Athlete Profile: John Isner

AP Photo/Michael Owens

Athlete Profile: John Isner

John Isner has never been your prototypical tennis player. Given his height (6’ 10’) and athleticism, you’d think he would be playing as a power forward in the NBA.

However, that doesn’t seem to have been on the cards for John Isner. Instead he has become one of the greatest tennis talents to come out of the United States, finishing in the top 20 for ten years in a row, winning 15 titles, and collecting almost $20,000,000 in prize money as a pro. And his career is not close to be over yet. In my opinion, he’s got another good six years left. His serve alone would allow him to be competitive on tour for another 15 years. You can look at Ivo Karlovic, the 6’ 11’ 40-year-old Croatian as an example. At 40 years old, he’s still posting decent results on tour.

34-year-old John Isner had his best year in 2018, finishing the year ranked 10th in the world, and winning the biggest title in his career at the Miami Masters. He backed that up with a Semifinal showing at Wimbledon and a Quarterfinal showing at the US Open. 


All this for someone who didn’t start taking tennis seriously until age 11. So, we’re looking at a late bloomer in general. Isner probably has the best chance at going deep in the next few years at the fast courts of Wimbledon, where he famously participated in the longest match in Wimbledon history, spanning more than three days. This was before they instituted a tie breaker in the last set. Regardless, the reason he’s got the best shot at going deep at Wimbledon is because of his massive serve. Some ATP players have likened his serve as someone serving from a tree. His height and power means that the ball bounces very high off the court and into the body. On grass that’s a difficult proposition. 


However, it’s not all tennis for John Isner, he also has a huge heart and gives back to the community. An example of his latest endeavor of the heart is the Isner Family Foundation, launched just a few days ago. It will provide support to Hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and focused on those battling cancer. Cancer hits close to home for him as his mom battled and won her battle with cancer. 


In sum, all of us here at TennisPAL love John, and can’t wait to see him play another six years on tour and then see him do great things off the court as well!


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