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21

Jul

2019

Isner Clinches Fourth Newport Title

John Isner lived up to his top seed status on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Open, picking up his fourth title in Newport with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over seventh-seeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik.

The American won his first ATP Tour title of the year on the back of landing 79 per cent of his first serves. He converted on all three of his break points en route to the 76-minute victory.

Most importantly, Isner is still at full strength. Newport is his second tournament back from a broken left foot, which he sustained in April during his Miami Open presented by Itau final against Roger Federer. Isner's foot withstood three-set battles in three of his four matches this week, which saw him spend nearly eight hours on court.

Despite the loss, Bublik can be pleased at reaching his first ATP Tour final. He has primarily competed on the ATP Challenger Tour and picked up four Challenger titles in the past year. Bublik is guaranteed to reach a career-high ATP Ranking when the newest standings are released on Monday and crack the Top 75 for the first time.

Bublik earned the first break of the match at 5-5 in the opening set after Isner pushed a backhand long, but the Kazakh promptly double faulted in the next game to send the set to a tie-break. Isner fired a forehand passing shot for a 2/0 mini-break lead and raced through the tie-break to clinch the early advantage.

The 22-year-old Bublik dropped serve at 2-2 after gambling on a 124 mph second serve that landed well long. With the seventh seed serving at 3-5, Isner ended the match emphatically by ripping a forehand passing shot winner for his 15th ATP Tour singles title.

Isner picked up 250 ATP Rankings points and $100,600, while Bublik earned 150 ATP Rankings points and $54,395.

Both men will compete next week at the BB&T Atlanta Open and could meet in the second round. Isner, a five-time champion in Atlanta, has a first-round bye as the top seed. Bublik will start his week against American Reilly Opelka.

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