Top seed John Isner defended his Newport title from last year by defeating Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday 7-6 (1), 6-4.
“It feels very good. It’s never easy coming to a tournament where in a previous year you won it, “Isner said. “There’s a lot of pressure on you. You don’t do well, your ranking’s going to drop… I did well, I defended those points and I kept my ranking where it’s at. More importantly than that, I gained a lot of confidence from this week just as I did last year. I had a great, great summer last year. I hope to have much of the same this year.”
Isner overpowered Hewitt with his serve hitting 16 aces against the Australian.
“With the weapon I have and my serve in a shortened situation for the set, I’m always fortunate to have that weapon on my side,” Isner said. “I kept my head really well this week.”
The win for Isner earned the American his fourth career title. The 6-foot-9 Isner had his serve broken only once in the tournament.
For Hewitt who suffered his first career loss against Isner, lost for the first time in a grass court final.
“It’s done a lot of good [for my confidence], “Hewitt said about his week. “A lot of positives have come out of this week. Grass is a tough surface to come back on after any kind of surgery, and especially foot surgery, where my movement is such a big thing because on grass you’re in the wrong positions a lot of the time. You’ve got to have that confidence in your footwork.
“Even at Wimbledon, I didn’t feel totally comfortable with my footwork and it’s taken matches and practice and a lot of time over the last week-and-a-half here in Newport and I feel like that’s starting to come, which is a good thing, not only for the Olympics in a couple week’s time, but obviously looking forward to the US Open and the rest of the year.”
The former No. 1 Hewitt came into the tournament ranked 233rd in the world, battling multiple surgeries over the past four years.
Isner’s next tournament will be in Atlanta which begins on Monday.