- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - John Isner rode his fierce serve to another victory on Newport’s grass courts, defeating Wayne Odesnik 6-3, 7-6 (6) Tuesday to reach the second round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

The 6-foot-10 Isner had 19 aces - with one serve topping 137 mph - and only two double-faults in raising his career record at Newport to 14-3.

“I’m glad that I’m here and hopefully I can keep it going,” he said. “I’ve had good memories here in the past.”

Isner’s serves were so overpowering that a handful of them bounced into the seats. At one point in the opening set, Odesnik looked at a fan seated in the first row and said, “I need to borrow your seat to return his serve.”

Isner, the highest-ranked American at No. 12, won at Newport 2011 and 2012. He is seeded first at Newport for the third time in four years. His 13-match winning streak at the Hall of Fame Championships ended last year with a loss to Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals.

But for all his strong play on the court, Isner seemed more excited about what awaited in a few hours - he was to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

“Let’s talk about Fenway,” he said, opening his news conference. “It’s going to be awesome. I have never been to Fenway. My initial thought was I wanted to go to the game and get off the court. Then I hear the good news. I love baseball. I’m going to enjoy that moment. Hope I throw a strike.”

Defending champion Nicolas Mahut of France, the No. 4 seed, defeated Facundo Arguello of Argentina 7-6 (1), 6-4.

“I feel like almost home,” he said. “I have my habits. I go to the same restaurant. Every year I’m waiting for this tournament.”

In the match of the day, No. 3 seed Hewitt of Australia advanced to the second round by rallying past American Ryan Harrison, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. Seventh-seeded Jack Sock beat fellow American Alex Kuznetsov, 6-4, 6-3.

In other first-round play, eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France beat Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-2, 6-4; qualifier Austin Krajicek stopped fellow American Tim Smyczek, 7-6 (7), 6-1; Luke Saville of Australia ousted Peter Polansky of Canada 6-4, 6-2; Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine defeated Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-2; and qualifier Ante Pavic of Croatia downed Marius Copil of Romania 7-6 (0), 6-4.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide