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John Isner sets ATP all-time ace record in Wimbledon defeat

Victoria Chiesa | July 01, 2022

John Isner's made setting records at Wimbledon a habit. Despite losing to Italy's Jannik Sinner in Friday's third round, the 37-year-old American again put his name in the history books at the grass-court Grand Slam; with 24 aces in the match, Isner set a new ATP record for career aces. 


Isner arrived at Wimbledon needing to hit 94 aces to pass Ivo Karlovic's previous all-time best of 13,728. He hit 54 in a five-set win over France's Enzo Couacaud in Round 1 and added 36 in a four-set Round 2 win against Andy Murray, his first win over Murray in nine attempts. It was also the most aces ever hit by a player against Murray in a tour-level match, excluding Davis Cup; Karlovic hit 29 against the Scot at Wimbledon in 2015 for the previous best. 


Ahead of his match against Sinner, Isner was already thinking about adding another Wimbledon record to his résumé; he famously played the longest match in tennis history against France's Nicolas Mahut at the All-England Club in 2010, and also played tournament's longest-ever semifinal match against Kevin Anderson in 2018.


"I think I'll get it in my next match over the course of five sets. I should be able to get six aces," Isner said after beating Murray. "It's actually pretty cool. It's not going to put me in the Hall of Fame or anything like that, because that's not me. But I will be the all-time leader.


"I'll keep playing, keep adding to my total. I don't think that's a record that ... I don't know if it will get broken. I could be up there for a long time. It's actually really cool. It's something I'm really proud of."


It took just two service games against Sinner for Isner to break the record; after serving three in the opening game, he hit the record-breaking ace at 1-1, 15-30—the 13,729th such serve of his all-time annals. The 20-year-old Sinner, seeded No. 11, won the match though, 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3, to reach the second week at Wimbledon for the first time in his young career.

Isner's hit more than 1,000 aces in a season seven times in his career so far, including a career-high of 1,260 in 2015. He's hit 653 so far this season to lead the men's tour. The ATP's modern-era record-keeping began in 1991. 

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