Newport, RI (SportsNetwork.com) - Seeded players Ivo Karlovic and Steve Johnson were a pair of opening-round winners Monday at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
The second-seeded 6-foot-10 Croat Karlovic fired 17 aces in downing American wild card and 2003 Newport champion Robby Ginepri 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, while the former two-time NCAA titlist Johnson drilled wild card and fellow American Clay Thompson 6-1, 6-2 on the grass courts on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
American former champion Rajeev Ram moved on with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Aussie Matthew Ebden. Ram was a surprise titlist here back in 2009.
Also on Day 1, Tunisian Malek Jaziri topped Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-3, Israeli Dudi Sela doused Pole Michal Przysiezny 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and Japan's Tatsuma Ito beat American wild card Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (9-7), 6-1.
The top seed here is 6-foot-10 American and two-time champion John Isner, who will open his stay against qualifier compatriot American Wayne Odesnik on Tuesday.
Two-time finalist Nicolas Mahut, of France, overcame former world No. 1 and two-time runner-up Lleyton Hewitt in last year's Newport finale. Mahut and Hewitt will also see action here on Day 2.
This week's champion will claim $81,500.