John Isner has defeated Fabio Fognini 7-5 5-7 7-6(4) to secure the United States’ victory over Italy at the Hopman Cup.
Ranked just one place apart – Isner is world No.18 while Fognini is No.19 – the tight contest was reflected in the two hours and 27 minutes it took for the American to advance.
Isner’s big serving ultimately provided an advantage, the 29-year-old serving 18 aces and just one double fault, with progress further boosted by his 47 winners.
Earlier, Serena Williams recovered from a slow start to defeat Flavia Pennetta 0-6 6-3 6-0.
Clearly feeling sluggish in the early stages, the world No.1 ordered an espresso after the completion of the first set and thereafter was able to assert her dominance over the 12th-ranked Italian.
“Everyone needs a coffee every now and again right?” she quipped afterwards.
Serena ended the match with five aces and 31 winners, helping balance the 38 unforced errors in her first match of the new season.
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