French Open 2011: Melanie Oudin and Other Americans with a Shot at the Title
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
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
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
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
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
Varvara Lepchenko and Her Title Chances
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
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
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
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?
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?