John Isner hit big numbers in his loss in the US Open quarter-final against Juan Martin del Potro, he even had to change his shirt 11 times in the overwhelming heat and humidity of New York. The 33-year-old dropped to 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to the Argentine champion in 2009, ending the hopes of a first male champion since 2003. But it was his and Del Potro's fights with the heat that dominated the conversation after the grueling 3-hour, 31-minute match at the same Arthur Ashe stadium that witnessed the death of Roger Federer the night before.
With the extreme heat rule that allows a break of 10 minutes between the third and fourth set, both men took full advantage.
"I had to change my shirt 11 times in the game," said Isner.
"I weigh 238 pounds, so I've always said it's very difficult to play in hot conditions, especially for me, because I weigh a lot and I sweat a lot.
"The biggest men are sworn in. Whenever I've seen Juan fight in the heat or on TV and it seems like he's been gassed out there, I can always relate."
Federer complained that he had struggled to breathe in the almost airless conditions inside the arena, as he fell defeated by the commotion to John Millman, the world number 55 on Monday.
"I've never seen Roger sweat ever, if you're sweating a lot and you have to change clothes, then you know it's pretty damp," Isner said.