Venus Williams (left in picture above) is carrying the "Green Light (Hope)" of American Tennis on her shoulders in Flushing Meadows.
In one of the most popular and renowned pieces of literature in history, there is talk of a green light. A look into the orgastic future. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel’s author, filled a seemingly simple plot in his classic with depth and heavy meaning. It has become an American literature classic and a book that encompasses themes that we as Americans talk about daily. I mean, how frequently do you here about the so-called “American Dream.” And I am a firm believer in this idea and fully stand behind it. Except when talking about American tennis recently, more specifically, American Men’s Tennis.
The US Open is the grandest and most high scale tournament we have to offer in the United States. Each year from Labor Day up until the middle of September, all eyes of the tennis world are focused on Flushing Meadows. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the place to be. It is all a part of the moment. This year sadly, I feel the US Open has been vastly overshadowed. This in large part has been due to the early exit of America’s top player, Andy Roddick. All of the sporting world’s attention has shifted focus towards College Football, the NFL, and the scintillating stretch run that is September baseball. And I honestly cannot blame the American public for seeming to lose interest.
I, myself, am a major tennis connoisseur. I love to watch tennis on television or in person all the time. I was an avid player and still like to consider myself a pretty big fan. But my focus has shifted from this tournament to College Football’s opening weekend and my beloved Reds pennant race. Now I realize that guys like Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish, and John Isner all made decent runs this year. And who can forget the amazing Ryan Harrison’s first round upset victory? But today, the men begin the quarterfinals. And want to know how many Americans are left in the draw? A big fat 0. The women are now entering the semifinals. Want to know how many women are left in the draw? Try 1.
This tournament began with 256 total players comprising both the Men and Women’s Draw. There were 17 American men participating in American’s pride and joy tournament. We have hit the Final 8, and there are 0 left. There were 12 American women participating in our gem of a tennis tournament. We have hit the prestigious Final 4, and there is 1 remaining. So Americans as a whole made up over 11 percent of the total 256 participants, and we have hit the final 12 players left, with 1 participant remaining? Does not really sound like our tournament very much anymore now does it?
Now Venus Williams has a good chance at capturing the women’s title in that she is a Williams sister. Though she has a bum knee and had taken the past 2 months off, she appears fit and ready to handle business. Amazingly, she has not played in the Finals in Flushing since 2002, when she lost to her sister Serena. Hard to believe in that Venus used to own the Wimbledon/US Open part of the season every summer for years. Can Venus bring home her 8th Grand Slam singles title (she has won 12 doubles)? I am going with a probably not. Kim Clijsters is an amazing player at Flushing, capturing her only 2 Grand Slam Titles here, and Wozniacki is looming in the top half of the draw.
So the Green light may be disappearing in American tennis, but at least I got a pennant race, College Football, and the opening weekend of the NFL to watch. It is not so bad being an American sports fan right now.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.