NEW YORK – There are no American men left in the men’s singles draw at the U.S. Open. For the second year in a row, they’re all out before the fourth round.
John Isner, this year’s top-seeded American (and the only one in the top 20), was the last to fall, losing 6-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7 to Philipp Kohlschreiber. He racked up 42 aces and didn’t cave on 5 break points, but the effort wasn’t enough to overpower the 30-year-old German.
This is the third year in a row that Isner and 22-seed Kohlschreiber have faced off in the third round in Flushing Meadows. All three years, Kohlschreiber has prevailed.
“I didn’t play the big points well today. You know, I had a good amount of chances. I just couldn’t pull through. It’s very disappointing,” Isner said after the match.
Coming into the match, he was 37-17 in tiebreaks this year. He is one of only four active players on the men’s tour to play in 50 or more tiebreaks in a season – and he’s done it five years in a row. But whatever magic he usually has in tiebreaks, he didn’t have today.
Each of the four other times the two have met, including three meetings on hard courts, Isner has won in straight sets. He’d taken 4 of 7 tiebreak sets in those wins. With today’s loss, Isner dropped to 4-10 in Grand Slam third round matches.
Earlier in the day, Sam Querrey was quickly dismissed by No. 1 Novak Djokovic, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
After every match, the American men have been asked about the state of tennis in this country. It’s been a hot topic around the grounds for the past few years, even more so after the Americans failed to advance to the fourth round last year.
No American man has lifted the trophy since Andy Roddick won in 2003. This year, as there will once again be no Americans in the fourth round, everyone is left wondering who will fill the gaping hole in the American men’s game.