Eleventh-seeded John Isner reached the second round of the Western & Southern Open with a relatively easy 6-3, 6-4 win over Kevin Anderson on Monday night.
The match was just the second in their 10 meetings in which at least one set didn’t go a tiebreaker.
“That one’s not the norm for us,” said Isner, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in last year’s tournament. “I thought I played well from the very beginning. I was seeing the ball well. From the first warmup ball, I felt like it was going to be a good night. It helped that Kevin didn’t play as well as he normally plays. A lot of things went well.”
Fifteenth-seeded Fabio Fognini avoided an upset, with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) win over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Also, Gilles Simon earned a second-round match against top-seeded Novak Djokovic with a 6-3, 6-2 win over qualifier Bernard Tomic.
Eleventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova became the first seeded woman to be ousted, losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3, 6-3.
Three other seeded women who played on Monday advanced to the second round. Ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic came from behind in the second set to beat Sorana Cirstea, 6-1, 7-5, while 12th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki dispatched Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2, 6-3, in a match that was interrupted by a late-afternoon storm and 13th-seeded Flavia Pennetta prevailed over qualifer Chanelle Scheepers, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.
Ivanovic prevailed despite dealing with lingering back problems. “I was happy,” she said. “I was a little bit doubtful going on the court considering last few weeks. I had a little bit struggle with my back, but I was able to move free, especially in the first set, and I played well. Also, it was tough playing a good friend of mine. It’s never easy. You have to put it aside and try to do the best you can on court.”
STOSUR TO MEET WILLIAMS
Samantha Stosur will meet top-seeded Serena Williams after defeating Varvara Lepchenko, 6-2, 7-5.
In women’s play earlier in the day, Madison Keys accomplished something Serena Williams couldn’t — beating Alize Cornet. Keys pulled off a 6-2, 6-4 win over Cornet to advance.
“I don’t have many complaints about today,” the 19-year-old American said. “I definitely played pretty well and stayed in my game for the most part. There’s obviously a couple of things that I still want to work on and have better for next round, but I’m pretty happy with today.”
Cornet, who upset the top-ranked Williams in the third round at Wimbledon six weeks ago, was playing with an injured left leg that she said started bothering her during her second-round loss to Victoria Azarenka last Tuesday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
“That’s not the reason I lost, but it didn’t help,” said the Frenchwoman, who lost to Keys earlier this year. “She was very aggressive, hitting all winners.”
Three qualifiers advanced in other women’s first-round action. Taylor Townsend outlasted Klara Koukalova, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, while Pauline Parmentier eliminated Casey Dellacqua, 7-6 (4), 6-2, and Karin Knapp upset wild-card Belinda Bencic, 6-2, 7-6 (1).
Also, Kirsten Flipkens defeated qualifier Polona Hercog, 6-3, 6-2, while Zhang Shuai beat Heather Watson, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, and Elina Svitolina cruised past Lauren Davis, 6-3, 6-2.
In the men’s draw, 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo survived a first-set tiebreaker to advance to the second round with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over wild-card American Jack Sock. Fernando Verdasco needed three sets to eliminate Marcel Granollers, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Three other players advanced with first career wins over their opponents, led by qualifier Benjamin Becker, whose 7-6 (5), 6-4 upset of Ivo Karlovic was the German’s first win in seven matches against the 28th-ranked Croatian.
Also, Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, the 24th-ranked German’s first win in three matches against the Frenchman, and Lu Yen-Hsun advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win Denis Istomin, Lu’s first win in four matches against Istomin.
Qualifier Marinko Matosevic moved on with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Nicolas Mahut, while Gael Monfils needed three sets to get past 63rd-ranked Federico Delbonis, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. No. 37 Joao Sousa was tested by qualifier Chase Buchanan before prevailing, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), but Jerzy Janowicz easily advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Teymuraz Gabashvili.