No Americans at US Open Quarter-Finals for First Time in 140 Years

The exit of Jenson Brooksby, the last American remaining in the singles at the 2021 U.S. Open, left the host nation without a player in the quarter-finals for the first time since the inaugural tournament 140 years ago.

It was the first time for the 20-year-old California native, who is ranked 99th, to reach this stage of competition in a match against world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Brooksby, playing in just his eighth Grand Slam singles match at Flushing Meadows on Monday, threatened Djokovic to become the lowest-ranked male player to ever take down a world ranking player at the U.S. Open after winning the opening set.

In the end, though, it was Djokovic who dug deep under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium, overcoming the loss of the first set to see off Brooksby 1–6 6–3 6–2 6–2.

Djokovic next meets Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini in a rematch of the Wimbledon final.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles final on day 13 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on July 11, 2021. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo)
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Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns against Jenson Brooksby, of the United States, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sept. 6, 2021. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

“Brooksby is a very young, very talented player,” Djokovic said on court after the victory. “I told him at the net that a very bright future is ahead of him. Definitely, he’s a great player.”

“Jenson was pumped, he had a clear game plan, he was executing all the shots very efficiently, and I was really on my back foot,” the 20-time major singles champion said of his slow start. “I didn’t have the rhythm, made a lot of unforced errors and he was reading the play very well for about a set and a half.”

Brooksby’s exit means there are no American men or women in the singles quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time in the grand slam event’s long history.

However, the feisty American opened spectators’ eyes during Monday’s matchup against Djokovic at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, showing everyone he has the capabilities to succeed on the biggest stage.

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Fans cheer Jenson Brooksby, of the United States, in his match against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York on Sept. 6, 2021. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

“He’s got top 10 written all over him in the next couple of years,” John McEnroe said on ESPN during the match.

American players have won 85 men’s and 92 women’s singles titles at the tournament, which was first held in 1881 as the U.S. National Championship.

The United States has not had a men’s major champion in 18 years, with Andy Roddick the last to win a Grand Slam when he triumphed at the U.S. Open in 2003.

Reuters contributed to this report.