All of a sudden, much-maligned U.S. men’s tennis became celebrated Saturday.
In a red-white-and-blue day at the U.S. Open, both John Isner and Donald Young battled into the fourth round.
Isner, seeded 13th and the top U.S. hope ever since Andy Roddick retired at this tournament three years ago, dominated Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, leading, 6-3, 6-4, before Vesely retired because of a neck injury. Isner will next play second-seeded Roger Federer, who defeated 29th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Donald Young, long a project of the U.S. Tennis Assn., paid exciting dividends out on the Grandstand Court, rallying to win from two sets down for the second time in the tournament. In front of a screaming, patriotic crowd, he beat 22nd-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-4.
Young hit a forehand winner on his third match point, collapsed to the court, then said in an on-court interview that the crowd had carried him through.
“This one was 90% you guys and 10% me,” he said.
Young will next play No. 5-seeded Stan Wawrinka, who beat Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
In other men’s matches, No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic outlasted 31st-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (7), 6-3, 6-2, and No. 12 Richard Gasquet of France beat No. 24 Bernard Tomic of Australia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
On the women’s side, three former major champions were among the winners.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, 6-2, 6-1; two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hung on against Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, and 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia beat Sara Errani of Italy, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.
Flavia Pennetta of Italy defeated Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Also, No. 2-seeded Simona Halep defeated Shelby Rogers, 6-2, 6-3.
Lisa Raymond, longtime U.S. doubles star, with 11 major doubles titles, a former No. 1 doubles ranking and No. 15 in singles — plus an Olympic bronze medal — retired from tennis after her second-round loss in mixed doubles Saturday. Raymond, 42, and Jamie Murray of Great Britain lost a 10-8 third-set tiebreaker to Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia … Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who has advanced to the fourth round of women’s singles, defaulted out of both women’s and mixed doubles Saturday, after she fell in the locker room and suffered a head injury. No decision has been made on whether she will continue in singles.