ATP Tour wrap: Ruud claims third title in three weeks as Isner wins sixth Atlanta trophy

WHILST the Tokyo Olympics have been taking centre stage this week, the ATP Tour has not stopped with a couple more winners adding to their trophy cabinets this week following title victories in Kitzbuhel, Austria and Atlanta, United States.

While rainfall delayed proceedings in Kitzbuhel, that did not seem to impact top seed Norwegian Casper Ruud who completed the first ATP Tour hat trick in 10 years by defeating first time finalist, Spaniard Pedro Martinez. Ruud claimed his third tour-level title in as many weeks to back up his Swiss Open Gstaad and Nordea Open victories.

“I am shaking all over my body. It feels amazing,” Ruud said. “I was very nervous at the end, I knew what I was playing for. “Three in a row is something special. What a day to play the final, rain on and off all day.

“I’m just very excited and happy that these three weeks are over, and that I won all of them.”

The Norwegian did not have it easy though, tested all the way by the Spaniard who stole back the second set before Ruud composed himself to take out the third and claim the 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory in two hours and nine minutes – but feeling like longer due to mid-match delays.

“It was tough… we know that the weather was a bit shaky so I was prepared [for the delay],” Ruud said. “It was a bit long there in the end. We came back, only played three games, and then we had to stop again. It was a bit annoying, but we had to keep the focus and try your best. It’s the same for the opponent.”

Ruud was afforded a bye in the opening round due to his seeding, then completed his run to the final with wins over lucky loser Mario Vilella MartinezMikael Ymer and Arthur Rinderknech before reigning supreme at the final hurdle. As the only remaining seed in the draw by the time the semi finals arrived, Ruud had a clear look in to a chance of going three from three – the first to do so since Andy Murray in 2011.

In the United States, John Isner claimed his sixth Atlanta title and 16th overall with a 7-6(8) 7-5 victory over teenaged countryman Brandon Nakashima, firing on all cylinders to come out on top in the tight one hour and 56-minute clash. Isner is known for his dominance on serve, and fired off 21 aces to continue his form at this event, building off his loss to Nakashima last week and coming in stronger and more consistent to take out this clash.

“This tournament has meant everything for my career,” Isner said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”

“I think today I was just a little bit luckier and that’s really what it came down to,” Isner said. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for the tournaments ahead.”

The American overcame four of his compatriots to claim the title, downing J.J. Wolf in the Round of 32, then wildcard Jack Sock and Australian qualifier Chris O’Connell in quick succession before taking down fifth seed Taylor Fritz in the semi final to take on Nakashima.


[1] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-1 4-6 6-3


[6] John Isner (USA) defeated Brandon Nakashima (USA) 7-6 7-5


Picture credit: Generali Open / Alexander Scheuber

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