By Ann Liguori
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With Andy Roddick calling it a career after this US Open, many are asking: What is the state of American tennis? Roddick carried the torch for the American males since Andre Agassi retired in 2006. Can any of the following men get the job done?
Here’s a run-down of the top American guys, aside from Roddick, at the Open:
John Isner is the highest-ranked American man in tennis at No. 10, seeded ninth here. The six-foot-nine giant is through to the third round after a four-set win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.
Mardy Fish is ranked 25, has won six titles throughout his up-and-down career. The 30-year-old missed over two months this season with a heart problem. He was hospitalized after Miami when his heart rate increased to three times the normal rate.
24-year-old Sam Querrey is ranked 28 in the world. He advanced to the third round with a win over Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo of Spain. He lost in the fourth round in 2008 and 2010 and missed last year due to elbow surgery.
Ryan Harrison, with ‘boy next door’ looks is 20-years-old and ranked 61. He equaled his best Grand Slam performance by getting to the second round but then he ran into former US Open champ Juan Martin del Potro who stopped the young American, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Brian Baker, the comeback story of the year, is 27 years old. Baker endured five surgeries between November 2005 and July 2011. He started the year ranked 458 and now finds himself at 70. Baker has a second round match-up against 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic.
Jessie Levine, ranked 76, lost to 14th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, the 14th seed from the Ukraine in the first round
Donald Young is ranked 81 in the world and unlucky for him, drew top-ranked Roger Federer in the very first round, able to grab a few games with Federer winning, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Indiana, ranked 95, lost to Steve Johnson in the first round.
James Blake is ranked 114 and will next play Milos Raonic, the 15th seed from Canada in the third round. Blake is 32-years-old and winding down his career.
Jack Sock, the best name in tennis, is ranked 243. His best effort at a Grand Slam will most likely come to an end when he plays the 11th seed from Spain, Nicolas Almagro in a third round match on Saturday.
Johnson’s ranking at 245 will go up. The two-time NCAA singles champ defeated Ernests Gulbis in four set to advance to the third round.
Bradley Klahn, ranked 489, lost to 13th seed Richard Gasquet.
Dennis Novikov, ranked 827, lost in four sets to Julien Benneteau of France.
Who do you think will emerge? I think it’s time to appreciate Andy Roddick even more!
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