It was a partnership that launched a thousand memes, as 6’10” John Isner hit the court alongside 5’7” Diego Schwartzman for doubles in Rome. But #Isnerman quickly proved they were more than just a hashtag, sweeping past the competition to reach the ATP Masters 1000 final in their team debut.

“It does make for a good photograph,” Isner said of their eye-catching height difference. “And on top of that, I think we’re pretty good.”

Although they came up just short (get it?) to the experienced duo of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, Isner and Schwartzman acquitted themselves well in the championship match, narrowly losing by just a few points in the tiebreak, 6-2, 6-7 (6), [12-10].


It was the 37-year-old American’s third doubles final of the year. And even more impressive, Isner also became the first player ever to reach three Masters 1000 doubles finals in the same year with three different partners: with Jack Sock to win Indian Wells, with Hubert Hurkacz to win Miami and with Schwartzman in Rome.

But don’t call him a ‘doubles specialist’ quite yet.

“He hates that when you bring it up in our group chat,” said Andy Roddick, grinning during a Tennis Channel Live broadcast in Rome as hosts discussed how Isner’s Top 20 doubles ranking now eclipsed his No. 26 singles ranking.

Isner is certainly a force to be reckoned with on the singles court too—it was just a month ago that he reached his 30th ATP final in Houston—but his recent doubles renaissance has certainly not gone unnoticed.

Especially on social media, where his countrymen have kept tabs on his results with a steady stream of friendly banter:


"It started as a funny joke, but it turned out pretty damn well," Isner told Tennis Channel Live’s Prakash Amritraj in Rome.

While he’s adamant that his main focus is on singles, could we see the Big Man go for his first doubles title at the Grand Slams? There’s still time for Isner to find a fourth different partner and keep the unlikely streak going.