Read & Watch: Isner, Querrey Fire Into Wimbledon Second Round
Querrey hits 38 winners for victory
Big-serving Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey both fired their way into the second round on a hot day at The Championships.
Ninth seed Isner, on his 10th appearance at the All England Club, struck 28 aces for a 6-2, 7-6(4), 7-5 win over German qualifier Yannick Maden in two hours and five minutes.
“I think possibly it could have been more straightforward,” said Isner. “But all in all, I was off the court in three sets, and I hadn't played a match on grass coming into this tournament… Even though I have been hitting the ball well in practice and doing all the right things, that doesn't always translate to the match court. So I knew today was going to be tough.
“Grass courts definitely give [my serve] a little bit extra boost. It skids through. My big serves, in essence, feel even bigger when I make it, and it's shooting through the court. Grass has always been a good servers' surface, and it's always been one for me.”
Eight years on from his record-breaking 70-68 fifth set win over Nicolas Mahut in the 2010 first round, the 33-year-old has since won 10 Wimbledon matches in straight sets.
Over the course of the fortnight, Isner will hope to better his three third-round showings in 2014 (l. to Lopez), 2015 (l. to Cilic) and 2016 (l. to Tsonga). His next challenge comes against fellow Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium, who battled past American Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(0), 8-6.
“I do believe that at 33 I'm playing my best tennis," said Isner. "I think [winning the title in] Miami was indicative of that. So as long as I'm feeling healthy and strong and eager to get out there, I think I can do well here. If it doesn't happen this year, I'll come back next year and try again.”
Earlier in the day, Querrey, the No. 11 seed, immediately fell into his service rhythm when he hit 15 aces – among 33 winners – and lost just three of his first-service points in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jordan Thompson of Australia in 90 minutes.
The American, who lost to Marin Cilic in the 2017 Wimbledon semi-finals, admitted, “For some reason, I don't know if it's visual or what, but I seem to serve better on the grass. Maybe on second serves, I might go a little more into the body because the ball skids a little bit compared to the other surfaces. But strategy-wise, I don't mix it up on the grass.
“If my first serve goes in on grass it's going to be harder for someone to time it and get it into the court. That's the biggest difference. You get more free points — not necessarily aces, but balls that aren't coming back in.”
The 30-year-old will next face wild card Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, who hit 56 winners to beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4 in three hours and 30 minutes.
Shortly after getting married in Florida on 9 June, Querrey flew to London and beat Stan Wawrinka en route to the quarter-finals at the Fever-Tree Championships, where he captured the 2010 trophy.