© Getty Images for ATP Tour

The 37-year-old is the oldest player in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

With Family In Tow & Coach Farmer On Board, Isner Ready For 17th Season

American starts his season in Auckland

When John Isner walks onto court at the ASB Classic in Auckland Monday he will kick start his 17th season on the ATP Tour.

The 6’ 10” American has enjoyed a storied career, reaching a career-high No. 8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and lifting 16 tour-level titles. Last season, the World No. 41 also wrote himself into the history books when he broke the world record for aces on the ATP Tour, striking his 13,729th ace against Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon.

However, at 37, he is not ready to stop yet.

“I am still feeling pretty good,” Isner told ATPTour.com. “I know I am in the twilight of my career and a lot of players my age aren't playing anymore, so I think I'm very fortunate to still be playing. I think I'm the oldest player in the Top 100, which is actually something I'm very proud of.

“I still like to compete, it keeps me going. I'd be lying to you if I told you I love all the work that goes in. Sometimes practice can get pretty monotonous, but I do love the training and off court I am just trying to get myself in a good spot to compete with players much younger than I am. You can't play tennis forever, so I want to try to make this last as long as possible. I am ready to achieve some really cool things this year.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Fans have become accustomed to Isner’s brand of ‘Big Man’ tennis over the years, with the World No. 41 crushing forehands and firing aces.

Off court, though, Isner plays the role of father and husband, devoting his attention to his three children and wife Madison, all of whom travel with him on Tour. For Isner, their continued support is a major reason he still enjoys competing.

“When I came to do the swing Down Under last year, they were not in tow with me,” Isner said. “We still had some restrictions and it would've been tough for them to come. I was in Australia for three and a half weeks and I found myself not really that happy. I was missing them. I told myself if things cleared up that they were going to travel with me and that's why they're here now. It was a direct flight from my home airport and the kids slept and watched some movies and now we're here and we're having fun.

“I really enjoying having them here. It makes the losses easier because it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Ten years ago, when I was 27 years old and without a family, without a wife, the losses kind of hurt more.”

With a fourth child on the way, Isner is preparing for more change in the spring, something he has already faced on court. The 37-year-old recently teamed with American coach Philip Farmer. It is a partnership Isner is excited to develop further in the coming months.

“I'm now working with Philip Farmer. He lives in Dallas, so it works out. He's also the coach of Austin Krajicek and Hans Hach Verdugo, who I play doubles with sometimes. We all live in Dallas, we all train together, so we have a good little relationship thing going when we're all at home practising,” Isner said.

“I've known him for a long time and I'm really happy to have him with me. Phil is a great guy. The practices have been great, been really focused and I normally go for an hour and a half, maybe two hours and just try to get a lot of work done. I am just really enjoying it so far.”


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP WTA Live
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

Isner will be hoping his work on the practice court comes to fruition this week in Auckland, where he had previous success. The sixth seed, who lifted the trophy at the ATP 250 in 2010 and 2014, is excited to be back in the city for the first time since he reached the semi-finals in 2020.

“I enjoy the city so much,” Isner said. “I’ve played here a bunch. My first ever title win was here in 2010 and then I won again in 2014. I have great memories in Auckland and I enjoy the city. It's so beautiful. The food's great and you don't feel like you're so close to Melbourne. It just feels like you have a nice week before it is busy.”

If Isner can perform in Auckland once again, he will move closer to his goal of earning 500 tour-level wins.

“I would love to get 500 wins,” said Isner, who currently holds 480 tour-level victories. “I've never set performance goals for myself. I’ve always had the motto to work hard and take care of myself and let the results fall where they fall. But I would love to get to 500 wins. I think that'd be an amazing milestone for myself. Something I never could have imagined in a million years myself doing when I turned pro at 22 years old.”

More stories like this in: