Former world number one Marat Safin believes that John Isner has the ability to rise to the top five of the rankings this year following his victory over Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells.
Isner has been in fine form this season, steadily improving with every tournament, before taking the biggest win of his career in the semi-finals of the Californian tournament.
Following decades of America producing a series of world beating players with the likes of Sampras, Agassi and Connors, the country is currently experiencing a dearth of talent with the 26-year-old his country’s only recognised top player.
Following his victory against the world number one, Isner has been lifted into the top ten of the rankings for the first time in his career and is being tipped to continue his steady rise up the list throughout the rest of the year.
At present its widely acknowledged that Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are the four best players in the world but beneath them there is a number of players who appear to be unable to take that next step and bridge the gap.
Two-time Gran Slam champions Safin believes that Isner could be the man to challenge the ‘Big Four’ and has tipped him to make the breakthrough this season.
"I think at the end of the year Djokovic will be No.1" he said. "Then No.2 will be Nadal, then Federer, then Murray. Not much will change".
"Isner should be inside the top five. It's difficult to play against someone of his size. He serves way too big"
"When he has a good day it's almost impossible to play him. He's top 10 now and he definitely still has potential" the Russian added.
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