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John Isner withdrawal

Wednesday 26 June 2013

John Isner speaks to the media after having to withdraw from The Championships through injury


Q. Take us through what happened.
JOHN ISNER: You know, third point of the match. I didn't do anything different. I just go to serve, and I think it was as I landed. You know, always serve and land on my left leg, like I have done 20 million times playing this game, and this is the first time I just felt this, like, sharp pain. You know, it wasn't like a pop. Wasn't, you know, like you hear athletes like, Oh, crap, I feel like I heard it pop.
There wasn't anything. It didn't pop. It just grabbed like really badly, and I knew I was in serious trouble then. I mean, I knew at that point it was not likely I was going to be able to play.

Q. So the trainer wasn't able to manipulate it in any way?
JOHN ISNER: Nothing.

Q. Bone, muscle? What did they think?
JOHN ISNER: Tendon. But I will know more at 5:00 today. They don't think it's like anything torn, like dramatically torn. There might be a little tear, which takes ‑‑ you know, I'm always optimistic and always been a fast recoverer. I haven't been told a timetable, but I don't think it's anything where, you know, I tore something and I need surgery. It's nothing like that, I don't think, you know.
I just can't bend my knee. I can walk as long as I keep it straight. So it's just putting any sort of weight. You know, I couldn't even bend the slightest, and I still can't.

Q. So you had a scan?
JOHN ISNER: I had an ultrasound already, but I'm getting more like a, what do you call it, like a high resolution...

Q. MRI?
JOHN ISNER: No, high resolution ultrasound. This one was not as high, I guess. I don't know.

Q. It's been tough luck two out of the three slams. Remind me, Australia was the right knee, right?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Also that was something I just developed over time I think maybe in the offseason training. You know, that's something I wasn't too smart about. I felt it actually in the offseason and I was able to practice through it.
Every time I'd get off the court, it would be like, Ahhh, but I kept practicing and working out and whatnot.
But that's behind me. This is just ‑‑ it's bizarre. You know, it's one of those things. Anything like this has never happened to me, whether it's ‑‑ you know, I have always ‑‑ it wasn't like, you know, I did anything. I didn't twist it. I didn't like roll ‑‑ like I have rolled my ankle before. That's something ‑‑ this is just ‑‑ it's weird.
Little disappointing and unlucky. But, you know, I have nothing to complain about. I'll get over it.

Q. Did you feel your foot like slip at all? A lot of people have been slipping on this grass. That wasn't it?
JOHN ISNER: Uh‑huh.

Q. You landed fine?
JOHN ISNER: No slip, yeah. I just landed and something happened. Severe pain. I mean, it hurt.

Q. Was it like the front of your knee, sides?
JOHN ISNER: The front, like the patella right on like the kneecap area really.

Q. How does the way the draw was going and the opportunity you had affect your emotions right now?
JOHN ISNER: Um, yeah, you know, I have never been ‑ or at least recently I try not to forecast the draw. But I know that in the section I was in Rafa had lost, and, you know, Lleyton had beaten Wawrinka.
You know, so I know that group. You know, I was the highest seeded player on a surface that I'm tough to beat on, given how well I can serve and how much I can hold serve.
That's very disappointing. You know, yeah, it's tough to think about. I had a good chance to go pretty far here. My deal is just as long as I can get, you know, through the first couple of rounds I feel like I always get better as events go on.
I just gain more confidence, and, you know, some of that earlier‑on pressure, I get beyond that and then I can sort of, you know ‑‑ I just ‑‑ it's tough, yeah.
Like I said, a little unlucky, but I will get over it.

Q. I think there have already been five people out of this tournament with injury. Right after you Darcis pulled out, and then Azarenka just pulled out. Do you think where this tournament lies in the calendar or the surface could make all these injuries happening at once? 
JOHN ISNER: I don't know. Could just be a coincidence. Tennis isn't a contact sport at all. I mean, it's one of the most physical games out there, hands down. I mean, it takes its toll.
You know, guys sometimes, you know ‑‑ I mean, this is a slam. You want to go out there. Little things pop up here and there that are tough to forecast, like my knee. Didn't feel anything in my first match; didn't feel anything yesterday in practice; didn't feel anything today in warmup; didn't feel anything in the five‑minute warmup; didn't feel anything in the first two points of the match; and then, bam, felt it.
I don't know. Maybe trying to look at the positives in things. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise that I caught it early or whatever. Maybe it was bound to happen and I'll get over it and get on with my year. I'll put it behind me and just stay positive.

Q. What's your summer schedule like? Usually a big part of the year coming up for you.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, summer is important to me. Rehab is on my mind at this very moment, and rehab it very, very hard and smart, which I have always done. As long as there's nothing significant that, you know, rehab can't fix, then I'm going to do everything I can. That's for now.

Q. Are you surprised this happened on grass? You think of this as a more forgiving surface. Is that an illusion?
JOHN ISNER: I don't think the surface ‑‑ if I was playing on clay, if that was a clay court same thing would have happened. It's just something with the force of me landing on my leg. I don't know. It's bizarre.
I don't think the surface the what was underneath me had anything to do with it. I don't think.

Q. As you leave here, what do you think will be weighing on your mind most ‑ the next few hours, at least?
JOHN ISNER: Not much. I don't know. Just put some ice on my knee a lot. That's the only thing I can do.
I'm coming back later to get a more definite answer, definitive answer of what exactly is going on. I want to get the hell home, go back to the States, and get ready from there.

Q. Are you planning on doing Newport, Atlanta, D.C.?
JOHN ISNER: Well, I was scheduled, but I don't know right now.

Q. Do you have any sense of what you were planning on doing schedule‑wise here to the US Open?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I was entered in Newport. That was my next tournament. I wasn't thinking beyond that. I wasn't thinking beyond this tournament. Everything is permitting ‑‑ if I did super well here there is a chance I maybe wouldn't play that tournament.
So I get guess right now my goal is to try to play Newport. I don't know if that's realistic or not, which is disappointing given that I have won that tournament twice and I won it last year.
Nothing I can do about that. Just try to get over this, my knee.

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