Janko Tipsarevic ousts Andy Roddick
NEW YORK -- Andy Roddick found it infuriating that a lineswoman who called him for a foot fault was wrong about which of his shoes touched the line.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion had much bigger problems Wednesday night at Flushing Meadows, though, and bowed out in the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, whose go-for-broke style paid off with 66 winners.
"He played very high-risk and executed for four sets," said the ninth-seeded Roddick, whose exit leaves Roger Federer as the only past champion in the men's field. "I kept telling myself, 'You know, this has to have an expiration date on it.' Unfortunately, I needed another set for that."
In a day of upsets, American teen Ryan Harrison upset 15th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 for his first Grand Slam match victory, and Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych also lost in the first round, beaten 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 by 35th-ranked Michael Llodra of France.
Already trailing 5-2 in the third, Roddick wound up in an argument over a foot-fault call on a first serve. He turned to the official and asked, "What foot?"
When she told him it was his right foot, he replied, "That's impossible." Roddick then turned to chair umpire Enric Molina and, pointing first to his right foot and then his left, asked, "Has this foot gone in front of that foot ever in my career?"
Molina replied: "Not in my matches."
A TV replay showed Roddick did commit a foot fault -- but with his left toes. And what really bothered Roddick, he said afterward, was that the official would not acknowledge that she was mistaken when she blamed his right foot for the ruling.
"I was just stupefied," he said.
Indeed, asked later what might have happened if the lineswoman said the call was made because his left sneaker was on the baseline, he replied: "There would have been no discussion."
But Roddick did berate the lineswoman -- although without the threatening or colorful language that Serena Williams used when she launched a tirade at a line judge over a foot call at the end of her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters in last year's semifinals.
"Not once in my entire career does my right foot go in front of my left foot," Roddick said. "Not once. Ever."
He missed his second serve for a double-fault and then continued to harangue the official, at one point making a reference to "1-800-Rent-a-Ref."
"In hindsight, did I let it go too far?" Roddick said at his news conference, repeating a reporter's question. "Probably."
The lineswoman was not on court at the start of the fourth set, when Roddick was called twice more for foot faults. He did not put up a fight at all on those and at his news conference made clear that he wasn't upset by the initial call -- just the right-vs.-left issue.
"I just expect my umpires to know the left foot from the right foot," he said.
All in all, however, Roddick said the whole episode "had zero impact on the match."
No, it was Tipsarevic who determined the outcome with his terrific play. This is a guy who has a losing record in Grand Slam matches (23-26) and overall (130-133) yet is now 2-1 against Roddick, having beaten the American in the second round at Wimbledon in 2008, too.
Roddick carried out the game plan he wanted to Wednesday, limiting his own mistakes and keeping Tipsarevic on the move. But Tipsarevic served well, hitting 16 aces -- only one fewer than the hard-hitting Roddick -- and saved three of five break points he faced.
Plus, Tipsarevic repeatedly won lengthy rallies and found angles to rip down-the-line and cross-court winners.
"I didn't feel I played too risky," Tipsarevic said. "I was just playing good."
Roddick won his only Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, and he was also the runner-up in 2006. This early exit follows a fourth-round loss for Roddick at Wimbledon and some poor results on the summer hard-court circuit, usually his best time of year. He revealed recently that he had a mild case of mononucleosis and said he did not come to New York feeling 100 percent ready.
Still, Roddick was not willing to make any excuses.
"We're not talking about it if I win a match," he said of his fitness level. "I'm not going to talk about it because I lost."
The 18-year-old Harrison, based in Bradenton, Fla., qualified for the U.S. Open. He made his Grand Slam debut in January at the Australian Open, losing in the first round.
"The biggest win of my career," said Harrison, who paused to sign autographs for fans in front-row seats before departing Court 11. "I've always believed in myself. I have always had confidence in myself, so obviously I'm extremely excited and really pleased with what happened."
Then, as if catching himself sounding too excited about one win, Harrison quickly noted that he was eager to get "back into my routines of the day off and looking forward to trying to get ready for second round."
He's considered one of the top young U.S. players and is the first American male teen to beat a top 20 opponent at a major tournament since a 19-year-old Roddick knocked off No. 11 Alex Corretja at the 2001 U.S. Open. Before that, you need to go all the way back to 1991, when a 19-year-old Michael Chang beat No. 17 John McEnroe in New York -- although by then, Chang was already a Grand Slam champion, having won the 1989 French Open at 17.
"Absolutely, I want to be that guy," Harrison said, before adding this note of caution: "I have a ways to go."
Ljubicic was a French Open semifinalist in 2006 and reached a career-best ranking of No. 3 that year. But he's never been past the third round at Flushing Meadows and also lost in the first round in 2009.
"The weather was my biggest enemy today," Ljubicic said. "I mean, throughout my career I struggled with the heat. I'm not really coping really well with that, and I tried all kind of different tactics to deal with it. I never find the right one."
"You always hear about ... you have a big win and there is a lull match in there that you don't play so well," Harrison said. "The entire focus from the time I get back to the hotel tonight 'til when I play again on Friday is going to be preparation for the second round."
Berdych is the highest-seeded man to lose so far this year at Flushing Meadows. The 24-year-old from Czech Republic had been enjoying a breakthrough season at Grand Slam tournaments, reaching his first major semifinal at the French Open. He beat Federer and Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.
"I felt great this morning," Berdych said. "Even the heat, I didn't feel it."
Llodra lost in the first round in 22 of the 36 previous Grand Slam tournaments he played, never making it past the fourth round. The 30-year-old Frenchman had lost in 22 of his 36 first-round matches at Grand Slams.
"Today it was perfect because I served pretty good -- not aces, but a lot of good first serves," Llodra said. "And my volley was unbelievable."
Murray, who faced just two break points in the first-round match, reached his first Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows two years ago, losing to Federer.
The 71st-ranked Lacko was making his U.S. Open debut.
The 18th-seeded Isner is best known for his record-breaking 11-hour, 5-minute victory over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon this year, a first-round match that was spread over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth set.
There were no such theatrics against Gil, in part because Isner did not face a single break point, although he only converted three of 19 that he earned.
The 6-foot-9 Isner was playing for the first time since injuring his ankle in Cincinnati two weeks ago, and he said it "felt great; I took a four-to-six-week injury and I got it ready in two weeks."
During his postmatch, on-court interview, Isner was asked -- of course -- about his match against Mahut at the All England Club in June.
Ever since then, Isner has made clear that he appreciates having been a part of that match yet hopes to one day be known for something else he accomplishes in tennis.
"It was a pretty historic match," he said Wednesday, "but ... I want to put it behind me."
Mahut failed to qualify for the singles tournament at Flushing Meadows, but he did enter the men's doubles event, losing earlier Wednesday. He said he chatted briefly with Isner before the American took to the court against Gil, who is ranked 87th and fell to 0-9 in Grand Slam action.
Isner and Mahut have stayed in touch, mostly via e-mail, since sharing Court 18 at Wimbledon for longer than any tennis players ever had during an official match.
"This is maybe a match we will talk about during the next 20 years," Mahut said Wednesday. "Maybe more."
Mahut said he was pulling for Isner to do well in the U.S. Open. A year ago, Isner upset 2003 champion Roddick en route to reaching the fourth round.
"I hope he's going to be ready," Mahut said, before Isner faced Gil. "I cross my fingers for him."
In an earlier all-American match, Sam Querrey defeated Bradley Klahn 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round.
The 20th-seeded Querrey had 19 aces but 11 double-faults. He has won four titles this year -- only Nadal has more. Querrey broke Klahn's serve to clinch the victory.
The 20-year-old Klahn got in on a wild card to make his Grand Slam debut. He won the NCAA singles title for Stanford this year. Klahn had 54 unforced errors.
"I felt bad because he's my buddy," Querrey said.
Dustin Brown posted a historic victory for Jamaican tennis, beating 92nd-ranked Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (6), 7-5 in the opening round, the first win by a Jamaican man at a Grand Slam since 1974.
Brown became the first Jamaican man to win a Grand Slam match since Richard Russell in the first round of the 1974 French Open. That was also the last time a Jamaican man even played in a major before Brown lost in the first round at Wimbledon this year.
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Brown had a vocal cheering section Wednesday from New York's large Jamaican community, and he expects even more backers for his next match.
"I know the Jamaican guys are coming," he said. "They will be on my side. I don't know about anybody else."
In other results, 12th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia beat countryman Andrey Golubev 6-2, 6-3, 6-3; No. 14 Nicolas Almagro of Spain defeated Italian Potito Starace 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (5); No. 25 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland defeated Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; and No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber held off fellow German Tobias Kamke 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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