John Isner’s loss may set up another dubious record for American tennis. Unless Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish go deep at the BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells, for the first time in the history of the ATP Rankings the U.S. will not have a man in the Top 20 next week.
The 15th-ranked Isner, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt yesterday, will drop into the low 20s once his 2012 runner-up points roll off. And right now it’s only No. 23 Sam Querrey and No. 32 Mardy Fish that are left with a chance to keep the U.S. inside the Top 20.
“American tennis has been amazing for so many years, and it will be in the future, as well,” said Roger Federer after his win yesterday over Denis Istomin. “So doesn’t matter the rankings, always, but obviously with Andy Roddick retiring and John not being so well and Mardy having the issues, obviously rankings don’t tell the truth at the moment.”
Youngester Ryan Harrison is among a handful of new Amercians hoping to get his ranking up there to contend.
“If you look at the circumstances in which why we don’t have Americans in the top 20, it’s not from a lack of talent,” said Ryan Harrison last night. “It’s definitely just an execution thing. I think there is five, six, seven guys that have the ability that can get there, and I hope I consider myself one of them.”
In 1993 the U.S. finished that year with five men in the Top 20. Last season the U.S. finished with just one. And pro tennis in American has been in a state of decline with the recent losses of the Los Angeles and San Jose events.
Two and a half years ago Roddick fell out of the Top 10. Now the bar may go lower still.
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