'Not a huge priority': John Isner's shock Olympics announcement

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Joshn Isner has confirmed he will not be competing at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Joshn Isner has confirmed he will not be competing at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

US tennis star John Isner has confirmed he will be giving this year's postponed Tokyo Olympics a miss, instead preferring to spend the time with his family.

The world No.28 had already said back in January of 2020 that he was leaning towards skipping the Games.

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“I know the Olympics, it’s a fantastic honour. There’s no doubt about that,” Isner said last year. 

“Right now, at this stage in my career, it’s not a huge priority for me. So that’s probably the main reason I won’t be going. I certainly love playing in the summer in America, and I’m going to focus on that.”

The unprecedented global pandemic hasn't changed his mind either, with the 35-year-old still unfazed by the prospect of competing in Tokyo.

Isner has only competed at the Olympics once, when he lost in the quarterfinals of the singles tournament and lost in the first round of the doubles when partnered with Andy Roddick at the London 2012 Games.

Speaking ahead of the Miami open, Isner said he wouldn't have competed at the 2020 Games if they had gone ahead as scheduled, and that he hasn't changed his mind for the postponed Games.

“I’m going to stay closer to home and be with my family and focus on the events that will be back stateside,” he said.

Isner is the highest ranked of four American men's players likely to qualify for the Olympics, with Taylor Fritz (world No. 32), Reilly Opeka (world No.41) and Frances Tiafoe (world No. 58) all in the frame to compete.

Popyrin wins his Miami Open debut match

Alexei Popyrin has won his debut match at the Miami Open and is poised to soar to his highest world ranking after the rising Australian star defeated the oldest player in the main draw.

The 21-year-old Popyrin, who's having an impressive breakthrough season topped by his maiden tour triumph at the Singapore Open last month, accounted for Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the first round.

After taking the opening set with two breaks of serve, Popyrin looked set to lose the second as the 39-year-old Lopez broke for a 6-5 lead, but the youngster immediately rallied to take it into a tiebreaker.

Popyrin dominated the breaker to earn four match points but Lopez saved two of them - including one with an ace - before the Spaniard offered up the unlikely gift of a double fault.

Alexei Popyrin has won his first match at the Miami Open. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Alexei Popyrin has won his first match at the Miami Open. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

"It was a very difficult match," Popyrin told ATPTour.com.

"Feli is a very tough player. He has an unbelievable serve, so when I had my chances to break I was putting all of my focus on the break points.

"There was no rhythm in the match, so not many rallies, but I am happy with the way I was mentally.

"There were a couple of shaky moments here and there, but I hung in to win."

Victory gives Popyrin, who came close to beating world No.22 Karen Khachanov in Dubai last week, a second round assignment against fellow big server, American Reilly Opelka, who had a first-round bye as the 30th seed.

With AAP

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