American Tennis Is Not As Bad As Perceived

Monica FritschCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2010

Arthur Ashe Stadium
Arthur Ashe StadiumNick Laham/Getty Images

On Monday evening, “America’s grand slam” came to a dramatic close.

For American tennis fans, the fact that “no American man” made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, for the second year in a row, is perhaps the most dramatic part.

This statement, made numerous times by television commentators, is false. Not only did four American men make it to the quarterfinals, they won the tournament.

Bob Bryan started things off for the U.S., by winning the Mixed Doubles with fellow American, Liezel Huber. Bryan then joined his twin brother, Mike, to win the Men’s Doubles.

This was their third tournament win in a row and ninth of the year. David Wagner and Nicholas Taylor defended their title in Wheelchair Quad Doubles and Wagner took the Wheelchair Quad Singles title, for the first time.

Jack Sock followed suit, by winning the Boy’s Singles title, in the first All-American final in a decade. Vania King scored the last victory for the U.S., by winning the Women’s Doubles title with partner, Yaroslava Shvedova.

This may be surprising, considering that we’ve been hearing that American tennis is dead and needs someone to start contending for Major titles.

While I do agree there’s room for improvement, I by no means think American tennis is dead. I think fans just need to be a little more patient and accepting of the players we currently have.

The U.S. may not currently have players ranked in the top 10 in men’s singles, but Andy Roddick is ranked No. 11 and has been a fixture in the top 10 since 2002.

In 2001, he ended the year at No. 14, in his second season on the ATP World Tour. He is the last player to claim a men’s singles title, the 2003 U.S. Open.

He has also been a Davis Cup stalwart, being part of the championship winning team, in 2007.

Other members of that championship Davis Cup team aren’t too shabby, either. James Blake, who has struggled lately, has been ranked as high as No. 4.

Bob and Mike Bryan became the all-time men’s doubles titles leaders, when they captured the Farmers Classic in July.

On the women’s side, Venus and Serena Williams are still there. Then there are 4 others in the Top 100. In doubles, there are four players in the top five. Most of these women are Grand Slam champions and are consistent members of the U.S. Fed Cup team.

In fact, Serena and Venus Williams, Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Liezel Huber will all be on the team for the Fed Cup Final against Italy Nov. 6-7.

This is the second year in a row that the U.S. team has been the Fed Cup Final, a feat last accomplished in 1999 and 2000.

As for the immediate future of American tennis, I look to Jack Sock, Melanie Oudin, and Vania King to be successful in their age group. Then there’s John Isner and Sam Querrey, who are a little older, but still not veterans of the Tour.

They will be on the Davis Cup roster alongside Mardy Fish, who is having his best year to date. Rookie Ryan Harrison, who had a great run at this year’s U.S. Open, will join them. Their World Group Playoff against Colombia will take place September 17-19.

After the tie against Colombia, long-time captain Patrick McEnroe, will resign. He wants to focus on his role as head of Player Development with the United States Tennis Association.

This is great news for the future of American tennis and I have every reason to believe that we will have another men’s singles Grand Slam champion, soon.