John Isner admitted that on several instances he thought he had won the Dallas Open final against Wu Yibing. On Sunday, Wu saved four championship points to beat home favorite Isner 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (12) and become the first-ever Chinese player with an ATP title.
“It’s a tough one to lose. I don’t know how many match points I had, I’m sure it’s a lot. I swear I thought I won the match a few times. I know he hit one ball. It had to be [on] the back sixteenth of the line on one of the points.
Sports can be brutal. I had match point in the second set too,” Isner said, per the ATP website.
Isner missed out on four championship points against Wu
Isner saved a set point on his serve in the 12th game, before converting his first set point in the tie-break to win the opener.
In the 12th game of the second set, Wu saved Isner’s first championship point to force a second-set tie-break – which he dominated to send the match into a decider. In the third set, the lone break points were seen in the ninth game, when Isner didn’t realize any of his two consecutive break points.
In the third-set tie-break, Isner missed out on three more championship points before Wu realized his fifth championship point to win his maiden ATP title. After playing Wu for the first time, Isner described the Chinese as “an unbelievable ballstriker.” “It’s like he plays every point the same, so definitely no nerves.
He gets a ball to hit, he hits it, and on this court it’s hard to hit him a shot he is uncomfortable with. He is an unbelievable ballstriker and a very good talent,” Isner said of Wu’s performance. Meanwhile, Isner fell just short of landing his first ATP title in a year and a half – his last title came in 2021 Atlanta.
Isner was scheduled to compete at this week’s Delray Beach open but he decided to withdraw from the tournament.