Isner edges past Clement to first Tour title
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52
John Isner clinched his maiden ATP title with a tight three-set victory over Arnaud Clement 6-3 5-7 7-6(2) in the Heineken Open final in Auckland.
The occasion threatened to get to the 24-year-old, who made several errors, but 22 aces steadied his ship against the veteran Frenchman, who only dropped serve once during the match.
That was enough for the American to take the first set, and the second looked set to go to a tie-break before Clement fought back with a break in game 12 to take the final into a third set.
After a break-free decider, Isner ran out to a 6-2 lead in the tie-break, sealing the match with a huge forehand on his first match point.
Isner will face Andreas Seppi in the first round of the Australian Open, which gets underway on Monday.
But Gilles Simon won’t take to court in Melbourne after pulling out of the Australian Open with another flare-up of his recurrent right knee injury.
Simon has struggled with the injury since last year’s French Open but had hoped to play in Australia, where he posted his best Grand Slam result – a quarter-final appearance – last year.
The No.15 seed was set to play Portugal’s Frederico Gil in the first round and organisers are yet to name a replacement.