John Isner - Second Round
Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
J. ISNER/M. Russell
7 6, 2 6, 7 6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did Michael do anything to surprise you tonight?
JOHN ISNER: No, I knew that he was you know, nobody likes playing him because he's such a tough out. I expected that from him.
You know, I didn't expect him to only make like two mistakes the whole match, but I knew it was gonna be tough. To be honest with you, he was the way better player today. I got really lucky.
That's really what it comes down to was luck. He probably deserved to win, but I was fortunate.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the second set and also about how you managed to come back after that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. You know, I didn't I didn't feel great out on the court right from the get go, because I hadn't played in humid conditions at all this year.
It always takes me a really long time to get acclimated with the humidity. It's not so much the heat, it's just the humidity that gets me. It was just kind of zapping all my energy away.
But, you know, end of that second set I just wanted to conserve my energy for the third, and that's what I did, you know. But I actually felt better in the third set than I did the first two sets.
Q. It was actually kind of a battle of two guys who nobody likes to play. Nobody.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah.
Q. Nobody likes to see you in the draw and nobody likes to see him in the draw.
JOHN ISNER: Yes, I guess I didn't think about it that way, but yes, obviously both for different reasons. You know, he's gonna keep you out there all day. He's not gonna get tired. He's gonna run things down.
Some of the shots he ran down tonight were ridiculous. I had to hit a forehand winner on match point on the outside of the line like inside the service line, and that's the only way I could win a point out there.
Like I said before, I just got lucky.
Q. You're not exactly lucky though in final set tiebreaker. You're 15 and 3. That's quite a record.
JOHN ISNER: Oh, yeah. Having a big serve helps, obviously, and I served exceptionally well on that tiebreaker, you know, so I didn't I mean, I don't know what to say.
I got free points on my serve the whole tiebreaker, and that's huge. You know, maybe put a little pressure on him, because he was holding his serve pretty easy. When I'm up 6 5 he's one point away from the match.
But he didn't play a bad point. I had to hit a forehand winner kind of out of nowhere to win the match.
Q. It seemed like his best chance against you came a game number two in the third set, because there it took seven or eight deuces before you closed out that game. Looked like he was starting to wear you down. You were kind of looking at your coach or whoever was on the side where you were sitting, and seemed to have that extra resolve from that point onward.
JOHN ISNER: He was wearing me down really the whole match. It wasn't just the third set. I was sweating like an animal out there. I had to towel off every point. It was absurd how much I was sweating.
But, you know, if it didn't look like it, I did feel better in the third set than I did the first two sets. I think I got acclimated to, you know, the conditions a little bit.
You know, so the third set I had a little bit more, you know, fuel left in the tank than I did the first two sets.
Q. Your thoughts on Ferrero the next match?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, I'm just glad it's not tomorrow. (laughing.)
Yeah, he's tough. I mean, I haven't thought anything about it. I'm gonna have to serve well and take my chances. He used to be No. 1 in the world, so it would be a huge win for me if I can pull it off. But it's definitely a tall task.
Q. Back to the third set, on the second game and on the last game, you had six ad points in both. Did that kind of wear you down, or did you I mean, do you hate being in that situation or just keep fighting through? What was it like?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think in both those games it probably shouldn't have gotten to that. I missed easy shots. Just, you know, my mind went away on the last game I was up 40 15.
I basically had an overhead on top of the net and missed it. It goes to deuce, my ad, deuce, my ad, deuce. I didn't panic. I knew my serve was probably gonna get me out of that jam, and it did.
But yeah, I mean, I might have had a little bit more energy had I closed those games out earlier.
Q. Can you tell me about the atmosphere out there and the crowd? People had waited a long time.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it was it wasn't packed out there, but it's it was pretty neat. He had some pretty rowdy fans on his side, I would say a handful of 'em. Same for me. They were both respectful.
I had some old college friends of mine that were there. So it was a fun atmosphere. I think the people that were there were into the match.
Q. Now that Andy Roddick is not playing Davis Cup, do you feel a certain mantle of expectation, that everyone is depending on you and Sam to kind of carry the flag in that sense? Are you ready to take a leadership role with Davis Cup?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I am. I think Sam is, too, as long as captain McEnroe continues to select us for the team. Andy hasn't retired for good from Davis Cup. I think it's just this year he wanted to take a little break.
I think it's probably a smart decision for him. I think he's won the most matches on tour than anybody this year. That was a smart move for him.
But Sam and I, you know, we enjoy playing Davis Cup. I think we have to play in September to stay in the World Group. It stinks to be in that position, but we'll be up to the task.
And, you know, if we're selected for next year we'll be ready.
Q. You played Ivo Karlovic in Memphis. Was that the first time you guys had played? What was that like? Battle of the big serving?
JOHN ISNER: He beat me in New Haven like 2008 or something, and then I beat him there. So, yeah, it's weird playing against him. He'd probably say the same thing playing against me. I played really well that day, actually, playing in Memphis.
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