The 33-year-old John Isner, who just got to the semis at Wimbledon, is returning to competition this week at what he calls "the most successful event of his career"—the BB&T Atlanta Open.
The No. 9-ranked Isner has made seven finals and won four titles at the tournament. He's also a local favorite, having competed for Georgia in college.
WATCH—Match point from Isner's win over Milos Raonic at Wimbledon:
“When I first came on tour, this tournament didn’t exist,” Isner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I found out that a tournament was coming here, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh wow, this could be a cool opportunity for me to be able to get to play so close to Athens [University of Georgia, where Isner played] where I have so many friends and family. I never would have imagined I would have had this much success at this tournament. That just goes to show there’s something to be said for being comfortable and having a lot of support, which I certainly have here. This has been the best tournament of my career for sure.”
Isner admits that he slumped during the first two and half months of the season, but then won Miami and reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.
He will face a 19-year-old Aussie, Alex de Minaur, in the second round. Isner is the top seed at the event, with Nick Kyrgios and Hyeon Chung the other top players.
“There are no easy matches. Trust me, I know that,” Isner said. “My first match is always a tough one because everyone is so good.”
Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It is timed for release as the anticipation crests with Roger as returning champion, 10 years after their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship – an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true winner was the sport itself.