Isner loses in Newport first round, Brown advances

News from Newport

The Grandstand

Former champion and No. 1 seed John Isner is out after just one match at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. Isner went down to fellow American Rajeev Ram–another past winner of this event–in a thrilling 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(8) contest on Tuesday.

In a surprise twist at the end of the opening set, Ram seized the first service break of the day at 5-5 only to get broken right back at 6-5. With momentum on his side, Isner took the ensuing tiebreaker seven points to five.

One more service break in Ram’s favor set the stage for a tense third set. Neither competitor faced a single break point en route to a seemingly inevitable conclusion–a decisive tiebreaker. They took turns saving match points with big serves out wide to the ad court before Ram gained a crucial mini-break at 8-8 when Isner failed to execute a serve-and-volley play. The world…

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