By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com
John Isner has been a dominant tiebreak player throughout his career, and on Saturday he rode that success to his eighth career ATP title, in Auckland, New Zealand.
Isner defeated Lu Yen-Hsun, 7-6, 7-6, to claim the title in the final warm-up before the start of the 2014 Australian Open. In all, Isner played six tiebreaks in 10 sets during the tournament – including three in his quarterfinal victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber – winning five of those breakers.
“This match was very tight as every match I've played this week was very tight,” Isner told the Associated Press. “I needed every bit of it to come out on top. I've spent a lot of time on this court this week but as each match progressed I was getting more and more comfortable.”
The victory came one week after Isner injured his ankle during the 2014 Hopman Cup. He kept the ankle wrapped in Auckland and didn’t appear to struggle much with his movement.
“I'd like to thank my chiropractor,” Isner said after his victory, “because I had a bit of a banged up ankle coming in here and he spent tireless hours working on me and without him I wouldn't have been able to take this court.”
Isner won two titles in 2013, at the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston and at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Atlanta. He also won the title in Auckland in 2010.
The top-ranked American man, Isner is the No. 13 seed at the Australian Open. He plays Martin Klizan in the first round and is seeded to meet 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray in the fourth round.
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