Tennis: American John Isner to retire from tennis after US Open

AFP , Thursday 24 Aug 2023

Big-serving American John Isner, who famously took part in the longest tennis match ever played at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, said Wednesday he will retire from professional tennis after competing in this year's US Open.

John Isner
FILE - John Isner, of the United States, hits a backhand return to Adrian Mannarino, of France, at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 18, 2023. Photo: AP


Isner -- who defeated France's Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/9), 7-6 (7/3), 70-68 in an 11-hour epic that took three days to complete at Wimbledon 13 years ago -- confirmed his retirement on social media.

"After 17+ years on the ATP Tour, it's time to say goodbye to professional tennis," Isner wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "The US Open will be my final event."

"This transition won't be easy but I'm looking forward to every second of it with my amazing family," said Isner, who has four young children with his wife, Maddie. "Time to lace 'em up one last time."

Isner, 38, was a quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2011 and 2018.

He is the ATP Tour's all-time leader in aces with 14,411 going into the US Open, which starts on Monday.

He was the top-ranked American in the year-end rankings for nine straight years from 2012-2020 and finished inside the top 20 in the world rankings for a decade from 2010-2019.

Isner has won 16 ATP singles titles and eight doubles titles. He was a US Davis Cup regular, posting 15 singles victories and two doubles victories in 18 appearances in the international tournament.

All but two of his ATP singles victories came in the United States, including a 2018 triumph over Alexander Zverev to win the Miami Masters title.

He has won six titles in Atlanta and four in Newport.

But it is arguably his record-breaking epic with Mahut at Wimbledon for which Isner will be best remembered.

Isner hammered down a record 113 aces in the course of the match, which concluded with a jaw-dropping 138-game fifth set.

"Those numbers are etched in my memory," Isner said in an interview years after.

"It's a basketball score, 70-68. It always reminds me of that. I'll never forget these two numbers for as long as I live. It's just crazy."

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