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Snakes and Ladders: Roddick a single man again

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Originally published on: 23/08/10 10:37

When Andy Roddick’s ranking slipped into double figures two weeks ago, it was the first time that the ATP World Tour top ten did not feature an American – going right back to the introduction of the rankings system in 1973.

“A new low” said some (including the news feed of this site), as the departure threw the spotlight on the those waiting in the wings – or not, if that’s your standpoint – to pick up the mantle when the 27-year-old decides to call it a day.

As portents of doom go, it was pretty tame. Those in the know recognised it for what it was: an inevitability for American tennis and a blip for Roddick, who also discovered he was suffering with a mild case of mononucleosis shortly afterwards. And, as Jim Courier pointed out, “the game is deep with global talent but the US will have a top ten presence again, probably within a few weeks.”

It has taken a fortnight. On the back of his Cincy semi-final showing, Roddick is a single figure man again, back up to No.9 in the rankings. Not only that, but with his friend Mardy Fish reaching the final at Roddick’s expense before losing to Roger Federer, US tennis can currently boast four players in the world’s top 25, with Fish up 15 spots and nestled between John Isner at 20 and Sam Querrey at 22. Good timing, given the US Open seedings are drawn this week.

One man who won’t be among them is defending champion Juan Martin del Potro, who this weekend rubber-stamped his withdrawal from this year’s event, along with WTA world No.1 Serena Williams. The Argentine, just the third man to pass on the defence of his title in the Open era, will see 2000 points lopped off his tally by mid-September. Ouch. Here’s hoping the October return in Thailand proves fruitful.

With the weather threatening to force the women’s leg of the Rogers Cup into the first Tuesday final in WTA history, the rankings are likely to be a little tardy, but that doesn’t deny Liezel Huber a tip of the cap. The South Africa-born American celebrated her 34th birthday at the weekend, and with it became the oldest world No.1 in WTA history.

It’s all about experience over youth right now, it seems. Kimiko Date Krumm will be back in the top 50 for the first time since her comeback to the WTA Tour two years ago, becoming the oldest player to rank Top 50 since March 11 1984, when a 40-year-old Billie Jean King was No.22.

Movers

Taylor Dent – up 13 to No.70, his highest ranking to date since returning from career threatening back injury.
Ricardo Mello – Brazilian 29-year-old won the Salvador Challenger last week, beating Thiago Alves in the final. Up 11 spots  to No.81.
Donald Young – steps up one spot back into the top 100 just in time for New York.

Shakers

Lleyton Hewitt – former US Open champ slips four spots to No.34. Should still be enough for a seeding in New York with del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga having already withdrawn.
Jeremy Chardy – second-round showing against Andy Murray in Cincy wasn’t enough to prevent his ranking sliding six spots to No.64.

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