John Isner defeated Ryan Harrison 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) in the All-American final of the BB&T Atlanta Open, earning his fourth singles title in Atlanta and second ATP World Tour singles title in two weeks. It was the battle of the serves, with Isner, the No. 2 seed securing the close, nail-biter against the gunslinger and No. 4, Harrison.
The first set consisted of quick points, but high-quality tennis. This led to a neck-and-neck tiebreak, where Harrison had a mini break. Isner jumped back in it, after a cross-court bullet return of Harrison’s serve, to close it out, 8-6, with the crowd giving both players a standing ovation.
In the second set, Harrison broke Isner early to hold a 2-0 advantage, but Isner immediately answered,, breaking Harrison in the next game. From there, both players held serve and forced a second tiebreak. Following the same path as the first set, Harrison held a mini break. Isner climbed back in, capitalizing on a big return of a Harrison second serve. Isner, having been in this position so many times closed out the match. Winning his fourth title with a 9-7 tiebreaker finish. Today’s win was the former University of Georgia star’s 12th career title. With this title, Isner moves up to No. 18 in the ATP World Tour rankings. Isner’s victory capped a week in which five of the eight quarterfinalists in Atlanta were American, including Georgia Tech senior Christopher Eubanks and former French Open boys’ champion Tommy Paul, each of whom was appearing in his first ATP quarterfinal.
Our own Desmond Mclennon asked John how it felt to move up in the rankings. “I did not know that so thanks for that [about being the top American],” Isner said. “It feels pretty good for sure. I’ve been the top American for the better part of 6 years now so to be back in that spot is cool. It’s something that I take a lot of pride in and I hope to end the year as the No. 1 American again––would be great. You know I think for me, the match I lost at Wimbledon this year in the second round to Sela was a blessing in disguise. I had a sit-down with my team after that match that night in the house that I was renting. We sat down for about an hour and hashed some things out. I was playing tentative, I was playing scared and playing not to win and was just hoping to win––hoping my opponent would make mistakes. From that point forward I told myself that’s not how I need to play and that’s what I exhibited these last two weeks. Again, if I had beaten Sela and lost to Dimitrov the next round or something, I don’t think I would be sitting here right now so I do think that it was a blessing in disguise. You have to learn from your losses and I did that at Wimbledon. I think another thing is seeing a compatriot Sam Querrey make the semifinals––great result. That spurred me on a little for sure and I am very, very happy for him, but I wanted to get up to the level that he was playing at. I think I’ve done that.”
In the doubles final, the Bryan Brothers turned back the clock and showed Atlanta doubles fans why they are the most decorated doubles tandem of all-time.
A familiar duo to Atlanta doubles fans Mike and Bob Bryan, made easy work of Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 6-3 6-4. It is worth mentioning that Koolhof and Sitak have only been playing together for a little over two weeks. This is only their second tournament as partners and they fought hard to get to the finals.
The Bryan brothers did not show and mercy on the new teammates as the match came to an end in a little under an hour. The dominating performance was nothing out of the ordinary for the brothers who notched their 114th ATP World Tour title. When asked about the tournament the brothers had nothing but praise for the city, the venue and the fans. “Players love it, and we love coming here,” said Mike Bryan. Bob went on the say that, “this is the best tennis city in the country.”
The BB&T Atlanta Open seems to get better and better each year, adding more and more great talent and attracting some amazing fans. Tournament director Eddie Gonzalez made a point after the match to let the fans know he would put them up against any city on the tour. With the success of the tournament over the last 6 years, who knows what 2018 has in store. A great week at Atlantic Station and the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open.
RESULTS – JULY 30, 2017
Singles – Final
 J. Isner (USA) d  R. Harrison (USA) 7-6(6) 7-6(7)
Doubles – Final
 B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL) 6-3 6-4