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@bryanbros and @mikecbryan claim the @bbtatlantaopen! The duo defeated #Koolhof/#Sitak 6-3, 6-4 to earn their second in Atlanta and their 114th(!) title together #ATP #tennis #BBTAO – Photo by @atpworldtour via Instagram.



Isner wins fourth Atlanta title, holds off Harrison in a pair of tiebreakers


By Ricky Dimon


Another year, another title in Atlanta for John Isner.


Playing in his seventh final in the eight-year history of the event, Isner secured his fourth BB&T Atlanta Open title by defeating Ryan Harrison 7-6(6), 7-6(7) on Sunday. The No. 2 seed cracked 23 aces and double-faulted only once to prevail after one hour and 47 minutes.


Isner is now 27-4 lifetime Atlanta with three runner-up performances to go along with his quartet of winners’ trophies.


“We’re going to rename this the John Isner Open,” tournament director Eddie Gonzalez joked at the trophy ceremony.


Harrison, however, was not without chances to flip the script. The world No. 42 led by a mini-break in both tiebreakers and also had a break early in the second set before giving it right back with a donation of serve at 2-0. Harrison actually seized mini-breaks twice in the opening ‘breaker, but he lost service points at 1-0 and 5-4. Isner, who saved a set point at 5-6, eventually capitalized on his second set point by crushing a forehand return winner at 8-7.


The 6’10” American raised his level throughout the match whenever he was facing a deficit. Trailing 2-0 in the second, Isner managed to break back in the third game of set despite bloodying his right knuckles by punching his strings when he butchered a swinging forehand volley into the net with Harrison serving at 15-30. The former University of Georgia standout treated the crowd to another tiebreaker and recovered from a 4-1 deficit to take it. He missed one match point on Harrison’s serve at 6-5 but converted for a match-ending mini-break at 8-7 with a big forehand.


John Isner of the USa holds the winner’s trophy after defeating Ryan Harrison of the USA in the men’s singles final match at the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30 July 2017. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER

It is Isner’s second consecutive title, having previously triumphed on the grass of Newport last week. During his eight-match winning streak, the world No. 20 player has been broken just once–by Harrison–and has been pushed only three tiebreakers.


That’s no real surprise given that Isner has now won a combined seven titles in Newport and Atlanta.


“He’s tough,” Harrison said of his good friend and countryman. “I know I can play here, too. I wasn’t really thinking about him playing here. I knew I was going to get my chances and I was playing good tennis I felt like I belonged here. I wasn’t surprised to be in the position I was in those sets. It didn’t work out my way, but I think that it’s this type of tennis where I get opportunities and if I put myself in the right position I’ll have a lot of wins.”


Isner concurred.


“There wasn’t really much that separated us at all,” he admitted. “I knew going into today that it could be like that…. We held serve throughout the match but we had this one stretch where we went two straight breaks. So I’m happy to win that match in straight sets and through these last two weeks I haven’t played three sets yet, which is pretty nice.


“But (I’m) very happy to win today. It was a battle (in which) I needed every ounce of my energy out there. More importantly, I’m so happy to win this tournament again. This tournament has meant everything to me.”


Editors Note: The Bryan Twins do it again! Wow. They Win another title. Bob/Mike as ELENA refers to the Brothers beat the new dynamic duo Artiom Sitak and Wesley Koolhof (Netherlands) 6-3,6-4. We know KT Kim is a happy guy Three out of Four Guys on Court were playing with SOLINCO Strings. We are proud of them all. But mostly Artem (spells either way)… We go back ten years with him. We begged him not to quit more than once. In practice he could beat any top ten singles player. But not in a match… Not often enough. We are sure glad to see his success in doubles. As well as representing the Kiwis in Davis Cup.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.