Second-seeded Ivo Karlovic and hard-serving Australian Sam Groth both won their opening matches at the ATP Tour’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Monday.
Croatia’s Karlovic hammered 17 aces in defeating US wild card Robby Ginepri 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, while Groth fired 11 aces in a 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 straight-sets win over fifth seed Donald Young in the grass-court tournament in Newport, Rhode Island.
Karlovic and Groth rely heavily on their serves to get the job done. The 2.08m-tall Karlovic held the record for the fastest serve in pro tennis at 251kph before Groth beat him in 2012 with a 263kph blast.
Groth, who comes from Narrandera, New South Wales, moves on to the second round, where he will face Malek Jaziri, who beat Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-3 on Monday.
Karlovic will play the winner of a match between Farrukh Dustov and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Also, Steve Johnson breezed past fellow American Clay Thompson 6-1, 6-2 and former champion Rajeev Ram moved on with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Aussie Matthew Ebden. Ram was a surprise winner in 2009.
Israeli Dudi Sela defeated Pole Michal Przysiezny 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) and Japan’s Tatsuma Ito beat US wild card Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (9/7), 6-1.
The top seed is two-time champion John Isner of the US who was to open his tournament against qualifier Wayne Odesnik yesterday.
Two-time finalist Nicolas Mahut of France overcame former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in last year’s Newport finale and they were to meet again yesterday, when Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang was to face off against Adrian Mannarino of France in his opening match.
AP, STUTTGART, Germany
Andrey Golubev on Monday defeated German wild card Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second-round clash with defending champion Fabio Fognini in the Mercedes Cup.
The 61st-ranked Kazakh player hit six aces to win the match in 80 minutes, while Fognini, the top-seeded Italian, received a first-round bye at the clay-court event.
In other matches, eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated compatriot Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1, while another Argentine, Leonardo Mayer, rallied from a set down to defeat German wild card Michael Berrer 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Mayer will next play second-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who also received a first-round bye.
AP. BASTAD, Sweden
Pere Riba retired after only one game at the Swedish Open on Monday, allowing fifth-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal to advance to the second round of the clay-court tournament.
The Spaniard won the game before retiring with a neck strain at Bastad Tennis Stadium in Sweden.
Also on Monday, Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi beat Swedish wild card Markus Eriksson 6-2, 6-1 and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia ousted Albert Montanes of Spain 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4).
David Ferrer is the top-seeded player. He has a first-round bye.