John Isner had few major titles, but fans will never forget him, especially his legendary match at Wimbledon.
Summer 2007. The traditional US Open Series tournament is starting in Washington. At the last moment, one of the wild cards becomes available, and it’s taken by a tall student unknown to the wider tennis audience, a student from the University of Georgia – 22-year-old John Isner. He has almost no experience playing in ATP tournaments (only one match that same summer on grass in Newport), and not much in terms of baseline shots – but he has a powerful, simply killer serve. John skillfully uses his height (208 cm) and quite unexpectedly wins five matches in a row, including against Tim Henman, Tommy Haas, and Gael Monfils, and only loses in the final to the star of American tennis, Andy Roddick. All five victories on the way to the final were won by Isner in tie-breaks of the deciding set, unsurprising given his style of play. A month later, he reaches the third round of the US Open and there loses to the great Roger Federer, taking the first set from the Swiss – naturally, in a tie-break.
16 years later, Big John played his last career match. It’s logical that Isner chose the US Open for this. Just like at the beginning of his career, Isner received a wild card, then won his first-round match and came very close to success in the second round. He led 2:0 in sets, earned a match point on the return in the fifth set, twice took the lead with a mini-break in the deciding tie-break, but eventually lost to a young compatriot. All users who had accessed Mostbet UZ yuklab olish could place bets on this match. And John was not the favorite.
“Proud of what I’ve achieved in my career”
Having given a real fight in the last match of his career, John struggled to hold back his emotions, saying goodbye to the audience during a brief court interview, and then broke down in tears at the press conference. Here’s what he said: “It’s a whole range of emotions. Of course, I’m very disappointed with the result of my singles match today, but at the same time, I feel immense gratitude for playing one last time in such an atmosphere. I wanted to play one more US Open, and I managed to do it. Overall, it was a fun match. Of course, the outcome is disappointing, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my career.”
Isner and Mahut’s record is unbeatable
Indeed, there are at least two reasons for which Isner will forever remain in tennis history. The first thing that comes to mind when you mention “John Isner” and “Wimbledon” is the year 2010 and the legendary marathon with Nicolas Mahut. That match became the longest in tennis history (and now, with the universal introduction of tie-breaks in the deciding sets, this record is basically unbeatable). Both players also hit 100+ aces – John made 113, while Nicolas hit 103. These are the first and second most aces ever hit in a match, and their combined 216 aces are also a stunning record.
But the main highlight is not the aces but the duration and the final score of that match. The match, postponed twice to the next day due to darkness, started on a Tuesday and only finished on Thursday! The players spent a total of 11 hours 5 minutes on the court, with Isner winning with a crazy score of 70:68 in the deciding set. While it might not have been the most spectacular match in terms of gameplay, the tension and unbelievable duration more than made up for it. At some point, even the scoreboard couldn’t keep up – it turned out its electronics weren’t programmed to go past a 47:47 score.
A step away from the Wimbledon final, but with a Masters title
Wimbledon was the place where the American John Isner almost made it to a Grand Slam final. Reaching the semifinals was a massive achievement. This happened in 2018. After victories over 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas and Milos Raonic, Isner faced South African Kevin Anderson in the semifinals. Anderson, although slightly shorter than Isner (203 cm), also had a powerful serve but was more agile from the baseline. However, Isner had improved his ground and net game throughout his career. In that semifinal, Isner lost an epic match, giving up the fifth set at a score of 24:26! It was after this match that Grand Slams, including Wimbledon, introduced tie-breaks in the deciding sets.
In addition to this semifinal, Isner reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals, both at the US Open. In 2011, he lost to Andy Murray and in 2018 to Juan Martin del Potro. The 2018 season was the best in Isner’s career. He also won his only singles title at the Masters, triumphing in Miami. There, Isner defeated three top-10 players: Marin Cilic (world no. 3), del Potro (no. 6), and Alexander Zverev (no. 5).
One can’t forget Isner’s record serves. He became the best server in tennis history, delivering 14,470 aces throughout his career! He achieved this in 772 matches. This Isner record is unlikely to be easily broken, and his name will forever remain in tennis history.