Originally written on Tennis Grand Stand  |  Last updated 10/21/14

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 19: John Isner of the United States of America plays a forehand in his first round match against Andreas Seppi of Italy during day two of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
By Yeshayahu Ginsburg John Isner is honestly baffling as a player. He has probably the best serve in the world. It is certainly one of the biggest, it is quite accurate, and his height allows him to do things with it that most others can’t. Even when compared to similar players like Milos Raonic or Kevin Anderson, Isner’s serve just seems more effective. So it would stand to reason that, like other powerful servers and big hitters, Isner’s best bet at being a top-level player is to play as much on hard courts as possible and to try and just power his way through as many matches as he can. This theory has worked for him and brought him into the top 20 in the early years of his career. Unfortunately, it is the wrong outlook. Because if there is one surface that can put Isner over the top—if there is one area in which he can truly become a top player in the world—it is the red clay courts of Europe. Does this sound strange? After all, Americans and big servers are not known for their p...
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