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2024 Australian Open: How did Americans fare?

America has a wealth of tennis talent, but only one player representing the Stars and Stripes made a deep run in the first Major of the year, the Australian Open.

It was an underwhelming start for the Americans with Coco Gauff’s semi-final run being their best achievement by some way.

Gauff is one of two female American players ranked inside the world’s top four alongside Jessica Pegula, while there are four men housed in the world’s top 16 hailing from the States.

Despite that abundance of quality, 19-year-old Gauff was the only American that ever really threatened to challenge for the title, with Taylor Fritz’s quarter-final effort the best performance of the male contingent.

In last year's US Open, Gauff became the third American woman to win a Grand Slam since the legendary Serena Williams added her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open.

You have to go all the way back to 2003, however, to find the last American male to have won a Grand Slam, which came courtesy of Andy Roddick’s US Open success.

We take a look at how the Americans fared at the recent Australian Open and assess their credentials for the remainder of the season.

Gauff remains America’s class act

Despite failing to make it back-to-back Grand Slam title successes, the 19-year-old Gauff can take plenty of positives from her Australian Open campaign.

The teenage talent had eased through the opening four rounds in straight sets before she showed her willingness to fight in a three-set victory over quarter-final opponent Marta Kostyuk.

The American was eventually overpowered by champion Aryna Sabalenka in the final four, with the Belarusian exacting her revenge for Gauff’s US Open final win in September.

However, Gauff pushed Sabalenka all the way in a 7-6 6-4 defeat and that was further evidence that she is one of the best female players on the planet.

It would be a big surprise was the youngster not to add to her Grand Slam haul in the near future and there will be plenty of opportunities for her to build on it this season, especially with her being strong on all surfaces. Gauff is +800 to win the French Open.

Pegula continues to underwhelm

Pegula is the current world number four but, unlike her compatriot Gauff, the 29-year-old struggles to put her best foot forward in a Grand Slam.

The Florida resident crashed out in the second round of this season’s Australian Open, suffering a shock straight-set defeat to French world number 51 Clara Burel.

That means Pegula has never gone beyond the quarter-final of a Grand Slam, which is seriously underwhelming for a player of her ability.

Having won only four titles on the WTA Tour, Pegula has to prove she deserves her lofty ranking in the upcoming majors and she is +5000 for French Open glory.

There were a total of 19 American women in the main draw of the Australian Open and nine of those made it through to the second round.

However, only Gauff and Amanda Anisimova reached the last 16 and the performance of Anisimova bodes well for the remainder of her campaign.

It is easy to forget that Anisimova, still only 22 years of age, made the semi-final of the 2019 French Open and she is a far better prospect than her current ranking implies.

Anisimova is a former world number 21 and she had recorded impressive wins over 13th seed Liudmila Samsonova, Nadia Podoroska and Paula Badosa before bumping into eventual champion Sabalenka.

Fritz hinting at a strong season

Taylor Fritz struggled for large parts of the 2023 campaign but the big-serving American looked on his way back at the recent Australian Open.

The 12th seed made his third Grand Slam quarter-final and, although beaten in four sets by Novak Djokovic in the last eight, it was a hint that he could be set for a successful campaign.

Fritz struggled in his opening-round showdown, displaying plenty of nerves in a five-set victory over a relatively unknown prospect in Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta.

However, he powered his way past his next two opponents in Hugo Gaston and Fabian Marozsan before recording a four-set victory over seventh-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 26-year-old clearly improved as the tournament progressed and, being a six-time winner on the ATP Tour, there should be plenty more to come from him for the remainder of the season. He is +3300 for Wimbledon glory in the summer.

Fritz was one of five American seeded players in the men’s draw alongside Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda.

None of those managed to make it beyond the third round, but there were clear signs of promise from Paul, Shelton and Korda.

While Tiafoe was brushed aside 6-4 6-4 7-6 by Czech world number 75 Tomas Machac, the other three bumped into some strong performances.

Paul, an Australian Open semi-finalist in 2023, lost his third-round encounter in five sets to Miomir Kecmanovic while 16th seed Shelton, who made the last four of last season’s US Open, fell in five at the same stage against experienced Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Korda, on the other hand, was unfortunate to come up against world number five Andrey Rublev and was soundly beaten 6-2 7-6 6-4.

Another American male worth a mention is 19-year-old Alex Michelsen, who displayed plenty of quality on his run to the third round having defeated James McCabe and Jiri Lehecka before colliding with eventual semi-finalist Alexander Zverev.

Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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