Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Top seed Isner beats Sela to keep Atlanta Open title


John Isner of the US returns to Israel’s Dudi Sela in the BB&T Atlanta Open singles final at Atlantic Station in Georgia on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Top seed John Isner claimed the Atlanta Open title for the second successive year with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Israel’s Dudi Sela on Sunday.

Standing 2.08m, Isner towered over the 1.75m Sela and punished him with his serve.

The world No. 12 cracked down 15 aces to end the run of the diminutive Sela, who was playing his first ATP Tour title match for six years.

“This is my favorite time of year,” American Isner told reporters. “I’m off to a very good start again. I look forward to playing Washington DC again [this week]. I’ve played well there my whole career.”

Isner’s familiar form helped him capture the opening set in 34 minutes as he won 14 of 15 points on his dominant first serve.

Trying to close out the match, Isner fell behind 30-0 in the final game, but ripped off three straight aces to clinch the victory.

“Right from the very beginning I felt great,” Isner said. “These [hot] conditions favor me quite a bit. I couldn’t ask for better conditions.”

Isner was playing his fourth Atlanta final in five years. He was runner-up to Mardy Fish in 2010 and 2011, and won the title last year by defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

Isner is now 16-3 in his career at the Atlanta Open.

Sela said he had hoped to record a win for the people back home. A 20-day-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza has claimed more than 1,000 lives.

“I wanted the win today for my people in Israel. It’s not easy the situation over there and hopefully it will be better,” Sela said. “I tried to play for [that] theme, but John was too tough for me today.”

The Atlanta tournament was the first in the US Open series which offers a US$1 million bonus at the US Open for the player at the top of the standings.


AFP, GSTAAD, Switzerland

Spain’s Pablo Andujar broke a title drought lasting for more than two years on Sunday as he defeated Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5 to win the Suisse Open.

The 71st-ranked Andujar, who won on the village court where the clay stands 1,050m above sea level, has two trophies from Casablanca, earned in 2011 and 2012.

“I’m very happy, it was a very tough match, I knew it would be a fight physically,” the winner said after the 92 minute final. “The first set was basically played in two points. I won those points and that was the set. He got an advantage in the second set, but finally I made it. I played great on the last few points. After working a lot, it all pays off when you get to hold the trophy. It’s amazing.”

Andujar continued a Spanish tradition in Gstaad at an event won a dozen times by Iberians since 1990. He is the 11th Spaniard this season to win on the ATP Tour so far this year.

Andujar fired his only ace on match point and fell onto his back in joy at taking the third trophy of his career. It was his first match against Monaco.

“I looked up and saw my parents, my girlfriend, my brother in the stands. It was a feeling that I cannot describe,” he said. “I was going for an ace, but I was aiming out wide, instead it hit the line perfectly. It was a lot of work to get this trophy, but I’m feeling very comfortable with my game.”

Andujar won the opening set in 43 minutes with a break for 5-3. World No. 105 Monaco put a forehand into the net a game later on Andujar’s set point.

In the second set, the Argentine went up an early break for 2-0, but lost it in the seventh game on an Andujar return winner.

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