America's dubious distinction
World number one Novak Djokovic condemned the United States to their worst Wimbledon men's performance in over a century as Serena Williams set up a...
World number one Novak Djokovic condemned the United States to their worst Wimbledon men's performance in over a century as Serena Williams set up a clash of senior citizens against Kimiko Date-Krumm. Top seed Djokovic breezed past world number 156 Bobby Reynolds, a 30-year-old qualifier, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round.
Reynolds was the last American man standing and his defeat under the Centre Court roof means that for the first time since 1912 there will not be a male player from his country in the third round. Djokovic, the 2011 champion, goes on to face either Jeremy Chardy, the French 28th seed, or German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff. Djokovic admitted he had been wary of Reynolds after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had both been shocked by opponents outside the top 100. "It's a Grand Slam and it is sports, the top players cannot win all the time," said the Serb.
"All the lower-ranked players have extra motivation and have nothing to lose. So I needed to be extra careful and with the roof closed, it was a little different." Reynolds, the last of 11 US men who started in the main draw on Monday, believes the American decline is only temporary. "There are young college players, but I think they have a lot of potential. Maybe, just a couple years hopefully a good one's coming," he said.
Laura Robson was the toast of Wimbledon again on Friday as she reached the third round for the first time, five years after being dubbed the "next big thing" in British women's tennis. Robson, who won the junior Wimbledon title as a 14-year-old, was given the unexpected honour of playing on Centre Court after her match was postponed by rain on Thursday and surfed a wave of home support to beat Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino 6-4 6-1.
With the rest of Wimbledon under rain covers all eyes were on Robson but after a nervy start she eventually dealt with the occasion, and the unexpected position of starting favourite, superbly and Duque-Marino had no answers to the 19-year-old's forehand fusillade.
"It was a great atmosphere out there today and the roof being closed just makes it louder which is really exciting," said Robson who faces New Zealander Marina Erakovic in the next round with a real chance of making the last 16. Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov ended up on the second round scrapheap along with girlfriend Maria Sharapova after losing a rain-interrupted five-setter against Grega Zemlja at Wimbledon on Friday.
The Bulgarian 29th seed joined the long list of big names to fall as Slovenian Zemlja held his nerve to claim a 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 victory on Court Three. Dimitrov, who twice led by a set, had trailed 8-9 in the decider when play was stopped by rain on Thursday. After another rain delay on Friday, the match finally resumed but took a bizarre twist when, serving at 30-30, Dimitrov slipped over after launching a serve and, despite a valiant attempt to play his next shot on his knees, went match point down.
With Sharapova watching on from the front row of seats behind the baseline, he immediately walked to his chair and told the umpire the court was too greasy to continue playing.