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August 6, 2018

John Isner

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the roast last night?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, yeah. I can talk about that at length.

Q. You did a really good job with it.
JOHN ISNER: Thank you. That was a moment I was waiting for for a long time, to be able to roast Danny. We've been going at it for 11 years now in the locker rooms and practice courts and whatnot.

But it's all in good fun, as you know, and we all love that guy. Actually, we'll be sad to see him go. He's been a staple forever.

But I had a lot of fun with it last night, and I'm happy that he asked me to be one of the roasters. So it was a select group of people, only four of us up there. So I was happy to be one of them.

Q. Just back to the tennis for a second, you talked at Wimbledon about it being important to put that match behind you. Do you feel like Atlanta helped you do that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I do, actually. You know, it was a little -- obviously, I was a little tired after that match physically, I think more emotionally than anything. And there was some thoughts of, I mean, "Am I even going to play Atlanta" type of deal.

But I'm certainly glad I went because that's a place that I have so many good feelings from. I've won a lot of matches there. And I went into there, that tournament, really hadn't hit a ball since Wimbledon, and I actually managed to play pretty well.

So I think winning a tournament, even though it's not quite as big of an event as Wimbledon, it does help things and helped me forget about that match a little bit more.

So I haven't thought about it in quite some time, and I'm focused on, you know, this time of the year, which I really enjoy.

Q. Could you have played on Sunday at Wimbledon and what kind of shape would you have been in?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think I could have, because at that point I would still have so much adrenaline kind of running through my body. I definitely would have taken the court. I mean, I don't know. I think Kevin was a little bit tired.

And I probably wouldn't have been at full capacity, but nothing would have kept me from taking the court on Wimbledon final Sunday. So had I, you know, been the winner on Friday, I would have been there and given it my all.

Q. Over the years, have you figured out anything -- you used to have a little bit of trouble in the heat and humanity.
JOHN ISNER: Are you talking about me?

Q. Yeah, and other players do too. Have you figured out anything for you to make it a little bit better?
JOHN ISNER: No. My theory is I'm just a little bit closer to the sun than everybody else, and the sun and the humidity just beats down on me.

It's actually quite a big difference. I've played matches at 2:00 and the sun is out and it's humid and I'm struggling. But if there's a cloud, cloud cover helps so much.

I don't really think there's anything you can do. There's nothing I can do, in my opinion, fitness-wise to get better. It's just I'm a big guy. I weigh more than everyone else. I'm taller than everyone else. And when it's really humid and hot outside, it's going to take a bigger toll on me. So I definitely prefer cloudier conditions than, you know, the sun being out just beating down on me.

So, you know, I think last week in Washington, I was really struggling. It wasn't sunny, but it was really humid with all of the rain. It was 91%, I heard, humidity. So that was not good for me.

Q. In these types of conditions, what impact did you feel the shot clock has? And if you could also just talk a little bit about whether someone with your style of play maybe it impacts you less than others?
JOHN ISNER: No, I played the one match with the shot clock, and I didn't find it to be an issue at all. I didn't feel rushed. And I'm generally one of the slower players as well. I mean, I don't bounce the ball a lot or, you know, pick at things, but I just kind of take my sweet time behind the baseline before I serve.

But last week I didn't feel like that was an issue. And in a sense, I think if you're smart, and I actually could have been smarter last week, you know, that there was some times when I was ready to serve at 15, but I probably should have taken a little bit more time.

So I actually -- after playing one match, I don't mind the rule. It's a small sample size. We'll see.

So I don't know how many shot clock/serve clock violations there have been, but I think it looks pretty cool and it's unique. It's different for our sport to see that serve clock in the back. So anything different that catches people's eye I think can be a good thing.

Q. Going back to something that you can probably control, this is the part of year where you enjoy playing most because it's United States, apart from here, and you have always said that you enjoy that quite a lot.

Q. You are in a position where probably you're going to get the U.S. Open in the best ranking that you have ever had, and you may even think about going deep into the Open. Do you think that playing every week throughout this period in the heat and in the humidity is going to take a toll and is going to affect your chances of perhaps going deep in the U.S. Open?
JOHN ISNER: No, that's a good question. You know, I don't plan on playing the week before the U.S. Open. You know, truth be told, I don't think I was in good enough shape to play last week in D.C. because I sort of labored through Atlanta as well, but I was still able to win the tournament.

You know, you want to be in peak physical shape and mental shame coming into these two events and then, of course, the U.S. Open. So there's definitely something to be said about being rested.

And, you know, for me, I'm going full bore here in Toronto and Cincinnati. I'm not playing doubles this year. I generally do play doubles. So my focus is just singles.

I'm a little bit more tired than I would like to be, but I do have a bye here in singles, which does help. And when you get into a big event like this, you can maybe feel tired, but I'll have a lot of adrenaline. So I think come tomorrow or Wednesday, whenever I play, I think I'll be feeling pretty good.

But you're right. It's very important to be rested. I chose not to play the warmup tournament for Wimbledon and just stayed back home for 11, 12 more days, and I think that ended up being a good decision.

Especially when you get older like I am, it's about, you know, not playing so many tournaments but being well-rested for the tournaments that you do play.

Q. Just in general, I'm curious like how hard is it to not look ahead in the draw of any tournament, whether it's a Slam, here, and to really just look at that first potential lineup and not look beyond for you?
JOHN ISNER: I mean, it is hard. And, you know, I have never tried to do it, but sometimes it's subconsciously you are looking ahead. And there's been some times where I have done that and always seem to get tripped up when I do do that.

So it's definitely not the way to go about things. Everyone says that you got to take it one match at a time, and that's absolutely true. You have to worry about the task at hand and not worry about the result of your match or potentially playing a really good player on center court in a night match. You can't think about any of that. You just have to try to take care of business at hand.

So I think I have done a pretty good job of that this year, but it has been something in the past that I have struggled on, and then I have lose to someone ranked lower, and then inevitably you're disappointed about that.

Q. And how is the forthcoming paternity fitting into all of this schedule-wise and is it going to be disruptive?

Q. Obviously, it will be, but how are you going to manage?
JOHN ISNER: I mean, I'm planning for it to be a little bit disruptive. I honestly don't think it's going to be -- I'm talking about maybe initially sleep-wise when I'm at home.

But disruptive for my schedule going forward, I don't think so, because I have a job and I need to do it to the best of my ability. But, of course, when my daughter is born, that's the number one most important thing I have going on.

More than likely, I won't be playing much tennis after the U.S. Open. I won't be going to Asia. I'm going to be there for my wife and my newborn daughter.

But I think after that, I'm going to finish out the rest of the year, and then my schedule should be normal in 2019.

But I'm excited. It's a new challenge. I think it could be an actual boon for my tennis game. And I think just the fact that we've been -- Maddie and I have been sharing this journey together for the last seven, eight months, I think it's helping me play more relaxed and be more calm.

Q. (Off microphone.)
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, the due date is the 22nd of September. So you never know if babies come maybe two weeks early.

Q. Babies come.
JOHN ISNER: The Davis Cup could be in peril as well, truth be told, in the semifinals. There's a very good chance I'm not there.

And U.S. Open, potentially, we'll see what happens. That's not under my control at all. This guy has control of that. So we'll just see how it goes.

Q. Being 33 now, and, obviously, nowadays seeing so many guys in the top 100 in their 30s, Federer. Nadal and Djokovic maybe being a bit younger. Does it give you more confidence that you can play well deep into your 30s seeing so many on the tour successfully do it?
JOHN ISNER: No, it Does. And the guy you mentioned initially, Roger, I think he's the one that a lot of the players look up to. And to see him do so well, you know, at 36, again, he's so talented, and he's the greatest player we've ever had. But to see him play so incredibly well at 35 and 36 years old is, I think, a huge confidence booster for me.

Also seeing how he's gone about it. He's given himself a lot of time to rest and recover. And that's, you know, I just said a couple of minutes ago, it's very important to be rested as you get older. You cannot just play tournament after tournament like maybe I did when I was 23, 24 years old. So, you know, it's very encouraging.

And as you said, guys like Rafa. You have Kevin Anderson doing very well. He's 32. A lot of them -- I think 10, 15, 20 years ago hitting your 30's used to be a death sentence. It's not so much anymore. And to me it makes sense that players are playing very well in their 30s. If you take care of yourself, you should hold up physically.

And as you gain years on the tour, you should become a lot more mature and a lot wiser. And I think that's been the case for me.

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