There is good news and bad news these days for the beleaguered U.S. tennis situation.
The good news is that among the 24 countries represented in the men's draw at Wimbledon, the United States has by far the most qualifiers with 40. The next three -- Sweden with 14, Australia with 11 and West Germany with 10 -- do not come close to the U.S. contingent.
Part of this is sheer size, certainly, but that the U.S. outstrips the combined total of the next three countries must mean something.
Then there is the bad news. With Jimmy Connors at No. 7 as its highest seed, this marks the first time in the open era that the U.S. has failed to have at least one man seeded among the top five.
And there is more potential trouble ahead. When the U.S. plays West Germany in the Davis Cup next month, it will be playing for the right to compete for the Cup in 1988. The loser of the event is relegated to qualifying play during 1988 to try to get into the main draw for 1989.
What's more, if the U.S. loses, it will be allowed to send only one player to the 1988 Olympics. In short, July 24-26 in Hartford, Conn., may be bigger for U.S. tennis than June 22-July 5 in London.