Serena Into Quarters; U.S. Men Hit Rock Bottom at US Open
by Jeremy Davis | September 2nd, 2013, 1:13 am

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for U.S. men’s tennis, unseeded Tim Smyczek lost on Sunday 6-4, 4-6, 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 to Spain’s Marcel Granollers in third round play.
No big deal…until you realize Smyczek was the last American man in the draw, meaning no American men reached the 4th round at the US Open, which hasn’t happened…ever. Since the tournament started in 1881.

“Couldn’t be much more disappointed right now,” Smyczek said. “It was pretty cool to be the last American in the draw for a day. Got a little taste of it.”

American tennis fans got a taste of what it’s like to be Uzbekistan or Kraptakistan or…never mind, Uzbekistan has a player in the fourth round. Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras had kids, right? Where are they? Somewhere along the line the U.S. forgot to carry on the lineage.

“I know we got really spoiled with Pete, Andre, all those guys,” Smyczek said. “But I think it’s also a really exciting time because there’s five, six, seven guys that are hovering right around 100 and have a good chance to make a big breakthrough.”

Really? That will placate American fans looking for Slam winners.

Granollers for eliminating the last American will be rewarded with a meeting against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who on Sunday pounded Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in the night match.

“It’s definitely a unique experience and New York has this unique vibe, especially in the night,” said Djokovic on playing at night in front of drunk New Yorkers. “I’ve been working on basically every element in my game, so hopefully I can serve a little bit more efficiently and get some more free points on that in the next matches.”

The Serb also expounded on the new addition to his coaching entourage, a coach for his coach, former Top 10er Wojtek Fibak.

“He is a consultant to me and to my coach also,” Djokovic said. “He’s a part of our team here for US Open for the first time. We’re trying it out and seeing how it goes so far. He’s been in tennis for over 30 years, as a player, as a coach, as somebody that has a big knowledge and experience in this sport.”

Other Top 10ers into the round of 16 on Sunday were No. 3 Andy Murray handling German Florian Mayer 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2, No. 5 Tomas Berdych powering past No. 31 Julien Benneteau 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 9 Stan Wawrinka putting down Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(1), 7-6(7) to line up a meeting with Berdych.

“It was a bit hot, a bit humid, but otherwise [the] tennis was good,” said Berdych, who has yet to drop a set. “Finally, I managed to stay focused from the first point until the last. I took all my chances that I had and won in straight sets.”

Murray will next meet unseeded Uzbek Denis Istomin, who toppled No. 20-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-1.

No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny was also an upset winner with a 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over No. 12 Tommy Haas, and will next face unseeded Lleyton Hewitt, who defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1.

“I did my homework on [Donskoy],” Hewitt said. “Yeah, I wasn’t surprised by anything that he really did. He’s obviously got a great forehand. Hits it well. But I came out aggressive at the start and I played well right at the start to get up that early break.”

On the women’s side in four round of 16 matches, No. 24-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova pulled off the biggest upset of the day, defeating No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 to reach her first US Open quarterfinal.

“I think I started good,” Radwanska said. “I think she was a little bit nervous in the beginning and then start to play better and better and hit the ball very well. I didn’t do anything to win that first set.”

Makarova in the quarters will meet No. 5 seed Li Na, who on Sunday rolled past No. 9 seed and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-0.

“I was really, really happy about the way I was playing today,” Na said. “I was trying to serve and volley and coming into the net so that I could win the points fast, because she’s so good in the rallies.”

World No. 1 Serena Williams’ match-up with fellow American and No. 15 seed Sloane Stephens was a dud after a tight first set, as Williams steamrolled to a 6-4, 6-1 win.

“Going into the match I definitely wanted to be focused the whole time,” Williams said. “That’s all I wanted to do. Whether I was going to win or lose, I just wanted to play my game and do well today…It was definitely a high quality match out there. We both came out today to play.”

Williams will next face the staunch one-handed backhand of No. 18-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who came from a set down Sunday to upset No. 8 Angie Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

Monday’s play at the US Open will feature Alison Riske vs. Daniela Hantuchova, (13) Ana Ivanovic vs. (2) Victoria Azarenka, (7) Roger Federer vs. (19) Tommy Robredo, (22) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, (21) Simona Halep vs. Flavia Pennetta, (8) Richard Gasquet vs. (10) Milos Raonic, an all-Italian in Camila Giorgi vs. (10) Roberta Vinci, and (18) Janko Tipsarevic vs. (4) David Ferrer.


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66 Comments for Serena Into Quarters; U.S. Men Hit Rock Bottom at US Open

Truthsquad Says:

Wow… A little anti-American bias continues to blemish the writers covering the US Open. I think most Americans accept that men’s tennis is not in a great cycle right now… And guess what? We still enjoy the sport! Britain waited 75 years for a native son to lift a Wimbledon trophy again, and I doubt we have that long a drought ahead of us, but thanks for your warm concern.

P.S. not everyone in New York who attends night matches at the Open is a “drunk”…, why such vitriol in these articles?

Gordon Says:

Jeremy is a bit bitter in his writing. The owners of the site must want the dysfunctional aspect to extend to the writers. Mr. David is fitting the bill.

the DA Says:

“After 10 years of hurt for U.S. men’s tennis the wait continues…”. Nope, it’s not good but it doesn’t have the same *ouch* factor as 76 years. The Aussies have waited a little longer. Both nations have a storied tennis past. I expect this is a blip for both whether it takes 15-20 years.

the DA Says:

It seems that Rafa is really feeling 100%. He has agreed to play DC according to this tweet

‏@AlexCorretja74 :
“The chosen ones to represent us in Madrid against Ucrania are: @RafaelNadal @FerVerdasco @TRobredo and @marclopeztarres .”

Surprised about the Robredo choice, he clearly struggled in the Evans match. Anyway, is good sign no?

Dan Martin Says:

I have my predictions for today’s matches up here – I also have a new format for the site! The US men’s situation is not great. Kudla has a great attitude & could get into the lower part of the top 50. Sock and Harrison have more weapons but … we shall see on Sock and Harrison really needs Jay Berger to right the ship as he’s been taking on water.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

With Tsonga absent and Del Potro out, Thomas Berdych is again the last Other that lurks.
Raonic has gotten a lot of media attention, and I hope he can go far– though I can’t recall his draw. But does anyone really believe he’s going to beat 3 players seeded ahead of him at a Slam? If he does, that’ll be a lot of 7-6 score lines.

Pitchaboy Says:

Federer needs a late night match with Rafa. The colder it gets the lower the bounce.

Tennis for Life Says:

As a Rafa fan I would be keenly observing how he holds serve against kohls today. Kohls is one of the BEST returners in the game today. If he doesn’t get broken a couple of times today it would mean he is an absolute lock to win the title here. Only Nole is capable of breaking him. But then Rafa is more than capable of breaking Nole few more times.


no more american men, no more american men…ah maybe finally there is some too late appreciation for andy roddick

queen Says:

Rain rain go away…:/

Nativenewyorker Says:

I don’t know why there is all this hand wringing about no American men in the round of sixteen. I don’t see it a surprise. The espn commentators were touting Isner to be there to face Rafa. Maybe they forgot that he lost to Kohls last year in the third round.

The U.S. has been fortunate to have great men’s champions in past decades who dominated the sport. Now we are in a funk. It’s not a national tragedy. I hope that people are enjoying the great tennis from players who are not American.

At some point the next great American men’s player will arrive. I thought it oould be Harrison, but he has taken a big step backward lately. I sincerely hope that his new coach can get him back on track, because he’s got too much talent to let it go to waste.

the DA Says:

Hmm..some interesting (and oh so USO-like) court changes to accommodate the rain delay. Raonic-Gasquet gets moved to Court 17, Federer-Robredo gets moved to Louis Armstrong (how many years ago since Roger played there?) BUT they keep the Bryan Bros doubles on Ashe and the Williams sisters on Armstrong. ??

Could be intriguing to see how Federer adapts to the Armstrong surface. Tommy already had one match on it.

the DA Says:

So it’s official: the last time Federer played on Armstrong was 2006.
Looks like it’s going to start imminently. Pennetta has 5 MPs.

Pitchaboy Says:

Either he is getting hammered or he is throwing the match. Take your pick.

van orten Says:

hurts watching that not know what is going on in feds had…4-5 breakpoints almost all of them he screwed up himself..robredo gets a break with his first bp..yeah mistake by fed…I really guess the end is near..this is pretty dissapointimg…even if he wins no chance vs nadal no chanceeeee …that is the plain and hurtful truth

Seth Says:

Can’t stream the match here, but why in the name of all that is holy is Roger Federer losing to Robredo? Robredo! The guy has zero weapons with which to hurt a player of Fed’s caliber. Exactly zero, as their head-to-head heretofore has borne out.

Stick a fork in Federer, it’s over folks. And I say this as a massive Fed fan. So disappointed. This match should’ve been a foregone conclusion.

the DA Says:

I was shaking my head when on those BPs Fed approached the net and (twice) hit the ball back to Robredo instead of the open court. His thinking is fuzzier these days. Coming back from 2 sets is a big ask, especially the way Tommy is playing.

Pitchaboy Says:

Looks to me match is being thrown.

Seth Says:

He does that so often now, just feeds the ball right back to his opponent and ignores the open court. Absurd.

Polo Says:

Federer does know how to break serve anymore. If he miraculously survivres this, I dread to see the humiliation that Nadal will inflict on him.

Slice Tennis Says:

I thought the spanish king will take down the goat. But surprisingly it looks like a spanish soldier is enough to get the job done.

Pitchaboy Says:

Disgrace. Retire right now from tennis.

Slice Tennis Says:

What is the excuse today ?
Age ? No, Robredo is 31.
SBH ? No, Robredo too plays with SBH.

Yes I got it right….Its that famous MONO.

Green900 Says:

It’s over now. Federer is out. All hope is lost

the DA Says:

2/15 BPs tells the story. He’s been broken and will need to dig deep to save himself. I can’t believe this is happening.

Pitchaboy Says:

The thought of Nadal means throwing match.

Polo Says:

Federer in a panic mode. His shots have no meaning.

Turner Says:

Federer is just throwing this game away….

Eric Says:


Slice Tennis Says:

Robredo is basically winning this match with his second serve. He saved most of those BPs with his second serve.

Slice Tennis Says:

Meanwhile Rafa is not doing great either. We may the much hyped fedal QF match on wednesday night without them. LOL.

Pitchaboy Says:

Federer is going the way of Tendulkar. Will get out with people asing why not.

the DA Says:

It’s over. Probably a good thing the big QF showdown won’t happen considering his level. Credit to Robredo, he played so solidly.

Polo Says:

Well deserved, Robredo. Roger continues to get worse with each tournament. I wonder what he will say in his press conference. I hope he finally gets out of his denial stage. Maybe that will help his game, accept that he is not as good anymore and the fear factor is gone.

Slice Tennis Says:

If Kohlschreiber takes Rafa out Federer will be fuming even more for the missed opportunity.

Slice Tennis Says:

Whats with Rafa ?
First serve 99mph, second serve 74 mph.

ja Says:

does anyone watch tipsy-ferrer match. best match of the tournament by far..

the DA Says:

LOL. Kohls takes the 1st set playing some smart tennis. Nadal isn’t hitting through the court as effectively at night. Can’t imagine the prospect of a Robredo-Kohls QF. I fully expect Nadal to turn this around.

queen Says:

I hope Rafa will not join Fed today…

tennisfansince76 Says:

Fed out Nadal down 1 0. The crucial difference however is that Nadal is playing ok and Fed played like bat guano.

metan Says:

Rafa is passive and let the kohls dictatctedthe game. Hope he can raise his game.
Come on Rafa!!!!

madmax Says:

“I’m very happy,” … “Carlos can play really well. I knew I had my work cut out. I had some opportunities on with my return and I was able to try a few things. I’m happy the way things worked out.”

Polo…you asked (or wondered), what Fed would say in the presser conference.

Seriously, am kind of a little numb about this scoreline. I fully expected fed to blast Tommy off the court, I really did, I had been reading about the “aggressive” practice sessions he has been having, not his usual relaxed and “unconvincing” (but only because he seemed so relaxed) practice sessions.

Seems, he cannot do right for doing wrong. Even so, still the greatest and still love to watch him play. Just more prepared for the losses these days.

And how ironic, that another “oldie” actually wins against Fed, after all, there’s no hope for the Robredo’s or the Hewitt’s or the Haas’ these days, which we all know is just crap.

I would like to look at it another way, Fed has so many wins and so many matches in those legs that eventually, it is going to catch up with him, so really it isn’t surprising that he now is losing, it’s just getting more and more used to it as a fan, which is just a little distressing. I would still prefer him to play, and let’s not forget, he did lose to a former number 1 and grand slam winner, who has recently won a tournament.

I will read his full interview in the morning, when I am a bit fresher.

gannu – no tears please, or recriminations about how he played. There is no point and you will be just miserable otherwise.

Eric Says:

Fed actually played fine from what I saw. (Turned it off when it was obvious he’d lose, so after the first few games in set 2.) Just lost all the key points, which isn’t anything new. The trick is avoid needing them, and Robredo was a monster.

It’d be funny if Kohls actually wins, but there’s no real chance of that.

madmax Says:

“What I’m about to type is not fantasy. Federer nets with a backhand volley to gift his Spanish hombre the first break of the tie-break. The Spaniard then steps in to send a thumping forehand winning return beyond Federer for three set points and he concludes the set with a stylish ace, clinching the first set 7-6 (7-3)”.

By all accounts, Robredo played a blinder of a match against Fed.

Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa is following Federer’s footsteps by missing out on a ton of BPs.

Kimberly Says:

wtf is going on? Federer lost and nadal is losing? To journeymen? I kind of thought rafa might struggle a little with the damp court negating his spin but with the form he was in I expected he should win in 4 worst case. Whereas Federer I have no words, I just got back in town so I saw none of the match but I imagine it was akin to the Tsonga French open performance.

The thing about Federer is he looks really good right up until the match where he doesn’t. I think for three to four matches he can make some magic but then he tires or injures? His level, when high is still toe to toe with anyone.

the DA Says:

Now Nadal is letting BPs slip. It’s a horror night for BP conversion. This is the best I’ve ever seen Kohls play.

madmax Says:

Why did Fed lose so many break points? Come on you statiticians here, what is going on, *or rather, what went on in Fed’s game*?

Kimberly Says:

madmax—what your saying is correct, there is for sure a mileage issue. My husband and I are the same age but he was an athlete since he was 5 years old, whereas I started much later and didn’t do anything for many years when I sought the kate moss look (when you don’t eat you cant exercise much!) well the end is he is all beat up and having surgeries and I am in the best shape of my life at 39 sticking box jumps and running sprints. Genes? No. Miles v. no miles.

Polo Says:

The most frustrating part of the Federer match was seeing him miss all those break points. And Robredo wasn’t even serving very well.

Slice Tennis Says:

When Steve Darcis can take Rafa out of GS in straight sets, why not kohls ?

Kimberly Says:

im thinking im not watching this. Not sure what or where Rafa game is tonight.

Slice Tennis Says:

MPs for ferrer.

madmax Says:

Kimberley, absolutely. Has to be. Problem is, we all forget that so easily, don’t we, and really give fed a very hard time. No wonder the fresher legs are winning now. Just sad to see in a way. However, there are positives, for sure. He still plays some very beautiful tennis, just not consistent, and if a fed fan can deal with that (I can, but not all the time, depends on my mood), then hopefully fed will continue to play.

the DA Says:
So it’s official: the last time Federer played on Armstrong was 2006.
Looks like it’s going to start imminently. Pennetta has 5 MPs.

September 2nd, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Do you honestly think this played a factor DA?

Slice Tennis Says:

I am not seeing anything from Rafa’s game tonight which can take him through this match. I think he is following Federer.

Humble Rafa Says:

I am playing like crap out there. Don’t know what to expect. If I play like this, I am done. Hopefully, it gets better from here for your Humble Highness.

the DA Says:

@ madmax – I don’t know. I was thinking it might be a factor. He practiced on it but not under the lights. I’ll have to read the presser.

metan Says:

Rafa finally wakes up,,,!!! Go Rafa!!!

Slice Tennis Says:

NOt yet Metan.

queen Says:

I mean Rafa is struglin…

the DA Says:

Finally Rafa takes a BP and then serves it out to take the 2nd set. Still very close games.

the DA Says:

WTF? Rafa had 8 BPs in that game. Kohls played great on every one to save them. When did Kohls become so clutch?

queen Says:

Bad night…

the DA Says:

Rafa is cruising now. It has been a high quality match. Lots of points for the highlight reel.

queen Says:

And he got the job done. Vamos!

nadalfan Says:

The U.S. men are struggling in the Pro ranks. Chris Lewis, a former Wimbledon finalist, has laid out a structure that the USTA should follow if we are to see Americans return to the top of the game.

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