Top-ranked American, John Isner, announced he would skip the upcoming Australian Open because of the coronavirus pandemic. Isner spoke about his decision after losing to Sebastian Korda in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Open.
During a virtual press-conference, Isner stated he expected to travel with his family, including two kids at this stage of his career. However, with the strict quarantine regulations in Australia, Isner didn’t subscribe to the proposition of staying away from his family for so long.
“At this stage in my career and in my life, I’ve always had visions of being able to travel with my family. And of course, that wouldn’t be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it. It really was just a situation where I didn’t want to be away from my family for that long. So, I’ve decided to stay home,” said Isner.
As per the government protocols, players will arrive in Melbourne in mid-January and then quarantine for two weeks straight along with their entourage. However, the concerned authorities have allowed the players to train for five hours during the quarantine period.
The 35-year-old Isner acknowledged that the decision to withdraw from the 2021 Australian Open was a tough one. However, he looks forward to spending time with his family back home. It will be the first since 2013 that Isner won’t compete at Melbourne Park.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all. I thought long and hard about it. But I feel comfortable with my decision right now and looking forward to getting home,” remarked Isner.
Isner’s best performance at the Australian Open was reaching the fourth round in 2010 and 2014. At the 2020 Australian Open, Isner was forced to retire from his third-round match against Stan Wawrinka because of a foot injury.
With almost a two-month-long break ahead of Isner, he will most likely return for the Acapulco Open and Miami Open in March. In 2018, Isner won his first Master’s 1000 title at the Miami Open and subsequently achieved his career-high ranking of No. 8.