John Isner playing pickleball.
John Isner competing at the CIBC Texas Open powered by Tixr. PPA Tour

Isner falls in pro pickleball debut

ROCKWALL, TX - John Isner’s pro pickleball debut didn’t end with a win, but the former face of American tennis certainly had his moments on Humana Championship Court.

Qualifiers Sep Attar and Jay Wang beat Isner and Wyatt Stone 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 Saturday morning to book their spot in the Round of 32.

It would have been appropriate for the pair to have some nerves facing a former top ten tennis player, but Attar and Wang didn’t let that impact them too much.

“Jay and I didn’t grow up playing tennis or watching tennis, so [John] was just like another guy on the court to us,” Attar explained. “We’ve played against him a couple times before in rec, so it was more like playing a friend than a tennis star for us.”

Isner’s height (he’s six-foot-ten) presented the greatest challenge for the tandem, as he expertly converted a number of ernes. Attar and Wang, to their credit, did a better job in the last two games of limiting the opportunities for Isner to use his height.

“We just wanted to keep everything shallow and pray that he wouldn’t attack it out of the air,” Attar shared.

As the match went into Game 3, Wang and Attar found success speeding up at the big man off the bounce at the kitchen line and body-bagged him multiple times.

“The plan was just to dink it to him when possible and speed it up at his body because he wasn’t able to get out of the way that fast,” Attar said.

The No. 45 seeds will next face No. 14 seeds Chuck Taylor and Spencer Smith.