John Isner has racked up frequent-flyer miles throughout his 15-year career. But the American doesn’t have to travel far this week as he competes in front of family, friends, and a local crowd at the Dallas Open. The only travel he will do this week is a short drive from his house to the Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex.
The World No. 38, who has called Dallas home for five years, spoke with ATPTour.com about what he enjoys most residing in the Texas city. Isner, seeded fifth, meets Chun-Hsin Tseng on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Dallas Open.
What do you like about living in Dallas?
I think the people here. By and large, the people here are very, very nice. They have welcomed my family here with open arms.
How much time do you get to check out the city and is there a certain area you like to check out?
I get a lot of time to check out the city. I like Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, I have some friends that live in that area. I like Downtown and the Perot Museum [of Nature and Science] — our kids really like that. And the aquarium. A lot of the stuff we do revolves around the kids.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
There are multiple. I love steak. Nick & Sam’s, Al Biernat’s are both fantastic. In my opinion, Dallas is very well known for their incredible restaurants. I like Beverley, Mi Cocina, Doce Mesas. The list could go on and on.
If you’re short on time, Is there a fast-food restaurant you like?
Because of our family dynamic now with kids, Bubba’s. It’s like the only drive-thru in Highland Park. Between Bubba’s and Chik-Fil-A, the kids like it and of course I’ll dig in.
What’s your opinion on the Texas-famous Whataburger?
I do like Whataburger. I don’t eat that many of them for whatever reason. There’s not one that’s too close to me, so I have to get out of the bubble a little bit but I’m definitely a fan.
Is there somewhere you like to go for sweets?
I like Baldo’s Ice Cream. It’s close and the kids like it as well.
When was the last time you attended a Cowboys, Mavericks, or Stars game?
Last week, I went to a Stars game before their [All-Star] break. They lost to Carolina in Overtime. I love hockey, it might be my favourite sport besides tennis. I go to more Stars games than Mavericks games. And I went to two Cowboys games this year.
What is the most unique thing you’ve ever done in Dallas?
Probably the state fair. It’s a tradition here. It’s not that unique, but for me being from another state, it is. It’s a staple here in Dallas. We ate corn dogs and didn’t feel that great after.
What is one thing in Dallas you’ve heard about that you haven’t done but want to try or attend?
I’ll stick with the food theme. I think Keller’s [Drive-In] Burgers. I haven’t had that burger yet. Everyone in Dallas has their favourite burger spots. I think Hudson House has a really good burger but I need to try Keller’s.
If someone who had never been to Dallas before came to visit, what would you say they need to see or do?
I would say we’ll go a little outside of Dallas and catch an event at AT&T Stadium. A Cowboys game, or a concert. It’s a very cool spot.
What about outside the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex? How much of Texas have you been able to see and do you have a favourite spot?
I really like Buc-ee’s. Even if we’re going on a road trip that’s not so long, we’ll stop in there even if we don’t need gas or food. You always stop there! You can get anything. You can walk out of there with a brand new ensemble. I think when people not from the state see that place they’re like, ‘What the hell is this place?’ It’s pretty unique.