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February 10, 2012

Jim Courier

John Isner


J. ISNER/R. Federer
4‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions.

Q.テつ How does the win feel?
JOHN ISNER:テつ It feels good.テつ Certainly it's a huge win for me.テつ It's the biggest win of my career thus far.テつ So very proud of it.
We're up 2‑0, which is a great start.テつ That was our goal coming into today, and we accomplished it.テつ Mardy put forth a great effort in the first match.テつ Obviously that was so gutsy.テつ What it did, it took a lot of pressure off of me, I felt.テつ Mardy getting that win was obviously huge, and it was huge for me as well.

Q.テつ After you won the second set, you and Jim had a conversation on the bench that seemed fairly animated.テつ You went out in the first game and hit three huge returns putting Roger down 15‑40.テつ Can you give us a sense of what was said?
CAPTAIN COURIER:テつ Don't tell them (laughter).
JOHN ISNER:テつ It wasn't much.テつ We were basically keeping it simple.
When I play Roger, I don't want to get in baseline exchanges with him because he's going to win those, plain and simple.テつ He's going to win the majority of them.テつ So I just needed to go out there and hit my shots big, go for them.テつ Don't be too wild, but go for my shots.
He was just constantly reminding me of that.テつ I don't really quite remember it, to be honest, but I'm sure it might have been similar along there.

Q.テつ What about the last game, can you give us a sense of what was going through your mind?
JOHN ISNER:テつ Yeah, you know, I was up a break, so I had absolutely nothing to lose.テつ Just went out and went for my shots, and they found the court.テつ That's really the blueprint for how I need to play and how I need to return for all my matches, no matter who I'm playing.

Q.テつ Roger had breakpoints on you in the third and fourth set.テつ He said himself you played the bigger points better.テつ How did you keep yourself focused, especially playing someone like Roger?
JOHN ISNER:テつ Yeah, I mean, no matter what the score was, I just tried out there today to not let the score dictate how I play.テつ So when I was in a hole, just keep going for my shots.テつ If I miss it, so be it, that's how it's going to be.
I was just going to go for my shots.テつ Be within reason with them, but go for them.テつ Especially on my service games, finish the point, and if the serve came back, finish it within the next two shots.テつ That's what I was trying to do today.
I played those breakpoints down very well, so that was obviously huge.テつ It sort of turned the match a little for me because it was 2‑All, Love‑40, and I held that game, won 6‑2.

Q.テつ (Question regarding the condition of the balls.)
JOHN ISNER:テつ Not necessarily flying, but they were pretty quick and the ball stayed firm.テつ The balls don't fluff up too much here.テつ So even in the eighth, ninth game of a new set of balls, they're still, in my opinion, pretty quick.テつ That played to my advantage.テつ I think it plays to our team's advantage a little bit there.
Yeah, I was happy with the conditions out there.テつ I don't mind playing on clay.テつ It gives me more time, which sometimes is what I need.テつ Clay isn't really such a bad surface for me.

Q.テつ Mardy played the third longest match in history.テつ John has a good win.テつ Being up 2‑0, how much confidence does that give you for tomorrow?
CAPTAIN COURIER:テつ We knew coming in there were five points available, and all five matches would be very difficult for us.テつ Obviously we saw that today.
I'm very happy with 2‑0.テつ Obviously our team's happy with that.テつ But I'll give you the trite answer:テつ there's a lot of work to be done because it's real.テつ We have a long way to go to win that third match out of five.テつ Got to stay focused.
I'm obviously proud of the guys for the effort.テつ The guys prepared well this week.テつ They came out there.テつ John played exactly the kind of match we needed him to play, and he needs to play this way every day the rest of his career.テつ If he does that, he's going to be a real force to be reckoned with.テつ You saw it firsthand today.テつ I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone finish a match against Roger Federer the way he did today.テつ That was pretty amazing.
Mardy played on guts out there.テつ He and Stan were both struggling.テつ It wasn't pretty tennis.テつ It's all about being better than the other guy.テつ Mardy has lost a few tight matches like that.テつ He stepped up today and won a tight match.テつ That's huge for him and that's huge for us as a team.

Q.テつ (Question regarding advice given to John on how to play Federer.)
JOHN ISNER:テつ It wasn't necessarily a bunch of advice.テつ It was just him constantly reminding me of how I need to play.テつ With my game, I don't really need to adjust how I play to my opponent.テつ No matter if I'm playing Federer, if I'm playing a guy ranked 800 in the world, I need to play the same.
It was sort of just a constant reminder of that.テつ It was a few X's and O's with that.テつ Other than that, Captain Courier has been keeping it simple with me, but he's been on me in a good way.テつ Without him in my ear this week, these past four days, I wouldn't have won that match.テつ Obviously he's done a great job.
CAPTAIN COURIER:テつ I get credit and I didn't hit one ball.テつ This guy, he won the match.

Q.テつ What's it like with two very emotional games today?テつ You seemed so calm on the court.
CAPTAIN COURIER:テつ I guess that's hiding what's going on inside.テつ It's like a washing machine when you're out there.テつ You're riding the ups and the downs with our players.
But I have two different players out there emotionally.テつ John needs more encouragement, likes more encouragement.テつ Mardy is a little bit more kind of self‑sufficient at the moment.
It's my goal to get John to be very self‑sufficient out there, as well.テつ He doesn't need me to remind him of this stuff.テつ He's going to figure out very quickly that this is a great way for him to play.
But it's fun.テつ It's fun to be out there and try to help these guys and also know when to shut the fuck up and stay out of the way.テつ That's the biggest trick.テつ Still learning that one.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any further questions?
CAPTAIN COURIER:テつ That's the best way to close out a press conference (laughter).

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