In Miami with John Isner: ‘Mentally I feel pretty fresh’

John Isner

Over his now-long career, American John Isner has played some quality tennis. He has a massive serve and his powerful forehand. He is very tall, and when he is feeling good, he can be intense.

The 35-year-old has yet to win a Grand Slam, but he has gone deep at the US Open, as well as at Wimbledon, just a couple times. His biggest win title was when he won it at the 2018 Miami, and he was on fire. He beat Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro and Alexandra Zverev.

The next year, he reached the final again in Florida, but he lost because he had to face against the famous Roger Federer. There was nothing Isner could to. Federer, who now has won 20 Grand Slams, can return with success all the time, which Isner rarely does.
Right now, he is currently at Miami again. On Sunday he downed Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in a second-round match. Auger-Aliassime was his semifinal victim when Isner won the tournament in 2019. The 18th seed fired 16 aces and improved his record in Miami to 26-11. Sometimes, when he is there, on the hardcourts, he can smash the ball, punching point after point.

Isner joined the ATP tour in 2007, so he has been here for 15 years. That is a long time, and maybe he can win another event, but to grab it at a Slam for the first time looks unlikely. He is aging and that would be a stunner. After peaking at No. 8 in 2018, he has slipped to No. 28.

At least he is trying. Last week he went to Acapulco, when he felt good, and also, bad. He just wants to play, win or lose.

“My health was pretty crucial because I haven’t played that much in the last year. It’s been a year since the tour shut down” he said. “I can get this tournament started and try to create some momentum for myself and see what I can do. Physically I’m healthy. Mentally I feel pretty fresh.”

Isner also said that he will also play Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros. It is time to fly to Europe and back into the tennis elite.

Kei Nishikori won two long matches, which is very good, but he could also be tired. On Monday, he will face against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Good luck …

Petra Kvitova crushed Jo Konta 6-1 6-2, which is wonderful, and she can nail on the lines. But, she has hit so many errors this year… How about Marketa Vondrousova who is improving all the time? She will be around for years.

Two people who have a chance to win Miami: Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina. Let them rise up.