There are more layers to the conversation of who will be the next elite American tennis player than what meets the eye.
This list will project the top five in the hunt for that supremacy.
Years ago, if John McEnroe wasn't raising a trophy, it was Jimmy Connors or Jim Courier. That theme continued with Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.
Same went for Billie Jean King and Chris Evert. Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati and the Williams sisters had their elitist battles too.
Now, when you raise the topic of next great American, you rack your brain for an answer, and then end up saying something like "he/she has incredible upside…" or "if everything falls into place, he/she can win."
It's not breaking news, but American tennis is in a bit of a lull—with Serena Williams as the exception.
15-time Grand Slam winner Williams undeniably still wears the crown of most elite American on the women's side, or maybe in general, now that Andy Roddick is retired.
Nobody is pushing Williams off the top spot now, but the United States is antsy for the next cream-of-the-crop American—on both the women's and men's sides.
My gut tells me the next elite American to emerge will be a woman, but here's a look at the five candidates with the best chance to earn the distinction, starting with No. 5.