Former champion Johnson makes good start in Newport, defeats Kozlov

Another American, Jack Sock moved past Moldovan Radu Albot 6-1, 7-6(2). Sock is chasing his first tour-level singles crown since the 2017 Paris Masters.
Steve Johnson
Steve JohnsonTwitter/Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT: Steve Johnson, the 2018 Hall of Fame Open champion, made a good start to his pursuit of a second Newport title on Monday.

The American defeated countryman Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round at the final tour-level grass-court event of the season.

"[My level was] decent when it needed to be decent and average when it needed to be better. I thought I played well at the end of sets, but there was a stretch there in the middle of both sets that I didn't like the way I was playing and executing," ATP.com quoted Johnson as saying.

"But when you're not doing that and you still get a win, that's a good sign," he added. After Kozlov seized the first two clashes, Johnson has now claimed two in a row, with both coming on grass.

"Glad to get a win today and try to put the first couple this year behind me. He plays a very awkward, tricky style game and he does it well," Johnson said.

Another American, Jack Sock moved past Moldovan Radu Albot 6-1, 7-6(2). Sock is chasing his first tour-level singles crown since the 2017 Paris Masters.

"Definitely a tricky first match against a very solid opponent. But happy to get through," Sock said in his on-court interview.

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