The French Open begins in less than two weeks, so cue the annual hand wringing about the Americans' problems in Paris.
It's been a decade since a man from the United States won the title — Andre Agassi in 1999 — and none has even reached the quarterfinals there since he did in 2003.
The country's decline extends far beyond the red clay of Roland Garros, though.
"I fear, actually, for American tennis at the moment," said former No. 1 and eight-time major champion Ivan Lendl. "This void, this vacuum, this wait for more success may not be limited just to the French."
Indeed, a wider look reveals a gloomier picture: American men are going through their worst Grand Slam title drought in the 41-year history of tennis' Open era. Since Andy Roddick's 2003 U.S. Open championship, 21 major tournaments have come and gone without an American man winning.
The only longer gap between U.S. titles was a 30-Slam shutout from 1955-63.
"Americans have become accustomed to having champions," said Jim Courier, who won four Grand Slam titles in the 1990s. "We've pretty much had players challenging for — and winning — majors forever."
Only two active U.S. men, Roddick and Robby Ginepri, ever have made it as far as the semifinals at any major. At the French Open, no one is coming close to contending: Over the past three years combined, there have been three U.S. men into the third round — zero in 2007.
"There is nobody currently playing for the United States who has any chance of winning the French championships. You can say that categorically," said Cliff Drysdale, the 1965 U.S. Open runner-up and an ESPN tennis analyst for 30 years.
One significant reason for the current slide, not just in Paris but everywhere, is that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal collected 18 of the past 21 major titles for Switzerland and Spain. But a look at Monday's ATP rankings shows it's not merely at the very top where the United States is lacking.
Only Roddick at No. 6, and James Blake at No. 16, represent the country in the Top 25. Add in Mardy Fish at No. 26, and there are three Americans in the Top 60. That's one fewer than Croatia — a country with a population roughly 1.5 percent that of the United States. France, meanwhile, has 11 of the Top 60. Spain has eight.
There does not appear to be much help on the horizon, with only one American man younger than 23 inside the Top 100.
Thanks to one particular family from Compton, Calif., things don't seem nearly so bad for U.S. women. Sisters Serena and Venus Williams own 17 Grand Slam singles titles between them, including each of the past three.
That masks weaknesses among other Americans. Monday's WTA rankings have Serena at No. 2, Venus at No. 3 — and no one else until No. 44 Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
"I'm concerned by the numbers. We don't have that many players in the Top 100," said Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe, appointed a year ago to lead the U.S. Tennis Association's development program and try to fix things. "I don't think you can create a system where you can create champions. Champions, to me, are born, and they come up in the right situation or they're pushed and they're prodded. If we can raise the level of the many junior players that we have and then the young pro players, that will make it more possible that a John McEnroe will develop, that a Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi will come along."
To that end, the USTA now spends about $15 million annually to try to groom future top players, a 50 percent increase over what was funneled into such efforts before 2008. There are academies in Florida and California and certified regional training centers in suburban Washington and Atlanta. Some teens were sent to train at a tennis academy in Spain.
"This is a monumental project," McEnroe said. "It's something that will see some results within the next year, but really, this is a five-, six-, seven-, eight-year plan."
At its heart is an attempt to change the way U.S. kids are taught to play tennis, to change the philosophy that dictates it's best to go for winners whenever possible.
To Courier — a member of the most recent generation of American greats, a group that included Sampras and Agassi — the most promising sign for the future might simply be that there is concern.
"Whenever we start talking about these things, it tends to be a good, leading indicator that things are about to change. It's like a sign of bottoming out," Courier said. "I remember hearing these conversations when our group was coming up."