A telephone call to John Isner at his training camp in Tampa this week revealed a lot of good news.
First, he has recovered from a freak injury that sidelined him more than a month.
“The pulled stomach muscle is completely well,” he said. “I pulled it playing beach football with former teammates at Hilton Head Island while attending the wedding of Ricardo Gonzales (his former Bulldogs teammate) in late October.”
Then he mentioned that Georgia assistant coach Will Glenn is going to travel with him to Australia next month.
“I invited Will to be my coach for two weeks in Australia,” Isner said. “We’ll leave the U.S. Dec. 29 and I’ll play in an ATP tournament at Brisbane Jan. 4-5, followed by the Australian Open at Melbourne. Will will scout my opponents and get me ‘psychologically set’ for my matches.”
Glenn, former Athens Academy star, was a four-year letterman at Georgia under coach Manuel Diaz. As a freshman, he was a member of the 1999 NCAA championship team. He redshirted in 2001 following a knee injury, and co- captained the 2003 team with Nicolas Boeker.
He became assistant coach in 2006. The Bulldogs have won the NCAA team crown in 2007 and 2008.
Isner’s next tournament is a qualifying competition at Boca Raton, Fla., starting Dec. 19. It involves four top U.S. young pros: Isner, Donald Young of Atlanta, Jesse Levine (a former Florida star) and Wayne Odesnik of West Palm Beach. The winner will receive a “wild card” entry to the Australian Open. The losers must qualify for the Open in a tourney in Melbourne.
Isner also said that he is very excited about Mardy Fish asking him to be his doubles partner at both Brisbane and Melbourne. Fish is considered the third-best American player, ranking behind the Bryan twins (Bob and Mike), and he recently was picked to play Davis Cup doubles against Spain when Bob Bryan was injured. He and Mike beat the Spanish, who went on to win the Cup.
This past summer, Fish and Isner won the doubles at the International Hall of Fame tournament at Newport.
I asked him how he had been investing the half-million dollars he has won on the pro tour.
“I bought a very nice house in Tampa,” he replied. “And I have moved out of my apartment. I think it’s a good investment.”
I concluded with “Good luck to you and Will ‘down under.’ “