John Isner Wins Second Auckland Crown

862013 16 Isner

(January 11, 2014) World No. 14 John Isner claimed his eighth ATP World Tour title with a 7-6(4) 7-6(7) win over Lu Yen-hsun. The American’s first title victory came at Auckland back in 2010. Isner’s only titles outside of the United States have come in Auckland.

For the 30-year-old Lu, he was playing his first ATP World Tour final, having upset four-time champion and World No. 3 David Ferrer in the semifinals.

Isner hit 23 aces during the final match, giving him a total of 79 for the tournament.

“He just served incredibly,” Lu said. “There was one period of time when I couldn’t read his serve. Even sometimes, when I guessed right, I still couldn’t really get the ball back. I started well, I managed one break point, but he’s No. 14 in the world and his serve is his main weapon. I had a great week and I’m happy with my performance. I hope I can keep it going now into next week.”

“I wish it didn’t have to be so close at the end, it gives me a lot of grey hairs,” Isner said. But I’m so happy. To say this was unexpected, coming into the tournament, would be a huge understatement. Sometimes that’s how things work out. You come in with low expectations, the pressure’s off, and things tend to work out. That was the case this week.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match. I knew he was playing well. It was, obviously, extremely tight. I thought it was my best performance all week. I was very happy with how I played. Apart from all the break points missed, I was extremely happy with everything. I felt like I was hitting the ball the best I have all week and that’s a very good sign going forward.

“[Tie-breaks] favor me a bit, given I can get free points on my serve. When it comes down to a situation like a tie-break, I usually have a bit more adrenaline. I’m a little more keyed in on my serve. I’m normally serving my best in that situation and it puts a lot of pressure on my opponent.”

Both men will participate the year’s first tennis major, the Australian Open which begins on Monday.