NEW YORK (AP) — It was just 10 words, 10 simple, matter-of-fact, basically harmless words — “It’s been 20 years since then.” Andy Roddick I’ve won singles here…” – but once this phrase hung in the air at Francis Tiafoe’s house Before the US Open press conference, and before the question could be finished, The 25-year-old is from Maryland His eyes rolled.
And then, just in case that wasn’t enough to express what he was feeling, Tiafoe turned his head all the way around and shook it. Then he smiled that broad grin he often gives and laughed a little before pointing out, “I knew that was what you were going to say.”
Once the query resumed, it became about Roddick’s legacy as the last man from the United States to win a major singles title, taking a roundabout approach to a subject Tiafoe used to hear about. like He is scheduled to start playing in the US Grand Slam tournament On Monday – with Tiafoe, a surprising semi-finalist in 2022with the 17-year-old learner Tian from California Appearing in his second match at tour level – that long record gap for the country is undoubtedly one of the highlights.
“I don’t really remember Roddick winning, but I definitely remember the year he won, because I get asked about him in every interview,” Tiafoe told the Associated Press recently. “I was about to change that narrative last year. So, we’ll see. I think it’s definitely coming to us – hopefully very soon.
After a long period of insignificance in the game – at least partly due to the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – the nation that produced Bill Tilden, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi. And Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and others are starting to matter again.
Tiafoe knocked out 22-time major champion Nadal in the fourth round a year ago in New York before losing to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz. Tommy Poole had two major appearances in a row in the US men’s semi-finals when he got there at the Australian Open in January before bowing out to eventual champion Djokovic.
What does it mean if No. 10 Tiafoe, No. 14 Paul, or any of the five total Americans ranked in the men’s category have the most since 2004 — a group that includes No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 28 Chris Eubanks and No. 28.31. Sebastian Korda — Was this kind of breakthrough possible?
“It’s going to change his whole range. Now we’ve got a new guy to look at. The drought is over. It’s going to be a great day in America. People are going to be so excited. It’s going to be sweet. You’re in this world with these guys, legends like Johnny Mac, Jim Courier. All those guys.” “It’s going to be a great day, and I hope all those guys are there,” Tiafoe told the Associated Press. It would definitely change the whole narrative.”
Women from the United States don’t have to go back nearly that far to find a heroine of course.
Serena Williams She won 17 of her 23 Grand Slam titles after Roddick’s victory; Venus Williams got three out of seven in that span. There are also two other successes: Sloane Stephens at the 2017 US Open and Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open.
In addition, an American woman reached a major final last year: Coco Gauff was the runner-up at the French Open to Ija Swiatek. No American has gone this far since Roddick lost to Federer in their title match at Wimbledon in 2009.
Has it affected those who have played at the time since then?
“Maybe a little bit. It’s been a long time. It’s the longest distance this country has ever run, for sure,” said John Isner, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2018 and was for many years the best American player. He will retire after the US Open.
“We’ll see. I think U.S. men’s tennis is in a pretty good place right now,” Isner said. “I mean, who knows? This can continue because the number 1 (Alcaraz) is very good and very young.”
Mahoney reported from New York. Wendrich reported from Washington.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis