John Isner never turns down an opportunity to talk about sports. The big-serving American joined Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday for the Zoom chat show ‘Checking In With Tripp’, hosted by former NHL player Tripp Tracy.
Isner is a longtime Hurricanes fan and even dropped the puck for a game in February 2019. He’s also played tennis with all three NHL stars and wasn’t shy in revealing which of them had the most on-court potential.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 3, 2020
“Willy is actually a pretty good tennis player, but I’m not going to give it to him because he’s 40 years old,” Isner joked. “In terms of potential, I like Marty’s game a lot. He’s a lefty, very quick and whips the ball around. You could tell he played at least a little bit of tennis growing up. More importantly, he returned my serve a couple of times!
“You guys stand at the net and redirect slap shots coming 100mph and I think it’s pretty similar to returning a serve at that speed. I was very impressed with everyone at the indoor courts that day.”
Prior to Isner’s good-natured ribbing of Williams, the pair discussed the pros and cons of being a tall athlete in pro sports. Isner is one of the tallest players in ATP Tour history at 6’10”, while Williams is one of the tallest men currently in the NHL at 6’4”.
“Moving around is something that big guys always work on. I’m never going to be the fleetest of foot, but I move pretty well for my size and think I’ve gotten a little better at it as I’ve gotten older,” Isner said. “I just turned 35 and with my style of play, I think I can play for at least another two or three years. I hope the last thing that goes in my game is my shoulder strength and serve.”