Isner Prevails For Fourth Atlanta Title
Isner wins all-American final over Harrison on Sunday
Second seed John Isner reigned supreme once again at the BB&T Atlanta Open, saving set point in both sets to pick up a 7-6(6), 7-6(7) win over fourth seed and fellow American Ryan Harrison.
“It was a battle. I needed every ounce of my energy out there, but I’m so happy to win this tournament again. This tournament has meant everything to me,” said Isner. “This is always going to be my favourite time of year. I seem to play well in America every single year, so I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
Isner, who also prevailed last week in Newport (d. Ebden), earned his fourth title in Atlanta (2013-2015, 2017). He has reached the final in seven of the eight years this tournament has been held, and the semi-finals in all eight years. The victory gives Isner his 12th ATP World Tour title, 10 of which have come on U.S. soil. He’ll move up to No. 18 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday and surpass Jack Sock as the top-ranked American player.
Harrison was seeking his second ATP World Tour singles title after winning his maiden crown this February in Memphis (d. Basilashvili). Despite the loss, the week in Atlanta was a major boost for the fourth seed, who hadn’t reached an ATP World Tour final prior to this season.
“Being back in the final again is a good result,” said Harrison. “I think I can put myself in this position more and more often. It was a great week and I’m looking forward to next week too.”
Isner picks up 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and a cheque for $114,595. Harrison leaves Atlanta with 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points and a cheque for $60,355.
Both men traded service holds throughout the opening set to force a tie-break. Isner went down set point at 5/6, but erased it with a big serve. He then earned a set point of his own at 7/6 and took full advantage with a forehand return winner to grab the early lead.
After 75 consecutive service holds dating back to last week in Newport, Harrison finally broke Isner for a 2-0 lead in the second set. However, Isner broke right back in the next game and the two Americans continued to comfortably hold serve for another tie-break.
Harrison saved a championship point at 5/6 with a forehand and earned a set point opportunity at 7/6, but Isner responded with a huge ace to level the score. The second seed made good on his second championship point, cracking a forehand up the line to end the contest in one hour and 47 minutes.