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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 30, 2022

 
Taylor Fritz

In our latest "Best of 2022" we praise the American men for a breakthrough season on many fronts.

Photo Source: Getty

With the tennis season done and dusted and in the rearview, Tennis Now is circling back to bask in the glory of what was a truly phenomenal tennis season.

Today we take a closer look at the American men, and how they surpassed expectations and set the bar high for 2023.

Nine American men in the Top-50 at Year-End

A quick glance at the ATP’s year-end rankings tells a big part of the story. For the first time since 1996 nine Americans populate the Top-50, a clear indication that the competitive environment and depth that we see among the American men is fostering growth.

Taylor Fritz was the lead dog in 2022. The California native cracked the Top-10 and set the tone in March when he stunned Rafael Nadal to take home the BNP Paribas Open title. By doing so Fritz became the first American to win the prestigious title at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001. The 24-year-old also became the youngest Indian Wells champion since Novak Djokovic in 2011, and the youngest American Masters 1000 champion since Andy Roddick in 2006.

Fritz was also the only man to win titles on all three surfaces in 2022. Additionally, he played the ATP Finals and reached the semifinals on his debut.


Fritz set the tone for the Americans, who also got breakout performances from Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Jenson Brooksby, Brandon Nakashima and Maxime Cressy.

Tiafoe wowed the tennis world in September when he reached the US Open semifinals, becoming the first American man to reach the last four in Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick in 2006 and the first black American to reach the semis at the Open since the legendary Arthur Ashe. The 24-year-old finishes at 19 in the ATP rankings – it’s his first year-end Top-20 finish.

Young Americans Poised to Contined their Rise

Cressy, the serve-and-volley maven, climbed from 112 to 32 in the rankings this season, thanks to 33 wins and his maiden ATP title.

Paul reached a career-high ranking of 28 on September 26 and finishes the season with his best year-end ranking of 33. He notched wins over Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal and made the second week at Wimbledon for the first time.

Brandon Nakashima took home his first ATP title in his hometown of San Diego, and finishes his season at 47.

In total, eight of the nine players who finished the season inside the top-50 are 25 years old or younger, with 21-year-old Nakashima the youngest.

With 13 Americans inside the Top-100 and 20 inside the Top-200, expect 2023 to be another strong season for the stars and stripes.

 

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