The Australian Open has lost another big name and this time it’s 6 ft 11 American John Isner, with the Greensboro, North Carolina native set to miss the first Grand Slam of the year due to a reluctance to travel without his family. He confirmed his decision to the media after his three-set loss to his compatriot Sebastian Korda at the Delray Beach Open.
Isner stated that at this point in his career and his life he had always visioned traveling with his family and that he knew if he decided to play he would be away from his family for a very long time, with players required to fly in to Melbourne two weeks before the tournament starts to comply with the 14-day quarantine mandated by the Victorian government.
The quarantine has been modified to allow players to train during the day, but they still will only be allowed to travel between the hotel and the venue. Isner may not prove to be the only player to decide not to travel to Melbourne for that reason. According to former-Brazilian doubles specialist Andre Sa, Roger Federer decided he wouldn’t be playing at the Australian Open because of concerns about his family, although it has also been reported that the Swiss has not yet recovered from knee surgery.
Thus far in 2021, Isner has played two matches, both in Delray Beach, beating Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro before losing to his countryman Korda once again in a rematch of their second-round clash at the French Open this past September.
Isner, currently ranked 25th in the world, may ultimately look to play fewer events this year due to travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic and his stated desire to focus on his family and spend time at home, where he has two young children. But it would be a surprise if Isner did not return to action in time for the Miami Open or the Indian Wells Masters, if it can be rescheduled.
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