Former American tennis star Jim Courier has responded to criticism about American tennis by saying the lack of Grand Slams is more thanks to the presence of the legendary three than anything else.
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The era of American domination seems to have long gone, with the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Courier himself having been replaced by the Big Three in the form of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, that doesn’t seem to bother Courier too much who points out it’s not just American tennis that hasn’t seen a lot of Grand Slam winners.
Courier said there have been no real contenders outside the top four of five players in the world and that is a situation which will change once the greats of the game retire.
Speaking to Reuters, Courier said:
“Sure, it has been difficult for American men to win majors but it has been difficult for anyone outside of the top four or five players to win in the last 15 years. It has been more of a question of era in many ways as opposed to a singular American problem.”
Courier pointed out there will be a lot more opportunities for American tennis players over the next few years once Federer, Nadal and Djokovic decide to hang up their boots.
“I think there is going to be a lot of open road for our players in the next five years or so when these incredible legends eventually leave the game. I think we’ll get a little more of a return to normalcy where players are going to win six or seven majors but not 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 — where they are just hoarding all of them.”
Federer is currently leading the pack with 20 Grand Slam victories, while Nadal has 18 and Djokovic is on 16. Nadal is currently in the semi-final of the 2019 US Open and with Federer and Djokovic already knocked out, he is a heavy favourite to win his 19th. Nadal takes on Matteo Berrettini in the semi-final later today.