LONDON: World number one Novak Djokovic condemned the United States to their worst Wimbledon men’s performance in over a century on Thursday 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 the 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.
Their match was one of eight left uncompleted as heavy rain brought the first delays of the week.
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’s 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.
Defending women’s champion Williams and Date-Krumm, two players with a combined age of 73, set up an intriguing clash for a last 16 place.
Top seed Williams extended her winning streak to 33 matches, just two behind the record set by sister Venus in 2000, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over French 19-year-old Caroline Garcia, who she also beat at the French Open.
Williams, 31, chasing a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th major, wrapped up victory, the 599th of her career, in 67 minutes with 30 winners and nine aces.
Date-Krumm, 42, reached the third round, 17 years after she last did so at Wimbledon, with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu, 19 years the Japanese’s junior, to become the oldest woman to make the last 32 at the All England Club.
The previous oldest player was Britain’s Virginia Wade, who was 39 years and 362 days old when she made the same stage in 1985.
Despite their many years on tour, Williams and Date-Krumm have never played each other.
“Kimiko is so incredibly fit and inspiring. I have never played her but I watched her when I was super-young,” said Williams.
“Venus has played her, so I will definitely be talking to her about it.”
Date-Krumm made the semi-finals in 1996 where she lost to Steffi Graf before taking what turned out to be a 12-year break from tennis.
“I love Wimbledon, I have had great results here in the past. It’s very special,” said Date-Krumm.
“To be here at 42, I can’t believe it.”
After the shock-waves of Wednesday, which saw Federer and Maria Sharapova knocked out, the number of second round injury pull-outs reached a tournament record nine.
French players Michael Llodra (hamstring) and Paul-Henri Mathieu (neck) were the latest to give up although Llodra attracted criticism when he continued to play doubles.
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the runner-up to Williams last year, reached the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over France’s Mathilde Johansson.
Radwanska next plays America’s Madison Keys for a place in the last 16.
Li next plays Czech 32nd seed Klara Zakopalova who beat German teenager Annika Beck, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011, defeated Eastbourne title-holder Elena Vesnina of Russia, 6-3, 6-1.
She will face former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, the Australian 14th seed, who saw off Russia’s Olga Puchkova 6-2, 6-2
In men’s second round action, Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, the runner-up in 2010, defeated Daniel Brands of Germany, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-2.
Also progressing were Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro who took out left-handed Canadian Jesse Levine, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.
Del Potro could face Bulgarian 29th seed Grigor Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Sharapova, who needed treatment on the right ankle he hurt in a fall on Court Three in his second round clash against Grega Zemlja of Slovenia.
Zemlja also needed a doctor to test his breathing in a marathon match which he was leading 9-8 in the final set when rain brought a halt out on Court Three.