• ATP Tour

Isner retains Winston-Salem crown

ESPN staff
August 25, 2012
John Isner needed just under two and a half hours to beat Tomas Berdych © PA Photos

John Isner successfully defended the Winston-Salem Open title by beating Tomas Berdych in a tense third-set tiebreak, in which he saved three match points.

The American needed two hours and 26 minutes to record a come-from-behind 3-6 6-4 7-6(9) triumph. He now has five ATP Tour titles on his CV.

Berdych had won two of the three previous meetings between the players, and reached the final for the loss of just one set.

But Isner, who beat top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis, proved once again he is hitting form ahead of the US Open next week.

Although he only broke serve once in the match, his own delivery was sufficiently resilient to repel Berdych's groundstroke assault.

It was a worrying setback for Berdych, who has never reached the quarter-finals of the US Open and, should he do that this year, is in line to face Roger Federer in the last eight.

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