World no. 9 John Isner withdraws from Madrid after announcing big news



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World no. 9 John Isner withdraws from Madrid after announcing big news

Just a few days after celebrating the 34th birthday, world no. 9 John Isner announced he and his wife Madison are expecting the second child, becoming parents for the first time in September when daughter Hunter Grace was born.

Earlier in April, John had become the fifth active player with 500 consecutive weeks in the top-50 behind Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic, playing some solid tennis in 2019 and keeping himself in the top-10 ever since August 2018.

Young compatriots Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka upended Isner in six tie breaks in Auckland and the Australian Open, suffering another tight loss to Opelka in the semi-final of New York, wasting six match points and the opportunity to play in the final.

A week later, Daniel Evans halted the giant server in the semi-final in Delray Beach and Nick Kyrgios prevailed in the last four in Acapulco after another very close encounter. Karen Khachanov bested John in the fourth round at Indian Wells and the best was yet to come, heading to Miami where he won the title a year ago.

Pushed to the limits in all five matches he won, John won all nine tie breaks and one 7-5 set to advance into the final where he won just five games against Roger Federer, struggling with a stress fracture in his left foot that has been keeping him off the court for a month.

Failing to recover, Isner withdrew from Houston and he is out of Madrid Masters as well, needing more time to recover and get back to 100%. The American competed in Madrid seven times since 2010, losing to Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in the third round in 2010 and 2014 before the quarter-final run in 2015 and 2018, halted by Alexander Zverev in straight sets last spring. John will try to make a return in Rome and get some rhythm on clay before the second Grand Slam of the season in Paris.