John Isner: Tennis might be one of the last sports to get going again

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John Isner: Tennis might be one of the last sports to get going again

American John Isner, who is part of tennis history for playing the longest match ever against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, says that it is very likely that there will be no tennis on the grass court season which is a very tough pill to swallow.

Speaking to ESPN, Isner spoke about the possibility of the All England Club canceling the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "That appears to be the case. I don’t know for sure, but that is the momentum right now.

And where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. So, yeah, unfortunately it does appear that Wimbledon will be canceled. … As of right now, it appears there will be no tennis through Wimbledon at the very least.

And that’s a very tough pill for us to swallow. I played my last tournament in Mexico and that seems like six months ago at least. It feels so long ago since I was playing there, finishing that tournament. I like to think that tennis has been a leader.

Our big tournament in California was the first domino to fall among all these sports events that have canceled or postponed. Indian Wells canceled the day before it was officially supposed to start, the day before women’s qualifying.

That was a Sunday night. I was home in Dallas, and my flight was the next morning at 8 o’clock. I found out at 7 p.m. that the tournament was canceled, and I haven’t left here since. It’s been long days, trying days.

There seems like there hasn’t been much good news lately”. Speaking about the decision of the French Open to move to October, Isner says it's going to be tough for everyone if and when the season resumes. "The French Open made that decision unilaterally.

They decided to put their tournament right after the U.S. Open, and that’s also during the Laver Cup event. So there’s all sorts of issues around that new date. We will ultimately see what comes of that. But, look, with everything that’s going on the world, this whole season is crazy.

Tournaments are trying to find ways to play, and I see where they’re coming from. But I don’t know if it’s a realistic possibility. We’ll see”. The American is also of the opinion that tennis would be one of the last sports to get back to normal due to the international nature of the sport.

"It’s definitely different for tennis than for a lot of other sports. This is just my opinion, and I hope I’m wrong, but I feel like tennis might be one of the last sports to get going again just because it’s international.

You have players from all over the world traveling into the same location to play for a week. It’s a tough spot for whoever is hosting whatever that first tournament is, whenever things get back under control. Countries and cities might have different rules and regulations or whatnot about who can enter and compete.

It’s a big question mark for tennis right now, no doubt. Because our competitors are scattered all over the world”.