No doubt there was much celebration in England today as Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men's tennis championship, making him the first from the United Kingdom to win a Wimbledon title in 77 years. The significance of the accomplishment is greater in large part because of the length of time, but that time is not terribly surprising given how few tennis players come out of the U.K.
More significant to me is the fact that Andy Roddick is the last American man to win the U.S. Open men's tennis championship in 2003. With no American a serious contender for this year's title that will make it a decade since the last time an American man has hoisted the hardware of his country's tennis championship.
The drought is significant because there is no American man in professional tennis who appears poised to win the title. John Isner is currently the highest ranking U.S. player at #19 in the world. Sam Querrey is #21, and Marty Fish is #61.
For the most part, tennis has become a European sport, particularly for the men. Today it appears that tennis has too much competition in the United States from other sports to be attractive to boys, and the situation is made worse by the fact that there is currently no star American male player in the sport. When I played tennis in my youth I was inspired by John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, but today's want-to-be male tennis players have no role model to aspire towards.
Hopefully a star is in the making in tennis schools throughout the country, but right now men's professional tennis does not appear to have a bright future in the United States. I wonder when, or if, Americans will begin to yearn for an American male to win the U.S. Open?