Tennis News Wire -
Argentine Juan Monaco does not see the United States returning to dominance any time soon in men’s tennis.
At a press conference for an exhibition in Singapore, the 28-year-old said that the Europeans will continue to rule the sport. Serbia's Novak Djokovic, Switzerland’s Roger Federer, Britain's Andy Murray and Spain’s Rafael Nadal have combined to win every Grand Slam save for three since Federer won his first major at 2003 Wimbledon.
“It’s going to be tough for any of them to become the world No. 1; it’s still going to be Europe for many years,” the 12th ranked Monaco said. “Novak and Murray are both 25, while Rafael Nadal is just 26. Even when Roger (31) retires, the trio is still young enough to dominate. Then there are younger players such as Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Australia’s Bernard Tomic, who have it in them to be the leaders in the future.”
Since the ATP began ranking players in 1973, the United States has had six No. 1’s: Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.
Europe has had 14 No. 1’s in that time period.
Currently, the US has three men in the top 30 with No. 14 John Isner, No. 22 Sam Querrey and No. 27 Mardy Fish, but with the retirement of 2003 US Open champion Roddick, the US will enter a season (2013) without a former Grand Slam winner for the first time in the Open Era.
“There are so many sports in the US and tennis is probably ranked sixth or seventh in terms of popularity,” Monaco said. “On the other hand, tennis is the No 2 sport in my country and in general South America is getting a bit better because we are doing some good stuff there. Asian tennis is also growing because guys like [Kei] Nishikori give more confidence and hope to others going into professional tennis and that is very important.”
Argentina’s highest ranked player is No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open. South America has had No. 1s: Chile’s Marcelo Rios and Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten.
However, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who was also in Singapore, said that he could see an American resurgence.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the US dominance in tennis; they are still a big tennis nation with a lot of great players,” he said. “It is just that they put their standards so high up that people think that they’re struggling when their No. 1 player is ranked 10th or 11th in the world. I think they are going to come around – I am not going to say when, but I sure hope it doesn’t happen when I am still playing.”