BRADENTON, Fla. _ For 20 years, Nick Bollettieri has had the satisfaction of knowing he could look onto the sprawling property at his tennis academy and see the future of the sport.
In the early 1980s, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Aaron Krickstein and Jimmy Arias spent their high school years training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. After years of training and competing against each other, the Americans would go on to dominate the No. 1 ranking in professional tennis and captured 21 Grand Slam tournament titles.
"We had just about everyone here," Bollettieri said.
It's a new era now.
While American women's tennis has flourished with Venus and Serena Williams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 and Jennifer Capriati No. 3, no American man has made it past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament this year. And there isn't much optimism about their chances in the U.S. Open, which starts Monday in New York.
Just two of the top 10 in the ATP Tour Champions Race rankings last week were Americans _ Agassi is still No. 3 and 19-year-old Andy Roddick is No. 9. Agassi, 32, and Sampras, 31, whose heated mid-90s matchups inspired Nike commercials, have shown signs of age and prompted …