John Isner is through to the quarter-finals at the US Men's Clay Court Championships, but has withdrawn from next week's Masters 1000 event at the Monte Carlo Country Club
He may have beaten both Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on clay in the past two months – and the latter at the Monte Carlo Club last weekend - but John Isner is set to pull out of next week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo.
The 26-year-old American, who is competing in Houston this week, will head back to Florida after the tournament to work on his fitness before returning to Europe for the Masters 1000 events in Madrid (on May 5) and Rome.
“I will go back home and work with my coach, Craig Boynton," Isner said. "I need to get in better shape if I want to do good in these next two majors coming up and Masters events. I need to be in better shape, put my head down, go back to work and get my body right."
Isner reached his first Masters 1000 final in Miami this March after beating Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals – one of 18 wins to his name this season that have helped him climb into the top 10 for the first time.
“I feel like I’m a much better player,” Isner declared. “I’m a more confident player; to compete at this level and do well you have to be confident and that's what I have on my side. I know confidence can come and go and I think I proved that throughout the course of 2012 so far. I think that match against Roger in Switzerland certainly I played close to my highest level on clay, away with 7,500 people cheering against us; I played the right way and I kind of realised at that point that's how I need to play. I've tried to stay engaged I'd like to think I'm sort of a nightmare to play."
The 26-year-old Tampa resident is through to the quarter-finals in Houston, where he will play defending champion Ryan Sweeting for a place in the last four.
Frenchman Richard Gasquet is also out of the Monte Carlo event, citing an ankle injury.