Andy Murray will bid to stop big-serving John Isner setting another record at Wimbledon today. The American world No.24 won the longest ever match at SW19 in 2010 when he took three days to beat Nicolas Mahut on Court 18 – and sent down 113 aces.
Today on Centre Court the 2018 semi-finalist can establish a new record total of aces served on the ATP Tour by powering down another 40 against the Scot. Ivo Karlovic holds the current record of 13,728
BBC analyst John McEnroe has called his fellow American as “the best server in the history of tennis”.
But Murray, one of the best returners in history, holds an 8-0 record against Isner though they have never played on grass. He did beat 6 ft 11 Karlovic in the fourth round in 2015 despite the Croatian powering down 29 aces.
The Scot said: They’re obviously very tough players to play against because of the nature of how the matches go. You’re not necessarily always in control of them. You can go four or five service return games where you’re not getting any opportunities. There’s not always lots of rhythm in the match, so it’s difficult.
“But for whatever reason I’ve always played well against them. The matchups have been good for me. I have played well against John in the past. I don’t think I’ve ever played him on grass before, so there will be different challenges.
“He’s played well here before. He was very close to making the final a few years ago. I’ll need to play really well and certainly return a bit better than I did tonight if I want to get through that.”
Murray beat James Duckworth in four sets on Centre Court on Monday night while Isner returned to Court 18 to send down 54 aces against French qualifier Enzo Couacaud
“Everybody asked me about my memories on that court, and it’s nightmares,” he laughed. “Would I think about requesting not playing there? I’m a nobody. I can’t go request what court to play on at Wimbledon. I just was kind of praying I wouldn’t be on that court. The schedule came out, and I go: ”****. It happens. I hope to play on Centre Court against Andy.”
Isner, 37, called Murray, 35, a “legend of the sport” and said he was inspired by his longevity. “I’m older than Andy so I’m no spring chicken, but I work hard, too,” he said.
“He’s so comfortable on the grass, more comfortable than I am. It’s probably not my best surface but it does a lot of good on my serve. Andy is a different animal. He’s much harder to ace because his anticipation is just amazing. The grass does certainly help out my serve.”