John Isner happy with underdog tag against Novak Djokovic

John Isner press conference

John Isner knows it will be a “big challenge” when he takes on Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals, but he is looking forward to playing “loose and free”.

While Isner snuck into the season-ending tournmanet via the back door thanks to Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal due to injury, Djokovic cruised into the event thanks to a brilliant second half of 2018 during which he won two Grand Slams and two Masters trophies.

The American, though, cannot be written off as he is also coming off a great year having won his maiden ATP Masters title at the Miami Open and also reached the semi-final of Wimbledon.

While Djokovic will no doubt be favourite, Isner is ready for the “very tough match” against the world No 1.

“I’m up against it for sure. Novak has won this event five times,” the told

“He’s the player to beat this week for sure, and he’s back to No 1 after an incredible second half of the year. It’s a good spot for me, because I don’t have much to lose. I’m definitely the underdog.

“I’m going out there to play my best and be loose and free. I’ve played him eight or nine times and I’ve beaten him a couple, but he’s beaten me more times than I have. It’s going to be a very tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. The atmosphere is going to be great and it’s going to be a big challenge.”

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