Isner digs deep to win Auckland title

By Greg Stutchbury

"This is awesome, I'm really glad I came here because it is one of my favorite tournaments outside of the States," Isner told reporters. "I really enjoyed playing here last year and I thought I could be a contender here this year.

"I was one point away from elimination but I played a pretty much flawless tiebreak because I had told myself I had nothing to lose and (would) swing free and I got up."

He had romped through the first set in 33 minutes before the crafty 32-year-old Frenchman began to frustrate his younger opponent with his pinpoint accuracy.

BIG SERVES

Clement won the second set when he broke the 2.06 meter tall American in the 12th game, but lost much of that momentum when Isner broke in the first game of the deciding set.

Isner's most effective weapon was put to good use in the 12th game when Clement held championship point at 30-40. The American produced two aces that sent it into the tiebreak.

Daniell and Tecau very nearly did not even play this week, with the 24-year-old Romanian only allowed to enter the doubles as a wildcard by tournament director Richard Palmer on the condition he partnered the New Zealander.

Such was the surprise at their progress, the 20-year-old Daniell was forced to give away tickets to a music festival on Friday because it clashed with their semi-final.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)