Paris:For the first time in at least 40 years, zero US men will play in the second round at the French Open.
All nine American men entered in the clay-court Grand Slam lost their opening matches, capped by Robby Ginepri's five-set loss to Diego Hartfield of Argentina on Wednesday in a match suspended the night before because of darkness.
It's only the third time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that there are no Americans in the second round of any major. The two other times - at the 1972 and 1973 Australian Opens - no Americans entered the events.
The 48th-ranked Ginepri and No 89 Hartfield split the first two sets on Tuesday. When they resumed play on Wednesday, Ginepri took the third set and went up 2-0 in the fourth. But Hartfield slowly took control as Ginepri's unforced errors mounted, and the final score was 6-4, 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
"I wasn't aware that he was the last American," Hartfield said. "An American journalist told me after the match."
American men went 0-8 on Tuesday, with losses by No 3-seeded Andy Roddick, No. 8 James Blake, Vince Spadea, Justin Gimelstob, Amer Delic, Robert Kendrick, Sam Querrey and Michael Russell.
"To me, it is to be expected that they would be eliminated in the first or second round," Hartfield said. "We're used to playing on clay. We (Argentines) are eliminated early in the US Open - it's the same thing."