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May 30, 2017

John Isner

Paris, France

J. ISNER/J. Thompson

6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What aspect of your game were you most pleased by today?
JOHN ISNER: I think I played the break points I had today much better than I have in the past, really much better than I have this year. So I was happy about that.

And it was a tough match for sure. He competed really well, and he started playing much better somewhere along the second set and early in the third set as well, and he made me earn everything.

The thing I'm most proud about is just how I kept my head and stayed the course throughout the match and was eventually able to tough him out, but it was extremely difficult out there today.

Q. You're coming here off a pretty strong performance in Rome and maybe before that you were a little fatigued, I don't know, and took some time off. But sort of what is your confidence level coming in here, and how are you feeling at this stage of the clay court season?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Yeah, I'm fairly confident for sure. This is easily the best I've felt all year. Confidence is very hard to gain and it's easy to lose in my opinion.

But I did put together a good week in Rome and, you know, I won four matches in a row, making the semifinals. But prior to that week I hadn't won two matches in a row all year. So I put it together that week.

It's all just a mentality for me, just taking the court relaxed and when I'm not worried about the result. When I'm not worried whether I win or lose really -- of course I want to win, but when I just take the court and tell myself I'm going to go out swinging and I'm going to be happy with the result whether I win or lose, things tend to work out for me that way.

Q. The experience up in Seattle must have been pretty special.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about that? In particular, what was it like to see Roger being treated like a rock star?

Q. Did you talk to Bill Gates? And you're a pretty funny guy out there on court.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I -- no. I had a lot of fun. It's amazing that I was even asked to do that. But Roger and I do get along very well, so I'm very happy that he asked me and something that I'm so glad I decided to do.

It was an amazing experience, you know, getting to hang around those guys, hang around Bill Gates. I mean, how influential is he? It's amazing. And got to hang with Roger really outside of the locker room. Of course, I see him at tournaments here and there. And maybe some of his mojo rubbed off on me, because my very next tournament I played very well in Rome.

So it was so much fun. I mean, you hear the term "once-in-a-lifetime experience," but that is really what it was. I mean, I got to hang out with Bill Gates and Roger, and eat dinner with Bill and all these other pretty powerful people. And it was really cool and something I'm glad I did. It was easy to do. It wasn't a long trip, really, and something I won't soon forget.

Q. So what is Bill Gates like?
JOHN ISNER: He's very nice. He's very nice. Very sociable, asked a lot of questions. His wife Melinda I actually thought was the most normal person I have ever met. I mean, I don't know. I say that in a good way, in a very, very good way. She was spectacular. She was so nice. She asked so many questions. She was so unassuming. You would never know who she was. She wasn't flashy at all, and she was a joy to be around.

Q. And, finally, all of us are trying to figure out Roger and what makes him so special, but can you try and put into words what his qualities are like? What he's like up close and personal?
JOHN ISNER: I think he's just -- he's so, like, affable. You know, he's so likeable. People just are drawn to him. I mean, he's a worldwide figure. You know, tennis is not that big in Seattle, but the KeyArena was sold out. I don't think it had anything to do with me. So, you know, he's just -- he's a huge figure and he's so well-liked and so well-respected.

He's my favorite tennis player for sure. And, you know, he's one of the few guys when he's -- when tennis is on, I'll flip to the TV to watch him because he's amazing. He's done so much for our sport. He's done so much for his foundation as well. So it's amazing and great for tennis to have him playing this well and being so happy out on the court and doing everything he's been doing. It's amazing for tennis.

Q. Can having that kind of experience with someone that you're actually competing against affect your on-court performance in any way?
JOHN ISNER: I think so. I mean, it's hard to put a finger on exactly how.

Q. I mean when you're playing against Roger.
JOHN ISNER: Oh, I'm sorry. No. I mean, look, hopefully I probably will run up against him home sometime this year, maybe next year, whatever it may be, but we'll put that weekend behind us.

But I think we've played each other seven or eight times, and they've always been pretty close matches. It's always a lot of fun to play him. But I don't think any of us will be thinking about that weekend when we play.

Q. When all is said and done, your Davis Cup win over Roger, I believe in Switzerland, where do you think that will rank in terms of your memories of wins?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Probably the -- yeah, maybe the best win I've ever had, I think. Maybe the best match I ever played as well. So that's what it takes to beat someone like him. So that's what makes him and a lot of these guys, Novak, Andy, Rafa, so incredibly good that they're getting everyone's best shot. It's everyone's Super Bowl when you go up against those guys. So for them to be so consistent for so long is remarkable.

Q. What is your takeaway on Virginia? I think, if I have it right, third year in a row winning the NCAA this time down in your home court. Comment, thoughts on the Cavaliers?
JOHN ISNER: Pretty impressive. Brian Boland has done an incredible job there. He's taken the USTA job now. I think he'll do a great job there as well.

I would have loved to have seen Virginia play Georgia in the finals. It was close. Georgia lost 4-3 in the semis, but they've really started a bit of a dynasty. I think they've one three in a row, maybe four or five. I don't know. So they're doing amazing things there in Charlottesville for sure.

Q. Have you been down to the USTA new campus and your thoughts on it if you have.
JOHN ISNER: I actually have not. So I've seen pictures and I've heard it's amazing, but me personally I have not been there.

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