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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-29-2012 01:14 PM
Re: American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects)

Random thought.

I think the lack of international junior competition is hurting American tennis. I feel that there are not enough junior itf tournaments in the states (and one wonders why there are not many Americans in the junior itf ranking). There are an average of 5-6 itf events per week in Europe compared to 1 or 2 a month here. And it is kinda funny how many of the girls have higher WTA ranking than their junior ranking for the same reason. Almost every American in the top 100 junior itf ranking trains with the USTA's player development program in Boca Raton and has funding to compete in international tournaments. Whereas, there are many juniors who are probably just as talented but don't have the same opportunity. More often than not, they opted for the college route b/c they are not sure if they can compete at the highest level due to the lack of international experience. And when you see these young college guys take down higher ranked players, people show disbelief and don't give them enough credit. Sometimes, if you want to fix the problems at the top you need to look at the root. It wouldn't hurt to have more int'l events, just a thought.
09-29-2012 02:34 AM
Re: American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects)

Originally Posted by jcempire View Post
Dennis Novikov will be the No 1 American in four years If he gets a coach. Maybe World Top 10
I'm willing to bet you he never becomes even a top 5 American and never cracks the ATP top 150. Regardless of getting a coach or not. And this is me giving him the benefit of the doubt. My honest opinions of him are even lower than this.
09-28-2012 02:44 PM
Re: American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects)

Dennis Novikov will be the No 1 American in four years If he gets a coach. Maybe World Top 10

Of Course Jack sock and Ryan Harrison still Top hope for US tennis in today
09-28-2012 01:40 AM
With Roddick gone, who will step to the plate?

Hopefully, one of the names in my sig

Without a Net


Andy Roddick said a lot of things during his brief farewell tour at this year’s U.S. Open. Lost among the wisecracks and reminiscences was a quick but telling statement that he made about the future of American men’s tennis, and his relationship to it.

In the press conference that followed his retirement announcement, Roddick was reminded of the words he had used after Andre Agassi called it quits in 2006, leaving Andy, at 24, as the new standard-bearer for U.S. tennis. Six years later, Roddick found himself in Agassi’s position.

Q: 2006, Agassi retires. I remember you saying, The training wheels are off for us. Now the training wheels are off for the younger guys. Are you comfortable where the younger guys are moving ahead?

Roddick: I think so. You know, I can’t protect them now, that’s for sure. But I think John [Isner]’s ready. Mardy [Fish] is really good with the younger guys. Ryan [Harrison] will play well once he figures everything out.....I feel pretty good about it all. Even though I won’t be competing against them, I think they all know I’ve never been more than a phone call away from them.

A ringing endorsement? Not exactly. But it was a hopeful one. The most striking line to me was, “I can’t protect them now, that’s for sure.” It sounded like a joke, but it was true, and it’s one of the keys to the immediate future of the men’s pro game in the States.

Like Agassi, Roddick led by example. As the top-ranked American man and a Top 10 fixture for nearly a decade, he was a model of consistency. As far as Davis Cup went, he was a more active leader than Andre. Roddick led a tight-knit U.S. team for years and clinched innumerable ties. In fact, according to captain Patrick McEnroe, it was Agassi’s disruptive influence that helped lead to one of the most disappointing U.S. Davis Cup losses of the last decade, at home to Croatia in the first round in 2005. Two years later, a team consisting of Roddick, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan—with practice partners Mardy Fish, John Isner, Robby Ginepri, and Donald Young—won the country’s first title in 12 years. This was Roddick’s team through and through.

Outside of Davis Cup, Roddick was also friendlier with his compatriots than Agassi was. He lived in the same house with Mardy Fish when they were teenagers, and he was buddies with James Blake. “Buddies” is not the word that comes to mind when thinking about Agassi and his main American rival, Pete Sampras. From Isner’s baseball cap and baggy clothes to Harrison’s fiery (and at times counterproductive) demeanor, Roddick’s stamp is all over this generation of U.S. men. At the Open, Sam Querrey called Andy the “biggest role model” of his career. As of last week, Jack Sock’s Twitter photo shows him as a little kid, sitting and grinning in front of Roddick.

Roddick protected his peers, more than anything else, from the pressure and scrutiny of being the top U.S. player. Over the years, James Blake and then Mardy Fish passed him in the rankings, but neither was willing to claim the role of standard-bearer, or even mention their No. 1 American status without a show of respect for Roddick. Whatever the rankings said, in their eyes he remained the man—through force of personality as much as talent—when it came to U.S. tennis. It’s probably not a coincidence that thus far neither Fish nor Blake has lasted very long as the country’s No. 1. They’ve obviously had their physical problems, but national top dog was a role they had long believed belonged to someone else.

After losing early at Indian Wells, Fish said that he had had some trouble adjusting to the pressures and time demands that came his new position. When Fish pulled out of the Open because of concerns about his heart condition, it was interesting that Justin Gimelstob, a friend and sometime coach of his, said that it was in part caused by the mental stress of the moment—stress that came from Fish's own expectations for himself.

With Fish struggling, it has been left to Isner to take the mantle as the No. 1 American. At the Open, Roddick said he thought the big man was ready, but Isner’s results since cracking the Top 10 for the first time this year have been decidedly mixed. As the No. 2 man on the U.S. Davis Cup team, he beat Roger Federer in Davis Cup in February, and followed it with a win over Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells. This certified Isner as the next great hope for U.S. tennis; soon after, he began a slump that saw him lose in the second round at the French Open and the first round at Wimbledon. By the time Isner was sent packing in the third round of the U.S. Open, when his draw had looked so promising, you might have wondered: Is there a curse on the No. 1 U.S. ranking?

When Sampras and Agassi hung up their sticks, the U.S. lost two all-time greats. When Roddick did the same, the U.S. didn’t lose a legend of similar status, but it did lose a player who had the confidence that he belonged in the top tier. Even though he didn’t put up dominant results, Roddick still walked with the swagger of a once-dominant tennis nation, of a player who had believed at one time that he would carry on that tradition.

Without Roddick, the future of U.S. tennis is a sentence with multiple question marks at the end. Blake is re-energized, but he’s also 32. Fish has Top 10 talent, but his surges, which usually happen on U.S. hard courts, tend to be followed by what he calls “lulls.” The same is true for Isner, who can beat anyone on any day, but who hasn’t shown staying power over the course of a season. Sam Querrey is capable of reaching the Top 20 without much trouble, but his solid baseline game hasn’t troubled the first tier—Querrey is 3-19 against the current Top 6. Twenty-year-old Ryan Harrison, as Roddick says, is still figuring things out. Considering that Fish and Isner didn’t reach their career highs until their late 20s, Harrison and 19-year-old Jack Sock would seem to have some leeway. Donald Young, after reaching a career of No. 38 in February, is now ranked No. 122.

The training wheels are off. Which of these players might thrive without their leader, or grow into the role himself now that Roddick’s shadow no longer hangs over U.S. tennis? This year’s trip to the Davis Cup semis is a decent start for the group as a whole. But as Blake, Fish, and Isner have found out, it can be lonely at the top. They weren’t lying when they said they’d miss Andy Roddick.
09-25-2012 09:26 PM
Re: American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects)

I'm really worried about Bjorn's development; disliked his schedule. Like Smoke said in another thread, he should be playing red clay in South America or Europe, USTA . I hope for him to succeed b/c I like his game a lot.
09-25-2012 12:00 AM
Re: American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects)

Young sucks and Novikov doesn't deserve to be on this list. I like all the other guys though.
09-24-2012 09:18 PM
American Young Guns (Top 10 Prospects) American Young Guns

1. Ryan Harrison

At this moment the 20-year-old Ryan Harrison is the most successful player out of this generation. He reached a career-high Nr. 7 in world junior rankings in 2008 and advanced to the semifinals at Australian Open juniors in the same year. Harrison is notable for being the third youngest player since 1990, after Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal, to have won an ATP level match, defeating world Nr. 130 Pablo Cuevas in Houston in 2008. Harrison is yet to reach the finals at the ATP level but made it to the semifinals on five occassions and reached his career-best Nr. 43 ranking in July 2012. He has also won 2 ATP Tour doubles titles in pair with Matthew Ebden. He considers grass his favourite surface.

2. Jack Sock

The 19-year-old Jack Sock has been considered a big hope of American tennis ever since his win at the 2010 US Open in juniors competition. The same event brought first big breakthrough in the career of Jack Sock as he won the 2011 US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. His progress continued in the 2012 that was highlighted by Sock´s third round display at his favourite tournament, the 2012 US Open, where he defeated Mayer and Cipolla before loosing to Almagro in close four sets. He also recorded a worthy win over top seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in doubles competition (in pair with fellow American Steve Johnson). Jack Sock is primarily a aggressive baseliner with some occasional serve and volley play, with his second serve being one of the most consistent out of the younger generation. Sock’s game is built around that massive serve and a crowd-pleasing forehand, which he loves to slap with heavy topspin after running around his more pedestrian backhand. Sock also isn´t afraid to sneak to net behind that big forehand to knock off volleys, nor to mix in touch drop shots and offspeed serves to offset all that power. Jack Sock currently finds himself on a career-best ranking of world Nr. 174.

3. Donald Young

The 23-year-old left-hander Donald Young has always been rated as an enormous talent and huge hope of American tennis. In the end he became the youngest year-end world Nr. 1 in junior rankings at 16 years and 5 months in 2005 and also the first American to be ranked that high since Andy Roddick in 2000. Young won the Australian Open and Wimbledon junior titles and added many other titles on that level. Donald Young made it to the his only final at the ATP level in Bangkok in 2011 (lost to Murray) and added fourth round display at the US Open that year. He recorded wins over players like Andy Murray, Gael Monfils or Stanislas Wawrinka and achieved his career-high world Nr. 38 ranking in February 2012 but also holds a shocking 3-21 record in 2012 and is now the world Nr. 187. At this moment it seems that history will know Donald Young as huge wasted talent but he has still enough time to come back on the right track.

4. Denis Kudla

Former world Nr. 3 junior player, Denis Kudla is a player with Ukrainian origin. Kudla won the Orange Bowl and then reached the final at US Open juniors in 2010, losing to countryman Jack Sock. Kudla holds a decent 5-8 record on the ATP level, reached third round on grass in Newport in 2012 and won his career-first ATP Challenger Tour event in Lexington in August 2012. He is a hard-working player with hard courts being his favourite surface. Denis Kudla is now ranked as the world Nr. 153 player.

5. Steve Johnson

The 22-year-old Steve Johnson ended his collegiate career at the University of Southern California by capturing his second straight NCAA singles title and also became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school to four consecutive team titles, winning his final 72 matches. His idols growing up were fellow Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Johnson achieved his best results in August 2012, when he won a hardcourt challenger in Aptos without loosing a single set and reached the third round at the US Open, after defeating Ram and Gulbis. He also recorded a worthy win over top seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in doubles competition (in pair with fellow American Jack Sock) in Flushing Meadows. These results catapulted him on the position of world Nr. 180 in the ranking.

6. Rhyne Williams

Williams played college tennis for the University of Tennessee, where he made it to the final of the 2011 NCAA Singles Championship, losing to Steve Johnson. The 21-year-old Rhyne Williams is also the youngest U.S. male to win a Pro Circuit event in the United States, winning the ITF Futures event at the age 16. He's got a big serve, moves well and has really potent forehand. Williams already recorded a few wins over stable Top150 players, defeating Sela, Zopp, De Voest, Pospisil or Golubev and successfully qualified for the main draw of his favourite tournament, the US Open, where he lost to Andy Roddick. Williams is currently the world Nr. 251 player and expected to improve his ranking in next months.

7. Christian Harrison

The 18-year-old Christian Harrison is younger brother of professional tennis player Ryan Harrison and it really looks like that America can have another successful sibling duo. American brothers showed their potential with an excellent run at the 2012 US Open, where they reached the quarterfinals of the doubles competition in their first tour-level event together. “It’s definitely an advantage, being at these tournaments, and around these environments, it’s partly why I’m so self-motivated. I just want to go out and get better to hopefully be back in this situation as often as I can.” commented Christian Harrison. “Once I get used to the clay and start sliding, I like the clay a lot. I think I have a game that can adapt to any surface. My stamina is strength. I make a lot of balls and keep the play going. I like to wear out my opponent and when I can use my forehand.” added Harrison to his style of play. Christian Harrison surely has bright future ahead of him!

8. Andrea Collarini

The left-handed Andrea Ricardo Collarini is an American-born tennis player who returned to his parents' native Argentina at age three and lived there until he accepted a scholarship from USTA in March 2010 and moved to the national training center in Florida and became an American. Collarini recorded some good results during his junior career, was ranked as world Nr. 5 and even is the 2010 French Open Boys' singles finalist, only loosing to his close friend Agustin Velotti. His boyhood heroes are two Spanish left-handers Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal and his forehand is often compared with the one of the seven-time Roland Garros champion. Collarini plays with heavy topspin, has quick-footed defense and a lifetime of playing on clay. “I need to improve the attacking game because I learned to play on clay and we play more of a defensive game. But I'm sure I'll get better as I practice more on hard courts.” commented Collarini his game. He is currently ranked at his career-best ranking of the world Nr. 313 and surely expected to improve it in next months.

9. Bjorn Fratangelo

The young man named after Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg had accomplished what no American had done since John McEnroe in 1977 - he had won the boys junior singles title at the French Open in 2011 and as a result reached a career high of Nr. 2 in the world junior rankings. The 19-year-old Bjorn Fratangelo clay and hard courts his favourite surfaces and plays with a double-handed backhand. He likes to be offensive and dictates the play with his forehand. Currently ranked as world Nr. 691, Fratangelo is yet to break into the Top500, but may be one of a few Americans with the game to suceed on red clay courts.

10. Dennis Novikov

The Russian-born, California-raised 18-year-old Dennis Novikov is a former student of the IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis program. Novikov was quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open Junior Championships in 2010, won the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships in Kalamazoo in singles and doubles and so recieved the main draw wild card for the 2012 US Open. He even recorded his career-first Grand Slam win at Flushing Meadows, defeating Janowicz in the first round before loosing to Benneteau in four sets. To succeed at the pro level, Novikov sees a bit of room for improvement in his game, including his court movement, mental focus and physical strength. But he has a huge serve and his weapons are already proving powerful enough to withstand top players.


Only players born after 1989 were included in the list. There are also some other American players that would deserve to be mentioned in this list like Bradley Klahn, Tennys Sandgren, Daniel Kosakowski, Devin Britton and other but we have selected only ten players that have the best chance to have successful tennis career.

I love Christian, but he is ranked too high. It might be too early to tell, but a ball-basher like Klahn seemed destined to have a better career than some of the candidates listed. That's just my opinion though.

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