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Former College Player John Isner Aiming to End Europe's Dominance in the Laver Cup
Friday, 07/19/2019
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The Laver Cup may be a relatively new addition to the ATP calendar, yet despite this, competition in this Ryder Cup-style event remains extremely fierce. Team Europe were victorious in the inaugural staging of the event, and went on to clinch a second success twelve months ago. Team World, who will be captained by John McEnroe once again, will be desperately hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat when they travel to Geneva in September.

Team World will be facing an impressive roster of players that features Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Fabio Fognini. The Europeans will likely start as favorites, although given the fact that this tournament is being held on the indoor hard courts it could potentially swing the tie in favor of McEnroe's men.
John Isner has featured heavily in the two previous tournaments, and the 34-year old is set to make his third appearance in the competition this summer. Although the full line-up is yet to be revealed, the big-serving veteran will definitely be joined by South African Kevin Anderson, and Canadian duo Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov. Isner is the highest-ranked member of the team, and is the only ever-present in the side.

Isner's background
Isner developed his game at the University of Georgia, and credits college with helping him "get partying out of his system". Players who are hoping to turn professional are required to make a number of sacrifices, and the Texas-born competitor regularly swapped nightclubs for the practice courts during this period. The big-server also regularly hit the gym throughout his time in Athens, and despite some minor injuries during his freshman year, he managed to improve his overall fitness levels whilst attending college.

The former world number eight is a huge advocate of the college system, and with professional players now being able to compete on the tour until their late 30s, students of the sport tend to have more time than ever before to develop their game.

Although he's enjoyed many successes on the tour, Isner is perhaps best known for his epic contest at Wimbledon in 2010. There have been a number of lengthy Grand Slam contests over the years, yet the American's first-round contest with Frenchman Nicholas Mahut lasted over eleven hours, and broke copious records in the process. The All England Club, who are in charge of the day-to-day operations at SW19, have acknowledged this remarkable feat by installing a plaque on the brick wall outside court 18.

Hard Courts Record
Isner excels on the hard courts, and he has been victorious in sixteen of his 25 matches on this surface so far this season. Additionally, he's never posted a negative record on the indoor courts, which certainly bodes well for this year's Laver Cup. He's reached the quarter-finals of the US Open on two occasions, and he will be hoping to put his disappointingly premature Wimbledon exit behind him when he arrives in New York later this year. As of July 10th, he is 66/1 with Betway to be victorious in the final Grand Slam of the year. His preferred style of play is complemented by the courts at Flushing Meadows, and he will be hoping for a relatively kind draw.

He lost both of his singles matches in the 2018 Laver Cup, although he was victorious in the doubles alongside Jack Sock. Following their unexpected and dramatic triumph over Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev, Isner was praised by his fellow countryman, who described his serve as "one of the greatest of all-time". With two spaces still left to fill, Sock may yet receive a call-up to this year's tournament, and the pair could potentially resume their formidable partnership.

Whilst team-mate Milos Raonic has enjoyed success against many top players including Rafa Nadal, John Isner has failed to beat the Majorcan-born player in seven attempts. However, the pair haven't met since 2017, and on his less-favored hard courts, Nadal could potentially be susceptible. Although trailing on the head-to-heads overall, the American has previously beaten Alexander Zverev, whilst he is tied at 1-1 with Austrian Dominic Thiem.

He will be looking to use his vast experience to help Team World achieve their first victory in the tournament. He is arguably supported by a stronger cast this time around, and John McEnroe will be feeling confident that Isner can help him lead his side to success in Switzerland.


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