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Del Potro Defeats Isner For Washington Title

Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Top seed Juan Martin del Potro won the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over John Isner on Sunday, extending his winning streak at the event to 14 matches and taking his second ATP World Tour 500 title of the season.

"It’s amazing. I’m so happy to win here once again," he said. "Always when you win a tournament, it’s special, it’s big. And after Wimbledon, to be in my first tournament on hard court, it means a lot."

Isner had the upper hand early on, breaking for a 3-1 lead on a 22-stroke rally and going on to capture the first set  after five set points. But del Potro fired back, breaking the big-serving American four times to win the match in an hour and 29 minutes.

The Argentine made a slow start after finishing his rain-interrupted semi-final against Tommy Haas late Saturday night. "But I found a really quick break in the second [set] and that helped me to keep fighting and improving my game," he said.

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From 1-1 in the second set, del Potro won the next seven games to take a 2-0 lead in the third set.

"In the third, I played my best tennis of the tournament," he said.

del Potro Standing further back on the return also helped him deal with his 6'10" opponent's serve, he added.

Isner served only six aces in the final after reaching double digits in all his previous matches in the tournament, and was broken just once all week before the final. The top-ranked American at No. 20, Isner had also been on an eight-match winning streak after winning the title in Atlanta a week earlier.

"I take a lot of positives out of these two weeks given how I played during these matches," said Isner. "I won a bunch of close matches en route to the title last week and the final today. Winning last week and making it to the finals here are very good results." 

Del Potro, meanwhile, won his 15th career title, with his previous triumph coming at Rotterdam earlier this year. Following victories in his two last Washington appearances in 2008 and 2009, he also joins fellow Argentine Guillermo Vilas as a three-time champion at the event.

Del Potro, now second in the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge standings behind Isner, next heads to the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He reached the final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in 2009, and followed by winning the US Open a month later.

"I’m looking forward to Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open," said the World No. 7. "That gives me big confidence to keep trying and getting closer to the top guys."

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© Juergen Hasenkopf


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