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November 5, 2016

John Isner

Paris, France

J. ISNER/M. Cilic

6-4, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Congratulations on that win. You seemed to win that match as much from the back of the court as with your big serve.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I took the court today with a lot of confidence. It's the first time all year coming into a match I'd won four matches in a row.

So I knew I was playing well. I knew I was playing the right way, and really, from the get-go, I was serving extremely well. That took a lot of pressure off me.

I was just taking my cuts from the back of the court. Returning pretty well, returning aggressively. I certainly put it all together today. It was the best match I have played all year.

Q. Tomorrow you're playing the man of the moment.

Q. How do you go into a match like that, both psychologically and tennis-wise?
JOHN ISNER: Well, I wouldn't want to have it any other way. You know, playing the No. 1 player in the world, new No. 1, in a final of an event like this.

So it's going to be a huge challenge for me, but that's what makes this game so awesome and so tough at the same time. There are so many great players, and Andy, of course, is one of the all-time greats in my opinion. I have never beaten him before. He's had my number. But also I had never beaten Cilic before coming into this match.

If I want to have any chance, I have to play extremely well. Andy is firing on all cylinders right now, and it's, again, a huge challenge for me, but I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Andy has worked his way to this point. Can you just comment on the amounts of work that is needed to do something like that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I have seen it firsthand. Everyone hears about how much of a hard worker he is and how much he puts into his craft, and what he does off the court, on the court.

I see it every day at tournaments. I played him last week in Vienna. He beat me very easily. And I'm in the locker room stewing over that loss, and he walks right past me to the practice court, as if he hadn't played enough tennis, already, as well.

It goes to show how much of a hard worker he is and how committed he is, as well. He certainly deserves to be No. 1.

Q. You talked yesterday about how you like it here in Paris. What is it about certain cities, certain tournaments? We see this with a lot of players. They all do well at certain events year after year.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it's bizarre. This is certainly, for me -- I have always been known throughout my career to be a guy who plays very well in the United States, because I'm extremely comfortable there. It's where I prefer playing, as well.

I also love playing in Paris. I have played well at the French Open. I have played well here quite a few times in my career, as well. I don't know what it is. I'm very comfortable here. It's hard to really put my finger on it, but I'm happy that I'm playing well again.

Q. What might you have learnt from the match you did play last time against Andy?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, nothing, because I won four games (smiling). I have deleted that match from my memory. I played him some other times and it's been much closer. I might look back on those matches. I will try to forget about that one last week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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