US Clay Court Championships: John Isner claims first title on clay
John Isner got the better of top seed Nicolas Almagro 6-3 7-5 to win the US Clay Court Championships in Houston.
Last Updated: 15/04/13 7:53am
American Isner sent down seven aces, meaning he finished with a new record of 64 for the tournament, and managed three breaks of serve to clinch victory after one hour and 21 minutes on court.
The result gives the fifth seed the sixth title of his career, though it is his first on clay; he had been runner-up in Houston to Juan Monaco 12 months ago.
"I've always known I could play well on clay," Isner told the ATP Tour website.
"This week is a little surprising, as Monday was the first day I hit a ball on clay since September. I knew it was going to be a tough adjustment and that I had to find a way to get through my first match.
"My second match was really close. I felt I played better each and every round. I played well yesterday and even better today.
"I was able to go for my shots and be effective on the baseline, especially with my forehand.
"I was really proud with how I played after going down 1-3 (to win) five games in a row. I played exceptionally well those five games."
Almagro was making his first final appearance in 2013 - and he was full of praise of the American.
"He did a really good job today. He played aggressive," he said.
"He served like normal, but today was tough for me. I want to congratulate him, because he's a really good player and a good person and I think he did a good job this week."