Opelka, Tiafoe and Brooksby are not alone. Sebastian Korda is 21 and Brandon Nakashima is 20, and both also have had success this season with Korda reaching the quarterfinals of the Miami Open after beating three seeded players and then winning his first tour title in Parma, Italy. Nakashima made the singles finals in Atlanta and Los Cabos, Mexico, and upset John Isner, the most successful American man of the last decade, in the first round of this year’s U.S. Open.
All this might not have been worth celebrating 25 years ago, but it counts as good news now.
“I do think we’re moving in the right direction,” said Stine, who has coached privately and with the United States Tennis Association. “Ideally for U.S. tennis we want to have as many guys as we possibly can inside the top 250, which means we’re flooding the qualifying rounds of the Slams. And then from there, we need as many in the top 100 as we can get. It’s a numbers game, ultimately….