2011 French Open: 11 Reasons Why No American Will Win the French Open

Sean ClairCorrespondent IMay 21, 2011

2011 French Open: 11 Reasons Why No American Will Win the French Open

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 09:  Andy Roddick of the USA shows his dejection as he leans on the net during his first round match against Gilles Simon of France during day two of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 9, 2011 in Rom
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The past decade at the French Open has probably been the worst American tennis has ever seen.

    The last winner of the event was Serena Williams in 2002 (also last to reach a semifinal in 2008). The last man to win was Andrei Agassi in 1999, which happens to be the last time an American man reached the semifinals.

    So this year is when the Americans break out of their slump, right?

    No Chance!

    So why will no American win the French this year?

Injuries

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Serena Williams of the USA shows her dejection as she leaves the court after retiring injured from her first round match against Francesca Schiavone of Italy during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 11, 2
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Injuries are plaguing the Americans heading into the French Open.

    Both Williams sisters are out. Serena due to her ailing foot that has troubled her since late last season, and her pulmonary embolism (lung issue). Venus is out due to the hip injury she suffered at the Australian Open earlier this year. 

    Andy Roddick is out on the men's side due to a shoulder problem that caused him to drop out of the warm-up tournament in Nice, France this week.

Hot Players

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 15:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the trophy aloft after his victory in the final against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day eight of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 15, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Pho
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    We all know about Novak Djokovic on the men's side. He's won all 37 matches he's played in this season, and has shown no signs of slowing down. 

    Nadal, except for the injury he suffered at the Australian Open, has also looked very good this year only losing to Djokovic.

    On the women's side Caroline Wozniacki has played well all season, while Kim Clijsters has played well when healthy.

Spanish Men

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 13:  Rafael Nadal of Spain slides to play a backhand during his quarter final match against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day six of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre  on May 13, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Pho
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The Spanish men have been a dominant force at Roland Garros for years now.

    Just listen to this list: Nadal, Ferrer, Almagro, Verdasco, Robredo, and the list goes on. These guys just know how to play on the dirt.

    Look for the Spanish Armada to be in full effect again this year. 

Surprises of WTA

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 13:  Francesca Schiavone of Italy plays a forehand during her quarter final match against Samantha Stosur of Australia  during day six of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre  on May 13, 2011 in Rome, Italy.
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The WTA is extremely unpredictable. You really have no idea who is going to win each event, especially the large ones.

    It also seems, that every year at one or more grand slams, there is a surprise run on the women's side. No one expected Schiavone to win last year, and an unseeded player always seems to make a run to the quarters. 

    This may favor Americans, but it also shows it could hurt them as a surprise could come from anywhere.

Poor Play This Year

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 10:  Sam Querrey of USA in action during his first round match against Kevin Anderson of South Africa 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 L
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    No surprise that an American hasn't won a clay court singles event this season. 

    It seems like in every tournament on the men's side that they can't even get out of the first round, and if they do they're out in the second.

    As for the women, they always have a chance to do a little better with the uncertainty at every event on the WTA, but there still has not been much success this season.

History

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    6 Jun 1999:  Andre Agassi of the United States celebrates victory during the 1999 French Open Final match against Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine played at Roland Garros in Paris, France.  The match finished in an emotional victory for Andre Agassi. \ Mand
    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    As I mentioned on the first slide the Americans have been dreadful at Roland Garros in recent history. 

    They can't even get to the quarterfinals let alone win the whole thing. Why will this year be any different?

Draws

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 27:  John Isner looks on 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

    Some of the Americans weren't treated with the nicest draws in the first round.

    Melanie Oudin gets to face the defending champion on the women's side in Francesca Schiavone who loves the clay.

    John Isner gets to face Nadal in the first round, which is unfortunate for him. However, he has no one to blame but himself due to a poor year thus far that has dropped him to 39th in the world.

The Surface

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    novak djokovic
    novak djokovicClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Everyone knows that the Americans least favorite surface is clay. They grow up playing on hard courts, and were never taught how to play on clay.

    It also doesn't help that most of the rest of the world learns to play on clay, which gives them a great advantage at the French Open.

Attitudes

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    KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22:  Melanie Oudin of the USA reacts to a lost point against Julia Goerges of Germany during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 22, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    We may never know what a player thinks heading into a tournament. However, it's highly likely that the Americans may think they have no chance on the clay.

    This, of course, is the last kind of attitude you want to have, because if you think you have no chance, then you have no chance.

    Maybe they think they do have a shot, but you have to question what really is going on in their heads.

Preparation

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    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 04:  An American flag is unveiled during opening day ceremonies between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 4, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Preparation is key to getting ready for majors. The Americans don't seem to realize this.

    It's not that they don't play in events, but some of them don't play in enough. To get a feel for the clay, the Americans should get out and play on it as much as possible, and some just don't.

    For example, at the Monte Carlo Masters not one American man was in the field. Why they weren't we may never know.

Everyone Else Is Just Better

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    ROME, ITALY - MAY 11:  Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand during his second round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during day four of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 11, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The results at the French just prove it. The rest of the world is better on the clay than the Americans; there isn't anything else to say about it.