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American Isner wins with 38 aces

 Israel's Shahar Peer returns the ball to USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands during their second round match for the French Open tennis tournament at the Rol...
 The crowd strolls in the alleys as rain falls on the Roland Garros stadium during the French Open tennis tournament Thursday, May 27, 2010 in Paris. ...

France Tennis French Open

Israel's Shahar Peer returns the ball to USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands during their second round match for the French Open tennis tournament at the Rol...

France Tennis French Open

The crowd strolls in the alleys as rain falls on the Roland Garros stadium during the French Open tennis tournament Thursday, May 27, 2010 in Paris. ...

Regarding the damp, slow conditions at the French Open on Thursday, John Isner had a different perspective.
Maybe that's because he's 6-foot-9 (2.06 meters).
The big American hit 38 aces and reached the third round at Roland Garros for the first time by beating Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4.
"Everyone was talking about how slow the courts were playing," Isner said. "I felt like my court stayed fairly fast."
In a rain-interrupted match that took two days to complete, Isner played on cozy Court 6, but he'll upgrade to larger stages if he keeps winning. He's seeded 17th and confident he can win on clay, even if American men have repeatedly stumbled on the surface in recent years.
"I think it really suits my game really well," Isner said. "My serve is big enough that I can hold serve even if the clay is really slow. And more times than not, the ball bounces pretty high into my strike zone, which is what I like."
Isner lost six consecutive Grand Slam matches before reaching the fourth round at last year's U.S. Open. He also made the fourth round at the Australian Open in January.
"I know I have what it takes to make the second week and beyond," Isner said. "I've proven that the last two slams. Prior to that I was going out first round a lot. Obviously I'm a much better player than I was then.
"One more match and I'm in the second week for the third straight time."
He'll play for the third day in a row on Friday when he faces No. 15 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
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CHEERY IN DEFEAT: Following a lopsided loss on a drab day, Ana Ivanovic was relentlessly cheerful.
Two years removed from her French Open title, Ivanovic lost in the second round at rainy Roland Garros to No. 28-seeded Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-3, 6-0.
The defeat marked the earliest exit in six trips to the French Open for the former No. 1 player. But while Ivanovic has been battling for months to shake a slump, she insisted her career is headed in a positive direction.
"I'm on the right path, and I'm doing lots of things right," Ivanovic said. "I have a plan in place, and I have really good team around me. I'm very happy with the improvements that have been made."
One change came last winter when she hired Steffi Graf's old coach, Heinz Gunthardt.
"It's going to take some time for it to become a pattern and just being used to competing again at that high level against top players," Ivanovic said. "Some days it might be there; some days might not. No doubt I'm on the right way."
Ivanovic, unseeded because she's ranked only No. 42, has won a total of two matches in the past three Grand Slam tournaments. Her latest loss lasted barely an hour, and she won only 17 service points while double-faulting seven times.
"My serve _ it's still work in process," she said.
Before departing, she took a subtle shot at fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic, who won when they met in Madrid two weeks ago and then mimicked Ivanovic's familiar fist pump.
When asked about the episode, Ivanovic said: "Sport doesn't build character. It shows it."


Updated : 2021-08-05 20:24 GMT+08:00