History will be made on Monday and for American tennis it’s not good. According to the ATP when the new rankings are issued on Monday, August 9, there will be no American men in the Top 10 for the very first time since the inception of the rankings on August 23, 1973.
This record comes as Andy Roddick, who is currently ranked No. 9, will fall out of the Top 10 after his loss yesterday evening to Gilles Simon in Washington.
The struggling Roddick was last outside of the Top 10 the week of August 14, 2006. It’s worth saying that he later went on to win Cincinnati and reach the US Open final that season.
However, it’s been 27 Grand Slams since an American man last won a Major when Roddick claimed the 2003 US Open. And Monday marks another lowpoint in American tennis history.
But the US men have been through downcycles before.
Most notably at the end of the John McEnroe/Jimmy Connors generation in the mid-1980s. But Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Jim Courier quickly took the reigns and brought American tennis to even greater heights in the 90s.
Then again in the early 2000s with Sampras and Agassi waning, questions were asked of the future. Yet again, a new star named Andy Roddick, came into prominence just in time.
Now, with Roddick, who’ll be 28 at the end of the month, clearly on the downslope of his career who’ll carry the American flag going forward?
Can John Isner sustain his upward ranking climb? Will Sam Querrey breakthrough at a big event? Is it too late for the improving Mardy Fish? And is there any future in Donald Young, Ryan Harrison, Chase Buchanan, etc? I posed this question in my first post in February.
With this historic ranking on Monday, the sorry state of American men’s tennis will unfortunately become a heavy storyline and a topic of debate the rest of this summer swing right through the US Open.
Here’s hoping that someone steps up.
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