American John Isner is having a terrible U.S. Open.
The No. 11 seed was 3-2 up on Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain when the fifth set was halted Saturday in front of a capacity rain-soaked Arthur Ashe Stadium audience by rain.
It wasn’t just Isner’s fading chances of repeating as champ on the court where he hasn’t dropped a set — it was the stop and go nature of the interruption, which included squalls, holding patterns and a bunch of fans chanting “Let’s Go, USA!”
This is because the roof on the stadium that already is the largest in the U.S. tennis world was not yet open. The United States Tennis Association did not disclose when the roof would be opened.
Saturday’s contest had appeared headed to a fifth set, with Isner winning the first two sets at 6-3, 6-4. It was Isner’s first career fourth-round Grand Slam match.
Carreno Busta, ranked 35th, made things interesting in the third set, before Isner won the next two 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. But the real drama had played out in the first two sets and was being shaped by the results of Isner and Paul-Henri Mathieu in the other night match.
Mathieu, who comes from France and wanted to be in his second U.S. Open, ended up in another overtime, also played on Ashe. Mathieu won both sets at 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-7, 9-7, 10-8.
As he fought off the final point, Mathieu was heard shouting, “Wake up America!”