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John Isner - The Moment When...

Guest Editor - John Isner

ATP Insider guest editor John Isner recalls some of the defining moments in his life and career… 

The moment when I served my first ace…
I don’t know exactly when I served my first ace, but I would assume it was when I was about 10 or 11. I was fairly tall, obviously not nearly as tall as I am now. The serve has always been my biggest weapon and it was much the same when I was very young as well.

The moment when I beat my brother in competition…
He was three years older than me. I was 15 and he was 18. It was a huge moment for me because I was always trying to beat him and I never could. But even though I did beat him, he was a senior in high school and I was a freshman, he still played No. 1 on the high school tennis team. I couldn’t dethrone him; I was a little bit too young.

The moment when I turned pro…
That was in 2007 when I left the University of Georgia. Soon thereafter I turned pro. It was a huge change of lifestyle for me, coming from the college ranks where everything was done for us, didn’t have to pay for anything. Then I’m on the pro tour and I’m sort of on my own. But luckily for me, I made a pretty quick transition.

The moment when I woke up on day three of my marathon match with Nicolas Mahut
I actually woke up on day three and didn’t feel too bad! I still had a lot of adrenaline going through me. I hadn’t let go of the match because the match was still going on. Finally, it ended, and as soon as it did, I sort of let go of everything and took a big deep breath. But that was actually my downfall because after that, I had no adrenaline left. I was overwhelmed with everything. 

The very next day, I tried to come out and play again and I remember it just wasn’t physically possible. I was a physical wreck and I had no shot of being able to win. I competed my hardest, but it wasn’t that close of a match. Put it this way, I had 113 aces in the match against Mahut, and I had zero in my next one. 

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