Blake backs US resurgence
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Former US number one James Blake is excited by the prospects coming out of America but feels a Grand Slam champion is still years away.
Andy Roddick's victory in the 2003 US Open is the last time that an American man lifted a Grand Slam trophy as the big four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have dominated proceedings.
In the last decade only Juan Martin del Potro, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic have crashed the party as the top four players took the sport to a new level.
The 1990s were dominated by American stars as Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi and all visited the winner's circle on many occasions, but it has been slim pickings in recent times, with John Isner the most successful in the 'Slams.
Blake, who reached two US Open quarter-finals in his career, has observed the emerging talent, with the likes of Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo and Jared Donaldson coming through.
And the New York-born 36-year-old is adamant that the good times will return, as long as fans give the youngsters time to develop.
"People have to be patient," he told Tennis World. "It’s going to be three or four years before we see these guys really start to compete for Grand Slam titles. I think it’s coming. It’s just going to take a few years to develop.
"I don’t know if I’ve been this excited about American tennis in a long time. You’ve got a big group of guys who can push each other."