, that if this were a Grand Slam final, he would be participating.
While this is a tough situation for Isner, it is equally as unfortunate for the tournament, who have drawn large crowds and media attention this week. Some of this can be attributed to the Isner's popularity in the area.
"We’re very disappointed that John is not going to be able to play today, but we understand that his health is of primary importance," said Winston-Salem Open tournament director Bill Oakes. "We wish him the best of luck in his recovery and look forward to seeing him in Winston-Salem again soon."
Rosol will play No. 9 seed Yen-Hsun Lu in the semifinals tomorrow.
The No. 13 seed in Flushing Meadows, Isner is scheduled to face 2014 NCAA Singles Champion Marcos Giron in the first round and could see top seed Novak Djokovic in the round of 16.