U.S. Men's Tennis Needs Boost From Clay Courts

AP Photo

The U.S. has never failed to place at least one man in the top 20 since the ranking system was put in place 40 years ago. The streak is just barely intact -- Sam Querrey sits squarely on No. 20 -- and is likely to end by the conclusion of the French Open, if not before.

Querrey has never shown much consistency on clay, and this is hardly his favorite time of the year. He was bounced out of last year's French Open in the first round (tough draw: Janko Tipsarevic), and his reputation took a massive hit at Roland Garros three years ago, when he took a discouraging loss, admitted he was "mentally fried," bailed out on the doubles with John Isner and flew back to California.

Isner, currently ranked 23rd, appeared to have made a dramatic clay-court breakthrough in last...

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