American Tennis: USTA, Fans Asking ‘Who’s Next?’ and ‘When?’

by Richard Vach | October 3rd, 2008, 1:43 pm

James Blake at 28 years old is a late bloomer, only last year equaling his career-high ranking of No. 4 and remaining a perennial Top 10 player. And it has been almost five years since Andy Roddick hit his peak, but he is another Top 10 mainstay. This year Roddick has wins over the world’s Top 3 players in Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

On the American women’s side, this year Venus Williams won Wimbledon, and younger sister Serena captured the US Open title and re-took the No. 1 ranking.

And they’re saying U.S. tennis has a problem?

On the surface, U.S. tennis is humming along just as it has over the last few years — Roddick and Blake the flag carriers on the men’s side, and the Williams sisters and (the retired? retiring?) Lindsay Davenport on the women’s side.

But that’s also the problem: who’s next?

The upper echelon of men’s and women’s tennis has changed dramatically this year, but only the 27-year-old (old in tennis terms) Serena has played a part in it.

After spending half his career at the No. 2 rank, Rafael Nadal has finally taken the No. 1 rank from Roger Federer. Justine Henin’s abrupt retirement before the French Open left a void that has since been filled by Serbs Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic (Jankovic will regain the No. 1 rank this coming Monday).

The Williams sisters, with 15 Grand Slam singles titles between them, certainly have the skill sets to each challenge again for No. 1 — but more than 13 years of power-tennis pounding has taken its toll. Both Venus and Serena are more frequently injured than healthy, even if they can once in a while put together two weeks of injury-free play, as Venus did earlier this year in her impressive run at Wimbledon, and Serena at Flushing Meadows. The Williams sisters this year missed the entire US Open Series with injury, save for Serena who tried to play Stanford, retiring with a knee problem. At the Beijing Olympics, Venus made her first appearance since Wimbledon, with both sisters exiting in the quarterfinals. Venus is 28, and Serena is 27. This in an age where players rarely compete past the age of 30.

Fans can feel fortunate they’ve had the William sisters this long. Early in their careers when they both reigned at No. 1, their eccentric father Richard predicted they would retire in their mid-20s to pursue their various off-court career interests.


Maria Sharapova briefly attained No. 1 again after Henin’s retirement, followed by first-timers Ivanovic and Jankovic. Even Svetlana Kuznetsova was within reach twice this year, and Russian Dinara Safina will soon have a shot at the rate she has been collecting titles and Olympic medals in 2008.

The question remains, where are the next generation of U.S. women players?

If the Williams sisters were to retire with Davenport as of this writing, the U.S. would have no women in the Top 40, and three players in the Top 100 (including the 30+ Jill Craybas, and Ashley Harkleroad who is pregnant). In other words, by the time the Williams retire, U.S. women’s tennis will virtually retire with them.

It is a stark contrast to the glorious 1980s, when American women comprised half or more of the year-end Top 10 players from 1980 to ’85, and again in 1988. The rise of Davenport and the Williams sisters in the late ’90s brought about an American resurgence, and in 2001 the U.S. again ended the year with five in the Top 10.

But that’s when things began to dry up.

Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo twisted the knife in 2006, when no U.S. players finished the year in the Top 10, discussing the rise of global tennis and the numerous sports options for U.S. children besides tennis.

“That’s tough for you guys,” Mauresmo said. “I don’t know what is going on in the way of the USTA finding the next kid. You have basketball, baseball, you have a lot of other sports and tennis is suffering right now. We suffered in Europe a couple of years ago, it is much better now. It is difficult to produce champions decade after decade. You guys were lucky for 30 or 40 years.”

The U.S. men haven’t seen a Grand Slam singles champion for five years, since Roddick won his lone Slam title at the US Open, then briefly held the No. 1 ranking before Federer rose to prominence. The generation of Roddick, Blake, and contemporaries Mardy Fish, Robby Ginepri, etc., have faced extra scrutiny trying to follow up America’s “Greatest Generation” of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, etc.

Agassi for one says you can’t ignore the fact that Federer, who many have already anointed the greatest player ever, has kept Roddick down.

“There are a lot of Slams that Roddick would’ve won had Federer not been there,” Agassi said. “Sometimes, it’s just unfortunate. He is a talent, he deserves to be out there at the top of the game.”


Roddick claimed the No. 1 ranking on the strength of an explosive serve and punishing forehand. Since then he has struggled to meet the high standard set by Federer and Nadal, and lately by newcomer Novak Djokovic. A coaching stint with Jimmy Connors improved his backhand weakness, but failed to convert the top American into a consistent all-court player.

Roddick’s 2008 season has been maddeningly inconsistent. In February he won San Jose, and in March defeated Nadal and Djokovic en route to the Dubai title. At Indian Wells he lost first round to nemesis Tommy Haas, then in Miami beat Federer en route to the semifinals. At Wimbledon, where he reached the finals in 2004-05, Roddick made an uncharacteristic second-round exit, admitting to tightening-up when a fifth set was within his grasp.

“Any chance I got I pretty much just choked it,” Roddick said following a loss to Janko Tipsarevic. “That’s tough to deal with…It’s not an easy thing to say, but it’s pretty much what happened. I could sit here and try to dance around it all night, but you guys watched it. It was what it was. It’s like you want something so bad you almost squeeze too tight.”

“Choking,” or a lack of confidence, has touched all the top Americans this year, who like Roddick have experienced jubilant highs and frustrating lows. Blake beat Federer at the Olympics, but dropped two tournament finals to unheralded opponents, at Delray Beach (Kei Nishokori) and Houston (Marcel Granollers).

Fish beat Federer in Indian Wells — before losing 10 times in the first or second round through the Beijing Olympics. At Cincinnati this summer, Ginepri won the first set off Federer and served for the match in the second — before losing in a tiebreak, then losing the third set 6-0.

“Usually I would get pretty nervous or tight at that point,” Ginepri said. “From the first set on at 4-all, 5-4, my anxiety was at a pretty high level. So the looking across the net and seeing Roger and playing in a high stakes match, it’s tough.”

As opposed to the Williams sisters who are self-belief personified, the American men seem susceptible as any players to that fickle mistress — confidence.

“I think anytime you can develop as much confidence as possible going into a huge tournament, the better,” Fish said. “The main thing is you have to have confidence.”

Nadal and Federer, through their training regimens, have raised confidence to a new level. Rising Floridian Jesse Levine, on the verge of cracking the Top 100 prior to the US Open, saw Federer’s regimen up close last summer when he was invited to train with the Swiss in Dubai. He witnessed Federer grinding in the brutal Dubai heat, going through multiple practice partners in one day.

“He pushes himself so hard. I learned a lot,” Levine said. “I saw firsthand how he did his routine. He’s the best player in the world and to be able to witness that, I’m used to all kinds of situations now.”

One employee of professional tennis described the work ethic of some of the younger American players another way.

“I see the [lower ranked] American guys out at the bars during the week,” said the observer who travels in pro tennis, requesting anonymity. “You don’t see Rafa out at the bars, no way would uncle Toni [Nadal] let that happen. Same with Federer. Those guys are professional, they’re there to do a job.”

Perhaps that’s why part of the USTA’s new Elite Player Development Program includes the participants attending a mini-Marines training at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, where they’re put through a boot camp of military discipline. Welcome to the new tennis regiment.


The mission of the USTA is in part “to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels.” Over the last two years the organization has dedicated tens of millions of dollars in establishing USTA National Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Carson, Calif., to nurture future pros. They have also bought stakes in U.S. pro events, most recently Cincinnati.
The ATP and WTA tours have been shipping pro events out of the U.S., most recently San Diego on the women’s side and Las Vegas on the men’s side, to tennis-hungry countries in Asia and Europe. Fewer tennis events in the U.S. mean fewer wildcard opportunities for U.S. players, fewer tournaments on TV — less tennis all around. This is only one of the new approaches the USTA has taken to protect American tennis.

In terms of talent development, the old USTA approach was a staff of coaches working with traveling pros and juniors, leaving the boarding-school approach to the Bollettieri-type camps. Now the USTA is in the boarding-school business, as even Bollettieri isn’t cranking out the Agassis and Couriers as in years past. But the camps and academies in Europe are, leaving the U.S. with some catching-up to do with its new Elite Player Development Program, started in 2007.

“It’s a global sport now, it’s very competitive. It’s not easy out there,” Agassi said. “We rightfully should have [an American] atop the game and I think we still have some opportunities for that with the generation that we’re in, plus the younger ones coming up.”

The country that produced No. 1s Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jennifer Capriati, etc., etc., expects a lot from each generation. There have been more than double the number of Americans to rank No. 1 than any other country. America is No. 1 in tennis — when you look at past statistics. Today Russia and Serbia are No. 1 in women’s tennis, while Federer (Switzerland), Nadal (Spain) and Djokovic (Serbia) will likely clog-up the top of the men’s game for years to come.

The U.S. became complacent in the ’90s and into the 21st century as the world tennis landscape changed, but the American system remained the same — waiting for one of the tennis factories to churn out another Agassi or Capriati, or hoping a Connors or Williams would materialize from the suburbs or inner-cities. But it never happened.

Experts acknowledge that the popularity of tennis in the U.S. depends a large part on putting Americans in big televised tournament finals. To illustrate the difficulty of the task ahead: this year, of the 10 tournaments comprising the US Open Series, all televised, only one final featured an American.

Patrick McEnroe, the new manager of the USTA Elite Player Development Program, says he has the answer.

“There’s really no secret in how to create tennis champions,” McEnroe told the New York Times this summer. “It’s actually very simple. You have to take talent and surround it with talent.”

Don’t forget that Florida institutions like Bollettieri, Evert, Saviano, etc., have been surrounding talent with talent for decades. Pledging to spend as much as $100 million over the next 10 years to produce the next generation of champions, the USTA is playing catch-up and American tennis fans are hoping that, as McEnroe says, it is truly that simple.

This story was updated from an article that originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of Play Tennis Florida magazine.

You Might Like:
Wrong German Anthem Sung On Court During Fed Cup v USA, USTA Under Fire
USTA Says It’s Not Their Fault That Eugenie Bouchard Fell In The US Open Locker Room
Bouchard Wins Lawsuit vs USTA for 2015 US Open Locker Room Slip
Play Tennis Florida — Feb./March Digital Issue Online
Juan Martin Del Potro Given Wildcard Into US Open Main Draw

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

113 Comments for American Tennis: USTA, Fans Asking ‘Who’s Next?’ and ‘When?’

Joe Says:

I can’t imagine no US women in the Top 50 but it could happen tomorrow if the Williams sisters retire and open their own make-up store of something. Hard to know what theyre going to do. I thought Venus said at the Beijing Olympics she wanted to play the 2012 Olympics.

MMT Says:

Americans simply lack that blood-thirsty determination to succeed. With the exception of Roddick, who in my opinion has over-achieved based on his abilities, most American men on tour were born into (reasonable) wealth, and don’t really NEED to succeed for the prospect of a good life. That’s not so of the europeans, especially the eastern europeans.

It’s true that we have the florida academies, but they are often producing some of the fineest eastern european players you know how they’re financed? They take money from middle class americans who can afford to send their kids, but who’s children don’t really have the innate motivation, and they subsidize the development of the eastern europeans who have the real desire to succeed.

Nadal and Federer are exceptions – Nadal is born into a family of great athletes that instilled in him a work ethic learned in the cut-throat crucible of professional sports. Combine that with great innate motivation, and you have a champion. The same goes for Federer – although his parents weren’t professionals at the level of Nadal’s family, they were determined to give him the tools, and the Swiss Federation came to the rescue. And of course, he was probably about the most determined kid in the world when he decided he wanted to be #1.

For the rest of them, the desire was innate, but it was spurred by the need to struggle, sacrifice, and the fact that they had little to fall back on.

As for the Williams sisters – you have an extraordinary man who was determined to make them champions, and ignored or didn’t have access to the typical country club development that creates the Ashley Harkleroads of the world. I saw a 60-minutes piece on them nearly 20 years ago, where he had both of them doing 100 push-ups and 200 sit ups every night, before age 10, among many other things. How many of those country club types do you think were playing video games when they were building their muscles. Today you see the results.

The key is innate determination, coupled with a tough environment, and the realization that there’s nothing to fall back on.

Nancy J Says:

A lot of the current top European and Russian (and other) players in fact ARE training in the United States, or have trained here, so the USA IS putting out champtions. Just not American born ones. Examples are Shriekypova and Jankovic.

I think the boot camp approach has its ups and downs for the US kids. It can work to build discipline and work ethics, but I wonder if there is too much pressure when we uproot a kid from their family and homes at ages sometimes younger than 10, in order to groom them as champions.

Can they stand the pressure starting at such a young age? Especially if it’s not yet determined that they have that innate concentration and mental God given gift as did King, Evert, Austin, the WS, Agassi, Connors, Johnny Mc. Do we crush them before they CAN develop it?

Except for Agassi (whose family dynamic was destroyed for him), most great American champs kept a close family structure. The full time boot camps seem to rock that structure in my opinion. It may work for non American kids, but I don’t know if it can work for us. But we shall see.

sensationalsafin Says:

You forgot to mention Sampras.

Vulcan Says:

MMT Says:

As for the Williams sisters – you have an extraordinary man who was determined to make them champions, and ignored or didn’t have access to the typical country club development that creates the Ashley Harkleroads of the world

Although I think they could do a little better in the humility department sometimes…it must be said that the Williams sisters are an amazing inspirational story for anyone that dreams of becoming a tennis pro but cant afford to spend thousands of dollars on lessons and isnt born into the country club set. They and their father have accomplished something quite extraordinary.

jane Says:

This is an excellent article on the behind the scenes of tennis and what it takes to make champions.

I am curious, however, why some of the younger American men were not really mentioned – the potential “next generation” after Roddick, Blake, Ginepri and Fish.

For instance, there are guys like Querrey and Young who both have a lot of potential. There’s Isner, too, but I am not sure I see him going far.

I’d be curious to know how these guys developed (through what type of system) and what people think of their potential to become “Elite” players.

Vulcan Says:

Nancy J Says:

A lot of the current top European and Russian (and other) players in fact ARE training in the United States, or have trained here, so the USA IS putting out champtions

Yes a good example of that is Dmitry Tursunov.

jane Says:

Except Tursunov isn’t exactly a “champion” in that he’s not won a lot of major titles, but on the women’s side this is definitely true.

HOLA Says:

Nancy -why do you call Maria S., Shriekapova? The same should apply to Venus whose decibel level is equal to or greater. How about Screamer Williams?

zola Says:

An excellent post.

The bootcamp idea is just bizzare. I can’t understand how militarizing tennis would help bloom talents! I think it will mostly kill the enthusiasm.

I think there are several factors. What is needed to make a tennis champion? Talent, enthusiasm, exposure and discipline/hard work.

Almost all the tennis champions have been playing since they were too young to choose. Can USTA do that? Can they find talents at that very young age? What is the apporpriate age anyway?

Then comes enthusiasm. With the introduction of video and computer games, it is even hard to take a child hiking let alone motivate him to play tennis for a living. As Richard Louv writes in his book, the kids mostly like to play indoors “because that’s where all the electrical outlets are”.

exposure and discipline: We are lucky to have free tennis courts where kids can play and clubs that are not too expensive. But tennis is very hard to follow as a sport if you are not a hard core fan. Just recently we can watch the matches online. There is very limited exposure on TV. You can watch Golf, football, basketball,…for free on national TV, almost every week, but not tennis. Only Grand Slams and only the second weeks. You have to buy the tennis channel and get bored with unlimited reruns and you have to have ESPN because they like to split the coverage. To me this doesn’t work. USTA should invest on free coverage of master series and the American events on national TV.

I think there is no need for a bootcamp for discipline. Just a good program and a good coach.

I also think that USTA should invest on clay and grass courts, so that the American players can be more visible in non-hard court parts of the season.

zola Says:

I agree that Querrey is the next big American male player. I am not so sure about Young and Isner.

Women? I have no idea!

CKY Says:

I can’t believe, how you guys kept on telling people that, Roddick had beaten top 3 players like Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. That was really a one off thingy. You should also had mentioned that, how Roddick was trashed by Djokovic and Nadal at the US Open and the Davis Cup! Are you really that desperate to find some glory for Roddick? Imo, he is just a pretty boy with big serve. He is not really in the same league with Roger and all these top 5 players. And that was also the reason why Federer was being able to demoniate the tour during the 2004 to 2007 period. Because there weren’t really that much of challenge for him with guys like Roddick and Hewitt being the top dogs. Safin was a great player, but he is too moody as a player to challenge Roger.

Von Says:

“I can’t believe, how you guys kept on telling people that, Roddick had beaten top 3 players like Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. That was really a one off thingy.”

Awwhh, you have to forgive them for they know not what they say and do. You are so right, those Dubai wins over Nadal and Djokovic happened in the desert, after they were trekking around for 40 days and nights, with their throats parched, and the sandstorm blowing into their faces, blinding their vision. They were suffering from a full-blown case of an illusion. It was a mirage, a figment of everyone’s imagination and it never happened. This is why it’s a one-off “thinggy”.

“Imo, he is just a pretty boy with big serve.”

Here, again an illusion — that 155 mph serve doesn’t exist — it never happened. They serve gun had an off-day. He got those 26 titles because they were mesmerized by his absolutely handsome, dazzling, brilliant, wholesome, All American Boy good looks and charm, and because of all of those atrributes, they begged him to accept those 26 titles that’s listed on his tennis CV, as a token of their appreciation and eternal gratitude for his kindness in allowing them to gaze upon the face of one so generously endowed with a beauty beyond the comprehension of the human mind. For them, it was like staring in the face of an Adonis — what a sight to behold. They have been walking around ever since in a state of utter discombobulation.

Vulcan Says:

This individual apparently is not familiar with the seven deadly sins and in particular the one that deals with vanity.

Von Says:

One lacking in comprehension cannot understand the wit underneath — why bother. Confront without generalizations — which individual are we talking about?

gulu Says:

Dear Von, u r my favourite bully on this site !

Von Says:


Hi, thank you for the love. Be careful with your choice of favourites, because I’m soon to be tarred and feathered and you might happen to get some tar all over you too. :D

Well, I was right in my choice for the Tokyo final — which was Berdych. He won 6-1, 6-4. I like him very muich, but would have been mad at him if he had lost after beating A-Rod. I’m smiling again. Here’s one for you too. :P

Von Says:


Sorry, I misspelt your name. That post at 2:18 am addressed to ‘hulu”., was meant for you.

Roger is full of shits! Says:

And Gulu is one of his piles! lol

CKY Says:

Roddick is only a 1 slam wonder! I remember how he was humilated by Federer at the Aussie Open 2007. And it was a miracle for him to had beaten Roger this year. All the people that I know who are into him are those teeny weeny girls who know nothing about tennis. I guess that girls like to have dreams and delusional about stuffs! ;)

CKY Says:

I also remember what the press said about Roddick is catching up with Federer, when he had Connors as his coach. Then he was trashed by Federer at the Aussie Open semi. lol And when Roddick won his touranment last week, it also wasn’t an easy task for him. But it was easy draws for him!

Von Says:

This thread, like so many others that are are supposed to discuss the topic of American tennis, will ultimately turn into an American/Roddick bashing fest for those who dislike the Americans.

gulu Says:

Hey Roger is full of shits, cool down! Why r u making a fool of urself ?

gulu Says:

Who’s d fool on this site known by d name of Roger is full of shits?

gulu Says:

As long as America continues its dominance in world affairs,it doesn’t really matters who likes/dislikes America. lol!

gulu Says:

I really lik Roddic as player and as a person. And ther are peopl who don’t lik him. Hope this isn’t goin to turn this site into a boxing arena!

gulu Says:

Hey Roger-is-full-of-shits! Wher r u? Just wanna say dat Roger fans sympathise with u.Pleas don’t b too ashamed of being a fool! Ur folly is coz of ur madness caused by anti-Roger stance.All Fed fans’ll pray so dat u recover from madness!

zola Says:

It is a big accident to beat the top three one after another. Roddick has a big serve and on fast courts he can use it very well. Combine that with a bad day for a player and a win is not improbable at all. Remeber he was No 1 and has been in top 5 or a long time.

Btw, don’t be detered by headcases who go crazy if you criticize Roddick! There are also many who can conduct a civil conversation.

gulu dear,
Just ignore the trolls. Scroll down.

Just looked at the results. Berdych, DP and JJ fans must be very happy now. Congratulations!

Berdych won DP 6-1, 6-4! Amazing! and strong results for Berdych.Did anyone see the match? DP is officially top 10 now and also 9th on the race. My guess is he will be in Shanghai, perhaps replacing Blake.

And JJ won Stuttgart and will be no 1 on Monday!

btw, here is a nice article by about the ATP race.:

and this one for WTA Doha:

zola Says:

to get back tothe main conversation:

I think Blake will be out of Shanghai this year and perhaps Roddick will be next year. It is a serious draught for the American tennis.

Querrey maybe the next chance. There are also Young, Delic, Levine, Ram, Isner,…a few others.

Is it possible for these young players to go up the rankings? If the answer is yes, how?

Young has great strokes, but he is too inconsistent. He is currently being coached by hir oarents. I don’t know about the others. What can USTA do to bring these playes in top 50, top 20?

zola Says:

It is a big accident to beat the top three one after another***

It is a typo: It has to be:

It is NOT a big accident to beat the top three one after another***

I have written that before many times and commended Roddick for being the only player to beat the top 3 this year. I see that VON is trying to use this against me in the other thread! no big surprise!

Von Says:

Why do you need to get into my posts and discussions with another poster. Who asked you. You got into my post and then referred to me as a headcase, and now you’re doing your ususal, projecting your disgusting behavior onto me. Why didn’t you just shut up. The conversaton did not in anyway include you, and to make matters worse you began reffering to me as a headcase. you are an absolutely cantankerous woman, ZOLA. This is your life’s mission, to fo around from thread to thread and, getting into posts that don’t concern you and end up with the name calling, Yesterday you referred to me as “she” and “her” to one of your friends. Do you think when you deliberately sinstigate an argu,ment with me, I”m the one who looks bad? No, it’s you. The message you send to others is that you’re meddlesome and cannot pass up an opportunity to cause a scene. Anyway,. I can see that’s your lifestyle so have fun. BYTW, I thought you didn’t read my posts. another lie again.

zola Says:

one more time. Get a life. You are full of hate and hostile towards anyone who dares to express an opinion here. If you can’t get a life, get a therapist as soon as possible. I will say what I want when and where I want. You can jump up and dowm as much as you want and expose your character with your hostile posts.

zola Says:

CKY’s post was not directed to you. I have a right as anyone to reply to her post.

TD (Tam) Says:

Pardon me but since when did tennis-x care about the state of American tennis? It has been my unfortunate experience to learn over the years that tennis-x is only too happy to see the Americans fail (Roddick especially) while praising their personal favourite Federer to new levels of fandom heights.

Von Says:


I mentioned in a post above, that this will end up in a bashing fest for those who dislike the Americans especially Roddick. As you can see it has already started. These threads cause more bad feelings than good.

How’s the new job BTW. :P

gulu Says:

Von and Zola, pleas don’t fight between yourselves. It really hurts seeing this happen . If you again becom friends then it’ll definitely be a greater feeling 4 me than seeing Roger win a slam.

Von Says:


I had no intentions of fighting with her, but the question you have to ask, does she ever stop. The answer is No. Sorry it hurts you. Do you think someone who is decent refers to another poster as a headcase, considering that I was excanging a post with the person, and not her. Was that necessary because I defended Roddick to call me a headcase. No it wasn’t. Then everytime she defends Nadal, I should get into the middle of it and tell the other person she’s a headcase. She was just itching to start an argument. This is her MO all of the time. It never stops.

gulu Says:

Dear Von, you hav given me another nickname hulu (by mistak thou):-) ! But that was very sweet . But hey,that doesn’t mean u’ll go on callin me hulu! BTW u may lik to know wat ‘gulu’ means! Gulu means cute !

Von Says:


What does hulu mean?

gulu Says:

Dear Von, I’ll not force you to do anything 4 my sake.But you sure hav to keep me posting no matter what. Anyway cheer up, I’ll always remain ur friend.

gulu Says:

Dear Von, another thing which is even more important is you’ll always remain very important for me.

Von Says:


How about if I give you my email address then we can still communcate with each other. I can’t deal with this. There’s an element here that’s too low clss for me to deal with. Let me know if you want it and I’ll give it to you. I keep that email address just for tennis friends. OK?

gulu Says:

Von, we don’t hav d nickname ‘hulu’ in India. U’ll b glad 2 know dat this is entirely a new nickname,ur creation.May be d next time I see d parents of a newborn searchin 4 a nickname 4 their littl one,I’d suggest them this name!

zola Says:

dear gulu,
I have nothing against anyone. You can ask Von, that when she wanted to quit posting, I encourged her to stay here and post. Unfortunately she turned against me when I wrote something about Roddick’son court behavior and can’t just let it go. She goes to lengths to search for my comments and make a case of every comment I make on this board. I try to ignore her but sometimes I have to say something because it becomes too much.

Anyway, thanks for your concern. I will ignore her from now on unless she comes after me again.

zola Says:

I don’t think Richard’s post is about bashing American tennis. Quite the contrary, it is asking a good question on how the next big players can be found and nurtured. It is true that after Roddick and Blake we may not see an American in top 10 for some time. So something has to be done and I thought that was what the article was about.

gulu Says:

Dear Zola, it’s ok. You are my friend and I respect your decisions. You hav the right to decide who r ur friends and who’r not and I wouldn’t interfere with that. Tak care n keep writin to me and ur friends.

zola Says:

gulu dear,
thanks for your understanding. you are a darling. This is for you:

gulu Says:

Ok Von,giv me ur e-mail id.I’d b more than just happy 2 contact u ther. Yet I’d request u never 2 stop posting on this site.U see,now I too m in no mood 2 giv up against d fool.So keep posting n ignore d posts which u don’t like.

gulu Says:

So where Roger-is-full-of-shits hidin?
Come on fool, grow up!

NachoF Says:

Wow, what happened?? how did this topic get so heated??…. you guys need to calm down… everyone has a right to an opinion and to express it… no need to get mad…

Ps. Except if you insult Federer when Im around, haha j/k

About this topic though… I think Ginepri has a better chance of going to the top 10 than Querrey.

andrea Says:

it isn’t all that surprising that there are no up and coming US tennis stars when you look at what sports own the majority of air time and media coverage in the US: football, baseball, basketball and (gasp) Nascar.

despite the US athletes cleaning up in swimming or gymnastics at the olympics, when do you ever see prime time coverage of either of these sports when it’s not the olympics? pretty much never.

as a swiss/canadian, having spent a good portion of my youth growing up in canada, witnessing the fervor surrounding varsity football in the states was a bit of an eye opener. the only thing close to that fervor up here is the devotion to our hockey team.

youth are impressionable. where do you think they want to be if they are interested in a sporting career? something high profile. something their Uncle Jim or father would be proud of. what kid doesn’t dream of being the high school quarterback or pitcher of the home team? how many countless movies idolize this fantasy? the only movie that has come out about tennis (and it was bad) was ‘wimbledon’.

we love tennis and so do a bunch of other people, but until it becomes a ‘status sport’ in the US, it isn’t going to attract the same number of youth to it as a profession.

Von Says:


“Ps. Except if you insult Federer when Im around, haha j/k”

I’d never want to insult Fed when you’re around, because you’re very serious about your Fed. You’re both joined at the hip. :P

Ginepri has been playing a lot better, but he still lacks confidence, and he chokes at times, when closing out a big match, e.g., when he had match points against Fed but couldn’t finish the job. Also, he’s 27, which means he doesn’t have too many more years left to compete.

Querrey and Young, at the present time, seem to be our only hope for the new crop of American males to carry the baton. However, for Young to get to the next rung on the ladder, he’ll need the wisdom of a good coach. I think he has plateaued with his parents’ coaching and could use another pair of eyes and a new voice in his ears. He’s got some weapons, but they just need to be fine tuned. Roddick took Sam under his wing for a while, but I think that was just on a sporadic basis. Earlier this year, while in Vegas, Sam worked with Cahill and Gil Reyes on his game fitness, during the TC Vegas tournament, which he won. I saw improvements in Sam’s fitness after his stint with Reyes, and would have liked to see that relationship blossom into a more permanent one, but it’s not happening. We have a good junior in Ryan Harrison (?).

On the women’s side, I’d like to see Bethanie Mattek win a title. she’s gotten to a few QFs and an SF, but nothing more. She can play on clay, which is not something the Americans excel at, so that’s a positive, and she has a good game. From Agassi’s Academy, there’s Asia Mohamad, who’s a pretty good all-court player. Then there’s that young 16 year-old Vanderwighe(?), who looks like th proverbial all American girl, but she has a long way to go. So all in all, we have some hopefuls, it’s just that it all needs to come together for these youngsters like yesterday. Patience is the key word.

Fedobitch troll Says:

“At this point, I am not sure when I will be ready to play again, but I hope to be back at some point before the end of the year.”

Can there be a better news for most consummate tennis fans around the world than the self-proclaimed master’s magnanimous decision to repose and to allow competition to flourish to its fullest potential? Can there be a better way to incubate exit strategy than the one under the pretext of indefinite deference? Truly a valiant act ! Highly appreciated.

And traitor Sampras’ endorsement of McSame dearly earns him the Worst Person of the year award in 2008. A life-long narcissist is inevitable to become more parsimonious as he cannot think of rising above the transient occasion when endorsements are not flowing his way as he is receding into a wheelchair future; he will seek every opportunity to save a few bucks from potential tax hike on his more than $250,000 annual income even if that happens to be at the cost of the nation and the world turning into a quagmire and slipping from the existential brink into an utter barbaric rule of masculine-nuclear muscle, decadent debauchery, and irreversible apocalyptic annihilation, can he?

TD (Tam) Says:

Von my dear, will you just look at this mess? As per usual the mere mention of Roddick sends tennis fans into a tizzy and the heated discussion runs for dozens and dozens of posts. To those who say Roddick is a has-been need only look at all of the impassioned responses tennis-x receives whenver Mr Roddick is mentioned, and here he was mentioned only in passing, as a supporting character in the drama of USA tennis! That is true star power I should say. :p

I stand by my original post stating that tennis-x/Mr Vach does not care one whit about American tennis because he is on record as being very anti-Roddick/Blake in years past, so sad how the media has turned on him for winning “only” one slam. Remind me again how many players not named Federer or Nadal have won a slam in the past five years? Can the good tennis fans here name any of them? I rest my case. Thank you and good night. :)

Von Says:


You know that it goes without saying how much I echo what you say. I knew immediately I saw the headline, as you can see from my initial post, that this thread would turn into a Roddick bashing fest. Forget the concern for American tennis, which is a sham, it’s Roddick that they’re after. I’m sorry to say this, but to me this is akin to treason. I can’t think of another country that’s sports oriented whose citizens would desecrate their athletes such as we’ve seen in this country, and the cruelty that’s been dished out toward ANDY RODDICK on these threads and the media in general. I really don’t care about the immigrants who come to this country and suck off of it while tarnishing the athletes’ names; at least they have an excuse, even though they shouldn’t, which is that this is just their adopted country, but the people who are the most difficult to understand, are the true sons of the soil. They enjoy this crude and uncalled for degradation of their own, to the highest exponent. These people are the ones who would sell their own flesh and blood down the sewer for a dime. I am appalled at their attitude.

Roddick has done more for humanity than most of the past and/or present champions and he’s a special human being. I don’t care whether he has an umpire tussle or bangs his racquet, they all do it, so why is there such a problem when he does it? None, whatsoever, but it gives the sewer mouths something to talk about. Who gives two farthings whether a tennis player has won one or 20 slams. I don’t understand the logic behind it. It seems to matter more to the tennis fanatics. The fact is, Andy Roddick won a GS and no one can take that away from him. He’ll be in the Tennis Hall of Fame and that’s all that matters, and had it not been for the sick media’s persecution of him, which has psychologically destroyed him, he’d certainly have won a lot more. I still can’t forget the crude articles about how Roddick stunk up Wimbledon when he lost in the 2nd round, after being laid up for several months with his back injury. Everyone forgot that he was playing with a very bad injured shoulder and back. That was conveniently overlooked because they were looking for an excuse to crucify him, and they found a good one. Now he’s playing better, that’s not good enough, we hear he’s winning because he has easy draws. What about the cheesy draws some had at the USO. Roddick had the toughrest draw of the top 10, but thaat’s a secret, right? shhh, don’t tell anyone.

TD, I doubt we’ll ever see anything decent written on these threads about Andy Roddick, but what’s important is that we believe in, and love him, (albeit we’re not teeny boppers as the one guy states) and no one can take that away from us and him. As you can see how many battles I have going, and I smile as I write this, to think what a warrior I have become — a far cry from my true personality, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. :P Enjoy your week and we’ll catch up later. BTW, he’s playing some good tennis presently. I hope he’ll win some more titles and hopefully he’ll find a good, new coach in ’09. :D

gulu Says:

Fedobitch troll, I feel really sorry 4 u ! You r so unfortunat,your happiness is gonna be shortlived!
Just wait 4 Federer’s return to hear another proclamation to be issued declaring his legend status.I’ll always be ther to giv u consolation!

gulu Says:

Yes dear Von, it’s d media which I hate d most.They might take u 2 d top one day n dump u 2 d ground d next day.I can’t ever forget d Rod bashing by d media,I was almost suffocated by all d nonsense.

gulu Says:

Dear Von, it’s annoying 2 see some ppl always finding fault with Andy.Some write dat Rod won d China Open just coz of n easy draw.It indicates disrespect not only 4 Andy,but also 4 Ch Open tournament n its participants.

grendel Says:

“From Agassi’s Academy, there’s Asia Mohamad, who’s a pretty good all-court player.” Von, by pure chance, I found myself watching some of this young lady’s match with Safina at U.S.Open, I’m pretty sure it was her. She looked a fine prospect, but at that age, you can never tell whether they will realise their abilities. One had the feeling, watching her, that she’s in with a good shot.

The remarks made by MMT and Andrea seem to go to the nub of the matter (if an outsider may comment). But there is a problem; have things really changed so much since Sampras, Agassi, Courier? And if not – well, perhaps there are other reasons , which defy analysis. For instance, perhaps these things are cyclical, to a degree, and in 5 years time – inexplicably- 2 or 3 greats will suddenly emerge. Once something has happened, it is easy to acribe reasons for it. But then – logically – you should be able to predict what will happen. And we never can. My guess is that such a big and rich country as the USA is bound to produce again some great champions, and my next guess is that it will be a complete surprise where they come from.

gulu Says:

Dear Von,I know how u must b feelin when ppl refus 2 giv Rod credit 4 his China Open win citin d reason dat d draw was easy.I felt just d same when ppl didn’t giv Fed credit 4 his Halle win,just 4 d same reason as has been cited in Rod’s case !

gulu Says:

grendel, I totally agree with u. You never know when’s d next champ comin to tennis and from where.

Charlzz Says:

The problem with tennis is that most people fixate at the very top. Team sports, such as American football, can generate loyal fans, even if the team is really average. How many people root for, say, Fabrice Santoro? People make nasty comments about Blake and Roddick because they can’t reach number 1 (well, Roddick did, but arguably, during a time without a great dominant player).

A number one player can come from anywhere. Arguably, Sampras succeeded because all the best Americans played each other at the time: Sampras, Courier, Chang, Martin.

One can complain if there aren’t many Americans in the top 100. I’d say a good dose of clay court tennis training, learning how to play on surfaces like clay, and perhaps even mental strength training would help.

Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Vach: correct me if I am mistaken:

you seem to suggest that Top-10 status for American men’s tennis players in the “post-Roddick/Blake/Fish/Ginepri” era is “a crapshoot” until a few of the new players stop deferring to their elders and take on the challenge of becoming champions.

Is that what you are communicating? That until these young fellas actual develop some discipline and some desire, American men’s tennis is in decline, no?

I mean, consider JM Del Potro. The kid is what, 19 or 20, and he has essentially shed the image of “I am a young guy with some talent, making the 2nd round of an ATP tournament and the top 100 is a good result” to

“I belong here in the top 10. I will topple whatever players are in my way.”

If that’s the case, american men’s tennis players are either waiting for a transformation in a few players’ lives or waiting for a miracle.

Won’t get into u.s. women’s tennis in the post Williams era. There has to be someone out there!!! Some u.s. women’s lefty player with the craftiness of marcelo rios and the guts of justine henin.

Richard Vach Says:

Mr. Miller,

I wouldn’t want to make a sweeping statement such as you suggest regarding all the up-and-comers, but it certainly applies to some from what I’ve heard from trainers, coaches, tour employees, etc.
The U.S. will have a breakout players sooner or later, but will it come from the tens of millions we are putting into player development, or some public park? If Serbia can “get lucky” and have a few players run to the top of the game out of a country with virtually no tennis development infrastructure, hopefully so can the U.S. before Roddick-Blake-Williams-Davenport (who have carried the load forthe U.S. year after year) leave the game. It is getting tougher and tougher to compete with other countries where tennis is one of their most popular sports, and they get the pick of the young talent.

zola Says:

I think this was a much-needed article. In no way I see it as baching a player or the American tennis. The author is presenting a problem and is asking for the solution. It can be ignored of course. we can all think that the talents will surface somehow. But the reasonable way is to address the problem and find a solution, whci this article does very nicely and has attracted some good comments too.

grendel Says:

At 8:46 post, I said (following Von’s mention of her) that I had seen, or thought I had seen, Asia Mohamad preforming creditably against Safina at US Open. Feeling a certain niggle – the sort you feel when you suspect you’ve made a a howler – I checked on US Open website. In fact, Safina’s opponent was called Kristie Ahn. She is American, is just 16 and a bit, is ranked 758, and Safina beat her 6-3, 6-4. As I recall, she broke Safina several times but – obviously – had big trouble hanging onto her own serve. She looked pretty impressive to me. Maybe in a couple of years….

zola Says:

Kristie Ahn…..
should remember that. How old is she?

Andrew Miller Says:

If U.S. men’s tennis is looking for someone to strive to emulate…look no further than Nadal and Roddick. Nadal tries as hard as he can about 99.9 percent of the time, and Roddick about 99.8 percent of the time.

Von Says:

“It’s true that we have the florida academies, but they are often producing some of the fineest eastern european players you know how they’re financed? They take money from middle class americans who can afford to send their kids, but who[’s] children don’t really have the innate motivation, and they subsidize the development of the eastern europeans who have the real desire to succeed.”

Well thank God for those middle-class American Santa-Claus families who subsidize these academies which help ingrates like Sharapova, whose main focus is to “beat” the Americans, viz., the Williams sisters. Consequently, it absolutely warms my heart, each time Serena and Venus put a good drumming/beat-down on this ingrate. America has made her what she is, and that’s how she wants to repay us? And, the same is true for so many like her who’ve been helped but repay this country with ingratitude — biting the hand that feeds them.

And, all that glitters is not gold! The middle-claas and/or rich Americans are just one side of the tale that we hear about and the side of the canvas that we see. On the flip side, there’s another more heart-wrenching and pitiful picture, that is overlooked and one which, I feel, is the main reason why we are presently lacking in a new crop of American would-be champions.

The scenario is a sad one. In other countries, France, for exampple, has a Tennis Federation, and the UK has the LTA, which harvest these youngsters at an early age, and finance their training and living expenses. This is quite the opposite for the US. Aside from the “middle-class” families, there are the children who come from low-class or “ghetto” like family backgrounds, 75 per cent of whom are black families. These families, are struggling to put food on the table, and clothes on their backs. The children from these families have the desire and motivation to become champions, but sadly for most of them, it’s just a dream. For these youngsters, a tennis racquet and/or coaching lesson would only be gotten as a git for their birthday or Christmas. To become a tennis player in the US requires family sacrifices to pay for coaching, racquets and tennis attire. So, given the lack of finance scenario how can these youngsters’ dreams come to fruition. Only through academies run by the Agassis of the tennis world, apart from academies or kind souls like him, the children of the lower class/ghetto families have very little hope of realizing their potential and dreams.

The most ludicrous situation in the US is that of our academies giving scholarships to the children of foreign countires, especially the Eastern Europeans, and right here in the US, in our own backyards, we have children of US families who are needful of those scholarships, but instead of taking care of our own first, we decide to give to those children overseas. Isn’t something wrong with this picture? Charity begins at home. The Williams sisters would probably still be in the ghetto had it not been for their father’s astuteness. A poor, black man, who defied the odds and raised two champions. I know he’s a jerk and a racist, but I believe a lot of that is attributable to his anger surrounding the incredible hardship he and his family endured to defy the odds, so that those two young women could be the champions they are today. He is to be commended for his insight and true grit, which has been overshadowed by his stupidity. As to their lack of humility, I don’t think they’re any worse than some of the present champions. i’m not saying it’s to be condoned, but if we want to point fingers, then we need to look at all of the champions, not just Serena and Venus.

I remember at the ’08 USO, the commentators were talking about Asha Rolle, a tennis player of African-American heritage, whose family had to make extrordinary sacrifices for her to receive some decent coaching lessons. That family took out a personal loan in the amount of $25,000 (?) to pay for her expenses to play in the USO. According to the commentators, they were broke. Fortunately for them, Asha made it to the Round of 16 and received $80,000 in prize money. This is the type of situation that angers me. Donald Young has a somewhat similar situation, probably not as bad, but lack of money is the reason he doesn’t have a coach. Coaches cost tons of money and this is where I feel our past champions could be of service to help our youth realize their potential. Rolle, young and others like them need help to take them up the ladder.

Finally, the USTA is dong something, and this is because they’ve found themselves in a predicament of nothing in the form of new potential champions on the horizon, which is due to their lackadaisical attitude and dragging their feet over a situation that should have been uppermost in their minds. But, as the saying goes, “better late than never”.

BTW, I suppose the mention of Tursunov was meant facetiously, but we did make a chmpion of Sharapova, good players like Jankovic and Nishikori. That said, we can’t be all that bad now, can we?

Von Says:

“Roddick’s 2008 season has been maddeningly inconsistent. In February he won San Jose, and in March defeated Nadal and Djokovic en route to the Dubai title. At Indian Wells he lost first round to nemesis Tommy Haas, then in Miami beat Federer en route to the semifinals. At Wimbledon, where he reached the finals in 2004-05, Roddick made an uncharacteristic second-round exit, admitting to tightening-up when a fifth set was within his grasp.”

One salient point is missing, and which is conveniently overlooked, in the foregoing paragraph, and that is, Roddick got injured in Rome in the SF and was playing at Wimbledon after being off the tour for close to two months. However, he has never once made an excuse for the obvious, which is a an injury to his shoulder and back. Anyway, just as well he didn’t make any reference to his injury, because the media and the anti-Roddick population would turn it into a bashing fest. In view of the ups and downs of this year, he is to be commended for still remaining in the Top 10.

Jeff Says:

Personally, I’m liking Sam Querrey. It is easy to write him off as just another one dimensional big server, but some of his reults (including QF’s at Monte Carlo) speak to more diversity and potential in his game.

It’s true though, I don’t see him being a big champion like Sampras or Agassi though.

For that, hopefully the USTA initiative will work, we need a huge player to revitalize tennis in the US.

Jeff Says:

Personally, I like Sam Querrey, he’s shown versatility with some good clay results and once he gets a little more experience could be a force on tour. I’ll agree that he’s probably not the next Sampras though.

For that, I hope that the USTA initiative will help. America needs a great new champion to revitalize the sport here and there are no really good prospects in the short term.

jane Says:

Apparently the Bryans can always take up a career in rock n’ roll after their tennis days are numbered.

Richard Vach Says:


Well-noted regarding Roddick and his injuries this year.

Von Says:


Thank you.

After I wrote those comments regarding Roddick, I began thinking about the present state of American tennis and the concern for its evolution, and I thought to myself that it’s some kind of poetic justice that this is happening here to American tenis. On one hand, there is Roddick, who was really never appreciated, and now that he’s aging, there’s so much concern that we’ll probanbly never see his equal or better in American tennis for quite some time. The moral behind it, when we have something special we should appreciate it, because we never know if it or anything remotely similar to it shall pass this way again. In other words, appreciate those we have, because we never know for how long it will last. Roddick has not been the best, but he’s been a consistent, good player, and definitely has not been the worst either. There are many countries that would be proud to have a player of his caliber.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

queery is not slam material
neither is isner or young
american tennis is dead
move along.


Coco Vandeweghe is certainly one to watch. The 6 foot tall, 16 year old played to her credit at the USO and is among the top five among all women in service speed.

NachoF Says:

One thing is true about Roddick this year… and that is he SHOULD HAVE beaten Djokovic at the US open..

gulu Says:

We r definitely gonna hav a new superstar by the end of 2009. No doubt about it. I hav observed that a new star is born every two years in tennis.
2001-Hewit,2003-Roger,2005- Rafa,2007-Nole,2009-? Is it Del Potro? I don’t know.

gulu Says:

I think Del Potro is a slam material. I m startin to lik him. And Murray may prove to be his greatest rival. And u folks should never mind if I say Murray is fit to becom a grandslam winner. I hav becom one of his fans after his Wim 2008 show.

gulu Says:

Murray is unbelievably agile,makes excellent court coverage,plays stupendous shots n is just brilliant.N if he fires aces d way he did in U. S. Open 2008 semi against Rafa,he’ll b difficult 2 beat.So may b he’s not far away from a grand slam trophy !

gulu Says:

I sincerely believ dat either Del Potro Murray is going to be the new grandslam winner. I hope Murray ends Britain’s grandslam drought !

jane Says:


“I hav observed that a new star is born every two years in tennis.”

I like this theory. Where would you fit in Roddick? Do you think there can be two new stars in one year?

” I hope Murray ends Britain’s grandslam drought”

I hope so too; he was fun to watch this season. Maybe he’ll cause some trouble at the Master’s Cup?

gulu Says:

Hi Jane!Nice to hav u again sharing views with me.I think tennis fans’ll lov 2 see 2 fresh G.S. winners in a year.It’s quite possibl 2 see d emergenc of 2 new tennis stars in d same yr. Roddic attained stardom with his 2003 U.S.Open triumph.

gulu Says:

Hi Jane!Nice to hav u again sharing views with me.I think tennis fans’ll lov Correction to my post of 5.04 a.m.It should be either Del Potro or Murray’s gonna b the new grandslam winner.

MMT Says:

I don’t see any of the current crop of next best Americans has a snowball’s chance of achieving anything in tennis. They’re not very good players, and they can always go work for their parents when they fail. In other American sports, because they’re open to everyone, it’s the ones most determined to succeed that percolate to the top. In tennis, compared to other countries, relatively well to do players still flood the USTA system, and the resulting lack of determination and quality shows today.

I think the USTA is taking a step in the right direction, but I don’t think they need to recreate the French or LTA model. They’d be better of with a combination of full-funding to existing academies for those players with all the tools, but none of the resources.

Today, we’re lucky if a kid who’s parents can affor to, or committ to, financing their development has what it takes, we need to take the financial element out of it and sponsor a broad range of good atheletes, who are determined to succeed.

There will be a lot more who crap out, than who succeed, but utlimately the infrastructure exists to nurture champions, we just need to make that infrastructure available to more players with the innate and physical committment and qualities.

gulu Says:

Sorry folks! My last post on this thread’s totally meaningless! I wanted 2 rectify my post of 5.04 a.m. referrin 2 wat i think of murray n del potro but ended up in a mistak coz of drizzyness.So again sorry!By d way,Fed returns in Madrid. Vamos Roger !

gulu Says:

The 5.04 a.m. Intended to convey my msg dat either murray or del potro’ll be d new slam winner. But again Roger’s back at Madrid.So Vamos ! Vamos! Vamos Roger! Go and win it!

Ryan Says:

Where was nadal for the past 3 years other than behind fed.Now when fed got mono and lost his form nadal becomes number 1.Big deal…..When fed got his form back in the US open, nadal lost like a pussy coz he knows he cant beat fed on hard courts.The last time he did was back in early 2006.This backing out from nadal will happen even in AO 2009.

Ryan Says:

After that its the same old story…nadal beats fed on clay and then gives a lot of competition on grass and then everyone is like nadal is the shitt.

Ezorra Says:

And like always, Federer will loss like a pussy to Nadal when clay season arrives. Are you trying to tell that Ryan?

Ezorra Says:

I’m Nadal’s fan but I’m not Fed hater. In fact, he’s one of my favorites (after Murray, Roddick and Berdych). So to all Fed’s fan, sorry, no offend! I’m just recycling the word that Ryan has used towards Nadal, that’s all.

Ryan Says:

I like fed the most , then djokovic,gasquet,cilic,,tsonga,berdych,del potro , anybody other than nadal.He should have gone to a tennis academy instead of learning tennis at home.He just competes because of his steroid use.His name was there in Dr fuentes clients list but the spanish government wont release the list.Motherfukers know that nadal will lose all his acheivements when everybody finds out.

Ezorra Says:

Haha… You wish! :) Anyway, good luck Ryan! keep up the “good work.” Happy to see your “elite” attitude!

Von Says:


We’ve always had a pretty good posting rapport, so how come I didn’t see a-Rod’s name among your faves? I’m hurt. :P Anyway bro, kool it OK? It’s not nice to make those charges and statements about Nadal regardles of the fact that you don’t like him. You can voice your dislike by just saying you don’t like him or his tennis, but refrain from the personal attacks. OK bro? thanks.

Ezorra Says:



gulu Says:

Ryan,it’s expected of u not 2 use vulgar language ! Control ur anger. It’s very difficult 4 me to watch him beat Fed. But dat doesn’t mean I should cross d limits of decency . So again I suggest,don’t b abusiv 2wards Nadal fans.After all u r a Fed-fan !

gulu Says:

Ryan,it’s expected of u not 2 use vulgar language ! Control ur anger. It’s very difficult 4 me 2 watch Rafa beat Fed. But dat doesn’t mean I should cross d limits of decency . So again I suggest,don’t b abusiv 2wards Nadal fans.After all u r a Fed-fan !

gulu Says:

Ezorra , I agree with ur views regardin the press conferences of Fed,Rafa, Rod,Nole.

Ezorra Says:


:) to you too…

Ryan Says:

Wassup Von , I still remember the match when I really wanted A-Rod to win over fed.His wimbledon final 2004 with fed. But fed squeaked thru that one.I agree….
I have always found A-rod to be a unique player. When he is on fire he plays incredible tennis and you get this feeling why is this guy not number 1 now, his game is so good.But when he is not then he plays subpar tennis and you feel like he’s a vulnerable player. Thats why he beat djok in dubai but couldnt do it in the US open.For eg that shanghai 2006 match with fed and also the miami 2008 match when he beat fed.And sometimes he plays like as if he doesnt care.He and djok and safin for that matter bring that human element to the game and leave it out there for the crowd. They are less deceiving than nadal and fed.

Ryan Says:

By the way I really like safin too….He’s the one guy that can match fed’s raw talent apart from gasquet.
Maybe safin could have been the greatest ever.He is a natural athlete.He also brings a lot of emotions to the sport.I cried for him when he lost to baghdatis in AO 08 and I wondered why.I didnt even cry when fed lost wimbledon or AO this year.So thats wat safin does to people.

Von Says:


I love Safin — he’s one of my heart-throbs, aside from A-Rod and I’ve cried many a tear from his losses. I cried for A-Rod when he lost that ’04 Wimby and ’06 USO, and I disliked Fed each time he beat A-Rod. I’ve come to terms with those feelings now.

“And sometimes he plays like as if he doesnt care.”

Yes, A-Rod he does. I saw that recently at the DC Cup match in Spain v. Nadal and mentioned it, but I was repremanded for stating that.

“He and djok and safin for that matter bring that human element to the game and leave it out there for the crowd.”

I love to watch them on court. some people get uspset by A-rod’s unpire tussles, I find them to be humorous. But, then I love to laugh and I work more with men than women, so those things don’t appall me. I’ve heard worse on the New york City Subway.

“They are less deceiving than nadal and fed.”

I mentioned something to that effect and got entangled with a stupid argument for my opinion — I now realize i should have just ignored the person.

Von Says:


Sorry I misspelt your name with a lower-case “r”.

BTW, stop provoking the Nadal fans. I know you’re letting off steam, but be good will ya, and thanks. :P

jane Says:

I too was surprisingly upset when Safin lost this year at the AO against Baggy – and I like Baggy! But it was such a close and exciting match and I wanted to see a Safin come back because he’d been talking a little about his efforts to come back in the press. Well at least he did excellent at Wimbledon.



My apologies if I had anything to do with instigating that altercation on the other thread. When discussing the players’ personalities, it does seem to open a can of worms. Then again, so does discussing games sometimes!

MMT Says:

The Safin Baghdatis match at the AO was a great match. Two great pure strikers of the ball, and both of them really leave it on the court. I was disappointed that Safin didn’t win, because I always feel he’s a dark horse with the ability to win the big one, but Baggy deserved it. It’s a shame he went out in the next round to Hewitt, because that’s one player I can really do without.

Von Says:


My apologies if I had anything to do with instigating that altercation on the other thread. When discussing the players’ personalities, it does seem to open a can of worms. Then again, so does discussing games sometimes!”

Don’t worry about it. It was a stupid argument — just stating my opinion did not necessitate the nonsense that evolved. Later that night after I read the whole thing, I thought to myself, “you’re stupid to have kept on answering”. It was a baseless argument, without merit and/or factual evidence. Next time, I’ll just not answer.


I take it you don’t like Hewitt. I got turned off from him because of that altercation he had with Blake. His words were unnecessary and he did a lot of damage to his reputation, but I doubt whether he cared.

Von Says:

BTW: Does anyone know when the draw will be out for the Madrid MS tourney on Monday?

Daniel Says:

Saturday afternoon.

Daniel Says:

Safin won Davy. He played really great!! It would be great if he wins in his home soil and then carries the momentum to Madrid. Maybe he could pull a Nalbandian 2007….

grendel Says:

Daniel: stringing them together seems to be Safin’s problem these days. I was hoping he’d build on his excellent Wimbledon, but…Still, one thing about Safin, just when you’re ready to give up on him altogether, he reminds you just what he is capable of.

Noel Says:

“Maybe he could pull a Nalbandian 2007….”

I’d love it if he indeed were to do something like that.Higly unlikely though and first he has to take care of the remaining business in Moscow.I’d love a Safin-Santoro final.Safin hates playing the magician and it’d be fun to see how he handles it this time.

I also thought that Safin would carry that wimby confidence into the hard court season but he just went back to his usual ways.So much so that a huge big match player like him had to be dropped from the Davis Cup squad for a difficult away encounter against Argentina.I’m almost on the verge of giving up on him w.r.t. slam wins but he can be expected to beat anyone on a given day and most people will still want to avoid him in their part of the draw.Stringing together seven matches could well be an entirely different proposition though.

Von Says:

Daniel: Thanks for the Madrid draw info. I need more — approx. what time on Saturday? Thanks.

WOW, Safin beat Davy!! Safin said going into that match that he didn’t hold out much hope of winning, but he’ll see. He always says that. I’m happy for him. Davy will lose ranking points since he is the incumbent champion in Moscow. This will make the TMC 4th through 8th spots very interesting. Madrid will be the deciding factor. Come on Rover, move … I mean Roddick. Nalby is doing well in Stockholm. no one really to threaten him.

Top story: Zverev Claims Second Rome Masters Title, Tops Jarry