- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

3:58 p.m.

PARIS — For the first time in at least 40 years, no U.S. 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 Ginepris five-set loss to Diego Hartfield of Argentina today in a match that was suspended last night because of darkness.

Its just the third time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that there have been 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, from Kennesaw, Ga., and No. 89 Hartfield split the first two sets yesterday. When they resumed play today, Ginepri took the third set and went up 2-0 in the fourth. However, Hartfield slowly took control as Ginepris unforced errors mounted, and the final score was 6-4, 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

“I wasnt aware that he was the last American,” Hartfield said. “An American journalist told me after the match.”

American men went 0-8 yesterday, 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. “Were used to playing on clay. We [Argentines] are eliminated early in the U.S. Open — its the same thing.”

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