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Isner, Karlovic To Square Off In Newport

Newport, U.S.A.

Isner© Kate Whitney LuceyJohn Isner extends his Newport winning streak to 12 matches.

The 6’9” John Isner and the 6’10” Ivo Karlovic, both winners of two grass-court titles, will face off in the quarter-finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

“This certainly could be a match that can come down to just a point here and there,” said Isner, who has lost two of their three previous meetings. “The main thing for me is to focus and hold onto my serve as much as I can.” 

Two-time defending champion Isner extended his Newport winning streak to 12 matches after closing out a 6-0, 7-6(7) win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The two had met in the second round at Wimbledon, with Isner retiring after just two games with a knee injury.

Karlovic, playing his first tournament since his hospitalisation in April with viral meningitis, recovered from a mid-match lapse to defeat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

“I was tired,” he said of the second set. “I just felt really down fitness-wise because I was out for a long time, so now every match is difficult, but hopefully the ups and downs will be less and less every week.”

Karlovic is through to his first quarter-final since last October, but was thankful to just be out on the court.

“I really didn’t know that I would be back, so now it is a good feeling out there because I feel no stress,” he said. “I’m not even supposed to be here so it’s like a bonus. I just feel good.”

Fourth seed Lleyton Hewitt brushed aside Prakash Amritraj 6-2, 6-1 in a meeting of former finalists. The former World No. 1 capitalised on five of his six break points while saving seven of the eight faced.

“It was a lot closer than the scoreline reflects,” said Hewitt, the 2012 runner-up and a winner of seven grass-court titles. “I felt I played well in the key moments. Grass-court tennis is like that. It’s only two or three points sometimes in a set can change the whole match.”

Hewitt will look to reach his second grass-court semi-final this season when he next plays Czech qualifier Jan Hernych, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 winner over American Jack Sock.

Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, who captured his first title last month on grass in ’s-Hertogenbosch, advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Tim Smyczek.

Michal Przysiezny continued Poland’s recent success on grass, reaching the quarter-finals by rallying past 2009 singles and doubles champion Rajeev Ram 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. His countrymen, Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot, had faced off in the quarter-finals last week at Wimbledon.

Third-seeded Dutchman Igor Sijsling and American Michael Russell, who will face off for a place in the semi-finals, both advanced with 6-3, 6-4 wins, respectively defeating Japan’s Yuichi Sugita and American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov

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