For the first time in more than a century, no American singles players have reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
The last two of 23 US entrants departed on Monday. First, Madison Keys withdrew because of a strained left thigh before the scheduled resumption of her third-round match.
Then, No. 9 seed John Isner lost his third-round match despite hitting 52 aces, eliminated 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-5 by 19th-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Not since 1911 had zero US men or women participated in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, according to the International Tennis Federation. That year, no American women even entered the tournament and only three men did.
This year, there were 13 women from the United States, including No. 1-seeded Serena Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion who lost her third-round match on Saturday. There were 10 US men in the field, but Isner was the only one ranked inside the top 65.
Told how long it’s been without any Americans sticking around for the latter stages at the All England Club, Isner replied: “I didn’t know that. Don’t really care, either.”
Last year at Wimbledon, no American men made it to the third round. No man from the country has played in the quarterfinals at any Grand Slam tournament since 2011, and the last to win a major championship was the now-retired Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open.
“Some of this is cyclical. Some of it is we’ve done a poor job,” seven-time major champion John McEnroe said before Wimbledon began.
“We got, maybe, spoiled is an accurate word. We expected there would be more (Jimmy) Connors, Pete Samprases, (Andre) Agassis,” McEnroe said.
“Because of the worldwide interest in sports, if you go back to the ’88 Olympics, when tennis became part of the Olympics again, more countries put more money and resources into it to allow more kids to play tennis, so more countries have more of an interest and they see the upside of it. That same thing hasn’t happened for us in the US”
Lopez gives Spain three men in the fourth round, along with Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo.
“When you beat players like John, when you go through a difficult match like this, you have to be proud of yourself,” said Lopez, who hit 34 aces and saved the only two break points he faced. “To beat Johnny on that court is such is difficult task.”