Serena Williams, No. 1 in the world, and the current defending U.S. Open champion, will be the women’s No. 1 seed at this year’s U.S. Open. She won 77 of her last 81 matches. If she wins the U.S. Open, that will be her second major title of 2013.
In fact, American women continue to do well in professional tennis while American men continue to struggle.
Earlier today, Ryan wrote about Mardy Fish, our last great American hope, withdrawing from the U.S. Open. He notes that without him we probably won’t end the American men’s U.S. Open title drought.
Why is the U.S. having such an issue attracting great male tennis players? Is it the money?
According to Yahoo! Sports, “Professional tennis is the only major sport where women can make as much or more money than men.”
According to the Census Bureau, in the U.S. women still only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In most of the sports world, it’s even worse than that. However, tennis is the only major sport where men and women are paid the same (thanks in large part to Venus Williams who campaigned for equal pay, getting both the French Open and Wimbledon to change their pay policies in 2007).
In Forbes’ 2013 list of the top ten highest paid female athletes, tennis players take seven of the spots.
Number 1 – Maria Sharapova $29 million
Number 2 – Serena Williams $20.5
Number 3- Li Na $18.2
Number 4- Victoria Azarenka $15.7
Number 7 – Caroline Wozniacki $13.6
Number 8 – Agnieszka Radwanska $7.4
Number 9 – Ana Ivanovic $7 million
As of right now, the U.S. has ten women in the top 100, six of whom are in the top 50. Plus, we have Serena, the current No. 1 in the world.
In the 2012 Summer Olympics, we took home gold medals in women’s singles and women’s doubles. In singles, our men didn’t even get to a medal match. However, the Bryan Brothers brought home the gold in men’s doubles.
The 2013 U.S. Open
When it comes to American tennis and the 2013 U.S. Open, our women and our doubles teams are our best bets. I believe that Serena Williams can win the 2013 U.S. Open, especially with the recent withdrawal of No. 2 Maria Sharapova. I also believe that the Bryan Brothers will dominate in men’s doubles.
So, yes, I am sad about the state of American men’s singles tennis… but, I’m thrilled about everything else.
Check back tomorrow for our complete U.S. Open predictions and for a look at the Bryan Brothers going for their Grand Slam.