John Isner bagged the Winston-Salem title with a score 4-6, 6-3, 6- 4 defeating Jullian Benneteau on Saturday. Isner, a native of Greensboro, gained 19 aces to win his second title of the year. His first victory was in Newport, R.I. back in July.
Isner ranks 28th and is slated to face Marcos Baghdatis in the opening round of the US Open, while Benneteau ranks 113th overall. This was the latter’s ninth match of the tournament after winning three qualifying matches to be included in the 32 main player draw.
“It means a lot for sure,” Isner said about his win. “Obviously, I could’ve have asked for anything better. This is perfect preparation for me heading up north.”
Isner encountered minor trouble adjusting to the strong wind gusts calculated at 25-30 mph courtesy of Hurricane Irene, and these led to 23 of his unforced errors in the first set. He also committed additional errors in the second set, allowing the opponent to break him in the ninth game before the two players locked in a tie midway through the second set.
Isner managed to recover once the winds slowed down, breaking Benneteau for the first time in the eight game of the second set to take the lead at 5-3. He broke Benneteau again in the fifth game to take the lead 3-2 before closing the game with four untouched shots including the winning forehand in the final game.