US Open Tennis 2011: Top-Ranked Americans Off to Terrific Starts

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2011

So maybe American tennis isn’t dead after all.

The top three ranked US players at the 2011 US Open have all advanced to the second round and all three have the look of making a deep run.

No. 21 Andy Roddick disposed of 96th-ranked Michael Russell 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 Wednesday night.

Roddick was aces when it came to his serve, holding a 13-0 edge. The radar gun was lighting up, as was the crowd watching one of the best servers in the game dominate that part of the match.

Next up is 18-year-old Jack Sack, another American.

John Isner had a bit more trouble dispatching of Marcos Baghdatis, but he was able to fend him off by a count of 7-6 (2), 7-6 (11), 2-6, 6-4.

The match featured a whopping 25 aces between the two heavy hitters, with Isner collecting 14 of those. The 28th-ranked player in the world will take his serve, which clocked in at 143 MPH on Wednesday, to the next round, where he will meet American Robby Ginepri.

The most impressive win came after Mardy Fish absolutely dominated his first-round opponent, Tobias Kamke, by a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 count on Monday. The eighth-ranked player at Flushing Meadows will be playing Malek Jaziri tomorrow afternoon.

The top Americans may have won in different fashions, but it’s encouraging to see the top three competitors represent the country well.

Sure, there are still six more matches to win to be crowned champion, but with the impressive performances of Fish and Roddick early on, you wonder if these two are finally ready to take the next step and finally win a Grand Slam event. Who knows what kind of damage Isner can do with that killer serve.

One thing is for sure: They certainly have the benefit of home court in New York City.

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