John Isner is the King of Atlanta no more.
Seeking to win a fourth straight Atlanta title on Sunday, the American was rebuffed in his homecountry by an Aussie as Nick Kyrgios won 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open for his second career title.
“I knew it was going to be tough from the get-go,” said Kyrgios, who entered the match 0-2 career against Isner. “John is still so comfortable on that court. I needed to come up with some special stuff today and it just came down to a couple points here and there. I did all the right things today and stayed calm. I knew I’d have my chance.”
The Aussie improved to 2-1 in career finals, winning the Marseille title in February.
“In Marseille, I was unbeatable,” Kyrgios said. “This week was completely different. I wasn’t playing well at all at the start of the week. I wasn’t in a good space at all. Some things just fell my way. Today, I found the right balance. I was competing and had some fun.”
As early as the second set Isner looked compromised by the sun and the high temperatures, appearing sluggish until cloud cover rolled in.
“When the sun was out, I was struggling,” Isner said. “It was really hot out there. I hadn’t played under the sun at all. It was an adjustment.”
Kyrgios is the first non-American winner in Atlanta, following past champs Isner, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick.
Isner has now reached the Atlanta final six of the last seven years.
“It was an encouraging week for me,” said Isner. “It was my first final since here last year. It’s tough to make a final. The guys are good out there. The margins in my matches are pretty small and I just have to fix some things.”
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