NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — John Isner rode his fierce serve to another victory on Newport's grass courts, defeating Wayne Odesnik 6-3, 7-6 (6) Tuesday to reach the second round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
The 6-foot-10 Isner had 19 aces — with one serve topping 137 mph — and only two double-faults in raising his career record at Newport to 14-3.
"I'm glad that I'm here and hopefully I can keep it going," he said. "I've had good memories here in the past."
Isner's serves were so overpowering that a handful of them bounced into the seats. At one point in the opening set, Odesnik looked at a fan seated in the first row and said, "I need to borrow your seat to return his serve."
Isner, the highest-ranked American at No. 12, won at Newport 2011 and 2012. He is seeded first at Newport for the third time in four years. His 13-match winning streak at the Hall of Fame Championships ended last year with a loss to Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals.
But for all his strong play on the court, Isner seemed more excited about what awaited in a few hours — he was to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
"Let's talk about Fenway," he said, opening his news conference. "It's going to be awesome. I have never been to Fenway. My initial thought was I wanted to go to the game and get off the court. Then I hear the good news. I love baseball. I'm going to enjoy that moment. Hope I throw a strike."