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August 13, 2007

John Isner


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you have a little trouble getting your serve on track in that first game?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, you know, I didn't -- I felt like, you know, I didn't serve as well today as I have been in previous weeks.
But still I only got broken once and I had my chances. But, yeah, I mean, I told myself in the first set I was going wide on the deuce and missed like five in a row. I told myself I was going to keep on hitting the same serve and deuce until I finally made it, and I finally made it.
But, yeah, my serve struggled a little bit today and it hurt me.

Q. When you were in college, did you get into a lot of tiebreakers?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I did, but not as much as playing here. Competition is so much tougher. These guys are so much harder to break than the guys in college.

Q. What's this whole thing been like for you, just to be here?
JOHN ISNER: This is an unbelievable honor to be here. You know, so thankful Bruce gave me a wild card here. It was awesome. I guess he thought I deserved it from my results in D.C. Just to come here to this tournament, the caliber of this tournament is probably the toughest in the world. It's a smaller draw and everybody is playing it.
There's not going to be one easy match, and I ran into a guy that played well tonight.

Q. Do you have some family, a lot of family and friends here?
JOHN ISNER: More friends. Not so much family here.

Q. What's next for you, do you know?
JOHN ISNER: I don't know. I might or might not go New Haven, and then the US Open.

Q. Are you getting a walkover?
JOHN ISNER: That's what I don't know yet. If not I'll probably go play quallies there.

Q. You've had so much happen in the last few months. Is it kind of a whirlwind for you a little bit?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it's definitely been a big change for me. I think maybe today I was probably just maybe a little bit mentally tired. Didn't feel like I was all there on the court. That being said, nothing to take away from David. He still played a great match and he deserved to win.
But, yeah, it's been a big change and a big adjustment for me. To step out here and compete against these guys is so much different than the guys I was competing with two, three months ago. It's been different.

Q. Do you think the success in D.C. was just unbelievable tennis for you?
JOHN ISNER: I mean, I don't know. I played well in D.C. It's not like I -- I mean, you can't make a run to the finals in every tournament. Play a guy that's No. 16 in the world, you're not going to beat him every time.
I don't feel like this tournament was a failure at all. Probably could have played a little bit better, but he was better than me tonight.

Q. Is it much tougher is it to break players at this level?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it is, especially tonight. I had two breakpoints in the first set and thought I played two pretty good points. He just made me play so much. He kept the ball so deep, every one of his groundstrokes.
They don't give you anything. Might make one unforced error, but never make two unforced errors in a row. I had to earn every single point on the return and that makes it so tough.

Q. A few weeks ago we had the women's tournament here with the tallest player on that tour, and asked her what the advantages and disadvantages are of being tall. It was interesting to hear her answers. What are some of the things good/bad that you think about being 6'9"?
JOHN ISNER: Good obviously helps my serve. It's coming down at a pretty steep angle and causes a lot trouble for my opponents. My serve is really my game. I've always said my game goes how my serve goes. That's a huge advantage for me.
Disadvantage, you know, I'm not as quick as most of these guys and probably never going to be. It's tougher to get down for low balls. It's just natural stuff like that.
But for me I think it's more of an advantage than disadvantage for sure.

Q. Do you feel like there will always be, like you said the quicker guys will always be some sort of a limit because of your height? Will that limit you?
JOHN ISNER: No. I think I can go real far. I can work on that stuff. That's the thing. My serve is going to be there most of the time and I can work on the quickness and certain other areas of my game. That's just what I need to do. I'll get better once I improve on those areas.

Q. Players have said there's an a lot of pressure on them when you're holding serve. But when you're broken, is there a lot pressure on you? How much pressure does that shift to you?
JOHN ISNER: Obviously there's a lot of pressure. If I don't I'm going to lose. Unfortunately I couldn't break back today. He played a great game to break me and hold on from there. It was just, you know, he was just killing me from the baseline, really. He just wasn't making any mistakes.
I knew he was tough to break and a great returner. I had my chances in the first set, like I said, and didn't capitalize them. That hurt me a lot.

Q. How has life been different for you since the NCAA, Washington to now?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I didn't expect to be here, you know, two, three months ago. Really different. Signed a lot more autographs than I used to and just stuff like that. It's definitely real, real different, but I'm definitely enjoying it.
Hopefully I can, you know, continue to play well and make myself a mainstay at the top of rankings and keep on competing in tournaments like this. That's my main objective.

Q. Two, three months ago were you planning on going into your regular career, I mean, with your degree?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. I mean, I was going to go play pro tennis. I knew I could do well at the lower level, and I thought I could compete at this level. I think I proved that in Washington.
So like I said, I didn't really expect to be ranked as high as I am for only playing not even two months really. It's a big surprise. I just got to work harder. Not that I don't work hard, but everybody at this level works so hard it's up to me to keep up with them.

Q. Of the other members of your NCAA tennis team in Chicago, is anybody else going play professional tennis?
JOHN ISNER: As for the seniors last year on the team, two other seniors are not playing. The two seniors on this year's upcoming team, they're probably going to give it a shot.

Q. Panther's fan?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Huge.

Q. Really?

Q. Any reason?
JOHN ISNER: I'm from North Carolina. Yeah, from Greensboro.

Q. The only team in your state.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. That's true.

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