This match was just another step in Isner's comeback from a slump which included a disappointing loss to Paul-Henri Mathieu at Roland Garros. "I was a bit of a mess" after the French, Isner said. Going into Wimbledon "in a bad frame of mind" and lacking preparation, the American's slump continued, as he lost in a first-round five-setter to Alejandro Falla, and then "didn't watch any Wimbledon at all."
In Friday's match, Isner felt he was calmer in tight spots than in other matches during the past few months. He hopes that playing well in Newport will allow him to launch a successful summer campaign, as it did in 2011, when winning here revived his game.
"[Ryan] Harrison thinks he can beat anybody in the world," said Isner with a smile suggesting he is way past his own days of youthful exuberance. Harrison views this as the type of affirmative thinking that leads to success, and the only type of mentality for a champion. "I really believe I can win any match, any tournament, he said... following up with, "I hope it clicks sooner rather than later."
Besides, "I think that John has the same attitude," Harrison said.
Friday's Greener Pastures
Harrison, who joined Isner in the Semifinals when his opponent Becker retired with a left hamstring injury, is happy to get to continue the grass season in Newport in anticipation of the Olympics. In addition to representing his country and trying on the now infamous Ralph Lauren uniforms, Harrison looks forward to a chance to watch basketball and gymnastics.
Friday was Military Appreciation Day at the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. The grounds were filled with men and women in uniform, who were honored during the day's play and at special events on the grounds. The US national anthem was performed several times on Center Court, including by Janine Stange, a singer on a mission to sing the anthem at events in all 50 states. During her performances, Stange is collecting donations to an organization supporting military families.
For more photos from Friday, CLICK HERE