US-NEWS-ISNER-TESTED-IN-OPENING-MATCH-1-NDN.jpg

John Isner bends down to return a shot during his opening match at the Hall of Fame Open on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019. Isner needed three sets before moving past 102nd-ranked Kamil Majchrzak of Poland. [KATE LUCEY/INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME]

John Isner said he will skip next month's Australian Open because the strict COVID-19 health protocols would keep him away from his family for too long.

Players are set to begin arriving in Melbourne this week for the Feb. 8-21 tournament. Government restrictions require players to isolate for two weeks before participating in warmup events.

Isner made the announcement following Monday's loss in the Delray Beach Open quarterfinals in Florida, where he was the No. 2 seed.

"At this stage of my career and in my life, I always had visions of being able to travel with my family," Isner told reporters. "Of course, that wouldn't be the case for Australia this year. Understandably so, I get it. It really was just a situation where I didn't want to be away from my family for that long. I decided to stay home."

Isner, 35, is currently the highest-ranked U.S. men's player at No. 25. He reached the fourth round in Australia in 2010 and 2016, his best finish at the grand slam event.

Isner, known for his 6-foot-10 frame and booming serve, has won 15 ATP singles titles. He made the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2018.

--Field Level Media

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