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An Interview With: John Isner (Round 4)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Q. You hadn't played him in a while. Talk about how he was moving tonight.
JOHN ISNER: How he was moving?

Q. Yes.
JOHN ISNER: I don't know. I think well. I mean, he always moves well. Pretty effortless out there, it seems like. He's so fluid in how he moves. I think that's the big reason why he's able to, you know, play at such a high level for such a long time and stay so healthy as well.

It's pretty impressive.

Q. How happy are you with your tournament overall? Only got broken once.
JOHN ISNER: I mean, I did play well here, for sure. You know, going up against him in the Round of 16 is not easy. But I have a lot to be proud of, for sure. I would certainly still like to be in the tournament. I really would have liked my chances against some other players out there. But he was too good. That's what I was up against. There's nothing you can do about that.

It was still a good experience, a lot of fun.

Q. What do you walk away from a match like that, down to a few points?
JOHN ISNER: It was a few points. If you would have told me before the match started it would come down to a few points here or there, I would have taken that, especially given how good he is.

But he played those points better, came up with the goods. That's why he's who he is.

There's a lot I can draw from. I played well this summer. I put myself in a good position to, you know, finish out the year strong and get ranked pretty high at the end of this year. Yeah, this is my favorite tournament. Stinks to be out now, but there's still some tournaments ahead, as well.

Q. Is the actual return part of his game a different challenge than from other players or is the difficulty more once the point is in play?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, probably the point. But he has that chip return that's good. I mean, he does everything pretty well. The few chances I did have in the second set, I think he made all first serves or something, so...

You know, against him, with the way I play, I've got to try to capitalize on those, and I wasn't able to. But he came up with some good shots, good serves.

Q. The way the crowd was, it was mixed. Does it bother you this is the United States Open, they're not 100% behind you?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. I mean, if I was playing anyone else, the crowd I think would have been more behind me. But Roger, you know, he's a legend, living legend, still going.

I expected the crowd to be into it on both sides. I don't think there was really a favorite. I mean, okay, yeah, if it was 100% on my side, that would be nice. But I understand that people pay a lot of money to see that guy play. So it's all good.

Q. You haven't played that many Ashe night sessions in your career. What is it like being out there?
JOHN ISNER: It's cool. It's way more humid. I was sweating like a pig out there. It was disgusting. I mean, I didn't expect it to be that humid. I knew once I was warming up, it was rough. I was changing hats, shirts, wristbands. I had to change everything after that second set. That's why I took so long, change my ankle braces. It's not easy. I'm soaking wet doing it. That was what I took out of it.

The atmosphere was incredible, yes, but it was a lot more humid at night as well.

Q. Could you talk about Federer's mental toughness. Do you also get a sense of his mental conditioning, how he's thinking through the game?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, seems to me that he stays the course, doesn't get too rattled. He had a lot of chances to break me. He was one for something. But he had some chances to kind of break the match open a little bit and didn't.

But he stayed calm and composed, and he stuck with it. He always seems to do that. You know, he doesn't beat himself really. To beat him, you got to go out and do it.

Q. For you, it's more of a mental exercise kind of gearing up for this match playing against him?
JOHN ISNER: You don't, like, prepare yourself more. But you know going into the match, you're going to have to be strong mentally, physically. All aspects really.

Q. You spoke about some of those break chances you had returning in the second set. In the first set, though, that tiebreaker, how pivotal do you think that was? Was it surprising to you the way it went away so quickly?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if I've ever lost a tiebreaker 7-0.

Q. You haven't.
JOHN ISNER: All right. So there you go.

Yeah, that was surprising. At 6-0 it's hopeless, you know. So, yeah, that was a lot on me. He had a lot to do with that, as well. Could have been much better.

The second-set tiebreaker I played well, put myself in position to win that. I think I was serving at 5-3, so... Didn't get it done.

Q. You were not on the list for Uzbekistan. Why did you want to skip that?
JOHN ISNER: I mean, the word 'skip,' yeah. It's more of I'm not playing because there's a lot of things I need to rest up, especially my knee. Bothering me all summer really. I mean, it felt fine this week.

I don't want to go over there and potentially be a liability out there. It's tough 'cause I've always answered the call every time I've been asked to play Davis Cup. But this time's different. I had to look out for myself a little bit, try to get 100% healthy.

Q. You were down Love-40 a couple times, came back and held your serve. In general, what goes through your mind when you do get down Love-40?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, just try to keep with it, try to make some good serves. I know that my opponent's feeling a bit of pressure, as well. Really trying to get one of those three points. I was able to climb out of one of them but not that last one.

Q. Do you see any parallels in Kevin Anderson's development? Big guys with big serves. Do you take any inspiration with him having a breakthrough like that?
JOHN ISNER: No, I don't. But he's a good player. Doesn't inspire me.

He works extremely hard, does all the right things, things that you guys don't see. So credit to him. He's a very good player. I saw a good amount of that match when I was here getting ready for my match. He went out and won it. So that's good for him.

Q. You're in pretty decent shape for the race to London. Would you schedule at all trying to maximize your chances with that?
JOHN ISNER: I do have a little bit of a break with Davis Cup not being on the schedule. But, yeah, I'm going to go for it, for sure. There's a lot of big tournaments ahead in the fall. Try to get my body right to make a serious run for that.

I know it's tough, but it's also doable. It would be incredible for me to be able to make that. So I'm going to keep working hard, do the right things, go out there in Asia and Europe and try to get it done.

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