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Isner serves up a treat on Australian Open Day 2

January 19, 2016 10:21 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

Coming off arguably his most successful season yet, big-serving John Isner relied on his greatest strength to breeze through his opening match of the 2016 Australian Open.

The 6-foot-10 American boomed down an unfathomable 37 aces in recording a straight-sets victory over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, 6-3, 7-6(7), 6-3, on Day 2 in Melbourne.

The No. 10 seed (pictured above) won all but six points on his first serve as Janowicz failed to get a foothold in his return game. Ranked 56th in the world, Janowicz won just 11 points on the Isner serve and never created a break-point opportunity in the one-hour, 45-minute contest.

The victory sets up a second-round encounter with Marcel Granollers of Spain, with a potential showdown with 18th-seeded Feliciano Lopez waiting in the wings for the winner.

Isner, who reached the fourth round of the US Open last fall in addition to the third round in Melbourne and at Wimbledon and the semifinals in Madrid, was one of nine Americans to record a victory on Tuesday. His triumph takes the total number of U.S. players in the second round to 16.

Women’s No. 15 seed Madison Keys brushed off an anxious first set to see off Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, 7-6(5), 6-1, and men’s No. 25 seed Jack Sock overcame an ankle injury and the stubborn effort of his teenage compatriot  to outlast the promising talent Taylor Fritz, 6-4, 3-6, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Click here for more on the Sock-Frtiz matchup

Steve Johnson, the No. 31 seed, defeated Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3), and qualifier Tim Smyczek toppled Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Rajeev Ram upset No. 11 seed Kevin Anderson, who was forced to retire in the fourth set while trailing by a set and a break.

Among the American women in action, Vania King rallied from a set down to beat Mona Barthel of Germany, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, Madison Brengle won an all-U.S. affair against CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-3, 6-4, and Varvara Lepchenko upset No. 31 seed Lesia Tsurenko, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3.

No. 8 seed Venus Williams fell in a shock loss to Aussie-born Brit Johanna Konta, 6-4, 6-2, in Rod Laver Arena and Bethanie Mattek-Sands succumbed to 22-year-old Czech right-hander Denisa Allertova, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3. Also, Vicky Duval fell to No. 18 seed Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine, 6-2, 6-3, and USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card winner Samantha Crawford lost to Danka Kovinic, 6-2, 6-4.

Donald Young lost to Santiago Giraldo of Colombia and comeback kid Brian Baker fell to Simone Bolelli of Italy, both in four sets, and world No. 132 Bjorn Fratangelo lost to fellow qualifier Stephane Robert of France in three. Ryan Harrison was defeated by Andrey Kuznetsov, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

Seven Americans are in second-round singles action on Day 3. World No. 1 Serena continues the defense of her title against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Irina Falconi takes on 13th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci. Lauren Davis faces Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia and qualifier Nicole Gibbs looks to win her fifth match in seven days against No. 28 seed Kristina Mladenovic.

Austin Krajicek tackles No. 7 seed and two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Kei Nishikori, Denis Kudla faces No. 28 seed Andreas Seppi and 19-year-old Noah Rubin will look to build on his upset of 17th-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire when he plays Paire’s countryman, Pierre-Hughes Herbert.