(August 9, 2015) On Sunday, 2014 U.S. Open finalist, second seed Kei Nishikori rallied to stop hard-serving John Isner 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to claim his first Citi Open title. Sloane Stephens captured the women’s title in Washington, DC with a 6-1, 6-2 dismissal of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match between unseeded players.
For the 25-year-old Japanese player, this was his 10th career title, while for the American, it was her first trophy on the WTA Tour.
“I didn’t make enough inroads on his first serve,” said three-time Washington finalist Isner of his battle against Nishikori. “If you put a decent amount of first serves in the court, he’s arguably the best in the best in the world from the baseline. It’s tough. I thought he served better in the second and third sets. He’s a great player and a great champion.”
“I’m very happy to win after losing the first set,” said Nishikori. “I came back really well so I’m very happy to win today.
“I fought through (after losing the first set for the third time this week). In the first match I was down 7-6 and came back. It’s not easy but mentally I tried to fight every time and I’m happy to win in the final today.”
Nishikori who is 43-9 on the year will move up to No. 4 in the world with the victory, matching his career high.
“I’ll try to keep going,” Nishikori said. “I’ve been playing well.”
Nishikori will move up from No. 5 to No. 4 in Monday’s rankings, equaling his career best.
In the men’s doubles final, Americans Bob and Mike Bryan won their fourth Citi Open title beating Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 for their 108th career doubles title.
“I think this tournament is really valuable for our confidence, our momentum going into this hard-court summer,” Bob Bryan said. It was nice to get some revenge on a couple of teams we lost to over in Europe. That will help us going into these next three big tournaments and crescendos at the US Open in New York.”
The 22-year-old Stephens, jumped off to a 3-0 lead winning 15 of the first 21 points and never had to look back. This was the first final for the American.
“I just went out there and tried to play the best I could,” Stephens said to media.
“I think I executed my game very well today – it was just a really good day for me.”
“Nothing was given to me. I had to work for everything. It was just nice that all of the hard work and everything I’ve put into it – now I can say that I have a tournament title,”
“It’s great to win this first title – I haven’t even thought about my next goal yet.”
“Last year I was going through a learning process. I learned a lot about myself. And there’s still a lot of room to grow. Sometimes you have to go through the process. To get to this place, to get to this beautiful trophy, I had to go through a lot, but at the end of the day it was definitely worth it.”
Stephens, who was once ranked as high as No. 11 in the world, will move up from No. 35 into the top 30 when the rankings come out on Monday.
The doubles title went to the fourth seeds Belinda Bencic and Kristina Mladenovic over third seeds Lara Arruabarrena and Andreja Klepac, 7-5, 7-6(7).