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Tennis - Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point

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Tennis - Isner achieves rarity by winning event without facing break point

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(Reuters) – Big-serving John Isner became the first man in a decade to go through an entire ATP tournament without facing a break point as he used his dominant serve to win the Hall of Fame Open in Rhode Island on Sunday.
Top seed Isner beat Australian Matthew Ebden 6-3 7-6(4) in the final on the Newport grasscourt for his 11th career title, and his first since 2015.
“I could never imagine playing four matches and not facing a break point but I’ll certainly take it,” the 32-year-old American said in a courtside interview.
“I served well all week, played extremely well all week. This is a very good tournament for my serve and I knew it was going to be hard for my opponents to break me.
“It’s been a few years since I won a tournament and it always boosts your confidence, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer.”
Isner, who started the week ranked 21st in the world, was a second-round loser at Wimbledon just over two weeks ago.
He bounced back in style in Newport with the sort of form he believes he can carry forward, with the final grand slam of the year, the U.S. Open, barely a month away.
While he is renowned for his serve, Isner was also extremely satisfied with his return all week.
About the only thing that bothered him in Sunday’s final was an occasional squawking seagull.
“It was my best returning display in quite some time. I came into this tournament with the right mindset and executed my game plan to perfection all week. This is how I have to keep playing.
“It doesn’t matter the surface… If I just take the tournament with the right mindset, I’m going to be a very tough out.
“I like the fact I’m serving and volleying a lot and that’s something I think I can do on the hardcourt as well.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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