Six-foot-nine John Isner won his first Grand Slam match yesterday, downing Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the first round of the US Open. The recent college grad, 22, packs a huge service game with his lofty stature, and his 140 mph offerings and 34 aces were the key differential in an otherwise close bout.
"It's a huge step for me," Isner said afterward. "I feel I can go out there and compete." Meanwhile, Venus Williams' 129 mph serve during her 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Hungary's Kira Nagy set a new Grand Slam record on the women's side, and top seeds Roger Federer and Justine Henin advanced easily.