NEW YORK -- Andy Roddick was flustered by a foot-fault call and a long-running critique of the lineswoman who made it.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion had much bigger problems Wednesday night at Flushing Meadows, though, and bowed out in the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
The ninth-seeded Roddick often says the key to his game is how well he returns. He never was able to solve the serve of Tipsarevic, who wound up with 16 aces -- only one fewer than the hard-hitting Roddick - and saved 3 of 5 break points he faced.
|More U.S. Open|
Tipsarevic also was terrific from the baseline, repeatedly winning lengthy rallies and passing Roddick when the 28-year-old American came to the net. Tipsarevic never before had reached the third round at the U.S. Open, and now will play No. 17 Gael Monfils.
Roddick won his only Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, and he also was the runner-up in 2006. His loss Wednesday leaves Roger Federer as the only past U.S. Open champion in the men's field.
This early exit follows a fourth-round loss for Roddick at Wimbledon and some poor results on the summer hard-court circuit, usually his best time of year. But he revealed recently that he had a mild case of mononucleosis and said he did not come to New York feeling 100 percent ready.
Already trailing 5-2 in the third set, Roddick wound up in an argument over a foot-fault call on the game's first serve. He turned to the official and asked, "What foot?"
When she told him his right foot, he replied, "That's impossible." Roddick then turned to chair umpire Enric Molina and asked, "Has this foot gone in front of that foot ever in my career?"
Molina replied: "Not in my matches."
|Victoria Azarenka is taken off the court in a wheelchair. (Getty Images)|
"Not once in my entire career does my right foot go in front of my left foot," Roddick said. "Not once. Ever."
He missed his second serve for a double-fault, then continued to harangue the official, at one point jokingly making a reference to "1-800-Rent-a-Ref."
A TV replay showed Roddick did commit a foot fault -- but with his left foot.
The scene was simply scary earlier in the day: Victoria Azarenka, a 21-year-old on the rise in the WTA rankings, paused about a half-hour into her second-round match, then staggered, stumbled and collapsed to the court.
Azarenka, seeded 10th in the Grand Slam tournament, rolled over to rest her head on her arm, and a trainer rushed over. Someone covered Azarenka's legs with a white towel. She retired from the match, eventually was helped into a wheelchair, her yellow visor askew atop her head, then taken to a hospital, where tests showed she had a mild concussion.
As a record-breaking summer suffocates New York, the temperature in Flushing Meadows headed into the 90s for a third consecutive day, and the mercury topped 100 degrees on court. But tournament referee Brian Early said Azarenka's problem did "not seem to be primarily a heat-related illness."
Indeed, Azarenka herself later revealed she fell in the gym while warming up before the match, banging her head and arm in the gym.
"I was checked by the medical team before I went on court and they were courtside for monitoring. I felt worse as the match went on, having a headache and feeling dizzy," said Azarenka, who is from Belarus but lives part of the year in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the family of NHL goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, someone she considers a mentor.
No. 9 Roddick was joined on the sideline by two other seeded men, thanks to 18-year-old American qualifier Ryan Harrison's 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 15 Ivan Ljubicic, and Michael Llodra's 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 upset of Wimbledon runner-up and No. 7-seeded Tomas Berdych.
Harrison, who is based in Bradenton, Fla., is the first U.S. male teen to beat a top-20 opponent at any Grand Slam tournament since a 19-year-old Roddick knocked off No. 11 Alex Corretja at the 2001 U.S. Open.
You don't have to go nearly as far back to find a female teen from the United States who pulled off that sort of upset, of course: Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga., was 17 a year ago when she reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals by beating two top-20 players.
Oudin's 2010 stay in New York was shorter: She lost in the second round Wednesday to No. 29 Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 7-5.
"Definitely disappointing," Oudin said. "I still have, hopefully, like, 10 more years in my career, hopefully 10 more U.S. Opens ahead of me. So I'll definitely be looking forward again to next year."
Among the seeded women bowing out was No. 21 Zheng Jie, overwhelmed 6-3, 6-0 by 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who used to be ranked No. 1 but has tumbled to No. 40.
No. 13 Marion Bartoli, No. 28 Alisa Kleybanova and No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova also lost. Pironkova was ranked only 82nd in June, when she shocked Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, and they could have met in the third round in New York. But Pironkova bowed out in straight sets against qualifier Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, who gets to face Williams instead.
Williams, who counts the 2000 and 2001 U.S. Opens among her seven Grand Slam titles, struggled for a bit against 193rd-ranked qualifier Rebecca Marino of Canada before pulling out a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win.
Marino actually led 3-1 in the tiebreaker, before Williams took the next six straight points to steal the opening set.
"She started returning better, serving bombs. I think she definitely upped her level," Marino said. "I did notice at one point that she started to grunt pretty loudly. And it's like, 'Whoa, she's getting serious here."'
Azarenka began wobbling early in her match against Gisela Dulko of Argentina, taking extra time between points and wincing occasionally, clearly in distress. Azarenka said she "started having trouble seeing and felt weak."
She is an up-and-comer on tour, part of a group of young players seen as potential future Grand Slam champions. Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova in the final of a hard-court tournament in California last month and pushed Serena Williams to three sets before losing in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January.
Against Serena Williams in the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open, Azarenka stopped in the second set, dizzy and in tears, and blamed a virus.
Her frightening exit Wednesday caught everyone's attention. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki wrote on Twitter: "Did anyone watch Vikas match?? I really hope she is ok!"
The match was halted with Azarenka trailing Dulko 5-1.
"It was terrible. It's not nice to see someone feeling bad, not nice to win a match this way. I hope she feels OK now," said Dulko, who walked around the net to check on the prone Azarenka. "I was worried for her."
Winners included No. 4-seeded Andy Murray, the 2008 runner-up, who said he wore a hat during a match for the first time in four or five years because of the heat; No. 12 Mikhail Youzhny; No. 14 Nicolas Almagro; No. 18 John Isner, best known for his all-sorts-of-records-smashing Wimbledon marathon victory that ended 70-68 in the fifth set; and No. 20 Sam Querrey, who beat NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in an all-American matchup.