John Isner Bids Farewell to Tennis With Epic 5-Set Loss To Michael Mmoh At US Open
John Isner, a prominent figure in the tennis world, bid farewell to his illustrious 17-year career at the US Open. In a thrilling five-set match, Isner faced defeat at the hands of fellow American Michael Mmoh with a final score of 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (7). Isner had previously announced his retirement through a social media post a week prior to the tournament.
After a closely contested match lasting nearly four hours, the 38-year-old Isner, visibly moved, addressed the packed crowd at Grandstand. Overwhelmed with emotion, he expressed his gratitude, saying, “This is why I’ve worked as hard as I have my whole life, to play in atmospheres like this. I might not win them all, as we know, just like today. To play in front of this crowd and have the support I’ve had is pretty special.” As he left the court, Isner received a standing ovation, waving in appreciation to his fans.
A Remarkable Career
John Isner’s tennis career has been nothing short of remarkable. Starting as a star at the University of Georgia, where he won the NCAA doubles title in 2005 and the team title in 2007, Isner turned professional in 2007. He surprised himself and the tennis world with his exceptional achievements. “I think I’ve overachieved,” Isner said, reflecting on his career. “I never imagined myself having this much success for this long.”
Isner’s list of achievements includes 16 ATP singles titles, eight doubles titles, a Wimbledon semifinal appearance in 2018, and a remarkable streak of 10 seasons finishing in the year-end top 20. For eight of those seasons, he held the title of the top-ranked American male tennis player. Notably, Isner holds the ATP record for the most career aces with 14,470, adding 48 more to his total in his final match, and he boasts the fastest serve in tennis history at 157.2 miles per hour.
The Longest Match in Tennis History
Apart from his records, Isner is renowned for his role in the longest match in professional tennis history. In the first round at Wimbledon in 2010, he triumphed over Nicolas Mahut in an epic contest that lasted over 11 hours, spanning three days and requiring 183 games.
Challenges in His Final Season
Currently ranked No. 157, Isner had faced challenges in his final season. Health issues, particularly a nagging foot injury, had taken a toll on his performance. Speaking candidly to the media, he explained the impact of his physical condition on his decision to retire: “This year has been tough healthwise; I had a foot thing that just bothered me for a long time. I wasn’t able to train really at all, but I was still playing without much practice. It just wasn’t much fun. It just became very laborious for me just trying to get myself healthy and not really being able to do it.”
While bidding farewell to his playing career, Isner expressed no regrets about his decision. He looks forward to spending quality time with his wife and four children, as well as exploring other interests. Isner hinted at potential television work as an analyst and business opportunities.
Not the End Yet
Before his full-fledged retirement, Isner teamed up with Jack Sock for a doubles match at the US Open. They were defeated by Robert Galloway and Albano Olivetti with a score of 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (10-3) at Court 12. In his parting words to the crowd, Isner conveyed, “It’s not goodbye yet. I’m still alive. I’m actually pretty good, so I’m going to try to keep this thing going as long as I possibly can.”
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