New York:After American Mardy Fish squandered a 4-1 lead in the fifth set, he took all the blame for failing to upset eighth-seeded Tommy Robredo.
Fish saved two match points to win the fourth set tiebreaker, but lost the final five games and fell 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4.
"Credit to him, he stepped up his game," Fish said. "But, I mean, I froze. Against top-10 players, top-eight players in the world, you just can't freeze like that.
"I think a lot had to do with nerves."
Fish, who lost almost the entire 2005 season because of two wrist surgeries, took exception to a comment that this type of match has typified his time on tour.
"You want me to say that's what my career is like? My career is like getting there really close and then coming up short," he said, clearly annoyed. "I'm only 25 years old."
Fish has won two career titles, at Stockholm in 2003 and Houston in 2006. His best Grand Slam result has been reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals this year.
In eight appearances at the US Open, he's never gone beyond the second round.