Atlanta Open John Isner begins three-peat quest as seeds culled

World number 19 John Isner's Atlanta three-peat remains on course, after he won his first match at the 2015 Atlanta Open.

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John Isner begins three-peat quest as Atlanta seeds culled play

John Isner begins three-peat quest as Atlanta seeds culled

(Omni Sports)
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John Isner survived the seed cull at the Atlanta Open, which saw Jack Sock, Steve Johnson and Benjamin Becker defeated.

Top seed Isner trailed by a break in each set to Radek Stepanek, but eked out a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) victory at the ATP 250 hard-court event.

Isner is aiming for an Atlanta three-peat, and has made the final in Georgia in four of the past five years - and will play Ricardas Berankis in the quarter-finals.

Berankis ousted sixth seed Johnson 6-4 6-2, the Lithuanian sending down 10 aces in the one-hour, 11-minute victory.

Qualifier Denis Kudla and Dudi Sela also set up an unlikely quarter-final match-up.

American Kudla downed third seed Sock 7-6 (8-6) 6-3, twice coming from a break of serve down in the first set - and also saving a set point in the tie-break.

Isner and Kudla are the only American hopes left in the field, with locals having won all five of the previous editions in Atlanta - and also five of the seven prior to that when the tournament was hosted in Indianapolis.

Finalist in Atlanta in 2014, Sela defeated eighth-seeded veteran Becker 7-5 6-3, in a re-match of their semi-final last year.

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