NEWPORT — The top-ranked American professional tennis player, John Isner, ranked No. 12 worldwide, has committed himself to the field for the International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships that begin Monday.
Isner sat out three months of the spring ATP calendar with a foot injury and only returned to action last week, playing on the grass at Wimbledon at the All England Club.
“Newport has been a great tournament for me over the years,” Isner said in informing Hall of Fame President and Tournament Director Todd Martin of his decision to accept a wild-card entry.
“I’ve had great results and also kicked off some strong summers there. I’m looking forward to heading back next week,” Isner added. “The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a really special place to be able to compete, the fans are always terrific, and the town is one of my favorites on tour. It’s always a great week, and I’m looking forward to it once again.”
The 2019 Hall of Fame Tournament will mark the No. 1-ranked American’s ninth appearance in Newport, where he has a record of 19-5, having won the Newport title in 2017, 2012, and 2011.
Isner joins a player field that includes two other past champions in Steve Johnson and Karlovic. At world No. 12, Isner will be the highest-ranked player in the field, which features 12 players currently ranked among the top 100 on the ATP Tour.
Isner has a history in Newport beyond the tournament courts as well. He’s one of few active tour players who have match artifacts and memorabilia in the collection of tennis history at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 6-foot-10 Isner is just one of four four players in tennis history to have served more than 10,000 career aces — another being Hall of Fame entrant and former champion Ivo Karlovic.
The ball with which Isner served his 10,000th ace — in April 2018 in Houston — is currently displayed in the Hall of Fame museum. In addition, Isner donated a racquet from his 2010 match at Wimbledon versus Nicolas Mahut, which stands as the longest tennis match in tennis history, spanning three days, 11 hours and five minutes.
Earlier this year, Isner advanced to the finals at the Miami Open for the second straight year, where he was the defending champion. Last year, Isner was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and a quarterfinalist at the US Open, making him the first American in a decade to reach two Grand Slam quarterfinals, a feat which had not been achieved since Hall-of-Famer Andy Roddick did so in 2008.