July 21 (Reuters) - Sam Querrey put aside his partnership with doubles team mate Steve Johnson to start his Atlanta Open with a 7-6 7-5 win on Monday.
The two Americans will play doubles at the tournament and drew each other in singles for the first time in their careers.
The big-serving Querrey struck 20 aces but Johnson hung tough against his older, more accomplished opponent, pushing the opening set to a tiebreak before losing it 7-3.
Querrey broke Johnson in the second set to cruise to victory, the first step in a long run-up to the year's final grand slam at Flushing Meadows starting Aug. 25.
The opening day was a light one but Israeli Dudi Sela avenged a loss to Donald Young in his previous Atlanta Open four years ago, thrashing the American 6-3 6-0.
Atlanta native Young struggled with serve and was broken five times to disappoint home fans.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ian Ransom)