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Isner and Kvitova victorious as U.S. Open approaches

John Isner in the final at the Winston-Salem Open

Story highlights

  • John Isner beats Tomas Berdych in the final at Winston-Salem
  • Berdych had match points, but Isner eventually defended his title
  • Petra Kvitova sees off Maria Kirilenko at the New Haven Open final
  • U.S. Open starts Monday at Flushing Meadows
John Isner has won the final U.S. Open warm up ATP tournament in Winston-Salem, Saturday. The young American recorded a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 win over Czech Tomas Berdych.
Isner hit 22 aces and saved three match points as he defended the title he won in 2011. Tomas Berdych, ranked seven in the world, was in charge for a lot of the match, but couldn't handle Isner's relentless powerful serve.
Berdych smashed his racquet in frustration at the conclusion of the final, after blowing a number of chances to take the title in the final set tie break.
"I'm just absolutely thrilled. It was a very good match. It was an incredible atmosphere to play in out there," Isner told the tournament website.
"There were certainly some tense times all throughout the match. You know, at times it probably wasn't the prettiest, but I was able to gut it out and I'm very, very proud of that.
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"It's a lot of fun to win in front of pretty much a 100 percent home crowd. That's what I had last year, and I had it again this year."
In the final WTA tournament before Open, Petra Kvitova beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-6, 7-5 at the New Haven Open at Yale University.
Focus will now turn to New York for the final grand slam of the season, where Berdych has been placed in the same quarter as world number one Roger Federer.
Federer will meet American Donald Young in the first round as he begins his attempt to win an 18th slam. The once promising Young has had an appalling year, recording only two wins and twenty losses.
World number two Novak Djokovic meets the relatively unknown Paolo Lorenzi in the first round, but is on course to meet Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter finals.
Djokovic and Del Potro have a rich recent history, with the Argentine beating Djokovic to claim the Olympic bronze medal. The Serbian enjoyed some revenge when he outgunned Del Potro in the Cincinnati Masters semi final.
Elsewhere, Olympic gold medal winner Andy Murray faces a gentle start to his campaign to claim a first slam, as he faces Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. Murray has a relatively easy run to the quarter finals, where he could meet world number six Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
In the women's draw, world number one Victoria Azarenka faces Russian Alexandra Panova in her opening game. The Belarussian could face defending U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the quarters.
French Open champion Maria Sharapova faces the tricky Hungarian Melinda Czink in the first round, and could face last year's Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter final.
The two Williams sisters are in the bottom half of the draw and could meet in the semi-finals. Serena begins against her compatriot Coco Vandeweghe, and could face former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter finals.
Venus Williams also faces another American in the first round, the eccentric Bethanie Mattek-Sands shouldn't provide too much of a test for the elder Williams sister. If the Williams sisters are to meet in the semis, Venus will probably have to overcome world number two Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter finals.