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September 1, 2017

Mischa Zverev

New York, NY, USA

M. ZVEREV/J. Isner

6-4, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. He seemed to have a lot of trouble passing you. What were you able to do to make it difficult for him?

Q. He seemed to have a lot of trouble passing you. What were you able to do to make that tough for him?
MISCHA ZVEREV: I think approach well and try to cover the net very well and read where he's going to pass. I've played him a couple times this year already. I kind of know his pattern, so I try to read his positioning on the court, his footwork.

Yeah, I feel like if I get lucky in the beginning of a match, and I get a couple, like, tough passing shots, then he maybe starts feeling like the court becomes smaller, maybe he starts missing a few here or there. That's kind of my advantage.

Q. 14 months ago, you remember?
MISCHA ZVEREV: I remember 14 months ago, yes (smiling).

Q. Sarasota, the first tournament you told me you won in nine years.
MISCHA ZVEREV: You mean the challenger?

Q. Yes.
MISCHA ZVEREV: That was maybe 16 months ago.

Q. Regardless, you said your friends were saying to win or get out. What are these friends saying now?
MISCHA ZVEREV: They're saying I can still win some more matches. They're not satisfied yet.

But no, I mean, I still have those friends, and they're still supporting me and pushing me. They say I can still be better and improve. I try to believe them sometimes and it helps me.

Q. You made the second week of a slam earlier this year, but ran into Murray and Federer. This time you just beat the guy who is the highest-ranked guy left in the bottom half of the draw. How does this time feel different?
MISCHA ZVEREV: Honestly, I don't look at the draw. I found out after my last match that I'm playing John today. I try to, like, not worry too much about my next opponent until, you know, I face him.

But, you know what, someone that's going to be now in the quarters or semis at the US Open this year might be the next top five player, again, 14 months from now or something.

A ranking is something, yeah, that says something about an opponent. In the end, everybody is improving their game. There's new people coming. So, yeah, the draw looks different than Australia, but I'm not too worried because they're all tough opponents, they're all very good players.

I played a great match today, but you never know what's going to happen two days from now.

Q. It might be human nature to look at the draw, look at the players who aren't here and say, This looks like opportunity. Do you have to hold yourself back looking at the draw?
MISCHA ZVEREV: Yeah, but it's not math, one plus one is two, two is smaller than three. In tennis, the draw is one thing, but I'm old enough to understand that, like, I can win three sets against John who is seeded No. 10, but I barely won my first round. I was two sets to one down and a break down in the fourth. The guy was ranked 600 in the world.

I know that ranking and draw is irrelevant. What's important is who you're facing in the next round. Like especially newspapers or people from the outside, they'll be like, You know what, the draw is so open because so-and-so is not here. All the other guys, like Querrey for example, who I'm playing next round, he had an unbelievable year. He won Acapulco beading Nadal in the final when Nadal was playing really well. He played well in Wimbledon. He won Cabo.

Looking at the last couple months, maybe not ranked top 10 in the world, but he's somebody who played really good tennis in the last couple months.

Draw is one thing, but facing the next opponent can be something different.

Q. You are a rare serve-and-volleyer. Did you choose the game or did it choose you?
MISCHA ZVEREV: I think my baseline game was not good enough, so I had to choose Plan B, which was serve and volleying to try to be successful on the court. My dad was a serve-and-volleyer, too. He was very intelligent and smart as a coach because he recognized baseline is good, but I don't think you can fulfill your potential by staying on baseline so let's try something else.

He taught me how to volley, how to come in, how to approach certain shots, analyze players and their passing patterns. He was the one who taught me how to serve and volley and play well at the net.

I think it was a combination of just life happened, and luckily dad recognized I was a better serve-and-volleyer than baseliner, and I said, Okay, I agree.

Q. Do you think your attacking game can work as well against Querrey? Has John McEnroe ever talked to you, the lefty thing, similarities there?
MISCHA ZVEREV: No, he hasn't really talked to me. He made a new comments in Australia after I beat Andy. Actually today earlier we were warming up, I was warming up, he was practicing right next to each other. He made a funny statement. He said, You make me feel a lot better about my short swing because now I'm not the guy with the shortest take-back on tour.

You know, what can I say? It's effective apparently.

But, no, we haven't really talked about that, the game. But watching that generation play, because back then a lot more people were serve-volleying. It's a little bit of a different tennis game because you really have to analyze how people position theirselves on the court. You can see where they're going to pass, try to pass.

Playing Querrey next round, he is a little bit shorter than John. Maybe he moves a little bit quicker. I think his backhand is pretty good. He doesn't have, like, a weaker side, which is going to be I think tougher for me because I would have to really mix up my game and try to find the weaker spot.

Q. What are your thoughts on how the health of players has affected this tournament and the draw with all the withdrawals before the tournament even began?
MISCHA ZVEREV: Yeah, a lot of players are injured because many of them played really good tennis for so many years. Let's say almost every week they were the favorites to win the tournament, went deep into the draw. I feel like a body can break down no matter how well you take care of it, how much you train. I think it's human.

Looking at Novak, he played unbelievable tennis the last couple years. Looking back maybe a couple years ago, it was Rafa and Roger. People were like, Oh, maybe they're too old, maybe they're not good enough or strong enough.

They took some time off. They got healthy again. Now they're playing really good tennis. Maybe it's time for Novak and Andy to do something similar. You never know.

Let's say I'm 30 years old, but I feel like I definitely have less mileage on my body than someone like Novak or Rafa. We're pretty much the same age. They've played so many matches over the last five years. I haven't been doing too, too well.

Q. How did that affect the opportunity that's here for you and everybody in your half of the draw?
MISCHA ZVEREV: Definitely it's going to be -- especially the bottom half is very open, I think. You never know who will do well in a couple days from now and be in the semis or finals.

But I think, yeah, it's definitely going to be different this year than maybe in the last couple of years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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