The tennis misery years

September 1, 2009

A nation will be holding its’ breath over the next fortnight to see if the barren years without a tennis Major victory can finally be broken at Flushing Meadows.

The US Open is underway, and with Nadal creaking and Djokovic yet to get beyond a quarter final of a Slam this year, surely only Roger Federer stands in the way of a first American major winner since Andy Roddick at this very tournament six years ago.

That Roddick is still the host nation’s best hope reflects how sharp the demise of American tennis has been since the terrific trio of Agassi, Courier and Sampras ensured that at least one of the Slams went to the US for every year of the 90s.

If all goes to his plan, Roddick will seek revenge for his Wimbledon final defeat against Federer one round earlier here – and to the local media this will be the key game of the tournament.

Of course, six years of hurt is barely worth mentioning to the Scottish/British (delete depending on results) tennis fan. We all know that it’s more than 70 years since Fred Perry, etc, so let the perpetual worrying begin. Shall I stay up a little late to listen to BBC 5 Live? Will there be tennis in the pub on a Friday night? Am I ready for the likely disappointment if the Swiss does him in the final again (assuming Del Potro doesn’t in the quarters)?

We also know that Andy Murray should be given at least two more years to win a major before we start to wonder whether he is the Monty of his sport. But this is British tennis, a world of failure and pessimism. Two years is only nine more defeats. If fit the French is Nadal’s, Federer ain’t finished on grass, and maybe the Australian is a bad time of the year for Murray, what with Hogmanay. This could be his best chance.