Rafael Nadal won American John Isner 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3) to win the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday and secure back-to-back titles following his success in Montreal last weekend.
The 27-year-old Spaniard saved two points in a tight opening set and came through another tie-break to seal victory on the way to his 26th Masters title.
“It’s very special for me to win here,” said Nadal. “This one was the first one I felt I was actually playing well.
“Congratulations to John and I’m sorry for today, but I’m sure if you continue you will have a lot of chances to win tournaments like this.”
The victory means the Spaniard now replaces Wimbledon champion Andy Murray as world number two ahead of the US Open which starts in eight days.
Roger Federer, meanwhile, will be seeded seventh- having fallen to his lowest world ranking since October 2002.
Isner made the 2nd seed work for his service games and missed a late chance in the first set when Nadal saved two set points with two forehand winners to level the match 6-6.
The duo fought to 8-8 in the tie break before Isner volleyed the ball into the net to give Nadal set point and the French Open champion clinched it when the American’s return fell short of the net.
Nadal started to move Isner around the hot Ohio court with clinical cross-court forehands and volleys but again the match went with serve.
In the 10th game, two thunderous forehands put Nadal two match points away from victory but Isner canceled out the Spaniard’s chances with two inch-perfect backhands to level the match at 5-5.
The set went into a second tie-break but it was Nadal who held his nerves to take a 5-3 lead before clinching victory in the 10th point.