By Jane Voigt
So how’s the United States doing at its Grand Slam?
The topic is a lively one and wrought with distress for American tennis.
But for today, let’s tally up America’s efforts as one player amongst a global tennis community.
John Isner and Sam Querrey moved into the 3rd round each with straight set wins. Isner (No. 13) has progressed to this round seven times over eight years. Over the same span, Querrey made round three five times. There’s no doubt about their biggest asset. Isner hit 30 aces today while Sam hit 16. Big-boy American hard-court tennis. Neither John or Sam have gone beyond the fourth round in New York.
Still in the singles mix is Tim Smyczek. His current ranking is No. 90. And he has never progressed past the 3rd round at the Open either.
Total American men remaining in singles draw: John Isner, Sam Querrey, Tim Smyczek.
Thanks to the Williams sisters and robust results from other American women, the tally is positive, as of today.
Serena thumped American Vania King, 61 60, to emphatically stake her presence inside every comer’s mind. Be afraid, be very afraid. The five-time defending champion next faces her third American opponent in that many rounds, Varvara Lepchenko. After her win over Mona Barthel, Lepchenko told Tennis Channel, “I have a lot of respect for them [the Williams sisters],” and I’m “pretty excited about the challenge to play Serena.”
Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old American wildcard, pulled a rabbit out of her hat today to defeat the No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchendova, 64 67(6) 63. For her efforts she’ll take home over $100,000, her biggest bankroll yet. She next meets Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta (No. 11). With the resilience Gibbs showed today, coming back from match points in the second to win in the third, the competition with Pennetta will be a must-see match for home fans.
Venus Williams is through to the 3rd round, too, and faces another Italian, Sara Errani (No. 13), tomorrow.
Total American women remaining in the singles draw: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Varvara Lepchenko, and Nicole Gibbs. Left to play today is CiCi Bellis, the 15-year-old junior VIP.
American is home to the best-ever men’s doubles team: Mike and Bob Bryan. If they win here, it will be their 100th career title. This category of competition is in its infancy for the fortnight. However, here are the Americans that still can hold their heads high: Jared Donaldson and Michael Russell, Tim Smyczek, Francis Tiafoe and Michael Mmoh, Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram, and Jack Sock.
Also in its infancy and too early to stake any hope, here are the American women holding the line: Lauren Davis, Vania King and Lisa Raymond, Christina McHale, plus Allison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe. On court is the 5-time Olympic Gold Medalists, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Their match is live on Tennis Channel and Louis Armstrong is packed.
Way, way too early to jump and cheer, but enough to get your mojo wound up, Christina McHale and Stefan Kozlov (16 year-old Wimbledon Boys’ finalist) are in, Lauren Davis and 34-year-old Nicholas Monroe hang on, plus Melanie Oudin and Rajeev Ram have made a showing.
No American man has won the U.S. Open singles championship since Andy Roddick in 2003. Serena Williams hopes to make it a three-peat this year, which would make six U.S. Open titles total. Bob and Mike Bryan are looking to clinch their fourth U.S. Open, and 16th Grand Slam. Since mixed doubles teams change on a dime, let’s just say Melanie Oudin is a Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Champion and nothing says she can’t do it again with Ram at her side. Her claim to slam fame came alongside Jack Sock in 2011.