April 8, 2012
J. ISNER/J. Tsonga
6‑3, 7‑6, 5‑7, 6‑3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It seems that clay suits you very well now. What were your feelings on that surface?
JOHN ISNER: Yes, I like playing on clay. I played three of the best matches all year on clay. So it's a surface that I enjoy playing on, a surface that I think I can do very well on.
Q. We feel that you get along very well with Jim. How much did he help you?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, he's definitely helped me. He helped me in that first tie against Switzerland, obviously. Had a very good win against Roger. He helped me again this week.
You know, along with him, it's just been a gradual thing for me. My coach back home, Craig Boynton, that's who I put the majority of my work in with. When I come here, Jim just kind of gets me ready.
Captain Courier, he's a guy I'm very comfortable with on the bench, so that helps.
Q. You played very well, several matches very well in a row on clay. You are a complete player because you have a good serve, but also play well from the baseline. Today, on top of all this, you played very good dropshots. Is this going to be a weapon for you to really be good for the clay court season coming up? Do you believe you're an outsider for the French Open?
JOHN ISNER: Yes, I believe in myself, if I play like I have this weekend, then I can beat a lot of people. Beating Gilles and beating Jo are two very good wins. I played very well.
If I can keep this level up, I'm going to be tough to beat. So, yeah, like I played this weekend, that's how I need to play.
Q. As a captain, Jim seems to stay always very calm and very cool. The question is, is he that way also during daily life, during the week? Is he always calming things down?
JOHN ISNER: He never gets too excited. He doesn't get too mad at us or anything. He's very even‑keel. He kind of stays like that.
Sometimes he can be very serious: Look, this is what we're going to do, this is what you're going to do. Sometimes he can joke around with us. He can really do it all.
But the way you see him on the bench, that's the way he is off the cameras, off the court.
Q. What is your analysis of the match today?
JOHN ISNER: It was a match that, you know, I won the first set. The second set could have gone either way. We both have breakpoints in that second set. Really what it came down to was I had one look at a second serve in the tiebreaker at 4‑All, and I played a good point, played a forehand winner, then served it out.
Third set, same thing. Had a breakpoint at 4‑3, he game up with the goods. He played a great game at 5‑All. At that point it was anybody's game.
I just stayed there. I was just enjoying the moment. It's just so much fun playing out there with a crowd like that, a great crowd, on such a beautiful day. It's just a lot of fun.
I didn't get too frustrated. I was just enjoying it. I went out there and just tried to keep playing my game.
Q. You said on Friday you thought you were ready to play. How did you feel when you hit the winner in the match knowing you were going into the semis?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it was the same feeling. I had a great week of practice, played extremely well on Friday, had a great practice on Saturday. I was ready to go. It was as simple as that.
Just as I did on Friday, I went out there and I played very well. I'm just very thrilled with my performance, very happy that our team is going on to the semifinals.
Q. Are we going to have to call you 'the closer'?
JOHN ISNER: I don't think so. That's the first time I've ever closed out a Davis Cup match. I think for now that title still belongs to Andy Roddick. He's done this so many times. If I can do it five, six, seven more times, maybe you can call me that. But for sure that's not my title.
Going out there, trying to help my team, that's what I'm trying to do.
Q. Obviously I think everybody would agree the Spanish on clay would be a tougher task. Can you look ahead a little bit to that.
JOHN ISNER: I mean, I'm assuming they're going to put it on clay. You never know. We've done pretty well in our first two matches. But it's probably leaning towards that way.
Just like France, and probably even more so, they can throw anybody out there. They're so deep, that country. But, you know, whoever we go up against, whatever the conditions are, we're going to go out there and we're going to believe that we're going to win. That's what we've done these first two rounds.
People didn't think we could beat Switzerland. I'm sure there were people that didn't think we could beat France. So we'll go into that match very confident and obviously ready to go.
Q. You didn't make too much of Mardy's absence. There was more pressure on your shoulders. Do you think this Davis Cup maybe helped you in some way bring something out of yourself?
JOHN ISNER: I think so. I think the reason I played so well this weekend was because of beating Roger in the first round was huge for me. Prior to that, to be honest, I hadn't really played that great in Davis Cup. That was one, you know, I won, a huge win for me. Kind of took a lot of pressure off of me. After that, I had a win against Novak.
So, you know, whether Mardy was here or wasn't here, yeah, I don't think that mattered for me. I felt like I was going to play well regardless if he was here.
I don't know what to say. I was really calm the whole weekend. I never at any point felt any nerves out there on the court at any time. That's the case more times than not, you're going to go out there and play well.
Q. Your team and captain revealed you're not a stranger to the casino.
JOHN ISNER: I mean, it was there. Never been to Monte‑Carlo. I just walked over.
We will keep our celebration in‑house at the hotel. That's about it.
Q. What's your game?
JOHN ISNER: Sometimes I play blackjack.
Q. Are you going back to Houston?
JOHN ISNER: I'm leaving for Houston tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports