US Open Day 6 Wrap - An American star falls and an Italian star is born
The Labour Day weekend at the US Open did not get off to a good start for the local fans as John Isner, the top-ranked American and the only realistic hope of an American champion on the men’s side, was beaten on Day 6.
For the second straight year, the very tall American fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round. Last year, the 22nd seeded German needed five sets; this year, he needed one less.
Isner hit 26 aces in the match as well as 65 winners, but his 40 unforced errors proved to be too costly for the American. His opponent had 38 winners to just 17 unforced errors. Kohlschrieber also played the break points better – converting an incredible 3 out of 4 opportunities presented to him while Isner could manage only 2/7.
After the match, Isner admitted that he simply ran out of gas in the fourth set tie-break after failing to serve out the set earlier. “[It was] more of a fatigue thing, which was my own fault. I felt like I wore myself out getting charged up out there. It’s hard to explain, but I used too much energy doing that. There’s a time to do it, and you could keep it a little bit more reserved. I just let out too much energy at the end of that fourth set when I needed to keep as much energy as possible. If I could have held on, not gotten broken there at the end of the fourth set, I would have liked my chances in the fifth. But in that tiebreaker I was pretty gassed.”
Kohlschreiber now goes on to meet second seed Rafael Nadal, who easily defeated Croatian Ivan Dodig in straight sets. Roger Federer also reached the last 16 with an easy win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino under the lights and next meets Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo, who ended the run of British qualifier Daniel Evans in four sets.
Federer and Nadal are now just one win away from a mouth-watering quarter-final.
With Isner and 20-year-old Jack Sock (who lost to 18th seeded Janko Tipsarevic in four sets on Saturday) going down on Saturday, the last American standing is the 23-year-old Tim Smyczek.
If Smyczek, ranked no. 109 in the world, loses to Spain’s Marcel Granollers on Sunday, it will mark the first time in the Open era that no American male player has reached the last 16, this coming just a few weeks after no American man was ranked in the top 20 for the first time since the computer rankings were introduced.
Fourth seeded David Ferrer, eighth seeded Richard Gasquet and tenth seed Milos Raonic each won in four sets to also reach the last 16.