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Busted Racquet

Highest-ranked American pulls out of Australian Open

Busted Racquet

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John Isner — Getty Images

American tennis is on the decline. Nobody has won a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick did it in 2003 (Roddick has since retired from competitive tennis), and while we've seen glimpses of talent come through the ranks, nobody has really taken the reigns as an American that could really make some noise in the upper echelon of professional tennis.

And it keeps getting worse. Top-ranked American John Isner, who won two titles in 2012 and made it to the third round of the Australian Open a season ago, has pulled out of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne with bone bruising in his right knee.

Isner, who broke the top-10 a year ago before finishing No. 14 in the world, was the highest ranked American, leaving Sam Querrey with that title at No. 22 with Isner pulling out.

It's just been a strange few years for Americans. Roddick came on the scene with that booming serve and quick forehand, but he never seemed to have all the pieces to compete in today's tennis. Now the U.S. has a guy like Isner who also can smash his serve like nobody in the game but the 6-foot-9 American has only made one quarterfinals in his career, and that came in 2011 at the U.S. Open.

Querrey has never made a quarterfinals, but he did make it to the third round at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2012.

Isner tried to play through the pain at the Sydney International, where he was the top seed in the tournament, but said the pain was too much as he lost in straight sets to fellow American Ryan Harrison.

To say the American men look bleak again this season could be an understatement.

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