The US Open tennis championships have begun and there’s the belief now that should the US men be unable to acquit themselves well throughout these championships. Then the domestic program of the USTA will have to be revisited and any questions arising out of their investigations will have to be addressed.
Andy Roddick congratulates Fabrice Santoro of France having won in a straights set victory 6-2,6-2,6-2 in the first round of the men’s singles tournament of the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York. picture appears courtesy of afp/getty images/Don Emmert …………..
At the National Tennis Center in Flushing New York home to the championships. The tennis itself will be a spectacle for even the most ardent of fans . And their expectations of homegrown win will rest soundly upon the shoulders of the country’s top two male players James Blake and Andy Roddick. Both are ranked amongst the top 10 in the ATP rankings and a domestic win by either will go a long way in restoring some cedibility to the men’s game domestically.
Roddick at full stretch returns a forehand to Santoro during the first round of their singles’ match. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Elise Amendola ……………
Blake had a marginally successful tournament at the Beijing Olympics. He was able to defeat former world #1 Roger Federer in the men’s singles tournament. His biggest singles’ victory of the year thus far. The men’s singles event at Flushing Meadows in New York hasn’t been won by an American since Andy Roddick raised the trophy in 2003 his sole Grand Slam tournament won.
Blake raises his arms aloft having just secured a hard fought five set thrilling victory over former world junior # 1 ranked player Donald Young. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Elise Amendola ………..
James Blake for his part has never really fulfilled his abilities despite his undoubted talent as a player. Long thought of as the player most likely to take over the mantle left by Pete Sampras as the premiere player of his era. But this was never the case as Blake’s career waylaid by a series of injuries that would’ve curtailed the career of a lesser player. Back and playing somewhat inconsistently Blake has seen something of a renaissance in his career. In the first round he had to battle to beat former US teenage phenom Donald Young in a five set battle 6-1,3-6, 6-1,4-6,6-4.
Ninth seed James Blake of the US returns a backhand to his opponent Donald Young his fellow countryman in the first round of the US Men’s Open at Flushing Meadow in New York. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Elise Amendola …………..
And whilst there are seveal other US male competitors within the tournament. It is to Blake and Roddick that the fans will be looking to in order to see of an American male can once again bring back some luster to the game domestically.
Roddick returns a backhand to his opponent Fabrice Santoro during their first round match of the men’s singles tournament. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Matthew Stockman …………………..
At present it’d appear to be just a two horse race for the major Grand Slam tournaments with the last two Grand Slam tournaments having been won by Spain’s Rafael Nadal . Who in defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer at Roland Garros for the French Open and finally debunking the myth that Federer was unbeatable at Wimbledon by defeating him there also. In achieving this and with his gold medal win at the Olympics . Nadal wrestled away the number #1 ranking on the men’s ATP Tour.
Newly anointed world #1 Rafael Nadal returns a double handed backhand in the first round against Germany’s Bjorn Phau. Nadal won his match 7-6(7-4),6-3,7-6(7-4) in straight sets finding very little opposition from his opponent. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Elise Amendola ……………..
And as much as we’ve all wanted the existence of a rivalry on the men’s tour to create the interest we once enjoyed when Agassi , McEnroe , Lendl and Sampras graced the courts . Nadal and Federer has provided that and a great deal more . Nadal has now proved to be the thorn in the side of Federer . And Federer for his part must now question whether or not he has the ability and the intestinal fortitude to chase after tennis immortality and surpass Pete Sampras’ slam record of 14 singles’ tournament victories.
Roger Federer returns a crosscourt forehand against his first round opponent Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina. Feder won his match in straight sets 6-3,6-0,6-3 . picture appears courtesy of afp/getty images/ Andy Lyons ……………
Federer’s nemesis now in the guise of Nadal has provided him with an adversary that demands his complete attention now on any surface that they meet. No longer does Federer has the comfort grass as his his own personal domain. Nadal for his part has proven himself more than adequate now on all surfaces. In securing his first Wimbledon grasscourt title and with four slam titles to his resume’. It can be said that Nadal can no longer be described as one trick pony whose comfortable on the clay courts alone. If anything he’s now proving himself to be equally adept on all surfaces. And this will test Federer’s resolve now as he embarks upon surpassing Sampras’ record and supplant him as the greatest player of the modern era . If not the best male player of alltime.