American tennis star John Isner, who holds the record for the longest match in history, revealed he will retire following the US Open next week in New York saying, “Time to lace ‘em up one last time.”
Isner received a wild card invitation to play in the year’s final Grand Slam and said he felt “it was the right way to go” in a statement posted on Instagram.
“I can’t think of a better way to go out than competing in New York City,” the tennis ace said. “I have participated in the US Open for each of the 17 years of my career and I’m looking forward to playing my last match in front of the American fans in Flushing Meadows.”
Known for his powerful serve, Isner captured 16 singles titles and tallied 14,411 aces, an ATP record, since he made his ATP debut in 2007.
Isner made tennis history with his marathon match against France’s Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010.
The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes across three days before Isner won in five sets.
It surpassed the then-longest match by more than four hours.
Isner, 38, reached his career-best ranking of No. 8 after he reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2018, playing in the fourth-longest tennis match in history.
The father of four admitted that life after tennis is going to be a “challenge,” but praised his wife, Madison, and parents in the emotional tribute which consisted of memorable moments throughout his career.
“I won’t sit here and pretend that this transition is going to be easy, because it won’t be,” Isner said. “For a large part of these past 20+ years, all I’ve really known is tennis.”
“Waking up every morning with the goal of becoming a better player is something I always took immense pride in, and now I’ll have to channel my energy elsewhere. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to,” he added.
Isner compiled 488 wins as a singles competitor and 151 wins in doubles.
The Georgia Bulldogs alum represented the US at the London Olympics in 2012, where he reached the quarterfinals.
“I consider myself lucky to have developed so many relationships that have brought me where I am today,” Isner said. “The people that have been in my cover both professionally and personally have played a massive role in shaping me as a player, but more importantly, as a person.”
Isner’s opponent for his final run has yet to be determined.
The US Open will reveal its main draw on Thursday at noon.
“Amazing career,” Coco Gauff said on Instagram. “Wishing you all the best.”
“My twinnnn! I will going to miss u,” former No.8-ranked player Diego Schwartzman posted.
Former tennis player and current broadcaster Patrick McEnroe praised Isner on Twitter, “Incredible ride big man. You gave it your all.”