Ferrer, Isner advance at U.S. Open

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Fourth seed David Ferrer and American hopeful John Isner were a pair of first-round winners Wednesday at the 2012 U.S. Open.

The gritty Spaniard Ferrer straight-setted 6-foot-8 South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) at Armstrong Stadium. Anderson misfired for 31 unforced errors on Day 3 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"It was not easy match, no, with Anderson," Ferrer said. "He's a really good player. He's very strong first and second serve. I'm happy."

Ferrer's second-round opponent will be Dutchman Igor Sijsling, who defeated Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on a beautiful day in New York City.

The ninth-seeded Isner held off talented Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (11-9) in just under three hours at Ashe Stadium. Isner saved two sets points in the fourth-set tiebreak.

The massive-serving Isner, who leads the tour in tiebreaks played this year (50), fired 20 aces on Day 3.

Up next for the 6-foot-9 Isner will be Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen.

Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic had to come all the way back in order to beat France's Guillaume Rufin in five sets, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. It marked the fifth time in his career that the gritty Tipsarevic has overcome a two-sets-to-love deficit on the ATP World Tour.

Nifty Frenchman Richard Gasquet, seeded 13th at this Big Apple fortnight, came back to beat Spaniard Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

Former world No. 1 star and 2001 U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt moved on with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 come-from-behind victory over German Tobias Kamke. The 31-year-old Aussie veteran Hewitt is also a former Wimbledon champ.

Mild upsets came when Latvian Ernests Gulbis took out No. 21 German Tommy Haas 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3, Luxembourg's Gilles Muller grounded 28th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 2-6, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6), and German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe took out 29th-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The two-time U.S. Open semifinalist Youzhny has now lost in the first round in his last two trips to New York.

American Brian Baker moved on with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Czech Jan Hajek and will meet Tipsarevic in the round of 64. Sidelined by a host of surgeries over the years, the 27-year-old Baker is playing at America's Open for the first time since 2005.

Also advancing to the second round were Argentine Leonardo Mayer, France's Benoit Paire, Slovenian Grega Zemlja, and Steve Johnson, who topped fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.