John Isner is a tennis star who cast his name in the annals of tennis history by beating Nicolas Mahut in the longest professional tennis match in history. At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, he and Mahut went on for three days in a game that all together lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes.
The American professional tennis player moved from obscurity to stardom through intense hard work and consistent practice which have taken him to the finals of major events in the game. He holds 14 singles career titles and 5 doubles titles.
Beyond the tennis court, John Isner has appeared in a handful of films and television series including The Perfect Storm, The Discontentment of Ed Telfair, and Rome Is Burning. The American player may not be as accomplished as the likes of Federer and Nadal but there is no doubt that he has made his mark on the ATP tour.
How John Isner Picked Up and Developed His Tennis Skills
Born to his American parents Karen and Robert Isner on the 26th of April 1985, at Greensboro, North Carolina; the American tennis star was named John Robert Isner and brought up in Tampa, Florida with his two elder brothers – Jordan and Nathan Isner.
He had his high school education at a public school – Walter Hines Page High School – and his college days were spent at the University of Georgia where he obtained a degree in speech communication.
His first contact with tennis was at the age of 9 and having fallen in love with the sport, he proceeded to Saddlebrook Academy to fine-tune his skills. Isner began competing in the game at the age of 11 in his hometown and carried on till his college years. He made an appearance at the National Collegiate Athlete Association championship in 2007, smashing through to the singles finals and winning the team titles of the NCAA championship.
With the fire burning in his veins after his graduation from college, John Isner proceeded to his first international game in 2007 and established himself as a professional. He then entered for the USA F14 Futures and the Lexington Challenge as his game and rating improved tremendously.
A Look at Some of the Titles He Has Won as a Pro
By 2009, John Isner triumphed over highly-rated players like Gaël Monfils, Marat Safin, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and others in major games. For this feat, he received the ATP Most Improved Player of the year award and by the next year of 2010, went on to prove that he really deserved that appellation by winning his first ATP singles title.
This came at the 2010 Heineken Open in Auckland where he beat out several worthy competitors on the road to the final. In the final game itself, the North Carolina native defeated French player, Arnaud Clement, to wrap up his maiden ATP title. He took home mouth-watering prize money for his efforts. He also saw a bump in rankings from 34 to 28.
Since that first ATP singles title, John Isner has been able to win about 14 more singles titles. They include the Atlanta Tennis Championships (5x), the Winston-Salem Open (2x), Newport Hall of Fame Open (4x), Auckland Open (1), Houston Open (1), and the Miami Masters (1). The American player has also been able to pull off several amazing records. Apart from his accomplishments at 2010 Wimbledon, he made another record with Kevin Anderson in 2018 which saw the longest Grand Slam semi-finals ever played.
The game lasted for 6 hours, 32 minutes and the South African player got the better of him at the end of the historic match. The only blight on Isner’s career, if it can even be called that, is the fact that he is yet to win a Grand Slam title. His record at the prestigious tournaments is French Open (fourth round – 3x), Australian Open (fourth round – 2x), Wimbledon (semi-final – 1), US Open (quarterfinal – 2x).
The Impact of his Powerful Serve on his Career Earnings
Each tennis pro has their strengths and weaknesses and of course tries to play up their strengths. Someone like Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is known as an aggressive baseline player while Spanish star, Rafa Nadal, is renowned for his speed and athleticism. On the other hand, the mercurial Federer is a master at both the baseline and the net game.
When it comes to John Isner, he has established a reputation as one of the best servers the game has ever seen. His consistent and powerful serve means that he gets to win a major percentage of his service games. This has seen him collect 12,000 aces (the 2nd most in tennis history) as well as make history as the man behind the fastest-ever recorded serve on the ATP tour. Such monstrous serve has come in handy in enabling Isner to overwhelm his opponents and win trophies. It has consequently helped him accumulate $19,081,320 in career earnings which accounts for about 59% of his entire net worth.
The player’s overall net worth is meanwhile estimated at $32 million and other sources of his fortune are the several endorsements deals that he has scored over the years. They include sponsorship agreements with the likes of Fila, Lacoste, Prince, Ebix (an insurance software company), Nula Pet Foods, Defy (an energy drink manufacturer), and Tamko (a building products company).
Creating a Mixed-Doubles Team at Home with his Lovely Wife
John Isner happens to be a one-woman man. He only dated and married his girlfriend of five years, Madison McKinley. There are no other records of any past girlfriend anywhere neither are there any rumors of affairs he may have indulged in. The ace player started dating the American model and fashion designer after they met at Justin Gimelstob Children’s foundation in 2011.
He proposed to her in June 2017 and six months later, the duo went on to tie the knot. The couple now has two children. They welcomed their first bundle of joy, Hunter Grace, on September 15, 2018. Their son, John Hobbs Isner, followed in October 2019. The proud papa used his Instagram page to share the news and it led to an outpouring of congratulatory messages from tennis fans and fellow pros.
John Isner’s wife, Maddison Mckinley is a jewelry designer. She went to the Parsons School of Design in New York for three years before finishing up her schooling at the University of Texas and bagging a degree in Fine Arts. She and her mother, Karla McKinley co-founded a handmade jewelry line in 2017 and her family owns a Ranch (Off Steer Head Ranch) located within the Horn Mountain axis in Wyoming where she occasionally spends time.
One of the Tallest Ever Players on the ATP Tour
John Isner holds several records on the ATP tour which he achieved by sheer dint of hard work and determination. There are however some of his records that are not of his own making but rather a result of nature. The North Carolina native is one of the tallest athletes on the court with a height of 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m), complemented by a weight of 111 kilograms (244.7 lb).
Such a towering height makes Isner the third tallest professional player to ever wield a tennis racket. Others that join him on that list are fellow American star, Reilly Opelka, and Croatian great, Ivo Karlovic, who both stand at 6 feet 11 inches tall or 2.108 m. One thing that all three players have in common, asides their height, is that they are all big servers. This lends credence to the fact that height makes an impact on one’s service game.