Do we as fans have a duty to the sport?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ark_28, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    I really felt today's match left a sour taste! We all know how much the courts have been slowed down but when it gets to the stage where guys like Murray and Ferrer are cramping after 3 hours questions must be asked!

    I am all for variation of speeds of courts etc but this universal slowing down of the courts is in my opinion destroying the sport! As Andy Roddick said it makes almost impossible and therefore you get much morec unforced errors than winners!

    I love tennis and watching top level tennis but this match was really a sad reflection of where our sport is heading unless some action is taken! They need to speed up some of the hard courts and have variation on tour again or tennis may lose a lot of fans!

    It is not just me feels like this tennis players commentators and fans all over the world on twitter and even most of you guys here agree this is a sad state of affairs!

    It seems until Fed, Nadal retire nothing will be done or Novak as they mask they problem to some extent.

    This makes me question as fans if there is universally so much feeling about the speed of these courts is it not time that fans took action? Picked out one event! Got a movement going that people do not watch it on tv or go to the games!

    Of course not everyone will agree or boycott but even if some do and it's enough to severly dent attendance and ratings to the point that powers that be have to think again then wouldn't that be a positive step?

    Who else here thinks the time has come for us as fans to start such a movement and stepcup to save our sport?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
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  2. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Why would organizers want this? They are obviously doing well enough in terms of ticket sales and visibility and popularity of the sport to have slowed down the surfaces in the first place.

    Besides, players seem to think the slowing down is not a bane after all: http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/03/murray-slower-courts-aid-longevity/46945/#.UVjG8Id40WM

    Finally, most importantly, if the courts had not been slowed down, big John would not have had the biggest win of his career at IW last year. I am not sure I could handle the disappointment of that.
     
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  3. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    save our sport ?..most people like it, crowds are good even in a global economic recession, and tv viewing figures are on the up too..we could do with slightly faster courts though.
     
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  4. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Actually 10 million people watched the 2002 US open final just 2 the 2011 final! Matches like today on surfaces like that and figures are likely going to drop further!
     
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  5. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    generally tv viewing figures are up, its a fact..anyway if you just want serve and volley, it aint ever happening..so suck it up or switch off and clean your y-fronts instead.

    and if you mean tv in the usa had 10 million for the u.s open final in 2002..that'll be for the home players Agassi-Sampras..surprise surprise if insular americans watched two well known usa players and fewer watched a Spaniard and a serb in 2011.
     
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  6. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    interesting numbers, thanks for posting.

    I do wonder how the viewership numbers for tennis are doing both in the US and internationally.

    I know Federer has brought a LOT of fans into the sport. Maybe Djoker can as well.

    But with no top American and unbelievably long matches.. viewership will suffer.


    You really can't compare tennis with baseball.... but the average baseball game used to last about 2.5 hours 15 years ago... now it's over 3 hours... and it sucks.

    Sometimes more isn't better.
     
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  7. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    Yes, we do have a duty to speak out. And I think there are enough people who agree about the harm the slowing down of the courts is doing to the sport. No less than Federer was talking about it recently.
    What we can do about it is a good discussion topic. I am definitely with you on thinking it is time to step up. And I think boycotting an event is a good move. Nothing would hurt the ATP more than less bums on seats.
     
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  8. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    I do want serve and volley and no it won't happen on these slow court but I want variation like it used to be and should be in tennis!

    A push fest like today on a slow court like today has the potential to turn fans away that's for sure
     
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  9. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    was a higher quality match than isner or any american has played this year...
     
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  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Your being un-American!

    :mad:
     
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  11. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Thats debatable but it's also not what the thread was about so please stick to the topic
     
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  12. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Well said :) lots of people are saying what we are thinking I feel like the time has come for action if we are to stop our sport from dieing!
     
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  13. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I'm pretty sure @Relinquis is a foreigner and just bitter and jealous of the US - he's gone off in a few threads with bogus info about how we watch sports.

    To your topic, of course we should express our concern. But don't get your hopes up. Unless someone is going to 'hit them where they live' and get a lot of people to email/petition the sponsors (they are the ones providing the money after all) it will take a big dropoff for an extended period for the ATP leadership to do anything.

    The players should be pushing this - staying out there and slugging that many balls isn't going to help their health.

    Also, the tournament directors of all the events after the USO - with these drawn out matches, the players are worn down by September.
     
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  14. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    You make a really good point I agree with pretty much everything you say! I do agree the players have a massive role to play but the only thing I will say is that perhaps for the players its tougher to speak out as they are the employee to some extent even though as you rightly say they are the ones punishing their bodies on these slow courts.

    As fans we do have control (although only if it is VERY large numbers) because technically the fans are the ones who make these events economically viable email petitions and boycotts could potentially hit them where it hurts, I am under no illusions that this would be tough to pull off, but you have to start somewhere and if there is as much strong feeling about the pace of these courts as we are sensing then perhaps such action is needed? :)
     
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  15. President

    President Legend

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    I think the people's champion,John Isner, should lead the charge for faster courts. There is no one better suited to this task than a man who, with one swing of his racquet, can take the match out of his opponent's hands!
     
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  16. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    I agree John would do damage on fast courts! But the lack of variation in court speed is killing the game it's time for fans to take direct action and boycott and event and dent ratings and attendance.
     
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  17. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    so are you going to make a start with this so-called 'boycott' of yours and not watch any more tennis this year..

    maybe you could be really revolutionary and start a protest group on facebook :neutral:
     
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  18. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    I did not say this year I said it need one event to be picked out facts are fans around the world are not happy with the way the courts are being slowed and what it's doing to the game! You are one of the few that actualy thinks today's final was a decent match :lol:

    It needs to be a movement that's how direct action works and given the feeling there is against what's happening I can see there being support for a boycott
     
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  19. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    no it wasn't a decent match..but all the errors and breaks of serve still made it interesting.
     
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  20. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    sorry but this is crazy! Errors and unforced errors more partocualry means a poor level of play there were 95! So you are basically saying mediocrity is interesting! Errors and interesting should not be in the same sentence in tennis!
     
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  21. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    every tennis match is littered with errors..otherwise the ball would never go out of play...all the breaks of serve made it very unpredictable, therefore interesting in a way.
     
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  22. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Calm down Ark. Ferrer got nervous, as he usually does against players ranked higher than him, while Murray had a bad day. He could scarcely put a decent serve in. He admitted as much afterwards and said he had to work on improving his serve!

    Those factors coupled with the brutally hot, humid, energy-sapping conditions were more relevant than any supposed excessive slowness of the courts.

    If it had been played at night, you would have almost certainly seen a much better match like we did with Murray v Gasquet!
     
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  23. Zildite

    Zildite Hall of Fame

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    You hear this stuff all the time but courts are just getting slower if anything
     
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  24. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Do you have any proof or just assume your opinion extends to every tennis fan out there? And this is coming from someone who would prefer faster courts, but I am realistic and know it is not going to happen.

    Anyway, please respond properly to the post before yours and state clearly what you are doing to overturn this travesty that is plaguing Isner's career.
     
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  25. Service Ace

    Service Ace Professional

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    Blake / Tsonga = You're wrong
     
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  26. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. Should have limited it to americans under 30 years old. Blake vs. Tsonga was awesome.
     
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  27. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    not being anti-american, just lamenting the current state of USA tennis*... i miss top American player from the past.

    Back on topic. boycott's won't work. what will work is trying to get more grass courts in clubs around the world and supporting grass court tournaments. Once the suits notice that grass is where the action is, they'll have more of that and will try to make their mass produced, cookie cutter hardcourts play faster to compete.

    Start by trying to get a grass court installed in your community, your club or at your school/university.


    * And trying to get a rise out of Ark_28's love for Isner and other servebots...
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
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  28. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    It is working, it's just that the logic may have been backwards.

    "People are complaining about the slow courts, it must be working. That means we need moar slowz!" :)
     
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  29. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    The movement needs to grow an event needs to be agreed on and fans have to pledge to keep away from it and hit the organisers where it hurts I honestly beleive the time has come for direct action of this nature!
     
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  30. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Unfortunately, this some modern tennis fans and far too many tennis media heads wanted: they like the pro version of weekend park players: stand at the baseline, and barely use even 30% of their end of the court in a borefest.

    They resent the truly tactical player, which is why they rail against serve and volley players (of other eras), and mock the idea of such a dynamic style returning, which is why the flat-footed Patrick McEnroes and Brad Gilberts of the world pumped players such as Roddick as being part of this "great, modern game."

    They asked for this post-Sampras, and now they have it: borefests.
     
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  31. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Well said! It is so sad that all court tennis and serve volley tennis is becoming redundant thanks to these slow courts they are allowing for borefests as you say!

    I know a boycott would require a lot of work and would take a big push! But would you be in favour of fans taking such action? I believe something needs to be done!
     
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  32. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    From a UK perspective, Queen's and Wimbledon continue to be hugely oversubscribed, even new boy Eastbourne is attracting decent crowds - and a quarter of a million people make their way to the O2 for the WTF. TV audiences haven't been higher for decades.

    I guess what I'm pointing out is that you seem to be in a minority my friend - but good luck with your 'campaign' nonetheless.
     
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  33. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    To be fair a lot of people attend Wimbledon as an event or corporate function rather than as tennis fans! I have been lucky enough to attend a few times but let's face it's they make it very hard for your average fan to get tickets! Corporates and tennis clubs have a major control of the ticketing for Wimbledon and as such that tournament will always have good attendance!

    WTF again it's prestigious and the O2 arena is an excellent and convieniant place to hold and event for the world best 8!

    My fear is the regular tour events and masters being slowed down week in week out are what are going to lose the games many fans and looking at the widespread feeling of this around the tennis world from experts, fans etc I would not say I am in the majority at all!
     
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  34. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    It's only hard for an 'average fan' to get Wimbledon tickets because demand is so high, ditto for Queen's.

    Like I said mate - good luck with your campaign - I for one would like to see more variety - but you can't argue with the facts - and the fact is that tennis attendance and viewing figures in the UK are on the rise - as they are in the US too as far as I'm aware (pretty sure last year's USO final attracted the highest TV audience figures in years and they'e just announced record prize levels).

    The central premise of your position is that the slowing down of the courts has or will negatively affect Tennis's ability to attract live and TV audiences and therefore sponsors - but there's currently no evidence to suggest this is the case - in fact the evidence currently suggests that the opposite is true.

    Once again - good luck with it.
     
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  35. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    I, for one, hope that ark never fulfills his 'duty' to the sport, as he'd change the rules so that 6ft 9in is the minimum height for a pro (everyone below that is banned), groundstrokes are banned, running is banned - and the only surface on tour is ice for maximum ace counts to light up the stats sheet!
     
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  36. reaper

    reaper Professional

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    The slowing down of conditions has improved grass court tennis enormously. 15 years ago it was one unreturnable serve after another. Hard court conditions do need to be speeded up, but only slightly. The one thing worse than continual 20 shot rallies where the defender wins as many points as the attacker, is fast conditions that allow the serve to become so dominant you don't get rallies at all.
     
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  37. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I've been writing about this for over a year now. Last year I telephone interviewed an ATP spokesman in America and quoted him, but he wished not to be named, but his views were interesting. That means the authorities are really liking these slow surfaces and think its good for tennis.

    I've got another article ready to publish on the subject this or next week, this is what I have done so far:

    http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/indoor-tennis-dilemma.html

    http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-match-that-changed-tennis_10.html

    http://burnstennis.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/speeding-up-courts-could-help-bring.html
     
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  38. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for sharing! Interesting read! What is your view on the potential of a fans boycott of a selected event?
     
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  39. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    to be honest... there are so many miscellaneous hardcourt tournaments* around the world that would probably be better if they were grass or clay. would also be good for the players' health.

    I think a lot of tournaments make more money from sponsorship and TV coverage than they do from actual ticket sales. Don't know the breakdown for the smaller ones though. a lot of this is big corporate entertainment and such.


    * not big tournaments like slams and ATP1000s
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
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  40. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    It is an interesting concept, I would have to give it some thought.

    But how will it work? For instance, I go to many tournaments in Europe and a lot of people go because they like tennis and go for the occasion, I am not sure slow surfaces are uppermost in their minds when they are there.

    I think the biggest problem are those courts in North America and Australia. I can't remember which article I wrote it in but I have mentioned that tennis from these regions has lost its soul. Traditionally, attack minded players have come out of Northern Europe, North America and Australia. But now with the success of the Spanish game starting in the late 1990s, academies and coaches have been keen to follow that style of play and now I see loads of young American players who play like Spanish players - that's very disappointing to me, they don't have their own style (as jazz musicians would say). Barthel from Germany and Kvitova / Berdych from the Czech Republic are sticking to their heritage of wanting to play a fast court game despite slower surfaces speeds.

    I think one idea would be to get petitions going for people to sign, to send to the ATP, WTA and ITF on a regular basis, the more signatures the better - we know there are many people out there who hate the slow surfaces but the authorities seem to oblivious to this despite the age of forums and twitter etc. My French mate has been complaining about slower surfaces since 2007, before it became a really big issue.

    Any other ideas?
     
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  41. President

    President Legend

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    #41
  42. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Hi Batz

    Isn't that simply because Murray was in contention and finally won a major after a few years? So naturally he has raised the profile of tennis here which has had bad press for a long time, seen as elitist and the masses not really interested other than at Wimbledon etc?

    And now we have Robson and Watson who could both have decent careers (top 20 perhaps).

    Now, the interesting thing is this, taking the wind out of the equation, the US Open final was incredibly low quality and just way too long again. So, are we enjoying simply because Murray won the match and made history?
     
    #42
  43. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    By the way, some people seem to think that fast and low-bouncing indoor carpet tournaments (in the 70s, 80s and 90s) were all about aces and serve-and-volley.

    It was not.

    There were many baseline players whose best surface/condition was indoor carpet.

    Enqvist (for example) a very aggresive flat-hitter baseliner, was great in indoor carpet tournaments, but he was average on clay or grass.

    Kafelnikov, Ferreira, Kiefer, Pioline,...., obviously players like Agassi, Courier, Chang.....Lendl.......all of them played great tennis on indoor carpet playing from the baseline.
     
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  44. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Hi Laurie - yep; could be - absolutely fair points. I'm not sure the USO was as low quality as you make out but that's just an argument about degree.

    Although I would point out that last year's USO final had the highest US audience for years. I'm pretty sure that attendances overall were also healthy.
     
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  45. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    That may well be the case for certain British tennis fans (not me), but why on earth would US tennis fans give a stuff whether Murray win his first Major or not? They are not particularly interested in Murray as opposed to Djokovic or Federer or Nadal! I'm reasonably sure they either went or tuned in to the Flushing Meadows final to see some tennis played in the knowledge that the two best players left standing in the tournament were going head to head for the title. That's about the size of it! Nothing special about Murray (who had, after all, already been in a US Open final 4 years earlier).
     
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  46. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Excellent point! About the Americans playing more and more like the Europeans the lack of variety is hurting the sport! Each country and surface used to have it's own charm!

    I will send you an email with regards to further ideas and to discuss your proposals further :)
     
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  47. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    american's are not playing more and more like europeans... i don't see any american's in the top 20 apart from querry and he hardly plays like a european.

    American's have abandoned all court play (federer, dimitrov, haas, tsonga), serve and volley (llodra, stepanek), but have not adopted aggressive baseline play (nadal/almagro/berdych) or superior movement based pushing (murray/djokovic/simon)... instead they have resorted to big serve + half decent loopy forehand from the baseline with zero movement. I don't know why/how this is...

    serena is the only top 20 USA player that plays real tennis anymore. such a shame!! only consolation is that blake might make a good run at a few more tournaments and get his ranking up so we can see more of him. why aren't the kids copying this guy?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
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  48. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Blake plays low probability tennis with a huge FH and poor movement.
    Querrey and Isner (and Raonic and a few others) rely on huge serves to keep them in points. Then you have Harrison and Young who are Euro clones, but don't have enough weapons to win consistently. Brian Baker actually plays a nice combination of fitness and power, but he's too old and injury prone now to really make a run.

    Which leaves Jack Sock. I like his game a lot, his fitness needs to improve, but he's got potential.
     
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  49. Walenty

    Walenty Professional

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    Wasn't the 2011 final played on a Monday? If so then that stat means nothing.
     
    #49
  50. Antonio Puente

    Antonio Puente Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I say we take action. Save the whales. Save the spotted owls. Save Ivo and Isner!
     
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