Sam Querrey.(credit: Wikipedia.org)
American tennis bettors shouldn’t be backing Roddick for any more Slams so let’s look at who is coming in behind him.
Andy Roddick started his 2010 season off right. He made the Australian Open quarters and then followed that up with win a finals appearance at ATP Indians Wells and with a title at ATP Miami.
His clay court season was nothing spectacular this year but that was just Roddick being Roddick as he’s never been a contender at the French Open.
But when Roddick lost at Wimbledon in the fourth round to an unheralded opponent it had to be a little eyebrow raising. And now Roddick has lost to Mardy Fish in Atlanta and both of their prices have been adjusted in the outright winner’s market for the 2010 US Open.
Roddick may be nearing the end of his stay in the top 10 and you have to wonder if he is going to start descending soon. Even at +2000 (20/1) to win the US Open with SportingBet, Roddick should be considered overrated as his true odds may be more like +6000 (60/1) at this point.
Fish is playing good tennis but he’s no Grand Slam contender and if Roddick is going to lose to players like Fish or Yen-Hsun Lu then the American is going to have trouble in Slams as early as the second or third round – maybe even in the first round if he gets a bad match-up.
American tennis backers are probably better off backing John Isner or Sam Querrey at the US Open. Neither of those players can really be considered to be anything except for peripheral threats but when their odds are looked out, the value is better:
Isner: +6600 (66/1)
Querrey: +8000 (80/1)
American tennis, on the men’s side, really looks like it is going to start hurting soon. Roddick might not make the ATP World Finals this year and the next top ranked American, Isner, only has one trick. That trick can work but players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Andy Murray can all stop a big server more often than not.
Sam Querrey is a big server but he also has a more complete game and he appears to be the future of American tennis – at least for the next couple years. There is serious hope with him as he was the youngest player to make the Wimbledon 4th round this year. He’s still only 22, ranked 20th, apparently mid-ascension, and with a lot of room for growth this year.
Here are the points that Querrey still has to protect in 2010:
Los Angeles: 250 points
Washington: 45 points
Canadian Masters: 10 points
Cincinnati: 90 points
US Open: 90 points
Paris: 0 points
Shanghai: 0 points
If he can make a run to the semifinals of the US Open, which he is capable of doing, and if he can avoid sitting on glass tables then Querrey could threaten to make the ATP World Tour Finals this year especially with tremendous room for growth in the Masters Series events.
There are other players to be optimistic about for the more distant future but Querrey is the American most likely to make a really deep run at Flushing Meadows THIS YEAR.
Outside of the top 100 there are American future stars like Donald Young, a 21 year old ranked 105th (all rankings July 19th 2010) and Tim Smyczek, a 22 year old ranked 183rd. But neither of those players are being tipped for the top although they definitely have tons of time to prove themselves. At any rate, if betting lines were being offered on them they would be like 2000 to 1 longshots for the US Open this year.
Below the radar at this point is Ryan Harrison out of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Harrison is 6’1″, well built, and currently ranked 218th. He is still only 18 years and 3 months old (b. May 7th, 1992) however and that makes him the most promising prospect in American tennis although you would expect him to need at least two more years to develop before he starts to make an impact on tour.
It is very relevant to note that when Roddick (b. August 30th, 1982) was about the same age as Harrison is now, he, Roddick, was ranked near Harrison’s current ranking:
November 6th 2000: Roddick was ranked 217th
Harrison may be a prodigy and he’s among a select group of players to have won an ATP match before turning 16.