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Isner Opens Bid For Third Winston-Salem Title

Winston-Salem, U.S.A.

Top seed John Isner made a winning return to the Winston-Salem Open, as he defeated fellow American Bradley Klahn 7-6(5), 6-2 in his second-round opening match Tuesday night.

Isner edged the opening set, despite winning three less points than the 117th-ranked Klahn, and then capitalised on his two break points in the second set to clinch the 68-minute victory.

“It was a pretty good match for me, a match I’ve seen a lot in my career,” said Isner. “I win a first set that I easily could’ve lost and then I played a lot better in the second set. It was a tale of two sets. He played well in the first set and then his level dropped off quite a bit early in the second set so I was able to take advantage of that.” 

Sneak Peek: Isner's Insider Takeover

The 29-year-old Isner, who began his summer hard-court campaign with a successful defence in Atlanta, will finish atop the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge should he reclaim his hometown title this week. (Read More) He is undefeated at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament, winning the title in 2011 and ’12.

“I feel like my game is fine; it’s where I want it to be,” he said. “More importantly, I feel good on the court. I feel healthy.” 

Isner will next play No. 13 seed Mikhail Kukushkin, who rallied past Dutchman Robin Haase 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Seventh seed Lukas Rosol advanced when American Ryan Harrison retired from their second-match with a right-shoulder injury. Harrison had won the first set and led 6-3, 1-2.

“This week was a great start, off of a month-long break,” said Harrison, who had been sidelined with a foot injury. “I played well the other night and played well today. If I’m able to play with that level of composure and that level of game in general, then I don’t have much to worry about.”

Rosol will face Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the third round. The 10th-seeded Andujar defeated Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-3.

Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, who upset World No. 5 Tomas Berdych last week in Cincinnati, recorded his 20th match win of the season as he defeated Blaz Rola 6-4, 7-5. He will play eighth seed Marcel Granollers for a place in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-3.

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Top Seeds Make First-Round Exit
David Marrero and Leander Paes, the top seeds in the doubles draw, retired from their first-round match Tuesday night. The pair had lost the first set 6-7(5) to Australians Sam Groth and Chris Guccione when they retired due to Marrero's back injury.

Third seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers made their way safely through to the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Philipp Oswald.

The Colombian duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, meanwhile, booked their place in the semi-finals as they defeated Robin Haase and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4.

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