The best men’s tennis players in the world have once again gathered in New York, and they figure to make themselves at home.
As the U.S. Open begins Monday, American threats are once again lacking in the men’s draw. Only John Isner, the top U.S. seed at No. 13, has generated any hint of momentum heading into Flushing Meadows. His surprising run to the final in Cincinnati in the last major tune-up for the Open vaulted him from No. 22 to No. 14 in the ATP World Tour rankings.
That was a symbolic victory for U.S. tennis, as the previous week saw no American men ranked in the world’s top 20 for the first time in the 40-year history of the rankings. But it won’t do much to alter the big picture heading into the Open.
The days of Pete Sampras and John McEnroe are long gone. Andy Roddick was the last American man to win a Grand Slam, and that was a whopping decade ago in New York.
Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the U.S. drought and what to watch for the next two weeks:
BEYOND THE SLAMS
One step down from the Grand Slams on the ATP World Tour are the Masters 1000 Series tournaments, which draw the strongest fields outside the Slams. There are nine of them each year, four of them occurring in North America: Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami in the spring and Cincinnati and Canada (Montreal/Toronto) in the summer.
From the start of the 2004 season through the Cincinnati tournament last week, U.S. players have won only four of 88 possible Masters titles.
The last two U.S. winners of each North American Masters event:
Indian Wells: Andre Agassi, 2001; Michael Chang, 1997
Miami: Andy Roddick, 2010; Roddick, 2004
Cincinnati: Roddick, 2006; Agassi, 2004
Canada: Roddick, 2003; Chris Woodruff, 1997