John Isner claimed the sixth Atlanta Open crown from the ninth final on Sunday, extending his reign at the favorite event on the Tour! John defeated the young compatriot Brandon Nakashima 7-6, 7-5 in an hour and 56 minutes of a grueling battle to claim the 16th ATP title and the 15th on the home soil!
At 36, John became the oldest American ATP champion since Jimmy Connors in the late 80s and the third player from the most powerful tennis nation with at least six titles at a single event after Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
A teenager Nakashima lost the second ATP final in a row after Los Cabos, giving his best but failing to claim the first ATP crown and become the youngest American ATP champion since Andy Roddick in Houston 2002. The more experienced player and the crowd favorite took four points more than the youngster, fending off all three break chances and earning a late break in set number two that propelled him over the top.
John fired 21 aces, and there was nothing to separate them on both the first and second serve. Still, Isner claimed the crucial points in both sets, fending off set points in the opener and surviving a challenging service game at 5-5 in the second before stealing Nakashima’s serve to claim the crown.
It was an excellent start for both rivals, with only ten points dropped on serve in the opening 11 games.
John Isner claimed the sixtrh Atlanta Open title over Brandon Nakashima.
At 5-6, Isner fended off a set point with a forehand winner and closed the game with an ace down the T line to reach a tie break.
Brandon saved a set point at 5-6 with a volley winner and created his set point with an ace. John saved it with a crafty volley at the net and earned a mini-break at 8-8 following a terrible backhand from Nakashima. Isner landed a service winner in the 18th point to grab the opener and a massive momentum ahead of set number two.
Like in the first set, there was nothing to separate them in the second set’s first nine games, with the second tie break looking inevitable. Out of a sudden, Isner created four match points on the return at 5-4, failing to convert any and allowing Nakashima to survive and level the score at 5-5.
Facing troubles on serve in the next one, John fended off two break chances with booming serves and stayed in the next one despite Brandon’s three game points. The more experienced American earned the fifth match point and seized it following his opponent’s double fault to celebrate the sixth Atlanta Open title from the ninth final.