John Isner secured his second ATP title of the season Saturday, defeating world No. 7 Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) at the Winston-Salem Open. Isner, the 10th-ranked player in the world, is famous for his powerful serve and used 22 aces and a stunning first-serve rate of 70 percent to overtake Berdych, who is by all accounts the more polished player.
Isner didn't play his best tennis, but with his serve landing at that rate, there isn't much to be done. He capitalized on his only break point of the match in the second set and clinched the tiebreaker on Berdych's serve. Other than that, Isner had a bad return day.
Isner defended his 2011 Winston-Salem title, when he defeated Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the final, a far easier opponent than Berdych. The 27-year-old American will, without a disastrous end of the season, finish the year in the ATP's Top 10 for the first time in his career. This is the perfect warm-up for Isner -- who was born in nearby Greensboro, N.C. -- before the U.S. Open in Queens, N.Y., where he's expected to go the deepest of any American male.
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