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September 22, 2017

John Isner

John McEnroe

Prague, Czech Republic


Prague, Czech Republic

22 September, 2017

D. THIEM/J. Isner

6-7, 7-6, 10-7

Europe - 2

The World - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You can't get any tighter than that. Talk about the match.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it was very tight. It certainly could have gone either way. Disappointing to lose that one. I definitely served well enough to win. I think I played well enough to win, but I just came up a little bit short.

I thought my opponent, Dominic, I thought he played pretty well. He's a tough customer. That team has no weak links whatsoever.

It's disappointing. It would be great to be sitting here right now with our team tied at 1, but we're not, so that kind of stinks.

Q. What is your impression of the first day of this event? I mean, did you expect exactly what happened?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Are you talking to me or John Isner?

Q. To both Johns.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Okay. I'll give you a quick answer first. I think the event is first class. I think anyone that's been here sees that. It's great when there is so much energy, guys rooting for each other.

I think it has the potential and probably -- I'm hopeful, just as a tennis fan and an ex-tennis player and now alleged coach, that it's going to be a great event in the future. It was exciting.

JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I agree. No one that was playing in these matches today, no one that was in that arena today, I don't think you could say anything bad about this event so far. It's been amazing. It's been amazing to be a part of.

The event we were at last night to open it all up was spectacular. This event has been very cool.

Q. A question to John McEnroe. When you look over and see Björn Borg on the other side and look at Rafa and Roger and you think you played 14 times and they play on and on, do you sometimes wish that your rivalry would have taken longer and that you missed some years of this great rivalry?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I always wished that. I always wished we had played more. I know he made me a better player and I hope I made him better at some stage.

It would have been fantastic. Listen, I tried to talk him out of stopping many, many moons ago. Even if I had lost my No. 1 ranking, I would have preferred he kept playing.

But anyway, the good news is that we're great friends. I love him. It's nice to see him over there.

Q. But yourself, you left early, as well. Your career finished...
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Well, I don't know about that. I was hanging on for many years (smiling). Maybe it was a little young. I was about to turn 34 when I stopped playing. I made it to the end of 1992.

There was a saying by an old basketball player which used to be true, I guess it's not with Roger, he said, "The older I get, the better I used to be."

That was definitely holding true for me. I was going down the wrong way. If I thought that I could have won -- I kept going and hoping and praying I could win another major and it didn't happen. So that's the way it went.

Nowadays, people know so much more about recovery and the way to treat their bodies and all these other things that potentially I think I would have played better later in my career.

Q. As for John McEnroe, do you think we're going to see Björn Borg more around the tennis world? I think the tennis world missed him a lot, as I know you have. Do you think, based on the success of this event, that we'll see him at more events? Are you trying to talk him into doing that?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: Well, we have had a lot of good times together, and we played a lot of events on the seniors tour the past 20 years, 25 maybe even.

The short answer would be yes. I think it would be a win/win for everyone. Would love to see him around more.

I mean, he's around some. He goes to, like, some of the events. He's going to China, I believe, Shanghai. He goes to Monte-Carlo every year. I see him at the French pretty much every year and Wimbledon. He gets around a bit, but I'd love to see him more.

Q. Is there a chance we could see the two of you hitting on the court this weekend?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I challenged him and he's, like, running the other direction.

I'm kidding. No, I would love to hit with him. Only if it's 12-All in the matches, 12 points all. Then we will play a tiebreaker for the whole thing. We will forget about Nadal and Federer and all these other guys. We're going to go out and play a tiebreak (smiling).

Q. When you are part of a team, you're supposed to be friends. Not always competitors are friends, rivals. For instance, how would you have seen you and Lendl?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: I knew he was going to ask that. You're just a troublemaker.

Q. Yes, I know.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: You're asking that in the Czech Republic, too. Ask that next year in Chicago or wherever the hell we are going to play.

Q. You have to play with Lendl, together, the same team. How would you have done it?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: How do you think that would have went?

No, there is a new event coming. Apparently there are three on each team. It's me, Connors, and Lendl on the same team. Need I say more (smiling)?

Q. It would be fun.
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: It would be amazing.

Q. I missed your comments the other day about your movie. Björn was just saying it's fictitious. Have you fallen up on that? And the other part, have you, as yet, seen Battle of the Sexes at all?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: The second question, no, I have not seen that.

The first question, I'm disappointed that there was no involvement whatsoever with Björn and myself. Unfortunately, even though I wished it was a good movie, I don't think it's a good movie, I'm sad to say.

A lot of it is not accurate. I mean, I don't know why they couldn't make it accurate. They made up some stuff. There is plenty of stuff -- if they wanted to make me look like a jerk at times, they could have come up with something far better than they came up with, in my humble estimation.

Thank you for coming tonight, and I will speak to you all when it's 2-All in matches. Thank you.

Q. So when?
CAPTAIN JOHN McENROE: That's about 11:00.

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