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May 20, 2017

John Isner

Rome, Italy

A. ZVEREV/J. Isner

6-4, 6-7, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tough match, obviously. You got a lot of serves in early and he was doing pretty well with them. How did you try and change that up? You made over 90% of your first serves in the first set.
JOHN ISNER: Well, he's so far back. Kind of sometimes going for like the absolute fast ball, unless you really hit your spot -- I mean, I guess I could more focus on trying to hit my spots, maybe taking a little bit off because he's so far back.

But, you know, I saw that he out-aced me. He's a tough guy to ace, because, as I said for the third time now, he stands really far back. He has extremely long arms and he's tall and he anticipates well.

But I was in a good service rhythm out there pretty much the whole time. Again, he makes a lot of balls back.

Q. Where do you feel he made life particularly difficult for you in the baseline rallies? Was it the backhand-to-backhand crosscourt? Seems like that's one of his bread-and-butter shots in terms of putting other people under pressure.
JOHN ISNER: I think you hit the nail on the head right there. I was a little too stubborn going to his backhand. That's the more comfortable shot for me, inside-out forehand and backhand crosscourt, but against a guy like that with a backhand of his caliber, wasn't really the right play.

I should have maybe, you know, forced some more balls up the line to his forehand or even just up the middle and stung them a bit harder. But just going to his backhand with rally balls, it made it tough because he's so comfortable hitting that shot.

You know, I thought he played pretty well from the back of the court. But, you know, that's what he does. His backhand is world class. He won't miss that shot very much, really, ever. So credit to him.

Q. When you decide to do a serve-and-volley on the second serve and he passes you and gets the break, what goes through your mind? Kudos to him, or what have I done?
JOHN ISNER: No, more good shot by him, yeah.

Q. Are you planning on playing next week still, or how do you feel about your French Open prep?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, well, this week was perfect. I mean, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Really, coming into this week, if you would have told me I'd make the semis, I wouldn't have believed you. It was a great week. I got a lot of matches, which is really what I needed.

I hadn't really played that many matches because I haven't played that well this year. I feel fine physically. Yeah, of course I'm a little bit tired and a little bit sore maybe, but nothing's hurting me really, per se.

Yeah, as far as Geneva goes, even if I were to pull out, I don't think I will, I would have to go there, anyway. So my plan is to go there. I think I can play on Wednesday, which is nice, and I'm going to try to keep this rolling. I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now.

Q. Sascha is the youngest guy into a Masters final in a long time. I think the youngest person on the tour right now who has won a Masters title is Cilic, who is not really that young at all anymore. What would it mean for the tour? A torch-passing moment or a change if somebody his age at 20 wins one of these finally?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I don't know if it would be a torch-passing moment. That kind of, in my opinion, goes when he sort of overtakes a bunch of other guys.

He's definitely on his way to that, but maybe right not at this second that that wouldn't be the case, even if he were to win.

But if he does win, it would be a very cool story for tennis. You know, he's good. I mean, he's talented. He was gifted with a lot of ability. But he doesn't let it go to waste at all. I have seen it in the offseason, as well. That's what it takes to be incredibly good and one of the greats is, you know, you're blessed with a lot of ability but you work hard. You're hungry and you want to win. That's exactly what he does.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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