John Isner finally couldn’t pull it off. He won the first set, but second seeded Kei Nishikori rallied from behind to notch up a sensational victory in the Washington Open on Sunday.
Japanese star and World No 5 Nishikori won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Isner was the smarter player during the opener and clinched it in the 10th game with a pair of scintillating forehand returns.
Nishikori’s Comeback, Isner’s Injury
Kei Nishikori showed signs of comeback early in the second set as he started with a break. Isner won the rest of his serves but Nishikori firmly held on to his share of serves to level the margin.
The finals came down to a one-set sprint.
The 6-foot-10 American sustained a shoulder injury after the third game of the second set and received treatment on his right shoulder.
The Japanese would not relinquish the advantage, and registered a break in the third game of the final set. Calm and cool customer Kei Nishikori then just had to hold on to his serve, which he did to lift the Trophy for the 3rd time.
Isner lost his third Washington Open final. His previous defeats were against Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro.
The Washington Open crown would surely boost 5th-ranked Nishikori’s confidence ahead of the final Grand Slam of the year, the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to kick-off on August 31 at the Flushing Meadows.
Earlier, Nishikori edged past Croatian Marin Cilic in the semifinals, a sweet revenge for the U.S. Open finals last season.