Besides Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, John Isner has been the only player in the year-end top-20 in the last ten years, producing consistent tennis and working hard on improving various elements of his game just a couple of months before turning 35.
The winner of 15 ATP titles did enough to stay in the elite group in the previous season despite a mediocre 30-18 score due to a foot injury that kept him away from the court between March and June. Isner played well in February, reaching back-to-back semi-finals in New York, Delray Beach and Acapulco and competing for the title in Miami where he won the crown a year earlier.
John suffered that foot injury against Roger Federer, staying away from the court for a couple of months and winning the title in Newport in July, his only notable result by the end of the season. The beginning of 2020 hasn't been that great as well, dropping all three matches at the ATP Cup and losing in the semi-final in Auckland to a player ranked 57th.
John has found the form again in Melbourne, scoring two wins to reach the third round and seeking much-needed points after a couple of miserable months without big results. Also, the American has confirmed he will most likely skip the Tokyo Olympics, focusing on his beloved North American hard-court series and entering Atlanta and Washington instead.
John is the fourth player from the top-tier of the world's top-100 list who will skip Tokyo after Dominic Thiem, Daniel Evans and his compatriot Sam Querrey. Without Isner in contention, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Steve Johnson and Tommy Paul are the players with the biggest chance of reaching Tokyo if they decide to play and chase the gold medal.
"I haven't put a ton of thought into it, but as of right now, I think I'm leaning towards not playing," Isner said. "It's about scheduling; I know the Olympics, it's a fantastic honor. There's no doubt about that..
Still, at this stage of my career, it's not a huge priority for me; that's probably the main reason I won't be going. I certainly love playing in the summer in America and I'm going to focus on that."