Dark day but bright hopes for American tennis at U.S. Open

Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:52pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brilliant sunshine was unable to hide a dark day for American men at the U.S. Open on Tuesday as five home grown hopes packed their bags and headed for the exits.

Eight American men took the courts at the sprawling U.S. National Tennis Center in Queens with just three left standing, including 13th seed John Isner who was a 7-6 (5) 6-2 7-6 (2) winner over compatriot Marcos Giron.

Sam Querrey and wildcard Tim Smyczek also advanced, though Jack Sock, Wayne Odesnik, Wimbledon junior champion Noah Rubin and 17-year-old Jared Donaldson, making his professional debut, were all bundled out at Flushing Meadows.

The lamentable state of American men's tennis is always a hot topic at the year's final grand slam as the glory days of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras fade, while Andy Roddick was the last American man to lift the trophy, in 2003.

"It's not the greatest its been," shrugged Isner, the top ranked American after his win. "I try not to focus on some of the negative things that people say about American tennis.

"I know I get the brunt of it a lot because if I win and play well it's because I have a big serve and I can hit my forehand pretty well and that's it.

"But if I lose, it's only because that's all I can do. So, I mean, sometimes I feel like I can't win no matter what."

If the 29-year-old Isner is going to make any noise at the year's final grand slam he will have to rely on his booming serve as he did on Tuesday blasting 26 aces past Giron.   Continued...