American men’s tennis was pushed to the brink of historic Grand Slam humiliation as US star John Isner was dumped from the US Open by German Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second year in a row.
Kohlschreiber ousted 13th seed Isner 6-4 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to reach the fourth round at the year’s final Grand Slam event, leaving 109th-rated wildcard Tim Smyczek as the final hope for a US man in the last 16 of a Slam this year.
Never in the Open era have the Americans been blanked from the fourth round of every Slam in the same year, and the epic failure could come 10 years after retired Andy Roddick won the most recent US men’s Slam title at the US Open.
“I don’t care,” Isner said.
“I’m going to watch (American) football for a while. I’m not going to watch his match — I like Tim a lot but I’m done with tennis for a while.”
At Wimbledon, no US man reached the third round, the worst American showing there since 1912. And on August 12, there was no US man in the world top 20 for the first time since the ranking system began in 1976.
“Well, for sure it’s not great for the American history not to have a player in the second week,” Kohlschreiber said. “But you had so many good years.”
The legacy of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe is now championed by Isner, a big-serving 2.08-meter 28-year-old who complained that too many fans cheered for flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils in a second-round victory Thursday.
A day after announcing he would donate 20 percent of his US Open prize money to a military charity, Isner had loud support from the packed stands of Louis Armstrong Stadium against Kohlschreiber.
That was partly because he exhorted cheers late in the fourth set, although one spectator kept annoying Kohlschreiber by yelling as he tried to serve.
“It’s between serves and you say, ‘Come on’ five times in a row,” the German told the fan. “What is that? I don’t think that’s a nice thing to do.”