American Steve Johnson says he was prepared for a lot of aces from countryman John Isner during their first round match at the US Open on Monday. Johnson survived 52 aces from Isner, the No. 16 seed, and won a five-set battle 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(3) to advance to the second round on Monday.
Steve Johnson on how he overcame John Isner's serving barrage at the US Open
Speaking after his win, Johnson spoke of about how he prepared himself to take on the might of the Isner serve. "You can't get frustrated when John's hitting aces.
If that's the case then you're in for a long day. "He's got the best serve in the history of tennis. You know he's going to hit a lot of aces. I guessed right a lot and they still got by me. "It's just the way it is.
You have to laugh it off. I've played John enough to know it's just trying to get your racket on it, any return you make is a good one and you move on." Johnson will meet Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis, who defeated Italian Federico Gaio in four sets, in the second round of the US Open.
Meanwhile, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said she found playing without the fans very difficult during her first round win over Irina-Camelia Begu. The US Open is the first Grand Slam event on the tennis circuit since the Australian Open in January.
Organizers have taken strict measures to ensure the tournament goes ahead, including no fans in the stands, creating a bubble for the players where they are confined between their hotels/ private residences and the tournament site, reducing the size of the doubles draw and cutting out the qualifying event.
After her win, the Czech left-hander commented, "I had to motivate myself from the beginning to the end. It's really mentally tough, to be honest." The former World No. 2, who is now No. 12 in the rankings, also said being confined to the US Open bubble was another challenge.
"Going out for the coffee, sitting in Central Park. Suddenly this is not (an) option." Kvitova will next meet Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, who defeated 18 year old American Whitney Osuigwe in straight sets. The US Open continues on Tuesday with more first round matches.