John Isner captures his 3rd title in Winston-Salem.

John Isner of the USA kisses the trophyJohn Isner, who grew up in nearby Greensboro, lifted the third ATP World Tour title of his career on Saturday in front of his family and friends at the Winston-Salem Open at Forest Wake University. Isner recorded a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over French qualifier Julien Benneteau to improve to a 3-5 mark in ATP World Tour finals. The 26-year-old American Benneteau earned $74,630 in prize money and received 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points. Benneteau, who is now 0-5 in finals, picked up $42,500 and 150 points. World No. 113 Benneteau did not face a break point in the first set, winning 20 of his 23 service points. He broke Isner’s serve to 30 at 4-4 and went onto wrap up the opener in 34 minutes. Isner responded by hitting six aces and dropping nine points to win the 43-minute second set. It meant Benneteau, who lost his serve at 3-4 in a closely fought game, would play his fourth straight three-set match of the week. Isner converted his second of two break point opportunities at 2-2 and maintained the advantage to seal victory in just over two hours. Both players won 72 per cent of their service points, but Isner hit 19 aces in total to Benneteau’s six.

Benneteau was attempting to become the ninth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, the oldest of the nine at 29 years of age, and also the first qualifier to lift a trophy since Sergiy Stakhovsky at the St. Petersburg Open in November 2009. World No. 28 Isner improves to a 28-18 match record on the season by picking up his second ATP World Tour title in six weeks. The American has now won 17 of his past 21 matches, including his title success at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, immediately after The Championships at Wimbledon.


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