Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Andy Roddick, Last American Out

Andy Roddick, has fallen to number 11 in ATP Ranking
Since computerized rankings were introduced in 1973, each edition of the men's top 10 has included an American. From Stan Smith to Jimmy Connors to Arthur Ashe to John McEnroe to Andre Agassi to Pete Sampras to Andy Roddick, there's been a solid red, white and blue top-10 presence in the 1,922 weeks of the ATP rankings. Until Monday.

This week, for the first time in 37 years, no American man is ranked among the 10 best tennis players in the world. Andy Roddick slipped from No. 9 to No. 11 in the rankings released Aug. 9, courtesy of a third-round loss at the ATP 500 event in Washington D.C.

It's a sobering milestone for U.S. tennis, but one that's been a long time coming. Roddick has been the sole standard bearer of American men for the past few years. James Blake had a decent run in the top 10, but it's basically been Roddick holding down the fort for the U.S. since Andre Agassi retired. With his recent slump, there was nobody else around to pick up the slack. Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish and John Isner are playing fine tennis, but unless any of them make a deep run in a Grand Slam, it won't be good enough for top 10.

Though the computerized rankings were born in 1973, tennis players have been ranked since 1885, first by committee and then, in 1913, by journalists. Since 1913, there hasn't been a single year-end top 10 that hadn't included an American. If Roddick continues his slide, 2010's rankings might be the first.

American tennis isn't any worse today than it was yesterday simply because Andy Roddick lost some arbitrary rankings points. It's been slipping for a while. This was just another sign.

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