Lleyton Hewitt earns Quarterfinal spot, John Isner tops Nicolas Mahut in Quick Match, Kei Nishikori advances in Singles and Doubles
When John Isner and Nicolas Mahut step on court to play each other, it's natural for fans to wonder how long they will be watching. However, in Newport today, the match time was just 1 hour and 18 minutes- a far cry from the 11 hour and 5 minute battle the two competed in at Wimbledon in 2010. Isner took the first set quickly, 6-2 and after a quick tiebreak, he won the second as well 7-6 (2), to advance to the quarterfinals of the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. This will be defending champion Isner's sixth quarterfinal appearance this season.
Photos - Ben Solomon
"From the moment I warmed up today, I knew I was going to play better," said Isner. "I just felt more comfortable. Getting that first match underneath my belt helped a lot, even though it wasn't the prettiest of matches. I just felt more comfortable today from the first ball hit on the practice court and I think that translated over to the match score.
Also on Wednesday, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt earned a quarterfinal spot as well, defeating qualifier Tim Smyczek. Newport's 2009 champion Rajeev Ram defeated fellow American Michael Russell, while Sam Querrey, 2009 Runner Up, fell to Israel's Dudi Sela in three sets.
Kei Nishikori earned a spot in the quarterfinals, defeating Newport's two-time finalist Olivier Rochus in three sets, as well as a semifinal berth in the doubles. Nishikori, the No. 1 ranked Japanese player, will play doubles with his countryman and Olympic teammate, Go Soeda, the country's No. 2 player. They will face Great Britain's Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, who will also play doubles in the upcoming Olympic games.
On Thursday, the first two matches on Center Court will decide the final quarterfinalists. First up will pit two Americans against each other- past Newport quarterfinalist Ryan Harrison versus Jesse Levine. The final quarterfinal spot will be determined by a match between No. 3 seed Milos Raonic and qualifier Benjamin Becker. In attempts to earn semifinal spots, Lleyton Hewitt will play Dudi Sela, and Rajeev Ram will play No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori.
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Some lucky kids from Legacy Tennis & Education in Camden, N.J. got some extra special tennis coaching today from Australian player Greg Jones, who taught in a clinic. The kids traveled to Newport as part of a trip sponsored by Campbell Soup Company.
Celeb spotting! Gavin Rossdale, lead singer for the band Bush, was in crowd to support Sam Querrey, along with his son Kingston, and Querrey's girlfriend.
Kids & Rossdale Photos: Kate Whitney Lucey
About the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
The Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event, will be held July 9 - 15, 2012 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The tournament draws 32 top male players to Newport direct from Wimbledon to compete for the Van Alen Cup and nearly $400,000 in prize money. Hosted on the legendary grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is the only ATP World Tour event played on grass in the Americas. In addition to exciting pro tennis, the week features numerous special events ranging from tennis clinics and family activities to the Angela Moore Fashion Show. A highlight of the week will be the Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony on July 14. At this grand celebration, the highest honor in tennis will be presented to former world No. 1's Jennifer Capriati and Guga Kuerten, Spanish tennis star Manuel Orantes, tennis industry innovator Mike Davies, and wheelchair tennis great Randy Snow, who will be inducted posthumously. For additional information, visit www.tennisfame.com.