Mardy Fish, who knocked out the top seed Andy Roddick in the semi-finals, came from behind to beat John Isner 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 and win the Atlanta Championships yesterday.
Fish, who won in Newport earlier this month, took the first four points of the decisive tiebreak. Isner rallied to win the next three points but could not pull even. The match lasted 2 hours 45 minutes in searing temperatures. The tall American has now won his last 10 matches.
In the semi-finals Fish beat Roddick 7-6, 6-3 while Isner, the No 2 seed, saw off the unseeded South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Fish served poorly, making just 40 per cent of his first serves, but saved all three break points and broke Roddick at the only opportunity he got. "It's not something I try to do, but when I beat [Roger] Federer at Indian Wells I only served at 35 per cent," Fish said.
Isner, who beat Nicolas Mahut in the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon last month, saved seven break points in furnace conditions in his afternoon match against Anderson to advance to his fourth final of the year. "The conditions were just brutal," Isner said. "It took a lot out of me [and] without clouds the sun was just beaming down."
Isner had an opportunity to close out the match in the second set and escape the torturous heat when he held match point in the tiebreak but hit a forehand long and Anderson capitalised to send the match into a deciding set.
Both players battled fatigue in the final set, before Anderson double-faulted to allow Isner to convert the only break point chance of the set and take a 5-3 lead, which allowed him to secure victory.
The British world No 4 Andy Murray has been made top seed for next week's LA Open after the late withdrawal of Novak Djokovic. The Serbian pulled out of the ATP Tour event late on Friday night, citing personal reasons, the organisers said. The Czech Radek Stepanek, the 2007 champion, also withdrew on Friday due to a knee injury.
Murray, who has been given a wild-card entry, will be making his first appearance at the event held at the LA Tennis Centre.
Britain's US Open junior champion Heather Watson won the biggest senior title of her career yesterday at the ITF tournament in Wrexham. The 18-year-old from Guernsey secured her fifth straight-sets win of the week, beating the top-seeded former top 30 player Sania Mirza of India, 6-2, 6-4.