Martina Navratilova Gives Her Opinion On American Men Players
epa03619642 US-Czech former tennis player Martina Navratilova arrives for ceremony of Laureus Awards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 11 March 2013. EPA/Antonio Lacerda |
Martina Navratilova is usually a critic that sticks to pointing out the pluses and minuses of women’s tennis but for the first time in 101 years there were no American males in the third round of Wimbledon, she felt the need to move into unknown territory.
The retirement last year of Andy Roddick and the prolonged absence of Mardy Fish from the men’s game has hit male United States chances hard and with John Isner falling to the Wimbledon injury jinx and Sam Querrey losing in the first round, Navratilova felt the need to make her views known.
“On the women’s side the younger players are beginning to step up to the plate but the men haven’t got there yet,” said the 56 year-old nine times winner of the Wimbledon Ladies singles trophy.
No United States male has won a major singles title since Roddick won the US Open in 2003 and Navratilova maintained: “Most of the Americans that are great athletes go into other sports. “Sam Querrey [the world number 19 lost in the first round at Wimbledon] is a bit of a disappointment, and not just in this tournament.
“He hasn’t developed into the player we were hoping for and Ryan Harrison or Jack Sock haven’t developed yet either. It comes down to hunger and opportunity, the kids in America have it easier.”
The tennis career of Mardy Fish was looking more uncertain after the 31-yea-rold quit with heat exhaustion to give Finnish 11th seed Jarkko Nieminen a 7-5, 6-7(3), 3-2 win into the third round of the grand slam tune-up.