OK, here we are: quarterfinal time at the Masters tournament in and no American men made it that far. Actually, none made it as far as the 16s. This all coincides with the history-making turn in the rankings this week, where no U.S. man was in the top 10 for the first time in oh, about, forever.
But take a look at the rankings right now, where you have four players that haven't even won titles this year (Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), and three that have missed big chunks of the year (again Davydenko and Tsonga, and Juan Martin del Potro). Can you make the case that Davydenko or del Potro should still be up there in the standings instead of Andy Roddick this year? (Murray and Berdych get a pass for making Slam finals.)
And Sam Querrey has won more titles than anyone not named Rafael Nadal in 2010. Look at Mardy Fish, too: Even though his winning streak in singles was snapped in Washington last week, he still took home the doubles. Americans have brought home a lot of hardware this season.
But it's not just them getting shut out, the whole ranking system is flawed. To me, I actually miss the much-maligned Race system, where the results were tallied to the standings on a yearly basis and I never thought I'd say that. If I was making a top 10 for the guys based on results this year, here's how it would look:
1. Rafael Nadal 2. Roger Federer 3. Robin Soderling 4. Andy Murray 5. Tomas Berdych 6. Andy Roddick 7. Novak Djokovic 8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 9. David Ferrer 10. Sam Querrey
No muss, no fuss, and it looks like Americans are doing OK here to me. The whole system needs an overhaul: Why isn't Juan Carlos Ferrero being rewarded more for three titles won? Or Davydenko penalized for a poor season? Maybe the Race was the way to go after all.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.