ATP Tour

Isner beats Aussie Ebden for Newport title

John Isner (AFP)
John Isner (AFP)

Washington - US top seed John Isner blasted 17 aces Sunday in defeating Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to win the ATP Hall of Fame Open title. 

The 32-year-old American won 37-of-41 first-serve points in the 74-minute triumph in capturing his 11th career ATP title and third on the grass at Newport, Rhode Island, after 2011 and 2012. 

Isner did not faced a break point in the week and the only set where he was pushed to a tie-breaker was the last, when he took three of the final four points for the victory. 

"I'm very happy with how I played all week. It was a perfect week," Isner said. "I couldn't ask for anything better." 

Ebden, the lowest-ranked ATP finalist since 2009 at 249th, was in his first ATP final. The 29-year-old South African-born former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was only 3-3 in 2017 ATP main draw matches until this week, when he won six matches in six days to reach the final.

"It's disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week," Ebden said. 

It was the first title for Isner since Atlanta in 2015 and came in his first final since last November's Paris Masters, where he lost to Britain's top-ranked Andy Murray. 

"It has been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind," Isner said.

"It's hard to win a tournament. It's no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I'm very happy about that." 

Isner, ranked 21st, improved his career record at Newport to 19-5. He broke Ebden's first service game of the match for a 2-0 lead and held from there to claim the opening set. 

Isner improved to 3-0 lifetime against Ebden without dropping a set, also winning in the fourth round at Indian Wells in 2012 and in the second round at Wimbledon in 2015.

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