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Isner Retains Atlanta Title

Atlanta, U.S.A.

Isner© Getty Images SportJohn Isner, the top ranked American, was contesting the Atlanta final for the fourth time in five years.

John Isner successfully defended his BB&T Atlanta Open crown with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Israel’s Dudi Sela in Atlantic Station on Sunday.

The top seed added a ninth ATP World Tour title to his collection and a second from Atlanta. Isner, 29, was contesting the final at this ATP World Tour 250-level event for the fourth time in five years, finishing runner-up to Mardy Fish in 2010 and ’11 and lifting the trophy in 2013 (d. Anderson). He opened his 2014 season with a title in Auckland (d. Lu).

Sunday’s victory gives Isner 70 points and the lead in the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge standings. The top three finishers will vie for up to $1 million in bonus prize money at the US Open. Isner will bid to add to his bonus standings total at the Citi Open next week, where he is the fifth seed. Read More

“This is my favourite time of year,” said the World No. 12. “I’m off to a very good start again. I look forward to playing Washington D.C. again. I’ve played well there my whole career.”

Isner fired 15 aces and won 84 per cent of first-serve points against Sela. The Tampa resident saved the lone break point he faced, in the second set, and broke twice in the 71-minute encounter.

"It changed my strategy," said Sela about being broken in his opening service game. "It changed [Isner's] strategy as well. He went for his shots and played more freely. It changed a lot."

Watch Final Highlights

Isner, the top-ranked American, endured grueling matches this week to book his appearance in the final, including a tough opening-round contest against Robby Ginepri where Isner fought off two match points and triumphed 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.

"The field is so tough at this event. I'm so happy to win this," said Isner, a former University of Georgia Bulldog. "I consider myself fortunate that this event is even here. It's a big advantage for me to play in Georgia and have a lot of support."

Sela had advanced to his first ATP World Tour final in almost six years. He lost in the 2008 Beijing final to Andy Roddick.

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