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May 18, 2017

John Isner

Rome, Italy

J. ISNER/S. Wawrinka

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You haven't played him in a while. Thoughts on going into that match and then how it actually went?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I actually had to look up the last time I played him. It's pretty crazy. Been in the same tournaments with Stan for years now, and last time I played him was six years ago.

It had been a while, but I was looking forward to the match. I thought I played pretty well out there.

It's a situation for me where I'm going out there against the No. 3 player in the world. Maybe I have a little bit less to lose than he does.

I went out there with the belief that if I played well and executed my game plan that I could walk off that court with a win. That's what happened today. I served well and took my chances when I had them.

So I was very happy with the performance.

Q. There's four guys in your half of the draw left who aren't necessarily, as we think, clay courters. You play Cilic next. Zverev and Raonic are the other two. All of you won today. Is this court playing fast? Is there something about it that's playing to your advantage?
JOHN ISNER: No, I wouldn't say the court is playing fast.

Q. High, or something?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, the conditions have been pretty hot here. Not crazy hot, but the ball is, I think, sitting up in all of our strike zones.

That's the bit of the misconception about clay is it's good for grinders. It's not, in my opinion. I think for players that like to hit the ball hard and like to hit the ball at chest level, clay is a great surface for big players like that.

So you're right. There are four pretty tall players left in the top half of the section. I always thought that clay is a good surface for me. I'm playing well on it now.

Q. Cilic has been tough for you. Thoughts on that matchup next.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, he has been a bit of a thorn in my side. The last time we played I won in Paris last year, the indoor tournament in Paris.

I can't recall us ever playing on clay. Maybe we have. He's playing well. He seems to be serving very well, also. He had a good win today. I had a good win today.

It should be a close match. Not much has separated us when we have played each other in the past.

Q. You have a pretty good Masters record overall. Stan has a pretty bad one. He's much better at slams. Just wondering what you like about this level of event? Is there something about this tier that works for you?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I have played well in Masters events, I guess, throughout my career. It's a situation where I guess the match is short, two out of three, tiebreaker in the third set, for one, but as I said, in the two-out-of-three format with how I can play and if I'm fresh and ready to go, if I'm playing the right way, in my opinion, I can beat anyone.

So I think maybe I have exhibited that a little bit throughout my career in Masters events. I feel like I have been in the quarterfinals of quite a few, so never been -- I don't think I have ever made the semis of one on clay, so that would be pretty cool to have. Try to get that tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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