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November 12, 2018

John Isner

London, England, United Kingdom


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There's very few people in the return that can return your serves. Was that a masterclass from Novak in returning?
JOHN ISNER: I think so. From the first point of the whole match he connected pretty well on a return. But I mean, to be honest, I'm not surprised. Sometimes you got to hope he's a bit off.

Unfortunately, I don't think that was the case tonight. I got my ass kicked. That was pretty comprehensive out there. Certainly there are some things I have to try and keep improving and the beauty of this format is I'm definitely still alive. I was the underdog tonight and got beat down pretty good.

Q. You seem to serve pretty well tonight on the whole, I thought. In terms of the best returners you have ever faced in your career, where do you rank Novak? Do you rank him as the best?
JOHN ISNER: Yes, he is No.1 and No.2 and No.3. He's the best returner I've ever faced for sure. I've said that before, too. So he's a very good tennis player.

Q. You made your debut here. How was the atmosphere? How did you cope with that?
JOHN ISNER: It was amazing. I wish I could have given them a bit more to cheer for. I felt, like, the crowd sort of wanted to see more tennis and embraced me in the underdog role and I would like to still be out there playing. It was fantastic.

Everything I could have hoped it would have been out there. It was fantastic. The atmosphere's amazing. It's pretty special to play out there.

Q. It's a different format. You lost but you're not going home. Explain the different thoughts now, looking ahead to your second match.
JOHN ISNER: For sure, this is a format I have never been a part of in any way, shape or form. It's definitely been done before. You lose your first match, you are definitely not out of it. This next match is of course important.

I got to try to stay positive and play a better match on Wednesday and see where I stand after that.

Q. You said you were the big underdog tonight. Marin's a guy who has struggled here a lot in the past, something like one win in nine matches he's played here. Do you view yourself as the underdog for that, or do you go there feeling on an even keel?
JOHN ISNER: Maybe not quite as big as I was tonight. I didn't even know that he had a record like that here. There are no easy matches. Everyone's top ten in the world that's ever played this tournament.

I haven't - sorry to say - I haven't put much thought into that match-up yet. So I will start thinking about it tomorrow, probably.

Q. Alexander discussed his thoughts on the new Davis Cup format. I wanted to get your thoughts on it as well.
JOHN ISNER: I do think the Davis Cup needed a bit of a change. You get to the point where a lot of the top players weren't competing and, in some cases - in a lot of cases - they had every right, they had a good reason not to.

The schedule's so difficult. The top players are in demand all the time. And they have to plan their schedule out and to keep them as fresh as possible, so I do think the Davis Cup needed a change.

This format's unique. We'll see how it - I can't comment - we will see how it goes as it progresses. I, for one, don't like the date. I think that's the big beef with players now.

Let's say the top 20 players that end their season in Paris, and then they go back home, usually that's the end of the season. And to try to gear up for Davis Cup after this event, it would be pretty tough, mentally and physically. So, again, the date is not ideal.

Q. John, you've made your debut here. Has it been everything it's been cracked up to be, the whole experience of playing this event for the first time?
JOHN ISNER: Yes, for sure. It was amazing, as I said before, to play out there and to play against the number one player in the world. You know you're going to have a full house and a great atmosphere. I just - I wish I could have kept that match a little bit closer. I wish I could have played a little bit longer out there.

As you all know, I tend to play long matches, but that wasn't the case tonight. It wasn't that I was nervous or anything like that. I was embracing the atmosphere and I tried to stay as positive as I could out there.

I just got beat pretty handily tonight and I'm looking forward to my next match.

Q. And the whole experience of being here amongst the elite players in the world?
JOHN ISNER: It's amazing. It's a big achievement for me to be a part of this.

Q. You have played on the Tour for many years now. Over the years, some people say some players get special treatment compared to other players. Would you say favoritism is a problem in men's tennis? Do you think more needs to be done to tackle this?
JOHN ISNER: The top players?

Q. Yes, how they are treated by tournaments compared to other players?
JOHN ISNER: No, I don't think that is the case at all. The top players, they sell the most tickets therefore they should get the most. That's what I think. So I don't think there's a favoritism system like that at all. I think those guys are the ones that by and large carry our sport in a big way and they deserve everything they've ever earned.

So again, if anything, they may be should get more special treatment because those guys, the top players, have made other players below them a lot of money. It is like the Tiger Woods effect in golf.

So that is how you can look at a guy like Roger. He is men's tennis in my opinion. So, he deserves everything and more that he's ever had.

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