US men again failed to win a Slam or capture the Davis Cup. Still, 2017 was a great year for American tennis. Sloane Stephens came back from No. 957 to win the US Open. Serena’s Australian Open win was her record 23rd Slam title. Sister Venus reached the Aussie Open and Wimbledon finals and the US Open semis, where all four semifinalists were Americans. Despite two wrist surgeries, Madison Keys reached the US Open final. Coco Vandeweghe didn’t win a tourney. So what? The Rancho Sante Fe gal was on fire, reaching the Aussie and US Open semis and the Wimbledon quarters, and cracked the Top Ten. Plus she was the best team player in tennis, as she all but single-handedly led the US to its first Fed Cup win in 17 years. Feisty CiCi Bellis was the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
The junior girls US Open final saw 16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova beat 13-year old Coco Gauff. Californian Claire Liu won the Wimbledon juniors and the US now has an incredible 13 players in the women’s top 100.
At Wimbledon, Sam Querrey beat No. 1 Andy Murray and became the first American to reach a Slam semi since ’09. American men were 8-1 in ATP finals last year. Their eight titles are the most since 2010, and this is the first time five different US players have won titles since 2009. Jack Sock had a fall surge. He won his first Masters title in Paris – the first Masters claimed by an American since Andy Roddick took Miami in 2010. Sock’s third tournament win of the year enabled him to become the first American to reach the ATP Championships in six years. John Isner won his fifth Atlanta title in six years and beat Nadal at the Laver Cup. After nine years on tour Ryan Harrison won a tourney – the Memphis Open. Great stuff, yes? But Chris Evert put all this in an unsparing perspective: “Congratulations, US tennis. We have the depth, but where is that Grand Slam champion?”