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John Isner, Donald Young lead first American foursome in round of 16 since 2003 at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) ' Someday, John Isner hopes to be known for more than his marathon match. Someday, Donald Young hopes he'll grab attention as something other than the kid who never lived up to the hype.
Two Americans working their way up the rankings moved into the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Sunday. For Young, it's the furthest he's ever gone in a Grand Slam tournament. For Isner, it equals his deepest run.
Isner used his big serve to crank out 17 aces and defeat fellow American Alex Bogmolov Jr. 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-4 for his eighth straight victory, including a title in a tune up last weekend in Winston-Salem. Young defeated No. 24 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 Sunday, two days after eliminating No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.
Isner plays No. 12 Gilles Simon next with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. Asked whether he's becoming better known as "John Isner" than "The Wimbledon Guy" for the record-setting 70-68 fifth set he won over Nicolas Mahut at the All-England Club last year, he said, "Probably more so right now, 'The Wimbledon Guy.'"
"Making the round of 16 is nice, but you don't get remembered for making the round of 16," he said. "You have to keep going on. That's my goal."
Same for Young, who joins Isner, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish as part of the first quartet of U.S. men in the final 16 at Flushing Meadows since 2003, the year Roddick won the title.
Back then, Young was an up-and-comer, on his way to becoming the world's top-ranked junior and the best young player the United States had. Expectations were high. But over the next several years, results didn't follow.
Until this week, his biggest claim to fame in adult tennis may have been the expletive-laden rip he delivered the USTA via Twitter about what he perceived as a snub in its awarding of a wild-card berth for this year's French Open. Patrick McEnroe, head of the USTA's development program, responded by holding a conference call with reporters to demand an apology.
"It's not the way it should have been done," Young says now of the infamous tweet. "But things are smooth now. We're all OK and great. So, hopefully, we can move forward."
Hard to imagine U.S. tennis wouldn't want him in the mix. On Sunday, Young kept his cool ' first after letting an early break in the first set slip, then again after falling behind a break early in the second. It turned into a straight-sets victory for the 22-year-old from Atlanta, who next plays No. 4 Andy Murray. In the spring, Young beat Murray for his first victory over a top-10 player.
"It feels like a big corner's been turned, and I really hope it is," said Jim Courier, the U.S. Davis Cup captain. "I hope he can take this momentum ' however it goes here ' and use it. It's not been as smooth a road as maybe some pictured for Donald, but he's showing what he can do now."
Roddick also had a straight-sets victory, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (2) over Julien Benneteau to set up a matchup with No. 5 David Ferrer, a 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (2) winner over No. 26 Florian Mayer. It will be the best test yet of how well Roddick is playing after a disappointing year filled with injuries.
"There is a process to it," he said "It doesn't always look pretty. I've won close to 600 matches, I promise you 450 have been of the ugly sort, but that's what I do well. I'm not going to apologize for it."
The most shocking scene of the middle Sunday at Flushing Meadows came not on the court but in the interview room, where defending champion Rafael Nadal's right leg cramped up in the middle of his news conference, leaving him wincing in agony as he slowly slid down, and then completely off his chair.
He summoned the trainers and after some quick treatment, he said he was fine.
"It's bad luck it happened here and not in the locker room," he said.
Because it did, it became the topic of conversation around the tennis center.
"I mean, I'm sure a lot of people were surprised because it was him that was cramping, but Rafa's human," Murray said after his three-set win over No. 25 Feliciano Lopez. "I think some people forget that sometimes."
Nadal's match, played on a muggy afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium, was a tester at times but he made it through, beating his buddy, David Nalbandian, 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5.
"I was happy about almost everything today," Nadal said before the leg cramps. "I think my movements worked pretty well, and the forehand worked really well, and the backhand, too."
The highlight of the women's draw was No. 9 Sam Stosur's 6-2, 6-7 (15), 6-3 win over No. 25 Maria Kirilenko. The 17-15 tiebreaker was the longest in women's Grand Slam history.
"I lost track of the score," said Stosur, who lost the breaker but won the match. "Didn't know at one point if I was serving or receiving or when we should be changing ends, what was going on."
Isner prevailed in an 11-9 tiebreaker to win the first set of his match, then got a break in each of the next two for a taut, three-set win.
He has 51 aces so far in the tournament, second most of anyone left in the draw. Against Bogomolov, his serve maxed out at 139 mph.
Isner saved all eight break points against him, including six in the first set.
"You have to take the opportunities when you get them and I had (six) break points," Bogomolov said. "And on all (six) break points, he got first serves in. So, that's too good and that's kind of devastating."
Bogomolov, who has moved to 44th in the world and now finds himself trying to stave off young Americans behind him and knock off others in front of him, said Isner is the kind of player who might be ready for a breakthrough. He fell to 0-3 this year against his 28th-seeded opponent.
"His return got better, he's moving better," Bogmolov said. "He's gotten much better over the past two years and I think John is one of those players who, on any given day, he can beat anybody."