And then there were none.
But in no way should that detract from the interest going forward at the sports premier event.
Yes, seeing Fish or Andy Roddick or one of the Williams sisters advance to the semis and then the finals would have been helpful to the American tennis cause. And with each of them failing to get to the semis (and all but Fish exiting earlier than expected) the whole "American tennis is dead" concept will continue to pick up steam.
But whether or not there is a dominant men's or women's American tennis player should have no bearing on the future of the American game.
Although I can't imagine it's an enormous revenue booster, tennis still has a home on NBC, and aside from the Australian Open (i.e. the time change) it's pretty easy to follow. So plenty of young children can tune in and learn about the game and hear exceptional commentary from people like John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.
But more importantly, there are a handful of really powerful figures still in the game, and it doesn't matter if they are American, Spanish, Serbian, Swiss, Brazilian, Nepalese, Zimbabwean or Antarctican. As long as there are great champions like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer along with the occasional underdog story (like this year's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Sabine Lisicki), there are compelling storylines.
In the end, that, not nationality or what flag sits next to the names on the scoreboard, is what brings youngsters to the game.
So no matter what you hear about how “the future of American tennis is in trouble,” as long as the game itself is healthy—which it most certainly is—American excellence won’t be too far behind.
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