Sloane Stephens, last American, out of Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England - This is the type of Wimbledon it's been: There will be tennis players from Poland in both the men's and women's semifinals, but there will be none from the United States.
The final American remaining this year was beaten on a Tuesday of rain and gloom, Sloane Stephens falling 6-4, 7-5 to Marion Bartoli in a bizarre match of eight consecutive service breaks in the second set.
Bartoli, of France, runner-up in 2007, advances to Thursday's semifinals against Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium who defeated 2011 champ Petra Kvitova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Sabine Lisicki, who upset Serena Williams in the round of 16, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Kaia Kanepi. She will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who beat Li Na, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2.
In one of Wednesday's men's quarters, Lukasz Kubot faces Jerzy Janowicz. Since both are from Poland, the country will have a male semifinalist for the first time since Wojtek Fibak in 1980.
Stephens, 20, from Florida, made it to the Australian Open semis in January but was out of sorts with her serve Tuesday, perhaps because of a 2 1/2-hour rain delay that began with Bartoli ahead 5-4 at deuce on Stephens' serve. At the resumption, Bartoli got two quick points for the set.
"It would have been nice to finish the game," Stephens said. "Coming back and serving at deuce is going to be tough on anyone."
Bartoli held serve the first game of the second set, then the next eight games were broken. At one stretch, Bartoli lost 17 of 18 points on her serve.
"She's a very good returner," said Stephens, "and my serve just really let me down in the second set . . . She has a lot of experience. It was difficult to find my rhythm. Those things happen."
What happened to American tennis has become an issue. No U.S. male made it to the third round for the first time in 101 years. Stephens said the other day she didn't feel as if she were carrying the burden of keeping her nation's hopes alive. Now, of course, she isn't, but she lasted longer than any other U.S. singles entrant.
"I think to get to go where I want to go, you have to work really hard, do what it takes," Stephens said. "It may not happen now, but as I work hard and get older, I guess, it will eventually come."
Rubin gains in doubles. Rockville Centre's Noah Rubin and Clement Geens of Belgium won their first-round match in the boys doubles at Wimbledon yesterday, beating Great Britain's Peter Ashley and Alexander Sendegeya, 6-3, 6-3.