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May 27, 2016

John Isner

Paris, France

J. ISNER/T. Gabashvili

7-6, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Relatively swift three hours and change. How you feeling?
JOHN ISNER: I'm fine. It's a little hotter today than it has been, of course. I think any time the weather changes like that, goes from pretty cold to somewhat hot, it's a bit -- it makes it a bit tougher. I was feeling it a little bit, but I did all the right things.

It was a five-set match. Wasn't too long. Obviously I have been out there a lot longer than five sets (smiling).

I feel fine and ready to keep going.

Q. Have you ever turned around a match so quickly? You were down 2-0 and then 15 minutes later you had pretty much won.
JOHN ISNER: I can't recall. Especially in a Grand Slam. Maybe in another tournament, possibly.

But, yeah, he played a good game to break me and go up 2-0. But I didn't panic and knew at that point -- at that point of the match, I felt like I was playing better and physically I was feeling fine. I still felt like I had my second wind there.

I played a good game and got it back on serve. Played a strong service game to get it even and that was kind of it that point.

Q. Were you aware of Jack's result when you went out there?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I was. When I went out, when my match was called, he was down 5-4 in the third, the other guy was serving for it. Got on the court, obviously I can hear it, it's right next door, I was pretty certain I heard Ramos won the match.

I guess I knew as I was warming up I was the last American guy left.

Q. Did it get in your head at all during the match?
JOHN ISNER: No, no, no. I think I have been in this position a few times before. Really would have liked Jack to get through. I think I saw some stat it's been a long time since two Americans have made the round of 16. Unfortunately did not happen this year.

I'm still alive and I'm happy about that.

Q. Is that a feeling you have gotten used to, being the last American standing? What's your relationship at the fourth round? You have won a few matches, but it seems like you want to keep going, too.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I feel like I have made the fourth round of slams quite a bit. You know, I did it in the US Open, I did it in Australia. I have definitely fallen in the round of 16 quite a bit, as well. I have only made one quarterfinal in a slam. We will try to correct that going forward.

But at the same time, I know I'm going to have my hands full, but I think Andy will have his hands full, as well.

Q. Just on Andy, you have played him five times, I think. He's won every time. They have all been close matches.

Q. How do you feel about the matchup and what do you need to do differently this time?
JOHN ISNER: I'm not really thinking about the matchup right now. But in our previous matches they have been really close. Just with how I play, I can keep matches close. I think I played him one time in Cincinnati I had match points, and last year in Shanghai I won the first and had a lot of chances in the second.

I think in my matches versus him he's played the big points better than me, which is one of the reasons why he's No. 2 in the world.

So going forward on Sunday, I'm going to have to step up when I get opportunities, if I get them. So against a guy like Andy, I have to play big in the big moments, and I'll go out there and try to do that.

Q. You have been the last American left a lot of times. You have been American No. 1 for quite a while now. Do you ever think of what American tennis would look like without you? You're kind of the guy more often than not carrying a lot of the weight. As much as people bemoan the statistics, there would be incredibly worse statistics without you.
JOHN ISNER: I guess. It's definitely not the American tennis of the early 2000s or '90s. I have been No. 1 American for a long time now. Generally around 14, 13 in the world, which I'm very proud of.

But it's not the same. It's not what American tennis fans are accustomed to.

But you're right. I guess it could be worse if I wasn't around. Hopefully I'm around for a long time to come, and I think I can be, as well.

Q. Everybody says Andy is a great returner. You're a great server. What does it actually mean when you're serving? What's it mean from his perspective?
JOHN ISNER: He generally doesn't play that deep on his returns. He takes the ball early. I mean, he's like Novak in the sense that they're the best two returners in the game.

Against me, he stands in the court and sort of blocks it back. He has such great hands. He's able to do that. I think he did that today against a pretty big server.

So he's definitely got some reps in against a pretty big serve. I would have rather him played a grinder today. My serve is a little bit different. I think I can back it up better, as well.

It's going to be a fun match, for sure. I really don't have anything to lose, but there's going to be pressure on both of us. I'm looking forward to it. I'm very happy now and looking forward to tomorrow's day off and take care of myself and I'll be ready on Sunday.

Q. I'm wondering when you might have heard the news about Rafa Nadal today, and what was your reaction to hearing that?
JOHN ISNER: I heard my coach, Rene, told me actually while I was on the bike. So it was a shock. I had no idea. It was 15 minutes after my match.

A wrist injury, it's kind of weird, I don't think he's ever had that before. It's a bummer. I mean, it's a bummer for the tournament. I think a lot of people had him playing Novak in the semis on that side of the draw. It's a shame.

Roger, now Rafa unfortunately pulling out, and a guy like Monfils not playing, as well. Tennis is a physical sport. It takes its toll on everyone's bodies, for sure.

Q. Talk about how hard is it to maintain that physical health. Rafa will be 30 next year and you're into your 30s. What are the challenges that the tour offers on that front?
JOHN ISNER: Well, it's definitely harder. I don't know if it's necessarily the tour. It's just, as you get older, you don't recover quicker. For me, I didn't play Madrid and Rome unfortunately because my elbow had been bothering me, and I had never had an elbow issue at all. Any time something has popped up with me it's been knee related.

So I'm learning now that, at 31, it's very hard to recover, especially given how big I am, as well. Rest is paramount for me. When I'm at a tournament or at home, when I'm at home, I need to rest as much as I can, obviously work hard and work smart.

But I need to take care of myself extremely well, and so does everyone. I think for Rafa's case, he plays -- everyone knows this -- he plays such a physical game, as well.

But the wrist thing, that's a little weird, you know. I don't know if that's so much the physicality of the tour or just something weird went wrong. It's unfortunate for tennis right now.

Q. You made it to a lot of fourth rounds before. Last American, the hunger, desperation to break through. You haven't made too many quarterfinals and you have had a lot of looks at this round already. Talk about that.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I have had a lot of looks. I know I played Andy in the round of 16 in Australia a long time ago, as well.

I mean, I would say I am pretty desperate. I would love to get into the final 8 here. But now that I'm in the second week, I'm certainly into the business side of this tournament, and I'm playing pretty well and I've gained a lot of confidence, as well, especially given what happened in my first-round match, how I could have been out.

I will go out there and roll the dice on Sunday, but at the same time, it's a match I would love to win, and a match I believe I can win. Of course I'm going to have to play extremely well. Andy is the No. 2 player in the world.

Q. You're obviously on a good run here. You mentioned Roger is not here, Rafa, Gaël is out, as well, but also in terms of our sport, this year there have been all these issues in Melbourne with the gambling and the drug situation and the situation that occurred in Indian Wells. Do you think this will have any impact on our sport in any way? Do you think that's something to be concerned about, or what are your concerns?
JOHN ISNER: These injuries here or all that?

Q. The injuries added to all the different...
JOHN ISNER: No, I mean, I think tennis has been in the spotlight this year unfortunately I guess for some of the wrong reasons. But these injuries, especially at this tournament, I just look at it as being pretty freak --you know, Roger hasn't missed a Grand Slam since '99 or something, and Rafa has some weird wrist think.

I think this issue is a one-off thing and I don't anticipate that, you know -- something like this, with Roger, Rafa, and a guy like Gaël not being able to compete at a Grand Slam going forward.

Q. Do you like your odds any better against Murray, knowing he went five twice in this tournament with guys ranked outside top 100?
JOHN ISNER: No, not at all. First of all, he's so unbelievably fit, and then today he didn't have such a physical match, which I think it was just what the doctor ordered for him, playing Ivo, the points were a lot shorter. It went three sets, as well.

He's going to be 100% on Sunday. I anticipate myself being 100% on Sunday, as well.

But, no, I think -- I would imagine he's definitely feeling more confident now, and he played a great match today. He's going to expect to play another good match on Sunday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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