DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Top-seeded John Isner got past feisty Jesse Levine 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Tuesday night.
In the second set, Isner fell behind 0-15 in the eighth and 10th games, then reeled off four straight aces in both games to hold onto his serve. But Levine won the final two games of the second set to force a decisive third set.
Levine lost serve in the first game of the third set to set Isner up for the win.
"It was a long one and good one to get through," said the 15th-ranked Isner, who had 28 aces in the match. "I anticipate I'll get better going forward.
"But a wins a win and I haven't had many recently and I'm just trying to get this train going."
Fourth seeded Kei Nishikori, who won last week's Memphis title, retired with a back injury against 150th-ranked Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. Karlovic was leading 5-4 in the first set when Japan's best player abandoned the match.
Seventh-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain, who lost to Nishikori in the Memphis final, pulled out of the tournament today with a left wrist injury.
Nishikori became the third player to retire from first-round matches at Delray this week.
Earlier in the day, second-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany moved into the second round when Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands retired with an injured left ankle after the two split sets. Sijsling won the first 7-5, Haas the second 6-4.
At Acapulco, Mexico, Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Mexican Open.
The seven-time French Open winner is making a comeback after being away from the tour for more than seven months with a left-knee injury.
Nadal is seeded No. 2 in the clay court tournament at Mexico, behind fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
Ferrer also won his first-round match on Tuesday, defeating Antonio Veic 6-0, 6-3. Ferrer is the three-time defending champion and won last week in Buenos Aires, his second title of the season.
At Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Juan Martin del Potro saved three match points to get past Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) and reach the second round of the Dubai Championships, while Michael Llodra upset eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
Top ranked Novak Djokovic had a much easier time against good friend Viktor Troicki, beating him 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.