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SBD/January 7, 2014/Events and Attractions
Australian Open Tickets Selling At Record Pace, With 700,000 Total Sales In Sight
Published January 7, 2014
MADE IN AMERICA: USA TODAY's Douglas Robson notes as the '14 Grand Slam season kicks off next week, the "prospects for American tennis remain cloudy." The draw in Melbourne will "have no legitimate U.S. male title contenders." Though top-ranked Serena Williams is favored, the "improving cast of young American women behind her is unproven at the elite level." This "state of uncertainty about the USA's tennis future comes several years after USTA officials, distressed by the diminishing pool of American talent, determined to raise the ante." Last year was "the worst in history for U.S. men's tennis." No American male player "advanced past the third round at any of the four majors, a first in 45 years of Open-era competition." Only John Isner (No.14) and Sam Querrey (No.46) "finished among the top 50 men's players." But there are "signs of progress: There were 11 American women in the top 100 in 2013, the most of any country." Many of the "rising talents, such as Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Jamie Hampton, have received on-and-off coaching and assistance from the USTA" (USA TODAY, 1/7).