'This is wild': America's embarrassing 140-year first at US Open

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Danielle Collins and John Isner, pictured here in action at the US Open.
Danielle Collins and John Isner were among America's hopes at the US Open. Image: Getty

American players have failed to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open for the first time in the grand slam event's long history.

The local contingent was left with Shelby Rogers and Jenson Brooksby flying the flag in the fourth round on Monday.

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However Rogers suffered a shock loss to 18-year-old phenom Emma Raducanu, before Brooksby went down fighting against World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

With Serena and Venus Williams both opting out of the US Open due to injury concerns, it was always going to be a struggle for their fellow Americans to fill the void.

But with the likes of John Isner, Reilly Opelka, Danielle Collins and Jessica Pegula, the locals still sported a number of seeded stars.

But for the first time since the US Open began in 1881, not a single local player has made it past the fourth round.

That's a staggering stretch of 140 years.

Novak Djokovic extinguishes America's final hope

Brooksby threatened to cause an extraordinary boilover when he took the first set off Djokovic 6-1.

But the Serbian star managed to rally past the 99th-ranked Brooksby, winning 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to book a quarter-final encounter with Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini.

"It's going to be exciting," Djokovic said. "He loves the big stage. Big serve, big game overall. 

"I know what to expect. Going to try to prepare a good game plan and hope for the best."

The 34-year-old is looking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to sweep all four major titles in the same year by capturing his fourth career US Open crown.

Novak Djokovic, pictured here with Jenson Brooksby after their fourth-round clash at the US Open.
Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Jenson Brooksby after their fourth-round clash at the US Open. (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Djokovic is also seeking a men's singles record 21st major title, which would push him past rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent with injuries.

An epic shocker seemed possible when 20-year-old American wildcard Brooksby, who hadn't played Djokovic before, broke in the second and sixth games and fired a service winner to claim the first set in 29 minutes.

"He just played a perfect first set," Djokovic said. "I could do nothing. I was still finding my footing on the court.

"I must say it wasn't a great start. Jenson was pumped. He had a clear game plan. He was executing his shots tremendously. 

"I was on my back foot. He was reading the play well for a set and a half."

Earlier, Rogers couldn't reproduce her remarkable display that ousted World No.1 Ash Barty in the third round, going down to Raducanu 6-2, 6-1.

Raducanu became just the third qualifier to reach the US Open women's quarter-finals after Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in 2017 and American Barbara Gerken in 1981.

with AFP

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