LONDON (Reuters) – American John Isner could seal his legacy as the best server in the game on Wednesday with the all-time aces record in his sights but standing in his way at Wimbledon is a man with a reputation for taking on big servers, Andy Murray.
In a 15-year career, Isner has sent down over 13,000 aces and he is now 40 shy of Ivo Karlovic’s record mark of 13,728 on the ATP Tour.
There would be no better place to do it than Centre Court but the 37-year-old American has lost all eight times he has played twice Wimbledon champion Murray. They have never met on grass, however.
“Andy is a different animal. He’s much harder to ace because his anticipation is just amazing,” said Isner, who fired down 54 aces in his five-set first-round win.
“He’s so comfortable on the grass, more comfortable than I am. He has a lot more wins at this tournament than I do.
“Grass maybe is his best surface, it’s probably not my best surface. But it does a lot of good on my serve.”
Murray, however, is no longer at his peak since hip surgeries and the 35-year-old, who last beat Isner in 2016, is concerned about losing his rhythm against the American who also has one of the fastest recorded serves in history.
“You’re not necessarily always in control of them (the matches). You can go four or five service return games where you’re not getting any opportunities,” Murray said.
“But for whatever reason, I’ve always played well against them (big servers). The match-ups have been good for me.”
Centre Court will welcome back its day one winners with Briton Emma Raducanu taking on Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia and top seed Novak Djokovic facing Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“Caroline is a great opponent. I played her earlier on in the year in Indian Wells and it was a tricky match. She plays pretty fast tennis, I’m ready for that,” said Raducanu.
Kokkinakis, ranked 79th in the world, admitted he was clearly not the favourite against Djokovic.
“It’s going to be good fun out there and I’m going to swing free hopefully and play my game,” he said.
“He’s a brick wall, so you kind of got to beat him – he’s not going to beat himself.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)