John Isner continued his late July roll with a straight set win 7-6 7-6 over fellow American Ryan Harrison at the BB&T Atlanta Open. The final of the ATP 250 event took on the flavor of the heavyweight title fight, with Harrison surviving a body shot and Isner wearing blood stains on his shorts. The only thing missing was Michael Buffer on a hot summer afternoon in Georgia.
After racing through the first set, Isner would win the tiebreak and the set 7-6. The second set was where things got interesting. Up 1-0 Harrison went down the line for a backhand winner that just touched the outside of the line on his way to a service break and a 2-0 lead . Isner seemed to struggle at times dumping an overhead into the net and netting a swinging volley that sent gasps through the stadium and left the three-time tournament champion pounding the strings of his racquet with his fist. The big fella was on the ropes and to make matters worse his knuckles were all bloody.
Must have been something inspiring about seeing his own blood, because just like any good prize fighter John Isner rallied back , using a served that at one point almost scored a knockdown of Harrison, to force a second set tiebreak that he won to complete a 7-6, 7-6 victory. It was the fourth Atlanta Tournament title for the former UGA All-American and his second ATP title in as many weeks. Afterward Isner told Harrison that it was a pleasure playing against him in the final and hoped that they get to meet a lot more in the future.
With his coach from UGA, Manny Diaz, in attendance along with loads of local support,the BB&T has always felt like home for Isner. The Atlantic Station complex provides a backdrop of the Atlanta skyline that looks to be a perfect fit for one of the ATP tour’s tallest players. The Atlanta event has enjoyed 6 years of steady growth at it’s current location, but as this year’s tournament ends there has been no announcement of tournament dates for 2018. We will keep you posted .