Isner kicks off summer
with third title in Newport
E.J. Crawford | July 23, 2017
After a two-year absence, John Isner is back in the winner’s circle, kicking off his busy summer with a third title at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I.
Isner, the top seed in Newport, ended qualifier Matthew Ebden’s run in the final, defeating the Australian, 6-3, 7-6, to add this year’s Newport title to ones he won in 2011 and 2012.
Isner, who in addition to Newport is entered into all four men’s events during the 2017 US Open Series, has won nine of his 11 career tour titles in the U.S. (The lone exceptions are titles won in Auckland in 2010 and 2014). Newport marked his first singles crown of any kind since claiming the title at the Series event in Atlanta in 2015.
“It’s hard to win a tournament," Isner said, according to atpworldtour.com. "It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing.
I’m very happy about that, It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind."
The former University of Georgia star did not drop a set en route to his latest championship, dismissing big-serving Sam Groth, fellow Americans Dennis Novikov and Bjorn Fratangelo, and finally Ebden.
Playing a day after longtime U.S. men’s standard-bearer Andy Roddick was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Isner, the top American man in the year-end rankings each of the last five seasons, controlled the action throughout. He served 17 aces to no double faults and never faced a break point, winning an astounding 90 percent of his first-serve points.
Isner consolidated the one break chance he had, in Ebden’s first service game, which was enough to capture the first set. And he took advantage again in the second-set tiebreak, taking the breaker, 7-4, to complete his title run.
"I’m very happy with how I played all week," Isner said. "It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”