Top seed John Isner needed 1 hour and 18 minutes to book his place in the quarterfinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis championships in Newport as he defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in straight sets 6-2 7-6 (2).
The most memorable match between these two players was played two year’s ago at Wimbledon, Isner winning in 11 hours and 5 minutes with a scoreline of 70-68 in the deciding set.
This time it proved to be a lot more straightforward affair as the American took a quick 4-0 lead before closing out the first set in just 31 minutes. Despite Mahut offering some resistance in set two, it was Isner who managed to overpower his opponent in the tiebreak, setting up a last 8 encounter against South African qualifier Izak Van Der Merwe.
Second seed Kei Nishikori came back from a set down against Belgian Olivier Rochus, winning 6-7 (6) 6-4 6-2 in just under two hours.
Nishikori wasted a huge opportunity to capture the first set after he failed to capitalise on a 5-0 lead in the ‘breaker’. However, he recovered quickly as he took control of the match, moving into the last 8.
The Japanese will play American Rajeev Ram next, who eliminated fellow countryman Michael Russell 7-6 (6) 6-3.
Also through to the next round are Israel’s Dudi Sela, who defeated American Sam Querrey 5-7 7-6 (6) 6-2 and wild card holder and former world no.1 Lleyton Hewitt after overcoming another American qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-4 2-6 6-1.