By Richard G. Kent BASN Staff Writer
Updated: May 9, 2011
-Yesterday marked the first time since tennis ranking came out over 30 years ago that there won’t be an American man or woman in the Top 10. Tough to believe but true. Where have you gone McEnroe,Agassi and Evert?
Not an easy question to answer. Don’t blame the USTA. They have invested multiples of thousands in players like Donald Young,to no avail. Patrick McEnroe is working on the issue of player development with the USTA right now.
His brother, John undertook and ambitious program last Septemer to start a tennis academy on Randall’s Island. he has already attracted some of the best and brightest in the New York area,but the going is slow.
Andy Roddick appears to be on the way down. he does have a US Open to his credit. James Blake is a great athlete and a very good tennis player,but we won’t be seeing him in the semis of a Grand Slam.
The Williams’ sisters mother,Oracene recently tweeted that they will most likely not be playing at the French Open at the end of may,which will mean that they won’t re-enter the Top 10 anytime soon.
Mardy Fish got in shape and had a good 2010 but he does not have the potential to win a major.
Querry,Isner and Harrison are all very good and one of them might emerge in a Grand Slam semis in 20121,but it is unlikely that such a breakthrough will happen this year.
We may see an American at the top in a place like Newport or Atlanta but not Roland Garros. The best athletes are simply staying away from tennis for other sports.
So what is the tennis terrain looking like. For the men,it is about Nadal and Djokovic with a little Federer,Ferrer and Verdasco sprinkled in. Federer may win another US Open,but that is about it based on his performance thus far in 2011. For the women,who knows. There simply is not a legit no. 1. OK,Clijsters is good but she is probably more devoted to family than tennis.
Will all of this make tennis less interesting to watch in the US this Summer?Probably.
Let’s hope that a men’s or women’s prodigy emerges sometime soon or else we can paint tennis as a European sport.
The best place to see the true American men’s legends may be on the Champion’s Tour which will be in a City near you in September.