22 and Counting "Which American Man Will End The Grand Slam Drought?"

Cyril QuinnContributor IJune 26, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Andy Roddick of USA plays a forehand during the men's singles third round match against Jurgen Melzer of Austria on Day Six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 27, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

At the 2003 US Open Andy Roddick was able to dispose of Juan Carlos Ferrero, but little did we know that it would be the last grand slam singles win for an American male coming into this year's Wimbledon a drought of 22 grand slams.

Men's tennis in America has never been this bad; from 1989 to 2003 American men won half of the grand slams played this charge was of course led by Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

If you look at tennis history American has produced at least one male star each decade going back to the 20's with Bill Tilden, as of right now I do not see anyone on the horizon.

The big question is how and why did this happen, tennis was never the most popular sport in America compared to the other four major sports in the past but it still produced great American male players, so I will not accept the excuse that all the great athletes are playing football, basketball and baseball.

I have to point the finger at the USTA and various American tennis academies that are frankly not getting the job done; in the 80's Nick Bolletteri's academy produced the likes of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier all whom at some point in their careers held the no 1 ranking. When is the last time Bollettieri's academy produced anyone of note that was not European.

Despite this bleak picture help could be on the way in the form of John McEnroe who wants to start a youth academy in New York at the USTA'S training facility, only two things might curtail this, one the USTA'S trust in giving McEnroe complete control and McEnroe being totally committed to the endeavor. If both things occur this infamous streak may come to an end.