John Isner enjoys easier match at Wimbledon

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LONDON — Marathon man John Isner finished a quick Grand Slam match for a change, beating 66th-ranked Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) Monday in the first round at Wimbledon.

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John Isner, a former Georgia standout, hits a return to Evgeny Donskoy during their first-round match at Wimbledon. Isner knocked out Donskoy in 1 hour, 43 minutes.  SANG TAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
SANG TAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
John Isner, a former Georgia standout, hits a return to Evgeny Donskoy during their first-round match at Wimbledon. Isner knocked out Donskoy in 1 hour, 43 minutes.

The 6-foot-9 Isner, who is seeded 18th, had 22 aces with just one double-fault. He didn’t face a break point.

The match took only 1 hour, 43 minutes – a far cry from Isner’s record-breaking 11-plus-hour, 70-68 fifth-set victory over Nicolas Mahut in the first round at the All England Club in 2010.

Isner, a former Georgia star, has left each of his past five Grand Slam tournaments with five-set defeats, including at the French Open on June 1, when he saved 12 match points against Tommy Haas before losing the 13th.

EX-CHAMP ADVANCES: Lleyton Hewitt upset 11th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round Monday.

Playing his 15th consecutive Wimbledon and his 57th Grand Slam overall, Hewitt made the most of his opponent’s mistakes to progress. Wawrinka had 44 unforced errors and exited the tournament in the first round for the fifth time.

Hewitt won the title at the All England Club in 2002.

After being hampered by various injuries, the gritty Australian player dropped to No. 233 in the ATP rankings last year. But his play improved and he’s currently ranked No. 70 after reaching the semifinals at Queen’s.

STILL STANDING: When Victoria Azarenka’s right knee gave way, she slid to the slippery turf and began sobbing.

A routine first-round match at Wimbledon turned into something more harrowing for the No. 2 seed from Belarus. She closed out her 6-1, 6-2 victory Monday over Maria Joao Koehler after tumbling near the baseline on Court 1 and injuring her right knee in the second game of the second set.

“I was in such shock,” Azarenka said. “You know, for two minutes I had such a consistent pain that it just completely freaked me out, what happened. Because you never know. You’re just down on the ground. You never know what happened. It was so quick and a huge shock.”

After a visit from the trainer that lasted about 10 minutes, Azarenka played the rest of the match with a heavy wrap on her right knee. She was limping noticeably and winced after several points.

But Koehler, making her Wimbledon debut, did not have the power or consistency to make Azarenka pay for her diminished mobility.

MURRAY MOVES ON: Second-seeded Andy Murray defeated Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round.

Murray lost to Roger Federer in last year’s final. He is bidding again to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.


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