Isner ready to put epic Wimbledon match behind him

NEW YORK (Reuters) - To most tennis fans, American John Isner will be forever remembered as the man who won the longest ever tennis match at Wimbledon this year.

John Isner of the U.S. celebrates defeating France's Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Glyn Kirk/Pool

But the 25-year-old, who reached the second round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over Frederico Gil of Portugal, wants to make a new name for himself.

Isner’s first-round match with Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon spanned three days and went down as the longest ever match at 11 hours 5 minutes and 183 grueling games.

The American did numerous television interviews when he returned to the United States after Wimbledon but said he is now determined to move on.

“That’s something I will always remember and it was truly a pleasure to be on the court with Nicolas that day for a historic match,” Isner said in a oncourt interview.

“But I want to put it behind me. I want to do well in the big tournaments. This is my favorite tournament in the world and this is the one I want to do well in.”

Isner almost did not make it to the U.S. Open after turning his right ankle in Cincinnati Masters two weeks ago.

But the 18th seed showed no signs of discomfort as he dispatched world number 87 Gil in straight sets.

Gil was looking for his first victory in a grand slam event but though he matched Isner early on, once the American had won the first set, the result never looked in doubt.

“(The ankle) felt great,” Isner said. “I took a four-to-six week injury and got ready in two weeks.”

Not having to play his first match until Wednesday “was huge” to his hopes, said Isner, who now plays Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli.

“I turned it two weeks ago so it gave me two weeks,” he said. “It was a lucky break.”

Editing by Frank Pingue