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Isner Sinks Karlovic In Ace Fest

Newport, U.S.A.

Isner© Kate Whitney LuceyJohn Isner fired 23 aces and withstood 14 aces from Karlovic.

Two-time defending champion John Isner fired 23 aces to cut down fellow big-serving giant Ivo Karlovic and reach the quarter-finals of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships Friday. The 6’ 9” Isner and 6’ 10” Karlovic combined to serve 37 aces in their first grass-court meeting that the American won 7-6(3), 7-6(3).

"I said the other day that this match would come down to a few points here and there and those few points were in the tie-break,” Isner said. “I felt like I got a lot of good returns back and he came up with some good volleys. I made some good shots when I needed to.

“When I get ahead in tie-breaks I know that the match is really on my serve at that point. I was able to close it out.” Isner next plays fourth seed Lleyton Hewitt who needed three sets to oust Czech qualifier Jan Hernych.

The 34-year-old Karlovic is also in the doubles semi-finals (w/Sharan), having saved nine match points in the first two rounds. Karlovic is playing in his first ATP World Tour tournament since Houston in April. The former World No. 14 was sidelined with viral meningitis in late April-May.

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© Ben Solomon

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