Prior to Newport, John Isner has won just 16 matches on the ATP Tour in 2017, scoring his best result in Rome when he reached the semis. Just like always in his case, he transferred to a different player when he got back to the States, taking back-to-back titles in Newport and Atlanta, for the first time in his career.
32-year-old claimed his 12th ATP title in Atlanta, the 4th in this town (he played in the final 7 times in 8 editions!) and 10th at home overall, defeating the 4th seed Ryan Harrison 7-6 7-6 in an hour and 47 minutes. Starting from Newport, John held his serve in 75 consecutive breaks, before Ryan ended that run tonight at the start of the second set, only to lose his serve in the following game, dropping the hard-fought advantage.
Younger American had a set point in both tie breaks but it wasn't to be for him, as John stayed calm in the crucial moments to bring the match home in straight sets, in what was the first all-American ATP final since Delray Beach last year.
From Monday, Isner will again be the top-ranked American, in front of Jack Sock. The games were quick and fluid, with only 5 deuces in the entire match (4 on Isner's serve) and there were just 3 break points. John blasted 23 aces and he lost 23% of the points on his serve, taking 29% on the return points and edging his rival in both tie breaks.
Nothing could separate the players in the first 10 games, they lost 5 points on serve in total and no one came even close to break point. John wasted a 40-0 lead in game 11, bringing Ryan back to deuce, and there were 2 more before Isner found the way to close the game and move 6-5 in front.
In the tie break, John saved a set point at 5-6 with a good forehand attack and he made a crucial mini-break with a forehand return winner for 8-6. John suffered his only break in two weeks in game 2 of the second set, Harrison hit a great backhand winner to pass his rival at the net, taking a 2-0 lead and looking good to send the match into a decider.
Nonetheless, his lead was short-lived, as John broke back immediately in the following game, and they served well in the remaining games to set up another tie break. Harrison was 4-1 up but he lost the advantage in the 8th point, sending a backhand long.
Younger American had a set point at 7-6 but John fends it off with 132 mp/h ace, earning his second match point with the second ace. He converted it with a forehand down the line winner, celebrating his 4th Atlanta crown. Final result: