New York -- Andy Roddick saved three match points with aces. He couldn't save the fourth.
In the middle of the caldron that was Arthur Ashe Stadium, 55th-ranked John Isner, who missed a chunk of this season with mononucleosis, pressured fifth-seeded Roddick into driving a forehand passing shot into the net and clinched a 7-6 (3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (5) win Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open.
It was the biggest upset so far in the men's draw and it overshadowed an American triumph earlier when 17-year-old Melanie Oudin conquered her second big-name player with a third-round upset of former No. 1-ranked and 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Oudin had eliminated fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the second round.
In much less-dramatic fashion, five-time defending champion and top-seeded Roger Federer did lose a set but was never seriously threatened by 31st-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
It was Oudin who might have stamped herself as a new tennis star. The pint-sized 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., was always the aggressor against Sharapova. Oudin might have occasionally sent a serve 10 feet long or wafted a forehand to the backstop, but she never lost her nerve or her way and now she is into the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
Isner, 24, must have felt like a foreign visitor. The Ashe Stadium crowd was firmly behind Roddick, whose only major championship had come here in 2003. Next up for Isner is 10th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco who eliminated 20th-seeded Tommy Haas, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8), 1-6, 6-4.
STAT OF THE DAY: : Sharapova served a U.S. Open-record 21 double faults against Oudin in three sets. Isner and Roddick combined for eight (seven for Isner) in five sets.
UPSET OF THE DAY: : Isner's victory over Roddick. This Open had set a record when the top 16 men's seeds had advanced to the third round. It had never happened in the Open era at any major tournament.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: : Fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic, after beating American qualifier Jesse Witten, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4, on how it was his tennis racket landed on the other side of the net on his own serve: "Because of the sweat. I get the sweat a lot. Then I always try to use some liquids to stop sweating, and then I sweat and I just, I didn't squeeze the racket."