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Tennis Record Set • Quad Squad • John Isner Makes It A Group Of Four With 10,000 Career Aces

John Isner fires off his career 10,000th ace, becoming just the fourth player to do so. – Photo by @mensclaycourt via Twitter.



By Ricky Dimon


John Isner became the fourth player in ATP Tour history with 10,000 when he reached the milestone during his 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5) loss to Steve Johnson in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Friday night. Isner’s ace to begin his service game at 1-2 in the third set propelled him to the 10,000 mark, joining Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic, and Ivo Karlovic in that elite group.


“I’m joining a pretty small club; it’s very cool,” Isner assured. “It shows how fortunate I’ve been to be able to stay on the court for this long.”


And it shows how good his serve is. The 6’10” American’s delivery has been one of the most dangerous weapons in the sport ever since he emerged on the professional scene in 2007. It has carried him to 13 ATP titles–the biggest and most of recent of which just came at the Miami Masters.


“That’s something that fortunately for me I picked up at a very early age,” Isner said of his serve. “I’m sure if I watched footage of myself in college, my serve’s a little bit different. But for the most part, maybe I used to move my front foot a little bit. I used to start back, take a step forward. My front foot stays still now. But the overall motion hasn’t changed a bit. I’ve seen footage of me as a freshman in high school; it’s the same serve.


“When I feel loose, when I’m not thinking and you have a lot of adrenaline…adrenaline does everything for you. I can go through a match and not hit a serve over…let’s say 132 (miles per hour)…and then I’m serving for the match and next thing I know I’m in the 140s. That’s just what it does.”


The world No. 9 will have to wait to increase his 10,009 total because he fell to Johnson despite firing 28 aces and never getting broken. Johnson advanced to the semis after striking seven aces without double-faulting en route to his victory that required two hours and 36 minutes of work. Johnson faces Taylor Fritz on Saturday, while their countryman’s bid to add to his ace count will continue later this month on European clay.


“If I can reach 10,000, hopefully I can get to 11,000,” Isner concluded.


Karlovic is the only man who has reached 11,000; in fact, he has even surpassed 12,000. The all-time leader stands at 12,622, and–interestingly enough–he is still alive in the Houston semifinals. Karlovic can increase his lead when he goes up against Tennys Sandgren on Saturday.


“He has a little bit different serve than me,” the 39-year-old said of Isner. “He stays back more after it, so after he’s able to hit his forehands. But it’s a pretty similar bounce; pretty similar angles. It’s also a really good serve.”


You can say that again!


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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