Most of today’s action was washed out at the Shanghai Rolex Masters except for those scheduled under the roof at Qi Zhong.
One lucky guy to get through on Monday was 14th-seeded John Isner, who captured a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo.
Big John stayed close to his roots in the match. Translation: He let Giraldo play him close and, as usual, went the distance before securing his win.
So it seemed like the perfect time to ask Big John just why he seems so addicted to play matches that go on endlessly. Here’s his reasoning: “Well, it happens. I think the main reason is I’m not breaking serve like Rafa or Novak is, but I’m also holding serve very well. So a lot of times from that I can get in these long, drawn-out matches.
“Today was no different. I was glad I didn’t have to win any of those sets in a tiebreak. It takes a little bit of stress and pressure off of me. At the same time I felt like my opponent played well. I did as well as I possibly could out there. I’ll take them any way I can gte them. Wins out here are very tough.”
Taking that explanation into account is Isner spending an inordinate amount of time working on his return game?
“Yeah, I work on it a lot,” Isner says of his return game. “With my serve, I certainly don’t neglect that. That’s my main weapon. But I still on it (return game) quite a bit. I put in a lot of work on the practice courts. But for me it’s more of a mindset, tell myself on big points to go for my shots because that’s how I need to play. I need to win or lose the point on my terms. For the most part I felt like I did that today. There were some times where I got a little tight. But that’s what I’m trying to eliminate. I need to play very aggressive.”