NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — John Isner lumbered toward the net and didn’t get to see his match-ending forehand winner down the line as he fell forward onto the extremely hot grass court.
The top seed used his blistering serve and a good passing shot after his opponent’s unconventional serve on match point to overcome the scorching conditions and win the title for the fourth time in Newport, beating No. 7 seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (2), 6-3 on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Open.
“I had a feeling he was going to go to the underarm serve, and I was ready for it,” the 6-foot-10 Isner said, breaking into a smile. “I actually didn’t see the ball land in because my face was on the ground. I had a feeling I hit it pretty well, and then I heard the crowd start cheering.”
Facing a creative opponent who mixed in numerous underhanded serves, with cuts and slices throughout the match, the 34-year-old American captured his 15th ATP title overall. He also won at Newport in 2017, ’12 and ’11, making him the only four-time winner of the event.
“He’s an interesting guy for sure and has his own way of playing tennis,”…