The U.S. has been knocked out of the U.S. Open -- at least in the men’s half of the tournament.
Sam Querrey’s fourth-round loss yesterday in New York leaves the host country without a men’s quarterfinalist for the second straight year. The 2009 U.S. Open marked the first time in tennis’s 41-year professional era an American man failed to reach the last eight at the season’s final Grand Slam.
“I didn’t feel any extra pressure or anything,” Querrey said following his five-set defeat against Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. “I definitely wanted to win and keep the American men, keep the hope going. I was close.”
Before last year, Americans won 19 U.S. Open men’s titles since tennis turned professional in 1968.
Arthur Ashe won that year and was followed by American champions Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Roddick.
Roddick’s U.S. Open victory in 2003 was the last by an American man in any of the sport’s four majors.
Roddick this year was the only U.S. player to reach a Grand Slam men’s quarterfinal and lost in the final eight at the Australian Open.
“It’s annoying that the Europeans are in the quarterfinals of every slam,” Querrey said after his loss to Wawrinka. “We’re trying.”
Querrey, who was seeded 20th, had his serve broken in the final game of his 4-hour, 28-minute match to match Mardy Fish’s fourth-round exit.
John Isner and James Blake were ousted in the third round, while Roddick, Ryan Harrison and Taylor Dent failed to get past the second round.
“The U.S. Open is a great test of being an all-around player,” ESPN tennis analyst Patrick McEnroe said two days ago at a news conference in which he announced he’d step down as U.S. Davis Cup captain. “We need better players.”
Two-time women’s champion Venus Williams is the only U.S. player left in the tournament. She advanced yesterday to a semifinal matchup against defending champion Kim Clijsters and said she’s not thinking about being the last American hope at the National Tennis Center.
“If I felt like that, I don’t think I’d be able to even raise my arms,” Williams said after her 7-6, 6-4 win over Italy’s Francesca Schiavone. “My expectations are enough to deal with, so I’m just going to hopefully temper that.”