US Olympic Men's Tennis Team 2012: Updated News & Analysis for America's Squad
The players making up the U.S. men's tennis team at the 2012 Summer Olympics surely have a tough task ahead of them when it comes to contending for a medal, especially with the ATP's "Big 4" of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in the draw.
However, the squad of John Isner, Andy Roddick, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young is at its best on faster surfaces—and it doesn't get much faster than the grass at Wimbledon, where the tournament will be held.
With the expected medal-winning run of the Bryans, the U.S. team could potentially do some damage in men's tennis. The following is a look at the players and what to expect from them.
John Isner's game has improved by leaps and bounds the past year, culminating with a place among the world's top 10 for a significant chunk of 2012. He's notched wins against Federer and Djokovic this season and made two singles finals.
While he's cooled off from his hot start to the year, Isner's serve and improved baseline game always make him a threat on a grass court—even as he's coming off an early-round loss at Wimbledon. He's definitely capable of making it to the later stages of the tournament.
Andy Roddick actually will be playing the Summer Games with renewed confidence. He won his first singles title in more than a year in Eastbourne, the week before Wimbledon, and went on to make the third round at the grass-court Grand Slam.
Provided his health holds up, Roddick—one of the greatest grass-court players of his generation—could find himself contending for a medal, which would lend weight to the argument that it's much too soon to consider him an also-ran.
Two words best describe Ryan Harrison:
The young American possesses a world of talent and is capable of adapting his game to all surfaces. Harrison recently reached a career high in the rankings, cracking the top 50 for the first time. While this might not be his time to medal, he's definitely capable of winning a few rounds.
Things have not been easy on the court for the American, who last year seemed to finally start living up to the unbelievable expectations heaped upon him from an early age.
Donald Young is currently on a 13-match losing streak. However, if his head is in the game, he's capable of turning things around at the Olympics. Plus, the 2007 Wimbledon junior champion has demonstrated grass doesn't befuddle him.
Bob and Mike Bryan
Bob and Mike Bryan, the 2008 Olympics Bronze Medalists have won nearly every major title in the game today. One of the big prizes missing? Olympic Gold.
As one of the best doubles pairings in history, they know what it takes to win under high-pressure situations. There path to Gold could become clearer as some top pairings, like Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, won't be in the draw.
Not that that matters too much: The Bryans have faced down a number of challenges. The biggest one in store is reserving a place on the medals podium.
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