Kohlschreiber beats Isner after 2 a.m. at US Open

Associated Press
John Isner wraps his head with ice wrapped in a towel during his match with Philipp Kohlschreiber, of Germany, in the third round of play at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, early Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 in New York. The match began on Sunday evening. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Tying the record for latest finish at the U.S. Open, Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany eliminated marathon man John Isner of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at 2:26 a.m. Monday, reaching the fourth round.

The official completion time was the same as a second-round match in 1993, when Mats Wilander beat Mikael Pernfors.

"Of course, it's very late, so everybody here is really a crazy tennis fan," the 19th-seeded Kohlschreiber told the few fans who remained during an on-court interview.

He won his sixth consecutive five-setter. No. 9 Isner, the highest-seeded American man, dropped his fourth in a row — and did it in angry fashion, getting docked a point for smashing a racket. It caps a disappointing Grand Slam season for Isner, who didn't make it past the third round at any of the four major tournaments.

An earlier three-set victory by Maria Sharapova in Arthur Ashe Stadium was interrupted by a rain delay, and Isner and Kohlschreiber didn't start until after 11 p.m. Sunday. They played 3 hours, 20 minutes.

That length pales in comparison to Isner's record 11-hour, 5-minute victory at Wimbledon in 2010, and his 5-hour, 41-minute loss at the French Open this year.

Against Kohlschreiber, the 6-foot-9 Isner hit 22 aces, but he lost all three break points he faced. He only was able to break the German twice in 11 chances.

After the fourth set against Kohlschreiber ended at about 1:30 a.m., a sweat-soaked Isner headed to the locker room for a full wardrobe change, even switching shoes.

That added a delay of about eight minutes. When Isner came back, his mood quickly soured.

In the first game of the fifth set, he got upset over a miscommunication when chair umpire Carlos Bernardes charged him for an instant-replay challenge that Isner said he didn't really want. After pushing a forehand long on the next point, Isner whacked a ball in anger into the stands, drawing a warning for unsporstsmanlike conduct.

Later in that game, a foot-fault call by a line judge that Isner disagreed with erased an ace and led to a double-fault. And after missing a forehand, Isner got broken to trail 1-0.

Two games later, now down 2-1, Isner re-aired his anger at that call, saying to Bernardes: "Who is this guy? How is he going to call a foot-fault? Worst call ever."

With that, Isner sat down in his changeover chair and pounded his racket to the court twice, busting up the frame then chucking it away. Because of the earlier warning, Bernardes charged Isner with a point penalty, so Kohlschreiber started the next game ahead 15-love. Nonetheless, Isner wound up getting a break point at 30-40, but Kohlschreiber erased that with a backhand winner down the line.

Isner got another break chance while down 4-3, but he sent a groundstroke long, and Kohlschreiber wound up holding to lead 5-3. Two games later, the match was over.

Next for Kohlschreiber is a match Tuesday against No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic, whose victory Sunday ended more than eight hours earlier.

Asked what the key for him will be moving forward, Kohlschreiber replied: "Recover as soon as possible."

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