Australian Open: Can U.S. Men's Tennis Rise to the Top Once Again?

Ryan Bothmann@tripleCfanSenior Analyst IIJanuary 14, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14:  Ryan Harrison of the United States of America plays a backhand in his first round match against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia during day one of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Andy Roddick was the face of American tennis for the past decade. His career was full of endless potential, and his game was made famous by blistering serves that no one in the world could return. Roddick won his first major tournament at the 2003 U.S. Open when he was only 20 years old. It seemed to be the beginning a very long and storied career.

Andy Roddick was beloved by tennis fans, especially those from the United States. Fans, experts, and even other players frequently mentioned how hard Roddick worked on his game. Every time he took the court, everyone could tell how badly Roddick wanted to win.

Every tennis fan knows Roddick had a great career, but in many ways it did not live up to expectations. The 2003 U.S. Open title was the only Grand Slam that Roddick would ever win. In fact, it is the last Grand Slam tournament that any American man has ever won.

Andy Roddick ended his great career last summer at the U.S. Open. He once again left the court with a disappointing exit in a Grand Slam tournament, but his final moments in tennis were ones to remember. Juan Martin del Potro stepped aside after his victory and let the fans of New York say goodbye to their favorite player for the last time.

Now, as the 2013 Australian Open gets this year's tennis season into full swing, the new face of American men's tennis has yet to be discovered. There are many young stars who stand just where Roddick stood in his career 10 years ago.

There are many names and many faces, and they all share one collective goal: bringing the United States back to the top in men's tennis.

The process has already begun. Ryan Harrison, Sam Querrey, Brian Baker and Tim Smyczek all advanced into the second round by winning their opening round matches on Monday.

Even more American players will be on the court Tuesday, trying to make it through to the second round like these four already have.

However, simply making it to the second or third rounds of a Grand Slam is not enough.

The hope is that, as this 2013 Australian Open progresses, one of these players from the United States will continue to hang around with the top players in the world. And U.S. fans will hope that maybe one of them will be able to knock off one of the top seeds and make themselves the new face of U.S. men's tennis.