Chat with John Isner
Isner, who stands 6-9, joins the chat just after stepping off the court at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston. The tournament runs through April 12.
Isner is in his third season as a pro, after having played collegiately at Georgia. As a senior in 2007, he led the Bulldogs to an NCAA championship, while being ranked No. 1 for most of the season. When he turned pro in the summer of 2007, Isner was ranked 839. By the end of the season, he was up to No. 106 in the world. Currently, he is ranked 82nd.
Send in your questions now, then join Isner at 3:30 p.m. ET Tuesday!
Buzzmaster (3:33 PM)
We've got John!
patrick (San Diego, CA)
What adjusments have you had(or have to) make to the ATP tour from Georgia in almost 2 years?
John Isner (3:34 PM)
I guess you have to be a little more professional with how you go about things. At Georgia, the little things were done for me, like flights and things like that. Now, I have to take care of my flights and I'm traveling by myself. It's an adjustment I'm still working on.
As a diehard Georgia Bulldogs fan, do you think Stafford will go number one?
John Isner (3:35 PM)
From what I've read, it looks like he will. I know Mel Kiper says that. I think he's worth the No. 1 pick. He's tall. He has a cannon for an arm and he's surprisingly quick. Detroit could either build around him or build around an OL, but I hope they take Stafford No. 1.
happy with your performance today?
John Isner (3:36 PM)
I am very happy. I started off slow. I haven't played a match at 10 a.m. since juniors. I started slow and came back. I really picked up my game at 4-3 in the second. I was very happy with how I played.
What is the strongest part of your game?
John Isner (3:37 PM)
I would have to say it's my serve. Other than that my forehand. My serve and my forehand are the two shots I think I need to go for me to be successful. Also, I think I'm in pretty good shape now, which is an asset for me.
John, Do you have any pre-match rituals?
John Isner (3:38 PM)
I really don't. I don't think I do anything out of the ordinary. I always take a shower before a match and I like to stretch out a lot. I'll throw my iPod on. I like to go out on the court after having been breaking a sweat, whether it's riding the bike or running around.
Brendan (Foley, NC)
How was your serve today?
John Isner (3:39 PM)
I served well, except for the first game in the whole match. I got broken in that game, but I wasn't broken in the rest of the match. I didn't hit a lot of big flat hard serves, but I kept him off balance. I had some kick serves, which got up pretty high.
You might play Sam Querrey in your next match. Are you guys friends? What's it like when you do play a friend of yours on you tour?
John Isner (3:40 PM)
Yeah, I'm really really good friends with Sam. We hang out quite often. Before Indian Wells, I went to his house and practiced with him for a couple of days before going to the tournament. It would be weird if I played him. I played Mardy Fish earlier this year, who is also a friend of mine. You want to get fired up out there, but you don't want to cross any lines. But Sam and I are such good friends that it wouldn't be a problem.
Do you believe you can become the top american male?
John Isner (3:41 PM)
Yeah, I really do. I kind of have to have that mentality. With the way I'm playing now, I'm working my way up to that level. I've got a long way to go. I feel like I have the right crew in my corner. I'm working with a new trainer. I have a new coach. I have a good camp. If I can continue to do the things I'm doing now, I think I have a shot at being one of the top Americans.
Sam (Galvenston, TX)
Did I see you at Wrestlemania on Sunday?!?! What other sports do you like?
John Isner (3:43 PM)
Yeah, I was there at Wrestlemania on Sunday. I actually went with Sam Querrey, which is funny. He's not as big a fan as I am, but he went along. It was an amazing experience. I am actually a big fan and I know a lot of people make fun of me for that. I like every sport. The one sport I don't watch is tennis. Hockey, NFL. Baseball. I don't have a team, there's none in North Carolina.
Mark (Fairfax, VA)
It seems to me that with just some minor adjustments/improvements to your game that you could start going deeper into larger tourneys. What do you think you need improve?
John Isner (3:44 PM)
I think I've kind of shown a little bit of that form in these last four weeks. I thik I can still improve on my movement on the court. I can still get stronger. Just continue, it's kind of cliche, but put the work in on the practice court.
I used to live with your boy Foley in DC, you actually like that kid?
John Isner (3:45 PM)
Brendan Foley, I go way back with that kid. Foley was one of my older brother's friends growing up. I still keep in touch with him a lot.
Brendan (Foley, NC)
I know you are a big Carolina Panthers fan? Do you think they will trade Steve Smith? He was getting pretty thuggish.
John Isner (3:46 PM)
Uhh, no. I don't think we're going to trade Steve Smith. I hope we get rid of Peppers. It seems to me that he doesn't want to play for Carolina any more. We placed the tag on him and he's going to have such a large salary. But I don't think we trade Steve Smith.
What was it like attending the University of Georgia?
John Isner (3:47 PM)
That was an absolute blast. It was the best four years of my life. Coach Diaz at Georgia is one of the best coaches around. Going into college I was really raw and not that good of a tennis player. That's where I developed my game. I knew I could do well on the pro tour. They really set me up for everything I'm doing today.
John Isner (3:48 PM)
Thanks for the questions. I'm really thankful that you're all out there supporting me.