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Problem-free passage into quarter-finals for Federer and Djokovic

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-08

Top seed Roger Federer beat Spaniard Tommy Robredo in under two hours as Novak Djokovic (photo) swept aside Czech Radek Stepanek, both reaching the quarter-finals. For the first time in 41 years of the Open, no American made it into the quarters.

AFP - It was a bleak day for US tennis on Monday as for the first time in the 41-year Open era no American made it into the quarter-finals of the men's singles.
  
The last to fall was giant John Isner, who was toppled by Spain's Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
  
It means that the home winless streak will stretch to six years, making it the worst for American men since the Open era started with a win for Arthur Ashe in 1968.
  
Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer, meanwhile, moved a step closer to a record-equalling sixth straight title with a routine 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over outclassed Tommy Robredo of Spain.
  
In the last eight, he will play the man be beat in Paris to end his French Open jinx, Robin Soderling, who moved on when Nikolay Davydenko abandoned with a thigh strain when trailing 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
  
Verdasco will go up against fourth seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia who eased past Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in a disappointing night-time session match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
  
Isner, at 6 foot 9 inches (2.03m) the second-tallest player in world tennis, in the previous round had ended the hopes of Andy Roddick, who had been regarded as the best American hope of ending a home winless drought dating back to 2003. Roddick himself was the winner on that occasion
  
But Isner found in Verdasco a very different prospect with the match an exercise in contrasts between the towering American who relies on his big serve and staccato rallies and the tough Spaniard, more accustomed to grinding it out from the baseline.
  
Isner grabbed a one set lead with two breaks to one, but he was gradually worn down by the relentless pressure applied by Verdasco and when his serve started to waiver midway through the third set there could only be one winner.
  
"We got a lot of people to the round of 32 then I played Andy and one of us moved on, But after that we didn't do too well. But we had tough draws," Isner said.
  
"I wanted to go further, but I just got outplayed today. It was a good tournament and I can build on this for the rest of the year."
  
Verdasco, a semi finalist at the Australian Open in January, was apologetic for ending American interest in the tournament at such an early stage.
  
"Sorry to beat the last one (American)," Verdasco told the crowd on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court. "You can support me now if you want."
  
Federer edged a tight first set against Robredo and turned on the turbo to race away for a comprehensive win in 1 hour 48 minutes.
  
The Spaniard, losing for a ninth straight time to the world No.1 in seven years, admitted he had been helpless to halt the assault.
  
"When he saw that he was a set up, he started hitting it harder. Then the match goes easy for him," he said. "Maybe it's too easy for him, the tennis, so he can even laugh."
  
The 28-year-old Swiss star is bidding to become the first player since American Bill Tilden in 1925 to win six straight US Open crowns.
  
He also would make it three out of four Grand Slam titles this year, and for the fourth time in his career, and take his career haul to 16, two clear of second-best Pete Sampras.
  
Turning to his last eight clash with Soderling, Federer said he expected a tough test even though he had won all 11 previous matches between the two.
  
"It seems like he's on a good run again. I think obviously of the French Open final, which was a great one for me, a great tournament. He's been able to stay strong.
  
"I hope I can play well because it's always kind of close with him.  He's a tough player."

Date created : 2009-09-08

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