Defending champ Isner wins in first round of Hall of Fame tournament in Rhode Island

John Isner, the top seed and defending champion, beat qualifier Sergei Bubka of the Ukraine 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 in an opening-round match Tuesday at the Hall of Fame tennis championships at Newport, R.I.

Isner, ranked 11th in the world entering the week and a U.S. Olympian, relied on his overpowering serve despite playing lethargically at times.

Second-seeded Kei Nishikori, Japan’s top player and the highest-ranked player ever from his country, also won his opening match, defeating Igor Sijsling of The Netherlands, 6-4, 6-4.

BEST OF THE WEST: Nicole Gibbs, a junior at Stanford who won the NCAA singles and doubles titles this spring, beat Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round at Stanford, Calif., and will face the Wimbledon champion, Serena Williams, today.


FOOTBALL: Chris Howley, a UMaine senior right guard from Runnemede, N.J., was named to the Sports Network preseason All-America second team.

Howley was a first-team All-CAA selection, New England Football Writers All-New England selection and a second-team ECAC All-Star last season. He anchored a line that produced a 1,000-yard rusher and 3,000-yard passer.


NHL: San Jose hired Jim Johnson as an assistant coach in the latest move to reshape Todd McLellan’s staff.

The announcement came a day after the Sharks hired Hall of Fame defenseman and former Stanley Cup winning coach Larry Robinson as associate coach. The main role for both will be on the defense and penalty kill.

New Jersey signed free-agent forward Krys Barch to a two-year contract.

Tampa Bay gave right wing Teddy Purcell, a former UMaine player, a three-year contract extension worth $13.5 million that runs through the 2015-16 season.


MARADONA FIRED: Diego Maradona was fired as coach of Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates after a season in which the club finished in eighth place in a 12-team league.

Maradona, a former Argentine great, had one year left on his contract. The club’s board of directors met and released a statement, saying it was “decided to terminate his services and his technical staff.”


NFL: Green Bay posted a record $43 million in profit over the last fiscal year.

As the NFL’s only public team, the Packers have to release a financial report each year.

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