Rafael Nadal beat home favourite John Isner 7-6 (10/8) 7-6 (7/3) in the Western and Southern Open final to claim a first ever title in Cincinnati.

The Spaniard will replace Andy Murray as world number two in the ATP rankings tomorrow.

Nadal’s 26th title at ATP Masters 1000 level, the highest tier below the grand slams, means he leapfrogs Wimbledon champion Murray ahead of this month's US Open.

Nadal also stands to be the second seed in New York even though the Scot will be defending his title.

He also equals world number one Novak Djokovic's record of five Masters 1000 titles in a season after overcoming the big-serving American.

Both Murray and world number one Djokovic were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

The first set of the final went on serve throughout. With Nadal serving at 6-5 behind, Isner opened up a 15-40 lead to set up two set points. Nadal, though, hit two successive aces to help him force a tie-break which he won 10/8 with his second set point.

There were once again no breaks in the second set and this time the tie-break was more comfortable for Nadal, who won the first two points and led all the way before taking his first match point.

Nadal has a 53-3 win-loss record this year, including nine titles and now a career-best 15 consecutive hard-court match wins.