Isner, Berdych pull out of Winston-Salem Open

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John Isner. AFP FILE PHOTO

WINSTON-SALEM — The biggest news at a soggy Winston-Salem Open on Monday wasn’t made by who advanced. It was who pulled out.

Two-time defending champion John Isner and top-seeded Tomas Berdych withdrew from the tournament.

After the start of the day was delayed 4 hours, 10 minutes due to rain, two seeded players lost in the second round Mondaynight.

No. 12 Lukas Rosol was upset by Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and No. 16 Pablo Andujar was beaten by Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded American Sam Querrey was the only seeded player to advance, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Eleven seeded players — including No. 2 Andreas Seppi — were scheduled to play their second-round matches Tuesday.

The day’s big story was the withdrawals of the two players who met in last year’s final: Isner pulled out with a hip injury, and Berdych withdrew due to right shoulder pain.

Both players said they wanted to be healthy for the U.S. Open, which begins next week.

That leaves the tournament without its two highest-ranked players, and perhaps its biggest draws.

Isner considers this his hometown tournament and called it “one of my favorite tournaments of the year.” He won this event in each of its first two years of existence.

He withdrew one day after falling to Rafael Nadal in the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati. Injuries kept him from playing two majors this year — the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Berdych moved up one spot to fifth in the ATP rankings released Monday. Isner jumped eight spots to No. 14.

The highest-ranked player remaining in the field is fourth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain at No. 22.

Among the 11 first-round matches played earlier Monday: James Blake beat fellow American Rhyne Williams 6-1, 7-5; Qualifier Steve Johnson beat fellow American Bobby Reynolds 6-1, 6-2; and German David Goffin advanced when American Jack Sock withdrew in the third set with Goffin leading 4-6, 6-3, 1-0.

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