Rafael Nadal took advantage of his few openings Sunday against hard-serving American John Isner, grinding out a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3) win in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The 27-year-old Spaniard won in Montreal a week earlier and now has back-to-back hardcourt championships for the first time in his illustrious career. He’d never even reached the finals in Cincinnati. It was his fifth Masters title of the season, a career best. Nadal now is tied with Novak Djokovic for most Masters titles in a season since 1990. He’s 53-3 this year and has reached the finals in 11 of his last 12 tournaments. In the women’s final, top-ranked Serena Williams wilted in the heat, losing to No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), ending her 14-match winning streak. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
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