Robby Ginepri of the USA competes in his match against Mats Wilander of Sweden and Henri Leconte of France on day two of the 2018 World Tennis Challenge at Memorial Drive on January 9, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)
Photo: James Elsby/Getty Images
Photo: James Elsby/Getty Images

Kennesaw native Robby Ginepri returns to Atlanta Open with opportunity to reflect

Robby Ginepri’s long career in tennis is marked with various milestones, many of which coming by way of his matches with former ATP World Tour No. 1 professional tennis player Andy Roddick. 

Ginepri will get a chance to face his long-time rival in Roddick on July 22 at the BB&T Atlanta Open. 

“It’s a good way to reflect on the 25 years we’ve shared,” Ginepri told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

The two have squared off in various levels of professional tennis, including junior tennis, pro tennis and even some senior tournaments. In 10 professional matches, Ginepri has bested Roddick once, something he acknowledged he’ll keep in mind before his match in Atlantic Station. 

Since his retirement in 2015, Ginepri has transitioned to coaching. He coached Frances Tiafoe, who is ranked No. 35 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings, until the end of the 2018 season. Tiafoe dismissed both Ginepri and trainer Paul Kinney. 

Tiafoe also will participate in the Atlanta Open in July. 

“It (was) great. He’s a very talented kid,” Ginepri said of Tiafoe. “He’s come a long way, and he’s having a great year. The start of the year he’s had some ups and downs, but I think he’s going to have a great future.”

Ginepri spoke of his close relationship with John Isner, ranked No. 11 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot he suffered in The Miami Open finals in a match he lost to Roger Federer. Ginepri said the two speak regularly, and he was in Isner’s wedding.

Ginepri believes Isner should be ready to good for the start of the tournament. 

“I know for him this is always a special event, to play in college and a lot of his fans can come from down here, and its helped out that he’s won the event five times,” Ginepri said. “The conditions suit him extremely well. It’s usually pretty hot, he plays pretty fast here, so it’s right up his alley.”

He still works as a coach, this time at a more local level. He opened a junior tennis academy, Ginepri Performance Tennis, at Olde Towne Athletic Club in Marietta. He’s continued to work out and noted it was an easy transition to coaching. 

“Tennis has just been part of my life, why not stay involved and help some of the younger guys come up and see where that goes,” Ginepri said.  

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