Wimbledon is upon us and the quest for an American man to win a Grand Slam begins anew.
46 Grand Slam tournaments and counting, and barring a run from U.S. No. 1 John Isner (seeded 18th, generally 125/1 long-shot odds) or an inspired charge from Jack Sock (No. 40 seed) — coming off a French Open run that saw him into the fourth round before falling to Rafael Nadal in four sets — the Americans will likely be looking at 47.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams is in rare form and is getting mostly 7/4 odds to complete her Serena Slam at the All-England Club in 2015.
Madison Keys (ranked No. 21 in the WTA entering the tournament) is getting pretty decent odds at around 25-1 and Sloane Stephens (ranked No. 43, WTA) is also registering at most bookies at approximately 38-1.
While clearly at the end of her magnificent career, Venus Williams is capable of making a run at the tournament she has won five times including the 2008 championship, her last Grand Slam.
Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Steve Johnson and Tim Smyczek are the only other current qualifiers for the Men’s Draw. Isner’s career can best be described as middling; the 30-year old has never progressed to the fourth round at Wimbledon and his best career finish at a Grand Slam was the Quarters at the 2011 U.S. Open. In his nine years as a pro, Isner has nine titles and reached his highest ranking (9th) in April 2012.
Sock is the only American man with a true upside entering play in London on June 29. In his first entry into Wimbledon in 2014, Sock lost in straights to Milos Raonic in the second round. He did manage to capture the 2014 Doubles title, teaming up with Canadian Vasek Pospisil on a whim that saw the pair upset the Bryan brothers in the final.
On the women’s side, Madison Keys is getting her share of hype as the heir apparent to Serena Williams on grass courts. As reported by Tennis Magazine, both Chris Evert and John McEnroe are backing Keys as a future success at Wimbledon.
Said Evert: “If there’s any American player that can follow in Serena and Venus’ footsteps at Wimbledon, it would favor Madison Keys with her power game.” McEnroe echoed Ms. Evert’s sentiments: “I would agree that Madison is going to make the most inroads, and I think it’s going to be real soon. She’s got a huge serve. If she can figure out the movement on the court, she’s going to have a shot at going deep at an event like Wimbledon.”
The prospects of an American not named Serena doing real damage in London are dubious at best, but there is some hope with the recent play of Sock, Keys and Stephens.