Anyone else depressed about the present state of men's pro tennis?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by SafinIsGOAT, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    Is the current state of men's tennis completely boring? Not totally, there's still some entertaining players to watch, but I can see how the dominance of the top 4 in the last 6 years can be boring for some. I would love to see Tsonga, Del Potro, Wawrinka, Gasquet win GS finals, but it just isn't happening. Courts being slowed down surely doesn't help they're case, but it's not the only reason they can't bring they're game to another level.

    The way the game is thought nowadays and has been for the last few years is also why most players adopt the same style, aka defensive baseliner. If you look at what is being teached in the tennis schools aka baseline top spinner, it's hardly a surprise that youngsters all play the same. These kids are thought to hit top spin shots from the baseline and not get away from there because they will otherwise be passed. I recall playing a few juniors last year and most of them struggled when given low bouncing slices and looking foolish when being brought to the net. They also were pretty much identical clones of each other, tennis wise. If we're going to see more entertaining tennis, this has to change.

    The only redeeming factor in today's game for me is Roger Federer. He can still win a slam imo and he does make the match up with the grinders a lot more interesting due to contrasting style. When the day comes and he decides to hang the racquet for good, it's quite possible that I will lose interest in Tennis. There's only so much grindfest that I can stand watching, having to go through this all the time will be too boring.
     
    #51
  2. 10is

    10is Professional

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    Quoting a post and then making a context devoid ad-hominem attack doesn't exactly make you the brightest bulb sweetie. ;)


    Too True! :(
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
    #52
  3. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Are you kidding? Pre Nadal or pre all court Nadal ....Fed won everything .

    The finals were boring as hell. Can you name even one exciting Federer final that Fed had where he didn't play Nadal?

    Face it ....tennis to you is only exciting if Fed wins .
     
    #53
  4. clayqueen

    clayqueen Hall of Fame

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    Which is why 26 M1000s are better than 17 slams.
     
    #54
  5. clayqueen

    clayqueen Hall of Fame

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    You mean like Nadal came and took Fed's shine off? :)
     
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  6. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    I actually think Nadal Joker is more exciting than Fed Nadal....

    Joker vs Nadal is simply the best tennis that I have ever seen in my life ......or at least the most exciting .
     
    #56
  7. swizzy

    swizzy Semi-Pro

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    is this thread some kind of attempt at humor? this has been a decade of great, almost ridiculous tennis.. without any real dip in intensity. fed-nadal/nadal-joker has been a real pleasure to watch. the brilliant fluid play of roger is gone..but great while it lasted..and rafa just continues pulling shots and underwear out of his ***.. just brilliant
     
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  8. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Oh come on swizzy......

    Federer vs Phikopusis was so much more exciting !

    Don't you get it? Everything is about Fed winning .
     
    #58
  9. The_Order

    The_Order Legend

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    LOL depressed because Fed isn't dominating?

    I for one, am not depressed about anything, this year:

    - We've had some epic encounters in all the majors.

    - We've seen players with remarkable come backs (Nadal, Robredo), Haas regaining form at age 35.

    - Murray finally winning Wimbledon.

    There's nothing to be depressed about really. That is, unless you're a crazy Fed fan and can't stand the thought of him slipping further and further down the rankings which is the case here.
     
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  10. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Today's tennis = Grindfest.

    If you need 54 shots to close a rally, that tells the state of the game.

    I dont blame the players, the surfaces have been crucified.
     
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  11. bullfan

    bullfan Legend

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    Isner doesn't have game to back up the serve. As he showed in Cincy he doesn't even have the capability to beat Nadal in 2 TBs.
     
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  12. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I'm confused,

    are you trying to post the same link in 4+ other threads because it is coincidentally mentioned in the article, or are you trying to advertise for the company you were/are a part of?
     
    #62
  13. Ajosin

    Ajosin Rookie

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    There are 6/12 slam Finals during 2004-2006 were neither of Hewitt, Roddick and Safin were present:

    2004 FO
    2005 FO
    2005 USO
    2006 AO
    2006 FO
    2006 Wimbledon

    No way they would have dominated like Murray/Nadal/Djoker do. At least one of Murray/Nadal/Djoker have been in all the Slam finals during 2010-2013.

    Hewitt, Roddick and Safin were good, but did not dominate the slams like Murray/Nadal/Djoker do.
     
    #63
  14. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    If Fed, Nadal and djokovic weren't playing, I wouldn't watch professional tennis. Who wants to see Tsonga, Berdych or Ferrer hoist a trophy if it was earned by b-grade players. At least when Nadal wins, you know the best earned it. But that's how all the players are today, they're all kind of the same. Nobody stands out.
     
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  15. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

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    but what you are asking for is wholly unrealistic. viewers LIKE rallies. if you are the organizer of Wimbledon and your matches are serve fests, while the AO and USO are serving up 54 shot rallies, what would you do? would you continue keeping courts for the sake of variety, or slow them down?

    be realistic.
     
    #65
  16. bullfan

    bullfan Legend

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    The reality is that viewers have been spoiled rotten from what we've seen in the last decade. It's been a phenomenal era, no matter, who one is a fan of.
     
    #66
  17. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    If that is true, according to you when did it become '1 single sport'. For 1 hundred and 30 years of tennis we had fast court tennis and slow court tennis. In the last decade the dial has moved to slow court tennis everywhere. So do you believe that tennis begun in 2002?
     
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  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    It's incredibly realistic. So realistic in fact that it was the case for 130 years of tennis history. There has always been, until the last decade, slow court tennis and fast court tennis.

    The problem with those who want slow court tennis everywhere, is that they post a straw man argument. The choice is given, we either have rallies or just serves. Believe me in the 1970's/1980's/1990's they had rallies. Just watch youtube videos of the US open from 1980 through to 2005. Exciting all court play! They key is variety of surfaces. Some slow, some fast, some medium. I don't want just serve fests - I want attacking tennis ,all court tennis - not the ping pong we have today.
     
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  19. firepanda

    firepanda Professional

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    Amen. Apart from maybe the Ferrer fans, who are yet to be fulfilled.
     
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  20. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I like the present state of men's pro tennis. There have certainly been many times that were better, but it is still really good now.
     
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  21. Slimshady53

    Slimshady53 New User

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    Yes djokovic vs murray are the most boring grand slam finals i've ever seen, janowicz made it to a wimbledon semifinal without beating a player in the top 10, wawrinka is also not semifinal material, hopefully federer has a good year in 2014.
     
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  22. 10is

    10is Professional

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    :roll:

    Learn 2 read:

     
    #72
  23. redpurusha

    redpurusha Rookie

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    I'm on board with OP. Ferrer, Nadal, even Djokovic, I only watch the matches now just to see these guys get upset defeats by someone else (the only part that makes it "exciting"). Even if tuning into these matches I can only start at the 3rd set as who the hell can sit for 5 hours straight watch these guys bash balls from baseline. Okay apparently people on site do, but not me via TV. I don't like EITHER extremes of serving fests and baseline bashing rallies. If tennis overloads just swung the pendulum a bunch of degrees back to the middle, that'd be great.

    Somewhere in the middle of those extremes is..

    the tennis sweet spot.
     
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  24. Tennisean

    Tennisean Rookie

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    First off, what they should do is retire grass. It always look like crap by the second week, an it's so outdated it's dangerous to play the modern game on. (as all the injuries this year showed only too well)


    Secondly, some people actually would like serve-fests, along with the net rushing game, to be the norm. Thankfully, they're in a small minority. (with a very small attention span)


    The rest of tennis fans, the vast majority, will take all the hard fought, incredibly exiting, 50+ shot baseline battles we can get! (those of us with a long enough attention span to enjoy it)
     
    #74
  25. Ajosin

    Ajosin Rookie

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    Am I wasting my time with you?

    How could they have been dominant without Fed if they could not show up opposite to Fed (you realize there is always half the draw open without fed for 2 of the top 4 players). You can't say that they would have dominated without Fed if they can't get to the Final on the opposite side that Fed is in.

    Or look at it another way: In the list of most slam semifinal appearances (if you are in the top 4 you dont see Fed until the Semis. Nadal/Djoker are at 20+. Where are Hewitt/Safin/Roddick?
     
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  26. SafinIsGOAT

    SafinIsGOAT Rookie

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    I don't think that we (the people who are bored by modern tennis) have a problem with long rallies. The matchups of Lendl v. Chang, Nalbandian v. Davydenko and Federer v. Nadal always made for long rallies and I found them incredibly entertaining. That's because those matchups included at least 1 player who wasn't afraid to hit approach shots and winners. Long rallies are suspenseful when you know that a player will eventually try to close things out. In a long rally involving any 2 of the Big 3, however, you know both guys aren't going to hit anything besides a safe topspin shot.
     
    #76
  27. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Yes, I agree with the OP. But here are a few other factors:

    1) Too many byes. 28-player draws, in particular, are a joke. A professional tournament in which someone comes in at the last 16 stage is hard to take seriously. But 48- and 56-player draws are also poor, and hinder young players' development by making it harder to qualify for big tournaments.
    2) Too many seeds. This also helps the top players and harms everyone else. Better to have 16 in Slams, 8 in 64-player tournaments, and 4 in 32-player ones. At most.
    3) Too few best-of-5 set matches.
     
    #77
  28. 10is

    10is Professional

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    You're obviously wasting your time by wasting my time replying to your inane retorts - no doubt about that.

    LOL! Are you being deliberately obtuse? What part of "how many times did Federer defeat Hewitt, Safin, Roddick enroute to the Finals?" do you not understand? Between 2004-2006 there were numerous times where they (mostly Roddick/Hewitt and less often Safin) were drawn on the same side whereby Federer defeated them in either the Semi or Quarter-final stage "enroute" to the Final.
     
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  29. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

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    but did the players in the 70s-90s have access to the same racket and more critically string technology? even in the 90s, goran and sampras were pounding 30 aces a match on wimbledon grass. imagine what they could do with modern technology on the same surface. the top-spin sampras can do on his serve!?

    grass court tennis in the 60s, 70s, etc. was true all-court tennis. because serve speeds were not quite the same as they are now. while the quick surface naturally promotes an attacking style, there were still rallies which are attractive. but by the late 90s, it really wasn't fun anymore.

    i see the modern day grass court as a nicely tuned court that supports all court play. you have a point though that perhaps the hard courts can be sped up a little. i too like to see variety in the court surfaces, but my point is that organizers simply cannot afford to have courts the speed they were in the 90s.
     
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  30. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    In even the medium-run, they can't afford to have them as slow as they are now. [Conditions, that is, to save debate on whether it's the surfaces, rackets, strings, or balls that have made possible such interminable rallies].

    6-hour matches are TERRIBLE television. The idea that we live in a "soundbite era" in which everything must be consumed in small morsels is widespread, and it's unlikely that tennis can escape it.
     
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  31. Thriller

    Thriller Rookie

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    What about the live fans? They pay good money for tickets to the finals. Why should they have to put up with a dumbed down version of tennis designed to please the casual viewer with the attention span of a goldfish?

    There is nothing wrong with the live product. People were going bonkers in the stadium after that 54 stroke rally. People weren't walking out of the Djokovic Nadal epic in Australia. Standing ovations after both matches.

    Maybe TV could / should be doing a better job of capturing that atmosphere and bringing it into the viewers' homes.
     
    #81
  32. swizzy

    swizzy Semi-Pro

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    6 hour matches are only terrible for tv if they don't air the entire match due to some crap that the masses need to watch
     
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  33. Desertman

    Desertman Semi-Pro

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    LOL. And what about his performance at the other 25 tournaments he's played over the past year?

    Let's see. He won two 250 tournaments. Whoooohoooo!

    Never past the last 32 in the GS. Awww.....

    Hilarious!
     
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  34. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    The so called young generation are a bunch of noobs who keep getting schooled by the top 4. Seriously!! where is our next 21 year old Fed?? and our 17 year old Nadal??
    These people look invincible because theres no one with good enough game. I want some youngster to beat these people handily and shock the tennis world to the quality of tennis yet to come.
     
    #84
  35. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    The current product IS the dumbed-down version. Going bonkers over that 54-shot rally is a case in point. It was no more than a training drill. The 22-shot final point of the opening set of the 1995 US Open final was a far better example of great tennis. Going for one's shots makes for exciting tennis. Hitting the ball down the middle of the court, or looping it, does not.
     
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  36. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I also think most of the excitement is caused by the fact that the lack of depth in the game (partly as the result of the homogenized conditions, which take away lower-ranked players' comparative advantage on some surfaces) means that the top players are global superstars. Unless you follow tennis very closely, it's much more exciting to hear that Nadal or Federer won, as you know them. Tell even the average fan that Berdych won, and they may well say, "Who?" But appealing to that demographic is dumbing down.
     
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  37. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

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    ok agreed. but in reality, the average rally in the modern day USO match is 8-9 strokes. and the average in the 90s was probably 3-4 strokes. which do you prefer?
     
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  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Slowing the court for year after year is depressing. The game has limited the attacking skilled players and turn them into a grinding machine.
     
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  39. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    It would depend on the standard deviation. Generally speaking, any rally of more than 30 shots I would regard as a very bad thing, because a rally just isn't going to get to that length if the players are going after the ball. 30+ length rallies are evidence that the tennis is much too defensive.

    I know this seems like an outlandish view today, but that really is the result of how fast the conditions were in the 1990s. Back in the 1980s, when last we saw 54-shot rallies on a regular basis, they were widely considered to be the reason that clay-court tennis was less interesting than grass-court tennis. I promise you this. As I've said before, I own a full set of the ITF's annual tennis year book, World of Tennis, from 1984 through 2001, when it was discontinued. (I also own 1979, but don't have 1980, 1981, 1982, or 1983). They include reports on all the Slams and sometimes of the other tournaments. The reports on Roland Garros always say that it was too slow and not exciting enough because of the length of the rallies. For example, the report on the Lendl v Wilander 1987 Roland Garros final said that it could cure insomnia if shown in the right places. (Just imagine what the report on the Wilander v Vilas final of 1982 must say).

    I know that there's moonballing going on there, but this year's US Open final contained a lot of hitting down the center of the court. Why's that more interesting than moonballing?
     
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  40. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I know that there are some posters here who say that it's not the result of the conditions changing but of the players improving and using topspin more and better. However, I just don't think this is a plausible argument. For one thing, clay-courters in the 1980s were already using a lot of topspin, but they just couldn't do so effectively on other courts. For another thing, the length of rally has increased among veteran players.

    There was a stat during the Hewitt v Youzhny match at the US Open about the number of long rallies. I didn't note it down, but there were a lot of them. Many more than there would have been had Hewitt and Youzhny played back in 2002.
     
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  41. objectivity

    objectivity Banned

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    i also think the clay matches in the 1980s were not as interesting, because players completely lack the tools to put away the ball. hence they had to rely on maneuvering the opponents around the court or wait for errors.

    on the other hand, i thoroughly enjoyed this year's US Open final. we must have been watching different matches, because i see plenty of point construction by both players, yet both players also had access to power and tools to put away the ball. while the overall quality wasn't as high as say AO 2012, i still think it is a great example of how varied the modern game is. variation doesn't only mean "volleys". the reality is that players in the modern game thanks to advances in technology have access to defensive and offensive tools that players in the past simply did not. that has created in my opinion, a really exciting game. everyone can create angles. everyone can do superb forehands on the run. that makes for some incredible rallies that we just do not see in the past.
     
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  42. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Both make good points HelterSkelter and Objectivity....

    I tend to lean towards shorter "90s" style points, although I do absolutely enjoy Nadal vs Djokovic.

    I find that the points are less memorable... For the past week I've been watching the Nadal/Nole USO2013 52 minute highlight clip on youtube. After watching the match for the past week, the most memorable point is that set point where Nadal crushes the forehand to win the 3rd. Many of the points, while it is interesting to see the point construction happen, are limited to being constructed the same way under these conditions.

    But it comes down to what you said, Name recognition.
    Borg vs McEnroe is a notorious tennis rivalry, the contrast, the stories etc... well they only played what 14 times?

    Sampras and Agassi recaptivated the world, and at least America with their rivalry, they playe 34 times. This is what brings people to watch and show interest, successes of big names, and rivalries.

    Removing variables from tennis(court speed differences, bad bounce grass, etc) you can produce these rivalries way more often, everywhere.

    Djokovic vs Nadal is proof of that, having played more times than any other rivalry in the open era, at the age of what, 27? Fed vs Nadal didn't get to have that because of the age gap, success rate, and skill differences at respective ages that have been discussed to death here.
     
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  43. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    It started as 1 sport with exactly 1 type of surface, your point?

    Before that there was real tennis(or just tennis before it's name was taken over by lawn tennis).

    Again, your point?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    #93

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