Tennis Prose



The End For Isner?

John Isner was fighting for career survival at this French Open. He’s 38 now and ranked 90, which is the lowest he’s been since 2008.

Today Isner had a beatable opponent to try to rejuvenate himself back into ATP relevance. Isner faced Nuno Borgues of Portugal today and the two veterans engage in an epic marathon. Borgues ultimately prevailed 64 57 76 46 76 (11-9).

Isner, who turned pro in 2007 and changed coaches to start 2023 from David Macpherson to Philip Farmer, is now 4-8 on the year.

The 26 year old Borgues, who has won 12 ATP matches in his career and about $750,000 in career prize money, is currently ranked 80.

For Isner this will be a damaging loss. He’s now lost first round at five straight tournaments. His last ATP match wins were in Dallas where he lost in the final to Yibing Wu 76 67 67 (11-13). It would appear Isner used up the last surge of his greatness in that devastating loss to Wu.

But today’s defeat may be even more painful. He’s going to lose a load of ATP points because last year at Roland Garros he reached the round of 32 by beating Quentin Halys and Gregoire Barrere before falling in five sets to Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Now the pressure will be on Isner at Wimbledon where he also has points to defend – he won two rounds at Wimbledon last year by beating Enzo Couacaud and Andy Murray before losing to Jannik Sinner.

Barring a miracle rally by Isner, his ranking is going to dive well outside the top 100 and he will need a wildcard or to qualify to play US Open where last year he beat Federico Delbonis and then was forced to withdraw before facing Holger Rune in the second round due to injury.

The former University of Georgia Bulldog has won 16 ATP titles in his career, 484 matches and over $22m in prize money. But as it looks right now, the top American for over a decade may be near the end of his fantastic, much better than expected pro tennis career

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  • Cory · May 28, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    Very interesting. Good points. As such, i don’t see Isner hanging around for long after if he doesn’t have a strong grass season (as you said even if he gets some WCs). He’s getting old and his body type won’t cooperate with the grind needed given his ranking. I remember watching the 2009 Mahut match live on TV. Legends! I missed the Borges match, tuning in now for highlights.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2023 at 7:04 am

    Sadly it looks like Isner is at the finish line Cory, he’s hit the wall and can’t win anymore. Might hope for one last hurrah at Wimbledon or US Open and then call it quits in New York. Or consult with Dr. Ivo and learn how he lasted into his 40s.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2023 at 7:06 am

    Wow Kayla Day wins her first Grand Slam singles match since 2016 at US Open, she beat Mladenovic today 75 61. Her last GS appearances were 2017 at US Open and AO, that’s six years in the wilderness. Nice story of perseverance.



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