Americans John Isner and Mardy Fish were both competing for their second title of 2010 in the Atlanta Open final.
After knee surgery in 2009, Mardy Fish took a hard look at his career and decided to make some changes. The American, who had a solid career up to that point, focused on fitness and shed 30 pounds. He reached two semifinals in the first half of the year, but it was during the grass-court season when things started to heat up. Fish reached the final at Queen’s Club and won Newport, the last event on grass of the year.
Fish took that good form to Atlanta. He didn’t drop a set on his way to the final, which included a win over his good friend Andy Roddick, to whom he had lost eight straight times.
On the other side of the draw, another one of his countrymen was finding success. John Isner’s road to the title match wasn’t as easy. In his opening match, he won a third-set tiebreak against Gilles Muller, and in the semifinals, he beat Kevin Anderson in three sets. For Isner, it was his fourth final of the year.
Back in their first career match against each other, in San Jose in 2009, Fish dominated the opening set before going on to win the match in three sets. More than a year later, Isner turned the tables, capturing the first set 6-4 behind a break of Fish’s serve.
In the second set, Fish managed to break Isner, which was enough to level the match. Fish kept up the pressure in the third set, breaking again to take a 3-1 lead. The on-court temperatures hit the triple digits, but Isner wasn’t done yet.
The former University of Georgia star broke back, and the players fought on until reaching a tiebreak. Fish came out firing to take a 4-0 lead, and went on to take the breaker 7-4, giving him his second title in as many weeks.
This was the fourth all-American final of the year, and the first not to involve Sam Querrey, who defeated Isner in Memphis and Belgrade, and Fish in Queen's Club.
In 2007 was the last time Isner played a final on the U.S. summer hard-court swing, when he made his breakthrough in Washington.
Fish won 10 matches in a row for the first time in his career in Newport and Atlanta.
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