Acapulco, February 28th – To name the last U.S. player to be No. 1 in the ATP rankings one must go back to November 2003, almost 20 years ago now, when in November 2003 Andy Roddick reached the summit of tennis.
Roddick’s stay was for a mere 13 weeks, until February 2004 when Swiss Roger Federer broke through and stayed for four and a half years, a total of 237 weeks.
Before Roddick, his compatriots Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominated tennis and previously not as many years went by without the United States having the best tennis player in the world.
But things have changed and now the goal seems within reach of the most advantaged, Taylor Fritz, who at 25 is the highest ranked among a group of 14 U.S. players in the Top-100. “This season my goals are to be in the Top 5, also reach a Grand Slam final,” said Fritz in an interview with the organization.
Without any pressure to achieve it, but to improve, Fritz said that “maybe I see the ranking too much and every time you go up (positions) it always feels good, I hope I have good results this year,” he added.
For now, in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presented by HSBC, Fritz gave a strike of authority in the first day of the tournament on Monday by eliminating his compatriot, the veteran John Isner, and this Wednesday he will face Denis Shapovalov, from Canada, for the quarterfinals.
In addition to Fritz, 10 players entered the main draw of the Acapulco Open 500 from the United States: Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Mackenzie McDonald, Brandon Nakashima, Marcos Giron, Michael Mmoh, John Isner, Christopher Eubanks, Nick Chappell, Ben Shelton and J.J. Wolf.
On the matter spoke Giron, who had to be eliminated in the first round with Michael Mmoh
“A lot of us looked up to Pete Sampras, Agassi and that golden generation, and I knew I was too young to understand that. That’s when I started to get interested in tennis. Also with Roddick and James Blake, they are all very inspiring. But I also think we are all very competitive,” Giron said.
The No. 69 ATP player noted that the United States is a very big country “so there are a lot of players and a lot of people who play tennis. For me it’s really exciting to see so many guys week in and week out doing well and it’s great to see them play.”
He highlighted the progress at the Australian Open by Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz “made it to the quarterfinals at a high level and I think we’re really getting there, hopefully the guys who are pushing will continue to support each other and yeah, I think we’re all excited for this year.”