John Isner is six-foot-nine, America’s best tennis player and holds the world record for longest match ever played.
Other than that, he’s not so different from the rest of us — especially in his enjoyment of social media. Whether chatting with fans or tweeting about college sports or World Wrestling Entertainment, Isner is among his sport’s more personable athletes on Twitter.
Isner was forced to pull out of this week’s Australian Open with a knee issue, but that gave him some extra time to trade emails with Mashable. Read on to see how he first got into Twitter, who he likes to follow and what have been his most memorable experiences with social media.
QA With John Isner
You’re a pretty active tweeter. How’d you first get into Twitter and are there any other social media platforms you enjoy as well?
I was first introduced to Twitter by my agent about two-and-a-half years ago. I wasn’t that into in the beginning but it has definitely grown on me a lot. I never could have imagined that I would have over 120,000 followers like I do now. So it’s all been a very cool experience for me. I am most active on Twitter and I also have a Facebook page that I update, just not as much. Instagram is an impossibility because I am one of the brave few who still use the BlackBerry. I actually prefer it over the iPhone, so I’ll be sticking with my BlackBerry for a long time.
How do you see social media being most useful?
I use Twitter mostly to just interact with fans. One of the things I tweet the least about is tennis. I always find myself tweeting about everything but tennis. My Facebook page is the place to go to get more regular updates on my tennis. Some of my followers would probably prefer that I tweet more about tennis but I don’t see that happening in the future.Â
I know you’re a big fan of WWE, which is one of the more engaging social media sports brands. Are there any other teams and leagues your particularly enjoy following or keeping up with?
Yes, the WWE is something that I actively follow on TV and on Twitter. I was just never was able to grow out of that stage in my life and I still thoroughly enjoy it. As you mentioned, they’re more active on Twitter than probably any company I’ve ever seen before. And it seems as though their superstars are also very active. They get through to their fan base extremely well and Twitter is a huge catalyst for that. I follow the Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Bobcats. I’m extremely passionate when it comes to the Panthers and my Georgia Bulldogs, so I definitely keep a close eye on them through Twitter.
What’s have been the most memorable things to come out of social media for you — either specific moments, or just in general?
I would say what’s been most memorable for me on Twitter has been the opportunity for me to interact other athletes that I admire. I have ‘met’ athletes from all different sports and have sort of developed a relationship with them all through Twitter. So, for me, that has been very neat.
Do you have any rules about when you do and don’t spend time on Twitter with regard to tournaments and competitions, or is pretty much always a part of your routine?
When I am at an event I don’t have any rules when it comes to tweeting. Whether I’m at a small event or Wimbledon, I treat it all the same. I’ll tweet just as I normally do. My followers would probably prefer I tweeted more about tennis, especially when I’m competing, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Â
Photo courtesy Flickr, Kyle Tsui