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American men lose out at Wimbledon

Bobby Reynolds of the United States of America during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Bobby Reynolds of the United States of America during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

LONDON — What a stark statistic for the nation of Bill Tilden and Don Budge, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi: It’s been 101 years since no men from the United States reached Wimbledon’s third round.

And the last time it happened, way back in 1912, no Americans even entered the oldest Grand Slam tournament.

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By the end of Thursday, all 11 US men in the 2013 field at the All England Club were gone, with top-seeded Novak Djokovic accounting for the last one by beating 156th-ranked qualifier Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 6-1. Earlier in the day, former top-five player James Blake lost to Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, while qualifier Denis Kudla was beaten by Ivan Dodig, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

That trio joined 18th-seeded John Isner, 21st-seeded Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Steve Johnson, Alex Kuznetsov, Wayne Odesnik, Rajeev Ram, and Michael Russell on the way home.

‘‘It’s a tough stat to hear, but I still believe, right now, where US tennis is, not too many guys are in their prime. That’s why the numbers are like that. But a lot of guys are, maybe, in the tail end of their careers and a lot of guys are coming up,’’ said Kudla, a 20-year-old from Arlington, Va., who is ranked 105th. ‘‘Maybe next year, or the year after that, things could change. You have to go through a little bit of a struggle to get some success.’’

Led by top-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams, the US women still are represented in singles at Wimbledon this year.

Williams extended her winning streak to 33 matches, the longest on tour since 2000, by eliminating 100th-ranked qualifier Caroline Garcia, 6-3, 6-2, while 18-year-old Madison Keys knocked off 30th-seeded Mona Barthel, 6-4, 6-2.

Keys next plays 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, and Williams goes from a 19-year-old opponent in Garcia to a 42-year-old opponent in Kimiko Date-Krumm, the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon since the Open era began in 1968.

‘‘I have so much respect for her. I think she’s so inspiring to be playing such high-level tennis at her age,’’ said Williams, who at 31 is the oldest No. 1 in WTA rankings history. ‘‘And she’s a real danger on the grass court, I know that. I definitely will have to be ready.’’

Already into the third round with a victory a day earlier was No. 17 Sloane Stephens, while yet another American, wild-card entry Alison Riske, had her match against Urszula Radwanska — Agnieszka’s younger sister — postponed by rain Thursday.

Reynolds wound up facing Djokovic with Centre Court’s retractable roof closed because of the first drizzles of the fortnight, which prevented five singles matches from starting and forced the suspensions of three others in progress.

The precipitation wasn’t the only change Day 4 brought. After the chaos of Wednesday, when Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova were among seven former No. 1s who lost, results went mostly to form Thursday. Only one seeded man departed: No. 17 Milos Raonic, who was beaten, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), by 64th-ranked Igor Sijsling.

There were, however, two more injury-related exits, raising the total of players pulling out of the second round to nine, which equals the Open era Grand Slam record for any round. All told, 12 players have withdrawn before a match or stopped during one, one short of the Wimbledon record for a full tournament, set in 2008.

‘‘It was a bit strange to see so many top players either lost or retired,’’ Djokovic said. ‘‘But grass is a very special surface. It requires a different kind of movement . . . If grass at the start of Wimbledon is still not so used and, I guess, a little bit slippery, it can be dangerous, until you really get your right footing on the court. That’s probably the reason why they all felt uncomfortable and they all injured themselves, unfortunately.’’

Djokovic himself took a tumble midway through his tight first set against Reynolds, a 30-year-old based in Atlanta, then quickly rose and whacked his heels with his racket. About 25 minutes later, Reynolds hit a 122-miles per hour service winner to hold for 6-all, and the crowd roared, eager to see whether this guy they'd never heard of could continue to push Djokovic, who is ranked No. 1 and owns six major titles, including at Wimbledon in 2011.

But from there, it wasn’t close. Reynolds missed two forehands early in the tiebreaker, helping Djokovic take a 5-0 lead before ending the set with a 117-m.p.h. ace.

At 7:43 p.m. local time, Djokovic deposited a backhand volley, the last shot hit against a US man at Wimbledon this year.

‘‘I'm looking just to see if I can get to the next round. That’s basically what it is. I don’t feel like I'm carrying the US flag [or] ‘I'm the lone guy left,’ ’’ Reynolds said. ‘‘I actually wasn’t aware of it at all.’’

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