The Draws to the Australian Open have been released and only 5 American non-qualifiers have made the 128 player Men's Draw.
Top American, John Isner has pulled out due to a knee injury. Mardy Fish has withdrawn and veteran James Blake lost in a qualifying match against Donald Young who is on the verge of qualifying himself after falling well down the rankings.
With Andy Roddick announcing his retirement at the U.S. Open, the state of American Men's tennis appears to be in the hands of Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Michael Russell, Rhyne Williams and Brian Baker at the moment.
American's Steve Johnson, Ryan Sweeting, Tim Smyczek, Michael Yani, Rajeev Ram and Young are still alive in the Men's Qualifying Singles Draw.
Out of the American's in the Main Draw, only Querrey is seeded, at 20th. Getting past the round of 16 would be a major feat as top seed Novak Djokovic looms. The same fate would likely apply to both Ryan Harrison and Brian Baker who are also in Nole's part of the draw.
Michael Russell received no favors matched up against 5th seeded Tomas Berdych in the first round.
Rhyne Williams is paired against 25th seed Florian Mayer in the first round. With an upset, Williams could see Alexandr Dolgopolov, the 18th seed well before the latter rounds of the tournament.
With that said, prospects for any sort of run in the 2013 Australian Open look very dim for the American Men. The best bet appears to Querrey but having to run up against a player as dominant as Djokovic is a tall order. Querrey fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber in Auckland on Friday.
The good news for the Americans? There looks to be a handful of young qualifyers who will enter the main draw with a chance at good experience against high level competition and an opportunity to improve their world rankings. Are any of these the future for the United States in Men's Tennis? That remains to be seen but with a number of veterans retiring or falling down the rankings, the United States are in need of an infusion of young talent.
(photo courtesy of KarlNorling)