Isner: ‘I Need To Hit The Delete Button On This’
American sets sights on US hard-court swing
John Isner said there was no consolation in featuring in the two longest Grand Slam championship matches in tennis history after losing to Kevin Anderson 26-24 in the fifth set of a six-hour and 36-minute encounter at The Championships on Friday.
“[There’s] no consolation to me,” said Isner, eight years on from his record-breaking 70-68 fifth-set victory over Nicolas Mahut in the Wimbledon first round. “I’m not going to hang my hat on that, for sure. It’s more just disappointment to lose. I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final, and it didn’t happen.”
Despite the loss, Isner takes plenty of positives from the fortnight. By making his first Grand Slam semi-final he is projected to rise to a career-high No. 8 in the ATP Rankings, and he gave his hopes of qualifying for his first year-end Nitto ATP Finals a massive boost.
During the grueling fifth set, the American jokingly asked the chair umpire to play a tie-break against Anderson in the fifth set, but does see merit in playing five tie-break sets at major championships. “I personally think a sensible option would be 12-all… If one person can’t finish the other off before 12-all, then do a tie-break there. I think it’s long overdue. I’m a big part of this discussion, of course.”
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The 33-year-old Isner, who had never previously gone beyond the third round on nine visits to the All England Club, believes that his first run to a major championship semi-final will help him in the future.
“It was a very good tournament for me,” said Isner. “I made the semi-finals, my first ever Grand Slam semi-final. I’m very happy about that. Of course, I’m disappointed to lose today. It’s up to me to not let this match linger going forward, when I get back in America and play on the hard courts, which is my favourite surface.
“I need to be able to hit the delete button on this. It will be tough, very tough. I’ll just let my body recover, which it will. At 33, I’m feeling as good as I’ve ever felt. Let my body recover, then just mentally refocus, try to have a good summer. It’s generally a very good time for me. We’ll see if I can play well.”
Isner has a 20-12 record on the season, which includes his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown at the Miami Open presented by Itaú (d. Zverev). He also beat Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro en route to the title.
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