Black Monday for USA | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, September 08, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, September 08, 2009

Black Monday for USA

It was a bleak day for US tennis on Monday as for the first time in the 41-year Open era no American made it into the quarterfinals of the men's singles.
The last to fall was giant John Isner, who was toppled by Spain's Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
It means that the home winless streak will stretch to six years, making it the worst for American men since the Open era started with a win for Arthur Ashe in 1968.
Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer, meanwhile, moved a step closer to a record-equalling sixth straight title with a routine 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over outclassed Tommy Robredo of Spain.
In the last eight, he will play the man be beat in Paris to end his French Open jinx, Robin Soderling, who moved on when Nikolay Davydenko abandoned with a thigh strain when trailing 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
Verdasco will go up against fourth seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia who eased past Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in a disappointing night-time session match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Isner, at 6 foot 9 inches (2.03m) the second-tallest player in world tennis, in the previous round had ended the hopes of Andy Roddick, who had been regarded as the best American hope of ending a home winless drought dating back to 2003. Roddick himself was the winner on that occasion.
But Isner found in Verdasco a very different prospect with the match an exercise in contrasts between the towering American who relies on his big serve and staccato rallies and the tough Spaniard, more accustomed to grinding it out from the baseline.
Isner grabbed a one set lead with two breaks to one, but he was gradually worn down by the relentless pressure applied by Verdasco and when his serve started to waiver midway through the third set there could only be one winner.
"We got a lot of people to the round of 32 then I played Andy and one of us moved on, But after that we didn't do too well. But we had tough draws," Isner said.
"I wanted to go further, but I just got outplayed today. It was a good tournament and I can build on this for the rest of the year."
Verdasco, a semifinalist at the Australian Open in January, was apologetic for ending American interest in the tournament at such an early stage.
"Sorry to beat the last one (American)," Verdasco told the crowd on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court. "You can support me now if you want."
Federer edged a tight first set against Robredo and turned on the turbo to race away for a comprehensive win in 1 hour 48 minutes.
The Spaniard, losing for a ninth straight time to the world No.1 in seven years, admitted he had been helpless to halt the assault.
"When he saw that he was a set up, he started hitting it harder. Then the match goes easy for him," he said. "Maybe it's too easy for him, the tennis, so he can even laugh."

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