French Open 2011: Melanie Oudin and Other Americans with a Shot at the Title

Carrie DunnAnalyst IIMay 20, 2011

French Open 2011: Melanie Oudin and Other Americans with a Shot at the Title

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25:  Serena Williams of USA (R) and Venus Williams of USA in action during their doubles match against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia on Day Five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at t
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    To be honest, it hadn’t struck me quite what a poor state the U.S. tennis scene is in with regard to singles competition. Without the Williams sisters, there is no obvious American challenger for either the men’s or women’s championships at Roland Garros, so we’ll have to look outside the obvious contenders…

Melanie Oudin and Her Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 24:  Melanie Oudin gets set for a return against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 24, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    OK, so she’s plummeted in the rankings since this time last year, and she’s not quite recaptured the form she showed on home ground in 2009, but don’t underestimate her. Last year was her first at Roland Garros—this time around she’ll have more idea what it’s all about.

Sam Querrey and His Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 25:  Sam Querrey follows through on a return against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 25, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Much touted as the future of U.S. men’s tennis, he’s never got past the opening round of the French Open. His game on clay is improving, though—maybe this could be his breakout year.

Mardy Fish and His Title Chances

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 09:  Mardy Fish of the USA serves during his first round match against Santiago Giraldo of Columbia during day two of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 9, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Bruns
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    A hard-court specialist, admittedly, but he’s still the best singles player out of the entire U.S. men’s field.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Her Title Chances

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 05:  Bethanie Mattek-Sands of USA celebrates winning a game against Francesca Schiavone of Italy during day six of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open Tennis on May 5, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Always stronger on the hard courts, she may be able to spring a surprise or two on the way, and not just with the odd outfits she wears.

John Isner and His Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 27:  John Isner serves against Alex Bogomolov Jr. during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 27, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    2010 was his best year on court to date, and he’s started to prove himself against top players including Radek Stepanek and Marin Cilic.

Varvara Lepchenko and Her Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 23:  Varvara Lepchenko readies for a return against Coco Vandeweghe during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    She’s improving all the time after a decent 2010, although she’s not yet got past the second round in any grand slam.

Ryan Sweeting and His Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 23:  Ryan Sweeting returns against Xavier Malisse of Belgium during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Doing well on clay so far this year, with a win in Houston, he’s in his best run of form since turning pro. Knocked out in the first round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year, he’ll be looking for a much better summer.

Christina McHale and Her Title Chances

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 10:  Christina McHale of USA serves during her second round match against Francesca Schiavone of Italy during day three of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 10, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Alex
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Another singles player at her all-time highest world ranking, she’ll be hoping for good things at her second-ever French Open.

Coco Vandeweghe and Her Title Chances

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 23:  Coco Vandeweghe returns against Varvara Lepchenko during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The big-serving teenager is another having her best year ever, and will be looking for a reasonable run to gain some big tournament experience.

Can Any U.S. Player Win the Title?

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    It's not looking too promising, to be honest. Andy Roddick would have been in the mix somewhere, but of course now he has pulled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury. 

    The best the USA may be able to hope for is good things in the doubles, as always.

    What do you think?