I think it's good. Last year's court was way too fast. I think the quotes from Andy in here are old, but, not a bad article so I'll post it
The vanishing American star player
Roddick, one of few ranked U.S. men, blames lack of drive
John Shea, Chronicle Staff Writer
(02-16) 18:20 PST -- Nine of the top 10 ranked Americans have committed to this week's SAP Open in San Jose. A showcase for the top U.S. talent? Well, sure. But a closer look shows that only two Americans are ranked in the top 60 and just six are in the top 100.
It's no secret men's American tennis isn't what it was in the glory days from Connors/McEnroe to Sampras/Agassi, whether it's because kids are encouraged to gravitate toward team sports or lack the hunger to be tennis champions, if they choose the sport at all.
Andy Roddick, the top-ranked American and No. 6 in the world, seems to lean toward the latter theory.
"There's no substitute for hard work," he said. "To be honest with you, that's one of the things that lacks when you see the young American players. It puts a different dynamic on things when you're playing tennis to find a way out of the country as opposed to playing for fun."
Roddick, born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Austin, will be the top seed in San Jose. New Yorker James Blake (12th in the world) is the second seed. The next highest ranked American is 62nd (Sam Querrey), then 73rd (Vincent Spadea), 77th (Mardy Fish) and 95th (Donald Young).
Roddick is the last American who's active on tour to win a Grand Slam singles title, and that was the U.S. Open back in 2003. The only American with more than one major title who'll play in San Jose this week is Pete Sampras, who's facing Germany's Tommy Haas in a Monday exhibition. Sampras has been retired six years.
Roddick, 25, envisions a bright future for his countrymen. He was asked about the development of Querrey, 20, and Young, 18.
"I think it's exciting," Roddick said. "I think maybe for the first time since our group of Robby (Ginepri) and Mardy and myself, there are some guys you can look toward the future with, even (John) Isner, who's a little bit older (22) but new on the scene as far as tennis years go.
"That being said, I think they have a lot of work to do. At least it's something we can all talk about and be hopeful about."
American Jan-Micheal Gambill, 30, who ranked as high as 14th in the world in 2001, is coming off back and shoulder injuries and will play doubles this week. He trained with Roddick and Roddick's coach, Jimmy Connors, in Hawaii before the Australian Open, which ended for Roddick in a disappointing third-round loss to No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Gambill called Roddick "a great player with a great work ethic. He's in as good a shape as I've ever seen him." He agrees with Roddick that players from some other countries tend to be hungrier "to make a life for themselves." But he also said of U.S. tennis, "I don't think we're in a drought."
He added, "I think tennis is actually on the rise a little bit in this country. You always have the ebb and flow. When I first came on the tour, I was that next young American. I had 50 press conferences. They wanted to know, 'Who's the next guy? Who's the next guy?'
"Being in the top 100, top 150, it's a good accomplishment."
Roddick is coming off a five-set victory over Austrian Jurgen Melzer (in front of hostile fans in Vienna) in the Davis Cup opener for the defending champion U.S. team, which won the cup in December.
Melzer is in San Jose this week, the No. 6 seed.
"We played on clay, which doesn't really fit his game," Melzer said of the Roddick match. "But he's still a tough competitor, still one of best players on tour. It takes a lot to win constantly at that level. Of course, he's not winning majors, but he was in the finals at the U.S. Open and twice in the finals at Wimbledon (losing to Roger Federer each time). Those are all big achievements, and he probably doesn't get enough credit for that."
Malzer realizes Roddick is the great American hope, but he said of Americans, "They're spoiled because of Agassi and Sampras and McEnroe and everyone else. But nowadays, there's a guy out there - Roger, I think his name is - who dominates men's tennis and basically wins everything that's not on clay. Nowadays, it's very tough for other people to win majors."
Roddick turned pro in 2000 and has won 23 singles titles and $13.3 million in prize money. Asked to evaluate his progress in recent years and whether he has noticed an improvement in his game, Roddick said, "I'm definitely a more complete player. At the same time, I used to cover up my backhand and volleys because I couldn't do them that well. Now that I can, sometimes I haven't fired my forehand as much as I should. I think it's just a matter of finding the balance between the two."