The United States has given up every margin for error in their chase for a medal, falling to 0-2 in pool play with a loss to Italy on Tuesday in Rio.
A tremendous first set, competitively speaking, saw the out-of-sorts Yanks chasing Italy. The European side took a 24-22 lead but Italy served out of bounds before Matt Anderson tied the score.
Italy came out on top in the set, 28-26.
The Americans, much like their women’s counterparts on Monday, found form in the second set, and carried it to a 25-20 win. The trends unfortunately carried over to the third set, where Italy took a 25-23 win.
The Italians got out to a lead in the fourth set, and the Americans just couldn’t catch up. They fell 25-23.
Italy eliminated the U.S. from the 2012 Games in the quarterfinals.
No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland is favored to claim a third French Open title, a year after beating American Coco Gauff in the final. She bids to join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win the French Open three or more times since 2000.
Two Americans are ranked in the top six in the world — No. 3 Jessica Pegula and Gauff.
The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.
But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.
Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.
Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).
No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.