interview after his win 7-6, 6-2, 7-6 over Nicolas Mahut
at the Wimbledon 2011
LONDON--(LadyDragon.com)22/06/11--Q. What are your emotions
after all that? Are you just glad to have got it behind
you and come out with another win?
JOHN ISNER: Yes. I'm just really thrilled to have won
that third set, because if I lose that third set, then
chances are we don't finish. You know, our match goes to
another second day. So obviously you want to be through
to the next round. So tomorrow I don't have anything to
do. Just gonna practice and get ready. It's a nice
feeling I don't have to sleep on finishing this match.
Q. What do you
feel for the man who lost last year's match and lost
JOHN ISNER: It's tough, obviously. Someone was going to
have to lose that match last year. You know,
unfortunately it was him. But, really, I mean, he has
nothing to hang his head about at all. He fought just as
hard today. I think his knee was bothering him a little
bit, to be honest. Maybe he wasn't a hundred percent. I
definitely didn't want to play him first round because
one of us was going to go home a loser. And I think both
of us could do well or can do well at this event. Really,
it stinks for him that he's out now.
Q. David Nainkin
was out there with you a little bit?
JOHN ISNER: Uh huh.
Q. Did he just
come by to help? Sam left, and I know he was working with
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, he's with the USTA, so...
Q. And Craig?
JOHN ISNER: He's in Florida. He couldn't make the trip.
But there's nothing more to it than that.
Q. Craig is going
to be coaching you when you get back?
JOHN ISNER: Yes.
Q. Dave has been
helping you for the last few weeks?
JOHN ISNER: No, no. Just since I've been here. Arranged
my practices, be on the court with me. No, he's just a
part of the USTA. So I appreciate their help.
Q. You must know
him pretty well because he's been working with Sam.
JOHN ISNER: I know David very well. He's a great coach.
We're good friends. It's just good to have him in my
corner this week.
Q. The sequel
rarely lives up to the original.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, nothing's going to live up to that
match. It wasn't going to go that long. The conditions
were probably a little bit slower today because of the
weather. After the first set, I felt actually really
comfortable out there. I came out a little tight.
Obviously I haven't played a grass court match in a full
year, so... I was a little tight. Won that first set
breaker. That was huge. That took a lot of pressure off
me. Felt like I played, you know, pretty well from that
Q. What did you
think of the court placement and the atmosphere on the
JOHN ISNER: I like that court. It's a real kind of a
quaint place. It's not too big. For the most part, the
crowd seemed to be really energetic. That's a great
court, in my opinion. I'd like to play there again.
Q. Would you prefer
to be on another court?
JOHN ISNER: I could see maybe potentially me and Almagro
playing on that court, but we'll see.
Q. Nicolas wrote
a book about that match. Can you imagine writing about
that? Did anyone approach you? In many ways, he seemed to
gain a lot of positives out of emerging the loser;
whereas you seemed burdened by having won the match.
JOHN ISNER: No, no. I mean, I've said a million times,
you know, people in 20, 30 years are not going to
remember that I won that match. All they're going to
remember is us out there competing. In that aspect,
obviously he didn't lose. Yeah, I mean, on the scoreboard
it says that. And he did write a book. That's great. But,
no, I think you guys have made it seem to be like a
burden to me. In all honesty, it's really not. I embrace
it. I understand that I'm going to get asked a lot of
questions about last year's match, and rightfully so. But
that's just how it's going to be.
Q. Is it safe to
say at some point you grew tired or weary of the
JOHN ISNER: I think in the immediate aftermath, I think
in the summer I did a bit. And then, you know, prior to
coming to this event I also knew, you know, no matter who
I played that I was going to have to answer a lot of
questions, hear a lot about last year's match. Then I
draw him again first round.
Q. What went
through your head?
JOHN ISNER: That was ridiculous. Yeah, you know, I wasn't
expecting that. But it's good to get that first one
Q. I remember you
saying last year coming out after your last to de Bakker,
even though you enjoyed the experience against Nicolas,
what you really wanted to do at Wimbledon was get into
the second week. Talk about your feelings going forward.
JOHN ISNER: First off, I'm going to be fresh in two days'
time. I was not that last year. So I'm looking forward. I
feel like I'm a tough out if I'm healthy and fresh in a
Grand Slam, because I think Grand Slams kind of favor me,
because over the course of time I have a weapon that most
players really don't, and that's my serve. I like to
think it's one of the best out there. So over the course
of a three out of five set match, I have a good shot of
winning, especially on this surface. So I'm looking
forward to getting out there next round and hopefully
advancing. That's obviously the goal.
Q. What do you
think you have to achieve for last year's match to maybe
be second when people talk about you?
JOHN ISNER: In all honesty, I think that's going to have
to be something really big, because our match last year
was really, really big, caught a lot of attention. People
were really mesmerized by it. I would say it's going to
have to be I'd have to make a huge, huge mark in the
course of a Grand Slam sometime in my career.
Q. Were you able
to talk to Nicolas after the match?
JOHN ISNER: Just at the net.
Q. What did you
say to him?
JOHN ISNER: I just said, Good match. He said, Hey, Buddy.
I want to see you in the second week of this event. I
said, Thank you.
Q. It seems
almost every slam, maybe going back to the Roddick US
Open night match, there's a lot of drama around your
appearances in slams. Can you talk about that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, you know, that match was one. I feel
like my match at the French Open this year was another.
Obviously our match last year. I think it just goes back
to you know, I had one at the Australian Open this year,
as well. When you're at the Grand Slams, you're going to
absolutely give it your all. As I said before, my serve's
gonna keep me in a lot of matches. I think that's one of
the reasons I play a lot of close ones because, you know,
I'm holding a lot. You know, you don't want to go out in
a slam, and you don't want to go out weekly either. You
just want to go out there and give it your all. I think
that's what I've done over, you know, the last six, seven
slams I've played or whatever it may be. I just go out
there and compete really hard and give my all and play
with a lot of energy. A lot of times the matches end up
to be really close ones.
Q. How would you
best describe the feelings you experienced after winning
this match versus winning that epic last year?
JOHN ISNER: Well, I would say I was more relieved last
year to finally get it over with because what we did was
remarkable, and you can't ever think something like that
could happen. But I also knew, to be honest, after last
year's match that I had no shot in the second round. That
was kind of tough to swallow. I mean, I played the next
day. I went to bed that night. More times than not I'm
thinking I like my chances no matter who I'm playing the
next day. Last year I just knew my body wasn't going to
allow me to go out there and win unless my opponent
sprained his ankle the first point of the match. This
year I'm happy to get through this one. The goal is the
second week. If you can get to that, anything's possible.
the conditions and also just the expectations, you both
had a lot to lose because of what you did last year. How
do you feel you handled the whole situation?
JOHN ISNER: I felt really all throughout that match
pretty calm on the court. I liked where I was centered
during the whole course of the match. I never got too
high. I never got too low. I never panicked. I played
great points considerably better today than I have in the
past, than I have this year. I feel like I did a lot of
things well. I served well. I hit my forehand well. I
volleyed well. I returned a little bit better than I did
last year, too.
Q. First service game you faced a breakpoint. No panic
JOHN ISNER: No
panic. Like I said, I was a little bit nervous at the
beginning. I hit an ace. I saw the chalk fly up on that
first breakpoint down. That was a big relief. It's nice
having my serve in my pocket like that.
Q. What sort of a
mental hurdle was today given the buildup?
JOHN ISNER: It was tough. Especially playing on Tuesday,
so I got here on Wednesday. I believe the draw was made
Friday. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, I heard a lot
about this match, what we did last year. It was tough.
I'm assuming I won't get asked a lot of questions about
last year's match from now on.
Q. We know that
Nicolas wrote the book. Have you had any commercial
opportunities or sponsorship opportunities as a result of
what happened last year?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, some things have come up. But I don't
think you guys have heard too much about it. But
definitely I have people, you know, on my side that know
what to do in that regard.
Q. What are they?
Can you tell us about them?
JOHN ISNER: Just, I mean, I've gotten I think one thing
that helped me, last year's match helped, I'm part of a
Coca Cola campaign for the Olympics next year. They've
chosen eight athletes to kind of sponsor and highlight
for next year's Olympics, and I'm one of them. That's a
huge achievement. I feel definitely honored to be a part
of their team.