Former ITA National Player of Year, Isner, Blogs from the Australian Open
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It would be nice if I could keep up this streak, winning my first title in Auckland last week and then getting by Andreas Seppi in a tough five-setter today. As long as I can keep winning, I'll be happy.
Roger Federer congratulated me the other day on winning Auckland. That was pretty cool. I didn't even think he would know about a tournament like that. Any time Roger congratulates you, let alone even talks to you, is pretty neat.
I was fortunate to get Monday off with the rain so I could get an extra day of rest. Seppi is a good player, and he picked his game up and brought it all the way to a fifth set, and credit it to him.
I cracked my racket after I lost the fourth set, but I didn't mean to. I threw it down toward my racket bag, but it hit the court. But it felt pretty good. I gave it to a fan and took a picture with him later.
I didn't feel great in the fifth, but as long as I keep holding my serve, I feel pretty good. I got an early break, which gave me a little boost of energy, and I put all my concentration into my serve.
I found out when I came to Australia that I'd be auditioning for a spot on the Davis Cup team, as Andy Roddick and James Blake have decided not to play and I've done pretty good so far. It would be awesome if Captain Mac chooses me to play, and I'm going to go to Serbia if he picks me. But it's going to be a tough task against Novak Djokovic on clay. But I think the Bryan brothers will be favored in their match. We'll be underdogs, but that's why they play the game, and I think we'll have shot.
Getting a jump on this year and playing well is huge. I missed eight weeks last year around the French and Wimbledon because I was sick, so I don't have any points to defend then, and that's the time when I can move up. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because I did really well the rest of the summer. I didn't do that well in the fall, but I had never been to Asia before, and that was different.
I did have some fun in the off-season. My favorite hockey team, the Carolina Hurricanes, sometimes lets a fan or a celebrity (even though I'm really not a celebrity) crank the horn for a Hurricane warning sign when the team comes out on the ice, and I got to do that. I'm from Greensboro and became a fan when they moved to Carolina in 1997, but I've never even ice skated or taken a shot. They played in Greensboro for two years before they moved to Raleigh, so I went to every game, and I fell in love with it. But football is No. 1 for me, even though hockey is a close second. I watched two NFL playoff games here last weekend -- the Saints and Jets games.
In the off-season, I took three weeks off tennis, but I never took any time off in the weight room, going four times a week. I gained some muscle, and that's the main reason why I've been able to win all the long matches I did in Auckland and then the one against Seppi today. I have such a big frame that I need to keep it as strong as possible or it will start to break down. The weight room maybe is more important for me than on-court time.
My goal is to reach the second week here. If I can get to the second week of my second straight major, that would be huge.
Wish me luck on Wednesday!