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Isner tops Mahut, Hewitt advances in Newport

American John Isner defeated old foe Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in second-round action at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

The top-seeded and defending champion Isner topped the French Mahut 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) in 78 minutes, which is a far cry from their odyssey at Wimbledon two summers ago.

Isner and Mahut met Wednesday in a rematch of their epic 2010 opening-round Wimbledon match, a match that was more than 11 hours long and played out over three days at the All England Club. Isner won that one as well.

The 6-foot-9 Isner is now 3-1 lifetime against Mahut, with all four meetings coming on grass. The American popped 13 aces en route to his Day-3 victory.

Isner beat Belgian Olivier Rochus in last year's finale on the grass courts at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where Mahut was a runner-up in 2007.

Australian wild card Lleyton Hewitt, a former world No. 1, scored a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory over American qualifier Tim Smyczek. Hewitt struggled in the second set, double-faulting twice and getting only 42 percent of first serves in, but he rebounded nicely in the final set.

The two-time Grand Slam champion won 6-of-9 first serve points and 7-of-10 break points to finish off the win.

Second-seeded rising Japanese Kei Nishikori rolled along by overcoming the two-time Newport runner-up Rochus, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-2. The diminutive Rochus had appeared in the last two finals here, losing both.

Israeli Dudi Sela took out 2009 Newport runner-up Sam Querrey of the United States 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, while '09 champ Rajeev Ram of the U.S. advanced with a victory over fellow American Michael Russell, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Ram will face Nishikori in the round of eight.

Another second-round result saw South African qualifier Izak Van der Merwe straight-set American wild card Jack Sock, 6-4, 6-4.