Following American Pro Tennis

Following American Pro Tennis

Friday, February 27, 2015

Don't call it a comeback

The LL Cool J reference somehow exists in my bag of tricks despite limited knowledge of the hip hop world. I have to keep this blog relevant for the cool kids... at least the cool kids from the early 90s. And I'm still not entirely sure how to pronounce "GIF" but I also have the tech savvy to feature graphics like you see to the left. Like I said, relevant.

Speaking of relevant, this is my first blog post in almost a year. The last update was February 2014, which illustrates my true commitment to all things not related to American tennis. I have still been watching from afar, occasionally going to tournaments, playing every week, chatting with the few guys I know that are still on tour and of course tweeting here and there. Mostly I haven't posted because you don't really need me! What I set out to do has been executed with enthusiastic vigor by Jonathan Kelley at On the Rise. Blogging is a grind and it's a total commitment and Jo has been a rock star. American tennis is lucky to have someone like him so go check out his content.

Besides being called out for my lack of posting, I wanted to write because this has been an exciting time in American tennis. I can't remember the last time I said that. Consider what's happened:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Good week for American tennis

Despite being out of Davis Cup this week was a good one for the American men. That's because, let's face it, if you're an American tennis follower like myself all the action these days is happening on the challenger circuit. Big congrats to Steve Johnson (Le Gosier) and Rajeev Ram (Leon) who both won titles away from home this week. The week gives us seven players in the top 100 and raises Johnson up to a career high 69 in the world with little to defend the rest of the year. A top 50 year finish is absolutely possible for him. Le Gosier markes Johnson's fourth career challenger title.

John Isner is also up a spot to #9 this week, though he's defending title points in Houston. Here are the updated rankings:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Not a joke: American tennis sinks deeper

I came to the realization today, of course on April 1st, that the #2 ranked American IN THE WORLD in men's tennis has three career ATP tour wins. Not titles, TOTAL WINS. And he only has a single one this year through the first three months of the season. Unfortunately, that is not a joke. That person is Bradley Klahn.

Granted Serena won the singles title in Miami and the Bryan brothers won doubles, but this blog focuses on men's singles and we're sinking further into the abyss at that exercise. After Miami the rankings look like this:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

American Men's Tennis Starts 2014 Poorly

With the way Davis Cup went, in addition to the first Grand Slam of the season, I think we can officially call the start to 2014 a disappointment. That's not to say there have not been promising moments. John Isner won the first ATP tour title for an American this season in Auckland, Eric Butorac made the finals of the Australian Open in doubles, Stefan Kozlov made the finals of the Australian Open in juniors, Bradley Klahn won a challenger title in Maui, and Wayne Odesnik won a challenger title in Chitre. So it could be worse... it could always be worse.

I think it's safe to say the negatives have outweighed the positives, though. The title in Auckland for Isner came at the expense of him being able to compete at the Australian Open or Davis Cup, and without him the lack of depth really showed. Only two Americans made it to the 3rd round of the Aussie (Donald Young and Sam Querrey) and they were both dispatched in routine straights. Those two would end up representing the Americans in San Diego.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Post Australian Open Rankings

A quick update on where the Americans stand on the ATP after the last few weeks, so our month's end ranking of the players in the top 200:

13. John Isner (-)
49. Sam Querrey (+2)
79. Donald Young (+12)
82. Bradley Klahn (+11)
89. Jack Sock (+6)
97. Michael Russell (-5)
100. Tim Smyczek (-10)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Living with Mental Weakness on the Tennis Court

The most common misconception about having mental weakness on a tennis court, in my estimation, is the assumption that it's an easy fix or that it can simply be changed with little work. Much like lazy footwork or a hitch in your forehand, it can take years of full commitment and training/practice to get your mind right. Even then, there are no guarantees. Like every technical part of your tennis game, your mind never stays the same... it gets better or worse every day depending on how much you work at it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Australian Open Preview

The first grand slam of the season is here! Austin Krajicek is competing in the qualifying draw, but I want to mention him by name first here because he had a big week in Noumea. Krajicek defeated Duckhee Lee and Edward Corrie to get into the 125k challenger main draw, then he upset doubles partner Tennys Sandgren and David Goffin (by retirement) to start the year with a quarterfinal run, before losing 6-0 in the 3rd against Irishman James McGee. He also teamed with Sandgren to win the doubles title in Noumea without dropping a set all week. That's a fantastic way to start 2014 for Krajicek, one of the best weeks of his career, and he's up to a career high doubles ranking of 90 and a singles ranking of 227 (career high is 210).

In singles we have the following nine players in the main: