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John Isner Not Stressed About His Slow Start in 2019

John Isner entered the New York Open tournament earlier this week without a win for the season. That actually isn’t all that bad when you look at the recent history in the sport. As a top-ranked tennis player from the United States, John Isner had an awful start at the beginning of 2018. He only recorded one match win in a singles tournament during the first two and a half months of the year. He only managed 1-6 before making his way to the Miami Open that took place in March.

John Isner’s Career in 2019

Things certainly turned around for Isner at the Miami Open in March 2018. He managed to win the event, the biggest title in his entire tennis career. His performance at the Miami Open propelled him to his best year. He managed to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals, obtained a career-high ranking of number 8, and finished the year with a world ranking of number 10.

Despite the extremely slow start in 2019, Isner is in a position that he never thought would be possible ten years ago, when he was only a graduate at the University of Georgia. He is very close to 34 years of age, but he says that he has never been healthier. He receives his inspiration from Roger Federer who is currently 37 years old. The stability that is being provided by his new role as father and husband has assisted Isner to overcome the tendency to obsess over unsatisfactory results and to lose focus.

Isner lost during the first round of the New York Open in 2018 to 91st ranked Radu Albot. He will certainly face more pressure this time around but refuses to let it get to him. “Perhaps if I was younger, it would be completely different,” Isner stated. “However, I am well aware that everyone will lose and gain points. There’s a very good chance that I will lose points during the Miami Open unless I somehow win it again. However, everyone’s tennis ranking fluctuates year on year, even for Novak Djokovic who was ranked at number 18 during 2018. This is bound to happen to me too in 2019.”

Tournament Consistency

Isner stated that he is unable to place his finger on why he cannot get off to a more ideal start in the last couple of years. However, he was very philosophical with regards to fluctuations in his tennis rankings. He managed to learn that with his shutdown game and quick-strike, frustration can transform into triumph as fast as his deadly serve. He is essentially a shrewd judge of his own weaknesses and strengths. Isner knows full well that he’ll have more than enough opportunities to improve his overall ranking if he is more consistent from tournament to tournament. He simply needs to shine at Wimbledon and the US Open to succeed.


The New Davis Cup Format

The drastically restructured Davis Cup tournament was launched a week ago. In most people’s eyes, it had one noticeable flaw: It wasn’t the Davis Cup that we’ve all come to love. That’s not much of a shortcoming when you consider that the competition, which is 118 years old, is finished. Unfortunately, it will never be revived even if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take an interest in it. It’s time to move on, even though it’s rather difficult for most who are still clinging on to the memories of past ties.

Davis Cup 2.0

Only hours before the competition started last week, Lleyton Hewitt, who was already in a pre-tie lockdown with the squad from Australia in Bosnia-Herzegovina, started fuming over the changes made to the format of the Davis Cup. He referred to it as “absolutely ridiculous.”

However, there he was, in traditional gold and green Aussie colours preparing his team to join in on making history while the brand-new Davis Cup was preparing to lift off. Fortunately, it was a huge success for Hewitt and his team who led the Australian team into the 18-team World Group who will participate in the final taking place in Madrid in November. Apart from Australia, Italy, Serbia, Germany, and Sweden were also able to qualify. However, Sweden was unable to advance.

Although the traditional teams still regretted the makeover, the ties over the weekend were still competitive and satisfying. In addition, they managed to produce the beloved and familiar Davis Cup atmospherics. Those that manufacture multi-coloured wigs, whistles, and drums don’t need to fear a recession within their industry at all.

The old format of the Davis Cup was loved by all due to the fact that the nationalistic subtext produced a unique way where underdogs could become superhuman features. This includes John Isner who managed to upset Roger Federer on clay more than seven years ago. It’s definitely a story that Isner will continue telling until his last breath. Thankfully, the competition managed to provide a handful of those cherished heroes overnight.

Santiago Giraldo

Santiago Giraldo is a perfect example. He is the most successful singles player from Columbia, but he hasn’t managed to win anything as of yet. Columbia has been extremely close to qualifying for the World Group a total of 6 times only to stall at the end. However, in this Davis Cup competition, which is the 51st in 2019, the Columbian team managed to claim victory at home while playing against Sweden. Giraldo, who is playing as number 2, managed to win both his singles matches.

On the other hand, Felix Auger-Alainssime from Canada managed to withstand road game pressures as he clinched a vital fifth rubber while playing against Nobert Gombos from Slovakia. Both these victories resonate far more than before as both Canada and Columbia usually made it to the playoffs but could never get past the knockout stages of the World Group first-round. This time around they’ve managed to advance to the finals that will take place in Madrid.