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The question was asked time and time again. What has happened to the once dominant American men’s tennis players on the ATP Tour??? Where is our next Grand Slam Champion??? A question that seemed ridiculous when you had the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Todd Martin, Malivai Washington and the great John McEnroe who continues to play into the 90s even though his golden era and time was through the 80s.

Then came the stand out Andy Roddick off the back of that American success. When Roddick won the US Open in 2003 over Juan Carlos Ferrerro it seemed business as usual and they had found the youngster that would drive the continued Slam success at the top of the game in the very biggest matches.

What the Americans didn’t see coming was Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and the Brit Andy Murray. American tennis was completely stopped in its tracks and even though Roddick flew the American flag proudly he was constantly pushed to the background with second place trophies in the matches that mattered most.

So where is the next one??? What American man can break through??? There is talk of an American renaissance occurring with excitement and buzz in the air. Let’s break it down.

World #9 Taylor Fritz

Fritz has been pushed as the new face of American Tennis. The kid from California was the #1 junior in the world but it has been a slow burn. At 25 years old he sits nicely at #9 but can he go higher than that??? Achieved a Masters 1000 title last season but his best Slam result stands as a Quarter Final only. Serious doubts on where he can improve to get to the level needed to hold a major trophy.

World #10 France Tiafoe

Tiafoe is another elite junior who achieved #1 in the world. A semi final run at the US Open in 2022 showed he is capable of the level but the consistency level remains the question. One of the very best athletes out there movement wise. Is he capable mentally??? Distractions often push him off track and technical questions under huge pressure on the forehand and serve won’t go away. Seems the most capable right now moving into 2024 and beyond. CAN WIN A MAJOR.

World #14 Tommy Paul

Another American where the slow burn and grind has been evident. Highly touted in American circles coming through the ranks his biggest weapon has his quickness, speed and defensive capabilities with his legs. A 2023 Australian Open semi final for Paul but it seems a long shot that he could replicate this. In order to lift a major Paul will need elite world level fitness, help with the draw and the best two weeks of his life where he grinds down the best players and athletes in the world. Long shot.

World #30 Chris Eubanks

Played college tennis at Georgia Tech University. The 27 year old from Atlanta, Georgia is one to watch over two weeks at every major. He just proved this at Wimbledon where he was a couple of points away from making the semi finals. A huge serve, huge forehand that he cracks with reckless abandon and comes fwd to the net to finish points. Takes huge cuts and hits it as big as anybody on the ATP Tour. Capable of beating anybody on his day. Massive top end power. Has the 2 week potential to WIN A MAJOR.

World #31 Sebastian Korda

Probably the prospect that I’m excited about the most. Comes from incredible athletic stock as we know. Another former #1 junior and major winner Korda showed what he is capable of after he dismantled Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in Melbourne in January. Korda is as smooth as they come from the baseline, moves beautifully and can make the game look easy. Question mark comes with the serve?? Is it big enough to win free points against the very best. Question mark over body durability as well. Seems to be having trouble staying healthy. Has the most top end talent out of all the Americans and at 23 years old could WIN MULTIPLE MAJORS.

World #40 Mackenzie Mcdonald

Played college tennis at UCLA. McDonald is a very solid hard court player that can go on some runs when at top form. Lacks the top end power needed to trouble the very best week in week out. 4th round at a major is his best result and anything better then this would come as a surprise.

World #45 JJ Wolf

Played college tennis at Ohio State University. Wolf is a player that possesses more power than a McDonald but fits the same mould. Very capable to go on runs but a 4th round result which he achieved in Melbourne in January is the Wolf level. Powerful and exciting game but consistent second week runs at Slams he is not.

World #47 Ben Shelton

Played college tennis at University of Florida. 20 years old, top end power elite, comes from great athletic stock, huge lefty serve, huge game, huge presence and huge potential. Shelton exploded onto the scene in January making the Quarters on debut. Has struggled for consistency since then as he gets used to life on the Tour. Tour players also able to pick apart his game the more they see him. Has a built in advantage being a lefty but all his attributes point to him being a possible MULTIPLE MAJOR WINNER in the future.

World #62 Marcos Giron

Played college tennis at UCLA. Best result in a Slam as been the 3rd round of the French Open. Giron has has to do things the hard way. Small in stature it was been a week in week out grind to reach the Top 100 and stay there. Will have had a respectable ATP Tour career when done but ZERO THREAT to lift a major.

World #68 Brandon Nakashima

Played college tennis at University of Virginia. Outstanding prospect who has shot to the Top 100 quickly but now serious doubts on how high he can go. Disciplined, professional, focused and hungry are all attributes associated with Nakashima and he will need them. Has to be the master of the small margins to excel to his ultimate heights and possible major success. Does everything well but where does the scare factor come from. Is there another gear??? A 4th round result at Wimbledon is very nice indeed. Unless an attribute in his game develops to elite world level this is the limit.

World #89 Michael Mmoh

Mmoh is the classic example of a high level elite junior not translating to the Men’s professional tour. A National junior champion in America it was just expected that by his early 20s he would be making the second week of majors. It has not been the case. Mmoh has only just broken into the Top 100 at 25 years of age and his defensive style and brand has not translated well. A 3rd round showing in Melbourne his best ever result. Don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

World #124 Maxime Cressy

Played college tennis at UCLA. A 4th round showing in Melbourne in 2022 from Cressy looked extremely promising but since then he has found the going tough. Injuries to the big man and lack of form have seen the ranking plummet. An old school powerful serve and volley at all times game exploded him on to the Tour scene but since then results have dried up. Seems hard to see Cressy back in the Top 35 where he once was anything soon. A dangerous player but not the American to pin hopes on Major glory.

So there you have it. American tennis has recovered to be back in the Grand Slam game. But when it is all said and done the Top 100 is fantastic but who can be the guy to win a Major for your country to send the sport into a frenzy within your borders. It is these guys Tiafoe, Eubanks, Korda and Shelton that are the ones that can do it to break the drout that American tennis once thought would never happen.


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