As was expected, world no. 25 John Isner will not travel to Melbourne, announcing he would skip the season's opening Major. Isner is not the biggest fan of masks and safety measures inside the bubble in general. He decided to stay with his family in the United States and not travel to Australia, like most top-100 players.
Thus, Isner has joined Roger Federer, Kyle Edmund, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille as the fifth top-70 player who will not compete in Melbourne, looking forward to returning to action in March. John revealed the news following the quarter-final loss to Sebastian Korda in Delray Beach, missing another opportunity for winning the home title he is missing in his collection.
The young gun defeated Isner 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in an hour and 51 minutes to reach the first ATP semi-final. Korda saved five out of six break chances and scored three breaks in sets one and three to cross the finish line first and remain on the title course.
Sebastian grabbed the opening set with a double break in games seven and nine, hoping for more of the same in set number two. Raising his game, John served well in set number two and grabbed a lone break that led him towards the set, gathering momentum ahead of the decider.
Nothing could separate them in the opening seven games of the decider, and that all changed when Korda placed a backhand winner at 4-3 that sent him in front. Returning in game nine, Isner created three break chances that Korda repelled with brave hitting, earning a match point and seizing it with a service winner to advance into the semis.
Isner competed at 12 Australian Opens, winning 15 matches and reaching the last 16 twice.
John Isner will not compete at the upcoming Australian Open.
"It wasn't an easy decision at all. I thought long and hard about it, but I feel comfortable with my decision right now, and I am looking forward to getting home.
At this stage of my career and life, I always had visions of traveling with my family. Of course, that wouldn't be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it. It was just a situation where I didn't want to be away from my family for that long.
I decided to stay at home. Before the pandemic, I told myself that we would travel with them as much as possible, and we were going to make it as much fun as possible on the road. When I travel in Europe, I will stay at the nicest hotels and make a nice trip out of all of it because I won't be playing tennis forever, there's no doubt about that.
Certainly, right now, tennis is not the most important thing in my life. It's my family. Me not going to Australia doesn't mean that I'm not committed, because I still am. I'm healthy, I feel good, and I'll continue to take care of my body.
Once the Tour gets back from Australia, I look forward to playing as full of a season as I possibly can," John Isner said.