‘Right now, tennis is not the most important thing in my life’ says ATP star after Aussie Open withdrawal

John Isner, America’s number one ranked player, has made the decision to skip the Australian Open this year due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions. 

Players who travel to Australia must adhere to strict quarantine regulations which restrict their movements for two weeks prior to the competition.

This week has already seen controversy over the rules, with complaints that favoritism has been given to the top 3 players from the ATP and WTA who are being moved to Adelaide to quarantine with more freedom due to an exhibition event.

It is also one of the theories as to why Roger Federer has withdrawn from the competition, given by Australian Open officials although this has been contested by his coach.

But Isner has said that the fact his family will not be able to accompany him to Australia is a no-go for him as he is assessing his priorities.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at all,” Isner said. “I thought long and hard about it, but I feel comfortable with my decision right now and [I am] looking forward to getting home.”

“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,”

“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.

“Me not going to Australia doesn’t mean that I’m not committed, because I still am,” the 35-year-old 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.”

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