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Boynton Looks To Life After Isner

Boynton© ATPCraig Boynton guided John Isner to Top 10 status.

Craig Boynton is looking forward to his next coaching challenge after parting ways with John Isner, but took time to reflect on his successful four-year partnership with the 6’9” American.

“Overall it was a lot of fun getting to work and be a part of his improvement, watching his success and watching him grow,” said Boynton. “That’s really what I’ll take away from our time together.”

In an e-mail to the New York Times, Isner wrote, “I had a great run with Craig, learned a lot and felt like I improved every year. I just felt like it was time for a different voice. CB and I will remain great friends and he will always be someone I can go to for help or advice.”

When Boynton took Isner under his wing in March 2009, the American was ranked outside the Top 100 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings and fighting to qualify for ATP World Tour events.

In their first tournament together, Isner recorded his first Top 10 win over Gael Monfils en route to a fourth-round showing at the BNP Paribas Open. Three years later, with a memorable win over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells semi-finals, Isner moved into the Top 10.

Other highlights from their partnership included five ATP World Tour titles from 11 finals, a record-breaking marathon match against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon, and a stunning upset of Roger Federer on Swiss soil in Davis Cup action.

His former coach was unable to pinpoint a specific achievement that stood out, however, sharing that he was more proud of the process they underwent to deliver those results.

“It was more overall him getting to be a better tennis player, a better understanding and a better awareness of who he was as a tennis player and what he needed to do to be successful,” he said. “That’s kinda the overall theme when we got together is, ‘You’ve got to improve in these areas, you’ve got to play this way and if you play this way, this is what’s going to happen.’ Watching all that unfold was the most fun.”

Boynton will continue in his role as Academy Director at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida, where Isner and other ATP players train, and hopes to guide another player to the top of the game.

“If I could wave the magic wand, the half a billion dollar lottery is already won so I’m a little bit late for that one, but my next one would be to have another opportunity like the one I had with John through Saddlebrook,” he said of the next chapter in his coaching career.

“I think what happens when you do something for an extended period of time and you’ve had some level of success, you bring proven results to the table working with different people and different types of personalities. If people know who you are, there’s an element of trust already built in and that’s kind of called experience.

“I enjoy a lot of the aspects of coaching, getting to know a person’s personality, what they respond to, what they don’t respond to, what they need on the court, what they need off the court. A lot of that’s like a big puzzle I really enjoy trying to solve.”

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