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The news is worse on the men’s side. Former top-ranked players were Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, ahead of the longest drought in major singles titles during the Open era for the Americans.

“A new generation has to come,” said top-ranked Spanish player Rafael Nadal. “(Roddick) has enough potential to (get back into the top-10). Sam Querrey, John Isner, (Ryan) Harrison: These guys have to come and be there in the future _ that’s the new generation.”

While Americans aren’t racking up Grand Slams, they did combine to win nine singles titles in 2010 to trail only the Spanish players. Four American men finished the year in the top 20 for the first time since 1999.

Mattek-Sands, known for her knee-high socks and unusual tennis clothes, said she would never consider herself the top American unless she cracks the top 10.

“There’s a lot of talent out there, but it’s just tough right now. A lot of juniors get injured and their flame gets put out before they get a chance to go out on tour,” she said. “There is a lot of pressure in the U.S. to be No. 1.”


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