Isner Captures 2015 BB&T Atlanta Open Title, Bryan Brothers Take Doubles Crown
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
John Isner defeated a hobbled Marcos Baghdatis in routine fashion 6-3 6-3 to capture his third straight BB&T Atlanta Open title. The ATP 250 trophy is his first of 2015 and the 10th total ATP title of his career, all of those trophies coming in 250 events.
Baghdatis showed signs of a leg injury early, as he was shaking his leg and trying to get it flexed, he fought hard and came out with the will to fight, but he was under pressure on serve in his first service game, holding to deuce for 1-1. Isner pumped out a routine hold, and then broke at 15 for a 3-1 lead. From there he wouldn’t look back as he raced through service holds and took the opening frame 6-3 in less than a half hour.
During the set change Baghdatis took an off court medical timeout, but his leg never sorted itself out and the trainer couldn’t really do much for him. Credit to him for walking out for the second set and still playing his best, but it was clear Isner had the match under his thumb. The American didn’t face a break point all match, while Baghdatis had to fight out a hold for 2-1, got broken at 30 to go 3-2 down, and then was broken again in the final game of the match for a 6-3 6-3 defeat.
There was question whether Baghdatis would retire midway through the second but he continued to play on, unable to move well and slicing most of his returns back. Isner thumped aces and forehand winners, and was clearly pleased to have a routine final as he successfully defended his ranking points. Isner won 27/28 first serve points, and was 9/11 on second serve points while Baghdatis was broken three times in his injury scarred loss. All in all it was an excellent bounce back tournament for Big John as he began the Emirates Airlines US Open Series with a title, erasing the memory of his bad round 1 defeat in Newport. His serve was on point all week and he still has a chance to get back into the top 15 by the end of the season.
As for Baghdatis, he played excellent this week and cemented himself as back in the top 50, it was his first final in years, and when fit and focused, he’s one of the best aggressive ball strikers in the game. Hopefully his injury was only a short term problem and nothing serious, given he’s been bothered by injuries throughout his career. Marcos is likely in doubt for DC, but he could be a dark horse throughout the rest of the US Open Series. He was great with fans, and really showed passion this week.
The doubles final between the Bryan Brothers and Fleming/Muller was more competitive, and in fact lasted as long as the singles final did, but the world #1 team rose to the occasion and captured their first Atlanta trophy in the clutch. Fleming/Muller went 5-2 up and took the first set 6-4, but the second set was all on serve, and the Bryans took the tiebreak 7-2. The final third set super tiebreak was also dominated by the brothers as Fleming/Muller strugled to hold serve and the Bryans won 4-6 7-6(2) 10-4. The final two tiebreaks won by the American legends by a combined score of 17-6. The Bryans have now won four titles on the season, three of which have come on American soil.
Our appreciation once again to the BB&T Atlanta Open and their entire team for a fantastic tournament at Atlantic Station, and for providing us with media credential access. The 250 stop in Atlanta is one of the best tournaments in North America, and one of the best ATP tournaments of that level in a variety of ways, Tennis Atlantic looks forward to covering the tournament next year as well! The BB&T Atlanta Open lived up to their motto of “World Class Field, World Class Fun” in 2015.