Isner Cracks 1,000 Aces In 2019
John Isner’s name has become synonymous with aces and the big-serving American hasn’t disappointed this season. The man affectionately known as “Big John” reached 1,000 aces this season against Novak Djokovic on Thursday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. Isner arrived to the match with 998 aces.
This isn’t the first time he’s accomplished the feat, though. Isner has reached 1,000 aces in a season on six different occasions and every year since 2015. It comes as little surprise that he’s finished as the year-end ace leader six times (2010, 2012-13, 2016-18), a feat only Goran Ivanisevic has matched since stats began being recorded in 1991. However, Isner holds a sizable lead in the ace count for this season and is on track to break the tie with Ivanisevic.
Isner's Year-End Leading Ace Tally
Like a fine wine, Isner's serve continues to get better with age. He averaged 17 aces per match in 2010, but that tally increased to 22 in 2018.
He’s also still in contention to finish his career as the all-time ace leader. The American has racked up a staggering 11,919 aces throughout his career and is second on the all-time list, but trails Ivo Karlovic by 1,610 aces. However, the 34-year-old Isner is six years younger than the Croatian and likely has several more years to make up ground.
Isner became the fourth player in history to hit the 10,000 ace milestone last year in Houston. He’s made minimal changes over the years to his most potent weapon, but his stats prove there’s no need to change something that has been so successful.
“That’s something that fortunately for me I picked up at a very early age. I’m sure if I watched footage of myself in college, my serve’s a little bit different,” Isner said after hitting his 10,000th ace. “But for the most part, maybe I used to move my front foot a little bit. I used to start back, take a step forward. My front foot stays still now. But the overall motion hasn’t changed a bit. I’ve seen footage of me as a freshman in high school. It’s the same serve.”
As part of Infosys ATP Match Stats, ATP began recording ace tallies in 1991. The tally comprises aces hit in singles main draw matches from ATP World Tour tournaments, Grand Slams and the Olympics (from 2008 on). Aces in Davis Cup competition are not included.