The United States of America have always been a force in the world's tennis with players like Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi winning the biggest titles and dominating the tour. It was Andy Roddick who holded the American flag reasonably high after Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi hung up their tennis rackets, winning the 2003 US Open and reaching four other Grand Slam finals and he would surely add much more titles wouldn't he competing in the era of Roger Federer.
But Andy Roddick decided to end his professional tennis career after the 2012 US Open, so what are the biggest hopes of American tennis now? And who could be the next American tennis star?
1. Ryan Harrison
At this moment the 20-year-old Ryan Harrison is the most successful player out of this generation. He reached a career-high Nr. 7 in world junior rankings in 2008 and advanced to the semifinals at Australian Open juniors in the same year. Harrison is notable for being the third youngest player since 1990, after Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal, to have won an ATP level match, defeating world Nr. 130 Pablo Cuevas in Houston in 2008. Harrison is yet to reach the finals at the ATP level but made it to the semifinals on five occassions and reached his career-best Nr. 43 ranking in July 2012. He has also won 2 ATP Tour doubles titles in pair with Matthew Ebden. He considers grass his favourite surface.
2. Jack Sock
The 19-year-old Jack Sock has been considered a big hope of American tennis ever since his win at the 2010 US Open in juniors competition. The same event brought first big breakthrough in the career of Jack Sock as he won the 2011 US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. His progress continued in the 2012 that was highlighted by Sock's third round display at his favourite tournament, the 2012 US Open, where he defeated Mayer and Cipolla before loosing to Almagro in close four sets. He also recorded a worthy win over top seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in doubles competition (in pair with fellow American Steve Johnson). Jack Sock is primarily a aggressive baseliner with some occasional serve and volley play, with his second serve being one of the most consistent out of the younger generation. Sock's game is built around that massive serve and a crowd-pleasing forehand, which he loves to slap with heavy topspin after running around his more pedestrian backhand. Sock also isn't afraid to sneak to net behind that big forehand to knock off volleys, nor to mix in touch drop shots and offspeed serves to offset all that power. Jack Sock currently finds himself on a career-best ranking of world Nr. 174.
3. Donald Young
The 23-year-old left-hander Donald Young has always been rated as an enormous talent and huge hope of American tennis. In the end he became the youngest year-end world Nr. 1 in junior rankings at 16 years and 5 months in 2005 and also the first American to be ranked that high since Andy Roddick in 2000. Young won the Australian Open and Wimbledon junior titles and added many other titles on that level. Donald Young made it to the his only final at the ATP level in Bangkok in 2011 (lost to Murray) and added fourth round display at the US Open that year. He recorded wins over players like Andy Murray, Gael Monfils or Stanislas Wawrinka and achieved his career-high world Nr. 38 ranking in February 2012 but also holds a shocking 3-21 record in 2012 and is now the world Nr. 187. At this moment it seems that history will know Donald Young as huge wasted talent but he has still enough time to come back on the right track.
4. Denis Kudla
Former world Nr. 3 junior player, Denis Kudla is a player with Ukrainian origin. Kudla won the Orange Bowl and then reached the final at US Open juniors in 2010, losing to countryman Jack Sock. Kudla holds a decent 5-8 record on the ATP level, reached third round on grass in Newport in 2012 and won his career-first ATP Challenger Tour event in Lexington in August 2012. He is a hard-working player with hard courts being his favourite surface. Denis Kudla is now ranked as the world Nr. 153 player.
5. Steve Johnson
The 22-year-old Steve Johnson ended his collegiate career at the University of Southern California by capturing his second straight NCAA singles title and also became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school to four consecutive team titles, winning his final 72 matches. His idols growing up were fellow Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Johnson achieved his best results in August 2012, when he won a hardcourt challenger in Aptos without loosing a single set and reached the third round at the US Open, after defeating Ram and Gulbis. He also recorded a worthy win over top seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in doubles competition (in pair with fellow American Jack Sock) in Flushing Meadows. These results catapulted him on the position of world Nr. 180 in the ranking.
6. Rhyne Williams
Williams played college tennis for the University of Tennessee, where he made it to the final of the 2011 NCAA Singles Championship, losing to Steve Johnson. The 21-year-old Rhyne Williams is also the youngest U.S. male to win a Pro Circuit event in the United States, winning the ITF Futures event at the age 16. He's got a big serve, moves well and has really potent forehand. Williams already recorded a few wins over stable Top150 players, defeating Sela, Zopp, De Voest, Pospisil or Golubev and successfully qualified for the main draw of his favourite tournament, the US Open, where he lost to Andy Roddick. Williams is currently the world Nr. 251 player and expected to improve his ranking in next months.
7. Christian Harrison
The 18-year-old Christian Harrison is younger brother of professional tennis player Ryan Harrison and it really looks like that America can have another successful sibling duo. American brothers showed their potential with an excellent run at the 2012 US Open, where they reached the quarterfinals of the doubles competition in their first tour-level event together. "It's definitely an advantage, being at these tournaments, and around these environments, it's partly why I'm so self-motivated. I just want to go out and get better to hopefully be back in this situation as often as I can." commented Christian Harrison. "Once I get used to the clay and start sliding, I like the clay a lot. I think I have a game that can adapt to any surface. My stamina is strength. I make a lot of balls and keep the play going. I like to wear out my opponent and when I can use my forehand." added Harrison to his style of play. Christian Harrison surely has bright future ahead of him!
8. Andrea Collarini
The left-handed Andrea Ricardo Collarini is an American-born tennis player who returned to his parents' native Argentina at age three and lived there until he accepted a scholarship from USTA in March 2010 and moved to the national training center in Florida and became an American. Collarini recorded some good results during his junior career, was ranked as world Nr. 5 and even is the 2010 French Open Boys' singles finalist, only loosing to his close friend Agustin Velotti. His boyhood heroes are two Spanish left-handers Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal and his forehand is often compared with the one of the seven-time Roland Garros champion. Collarini plays with heavy topspin, has quick-footed defense and a lifetime of playing on clay. "I need to improve the attacking game because I learned to play on clay and we play more of a defensive game. But I'm sure I'll get better as I practice more on hard courts." commented Collarini his game. He is currently ranked at his career-best ranking of the world Nr. 313 and surely expected to improve it in next months.
9. Bjorn Fratangelo
The young man named after Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg had accomplished what no American had done since John McEnroe in 1977 - he had won the boys junior singles title at the French Open in 2011 and as a result reached a career high of Nr. 2 in the world junior rankings. The 19-year-old Bjorn Fratangelo clay and hard courts his favourite surfaces and plays with a double-handed backhand. He likes to be offensive and dictates the play with his forehand. Currently ranked as world Nr. 691, Fratangelo is yet to break into the Top500, but may be one of a few Americans with the game to suceed on red clay courts.
10. Dennis Novikov
The Russian-born, California-raised 18-year-old Dennis Novikov is a former student of the IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis program. Novikov was quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open Junior Championships in 2010, won the USTA Boys' 18s National Championships in Kalamazoo in singles and doubles and so recieved the main draw wild card for the 2012 US Open. He even recorded his career-first Grand Slam win at Flushing Meadows, defeating Janowicz in the first round before loosing to Benneteau in four sets. To succeed at the pro level, Novikov sees a bit of room for improvement in his game, including his court movement, mental focus and physical strength. But he has a huge serve and his weapons are already proving powerful enough to withstand top players.
Only players born after 1989 were included in the list. There are also some other American players that would deserve to be mentioned in this list like Bradley Klahn, Tennys Sandgren, Daniel Kosakowski, Devin Britton and other but we have selected only ten players that have the best chance to have successful tennis career.