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March 30, 2015

John Isner


J. ISNER/G. Dimitrov
7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ After your last performance, last match, you said you're starting to play better.テつ After tonight's strong performance, would you say you're back to playing at the level that you want?
JOHN ISNER:テつ Yeah, I feel like I am.テつ You know, my level is there.テつ I wish it had been there earlier in the year.テつ I still really don't have that many wins under my belt, but my level is there.テつ I'm playing better than my record indicates this year, that's for sure.
So it's simple for me:テつ just keep this up and stay focused and keep doing what I'm doing.

Q.テつ What has changed specifically?テつ What do you attribute the rise in your level to?
JOHN ISNER:テつ In a weird way, that devastating Davis Cup week opened my eyes a little bit.テつ The way I played against Andy, even though I lost, I definitely played the right way.テつ Feel like I got all the nerves and tension out of myself in that match.テつ I was just swinging and played pretty well.
Went up against Andy in his hometown; it was a tough match.テつ I felt like even though I lost two matches out there, which is one of the lowest points of my career, in a way it turned my season around a little bit.

Q.テつ You won some big points tonight with your rally game.テつ You stayed in the rally very well.テつ Did you feel like you moved particularly well?
JOHN ISNER:テつ I was a little nervous at the beginning.テつ I haven't played at night here; hadn't played on center court yet.テつ Everything is different; the conditions are different.テつ I wasn't really going for my shots too much.
Second set I relaxed.テつ After winning the first set, it's a huge advantage for me.テつ I relaxed a little bit.テつ He started to give me a little bit of errors.テつ His errors combined with me gaining some confidence out there is what, you know, ultimately allowed me to win that second set.

Q.テつ You are already a part of history because of that game in Wimbledon.テつ Now the ITF is looking for ways of shortening the games.テつ Next year is going to be the tiebreak in the fifth set in Davis Cup games.テつ What's your opinion about it?テつ Would you like to see that happening in all the Grand Slams?
JOHN ISNER:テつ I didn't know that about Davis Cup, but I, for one, would be in favor of that, obviously.テつ Played in a lot of long matches.テつ I'd like to save my body a bit more if I do get a fifth set.テつ Some people would be against it, and rightfully so.テつ They have their reasons.
For me, I'd be a pretty big proponent of that.テつ We will see what happens.テつ It's really out of my control.

Q.テつ Going back to the match today, can you just walk us through the line call where you had the argument real quick?
JOHN ISNER:テつ He had a good return, and I was sort of‑‑ you know, I was running around my backhand basically praying that the ball was going to go out.テつ The ball landed; I had a play on it.テつ Although it was a very, very hard play, there was no guarantee I was going to make the next ball at all.
But I definitely could have touched it, and I think the rule is if there is a miscall and you touch the ball, then it should be replayed.
It was called out and then I let it go.テつ I was right there, though, and his opinion was that I guess I didn't ‑‑he thought I didn't have a play on the ball, which I did.
Again, it's not to say I was going to win that point.テつ Probably would have lost it.テつ But I definitely could have put my racquet on it, and I let it go because it was called out.

Q.テつ Obviously this was your first match against Dimitrov.テつ Did you kind of get what you expected to get from Grigor today?
JOHN ISNER:テつ You know, yeah.テつ I mean, he's a talented player.テつ To be honest, he didn't play his best tonight.テつ I know that.テつ You know, I'm not that stupid.テつ He knows that, as well.テつ He didn't play that well combined with I played pretty well.
We have all seen him play at an extremely high level, and I don't think he showed that tonight.テつ You know, I guess I took advantage of that.テつ It's going to happen, but, you know, he's such a talent and he's so young, so he'll get it figured out, for sure.
You know, I don't believe he played his best tonight, but I feel like I had a lot to do with that, as well.
Regardless, I'll take it.

Q.テつ Justin does a lot of talking and he's an abstract kind of a thinker.テつ What's it like working with him?テつ Are you talking a lot?
JOHN ISNER:テつ We are talking a lot.テつ Less at tournaments.テつ I mean, he sees the game so well.テつ A lot better than I do.テつ He has a mind that works a lot different than mine, which can help me and it is going to help me.テつ He sees these things that maybe I don't see.
But at the same time, too much information thrown at me can sort of make me go a little crazy.テつ He knows that, I know that, and so it's finding that balance between, you know, him not telling me too much and just telling me the right amount.
In practice weeks can he tell me more.テつ During tournament weeks, probably not.テつ We figured that out.
For me, I think it's a great, great relationship.テつ I made the commitment to work with Justin because, you know, I didn't want to ‑‑I want to really go after it.テつ I feel like I have some very good tennis ahead of me, and he's my guy.テつ I believe in that, which is the most important thing.

Q.テつ You said your minds work very differently.

Q.テつ Can you elaborate on that?
JOHN ISNER:テつ Well, he sees things on the court, like, he's such a thinker out there.テつ In a way I'm not that much of a thinker.テつ I'm just kind of more instinctual out there.テつ He sees the math of the game; he knows players' tendencies and weaknesses inside and out from calling so many matches and just being around the sport for so long.
So he has the right information to give me at all times.テつ It's just him giving it to me in the right way, which he has been doing.テつ All my work with him and my other coach Rene Muller (ph) in Tampa, it's going to pay off.テつ Whether it's this week or the next week or the week after, it's going to pay off.
I believe in that and Justin believes in that.テつ Everyone associated with my tennis believes in that.テつ As I said, that's the most important thing.

Q.テつ At your level and energy and aggression tonight, is that something you've been showing the past couple of weeks, or are you forcing yourself?
JOHN ISNER:テつ Yeah, I have been showing it better the last two weeks.テつ Really, it's easier said than done, you know.テつ When you can watch, obviously, you know, why isn't Isner being more aggressive?テつ It's easier said than done.テつ When you're out there sometimes you're battling yourself mentally physically, whatnot.
I know how I need to play.テつ More importantly, Justin knows how I need to play.テつ We're working on it every day.テつ I'm not going to play my best every match, but the one thing I need to do at a top level is compete well and keep my head together.
That's, I think, most importantly what I have done pretty well the last few weeks.

Q.テつ Do you feel any urgency in your career given that you're not a 22 year old anymore?テつ Do you feel like it's time to make a big move, if possible?
JOHN ISNER:テつ I mean, no, not really.テつ I still feel pretty young.テつ I mean, you know, I have been on tour not even eight years, even though I am 29, which is a lot different.テつ I took a different path.
I don't feel a real sense of urgency.テつ I don't want to put that pressure on myself.テつ Really, what I have done in my career has been a huge surprise to me, honestly, so I definitely don't feel like I have underachieved to this point by any means.テつ I never thought I could be top 100 in the world at 20 years old, and that's the honest truth.
A sense of urgency really, no, not so much.テつ But I know I can do very, very good things in this game, and I'm still working on that.

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