The U.S. is turning out tall dudes who serve big.

John Isner is a shade over 6ft 9in and he hit a 125mph (201km/h) second serve in Cincinnati today. Damn that’s quick. Isner has really awkward ground strokes though. He stands straight up when he hits the ball. With all that height, imagine how hard he could hit it if he bent his knees a tad.

Isner was ranked number 745 less than a month ago. Then he won a challenger and hit 144 aces in Washington and now his ranking is 192. Today he hit only nine aces and lost in straight sets to David Ferrer, 7-6(3), 6-3.

Amer Delic is similar. He’s 6ft 5in and he’s good as long as he gets his first serve in. He couldn’t get it in often enough today and he fell to Ivan Ljubicic, 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-3.

The U.S. is turning out tall dudes with big serves and they are hopeless once they leave hard courts. Sam Querrey is 6ft 6in. He played six clay court tournaments this year and lost in the first round four times. That was so discouraging that he lost in the first round of his next four tournaments.

Querrey is slightly different from Isner and Delic because he has a baseline game. He had a beautiful thirty stroke rally today with Marc Gicquel, a master retriever. Querrey lost the point but he won the match, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4

Every day on my way to the media room at last week’s WTA event in Los Angeles, I passed a demo of a synthetic red clay court. They’re rare in the U.S. but there are a few thousand of them in Europe. No watering necessary and the lines are painted on. The USTA should start peppering the country with these things and see if the U.S. can turn out some tall dudes who can serve big but also have the patience to construct a point.

It’s a lot cheaper than sending all our juniors to a tennis academy in Barcelona for their teenage years.

Finally, a New Poll

I kept forgetting to change the poll over there on the right side of this page. As a result, it had some interesting numbers. The poll asked the following question: How many Wimbledons will Rafael Nadal win?

Originally, the choices were 1, 2, and 3 or more. I left out 0 because I assumed most people watched Nadal lose Wimbledon by a hair to Roger Federer this year. Someone disagreed and added the choice 0 and that turned out to be the winner.

It only won by one vote but you have to wonder what those people were watching. Nadal is only getting better on grass. Today I’m putting up a new poll and I’m leaving the 0 off again. Here’s the question:

What are Roger Federer’s chances of winning the U.S. Open? 25%? 50%? 75%? 100%?

They just went down with his loss to Novak Djokovic in Montreal and they’d already suffered with Federer’s other hard court results. We just started our fourth hard court Masters Series event of the year and he has yet to win one.

Look to the right side of this page and do your duty. Vote!

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