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Friday, July 2, 2010
Isner reaping the benefits of epic match


John Isner is close to signing a sponsorship deal with a company in the "endurance" industry, but he isn't being inundated with offers, his agent said.

Isner made history at Wimbledon last week when he won the longest tennis match ever, downing Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 in 11 hours, 5 minutes in the first round. A loser in the second round, Isner returned to the U.S. and made appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman," "Good Morning America" and CNN.

"I think we might have something in the next two to three weeks," his agent, Sam Duvall said in a telephone interview Thursday. "A lot of people are saying my phone must be ringing off the hook. It's ringing. Most of the time it's been about an appearance here or a media thing there. It's rarely somebody saying, 'We'd like to give John lots of money to do X.'"

The slump in the economy and timing of the match, in the middle of the year, aren't helping, Duvall added.

"And also, do companies want to be aligned with tennis and tennis players?" Duvall said.

Current sponsor Vita Coco, which makes fresh coconut water, is set to boost Isner's profile around the U.S. Open in late August and early September.

Isner, the second tallest man in tennis at 6-foot-9, is now home in Tampa Bay, Fla., getting some rest.

"He's still pretty tired," Duvall said. "He went straight into doing a lot of stuff in New York. He hasn't just taken a day off and lounged. Today was his first day doing that."

A racket and shirt Mahut used in the match will go on display at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Following suit, a signed Isner racket is being donated, Duvall said.

Isner's victory at Wimbledon added to his growing reputation. Isner upset former world No. 1 Andy Roddick at last year's U.S. Open, won his first title in January and made his Davis Cup debut in March. His ranking has climbed more than 80 spots to 19th since June 2009.