Veteran tennis player John Isner elected to skip the Australian Open this February due to the impact of travelling on his family with coronavirus restrictions in place.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all,” 35-year-old Isner said. “I thought long and hard about it, but I feel comfortable with my decision right now and am looking forward to getting home.”
Isner’s two young children and wife were at the heart of his decision to forego participation in Melbourne this year. Players must undergo two weeks of quarantine before the event, which has led to Isner deciding to stay away in 2021.
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“At this stage of my career and in my life, I always had visions of being able to travel with my family. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it,” Isner said.
“It really was just a situation where I didn’t want to be away from my family for that long. I decided to stay home.
“I told myself prior to the pandemic that we were going to travel with them as much possible and we were going to make it as much fun as possible on the road.
“When I travel in Europe, I was going to stay at the nicest hotels and just make a really nice trip out of all of it because I won’t be playing tennis forever, there’s no doubt about it. Certainly, right now, tennis is not the most important thing in my life. It’s my family.”
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Despite entering the last years of his career, the world No. 25 is not keen to retire yet.
“Me not going to Australia doesn’t mean that I’m not committed, because I still am,” Isner said.
“I’m healthy, I feel really good and I’ll continue to take care of my body. Once the Tour gets back from Australia, I look forward to playing as full of a season as I possibly can.”