Until recently, the United States had been recognised as the global tennis superpower for more than 10 years. The rest of the world, however, is fighting back and the Americans are struggling to maintain their dominance. Only a few years ago, there were four Americans among the top 10 in the world rankings. Now, 10-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras, at number two, is the only US player among the elite. Defending champion Michael Chang has fallen out of the top 10 to 11. Former Salem winner and ex-number one Jim Courier has fallen below 50, while Andre Agassi is making a comeback after a dismal show last year. The influence American players have had over the past few years is evident in the roll of honour at the Salem Open. Courier won in 1992 and Sampras triumphed in 1993 before Chang strolled to two consecutive titles. Sampras returned for his second championship in 1996 and Chang completed his treble at last year's event.