U.S. tennis on the decline for male athletes
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By Catholic Online
9/8/2010 (8 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
There has been a marked decline in the number of exemplary male tennis players in the United States. "It's still going pretty strong on the women's side, at least for the moment," Steve Tignor with Tennis.com says. "But it's a valid question on the men's, where Sam Querrey's fourth-round exit today means there will be no American male in the U.S. Open quarters for the second consecutive year, and, putting the four Grand Slams together, this country's ATP players just completed their weakest collective season of the Open era."
According to sports columnist Steve Tugnor, tennis champ Sam Querrey is diffident on the court. "When he wins, I like to say that his calmness helps him. When he loses, I usually write that he's too calm, that he needs to show more fire at the crucial moments. The guy can't win with me."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The relative and likely temporary decline of U.S. men's tennis is the furthest thing from news, and we've heard all kinds of theories about what must be done to combat it, from corralling every kid with a 100-m.p.h. serve into a giant tennis farm to making them all play on little courts with nerf balls," Tignor jokes. Tignor then points out the case of Sam Querrey, "the last American man left. The easygoing Californian and current No. 22 in the world defies all the stereotypes of the prodigy. He went to high school, ate dinner at home, and wasn't on anyone's radar screen until late in his teens. I can remember seeing him play at the Orange Bowl four or five years ago. The card-carrying members of the junior elite were stunned to watch him winning matches. Of the dozens of players who entered that event, the only guy ranked ahead of Querrey now is Marin Cilic. "The point is, next great hopes, even multiple next great hopes, can come from nowhere. 1987 was a season of comparable weakness for American men. Two years later, Michael Chang won the French Open. Pete Sampras won the U.S. Open in 1990. Jim Courier won the French Open in 1991. Andre Agassi won Wimbledon in 1992. Tignor analyzes the fact that European players have a slight advantage. "Americans serve bigger but don't move as well as the Euros. Their two-handed backhands largely limit their games to the backcourt. They rally and blast, rather than construct, from the baseline. Isner has had a great year, but Youzhny was the superior player in all facets the other night. Ditto for Fish-great year, but he was outclassed by Djokovic. Querrey and Wawrinka were dead even for four sets, but Wawrinka's one-hand backhand gave him the flexibility to mix in a new look after four hours." Tignor also touches on a less-than honorable trait among American male players. "In the past, U.S. men have excelled most of all at arrogance, the Connors-McEnroe-Agassi-Roddick brand of arrogance that looks ugly but wins matches. Roddick still has it, and a touch of that toughness survives in Isner. Querrey? When he wins, I like to say that his calmness helps him. When he loses, I usually write that he's too calm, that he needs to show more fire at the crucial moments. The guy can't win with me."
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