• SA Spring Open Media Team


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John Isner is usually the one playing marathons at the All England Club. But in July, he was a spectator as he watched Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer go to a 13-12 fifth-set tiebreak in the Wimbledon final.

Djokovic eventually won, but it was 37-year-old Federer's performance—he held two match points—that caught Isner's attention.

“The fact he’s playing so well, at this age, is truly incredible,” the 34-year-old Isner told AJC news outlet. “The fact that he’s moving so well, and everything, I think, for me, seeing that, it helps me out.”

The 34-year-old, who won his fourth title in Newport  on Sunday, and now is competing in Atlanta—where he has won five times—has also been successful as an older player. However, he is coming back from a foot fracture he experienced during the Miami final against Federer, which kept him sidelined until Wimbledon.

“It’s a tough injury to have... It just took some time,” said Isner. “But it happens, injuries [are] a part of sports.”

The break allowed the world No. 14 to spend extra time with his daughter, who was born following the 2018 US Open. Becoming a father has also had an effect on the American's career.

"It's still important, but family comes before that," he said. "I think it's helped me relax a little bit on court." 

Isner, who received a first-round bye, is the top seed in Atlanta.