Isner, Sock Lead American Charge On Day One
World No. 11 Isner, the top American in the ATP Rankings, needed one hour and 53 minutes to dispatch countryman Bradley Klahn 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4. The North Carolina native launched 34 winners, including 20 aces, to blast into the second round. A quarter-finalist in 2011, Isner notched his 25th match win at Flushing Meadows.
Next up for the big-serving 33-year-old is Chile's Nicolas Jarry, who dismissed Peter Gojowczyk 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Jarry is making his US Open debut after scoring his first Grand Slam match win at Wimbledon last month. The grandson of former Top 20 star Jaime Fillol Sr., he will face Isner for the first time.
"It was a good match," said Isner. "I thought I played pretty well. Leading up to this tournament, I have been practising well. I think I got rested, which was imperative. I was feeling a bit run down this summer.
"I was home. After Cincinnati I didn't hit for five, six days, maybe longer than that. I just got back on the court. I did a lot of physical work. Finally feel rested. I think it showed today, because I thought I played pretty well."
Meanwhile, 18th seed Sock got the party started on Monday with an opening 6-0, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Argentina's Guido Andreozzi. The Nebraska native is hoping to rediscover his top form with a strong run in New York. Having won just six of 21 singles matches this year, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals contestant scored his first victory of the North American hard-court season.
"I'm relieved," Sock said. "You guys follow tennis throughout the year, so you know it's been a tough road for a little bit here. A little bit for nine months (smiling). It hasn't been my best result, but that's why you have a good team, good family, good support system around you to keep me positive.
"And obviously I love the game. I have loved it my whole life. I wouldn't be here without the support system I've had. So they just kept pushing me. It was only a matter of time I think for it to turn around. I know the level of tennis I can play. It hasn't shown in every match this year, but one week it was going to turn and I'm glad it's at least started here. Hopefully I can keep it going."
In other action, Taylor Fritz completed a stunning comeback in front of a packed Court 10, rallying past Mischa Zverev 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-2. It marked the first time that the #NextGenATP star had rallied from two sets down in his young career. He faces Aussie wild card Jason Kubler in the second round.
Another California native, Steve Johnson, continued his strong form with an efficient 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Denis Istomin. Istomin was coming off a lengthy journey to New York after winning gold at the Asian Games in Indonesia less than 48 hours prior. Johnson, who is coming off a run to the final at the Winston-Salem Open, is making his eighth straight appearance at his home Grand Slam. He will look to carry the momentum into a blockbuster second-round encounter against ninth seed Dominic Thiem. The Austrian defeated Mirza Basic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 under the lights on the Grandstand.
Last year's quarter-finalist Sam Querrey was not as fortunate as his fellow California brethren. Querrey was forced to retire with a hand ailment in the fourth set of his encounter with Andreas Seppi. He trailed 7-6(6), 4-6, 2-6, 1-2 when he stopped. Seppi awaits 28th seed Denis Shapovalov next.
Denis Kudla became the fifth American to advance on home soil on Monday, dispatching Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 19 minutes. He will appear in the second round for the first time since 2013. Back in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, Kudla is playing some of the best tennis of his career after reaching the quarter-finals at the Citi Open. He registered his first Top 20 win over Lucas Pouille.