Road to Boston: John Isner, Team World
Big-serving American John Isner has been a part of every Laver Cup for Team World and relishes a return on home soil, where he consistently conjures his best results.
The 36-year-old has struck form again on North American hard courts in time for Boston to have his ranking on the cusp of a return to the Top 20. It hands Team World captain John McEnroe a highly experienced option in both singles and doubles.
How the year started
Isner kicked off his season with a quarterfinal appearance at the Delray Beach Open before he elected to skip the Australian summer to spend more time with his young family.
Two weeks into his return in March, he scored a confidence-boosting win over 11th seed and Team World teammate Felix Auger-Aliassime in Miami – the event at which he landed his first Masters 1000 trophy three years ago.
The former world No.8 notched his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal of the season on clay in Madrid, where he gained revenge for a Miami defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut and surprised sixth seed and Team Europe’s Andrey Rublev before falling to Dominic Thiem in three sets.
Seeded 31st at Roland Garros, Isner tested eventual finalist Tsitsipas in a four-set third-round showdown.
Hard-court return brings sixth Atlanta title in August
Despite a tough five-set loss in the first round at Wimbledon, Isner immediately struck form upon his return to hard courts in Los Cabos, Mexico, with a run to the semifinals.
A week later he thumped 21 aces to avenge that defeat against compatriot Brendon Nakashima in the Atlanta Open final. It was a record sixth time Isner had won the title in his home state and made him only the fourth active player to capture at least six trophies at a tour event after the Big Three.
He became only the third American in the Open Era to do so at the same event after Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
How it’s going
Isner backed up his Atlanta victory with his 13th Masters 1000 semifinal in Toronto, which included wins over seeds Rublev and Gael Monfils before top seed and Team Europe opponent Daniil Medvedev halted his run.
He stunned Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner to reach the third round in Cincinnati, but in his 15th US Open campaign, Nakashima had his number in the first round.
Isner on playing Laver Cup
The American has a 5-4 record from his three Laver Cup appearances, winning two of his four singles matches and standing unbeaten from three doubles clashes.
None of us really knew what to expect that first year in Prague, but it was one of the most incredible weeks and is now a highlight of my year.
“To be on a team with guys we’re normally competing against is so different and so much fun.
“We come together so well as a group, the chemistry is awesome and it’s such a great environment to be part of.”