NEWPORT, R.I. — Two-time defending champ John Isner defeated fellow American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (0), 6-2 on Monday in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
The 6-foot-9 Isner used his big serve to win his 11th straight match on Newport’s grass courts.
He was not broken in the match that lasted 1 hour, 20 minutes, taking control by blanking Harrison in the tiebreaker.
Isner, seeded second, broke in the third and seventh games of the second set before Harrison hit a backhand return long on the match’s final point.
The 28-year old Isner showed no effects from a left knee injury that forced him to retire from his second-round match at Wimbledon.
In winning the 2012 title in Newport, Isner held serve in 57 of the 58 games he played.
Top seed Sam Querrey is slated to face fellow-American Tim Smyczek is his first-round match on Tuesday.
In the most interesting match of the day, Poland’s Michal Przysiezny beat 15-year old American Stefan Kozlov, who was making his ATP debut, 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-4 in a match that lasted nearly 21/2 hours.
Kozlov, who lives in the Miami-area, broke to go up 4-3 in the third before calling for the trainer, who worked on his right hip.
The tournament is held in conjunction with induction ceremonies into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Martina Hingis leads the 2013 class that will be enshrined on Saturday before the semifinals.
In other first-round play, Ante Pavic of Croatia defeated Australian John-Patrick Smith 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3); Adrien Bossel of Switzerland ousted Canadian Erik Chvojka 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4; American Alex Kuznetsov rallied to beat Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-2; Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic beat Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia 6-7 (14), 7-5, 6-2.
France’s Adrian Mannarino beat American James Blake 6-4, 5-7, 6-1; and Japan’s Yuichi Sugita got by Canadian Jesse Levine 7-5, 7-5.