Mother nature’s delays did not stop Americans John Isner, Coco Gauff and Sebastian Korda from obtaining personal milestones at the Western & Southern Open Tuesday.
Isner became the second player in history to reach 13,000 aces and defeated Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the process. Isner (13,004), who picked up his 18th win in Cincinnati in his 14th Western & Southern Open appearance, joins Ivo Karlovic (13,709) on the 13,000-ace club.
“I do know that I’m within shouting distance of Ivo and maybe getting that record. We'll see,” Isner said. “I also saw he might be retiring. If he does retire soon, (the all-time record) seems attainable. I would like to hold that record. I'm not going to shy away from that. We'll see if I can get there.”
The 17-year-old Gauff made her Cincinnati debut and dominated Wimbledon doubles champion Sui-Wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-2, setting up a second round match with four-time Major champion and 2020 Western & Southern Open finalist Naomi Osaka. The 21-year-old Korda, son of two-time Western & Southern Open quarterfinalist Petr Korda, picked up his first win in Cincinnati by defeating Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-4, drawing 2021 French Open finalist and 2020 Cincinnati semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round.
“There are a lot of similarities between me and my Dad,” Korda said. “My Dad and my Mom both taught me to be aggressive, come to the net, and just play tennis a little differently than everybody else is playing, throw in some slices, dropshots, go to the net, serve and volley. I think variety is a really big part of my game, and I'm improving it every day.”
Reilly Opelka, a 2020 Western & Southern Open quarterfinalist, continued the string of victories for American players Tuesday. The 23-year-old defeated France’s Corentin Moutet in three sets to advance to a second round face off with eighth seeded Casper Ruud.
Two former Western & Southern Open champions were Tuesday winners. Grigor Dimitrov, the 2017 winner, defeated No. 13 seed Roberto Bautista Agut while 2016 champ Marin Cilic downed Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev.
Three-time Western & Southern Open finalist Simona Halep, who overcame an injury earlier this season, conquered a three-set battle over Poland’s Magda Linette. Ninth seeded Hubert Hurkacz also earned a second round showdown with two-time Western & Southern Open winner Andy Murray thanks to a three-set victory over Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina.
Main draw action continues Wednesday at 10 a.m.