Tennis Prose



American Tennis Near Powerhouse Status

By Scoop Malinowski

If the United States of America has lost international admiration due to political mishandling and ineptitude, the state of American tennis has earned a worldside status of far greater respect. Most all of the American prospects are still alive in the 2022 Miami Open draw…

Taylor Fritz is now ranked 13 in the world. The Indian Wells champion has just entered the ATP elite and the sense is he’s going to achieve a lot more. He’s already slayed Nadal and extended Djokovic to five sets at last year’s AO, so the natural progression suggests there are no limits to what this talented Californian can accomplish in the future.

18th ranked Reilly Opelka just withdrew from Miami Open with a right shoulder injury but the big serving, baseline behemoth has shown remarkably consistent, competitive results all year and without a doubt he’s going to be a solid top ten or top five star.

John Isner is still a force at age 36 and ranked 22 but he has stated this year the hope is to play one or two more years. Isner surely has one or two more last hurrahs left in his Prince racquet.

Frances Tiafoe is ranked 31 and with coach Wayne Ferreira, his results have been more consistent. With some more fine tuning and refining and a red hot month, the 24 year old Big Foe can easily elevate into the top ten pantheon.

Tommy Paul is ranked 37 and fresh off wins over Zverev and Khachanov. The 24 year old is at a career high now and he has everything in his mental and physical arsenal to invade the top ten.

Sebastian Korda is ranked 38 and many tennis pundits see the 21 year old as the best of all the young American prospects. With a complete game and a mature head, the son of legend Petr Korda is already ahead of his dad’s progression at the same age. Remember, 1998 Australian Open champ Petr was one tiebreaker away from the world no. 1 ranking and Sebi may actually achieve an even better career.

Jenson Brooksby is now ranked 39 because of his remarkable ability to compete with and beat some of the best players in the world already by age 21. Despite an average serve, former four time Grand Slam champ and world no. 1 Jim Courier believes “it’s possible” Brooksby can win a Grand Slam with his multi-dimensional game, astute court sense and extraordinary competitive spirit. Brooksby may well be on his way to top five status. And Brooksby’s future can be even brighter with a more efficient, potent serve.

And don’t forget about Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald, both Californians are ranked close behind at 52 and 54, respectively. Both are capable of a hot surge than can vault them into the top 25.

And then there’s Maxine Cressy ranked at 72. The 24 year old has cooled off in recent weeks after reaching his first ATP final in Melbourne, a 76 63 loss to Nadal. This year Cressy has beaten Opelka, Dimitrov, Isner, Munar, Mannarino but he’s lost first round in each of his last four tournaments.

20 year old Brandon Nakashima is ranked 80 right now and this solid competitor with a complete game looks destined for the top ten or even better.

Other American lurking outside the top 80 who can also become productive ATP achievers include Denis Kudla, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, Stefan Kozlov and Ernesto Escobedo.

Remember, all these players saw unknown and low ranked Emma Raducanu win the US Open last year. They all know now that anything is possible, if Emma can do it, anyone can do it.

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