The 27-year-old would-be phenom lost in the first round of Wimbledon, crushing fans who are looking for the next Andre Agassi.
As fans of American men's tennis know all too well, this country has lacked a homegrown champion to call our own since Andre Agassi retired from the ATP tour in 2006. For a fleeting moment in the first half of the 2000s it seemed like Andy Roddick was destined to become tennis' next great star. But he never developed an all-around game that could rival the complete skills of players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and as a result only held the No. 1 ranking for just under four months. There was also a period when James Blake looked primed to consistently compete with the best players from the rest of the world, but he ended up being better at writing a compelling memoir than winning tournaments. America's only other male player of consequence in recent years has been Mardy Fish, a chronic overachiever who always plays his heart out but is never a real contender at major. So while the Bryan brothers have spent the last decade becoming one of the greatest doubles teams in tennis history, and Venus and Serena Williams have established themselves as two of the greatest female players to ever pick up a racket, America has lacked a men's singles champion to stoke interest on the domestic front.
Earlier this year it looked like the plight of American men's tennis was about to change. John Isner seemed to have had the potential to morph from an oversized specter looming over American men's tennis into a force with the power to disrupt the sport's established hierarchy. American tennis fans looked like they would finally get someone they could root for.