Now that Andy Roddick is retiring, I can’t think of another American men’s tennis player I want to watch play. You think I have all day to watch one of John Isner’s matches? No way. Marty Fish is an OK player but nothing really stands out. James Blake, his stock is falling faster than Facebook. Where are the American men tennis players?
What’s going on at Nick Bolletieri’s Tennis Camp in Florida? Is he only accepting hot European girls with last names that end in “ova”? Where is the next great American men’s player? Who do we blame? The USTA? Our local Country Club? We want answers.
Full disclosure, I’m not a tennis junkie anymore. Since Pete Sampras retired I’ve been downgraded to simply a casual tennis fan. I admit, I had to cheat and look at the official men’s tennis rankings to complete this article. Sam Querrey ranked #28. I have no idea who that guy is, probably our best hope but I know nothing about him. Ryan Harrison, never heard of him. Brian Baker, no clue who he is either. Jesse Levine, Donald Young, Rajeev Ram, all Americans ranked in the top 100. So nine of the top hundred male players are American and we lose one after the US Open with Roddick’s departure.
What happened to USA Tennis? Why have we fallen so badly? I’m certain I won’t be getting up for breakfast at Wimbledon in the near future expecting to see an American male in the Finals. I sure as heck don’t expect to see an American win the French Open anytime soon either. We could barely compete at Roland Garros when we owned the top ten. Battle the heat in Australian for a Grand Slam Title down under? No way mate.
I went out to the public tennis courts in my area yesterday to see what’s going on. You know what I found? Old people playing doubles. Men, woman, and mixed. That’s what I saw. I found just as many young men playing singles in tennis as I did playing paddle tennis in Venice Beach. One court. I even observed that new tennis game they play at the beach and that was girls and mixed doubles.
Do we blame skateboarding or X Games for the demise of tennis? They knocked down some public tennis courts in my town about a decade ago to make ground for a new skateboard park.
Tennis clothing is more fashionable than ever. Gone are those tight, short shorts worn by the likes of McEnroe, Connors, Scanlon, and Vitas Gerulaitis. Outfits are loose and baggie, you see players wearing T-shirts in matches. You can’t blame the outfits for the drop off in USA talent. They’re pretty hip now, finally!
Is tennis uncool in school these days? I never remember it being the coolest sport to play anyway but there were always a few cute girls on the ladies tennis team and it was a great way to spark up a friendship by hitting a few balls with them. Has tweeting and social networks hurt tennis? Are hand held devices the cause for the demise? I think not.
Can we get a restraining order on Andy Roddick and force him to play tennis? USA needs him, at least for another year or so. The most popular names in US Tennis are retired! John McEnroe, Pat McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors. Even Jim Courier is more popular than anyone currently playing. You cannot be serious! Yes I am.
If you’re expecting an answer from me on this topic you’ll be greatly disappointed. I think I have more clues on where the Loch Ness monster is hiding than why the US can’t produce any top male tennis players anymore. Young boys simply don’t play tennis as much any more, at least outside of private clubs.
Let’s clean house. I think its time to fire everyone on the board at the United States Tennis Association and bring in people that can get the job done. Isn’t that the American way to solve a crisis? We definitely have shortage of talented American born male tennis player going on right now of epic proportions. Help!