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Strong Start For Karlovic In Newport

Newport, U.S.A.

Watch Newport Monday Highlights

Video courtesy Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
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Second seed Ivo Karlovic opened his campaign for a grass-court trophy from the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Monday with a 7-6(2), 6-2 win over 2003 champion Robby Ginepri.

The 6’11” Croat, who made a first-round exit at Wimbledon (l. to Dancevic), blasted 17 aces during the 64-minute contest against the wild card Ginepri.

“Last year, I was really happy to be in Newport,” said Karlovic, who entered the 2013 event after a three-month absence brought on by viral meningitis. One year later, the 35 year old counts his blessings on the ATP World Tour.

“I’m just more grateful that I am still here and healthy and that my tennis isn’t over yet,” added Karlovic.

In a battle of collegiate stand-outs, sixth seed Steve Johnson, a decorated alumnus of the University of Southern California, dismantled fellow American Clay Thompson 6-1, 6-2 in 47 minutes. Thompson had recently completed his four-year stint at UCLA, finishing as the No. 2 collegiate player in the United States. Johnson finished at USC in 2012.

Johnson will face Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, a 7-6(7), 6-1 winner over American wild card Mitchell Krueger. The two will be joined by Malek Jaziri in the second round. The Tunisian triumphed 7-5, 6-3 over Ricardas Berankis and next plays Samuel Groth, the 7-6(7), 6-2 conqueror of fifth seed Donald Young.

Dudi Sela and Rajeev Ram also secured second-round berths with straight-sets victories over Michal Przysiezny and Matthew Ebden, respectively.

Wayne Odesnik qualified for the main draw after a 6-2, 7-6(6) performance over John-Patrick Smith. Odesnik sets up a first-round clash with top seed John Isner, a two-time champion in Newport (2011-’12).

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© Ben Solomon

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