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Andy Roddick and Venus Williams: Still Holding Down the Fort

Van Sias@@Van_SiasContributor IIIJanuary 19, 2011

Venus Williams won her second-round match in three sets at the Australian.
Venus Williams won her second-round match in three sets at the Australian.Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Results like this were supposed to be restricted to the French Open.

American women went 2-9 in the first round of the Australian Open this year.

The men went 5-3, but one of them—Mardy Fish—lost his second-round match to Tommy Robredo, while two others—Ryan Sweeting and Michael Russell—are scheduled to play Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, respectively, which doesn't bode too well for the Americans' chances.

Two players still in the mix—Andy Roddick and Venus Williams—have made it to the third round and could honestly be considered the best chances for an American player to win a Grand Slam, at least until Serena Williams comes back.

But how long must Roddick and Venus be expected to help bear the hopes of a nation?

Roddick is the last American male to win a Grand Slam singles title, back in 2003, but has made four other major finals since then, which, combined with having reached the top spot in the rankings, makes him a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Venus has already cemented her legacy as one of the greatest of all time with multiple Slam wins.

Though they are both older now, it's hard to say much has fallen off in regard to their games, as they maintain solid presences among the game's elite and have reached heights their compatriots can only dream about at this point.

In Australia, why aren't the Americans pulling off upsets early on, or in some cases, winning the matches that they should, as seen with Sam Querrey's loss to Lukasz Kubot?

It would be difficult to place the blame on the surface, as U.S. players have long touted their ability to play on hard courts. Granted, the depth in both the men and women's game has grown tremendously as seen by the fact you have players from tiny nations such as Serbia winning major titles.

There's no doubt that the American players are out there fighting, but something else must be done. Roddick and Venus can't be the lone standard or flag-bearers forever.

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