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Beyond the Baseline

Isner undecided on Australian Open

John Isner John Isner would be the top-ranked U.S. man at the Australian Open, if he plays. (Rob Griffith/AP)

Bloomberg reports that John Isner may withdraw from the Australian Open with a bone bruise in his right knee. With the Australian Open set to begin Monday and the draw ceremony scheduled for Friday, Isner told reporters in Sydney that he is not a sure thing for the first major.

“I got a decision to make shortly,” the 27-year-old said. “It was a lot better than it was six days ago, but it wasn’t 100 percent. What I have needs time, that’s all it is.”

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The six-foot-nine Isner said his knee had been bothering him since December and was hampering his training.

“From now up until Melbourne I definitely can’t practice like I need to,” he said. “I could play. Certainly I could win a match maybe, a match or two. I don’t see myself winning the whole tournament at this point, that’s for sure.”

Isner, ranked No. 13, lost his opening match at the Sydney International to Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday. He also lost two matches at Hopman Cup last week, to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson, before withdrawing because of the knee injury. In fact, the big-serving Isner hasn't won a set through three matches in 2013, and he hasn't won back-to-back matches since the U.S. Open.

Isner made the third round of the Australian Open last year, losing to Feliciano Lopez after a memorable second-round win over David Nalbandian that ended 10-8 in the fifth set.

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