postheadericon Fendrich Says the US is Just Having a Bad Day

One bad day at the Australian Open was all it took for the good feelings about US tennis generated by the level of success at the American Open some short months ago to unravel completely. Maybe that should not be what we take away from the first day of the Open in Melbourne though?

No Single Event Should be Viewed as a Statement about US Tennis

 Maybe neither the upset over the losses in the opening rounds by over half of the American women on the court at the first Grand Slam this year, nor the elation over four women from the USA reaching the semi-finals at the last Grand Slam last year is appropriate. Maybe neither of these should be seen as any kind of meaningful statement regarding the state of American tennis or the country’s player’s endurance.

Nicole Gibbs Weighs In

 It’s better to see each occurrence as an isolated one and take the longer view that progress is being made -it is an inevitability that there will be a mix of good days and those not so good, said Nicole Gibbs.

The 113th-ranked player, who will be familiar to players who enjoy  Australian sports betting, said that it had simply been a difficult day, and that tennis was a difficult sport. Gibbs, who was the lone American female player to win a match out of the ten athletes in action on Monday at the Open, added that it was not an indication of anything except that there was a lot of depth on the WTA tour and that the Americans had not had a good day.

The Women Fared Badly, but the Men Did Too

 It was not just the women who fared badly, going 1 – 9, but the exits included the US Open champ Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams who has won Grand Slam titles a total of seven times, and the tenth-seeded CoCoVandeweghe. Each member of this trio managed to reach the final four at Flushing Meadows in September, the first all-American semi-finals at that tournament since back in 1981.

The men did not much distinguish themselves on Monday, either, however. Two of the three highest-seeded American players lost too: Jack Sock, number eight, and John Isner, number 16.

It has been nearly 15 years since any US male player has won any Grand Slam singles title, however, so let’s stay focussed on the women for now, since there have been some very positive signs of late.

With Serena Williams out of the competition since winning the major singles championship at last year’s Australian Open for the 23rd time, there has been a chance for other players to step up. Older sister Venus, for example.

And yet, there was Venus, on Monday, losing at once to Belinda Bencic, ranked at number 78, from Switzerland, with 6 – 3 and 7 – 5, and so we saw Venus joining not just the 20-something players Vandeweghe and Stephens, but also CiCi Bellis, Irina Falconi, Alison Riske, Jennifer Brady, Sofia Kenin, and Taylor Townsend.

 

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