Forgotten tennis star who won longest-ever match at Wimbledon set to retire after one more shot at US Open | The Sun
AMERICAN tennis icon John Isner has announced he will retire after the 2023 US Open.
The 38-year-old hasn't won a Grand Slam title in his 17-year career, but he still managed to get himself in the history books with a legendary performance in 2010.
As a 6-foot-10 player with a powerful serve and nerves of steel, Isner always made it extremely hard for opponents to play a break point – let alone win it.
Therefore, the North Carolina native's games would often be competitive and long.
That came to be on full display at the 2010 Wimbledon when he squared off with French qualifier Nicolas Mahut in the first round.
Isner, the world's No. 19 at the time, and Mahut ended up playing for 11 hours and five minutes, setting a new record for the longest match in tennis history.
The two players duked it out over three days with the fifth set lasting a total of eight hours and 11 minutes – alone longer than the previous longest contest.
Isner eventually edged Mahut, winning the final set 70-68 before losing to Thiemo de Bakker in the next round.
The iconic clash is likely to remain the longest-ever match under current Wimbledon rules, which introduced a tiebreak when the score in the final set of a men's contest reaches 12-12.
Isner's heyday is long gone with the American ranking 158th ahead of the 2023 US Open, for which he received a wild card invitation.
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And a few days before the tournament's start, he announced that his trip to Flushing Meadows would be his farewell.
Isner said that bowing out after the last Grand Slam event of the year"feels like the right way to go" in a touching Instagram post on Wednesday.
"I can’t think of a better way to go out than competing in New York City,” he wrote.
"I have participated in the US Open for each of the 17 years of my career and I’m looking forward to playing my last match in front of the American fans in Flushing Meadows."
Isner won 16 titles in his career, his last triumph coming in Atlanta two years ago.
His career-high ATP rank was 8th in July 2018 after reaching his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.
The tennis ace dropped out of the ATP's top 50 in April 2023 for the first time since 2009.
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