why so few mexican players?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by grizzly4life, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    i was wondering why there are so few mexican top pro's.. i can only remember one (lavalle??) and he probably was top 50 at best and years, years ago.

    seems like it would have a fair number of the same characteristics of spain and argentina, and i think most decent-sized south american countries have had some decent players (some like argentina have had tons)

    any thoughts welcomed!
     
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  2. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    I'm just going to take a guess here, based on travel/working experinece in southern Mexico. I think it has to do with ecomonics and availability of courts. Probably nothing more than that. Baseball is probably a bigger sport in Mexico than Tennis, and of course Football (Soccer) is the biggest.

    - - - - -

    edited to add:

    Given opportunities, we get to marvel at the artistry of people like Richardo (Pancho) Gonzalez.
     
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  3. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Futbol is number 1 in mexico.
     
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  4. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    In order for a country to become a force in tennis, like Argentina, you need to have the proper system in place. Argentina has it, Mexico and many other countries don't have it. This can be developed, but not if there's not the proper interest in doing so. I'm sure there's talent in Mexico as there is everywhere, but, if this talent is not properly coached and trained, he/she will just end up being another very good amateur player.
     
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  5. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    Same reason Brazil produces a decent player about once per century.

    Thousands and thousands of kms of tropical coastline, millions and millions of latina beauties, and the best fiesta atmospheres on the planet.

    Frankly, they've got better things to do. The whole point of working hard and becoming rich and successful in the first place is that one day, you'll be free to do all the things Mexicans and Brazilians are already doing every day. Where's the motivation?

    If they're going to become great at some sport as a nation, you can bet it will be one you can play on the beach.
     
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  6. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

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    I'd have to think Mexico has more resources then some of the South American countries that can tuen out a top pro every now and then. Plus with the proximitely to the US if someone was close to becoming a tour level player, it's not like it would be hard to get here to train.
     
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  7. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Hummm. Why, then, are there so many superb Brazilian race drivers? Are they racing in the beaches, like they did at Daytona many years ago? Lol, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed your post... Lack of motivation due to latina beauties... you perv :D
     
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  8. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Rafael Osuna was the best Mexican player of all time. Great hands for the volley and half-volley. Won US champs in 1963, World Nr.2 amateur in 1963, reached the DC final in 1962 against Australia. Died 1968 in a plane chrash, just after beating US in DC. His fellow player was Tony Palafox, later coach of McEnroe. Another very good Mexican player was Raul Ramirez in the 70s, top tenner, won Rome and many other titles. Great doubles player (with Brian Gottfried).
     
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  9. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    They also produced a lot of fighters, soccer players, distance runners. Alas, sporting Mexico seems to be on the descendency. Perhaps it's the Mexican economy, or a cultural shift?

    I remember seeing Osuna play and I ran and hit with a young Mexican pro (can't remember his name) in the '60's when I was in college.

    The OP's question is a good one. I'd like a good answer.

    -Robert
     
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  10. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    This is THE answer:

    "In order for a country to become a force in tennis, like Argentina, you need to have the proper system in place. Argentina has it, Mexico and many other countries don't have it. This can be developed, but not if there's not the proper interest in doing so. I'm sure there's talent in Mexico as there is everywhere, but, if this talent is not properly coached and trained, he/she will just end up being another very good amateur player."

    Let's ask the question the other way around: Why does Argentina (France, Russia, Spain, etc.) have so many top pros? Because there's a system in place that makes it possible. If you're in a country lacking the proper coaches and facilities, you have to go elsewhere and not everybody can pay for the expenses that this would represent... Having said all this, we could start to see more top pros from Mexico, in the future. I know that some retired pros, like Clerc, are starting to set up academies in Mexico. However, not sure if these are more about tennis loving tourists than potential pros.
     
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  11. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    not a very realistic post... Mexico indeed has less resources than most south american countries... and even though they're in north america right next to the US, it isn't as easy for a kid to say... ok, I'm going to the US to train... how does he go?.. where does he stay?.. how does he get a visa?.. how does he finance his staying?.. equipment?.. food?.. the solution for tennis in mexico is more support from the government to this sport... but I don't think mexicans care much... the majority of them don't pursue tennis as something serious, they like football and other sports. so they don't get support, but they don't cry about it either
     
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  12. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

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    There are some very affluent people in Mexico who could afford to send their kids to Spain, the US, where ever to train. It's not like Mexico is Haiti or Somilia where the majority of the population struggles to exist. Yes Mexico has areas that are very poor, but they also have very affluent areas as well.
     
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  13. Fischer76

    Fischer76 New User

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    I think it's both due to economics and priorities.

    Economics - Tennis is a very expensive sport. Maybe those who may have an interest in it in Mexico simply can't afford it.

    Priorities - Those that can afford to train in the US are simply not interested in Tennis. Maybe the more affluent ones are interested in Polo, Diving, Football and those who are interested simply doesn't have "it" and might just as well be hitting a pinata :mrgreen:
     
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  14. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Mexico has enormous natural resources. The "problem" is that most of the country's populace is very poor (according to our standards) and most of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of relatively few families. When Mexico develops a large middle class, then they will take their rightful place amongst the great nations of the world. It's coming, just taking a long time.
     
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  15. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

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    Agreed, I was going to post about the lack of a middle class and I forgot to. Great point.
     
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  16. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Are you from the US?
     
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  17. LeftyServe

    LeftyServe Semi-Pro

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    Rau Ramirez, the great Mexican player of the '70's did, I believe, come from a privileged background and played collegiate tennis at UCLA (or was it USC?). It is all about having the resources and the proper federation style program in place.
     
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  18. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    To say nothing of the fact that it's too damn hot to play down there.
     
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  19. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    People forget that Pancho was off mexican ancestry.Many think he was one of the best ever.Anyway nobody cares about tennis in mexico, they like soccer, they have champions in boxing.
     
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  20. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Not everywhere. But I understand what you mean. If you get up on the volcanic plateau, it is actually quite nice. The altitude moderates the heat somewhat. Other places like Cuernavaca, Lake Chapala, Guanaguato, etc. are very nice places.
     
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  21. tangerine

    tangerine Professional

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    And thanks to the billions of tax-free US dollars illegals send back to Mexico, it'll happen sooner than previously thought.
     
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  22. diegaa

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    I must agree it is not economic related as a whole. Mexico is way richer than argentina. That is a fact.
    The same reason can be adressed on why portugal doesnt have top players, nor New Zeland, nor Canada.
     
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  23. johnkidd

    johnkidd Semi-Pro

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    I also think if you check some of the lineups from the college ranks you see some Mexican players, so apparently they develop some talent.
     
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  24. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    The problem is definitely not the economy. The Brazilian economy is about the same as the Mexican one yet Brazil does a much better job with tennis. As someone else said, it's all about having "the system" in place... Good clubs, good coaches, good academies, good network of junior tournaments, etc. When I was in Mexico City a couple months back I was struggling to find tennis courts. As of now it's just not in the Mexican youth's mentality to play tennis.
     
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  25. siber222000

    siber222000 Semi-Pro

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    who is that? :rolleyes:
     
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  26. diegaa

    diegaa Hall of Fame

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    Juan Miguel Futbol. Great forehand, good s&g, dont u know him?:p
     
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  27. tennis life

    tennis life New User

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    Mexico has few top players for the same reason the US has few great soccer players, it just isnt the biggest sport
     
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  28. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    do argentina, brazil and chile have much more developed middle classes? i don't know the answer, my guess is probably, but is there a huge difference?

    i'm trying to think of golf. is lorena ochoa actually from mexico? i think so, but not sure (as opposed to born in u.s. to mexican-american family)
     
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  29. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Can't comment on Brazil nor Chile as I've no experience of those two countries. However, half of my wife's family lives in Argentina (she is Uruguayan herself), and Argentina does indeed have a very large middle class. In fact, the socio-demographics are probably pretty close to the United States. Andres is more qualified than me to confirm or refute this.

    One thing I do remember from a trip several years ago... We were driving from La Plata (east/southeast of Buenos Aires) to Rosario (north west of Buenos Aires) and drove across Entre Rios to Salto (northwest Uruguay). (Purpose of trip was family visits.) As we drove through the Pampas, I was mightly impressed by the rich agricultural and hydrologic resources that Argentina has. I wondered, (sometimes out loud to the others), why Argentina isn't one of the richest, most powerful countries in the world. They have the natural resources, they have a willing workforce, plenty of mineral resources in the south.

    It seems, to me, as if the country has a national inferiority complex that is holding them back from realizing their potential greatness. The family residents of Argentina explained it to me as simply, "the government is corrupt".

    (Know nothing about golf, so can't answer your question about Mr. Ochoa.)
     
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  30. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Argentina's standard of living was equal to that of the US until the mid-50's or early 60's. So, yes, it had the potential to be among the "elite" of nations in terms of GDP, standard of living, etc. But decades of corrupt and incompetent government starting with the Perons, robbed the country of its economic potential.

    Not to paint the country with overly broad brushstrokes, but there IS a culture of corruption and dishonesty ingrained in the business community. Just from personal experience, I've had to deal with more theiving dirtbags (on a business level) in Argentina than anywhere else (other than South Korea).
     
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  31. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    how about this a partial explanation (i know i started the thread, but this just came to me)

    did argentina (#1 western hemisphere men's tennis country by far - right now) not have huge immigration from europe in the last century? and not just germans following the war.

    i assume these immigrants built court and played alot.... probably never happened in mexico (i.e. someone had to build courts and play first).

    not too sure about many of the other countries and their immigration patterns, but i don't think alot of europeans have been moving to mexico in the last 60 years (does have major interactions with europe earlier than that)
     
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  32. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Many Middle and South American players of the past played on colleges and universities in the US, whre they had better training facilities: Segura came from Ecuador, but became US college champion. Alex Olmedo came from Peru, he played even DC for the US, because of his college status. Osuna and Ramirez, too, were part of the US college system.
     
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  33. Cashew´s

    Cashew´s New User

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    No one has mentioned that a big percentage of the population that has the resources to play tennis lives above 1500 meters above sea level, that plus cultural issues are the main reason. There is a lot of money in México, but it stays in very few hands. The government doesnt support in the best way the players and associations.
     
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  34. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    Is anyone here mexican at all??

    Yes, me.
    Middleclass?
    yup...

    do i have an idea why this happens?
    Sure I have a take on the problem.
    It is acombination of the way people are bgrought up, economics, and lack of self believe.
    Mexicans have an inferiority complex, wich, comesfrom a lot of sources.
    Religion, history, and.... well thats the main problem.
    Families are sotight, and expect the children to be attached to them their whole lives, so there isnt much ofchance of being liberated by them, and be able to train like one needs to become a professional in any sport.
    If a person manages to get over the hurdle of family oppression, wel, then there is a big one ahead.
    Lack of organization, bureucracy, poor programs insports, basically, if anyone wants to be a professional tennis player, ithas to be under one's own money.
    Andthen be lucky enough to have a capable coach who teaches you efficently.
    Many of the coaches, are good, thereis good people, that train and study to the best of theirpossibilities, but, here, the tennisclubs are very exclusive and there are no programs for coaching developement, except one wich a friend of mine is designing, against the tide!
    Here in my country, teh government isnot interested in supportung people, to develop as, you know, human beings.
    There are good teachers, and someacademies, but they always fail to productransform the raw talent into hard working people...

    and there enters, the idiosincracy...

    must teenagers aren't willing to leave everything else behind, and work hard to become professionals.
    Maybe there are some, but, somehow, along the way they get lost inthe rankings and only play on minor challengers loosing on the first rounds.

    I dont know the whole picture

    and theeeeen, you havepoberty.

    so the people really able to play tennis is few.

    There are public courts, but i onlyknow a couple in the capital.
    And they are administered by the government, andthese guys just care about money.
    At least the beaurocrats...


    damn...

    I wished there was a brighter side of the story

    andsoccer... it just slurps the brain of people... nasty.

    El pelón Osuna was amazing, he overcame lotsof obstacles... in the 80's there were great players too, but things are getting worse.
    SOme guy even gave becker a hell of trouble here!
    and mcenroe fell on mexicanclay courts on his first volley on a doubles ties, and made a tantrum

    I guess, people dont really care...
     
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  35. dincuss

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    Nole sounds fairly mexican.
    :D
     
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  36. #36
  37. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    Serbians have desire... and are willing to work for what they want... at least some. Adversity creates fire in some people, and they want to get ahead in life... here it seems the situation numbs people. Everything is got in an easier way, not the nice way....
     
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  38. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    and we are talking about a country of 100 million people! with a great geographic position and a big deal of natural resourses and hell, everything to get ahead...
    sorry iif my posts seem angry...
     
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  39. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Great points in both of your posts. Thank you for the honesty and the insider's perspective.

    Hey, and if I may add...
    there are a LOT of ''illegals'' down there from what I hear on FOX NEWS.;-)
     
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  40. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    As Salsainglesa posted, it is a cultural thing, some sports doesnt have the same "bussiness appealing" in some countries in comparison with others.

    However I have and idea why some latinamerican countries have more succes in tennis than others. Let's see which countries have more success in tennis: Argentina, Brazil, Chile.
    Less success: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Central America.

    I beleive that the countries that are more on the south of the continent have more of a European root, some of them actually beleive they are "europeans" ;). These same countries are the one that have more success on tennis. On the other hand we have the countries more at the center of the continent which have a more close bond with Northamerica.

    If you see the current tennis situation Europe have a more bigger tennis scene than North America. In conclusion it is all the USA fault :). ( Im just jocking).
     
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  41. maximo

    maximo Banned

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    Am i correct by saying Andy Murray is the only British player in the top 100?

    If so, that is ridiculous, considering the sport was invented in Britain.
     
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  42. Underhand

    Underhand Legend

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    On the other hand it's nice that Scotland have a Top 4 player :)
     
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  43. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    Well guys, i am a mexican so i can give to you a better scop about it.

    main issue is Tennis is not among main sports in Mexico.

    1.- Soccer, mexican loves soccer, you can find soccer play grownds around all cities, towns.

    2.- Base ball, at North of Mexico is very, very popular, you can check mayor ligue circuit, there many Mexican players doing very well.

    3.- Basket ball, is growing so fast here.

    4.- American fut ball, growin so fast also, you can find many leagues here.

    Yes College universities are looking for tennis as a main sport, and they are beggining to find very good prospects, also yes, FMT Mexican Federation of tennis never did well.

    Economic situation is not main issue, main Mexican TV broad cast does not show tennis, to see tennis you need to have cable or antena system.


    Regards
     
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  44. ohlori

    ohlori Rookie

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    Not that ridiculous, because tennis comes from the French word 'tenniz!' (the French verb tenir means 'to hold'). A Brit patented 'lawn tennis' in 1874, but the court had the shape of an hourglass and was shorter than today.
    The French already played 'real tennis' (indoor) for ages.
    That's why France has more than 20 players combined - men/women - in the top 100.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
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  45. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    I'm not sure you can say that the popularity of other sports necessarily undermines tennis, in Mexico or any other country. After all, soccer is huge in Argentina, France, and Spain as well, and those countries definitely crank out a lot of top 100 players. Football, basketball, and baseball were all huge sports in the US in the mid-90s, but that didn't stop us from producing Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, and Michael Chang. People only start bringing that argument into play when the tennis players are absent.

    Another argument I've always been skeptical about is the notion that other sports "take away the good atheletes". General athleticism correlates with good performance at the lower levels of a sport. In junior high school, the best baseball hitter is often the best pitcher and basketball player as well - he's just a good athelete. So at this level, yeah, a good player going to baseball may mean that the junior high tennis team is deprived of a good athelete. But at the upper eschelons of the game, the differentiation between atheletes is (I suspect) much greater. Michael Jordan - maybe the best athelete in US history - couldn't hit a AAA league curve ball. I have no doubt he'd be a fine tennis player (hey, compared to the general population AAA ball players are amazing atheletes). But top 10? Top 100? I seriously doubt it.

    I have a feeling this is better explained by a simple lack of interest in Tennis, rather than competing interests from other sports.
     
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  46. NickC

    NickC Professional

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    Basketball isn't big here, dude. Sure the NBA is on ESPN Deportes once and a while and I saw UNAM play Indios in a Basketball game but not only were about 90% of the players foreigners, but Mexicans, traditionally, aren't very big. I'm the second tallest person in my dorm building a the UDLA Puebla and I'm 5'10. Generally, most basketball players are fairly tall.

    American football is growing here, but that isn't because people actually like the sport, it's because of the infeority complex with the United States, and everyone wants to look cool in the eyes of a "gringo" which isn't exactly going so well. Even the players here don't understand the game, I watched the Superbowl with a few guys on the team here that live with me. They went nuts at an incomplete pass, jumping up and down screaming "fumble fumble fumble" as loud as they could, and looked confused when I told them the rules of the game. It's more of a way to look cool and blend in, if anything.


    And I disagree with you on the fact that you think the economic situation isn't part of the reason the game is popular. Get your ass out of Chapultapec, Polanco or Reforma and see things from the street level. The people here are poor. Very poor. With the exception of a few people, this country is very much third-world. Out of the 105 million people here, I'd venture as far as saying that 80 million of those people are living in poverty. When you've got as many pobres in the streets as Mexico does, you would think it's a bit hard for a youngster to buy a few racquets and get started on tennis. Tennis is a middle-to-upper class sport, and the fact that a middle class is non-existant here just adds to that. The rich kids that study where I do just don't care about the sport, and the ones that do either suck and just worry about looking good on the court, or are too old to accomplish anything (the #1 and #2 players at my university have a combined age of 59). The game isn't seen in the same light as soccer down here, which is strange because Mexico isn't that good at soccer either.


    The players are there. Mexico had a kid reach #6 in the ITF Junior YE rankings last year, and there was a kid in the mid 30s or 40s as well. Not too bad.


    Tennis will come good here, as soon as the corrupt are removed from office, middle and lower-class families realize that having 5-7 kids isn't economically sane (overpopulation leads to less money being circulated and with more money lying around then you've got a higher chance of a kid playing a costlier sport), and the drug cartels stop hogging all the money.


    If anyone else wants to hear more I'd be glad to elaborate.
     
    #46
  47. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    hey nick, alguna vez estas por el DF?
    yes, please elaborate more!...
    the only way of becoming better, is by first being aware of the problems...

    did you read my post back there?
     
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  48. NickC

    NickC Professional

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    Si, voy a DF en dos o tres semanas para a unas dias antes de ir a mi casa en Nueva York donde yo vivo. Solo un estudiante aqui en Puebla. Pero cuando yo soy alli y si te quieres jugar, tendre tiempo para hacerlo.

    But what would you like to know? I've lived here for about a year and I've noticed a few things, where do you live in Mexico, maybe there's a difference in where we live and the significance of tennis in said areas.
     
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  49. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    im mexican so its interesting reading people's theories

    i myself am not completely sure i have a theory of my own that i can believe is completely true...

    i think many of the posters are on the right track though, mostly the ones from or living in mexico, its probably a combination of a lot of the ideas presented...
     
    #49
  50. jmverdugo

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    ^^ I honestly think that it is a cultural thing. I do not think that if the economical situation gets better the tennis scene will grow. Granted things will get better but also in other sports that are much more popular than tennis. Which could mean that maybe just a small part of the money will go to tennis. But yes, there is a a mexican Junior (Sanchez I think) that is really good, he made a good run on last wimbledon.

    ALso Nick, Mexico is really good on futbol, they are having some problems ( from some years now) but they used to be the team to beat in the Concacaf. On another note, you may see that the futbol professional level is not very good but I heard that Mexico is the country of LatAm where the professional futbol players are best paid.
     
    #50

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