Nadal Remains Undefeated on Hard Courts, Reclaims Number 2 Ranking With Cincinnati Title
Rafael Nadal had little issue taking yet another Masters title for his second straight tournament victory, rolling into Mason, Ohio and leaving with a 7-6, 7-6 victory over resurgent American John Isner. The win moves him back to number 2 in the ATP rankings, as he slips past Andy Murray.
Nadal, like everyone else on tour, was flummoxed by Isner’s powerful and well placed serve, and the American also struck his forehand quite well, but he couldn’t do much else but get it to a tiebreak in both sets. Nadal fended off the break points he did face in his own service games, and won the tiebreaks 10-8 and 7-3.
Nadal beat Benjamin Becker in straights, then needed 3 sets against Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer. In the Federer match, the Swissman came out strong but faded late. Nadal then beat Tomas Berdych, who took out Andy Murray, to reach the final. Rafa has won 10 straight matches and is now 16-0 on hardcourts this season.
Isner, who can still take the Emirates US Open series title with a good showing in Winston-Salem (a title that will otherwise go to Nadal), reached the final by serving his way past Florian Mayer, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic in straights before shocking Novak Djokovic in 3 sets in a match where Djokovic almost seemed like he wanted to make his way to New York already. Isner then beat fellow big man Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis in a match that went 3 sets with 2 tiebreaks.
The doubles final was closely contested between the Bryan Brothers and Granollers/Lopez. In the end, the Brothers prevailed, 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.