Americans love their sports. The top five most popular sports in the US are: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Ice Hockey and Soccer (by the way, these are all team sports). Tennis (an individual sport) comes in at number six and some sources have it ranked even lower.
Americans got spoiled with Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Jim Courier. We have been waiting for another crop of players to do something on the same scale on the men’s side and while there are many prospects, no one has stepped up to the challenge as yet. The women have been a lot more fortunate because while we had the era of Serena and Venus Williams and wondered who would step up once they step down, it appears we may not have to wonder for too long. There are lots of young women who seem ready to assume the mantle. Yet, it is more than winning one major; it is getting to the top and staying there consistently week in and week out (being a dominant force every time you step on court).
Will Kenin Win More Majors?
Sofia Kenin impressed us this year by winning the Australian Open; of course, now we all expect her to be a regular force in the top ten just as we did when Andy Roddick won the US Open in 2003 and climbed to number one in the rankings. Just as we did when Sloane Stephens won the US Open title in 2017. However, although Roddick was consistently in the top ten, he never won another major title, which crushed the hopes of many American tennis fans. Sadly, since that title, no American man has won a major title.
Who will step up is still an unanswered question on the men’s side? It takes more than sporadic forays into the finals and winning a title here and there. While we should never compare one era to the next, we still need them as barometers to assess the current state of events. Frankly, things are looking uncertain on the men’s side.
It’s Not Only In The US
The Spaniards are also probably wondering who will step up when Rafael Nadal steps down. We have been waiting so long for an American man to step up and it seems like the pressure of expectations is crushing their games instead of inspiring them. The Swiss are also asking the same question, who will step up when Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka step down?
This would not be complete without mentioning the fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff. Much is expected of this young phenom; yet, no one knows for sure whether she will be the one to assume the crown. Thus, we will just have to wait and see over the next 5-15 years what she can accomplish.
Perhaps the uncertainty and the current lack of dominance of American tennis players are the reasons why tennis is ranked number six in the US. Perhaps not, but it surely will be interesting to see what happens if Gauff and Kenin were to start dominating and a few male players were able to do the same in the next few years. I guess the moral of the story is “we will just have to wait and see”!
SOURCE OF IMAGES: SERVE AND RALLY ORIGINALS