“I would like to hold that record” – Isner chases Karlovic’s record after becoming second player to hit 13,000 aces

Atlanta Open winner Isner advances to meet 11th seed Jannik Sinner in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati

John Isner (USA) serves the ball against Cameron Norrie (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center

John Isner became only the second player in tennis to hit 13,000 aces during his first-round win over Cameron Norrie at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The 6 ft 10 in Isner hit 26 aces during his 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Britain’s Norrie and in the process hit his milestone 13,000th ace.

Isner’s 26 aces during the first-round win on Tuesday took his total aces count to 13,004 – which is second only to Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who stands at No 1 with 13,709 aces.

Speaking after his win on Tuesday, Isner was delighted to reach the milestone figure and said the all-time record was something that he could possibly attain.

“Oh, wow. Very cool. I do know that I’m within shouting distance of Ivo and of maybe getting that record. We’ll see. I also saw he might be retiring, I don’t know, but if he does retire soon, that’s certainly a milestone that seems attainable, the all-time record milestone, what I’m talking about.”

Isner, who already owns the record for the longest professional match in tennis history (his marathon win over Nicolas Mahut in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010 which spanned 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days) and the record for the third-fastest “official” server in ATP history (157.2 mph or 253 kmph – which is also the third-fastest in tennis history) made no bones about the fact that he would like to end his career with the record for most aces.

“I would like to hold that record. I’m not going to shy away from that. We’ll see if I can get there.’

Isner to play young gun Sinner next

Isner, who won the ATP event in Atlanta and reached the semi-finals in Toronto last week, will look forward to continuing this record when he takes on 11th seed Jannik Sinner in the second round. Sinner had advanced on Monday with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Federico Delbonis.

Isner added that he has been feeling confident about his game in recent weeks following his disappointing first-round exit at Wimbledon and believed that his smart scheduling of tournaments has helped him.

“It’s definitely the time of year that I like. I didn’t have a good Wimbledon. I didn’t play any grass court warmups. That was on purpose. I just wanted to take my shot at Wimbledon and see what would happen. Didn’t go well. Lost first round. That was a bitter pill to swallow, for sure. After Wimbledon, I had some more time off to stew over that loss. But the one thing I did was take care of myself, worked hard, got myself healthy and fit. I have been playing well ever since.”

“I think I have been very smart with my schedule, also, starting in Mexico and Atlanta, playing a lot of matches. I had to take D.C. off, which was smart, and I did that because I knew I could do well in these two tournaments, Toronto and Cincy. That’s proving to be the case right now.”

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