John Isner Doesn’t Care That There Are No American Men In The Top 20

by Tom Gainey | August 15th, 2013, 11:32 am

This is the first week in the history of the ATP tennis rankings which began 40 years ago in August of 1973 that no American men are present in the Top 20. American John Isner fell out of that group on Monday after his 2012 Rogers Cup semifinal points slid off the computer.

Now ranked No. 22, Isner isn’t concerned about his countrymen being shut out of the Top 20.

“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” Isner said on Tuesday from Cincinnati. “I could care less about it actually. I didn’t even know I was going to play professional tennis until I was in college. I haven’t really put too much pressure on me to be like the savior of American tennis and whatnot.

“I’m just trying to handle my business and play tennis for as long as I can. I’m having fun doing it. So I don’t really think about it.”

The 6-foot-9 Isner will play later today against Rogers Cup finalist Milos Raonic in the Cincinnati third round.

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14 Comments for John Isner Doesn’t Care That There Are No American Men In The Top 20

kriket Says:

Where’s Mardy Fish, btw? Haven’t heard/read anything about him in months or even this whole year so far.

skeezer Says:


Read somewhere he is still recovering from that heart condition thingy that put him out…he just started playing again…lost in the early rd

Anna Says:

Good for Johm! Why should he or any other American player feel bad because their not a top 10 player. It’s not like it’ll never happen again. I’m sure it won’t be long they’ll be hitting Harrison and Sock with the very same question. Why put that on young American shoulders with everything else they have to contend with to play the sport.

grendel Says:

One set all. Lopez very sharp, delPo half-asleep

grendel Says:

delPo wakes up. An amazing adaptation to a body shot from Lopez, he sort of scooped it and flicked it down the line for a winner,and Lopez’ next shot just edged past the line,so 2-0 to delPo.

SG1 Says:

I agree with Anna. No reason for him to care. He can only control what he does. If that adds up to a top 20 or top 10 ranking so be it.

From an fan’s perspective though, it does seem almost surreal that the US has had such a long drought in terms of winning a men’s GS. Given the wealth of the country and the number of really good tennis universities and tennis training centers, it’s hard to believe that the US is in the slump it’s in on the men’s side. I’ll bet the USTA is scratching their heads on this one too. If nothing else, it helps get better ratings for the USO when you have a legitimate American contender in the draw.

There is the argument that because there are so many other sports to play, American kids interests are divided and the best athletes don’t choose tennis anymore. I’m not sure I buy into that one. European kids have the same variety of choices yet Europe build better tennis players these days. I think there reasons are somewhat basic:

1) Europeans have learned to play tennis on clay and know how to construct a point where the winning blow doesn’t necessarily come from a ripped forehand. I know that the US has started to put in red clay courts in order to address this but I think the results of this will take some time be realized. The US is playing catch up.

2) I don’t know too much about the socio-economics of Europe but it seems like there is a huge division between the haves and have-nots in the USA. This divide precludes a lot of potentially good tennis player from ever getting a chance to play tennis.

grendel Says:

another unbelievably weak volley from delPo, and it’s back on serve.

grendel Says:

3-3, 30 all 3rd set, and del Potro is given 2nd time violation, so is only allowed one serve. I’ve never seen this happen before, and never thought it would.

delPo outraged, of course. His reaction? To play out of his skull for next two points and hold. And then,to direct a look at the umpire which does not suggest tea and biscuits after the match. Nothing quite like anger from a gentle man….

grendel Says:

Lopez serving at 4-5, 40-15, but delPo pulls him back and wins the match. And so we all wonder, will he or won’t he? Up to the net, cordial shake of hands with Lopez and – and an apparent move to his chair, yes, he’s sending the umpire to Coventry but wait, what’s this – sudden last second swivel, hand shoots up to the umpire – but the point is made. Pretty delicate, I thought. Now it’s Ferrer/Tursonov. delPo’s got to do something about this volleying business, though – it was really abysmal today.

els Says:

it might be a different situation if he could actually win a point at net. piss poor for someone with his serve

els Says:

talking about Isner

Eric Says:

Hasn’t that happened a billion times this year — the time violation call?

grendel Says:


Yes, but I’ve never seen it followed up, with the player actually penalised. Maybe Berdych, when he did that underarm serve in response?

Eric Says:

I thought Rafa, at least, made a big show about it earlier this season when he was penalized for it. Wasn’t there a bit hullabaloo about how they were going to start enforcing the rule? Perhaps I’m mistaken.

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