(July 28, 2013) In a battle between two of the tallest players in tennis, six-foot-10 John Isner saved two match points to beat six-foot-8 Kevin Anderson 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Sunday to claim his seventh ATP World Tour title.
Neither player was able to break serve during the entire almost three hour match. Anderson failed to convert any of 11 break point chances against Isner. At 2 hours and 54 minutes it’s the longest three-set final on the ATP tour this year.
“This is a tournament where I could’ve been out in my first match,” Isner said. I lived on the edge all week and seemed to come through each and every time. It’s very encouraging.
“I’ve been on the wrong end of a final that close before, so it feels good to be on the other end of that. I never wavered. I believed that even at 0/40 that I could still hold on and was able to come up with the goods.”
“There’s no question I play my best in the U.S. This is where I’m very comfortable. I compete extra hard and things seems to work out for me when I’m playing in the U.S.”
“I was holding easily and trying to give myself chances, which I did,” Anderson said. “Just wasn’t able to capitalize on them. That was the difference today… He stays in there. He serves well, he plays well when it matters, and he definitely played two better tie-breaks than me.”
Isner took home a check for $98,700 as the winner. Isner lost in the finals of the Atlanta Open in 2010, and 2011, each time to Mardy Fish.
Of Isner’s seven career ATP World Tour titles, three have come after saving match point and winning in a third set tiebreak – ’10 Auckland, ’12 Winston-Salem, and ’13 Atlanta.