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ROUNDUP: Federer topples Isner as Sharapova shunted out

By dpa news     Sep 1, 2007 in Sports
Roger Federer cracked down at the first hint of trouble to see off a tall, American danger-man, while women's holder Maria Sharapova fell victim to a Polish spoiler at the US Open on Saturday.
Top seed Federer, bidding for a fourth consecutive title at the last major of the season, tamed the huge serve of US university star John Isner 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
The Swiss player schooled the 22-year-old after losing the first set, dominating from that point onward.
"I was extremely happy with my reaction on the second set because the crowd was getting into it," said the 11-time grand Slam winner. "Losing the first set, it was a hard blow."
Isner now stands 0-2 against elite players after losing the Washington final last month against Andy Roddick, a winner on the day over Swede Thomas Johansson 6-2, 6-2, 6-0.
Federer won his 23rd match at the Open, where he was last beaten in 2003. The top seed dominated after the first set, with errors piling up as fast as aces for the youngster, who struck 18.
"The feeling of beating Roger Federer in a set, sitting down it was crazy," said Isner, who is 2.05 metres tall.
"I knew he was going step his game up. That's what he does every time he loses a set. He rarely loses two in a row. I knew I had to somehow keep it up for two more sets and unfortunately I couldn't do it."
Federer turned the screws after sealing the third set with an ace and breaking to start the fourth. The 11-time Grand Slam champion reached 4-1 as Isner's game faded.
"I was ready for a good player from the baseline as well," Federer said. " I will probably never be surprised on a tennis court because I don't underestimate opponents any more."
Sharapova was puzzling over the sudden disappearance of her form in a third-round upset at the hands of inspired teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Two other Russian seeds took up the slack, with 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova beating Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-1, and number six Anna Chakvetadze ousting Indian Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-3.
The 32nd-ranked underdog Radwanska exploded into action to reverse a run of eight consecutive losing games in the second and third sets to leave the Russian in the lurch.
"It (my game) just wasn't there," admitted two-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova, who will end this season without a title at one of the four majors after losing for only the fourth time in New York.
"You always try to find a way. Even though I won a lot of consecutive games, even though I was up a break, I just didn't feel it.
"I don't know if it was a combination of the circumstance or the wind or the opponent playing well. I don't know what it was. I just didn't quite feel like me out there."
A trio of fast-rising teenaged tyros followed Radwanska into the second week.
Tamira Paszek, 17, put out Swiss 11th seed Patty Schnyder 4-6, 6- 4, 7-6 (7-1) in a battle between the youngest and oldest players remaining in the draw.
The 18-year-old Hungarian Agnes Szavay, a finalist one week ago, beat Russian seventh seed Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-4, while Victoria Azarenka, 18, from Belarus, stopped 1997 champion Martina Hingis in a comeback 3-6, 6-1, 6-0.
Former prodigy Hingis was not surprised by the turn of events, which eliminated four seed from the bottom of the draw.
"You can see the new generation coming up," said the 26-year-old. "They're very dangerous. I knew it's not going to be easy. My mom texted me. She said, 'Watch out. But I was, I was awake.'"
Three more men's seed moved through, with Russian number four Nikolay Davydenko leading off with a 7-5, 6-0, 7-5 win over Nicolas Almagro.
2003 winner Roddick, the number five, beat Johansson in a battle of former Grand Slam champions.
"Just the way I was playing was nice," Roddick said. "I came off the court happy."
Czech number nine Tomas Berdych put out Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), while Germany's Tommy Haas stopped Sebastien Grosjean 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3. dpa bs aw
 
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