Isner survives Malisse battle
New York - John Isner, America's biggest hope for a home champion in the men's event, survived a big challenge from Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse to move into the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.
World No 57 Malisse had a set point that would have forced the match into a deciding set but ninth seed Isner saved it with his 20th ace and snatched a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (11/9) victory.
Isner won the warm-up event in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, last week and was in control after the first two sets, only for Malisse to hit back.
The Belgian missed a simple backhand volley at 9-9 in the fourth-set tiebreak and Isner then launched an unreturnable serve to claim his place in round two.