Posted July 10, 2012 on AP on Fox

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 14: John Isner of USA plays a forehand during his quarter final match against Tommy Robredo of Spain at ASB Tennis Centre on January 14, 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Top seed and defending champion John Isner beat qualifier Sergei Bubka of the Ukraine 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 in the first round at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Tuesday. Isner, ranked 11th in the world entering the week, is slated to face Nicolas Mahut in the next round. The pair met in the longest match in tennis history - 11 hours, 5 minutes before Isner's 70-68 fifth-set victory in 2010 at Wimbledon. ''We can't avoid each other on grass,'' Isner joked about his pairing against Mahut. ''I should have won my first-round match at Wimbledon (last month) and we would have faced each other.'' But Isner knows he has to play better to advance. He felt like he was having trouble with Newport's grass surface most of the match against Bubka. ''I didn't quite have my feet under me,'' he said. ''I wasn't used to the court. That's something that comes with playing matches.'' In the third game of the final set, Isner struggled to hold serve. When the game was over, the crowd became n...
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