With the departure of the Williams sisters and Mardy Fish from the Wimbledon this week, the demise of American domination in the individual sports has never been more vivid (and painful for the New World).
Andy Roddick has never lived up to the hype of champions replacement of Pete Sampras. In men’s tennis, the change of guard did not occur. Days of Jimbo and JohnMc, Pistol Pete and Agassi, Jim Courier are long in the memory. Way too long time ago. For the Williams sisters, they no longer dominate with their power plays. The eastern european girls are taller, stronger, faster and louder. Melanie Oudin and Mattek-Sands are still unable to break into the Top 20. For every American, there are more than 20 Europeans coming out to take over the tennis world. Ironically, most of them train in Florida.
In the PGA and LPGA, the outlook isn’t that bright either. Since the disgraceful exit of Tiger and non-performing Lefty, the mantel of best golfers was handed over to some Brits- McIlroy and Westwood. After Annika’a domination and Ochoa’s brief spell at the top, there’s a Korean golfer shining through. Where are you, Americans?
In the track events, especially in the sprints, the Jamaicans have replaced Uncle Sam as the dominant force in both men and women’s events. In indiividual road cycling where Americans seldom do well, nobody is seen to take over where LeMond and Armstrong left.
No wonder I have not seen the US flag flying in any big tournaments on the cable. But it is not to say that we are short of new sporting heroes to idolize. Just that they no longer come from Texas, New York or Florida.
Your new sporting heroes are most like come from Spain, some eastern European countries or East Asia. Hail to Nadal (king of Grand Slam tennis) and Contador (disputable king of cycling stage road races).