John Isner, the lone American alive entering Day 7 at the All England Club, lost his third-round match to Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (8), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 7-5.
Isner, the No. 9 seed, hit 52 aces and was still beaten by the No. 19 seed in a grueling battle. That many aces can often win a player a match, but there was something afoot for Isner on Monday. It was his ineffectiveness at winning tiebreaks.
The American is known for his success in tiebreaks. He won a marathon tiebreak, 19-17, over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in Round 2, prompting this quote, via ESPN Tennis' official Twitter account:
While Isner took the first set via tiebreak, he failed to win the next two. That's very uncharacteristic of the 29-year-old American, and that would certainly explain the loss.
Lopez faced a daunting task in ousting Isner, especially given how well Isner had played in the first two rounds of Wimbledon. ESPN.com broke down the emotions Lopez displayed during a service break:
Lopez earned the only service break of the match in the next-to-last game with a cross-court backhand passing winner that he celebrated by leaping and punching the air. It was the only time Isner was broken during his three matches this year at the All England Club.
The Spaniard is a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, and he'll face Stanislas Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion, in the next round.
The early exit for Isner signals the end of the Americans' run in London. His loss actually signaled something that hasn't happened in over 100 years, via Tom Perrotta of The Wall Street Journal:
Though all Americans are out in singles, the favorites on the men's side—Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray—are all still alive, as are several of the women's favorites, such as Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep.
The final week of Wimbledon will certainly be a good one, and we've already started off in exciting fashion with an upset. Isner will no doubt be disappointed with the loss. Advancing to the third round marks his longest run at Wimbledon in his career, but he's still in search of his first semifinals appearance in a Grand Slam event.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR