not good article...
American men face uphill battle
By Pritha Sarkar | May 17, 2005
Germany (Reuters) - The American men of the tennis circuit have forgotten how to smile.
"Losing sucks. There is no way around it," world number three Andy Roddick grumbled after suffering his latest defeat at last week's Hamburg Masters.
Roddick's frustration at failing to win a match in the north German city was laid bare for all to see and he was also irritated by the realization that he had been denied some much-needed practice ahead of next week's French Open.
For more than a decade, the all-American smile was a trademark on finals' day at the grand slams as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang won one major title after another.
From 1989 onwards, the quartet chalked up 27 titles between them and ensured that the United States won at least one slam a season.
When Roddick captured the 2003 U.S. Open crown it appeared the changing of the guard had taken place as scripted.
The American juggernaut came to a shuddering halt in 2004, however, as, for the first time in 15 years, the men went home empty-handed from all four grand slam tournaments.
After failing to break the barren run in January's Australian Open, Agassi and Roddick will arrive in Paris on the back of a five-slam U.S. drought.
With both the top-10 players favoring hardcourts over the slow red clay, the chances are that once again it will not be an American smile that will light up the Roland Garros center court on June 5.
With age no longer on Agassi's side, the 35-year-old acknowledges that his body cannot adapt to situations as it used to.
Hence the likelihood of him surviving seven grueling matches, on a surface that can punish the fittest of contenders, appears to be minimal.
"My body doesn't respond well these days," said Agassi, who became the fifth man to win all four grand slam titles with his success in the French capital in 1999.
"It's not the same, the movements, the work that goes into the shot...everything is much more difficult."
Andre Agassi forever