the woeful state of american tennis

January 19, 2008

This generation of American tennis just needs to give it up. At the Australian Open, our last real “hope” is that magnificent choke artist James Blake, who managed to make his own personal history by coming back from being down two sets to none to defeat Sebastien Grosjean, winning only his second ever career five-set match. Should he win one more match, he will surely be decimated by Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

Andy Roddick, pictured above, fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 3rd round, showcasing the kind of one-dimensional game that’ll leave him with a One Slam Wonder legacy. Remember when he won that U.S. Open? He was still pretty one-dimensional back then, but at least he knew how to hit the damn ball. The final game of Roddick’s match against Kohlschreiber exposed the devolution of his ability: weak slices, short backhands, and loopy forehands that sat up, enabling Kohlschreiber to win the point with a punishing, hard-hit, deep winner. The kinds of winners Roddick used to be able to hit. How boring he is now.

Elsewhere, Mardy Fish was another 3rd round casualty, losing to Jarkko Niemenen. Fish, however, did manage an absolute drubbing of 11th seed Tommy Robredo, as well as a win in the Hopman Cup with Serena Williams, so he should feel okay with himself. Also he’s engaged to one of the “we’re so pretty, oh so pretty…vacant” suitcase holders of Deal or No Deal, so I bet he’s not too bummed (I guess). The other remaining American is Rappin’ Vince Spadea, who somehow still has a tennis career, and will face 5th seed David Ferrer in the 3rd round.

What about the young generation? Well, yet another 3rd round loss came in the form of Thousand Oaks, California’s Sam Querrey, who was waxed by Serbian Sensation Novak Djokovic. He at least did better than first round losers Donald Young and Big John Isner, though he also managed to say the following about Australia: “I’m not a big sightseer. And sometimes when you go to Europe, you have to see the Eiffel Tower and places like that. You don’t have to see anything here, and I like that.” Way to reinforce bad stereotypes of both Southern Californians and Americans, Sam.

Surely the women are in better standing, yes? Well, sort of. Of course there are the re-resurgent Williams sisters, ranked seventh and eighth in the world, having a very likely shot at a showdown in the final while also wreaking havoc in the doubles draw. The heretofore glorious comeback of new mom Lindsay Davenport finally reached a snag when she ran into actual talent in the form of Maria Sharapova, who seems to have finally gotten over the beating administered to her in last year’s Aussie final by Serena. But after them, that’s it. The Williams sisters are surely headed towards the twilight of their careers in the next few years, Davenport will likely never be a true top contender (though she could easily reach the top ten and consistently fall in the 4th round or quarters in slams, like Daniela Hantuchova or something), and there is absolutely no promise to be shown from youngsters like Vania King and Fashion Victim Bethanie Mattek or also-rans like Ashley Harkleroad, Meilen Tu and Laura Granville. Then there’s veteran Meghann Shaunessy, who I’m not even sure played this year, which speaks a lot about her clout.

In short, let’s hope for another couple of good years from these two:

It’s really all we can do. Amurrikkka, fuck yeah. Eh.