John Isner has taken his usual method of operation and raised it in this Summer's Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series. After winning in Atlanta and finding his way to the Washington Finals, he upped the ante by taking out World Number One, Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters on Friday, 7-6, 3-6, 7-5.
In what has already been an impressive summer resume, Isner now finds himself in the Western & Southern Open semifinals with his "Home Tournament" just around the corner from Winston-Salem.
Isner is presently ranked 22nd in the World and hopes to carry momentum into the U.S. Open in two weeks.
But we have witnessed glimpses of this in the past, most recently last year where he rode the wave of his Winston-Salem Open victory only to appear burned out and spent in New York. He received some criticism for playing a spree of matches before the Open, particularly at Winston-Salem just days before he started play in Flushing Meadows. But Isner was adamant about competing in the tournament only 30 minutes from his home. He is the only Champion of the event's two years.
Can he change the course this year?
Isner was only focused on the present after the match, "A fantastic win for me,...Certainly one of my greatest memories as a tennis player."
Since departing the grass of Wimbledon, Isner has won 15 matches to only 3 losses, taking down players such as Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic and Kevin Anderson. He will square off with Juan Martin Del Potro next, looking for a different result from the Washington Final. The Argentine won that one in three sets.
With his recent success, he has given Americans a glimmer of hope for a deep threat in the season's last major tournament. United States men's tennis could certainly use a transfusion of success in a Grand Slam during an era in which they have been far from a factor.