Skip to main content

Imperious Djokovic ensures United States men suffer worst Wimbledon since 1912

updated 8:27 PM EDT, Thu June 27, 2013
Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Bobby Reynolds, the 11th and last American to exit the men's singles.
Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Bobby Reynolds, the 11th and last American to exit the men's singles.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic ends American interest in the men's singles when beating Bobby Reynolds
  • Reynolds defeat means no American male is in the third round for first time in a century
  • Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet all advance

(CNN) -- For 101 years, an American male had always reached the third round of the men's singles at Wimbledon but that proud run ended on Thursday as Novak Djokovic summarily dismissed Bobby Reynolds.

Eleven men from the United States started at the grand slam on Monday but a 30-year qualifier ranked 156th in the world was left to fly the flag after the early departures of seeded duo John Isner and Sam Querrey among others.

Finishing their match under the Center Court roof, called into action for the first time this year after rain ended play early on most courts, Serbia's Djokovic was in no mood to join former champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in making early exits.

Read: Seven-time champion Federer stunned

The winner of six grand slams, one of which came at Wimbledon in 2011, had to work hard to take the first set but found the going easier after the roof came on, triumphing 7-6 6-3 6-1.

"I think the fact that the top players lost in the last few days gives enough reason for all of us to not underestimate any opponent and not look that far," the world No. 1 told reporters.

Why is Wimbledon so slippery?
Pat Cash's Wimbledon tour
The Wimbledon greats
Murray inspired by friend's cancer fight
Wimbledon's wild card returns home

"So we got to take it step by step. It's sport, you know. This is what happens."

"All the lower-ranked players have extra motivation and nothing to lose. So I needed to be extra careful and with the roof closed, it was a little different."

Reynolds, meanwhile, believes the failure of an American male to reach the third round for the first time since 1912 will only be a temporary blip.

"There are young college players, but I think they have a lot of potential. Maybe, just a couple of years hopefully, a good one's coming," said Reynolds.

Two of the higher-profile American men to exit Wimbledon in the second round included 21st seed Sam Querrey, who lost in five sets to Bernard Tomic, and John Isner, for whom the lower half of the draw had opened up after the defeats to Federer and Nadal.

Involved in the longest clash in tennis history, when beating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes, Isner took part in one of the shortest when withdrawing after just 15 minutes against Adrian Mannarino because of a knee problem.

The 18th seed was one of seven withdrawals through injury on Wednesday, and another two followed on Thursday -- as French players Michael Llodra and Paul-Henri Mathieu took the record tally of pull-outs to nine.

Llodra attracted criticism by returning to the courts later in the day to play a doubles match with fellow Frenchman Mahut -- only for the pair's opponents Jaroslav Levinsky and Jan Hajek to also withdraw after the latter complained of a back problem.

Read: Sharapova makes shock exit

One of Thursday's most exciting matches failed to reach a conclusion as Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, trailed Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 9-8 in a fifth set that was suspended because of rain.

The winner will play Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine saw off Canadian left-hander Jesse Levine.

"I'm trying to go far, but all the matches are difficult," said the eighth seed.

"You can see all players can beat the top guys. Tennis is in a very high level at the moment. I'm going match by match and just focusing on my next round.

"I like to play on grass and would like to stay alive a few more days."

2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet also advanced, as did Bernard Tomic who beat veteran James Blake on a forgettable day for American male tennis.

World number one Serena Williams ensured that the United States' female representation stays strong after she powered into the third round when beating French qualifier Caroline Garcia.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT