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John Isner fell in the quarter-finals of the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com against Sebastian Korda.

Isner Will Not Play Australian Open: 'It Wasn't An Easy Decision'

American has played at Melbourne Park in 12 of the past 13 years

John Isner, who lost in the quarter-finals of the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com Monday evening, announced after the match that he will not compete in the Australian Open this year. The American made his decision Sunday evening.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at all,” Isner said. “I thought long and hard about it, but I feel comfortable with my decision right now and [I am] looking forward to getting home.”

Isner and his wife, Madison McKinley Isner, have two children — two-year-old Hunter Grace and one-year-old John Hobbs — whom he does not want to be away from for an extended period.

“At this stage of my career and in my life, I always had visions of being able to travel with my family. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it,” Isner said. “It really was just a situation where I didn’t want to be away from my family for that long. I decided to stay home.”

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At 35, Isner wants to make his family a big part of his traveling life on the ATP Tour, but that is not possible for this trip due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon arriving in Australia, players will be mandated to serve a 14-day quarantine, before playing a lead-in event to the Australian Open, which begins 8 February.

“I told myself prior to the pandemic that we were going to travel with them as much possible and we were going to make it as much fun as possible on the road,” Isner said. “When I travel in Europe, I was going to stay at the nicest hotels and just make a really nice trip out of all of it because I won’t be playing tennis forever, there’s no doubt about it. Certainly, right now, tennis is not the most important thing in my life. It’s my family.”

The American No. 1 is the No. 25 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Although Isner will not travel to Australia, he still is working hard to add to his collection of 15 ATP Tour titles and compete on the sport’s biggest stages against the best players in the world.

“Me not going to Australia doesn’t mean that I’m not committed, because I still am,” Isner said. “I’m healthy, I feel really good and I’ll continue to take care of my body. Once the Tour gets back from Australia, I look forward to playing as full of a season as I possibly can.”

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