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September 7, 2009

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Isner stuns Roddick as Federer wins

ROGER Federer overcame a sloppy first set and tumble to the court to beat two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday and reach the fourth round of the US Open in New York.

Federer has won 14 consecutive matches against Hewitt, and 37 in a row at Flushing Meadows.

"I knew that being down a set against Lleyton is always going to be a difficult situation for me to be in: Make one more mistake and I'm in the fifth set, maybe, or I go down completely," said Federer, trying to become the first man since the 1920s to win the American slam six consecutive years.

"So I was relieved coming through."

Federer's opponent in the last 16 will be Tommy Robredo, with the Spaniard beating American James Blake in straight sets.

The tournament provided its first major upset in the men's draw as American John Isner edged fifth-seeded compatriot Andy Roddick 7-6 (3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (5).

"It's hands down the biggest win of my career. Nothing even compares," Isner said. "To do it at the stage I did it on is pretty spectacular. But I know I can really do some damage here. So I'm not satisfied just yet."

Roddick was the first of the top 16 men to lose this week.

The 2.03-meter Isner moves on, thanks to some outstanding serving and success at the net: He won 42 of 67 points when he pushed forward.

Isner's fourth-round opponent will be Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who edged Tommy Haas in a five-set thriller.

Serbian No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic also had a struggle with a lowly ranked American opponent before prevailing 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3 over No. 276-ranked Jesse Witten. Djokovic's next assignment is Slovakia's Radek Stepanek.

Nikolay Davydenko had a more comfortable passage to the fourth round, with the eighth-seeded Russian defeating Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. He set up a clash with French Open finalist Robin Soderling, who beat Sam Querrey in four sets.

In the women's draw, top-seeded Dinara Safina was ousted, beaten 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (5) by 72nd-ranked Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.

China's No. 21 seed Zheng Jie lost her third round match to No. 13 Nadia Petrova of Russia 4-6, 1-6.

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova accelerated to a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Israel's Shahar Peer, putting the sixth-seeded Russian in the fourth round.

She will next meet Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, who progressed with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Romania's Sorana Cirstea.


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