Tim Smyczek congratulates Marcel Granollers of Spain during their third round match on Day Seven of the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Sept. 1, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Hide Caption

US Open: Americans don't have single man in round of 16 for 1st time since 1881

a a a a
Share this story

NEW YORK (AP) -- Might be best to say that Tim Smyczek, much like American men's tennis, ran out of gas Sunday night.

The 25-year-old from Milwaukee, who served up a funny headline when he told about how the car he was riding in ran out of gas en route to the U.S. Open last week, was two points away from helping his country avoid an ignominious fate.

"I never heard somebody yell out from the stands, `You're our last hope,'" Smyczek said.

But he could not pull through against Marcel Granollers.

He lost 6-4, 4-6, 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 to the Spaniard in front of a rowdy crowd chanting "USA! USA!" in the Grandstand, and now, the Americans don't have a single man in the round of 16 at their own Grand Slam for the first time since the tournament started in 1881.

"Couldn't be much more disappointed right now, but these are the kind of situations you dream about," Smyczek said. "It was pretty cool to be the last American in the draw for a day. Got a little taste of it."

Not that this latest American flop is all on Smyczek, who came in ranked 109th and was making his first appearance in the third round of a Grand Slam.

It was scheduling as much as anything that left him standing alone - last among the 15 U.S. men who started this tournament - when the lights came on Sunday night. Jack Sock and John Isner lost their third-round matches Saturday. Isner, the highest-seeded man at No. 13, withered in a four-set loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber, saying his couple of attempts to rile up the crowd in the fourth set wore him out.

In the second round, 26th-seeded Sam Querrey fell to Adrian Mannarino.

Smyczek's departure means nobody from the country that gave tennis Connors, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi and Roddick reached the fourth round at any Grand Slam in 2013. Last month, for the first time in the 40 years of the ATP rankings, there was a week with no U.S. men in the top 20.

"I know we got really spoiled with Pete, Andre, all those guys, and Andy for so many years," Smyczek said. "But I think it's also a really exciting time because there's five, six, seven guys that are hovering right around 100 and have a good chance to make a big breakthrough."

Could Smyczek, who at 5-foot-9, sometimes jumps to power through his forehands, be the guy?

For a while during the 3-hour, 24-minute match against Granollers, it very much looked like he might be moving on to Week 2 - and that maybe he'd be in the news for something other than the mishap he experienced before his first-round match, when the tournament-provided car he was riding in ran out of gas en route to Flushing Meadows.

"Just glad we didn't break down in the Midtown Tunnel," Smyczek joked that day.

He went on to win that match, then the next. On Sunday, he was not overmatched, as the stat sheet showed: He won one game more and one point fewer than Granollers. They each had 10 aces, three double-faults, a 113 mph average first-serve speed and 84 mph second-serve speed. But when it came to the biggest points, Granollers won most.

After losing a break after leading 4-2 in the final set slide, Smyczek had two chances to break back but couldn't convert on either. Then, four times while Granollers was serving at 5-4, Smyczek found himself two points from the match. He lost them all on a service winner, an ace (After which Smyczek used his last challenge on a ball that landed inside the line), another service winner and a looping forehand winner by the Spaniard.

Then, with Granollers serving out the match at 6-5, Smyczek failed to get one return back in play.

This marked the third time this summer that Smyczek had a one-set lead against a top-50 opponent and failed to close it out.

"I'm going to take a couple days off and maybe take a step back and think about some things and just really take the positives," he said.

Granollers, who played the role of the bad guy in a stadium packed with U.S. fans, said there's a good future for U.S. tennis. Just not on his watch - at least not on Sunday.

"Every year is different. The quality of the game nowadays is quite even," he said. "It just happens that no one managed to get that far, but there are several talented American players, and I'm sure that they will have good results in the future."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Sports News
Cueto shuts out Pirates in Reds' 4-0 victory
Cueto shuts out Pirates in Reds' 4-0 victory

Johnny Cueto struck out 12 and Joey Votto smacked a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

'Hefty Lefty' weighs in on NCAA ruling on food
'Hefty Lefty' weighs in on NCAA ruling on food

The former NFL and University of Kentucky quarterback playfully referred to as "Hefty Lefty" is having a little fun on social media…

Leake's HR leads Reds over Pirates 7-5 for split
Leake's HR leads Reds over Pirates 7-5 for split

Pitcher Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night after the Pirates won the completion of Monday's suspended game.

Cincinnati Reds honor Jackie Robinson
Cincinnati Reds honor Jackie Robinson

The Cincinnati Reds joined the rest of the MLB in honoring Jackie Robinson on Tuesday.

Aroldis Chapman takes big step toward comeback
Aroldis Chapman takes big step toward comeback

"Everything was great," Reds closer Aroldis Chapman said after he threw off a mound for the first time since he was hit in the face…

Reditorial Cartoon: The Billy Hamilton model
Reditorial Cartoon: The Billy Hamilton model

Billy Hamilton finally showed a burst of greatness, but not after a little bit of a warm up. 

Pirates beat Reds in finish of suspended game
Pirates beat Reds in finish of suspended game

The game that started Monday with 10 home runs ended Tuesday with hardly a whimper.

Good job, Bubba! Watson wins 2nd Masters
Good job, Bubba! Watson wins 2nd Masters

Bubba Watson's second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago.

Reds win! Offense explodes in 12-4 win over Rays
Reds win! Offense explodes in 12-4 win over Rays

Chris Heisey hit his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in career high-tying four runs as the…

Xavier loses another top scorer
Xavier loses another top scorer

Forward Justin Martin has decided to transfer for his final season, leaving the Musketeers without the top two scorers from last season's team.