Top seed Isner rolls into QF at Newport
Top seed and defending champion John Isner advanced to the quarterfinals at the Hall of Fame Tennis championships with a 6-2, 7-6 (2) win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.sports Updated: Jul 12, 2012 09:10 IST
Top seed and defending champion John Isner advanced to the quarterfinals at the Hall of Fame Tennis championships on Wednesday with a 6-2, 7-6 (2) win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
Two years ago, the pair played for 11 hours, 5 minutes at Wimbledon in the longest match in tennis history, with Isner finally getting a 70-68 fifth-set victory.
This one didn't have nearly the drama as Isner used his overpowering serve to take charge. It ended when Mahut double faulted, ending the match in 1 hour, 18 minutes.
In 2011, the pair met again at Wimbledon, with Isner winning in three sets in a match that lasted about two hours.
Second seed Kei Nishikori of Japan also advanced to the quarterfinals, outlasting Olivier Rochus from Belgium 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, while Isreali Dudi Sela beat American Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Rajeev Ram, the 2009 Newport champion, beat fellow American Michael Russell 7-6 (8), 6-3 and Izak Van Der Merwe of South Africa beat American Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4.
Isner broke Mahut in the first game of the match and again in the third en route to a 4-0 lead. He closed the first set in 31 minutes, getting aces on the final three points.
"From the moment I warmed up today I knew I was going to play better," said Isner, who struggled in his opening-round match Tuesday. "Getting that first match over yesterday helped a lot - even though it wasn't the prettiest of matches.
"Next year's Wimbledon we'll probably see each other," he said, smiling when his news conference ended.
Isner had 13 aces in the match.
Nishikori, ranked 18th in the world, held a 5-0 lead in the tiebreak before losing the first set. He threw his racket to the ground twice as he headed to his chair for a break.
"It's always tough when you have set point and you lose the set," he said. "I just tried to forget the first set and concentrate on each game. Luckily I got a break in the third game. I was able to keep my fight going."