John Isner

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John Isner
John Isner at the 2009 US Open 01.jpg
Isner at the 2009 US Open
Country  United States
Residence Tampa, Florida
Born (1985-04-26) April 26, 1985 (age 29)
Greensboro, North Carolina
Height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)[1]
Turned pro 2007
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
College University of Georgia
Coach(es) Craig Boynton (2007–2012)
Mike Sell (2012–)[2]
Prize money $7,057,564
Official website www.johnisner.com
Singles
Career record 243–152 (61.52%)
Career titles 9
Highest ranking No. 9 (16 April 2012)
Current ranking No. 19 (24 November 2014)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (2010)
French Open 4R (2014)
Wimbledon 3R (2014)
US Open QF (2011)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games QF (2012)
Doubles
Career record 75–65
Career titles 3
Highest ranking No. 26 (2 April 2012)
Current ranking No. 167 (3 November 2014)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open QF (2009)
French Open 3R (2008)
US Open 2R (2009)
Team competitions
Davis Cup SF (2012)
Hopman Cup W (2011)
Last updated on: April 26, 2014.

John Robert Isner (born April 26, 1985) is an American professional tennis player and is considered to be one of the greatest servers the game has ever seen. He achieved his career high singles ranking of World No. 9 in April 2012, and is currently the highest ranked male American tennis player at World No. 11, as of June 2014. In 2013, he became the 18th player to serve more than 5000 aces on the ATP World Tour. He currently has 16th most aces in the history of ATP, having served more than 5500 aces.[3] At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, he played the longest professional tennis match in history, defeating Nicolas Mahut in a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes of play over the course of three days. He also played the then 10th longest singles match – a 5 hour 41 minute encounter in the second round of the 2012 French Open.

Professional career[edit]

2007[edit]

John Isner at the 2007 US Open

Isner began his professional career in earnest in the summer of 2007. With a world ranking of no. 839, he needed wildcard entries into the main draws of every tournament, even at the Futures level.[4]

He won his first tournament of the fall, the USA F14 Futures, beating the top three seeds along the way. Then, after first round losses in a Challenger-level and an ATP-level tournament, he beat five top-300 players and three seeds to win the Lexington Challenger in July to improve his ranking to no. 416 after just one month.

At the following week's tournament at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C., Fernando González's late withdrawal freed a wildcard spot, which was given at the last minute to Isner.[5] Isner took full advantage of his good fortune, recording his first wins over top-100 players. He won third-set tiebreakers on five consecutive days, beating no. 73 Tim Henman, no. 47 Benjamin Becker, no. 189 qualifier Wayne Odesnik, no. 12 Tommy Haas, and no. 54 Gaël Monfils, to reach the final, where he fell to fellow American Andy Roddick. His week raised his ranking to no. 193 in the world after six weeks on the pro tour.

Isner's Washington success earned him wildcard entries into three more ATP tournaments: the Masters Series event in Cincinnati a week later, New Haven, and the US Open. He lost in the first round in Cincinnati to quarterfinalist no. 15 David Ferrer. The following week in New Haven, he beat no. 49 Becker a second time, before falling to Ferrer for the second week in a row.

In his US Open debut, he defeated the 26th-seeded player, former quarterfinalist Jarkko Nieminen, and fired 34 aces along the way. He proceeded to win his second round match vs. Rik de Voest, before losing in the third round to top-seed and eventual champion Roger Federer. Isner was one of only two players to take a set from Federer in the championship. His US Open performance improved his ranking to no. 144.

After the US Open, Isner continued to play exclusively in North America and finished the year ranked no. 107. That year, Isner was added to the United States Davis Cup team as a practice partner.[6]

2008[edit]

Isner's no. 106 ranking in November 2007 was just good enough to get him direct entry into his first Australian Open, after several players ranked above him dropped out.[7] He was defeated in the first round of the 2008 Australian Open by veteran Fabrice Santoro of France. Teamed with Croat Ivo Karlović (2 cm taller than Isner, Karlović is currently the tallest player on the ATP tour), Isner also lost in the first round of doubles.[8]

Isner broke into the top 100 at no. 93 in February with a quarterfinal appearance at the ATP event in San Jose, beating no. 90 Florent Serra and no. 26 Tommy Haas. He maintained a top 100 ranking in the first three months of the year, beating six players in the top 100, while playing exclusively in ATP-level events. Isner played in his first French Open and Wimbledon, losing in the first round of each. He also played in the US Open, where he lost in the first round. He ended the year ranked no. 144 in the world.

2009: Reaching the Top 40[edit]

Isner qualified for the singles draw of the 2009 Heineken Open in Auckland, after winning three consecutive three-set matches in qualifying. His final match saw him bounce back from a 0–3 deficit in the third set to eventually beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in a tie-breaker. In the main draw, Isner beat Albert Montañés and countryman Robby Ginepri, before bowing out in the quarterfinals to Robin Söderling.

Isner received a wildcard entry into the 2009 Australian Open, after winning the United States Tennis Association's wildcard tournament, beating Donald Young and Jesse Levine along the way.[9] Despite serving 39 aces against his first-round opponent, Slovakia's Dominik Hrbatý, he lost in four sets. Isner began working with new coach, Craig Boynton, who had previously coached former world no. 1 Jim Courier in the 1990s, in March 2009.[10]

At the 2009 Indian Wells tournament, Isner pulled off a major upset by defeating ninth seed Gaël Monfils. This was Isner's first win over a top-10 player, after four previous defeats. He then went on to defeat former world no. 1 Marat Safin, before losing to world no. 6 Juan Martín del Potro in the fourth round.

In April 2009 at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas at River Oaks Country Club, Isner made it as far as the quarterfinals, where he was defeated by fellow American Wayne Odesnik.[11] Isner qualified for the French Open, but had to withdraw after being diagnosed with mononucleosis, which caused him to miss Wimbledon as well.[12]

In August 2009, he defeated world no. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and world no. 18 Tomáš Berdych en route to the semifinals of the ATP World Tour 500 event in Washington, before losing to world no. 5 Andy Roddick. This performance brought him to a career-high ranking of no. 55 and a special exemption into the Masters 1000 Series event in Montreal, where he defeated Jesse Levine, before losing to Mikhail Youzhny. He earned a wildcard into the Masters 1000 Series event in Cincinnati, where he defeated world no. 21 Tommy Haas, before losing to world no. 35 Jérémy Chardy in the second round.

Isner's forehand return to Verdasco at the 2009 US Open

Unseeded and ranked no. 55 in the world entering the US Open, Isner defeated world no. 29 Victor Hănescu in the first round, which was his first win in a Grand Slam tournament since the 2007 US Open, ending a streak of six consecutive defeats. He then advanced to the third round, where he defeated world no. 5 and fellow American Andy Roddick in five sets for his first victory over Roddick, his first victory in a five-set match, and the first time he advanced past the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. He was then defeated in the fourth round by world no. 10 Fernando Verdasco in four sets. His US Open performance brought his ranking to a career-high no. 39.

After playing in Vienna, Basel, and the Paris Masters, Isner finished the year at a career-high no. 34 in the world. He has credited his work with Boynton for helping him get back on track following his disappointing 2008 season.[10]

His progress was acknowledged by his peers, as he was voted the ATP Most Improved Player for 2009,[13] becoming the tenth American to win the award, and the first since Andre Agassi in 1998.

2010: First ATP title[edit]

Punishing a forehand

Isner began the year at the 2010 Heineken Open in Auckland. Unseeded, he reached his second career ATP final and first since Washington in 2007. In the final, he saved a championship point to defeat 2001 Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clément.[14][15] The victory in Auckland was Isner's first ATP tour title; after the victory he donated $5,000 of his winnings to aid rescue action for the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[16]

The victory catapulted Isner into the top 30 for the first time and also allowed him to surpass Sam Querrey to become the second highest-ranked American for the first time, behind only Andy Roddick.[10] Isner said he intended to finish the year in the top 20,[16] and given his ascendency in the world rankings combined with the absence of Roddick and James Blake for the 2010 Davis Cup season, it became increasingly likely that Isner would qualify to play singles for the US Davis Cup team for the first time in his career.[10]

After Gilles Simon withdrew, Isner became the final seed for the 2010 Australian Open.[17] In the first round, he defeated world no. 49 Andreas Seppi for his first victory at the Australian Open and his first victory at a Grand Slam other than the US Open. He then advanced to the round of 16, before losing to world no. 4 and eventual finalist Andy Murray.

After the Australian Open, Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe announced that Isner and Querrey would be first and second singles on the 2010 United States Davis Cup team for the team's 2010 Davis Cup World Group first-round match in Serbia on indoor clay in March 2010; Isner described the selection as "a dream come true".[18]

Isner next entered the 2010 Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis. Seeded sixth, he made it to the finals, before losing to Sam Querrey. In the doubles event, Isner teamed up with Querrey to win the tournament, defeating British-Australian pair of Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr.

Prior to the Davis Cup tie, Isner competed at the 2010 Abierto Mexicano Telcel Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 series event on clay, where he was the fifth seed. He lost in the first round to Simon Greul. Despite the loss, Isner following the tournament moved into the top 20 for the first time.

Isner appeared at the 2010 Davis Cup first round, where USA was up against Serbia. In his two singles matches, he faced Serbia's team of world no. 2 Novak Djokovic and world no. 35 Viktor Troicki. He lost the first singles match against Viktor Troicki, but bounced back by winning the doubles match with Bob Bryan, as a replacement for food-poisoned Mike Bryan. In his second singles match, he lost to Novak Djokovic, which enabled Serbia to defeat the United States.

At the 2010 BNP Paribas Open Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, he was seeded 15th and advanced to the fourth round, before losing to world no. 2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal.

Afterwards, he appeared in the second master series tournament of the season, the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open Masters 1000 in Miami as the 17th seed. He advanced to the third round, before losing to 12th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Isner began the clay-court season with an opening-round loss to world no. 89 Xavier Malisse at the U.S. Men's Claycourt Championship, followed by a round of 32 showing at his first-ever Rome Masters, where he defeated Horacio Zeballos, before losing to Thomaz Bellucci. However, he teamed with Querrey to reach the doubles final in Rome, before losing to Bob and Mike Bryan; his doubles performance raised his doubles ranking to the top 30 for the first time.

His next tournament was the 2010 Serbian Open, where he was the second seed behind defending champion, tournament host, and world no. 2 Djokovic. Isner advanced to the first clay-court final of his career, third final of the year, and fourth final of his career. In the final, he lost to Querrey, despite having a match point while serving up 6–3, 5–4; this was the second consecutive final Isner lost to Querrey after serving for the championship. However, Isner's finals performance improved his ranking to a career-high no. 19.

Isner's next tournament was his debut appearance at the Madrid Masters. Seeded thirteenth, he advanced to the round of 16, before losing to world no. 3 and eventual champion Nadal.

Isner then played in the 2010 French Open; his ranking assured his first direct seed into a Grand Slam event. Seeded 17th, he defeated Andrey Golubev in the first round for his first singles victory at the French Open. He advanced to the third round, before losing to no. 15 seed and eventual semifinalist Tomáš Berdych. In doubles, he and Querrey were the 12th seeds, but withdrew prior to the start of the tournament after Querrey's first-round loss in singles.

Despite being ranked no. 19 in the world entering the Wimbledon, Isner was seeded 24th by the tournament committee due to his lack of experience on grass, but was moved up to 23rd following the withdrawal of Radek Štěpánek. In the first round, Isner played Nicolas Mahut in the longest match in tennis history, prevailing 6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68.[19] However, fatigued and having little time to recover his energy, Isner was beaten by Thiemo de Bakker in the second round, 0–6, 3–6, 2–6, having served no aces. He also pulled out of the doubles, where he and Querrey had been 12th seeds.[20] Despite having been eliminated in the second round, Isner's total of 113 aces[21] were more than any other player throughout the championship. His Wimbledon performance brought his ranking to a career-high no. 18 in the world.

Isner's next tournament was the 2010 Atlanta Tennis Championships, where he played doubles with James Blake and reached the semifinals. In singles, Isner was second seed and made it to his fourth final of the year, before losing to Mardy Fish, which dropped his career record in finals to 1–4 (0–4 against Americans).

Isner next competed at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the ATP World Tour 500 series event in Washington, D.C. and site of his breakthrough performance in 2007. Isner was also to compete in the doubles with Sam Querrey, but withdrew due to shoulder concerns. Seeded fifth in singles, Isner made it to the round of 16, before losing to Xavier Malisse.

Isner next played in the Cincinnati Masters, where he was unseeded. After defeating Łukasz Kubot in the first round, he faced 2002 Wimbledon finalist and 2005 Tennis Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian, but was forced to retire up a break at 5–4 in the first set after injuring his right ankle. Although Isner was found to have suffered ligament damage to the ankle, he chose not to withdraw from the US Open singles tournament.[22]

At the 2010 US Open, Isner was 18th seed and defeated Frederico Gil in the first round. After the match he revealed that although the initial diagnosis was a right ankle ligament tear, a second opinion revealed that the damage was a strain and not a tear, and he declared his ankle 90% healed.[23][24] He then advanced to the third round, before losing to 12th seed and 2006 US Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny. The loss dropped Isner out of the top 20, and from the no. 2 to the no. 4 ranked American player. Due to his ankle injury, he chose not to compete in doubles.

Following the US Open, Isner participated with Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey in the Davis Cup tie against Colombia, winning the doubles match with Fish as his partner. The US won the match 3–1 to remain in the 2011 Davis Cup world group.[25] Isner was next granted a wildcard to participate in the 2010 China Open, his first time competing in Beijing. In doubles, he teamed with Querrey, losing in the first round to Bob and Mike Bryan. In singles, Isner was unseeded, but made it to the semifinals, before losing to world no. 2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic 6–7, 2–6. Isner next competed in the Shanghai Masters, where he was unseeded, and made it to the second round, before losing to world no. 3 and reigning Australian Open champion Roger Federer in their first meeting since the 2007 US Open.

2011: Second and third ATP titles[edit]

Isner began the year by teaming with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to win the mixed doubles Hopman Cup Final for the US, defeating Belgium's Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans.

Following his win in Perth, Isner returned to Auckland to defend his ATP title at the 2011 Heineken Open. After a bye in his first round, the third seed faced Dutch world no. 52[26] Robin Haase. Isner defeated Haase[27] to go through to the quarterfinals, where he was defeated by David Nalbandian in straight sets.[28]

Isner next played in the 2011 Australian Open He entered the tournament seeded 20th[29] and received a tough draw, including Radek Štěpánek, Marin Čilić, and Rafael Nadal. Isner came up against French world no. 69 Florent Serra, whom he easily defeated. Isner faced Radek Štěpánek in the second round. After losing the first set, Isner rallied to defeat Stepanek to progress into the third round. In the third round, Isner faced fellow top-20 player Marin Čilić. The match went to five sets, with Cilic emerging as the eventual winner.

At the 2011 French Open, Isner was drawn against top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal. Isner took a two-sets-to-one lead against Nadal, who had never played a five-set match at Roland Garros before. Nadal went on to win the title.[30] In the 2011 Wimbledon men's singles draw, Isner was paired against Mahut in the first round, a rematch of the world's longest match from the previous year's tournament. Isner won in straight sets. However, he lost in the second round to the 16th seed Nicolás Almagro in four sets, dropping his 2011 record to 11–14.

Isner next took a last-minute wild card to participate in the 2011 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, replacing compatriot and defending champion Mardy Fish, who was chosen to play in the Davis Cup for the United States during the that weekend. Isner was the top seed and defeated Karol Beck, 2001 Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clément, Alex Bogomolov, Jr., and Tobias Kamke without dropping a set, to reach his first career grass-court final. In the final, he defeated Olivier Rochus to become the first top seed in 35 years to win the event. The title was his first of 2011 and second of his career, and ended a three-match losing streak in finals. The championship raised Isner's world ranking from no. 48 to no. 36.

Isner next played in the 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships, where he was the third seed. He defeated James Blake, Lu Yen-hsun, and Gilles Müller to reach his second consecutive tour final. In the final, he faced Mardy Fish in a rematch of the 2010 final. Isner was ultimately defeated by Fish. He then reached the semifinals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, defeating Tobias Kamke, James Blake, Victor Troicki, before losing to Gaël Monfils.

At the Rogers Cup, Isner defeated Marcos Baghdatis, but lost to Viktor Troicki in the second round. Isner won the Winston-Salem Open as the fourth seed, defeating Dudi Sela, Jarkko Nieminen, Marcos Baghdatis, and Andy Roddick in the semifinals, before defeating Julien Benneteau in the final.

In the 2011 US Open, Isner defeated Marcos Baghdatis, Robby Ginepri, Alex Bogomolov, Jr., and Gilles Simon on the way to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. There, he was defeated by Andy Murray.

Isner reached the semifinals at the Master's 1000 in Paris, where he held three match points before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. The result brought him back into the world top 20. He finished the year ranked no. 18, his second consecutive year-end top 20 ranking, and his highest year-end ranking to date.

2012: Reaching top 10 and first Masters final[edit]

Isner serving in his Olympic men's singles quarterfinal match against Roger Federer

Isner defeated David Nalbandian in the second round of the 2012 Australian Open in a five-set match, but was defeated in the third round by Feliciano López. He beat world no. 3 Roger Federer in Switzerland in the Davis Cup first round, as well as beating Marco Chiudinelli in another singles rubber, to help propel the US team to victory over the Swiss. He then reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters by beating world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in three sets in the semifinals, before being defeated by Federer in straight sets in the final. Isner also reached the doubles final of the same tournament partnering Sam Querrey.

In the U.S. Davis Cup Quarterfinals against France, Isner defeated Gilles Simon in the first live rubber of the tie in straight sets. Two days later, Isner clinched the tie and propelled the United States into the semifinals by defeating French no. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.

A week before Roland Garros, he was top seed in Nice, but was upset by Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinals.

In the 2012 French Open, he defeated Rogério Dutra da Silva in the first round before being defeated by wildcard Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round: 6–7, 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 18–16 in the second-longest ever Roland Garros match at 5 hours and 41 minutes.

In the Wimbledon Championships, he was the eleventh seed. However, he was upset by 73rd ranked Alejandro Falla in five sets, being eliminated in the first round. If he had won this match, he would have gone on to face Mahut for the third straight year. He beat Mahut 6–2, 7–6 at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in July,[31] on his way to winning the championship for the second consecutive year.[32]

Isner reached the semifinals at the 2012 Atlanta Tennis Championships, losing to Andy Roddick.[33] Isner defeated Milos Raonic in the Rogers Cup (ATP 1000) quarterfinals and played Richard Gasquet for a place in the final, but lost.

Isner was chosen to be on special London 2012 Coke cans. Isner lost in the quarterfinals of the Olympics to the runner-up Roger Federer.

Isner won his second title of the year at the 2012 Winston-Salem Open, defeating Tomáš Berdych in the final. It was the second consecutive year that he won the title at Winston-Salem. At the US Open he lost in the third round to Philipp Kohlschreiber.

2013: Sixth, seventh ATP titles and second Masters final[edit]

Isner Serving at the 2013 US Open

Isner was seeded first in Sydney, but he lost in the second round to Ryan Harrison in straight sets. He did not appear at the 2013 Australian Open the following week because of a bone bruise in his right knee.[34]

Isner won his sixth ATP title and first on clay, defeating Nicolás Almagro in the US Clay Court Championships final in Houston. At the Monte Carlo Masters, he was eliminated in the first round. He also made early exits in Madrid and Rome.

At the French Open, Isner recovered from two sets down in his first-round match to beat Ryan Harrison 8–6 in the fifth set. The next day, Isner once again recovered from two sets down to level the match, this time against Tommy Haas, saving a record 12 match points in the fourth set. However, Isner then let a 4–2 lead slip and failed to convert a match point of his own while leading 5–4, and Haas eventually won the fifth set 10–8.[35]

At the 2013 TOPSHELF Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Isner went out in the first round, defeated by young Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

At Wimbledon, Isner was injured and had to retire during his second-round match against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, after avenging himself on Donskoy in the first round.

In July, Isner won his second title of the year and his first in Atlanta, after appearing twice before in the final. He defeated Kevin Anderson in the final in a three-tiebreak match, which was billed as the tallest final in ATP history, their combined heights adding up to 13 feet, 6 inches.

In Washington, he reached the final and lost to Juan Martín del Potro after winning the first set. At the 2013 Rogers Cup in Montréal, Isner lost in the first round to the Canadian no. 2 Vasek Pospisil, who went on to reach the semifinals. He won the first set, 7-5, but then lost two tiebreaks.

During a busy summer, he reached another final in Cincinnati, beating Richard Gasquet and then three top-10 players in a row, first Milos Raonic, then Novak Djokovic, then Juan Martín del Potro in the semifinals for the first time. He lost to Rafael Nadal in his second Masters 1000 final and subsequently pulled out of the Winston-Salem tournament. In the US Open he beat Gaël Monfils in the second round but lost for the second consecutive year to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round.

2014: Eighth and ninth ATP titles[edit]

Isner started his season at the 2014 Hopman Cup with countrywoman Sloane Stephens, beginning strong with a win over Spain. However, the pair then lost their next two ties against France and the Czech Republic, respectively.

One week later, he won the 2014 Heineken Open, defeating Lu Yen-hsun in the final in two tiebreak sets. At the 2014 Australian Open, he faced Martin Kližan in the first round, but after losing the first two sets, he ultimately retired due to an ankle injury.

Isner then reached the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, losing to eventual champion Marin Čilić in straight sets.

At the 2014 Indian Wells Masters, Isner received a bye into round two, after which he defeated Nikolay Davydenko, Lu Yen-hsun, Fernando Verdasco, and Ernest Gulbis en route to the semifinals, where he would face Novak Djokovic in a rematch of their 2012 semifinal. However, this time Isner lost in three sets. The semifinal run in Indian Wells did however secure him a return to the top 10.

At the Miami Masters, Isner again received a bye into round two, where he faced and beat countryman Donald Young. He then defeated Nicolás Almagro in the third round, only to lose to Tomáš Berdych in the fourth round.

In Houston, he was defending a title, but lost his first match in the second round to Dustin Brown. With the points he lost, he slipped out of the top ten to a ranking of no. 11.

In Madrid, he teamed up with Tomáš Berdych in the doubles draw. In singles, he made it to the third round, where he lost to David Ferrer. He went down in the first round at the Rome Masters 1000.

In Nice the week before the French Open, he made it to the quarterfinals, where he was defeated by Argentine Federico Delbonis. At Roland Garros, he reached the fourth round, where he went down to Berdych. He did not play a grass tune-up tournament before Wimbledon.

At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Isner reached the third round, where he lost to Feliciano López in four sets with three tiebreaks.

In Newport, Rhode Island, John made it to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Jack Sock. However, he got revenge in the semifinals in Atlanta a couple of weeks later and went on to win the tournament, his ninth, with a win over Dudi Sela.

At the 2014 US Open Championships, Isner reached the third round, where he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber for the third consecutive year.

Longest match in history[edit]

At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, Isner (ranked 23), faced qualifier Nicolas Mahut in the first round. Isner won the match 6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68.

In the match, Isner set the record for most aces in a match, breaking Ivo Karlović's record of 78; Mahut passed the old mark as well.[36] Isner set a new record of 112 aces, ahead of the 103 aces served by Mahut.

At 21:13 BST on June 23 the match was suspended due to darkness for a second day at 59–59 in the fifth set. The match resumed on June 24, at 15:30 BST,[37] starting the third day of the match. Overall, the match lasted eleven hours and five minutes. Isner also set the record for most games won in a Wimbledon match with 92.

The match brought Isner a measure of fame, particularly in the United States. He had guest appearances on "Good Morning America" and the "Late Show with David Letterman", and threw the ceremonial first pitch at a New York Yankees game in Yankee Stadium.[38][39] He and Mahut also won the 2010 ESPY Award for Best Record-Breaking Performance in sport.[40]

Line Score:
1 (32') 2 (29') 3 (49') 4 (64') 5 (491')
United States John Isner (23) 6 3 67 7 70
France Nicolas Mahut (Q) 4 6 7 63 68

Playing style and equipment[edit]

Isner has an extremely powerful and consistent serve, thanks in part to his 6-ft, 10-in height which makes him the second tallest player on tour behind Ivo Karlović. Commentators[who?] have also praised his composure; in five consecutive third-set tiebreaker wins in Washington, he delivered huge serves when it mattered most.[41] Isner also has a very powerful forehand, which he uses in tandem with his serve. Isner will often go for one-two points: a big serve followed up by a big forehand. He is also known to back up his serves with approaches to the net, though he does not strictly serve-and-volley. Isner's movement around the court is hampered by his body and he is hurt by players that move him around the court. Isner's fitness has improved considerably throughout the years, as he displayed during his win in the longest tennis match ever at Wimbledon against Nicolas Mahut.

As of January 2012, Isner is sponsored by Lacoste and Prince for his attire and racquets respectively.[42][43]

Personal life[edit]

Isner started playing tennis seriously at age 11 under the tutelage of Oscar Blacutt and Rob Stephens. He played competitively for Westside Swim and Tennis Club in Greensboro throughout his childhood. He is a graduate of Walter Hines Page Senior High School, in Greensboro, and the University of Georgia, where he majored in Speech Communication. He currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where he trains at the Saddlebrook Academy alongside other American tennis pros such as James Blake and Mardy Fish.

Records[edit]

  • These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis.
Tournament Year Record accomplished Player tied
Wimbledon 2010 113 aces in an ATP singles match[21] Stands alone
113 aces in a Grand Slam singles match Stands alone
85 aces in a single set Stands alone
92 games won in a single match Stands alone
91 games lost in a single match that he won Stands alone
246 winners in a single match Stands alone
Longest singles match ever played (11 hours, 5 minutes) Nicolas Mahut
Longest play in a single day (7 hours, 6 minutes) Nicolas Mahut
118 games in a single day Nicolas Mahut

Other records[edit]

  • 212-114 (65%) career record in tie-breaks [44]

Significant finals[edit]

Masters 1000 finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (0–2)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2012 Indian Wells Hard Switzerland Roger Federer 6–7(7–9), 3–6
Runner-up 2013 Cincinnati Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 6–7(8–10), 6–7(3–7)

Doubles: 3 (1–2)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 2010 Rome Clay United States Sam Querrey United States Bob Bryan
United States Mike Bryan
6–3, 6–2
Winner 2011 Rome Clay United States Sam Querrey United States Mardy Fish
United States Andy Roddick
w/o
Runner-up 2012 Indian Wells Hard United States Sam Querrey Spain Marc López
Spain Marcel Granollers
2–6, 6–7(3–7)

ATP career finals[edit]

Singles: 18 (9–9)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–2)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–2)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (9–5)
Titles by surface
Hard (6–7)
Clay (1–2)
Grass (2–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Titles by surface
Outdoors (9–8)
Indoors (0–1)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. August 5, 2007 Citi Open, Washington, United States Hard United States Andy Roddick 4–6, 6–7(4–7)
Winner 1. January 16, 2010 Heineken Open, Auckland, New Zealand Hard France Arnaud Clément 6–3, 5–7, 7–6(7–2)
Runner-up 2. February 21, 2010 U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships, Memphis, United States Hard (i) United States Sam Querrey 7–6(7–3), 6–7(5–7), 3–6
Runner-up 3. May 9, 2010 Serbia Open, Belgrade, Serbia Clay United States Sam Querrey 6–3, 6–7(4–7), 4–6
Runner-up 4. July 25, 2010 Atlanta Tennis Championships, Atlanta, United States Hard United States Mardy Fish 6–4, 4–6, 6–7(4–7)
Winner 2. July 10, 2011 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, Newport, United States Grass Belgium Olivier Rochus 6–3, 7–6(8–6)
Runner-up 5. July 24, 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships, Atlanta, United States (2) Hard United States Mardy Fish 6–3, 6–7(6–8), 2–6
Winner 3. August 27, 2011 Winston-Salem Open, Winston-Salem, United States Hard France Julien Benneteau 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 6. March 18, 2012 BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, United States Hard Switzerland Roger Federer 6–7(7–9), 3–6
Runner-up 7. April 15, 2012 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, Houston, United States Clay Argentina Juan Mónaco 2–6, 6–3, 3–6
Winner 4. July 15, 2012 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, Newport, United States (2) Grass Australia Lleyton Hewitt 7–6(7–1), 6–4
Winner 5. August 25, 2012 Winston-Salem Open, Winston-Salem, United States (2) Hard Czech Republic Tomáš Berdych 3–6, 6–4, 7–6(11–9)
Winner 6. April 14, 2013 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, Houston, United States Clay Spain Nicolás Almagro 6–3, 7–5
Winner 7. July 28, 2013 Atlanta Tennis Championships, Atlanta, United States Hard South Africa Kevin Anderson 6–7(3–7), 7–6(7–2), 7–6(7–2)
Runner-up 8. August 4, 2013 Citi Open, Washington, United States (2) Hard Argentina Juan Martín del Potro 6–3, 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 9. August 18, 2013 Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati, United States Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 6–7(8–10), 6–7(3–7)
Winner 8. January 11, 2014 Heineken Open, Auckland, New Zealand (2) Hard Chinese Taipei Lu Yen-hsun 7–6(7–4), 7–6(9–7)
Winner 9. July 27, 2014 Atlanta Tennis Championships, Atlanta, United States (2) Hard Israel Dudi Sela 6–3, 6–4

Doubles: 6 (3–3)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (1–2)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (1–0)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (1–1)
Titles by surface
Hard (1–1)
Clay (1–2)
Grass (1–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Titles by surface
Outdoors (3–3)
Indoors (0–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. July 7, 2008 Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships, Newport, United States Grass United States Mardy Fish India Rohan Bopanna
Pakistan Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
6–4, 7–6(7–1)
Winner 2. February 21, 2010 Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, Memphis, United States Hard United States Sam Querrey United Kingdom Ross Hutchins
Australia Jordan Kerr
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1. May 2, 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Rome, Italy Clay United States Sam Querrey United States Bob Bryan
United States Mike Bryan
2–6, 3–6
Runner-up 2. April 9, 2011 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, Houston, United States Clay United States Sam Querrey United States Bob Bryan
United States Mike Bryan
7–6(7–4), 2–6, [5–10]
Winner 3. May 15, 2011 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Rome, Italy (2) Clay United States Sam Querrey United States Mardy Fish
United States Andy Roddick
w/o
Runner-up 3. March 18, 2012 BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, United States Hard United States Sam Querrey Spain Marc López
Spain Rafael Nadal
2–6, 6–7(3–7)

Team finals[edit]

In January 2011, Isner teamed with Bethanie Mattek-Sands for the USA, and they reached the mixed doubles Hopman Cup final. They won, 6–1, 6–3, against Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium.

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Updated till the end of 2014 US Open.

Tournament 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A 1R 1R 4R 3R 3R A 1R 0 / 6 7–6
French Open A 1R A 3R 1R 2R 3R 4R 0 / 6 8–6
Wimbledon A 1R A 2R 2R 1R 2R 3R 0 / 6 5–6
US Open 3R 1R 4R 3R QF 3R 3R 3R 0 / 8 17–8
Win–Loss 2–1 0–4 3–2 8–4 7–4 5–4 5–3 7–4 0 / 26 37–26
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics NH A Not Held QF NH 0 / 1 3–1
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Indian Wells Masters A 2R 4R 4R 3R F 2R SF 0 / 7 16–7
Miami Masters A 1R 2R 3R 4R 3R 3R 4R 0 / 7 8–7
Monte Carlo Masters A A A A A A 1R A 0 / 1 0–1
Rome Masters A A A 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 5 2–5
Madrid Masters A A A 3R 2R 2R 2R 3R 0 / 5 6–5
Canada Masters A A 2R A 2R SF 1R 1R 0 / 5 5–5
Cincinnati Masters 1R 2R 2R 2R 1R A F 3R 0 / 7 10–7
Shanghai Masters NMS 1R 2R A 3R 2R 3R 0 / 5 5–5
Paris Masters A A 2R 2R SF 2R 3R 2R 0 / 6 6–6
Win–Loss 0–1 2–3 7–6 8–7 9–7 11–7 9–9 12–8 0 / 48 58–48
Career statistics
Titles–Finals 0–1 0–0 0–0 1–4 2–3 2–4 2–4 2–2 9 / 18 9–9
Year End Ranking 106 144 34 19 18 14 14 19 $7,057,564

Doubles performance timeline[edit]

Updated till 2012 US Open.

Tournament 2003 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 1R QF 3R 0 / 3 5–3
French Open 3R 1R 0 / 2 2–2
Wimbledon 0 / 0 0–0
US Open 1R 1R 1R 2R 0 / 4 1–4
Win–Loss 0–1 0–1 2–3 4–2 2–1 0–1 0–0 0 / 9 8–9

Top-10 wins per season[edit]

Season 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Wins 0 0 3 1 1 6 3

Wins over top-10 players per season[edit]

# Player Rank Event Surface Rd Score
2009
1. France Gaël Monfils 9 Indian Wells, United States Hard 2R 6–7(5–7), 6–1, 6–4
2. France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7 Washington, United States Hard 2R 4–6, 7–6(7–2), 7–6(7–4)
3. United States Andy Roddick 5 US Open, New York, United States Hard 3R 7–6(7–3), 6–3, 3–6, 5–7, 7–6(7–5)
2010
4. Russia Nikolay Davydenko 6 Beijing, China Hard QF 7–6(7–2), 6–4
2011
5. Spain David Ferrer 5 Paris, France Hard (i) QF 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
2012
6. Switzerland Roger Federer 3 Davis Cup, Fribourg, Switzerland Clay (i) RR 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4), 6–2
7. Serbia Novak Djokovic 1 Indian Wells, United States Hard SF 7–6(9–7), 3–6, 7–6(7–5)
8. France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6 Davis Cup, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France Clay RR 6–3, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–3
9. Serbia Janko Tipsarević 8 Olympics, London, England Grass 3R 7–5, 7–6(16–14)
10. France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6 Winston-Salem, United States Hard SF 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(7–3)
11. Czech Republic Tomáš Berdych 7 Winston-Salem, United States Hard F 3–6, 6–4, 7–6(11–9)
2013
12. Canada Milos Raonic 10 Cincinnati, United States Hard 3R 7–6(7–5), 6–4
13. Serbia Novak Djokovic 1 Cincinnati, United States Hard QF 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 7–5
14. Argentina Juan Martín del Potro 7 Cincinnati, United States Hard SF 6–7(5–7), 7–6(11–9), 6–3

Head-to-head record against other players[edit]

Isner's win-loss record against players who have been ranked world no. 10 or higher is as follows:

Players who have been ranked world no. 1 are in bold.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://tenniseastcoast.com/2013/07/13/johnisner-is-not-69-hes-610-atpnewport/
  2. ^ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2012/11/isner-cuts-ties-coach-boynton-hires-sell/45562/#.U7ikr_ldUrU
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Isner Wild Card Entries in Summer of 2007". Steveghelper.com. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Roddick to face amazing Isner in ATP Washington final". Turkish Press. AFP. August 4, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ "News | Sports: John Isner 12/29/07". OnlineAthens.com. December 28, 2007. 
  7. ^ Ford, Bonnie D. (December 11, 2007). "Isner on outside looking in at Australian Open ... for now". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Australian Open results". SteveGTennis. 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ John Isner, Christina McHale Win USTA WIldcard Spots for Australian Open SI.com, December 23, 2008
  10. ^ a b c d Robson, Douglas (January 20, 2010). "Maturing Isner, the USA's No. 2, finds his comfort zone". USA Today. 
  11. ^ "Mens Clay Court website". Mensclaycourt.com. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  12. ^ "John Isner Interview". UbiTennis. August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ ATP World Tour Awards. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  14. ^ atp. "International Series – Auckland". Heinekenopen.co.nz. 
  15. ^ "Isner wins first ATP Tour Title". Atpworldtour.com. January 16, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "First Time ATP Tour Winner Spotlight: John Isner". Atpworldtour.com. January 16, 2010. 
  17. ^ "American John Isner wins in Auckland – ESPN". ESPN. January 16, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Are Isner and Querrey Ready for Davis Cup on Clay?". Worldtennismagazine.com. February 19, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ Chris Cutmore (June 23, 2010). "Daily Mail SW19 coverage". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Men's Singles | All England Lawn Tennis Championships | Wimbledon, England 2nd round". BBC. June 25, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010. [dead link]
  21. ^ a b Official Wimbledon match statistics
  22. ^ "Despite Injuries, John Isner Will Play in US Open". Sbnation.com. August 20, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  23. ^ Mccarton Ackerman (September 2, 2010). "Healthy Victory For Isner at Open". News-record.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  24. ^ Isner Struggles to Put Marathon Match in Past
  25. ^ "Davis Cup Diary: United States vs. Colombia". Tennisconnected.com. September 24, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  26. ^ [2][dead link]
  27. ^ "Isner rallies past Hasse to reach the quarters in Auckland". TennisEarth.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  28. ^ "2011 Heineken Open: David Nalbandian thrashes John Isner to reach semis | bettor.com". Blogs.bettor.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Seeded Players – Players – Australian Open Tennis Championships 2012 – Official Site by IBM". Australianopen.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  30. ^ Newbery, Piers (May 24, 2011). "French Open: Rafael Nadal beats John Isner in five sets". BBC News. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  31. ^ "John Isner in Hall of Fame Tennis championships quarters". July 12, 2012. 
  32. ^ "John Isner wins Hall of Fame championship". USA Today. July 15, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Roddick beats Isner in Atlanta semis". Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  34. ^ http://espn.go.com/tennis/aus13/story/_/id/8830241/john-isner-australian-open-injured-knee
  35. ^ "BBC Sport - Tommy Haas converts 13th match point to beat Isner in five sets". Bbc.co.uk. June 1, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Isner-Mahut Match Sheet". Wimbledon.org. September 21, 1998. Retrieved June 24, 2010. [dead link]
  37. ^ "2010 Wimbledon Championships Website – Official Site by IBM". Wimbledon.org. September 21, 1998. Retrieved June 24, 2010. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Isner on Letterman". atpworldtour.com. June 29, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Isner Media Tour". atpworldtour.com. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Isner & Mahut Win ESPY Award For Best Record-Breaking Performance". atpworldtour.com. July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  41. ^ http://www.tennisserver.com/lines/lines_07_08_05.html
  42. ^ Elmore, Charles (September 5, 2007). "Sponsors flock to Isner". Palmbeachpost.com. 
  43. ^ "John Isner Is A 'Prince' Of An Endorser". Cnbc.com. September 4, 2007. 
  44. ^ "FEDEX ATP PERFORMANCE ZONE: ISNER'S TIE-BREAKS RECORD". ATP World Tour Website. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
ATP Most Improved Player
2009
Succeeded by
Kazakhstan Andrey Golubev
Preceded by
United States Michael Phelps
Best Record-Breaking Performance ESPY Award
(with France Nicolas Mahut)

2010
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Rory McIlroy