Following his 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over Portugal’s Frederico Gil, American John Isner revealed that his ankle injury from Cincinnati is worse than originally thought.
“I was concerned,” said the former Georgia Bulldog, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 in July, the same month he battled France’s Nicolas Mahut over three days in a Wimbledon epic for the ages. “I haven’t really been practicing. Since the injury, I was pretty much horizontal for more than a week, so I didn’t really know how it was going to feel.”
An MRI in Cincinnati originally showed that he had a torn ligament. But when he returned to Florida, it was discovered that it was in fact worse, and doctors recommended an extended hiatus.
“It wasn’t torn. It was everything but torn. It was barely hanging on,” said Isner, who, despite the diagnosis, said he was mostly pain-free against Gil and isn’t worried about re-injuring the ankle.
“My foot is more supported with the tape and the brace. Now that I got that one match under my belt, I know that it felt pretty good. I don’t see any issues with me reinjuring it, knock on wood,” he said. “I’ll be with my usual routine on a day off, which is practice, but no more than an hour. That’s what most players do anyway. I don’t think it will be an issue. I just got to keep on it. That’s what I’ve been really diligent at. All my focus literally the last two weeks has been on my ankle. That’s the only reason I’ve been able to play. This really was like a four- to six-week injury and I got it ready to play in two.”
“The issue when you hurt your ankle, everything else shuts down,” continued the 25-year-old, who will go up against Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli in the second round. “That’s just what happens. So I’ve just got to rebuild the strength in my legs. Because when you have that hurt ankle you’re not able to put any weight on it for a long time. Everything on the right side of my body was shut down. I have to get to the point where my left and right side are moving the same.”