MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — John Isner fired 23 aces in a match which had no service breaks to beat Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) in the final of the ATP's Heineken Open in Auckland on Saturday.
Isner, ranked No. 14, won his eighth career singles title and took the title in New Zealand for the second time after his victory in 2010.
The match was similar to Isner's quarterfinal victory over fifth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber which went to three sets, all tiebreaks and contained no breaks of serve. Isner played six tiebreaks in 10 sets at the tournament and won five.
The third-seeded Isner, playing with a right ankle injury he picked up at the Hopman Cup the previous week, took a crucial minibreak to open the first set tiebreaker. In the second tiebreaker, he rallied from 3-0 down and closed with an ace on his third championship point.
"This match was very tight as every match I've played this week was very tight," Isner said. "I needed every bit of it to come out on top.
"I've spent a lot of time on this court this week but as each match progressed I was getting more and more comfortable."
Isner heads into the Australian Open with a question mark hanging over his fitness because of his injured ankle. He has drawn a qualifier in the first round.
"I'd like to thank my chiropractor because I had a bit of a banged-up ankle coming in here and he spent tireless hours working on me," he said. "Without him I wouldn't have been able to take this court."
In the final of the Kooyong Classic exhibition event, Japan's Kei Nishikori joined his coach Michael Chang as a tournament champion with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Tomas Berdych.
Continue reading this story on the...