Novak Djokovic Wimbledon 2022

‘Novak Djokovic makes me feel helpless on court,’ says John Isner

John Isner says Novak Djokovic is the toughest opponent he has ever faced as he is the only one who can make him feel ‘helpless.’

The big-serving American has seen it all during his career, with him enjoying many battles with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

However, Djokovic is widely considered to be the greatest returner the game has ever seen, and that makes him a particular nightmare for Isner to play.

“It’s probably Novak,” Isner said when asked who his toughest opponent is.

“Even though I played Rafa on clay off the top of my head, I played him on clay like four times.

“I think, once at the French Open, you know, that’s one of the toughest tasks in our sport, in sports period. It’s beating that guy on clay and but even more so than that beating him at as we know Roland Garros.

“But I would say it’s Novak. It’s when he’s locked in and dialled and taking my serve standing on the baseline returning, my first serve and just anticipating where my service going.

“I’ve felt helpless on the court, probably on one hand where I knew I had no shot and I was having huge trouble holding serve and three of those times have been against Novak.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.