Top seeds Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Andy Roddick eased into the third round of the men's draw at Flushing Meadows, while Florent Serra and Marc Gicquel were the latest Frenchmen to crash out.
AFP - Hopes for a first home win in the men's singles at the US Open in six years were given a boost on Thursday as rising star Sam Querrey led a charge into the third round.
The giant 21-year-old Californian, who this summer has taken over as the US No. 2 behind Andy Roddick, defeated compatriot Kevin Kim 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4 and he is just two wins away from a possible quarter-final match against top seed and title-holder Roger Federer.
Joining Querrey in the third round in the top half of the draw were former US No. 1 James Blake, who edged Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, and another outsized player in John Isner, who blasted past Turkey's Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).
Earlier, compatriot Jesse Witten, a 26-year-old qualifier playing in just his second Grand Slam event defeated Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
Next up for him will be fourth seeded Serb Novak Djokovic, who had little trouble in seeing off Australian qualifier Carsten Ball 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
"I think we've got a shot," said Querrey of the American chances of a home win.
"We've got Andy (Roddick) who has been in the top 10 for almost 10 years. Hopefully James (Blake) can get back up there. Hopefully Mardy (Fish) can get healthy.
"I'm climbing up the rankings. John Isner is doing really well. Jesse Levine is in the second round. Jesse Witten is in the third round. There's a big group of us here.
"I think we can make it like it once was in the '90s."
Another American failure in the men's singles this year would make it six years in a row without a title, the worst winless run for home players since 1967.
Roddick, the last US winner at Flushing Meadows in 2003, was playing in the night session against Frenchman Marc Giquel, a player he swatted aside in straight sets in this year's French Open.
Early play on Thursday saw 10th seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain and 20th seed Tommy Haas of Germany set up an intriguing third-round clash.
Verdasco, a semi-finalist in the Australian Open at the start of the year, brushed aside Florent Serra of France 6-3, 6-0, 6-3, while Haas was too good for American Robert Kendrick, winning 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
The German, who has failed to get past the quarter-finals in New York in 12 previous appearances, said he expected a battle.
"He's obviously a very tough competitor and he's been playing extremely well. It's going to be a tough one," he said.
"I look forward to that. I will try and play my best and play smart that day."
Also through to the third round was Russian eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko, who defeated Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Davydenko was a semi-finalist here in 2006 and 2007.
French Open finalist Robin Soderling of Sweden, meanwhile, needed just 16 minutes to clinch his second-round tie when opponent Marcel Granollers of Spain abandoned with a back strain after just two games.
Date created : 2009-09-04