Tennis News Wire -
John Inner considers his career breakthrough into a first-time Top 10 ranking the result of slow, steady tennis progress. Defeating Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells semi-finals assured the American of cracking the ATP elite.
The rise comes little more than a month after Isner beat Roger Federer in a Davis Cup rubber in Switzerland. "I've just kept on surprising myself after each year," said Isner. "When I reached in the top 50, that's actually when I did believe I could crack the top 10."
The big man cited continual improvement as his key: "I've just kept on improving, though I've always been a late bloomer. I was a decent junior, nothing special, I was a decent player my first years in college. I became the No. 1 player in college my junior year.
"I've always improved as I've gotten older. And I am 26, which isn't exactly young, but I feel like my best tennis is still ahead of me. And I would also say I don't quite have the miles on my body that a lot of other players have because I haven't been out here since I was 17 or 18 (as he graduated from university)."
Isner said he feels he has a place among the top players as he jockeys to pass Mardy Fish as the leading American. "I feel like I do belong there. I want to try my best to stay in the top 10 for a while."