• Monaco calls Europe the future in tennis

    11/29/12 2:19 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Monaco calls Europe the future in tennis Argentine Juan Monaco has little fear of any immediate revival of American tennis hopes, with the long-time tennis superpower now in a state of decline on the ATP.

    The world No. 12, who joins seventh-ranked compatriot Juan Martin Del Potro among the elite, said the US will not be overcoming the waves of European players anytime soon.

    The proof of the continent's superiority is evidenced by the fact that Serbia's Novak Djokovic, Switzerland's Roger Federer, Britain's Andy Murray, and Spain's Rafael Nadal have won every Grand Slam save for three since Federer claimed his first major at Wimbledon in 2003.

    "It's going to be tough for any of them (Americans) to become the world No. 1," Monaco said during a November Singapore exhibition event. "It's still going to be Europe for many years.

    "Novak and Murray are both 25, while Rafael Nadal is just 26. Even when Roger (31) retires, the trio is still young enough to dominate. Then there are younger players such as Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Australia's Bernard Tomic, who have it in them to be the leaders in the future."

    The US, whose last Grand Slam title came from the now-retired Andy Roddick in 2003, has had six No.1 players since the rankings began in 1973. The current top American is No. 14 John Isner, who does not enjoy playing outside of his home country, a problem in a worldwide sport where Americans are fast becoming the outsiders.

    "There are so many sports in the US and tennis is probably ranked sixth or seventh in terms of popularity," said Monaco. "Tennis is the No. 2 sport in my country and in general South America is getting a bit better because we are doing some good stuff there.

    "Asian tennis is also growing because guys like [Kei] Nishikori give more confidence and hope to others going into professional tennis and that is very important."

    Monaco said the US, however, remains "a big tennis nation with a lot of great players."

    "They are struggling when their No. 1 player is ranked 10th or 11th in the world. I think they are going to come around - I am not going to say when, but I sure hope it doesn't happen when I am still playing."

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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