American player John Isner has decided to skip the Australian Open, the first major of the year, as Covid-19 protocols would mean he would have to stay away from his family for an extended period.
Australia has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all international travelers. Tennis Australia has been able to negotiate some leeway for the players arriving in the country for the major, allowing them no more than five hours outside their hotel room to practice and train.
“I am staying at home,” Isner told Tennis Majors website.
The towering player, who stands at 6’10, is currently placed at No 25 in the world and is the highest-ranked American men’s player in the world.
“At this stage in my career and in my life, I’ve always had visions of being able to travel with my family. And of course, that wouldn’t be the case for Australia this year,” said the 35-year-old, father of two.
“I have a super-long break right now, that’s for sure,” said Isner, who added he only made his decision to skip the Australian Open on Sunday night.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all,” he said. “I thought long and hard about it. But I feel comfortable with my decision right now and looking forward to getting home.”
Isner’s best result at the Australian Open has been a round of 16 finish in 2010 and 2016. He has reached the semi-final of a major once – at Wimbledon in 2018.