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At his best John Isner was a strong fit serving wrecking ball with a overwhelming one-two punch with a punishing forehand who had mastery of tiebreaker and great endurance for long epic encoutners. His 11 hour and 5 minute 2010 epic Wimbledon match highlighted his brand of tennis. He built his career with decisive and overwhelming power game keeping the patterns of play on his terms frustrating opponents with the lack of opportunity while looking for one shot every set to turn the tide onto his favor.
The 2018 version of John Inser is shell of his former self. Routine shots have become confidence draining errors featuring as mishit transition forehands and botched clean up volleys. His negative body language is amplifying the problems as well as his lack of fitness and conditioning that seems to be the culprit of his poor showing with a stunning four first round exits in 2018 (New Zealand, Melbourne, New York and Acapulco).
Inner greatest asset is his ability to take away time from his opponent with short and efficient rallies but it’s also his greatest liability as returner where his long levers expose his return game. As you will see in this 2017 Miami Open highlight package the slow court does not suit John’s game and with in the first five or six highlight end in mishits and unforced errors.
John lack of mobility and fitness are exposed more in 2018 as players don’t need tie-breaker to wrestle the match momentum away from him. He is a open mouth breather when he gets tired and his poor body language encourage opponents to take deep positions on 2nd serve by playing it safe and keeping the ball in play and waiting for John to implode.
With 11 years on tour at the age of 32 it will be interesting to see if Isner is able to recalibrate his game and extend his position in the top 20 for yet another season.
2017 Miami Open Results: Lost in Round of 32 to Alex Zverev 7-6, 6-7, 6-7 on Stadium Court
Scouting Report Written by Brian Lutz