Isner advances in Memphis, Querrey ousted

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — John Isner served up 26 aces in beating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday night to reach the quarterfinals at the Memphis Open.

The second-seeded American managed only five of those aces in dropping the first set. Isner, making his debut at this event at The Racquet Club, bounced back by serving up 11 aces in the second set where he won all 15 points on his first serve. He had 10 more aces in the third set winning 17 of 18 points on first service.

American Ryan Harrison upset No. 3 seed Sam Querrey 6-3, 6-1 in 54 minutes. Harrison won the first five games and broke Querrey twice in taking the first set 6-3. Then he broke Querrey twice to go up 4-0 in the second set before finishing out the match.

Harrison will play Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovinia, who was the first to advance to the quarterfinals by upsetting seventh-seeded Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Donald Young beat fellow American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (3), 6-3 earlier Wednesday. Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia beat Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-0, and will play top-seeded Ivo Karlovic on Thursday. Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan downed Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4.

Top-ranked Halep wins tough 3-setter in Miami

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania struggled to post a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 second-round win over French lucky loser Oceane Dodin at the Miami Open on Thursday.

In the first career meeting between the players, Halep allowed the 98th-ranked Dodin to break her serve on six of seven opportunities she presented in the match, which lasted more than two hours.

Halep broke Dodin’s serve for the seventh time at 4-4 in the third set before closing it out.

Halep played in her third career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, but has yet to secure a Grand Slam trophy.

Halep’s best Miami Open was reaching the 2015 semifinals.

Also Thursday, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

Kerber is 19-4 this year and has reached at least the quarterfinals of all five tournaments she’s played.

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open champion, won her first tournament since that U.S. Open at Sydney in January. She also reached the Australian Open semifinals.

Serena Williams loses in first round at Miami Open to Osaka

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Serena Williams lost in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday, still rusty in her return from pregnancy and unable to overcome a tough draw against Naomi Osaka, who won 6-3, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who earned her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, showed no signs of letup and overpowered the erratic Williams. Osaka had the stronger serve, and in rallies wore down Williams working her from side to side.

The matchup worthy of a final came about because both players are unseeded. Osaka is ranked a career-best 22nd, while Williams’ ranking is 491st after her layoff of more than a year.

Another new mother and former No. 1, three-time Key Biscayne champion Victoria Azarenka, defeated Catherine Bellis 6-3, 6-0.

Williams has endured a first-round defeat only four other times, most recently at the 2012 French Open. The latest loss came at a tournament she has won a record eight times and considers her hometown event.

The match was the last for Williams at Key Biscayne, 90 miles south of her home in Palm Beach Gardens. The tournament is moving next year to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, and Williams helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday.

After her defeat, she left without speaking to the media.

Because of Williams’ ranking, she entered the draw as a wild card, and looked the part. She was a step slow to balls in the corners and often late with her swing, while she put barely half her first serves in play.

Osaka, who has both American and Japanese citizenship and lives in Fort Lauderdale, was playing her idol for the first time but didn’t seem a bit fazed. She improved to 14-4 this year.

Things may get tougher for her in the second round, when she’ll face No. 4-seeded Elina Svitolina.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis