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Isner toughs out 3-set win in 1st match at Stockholm Open

October 18, 2018
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 file photo, Team World's John Isner plays Team Europe's Roger Federer during a men's singles tennis match at the Laver Cup, in Chicago. John Isner was taken all the way by fellow American Bradley Klahn before winning his first match of the week at the Stockholm Open on Thursday, Oct. 18. The top-seeded Isner toughed out a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round. (AP Photo/Jim Young, file)
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 file photo, Team World's John Isner plays Team Europe's Roger Federer during a men's singles tennis match at the Laver Cup, in Chicago. John Isner was taken all the way by fellow American Bradley Klahn before winning his first match of the week at the Stockholm Open on Thursday, Oct. 18. The top-seeded Isner toughed out a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round. (AP Photo/Jim Young, file)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — John Isner was taken all the way by fellow American Bradley Klahn before winning his first match of the week at the Stockholm Open on Thursday.

The top-seeded Isner, who can still qualify for the end-of-season ATP Finals in London, toughed out a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) victory in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round.

Isner led 5-0 and 6-2 in the final-set tiebreaker but Klahn, ranked No. 102, pulled the score back to 6-5. Isner then produced a big first serve on his fourth match point, which Klahn couldn’t return.

“Who knows? Maybe I needed a match like this to get me going,” said Isner, who fired 31 aces. “I think I was pretty fortunate tonight.”

It was his first competitive match since losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open quarterfinals in early September. He has since become a father.

Fabio Fognini, the second seed, beat Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4, and there were also wins in the second round for Philipp Kohlschreiber and Tennys Sandgren.

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