The six American men who could win the Australian Open

Photograph: Daniel Puckett/Getty Pictures

It has been almost 20 years since an American tennis participant received a serious (Andy Roddick on the US Open in 2003) — an unimaginable hole for many who witnessed Sampras-Agassi’s glory days within the Nineteen Nineties, to not point out the various American champions who got here earlier than them. Followers hungry for American expertise have had loads to savor within the girls’s sport over the previous twenty years, Serena Williams First within the first place Initially. However on the boys’s facet, they typically needed to content material themselves with watching big-serving John Isner make it to the quarter-finals earlier than shedding in 4 units 7-6.

That is altering – And shortly. The 2 most well-known younger American tennis gamers, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, misplaced within the third spherical of the Australian Open this yr. (Potential lesson for Fritz: Do not participate in a Netflix docuseries.) However the truth that six American males stay on the sector speaks to the depth of expertise that has emerged in america over the previous few years. There at the moment are 13 People within the high 100, and solely considered one of them is Eisner.

The home increase coincides with a brand new period for the boys’s sport. After a few years of near-total dominance by three gamers – and a few years of predictions that have been about to alter – it appears the boys’s sport is lastly starting to unravel. Roger Federer retired و, Rafael Nadal He appears to be like extra susceptible than he did at about 17 years previous, and Novak Djokovic … properly, it is nonetheless fairly good. Djokovic stays the favourite to win in Australia this yr, though a hamstring damage may make him unbeatable. However with world primary Carlos Alcaraz injured and a sequence of main upsets over the primary few days, the remainder of the draw could be claimed by anybody, and the People profit.

So who’re the six American males left within the hunt for the Australian Open? Earlier than Spherical 3 ends on Saturday, this is a quick information:

In maybe probably the most promising crop of American males left in Melbourne – and maybe probably the most promising younger American tenure – Korda, 22, dismantled No. 7 seed and 2022 finalist Daniil Medvedev in straight units on Friday to achieve the fourth spherical, or spherical of 16. (He is the one American to take action to date, although a pair of American matches on the opposite facet of the draw ensures that at the least two others will be part of him.)

At the moment the world’s No. 31 participant, Korda has reached the fourth spherical of the French Open in 2021 and Wimbledon in 2021. He appeared set for an upcoming breakout match: At a warm-up match in Adelaide, he pulled it off. to the finals and earned a match level in opposition to Djokovic. He could not flip round in opposition to the irresistible Serb – whose sport he praised earlier than and after the match – however Korda’s win over Medvedev often is the confidence increase he wants for a deep tour of Melbourne. He has attained some pedigree on this division; his father is Peter Kordathe scissor-kicking Czech who received the 1998 Australian Open.

The 20-year-old turned professional lower than a yr in the past after profitable the boys’s singles faculty championship on the College of Florida. (Shelton, like Korda, has tennis within the blood: His father, who coached him in Florida, was among the many high 100 gamers within the ’90s.) American League winners have not had a powerful file of success within the main leagues in latest many years, however Shelton could also be an exception. . Final yr, he received three ATP Challenger titles, beat Casper Rudd within the ATP Ultimate, and reached world No. 81, which is sweet sufficient to qualify for the Australian Open. A measure of Shelton’s novelty on the scene: It was He was not overseas earlier than final week.

Within the first spherical, he knocked out one other promising expertise, China’s Xizhen Zhang, in 5 units. Because of Fritz’s loss, he had an enormous win in his third-round match in opposition to Australian Alexei Popyrin within the qualifiers.

The 25-year-old was one of many hottest rookies within the mid-2010s, profitable the 2015 French Open title (over Taylor Fritz). For years, his profession faltered amid a sequence of accidents. However Paul has turned issues round since hiring a brand new coach in 2019 who has helped him deal with his health and ship on at the least a few of his early promise. Final yr, Paul beat Alcaraz and Nadal and reached the final 16 at Wimbledon. It’s now No. 35 on this planet. like Kaira Conner wrote for New York Final fall, Paul’s velocity and heavy baseline sport have been his calling playing cards. Each might want to work with a purpose to win their third spherical match in opposition to one other American…

Brooksby, 20, is the uncommon extremely rated skilled along with his personal distinct fashion of tennis. His weak serve appears to be like like one thing you’d see at your native tennis membership; He lacks any dominant groundstrokes. Nonetheless, Brooksby always confuses opponents by recovering virtually each ball and being able to hit any shot (drop shot, odd backhand) at any time – traditional tennis’ annoying but in addition powerful opponent.

Brooksby received the USTA Below-18 Championship in 2018, and since then, has moved up the professional ranks, reaching the fourth spherical of the US Open and world quantity 39. This week, he picked up the most important win of his profession, eliminating the third seed on the US Open Highway Championships. He confirmed some actual psychological toughness after squandering a chance to beat the Norwegian in straight units, then got here again sturdy and completed it off within the fourth set.

the person As soon as well-known for my puri It has been a wonderful 12 months. The 22-year-old Wolfe, who was a top-ranking collegiate participant at Ohio State, reached the third spherical on the 2020 US Open that was curtailed resulting from Covid, then had a hernia operation in 2021 that sidelined him for a lot of the yr. However he got here again with some spectacular outcomes final yr, together with wins over high gamers Holger Rohn and Denis Shapovalov and advancing to the third spherical of the US Open which included shock Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Though he wasn’t on the high of the listing of prospects, Wolfe has an enormous serve and fearsome forehand – sufficient weapons to make a reputation for himself. Wolfe faces one other American within the third spherical…

Who’s Mmah? Even considerably linked tennis followers are asking the identical query this week. Mmoh, 25, is not that Mysterious — he received a USTA Below-18 title in 2016 and performed in a number of majors, reaching the second spherical in Australia twice earlier than — however he is presently ranked 107th on this planet, holds a profession professional file of 14-27, and hasn’t been on Many individuals’s radar. Moh did not even qualify for this yr’s version however made the lower as a “fortunate loser” when Belgium’s David Goffin withdrew. After knocking out world quantity 13 Alexander Zverev within the second spherical, which was by far the most important win of his profession, Moh managed to win as a lot as any fortunate loser earlier than him. If he defeats Wolf on Saturday, he’ll break the file. That might be becoming as a result of at this yr’s Australian Open, it is virtually as if something is off the desk.

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