John Isner has put his positive late-2016 form down to a clear mind, and says he’s ready to deliver more of the same.
Isner, 31, finished the 2016 ATP campaign ranked 19th in the world after a run to the final of the World Tour Masters in Paris, where he was defeated by Andy Murray.
He told reporters on Saturday that the tournament in Paris, which followed a quarter-final exit in Vienna, was without doubt his best tennis of the year.
A good off-season now puts him in position to repeat the trick in the City of Sails, before he begins his bid to upset some of tennis’ all-time greats at the Australian Open
“That tournament in Paris shined a light on the right way to play and right way to go about my business,” Isner said.
“I was just going for my shots more and wasn’t thinking as much, certainly more confident once I won two, three matches.”
Handed a bye for the first round in Auckland, second seed Isner will face either Diego Schwartzman or Malek Jaziri for a spot in the quarter-finals.
He felt bullish about his chances for the tournament, having played in Auckland five times previously and won the event in 2010 and 2014.
“It’s a fantastic field, it always is, players are trying to gain some form going into the Australian Open and this is one of the best tournaments to do that,” Isner said.
“I’ve been here quite a few times before and for me, it’s great preparation.”