A New Open Era

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by BrooklynNY, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Bud posted this in the other topic #1342445 about who is the GOAT and it had me thinking.


    Most reasonable people do agree on this, we all know Laver and many of the greats were unable to play majors for a time and therefore didn't have a chance to tally up majors, as if this was their goal, other generations put up numbers ending up with Sampras' career end in 2002.

    We've seen many threads here about surface speeds and court homegenization with tons of articles from Wimbledon 2002, as well as the article stating the USO had been modified many times between 2000 and 2003.

    These changes in our sport as well as other tech advancements have allowed us to witness consistency and excellence that was simply just not possible, or even more difficult than today, with the conditions and technology available during other times.

    Should we start to think of 2002-future as a 2nd Open era? Where tennis has finally been regulated to the point where unless ITF, ATP, advertisers, illuminati, etc all decide that another change is necessary to tennis(e.g. slowing the courts down like originally in 2002) There aren't any unforeseeable condition changes coming and we are left with what people commonly refer to now as the slow court baseline era.

    We've seen what Federer was able to do and how remarkable he has been, winning the career slam(only Agassi in "Old Open Era" had done it) and breaking many of Sampras' "Old Open Era" records. However we have also Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also vie for 4 majors in a row in a very short period of time. Yes, they are amazing all time greats who win but part of this consistency is due to slowing of surfaces, you hear Fed fans say this about Nadal's success all the time.

    Obviously it's tough to even compare Sampras and Agassi with Federer and Nadal because of conditions and tech - Should we start to look at Sampras era as the end of an Open era of extreme variables in tennis and look at Federer's era as the start of a new open era. He did set a bar that was seemingly unreal by yesterdays standards yet we are seeing people do similar tasks, such as Nole's ongoing semi-final streak, and Nadal winning majors for 9 consecutive years and having success on all surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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  2. Finesse4sum

    Finesse4sum Semi-Pro

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    I think the idea is commendable. It certainly paints the whole thing in a different light. I think it gives tennis a better distinction.

    Rules and different little bits can change in volleyball or basketball for example but the surface, the ways its played, and how the greats stack up against each other is a lot more comparable.

    I think tennis tech defies the game in terms of what is possible and will continue to do so for a long time and perhaps forever.
     
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  3. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    It seemed Federer recognized changes in the game around 2001-02 and modified his game to suit the surfaces. IIRC, he used full gut around that time and later turned to a gut/poly hybrid because he realized the additional spin he could achieve with that setup. He also moved to his current 90 sq. in frame around 2002.
     
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  4. redpurusha

    redpurusha Rookie

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    BrooklyNY -I've been coming here on and off since 2003 and this is the best thread post I've read maybe. You've presented an excellent perspective and I hope some of the more GOAT obsessed posters here will learn something from.
     
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  5. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    "Fed is not the GOAT" - maybe that will get the thinking caps going?

    Maybe, or maybe not.
     
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  6. Finesse4sum

    Finesse4sum Semi-Pro

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    I think so haha. I put a GOAT thread a few days ago and (with slight exaggeration) I've had more posts in that one Goat thread than in all my other threads combined.
     
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  7. Morj

    Morj Semi-Pro

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    This is an excellent idea, and I believe that in some point in the future the tennis population as a whole will begin to view the early the 21st century as a different era. I mean I feel ridiculous trying to compare Federer to Laver, even if they did both technically play in the Open Era.

    It's just a completely different game today. It's almost like we're not comparing two tennis players anymore, it really does feel like they are two athletes from different sports. If a new era started from 2002 then that would be a helpful historical division when comparing players across generations and the significance of accomplishments. Consider that Federer and Nadal have both completed the Career Slam, and Djokovic has gotten very close to it. This is all within one decade. Before the 21st century, only Laver and Agassi could do it.

    Maybe in the era we're in, we'll see that its much easier for players to complete the career slam, and so wouldn't that be unfair to players in the past who had it harder with different surfaces? Also, for a good portion of the Open Era, the Australian Open had less prestige whereas today it has the same value. Things like these affect tennis statistics when comparing greatness, and make it hard to compare players from the 70's to modern day players. It would be easier to just distinguish them as separate eras.
     
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  8. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Last try, maybe it was too soon after Nadal won the Open?

    Or maybe this is a genuinely bad topic of discussion
     
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  9. FrontHeadlock

    FrontHeadlock Semi-Pro

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    I think the Open Era needs to be split into two parts, revolving around the relevance of the Australian Open. When did the AO really regain its prominence as a major?
     
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  10. topher

    topher Semi-Pro

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    I just don't see this ever catching on...

    The media/ATP need a reason to push this and there's only reasons in the other direction. Getting to call Fed/Nadal the GOATs w/o qualification is more of an attention grabber, so why do something to take away from their hype? Not to mention this would mostly just enhance Sampras' view as the GOAT, and the media's always disliked him for being too boring.

    Also, what does this solve? We're perpetually arguing about Federer vs. Nadal, this just reframes the debate. Now we're just adding a dimension where Federer fans can say Roger would've won 20 slams in the previous era and Nadal fans can say he'd win 30 slams in the future hover-sphere era.

    This is some great evidence why this concept will never catch on. If nobody even bothers to delineate the difference between 3 slams per year vs. 4 (a very relevant thing to point out when talking about all-time greats!), they certainly won't for a more subjective concept like this.
     
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