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-   -   Where did talent go? U.S. tennis "Lost Generation" (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=432157)

santoro 07-13-2012 07:32 AM

Where did talent go? U.S. tennis "Lost Generation"
 
an article about last years' tennis pro's
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...ion/52779350/1

"First of all, it's just the basic 'you-can't-have-it-all-all-the-time' rule that applies. Many countries have gone through some years of real successful top-of-their-game champions, and then we see it kind of shift." Agassi

"When it comes to surfaces, I think those growing up on the slower clayŚnot only do their games translate better across other surfaces, but I think you learn the layers of the game more uniquely."
"if you don't grow up on the dirt, you're at a disadvantage. Guys who are out there grinding out those long points have a degree of strength in the game that is just a bigger asset.". Agassi
Is it a matter on what kind of surface you grow up?

http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/20...layers-us-open

santoro 07-13-2012 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by santoro (Post 6723902)
an article about last years' tennis pro's
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...ion/52779350/1

"First of all, it's just the basic 'you-can't-have-it-all-all-the-time' rule that applies. Many countries have gone through some years of real successful top-of-their-game champions, and then we see it kind of shift." Agassi

"When it comes to surfaces, I think those growing up on the slower clayŚnot only do their games translate better across other surfaces, but I think you learn the layers of the game more uniquely."
"if you don't grow up on the dirt, you're at a disadvantage. Guys who are out there grinding out those long points have a degree of strength in the game that is just a bigger asset.". Agassi
Is it a matter on what kind of surface you grow up?

http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/20...layers-us-open

An argument for it would be the fact that all of the top 4 were raised on clay- yet even nowaday's top 10 was all raised on clay.

mattennis 07-13-2012 02:31 PM

Under today's conditions, yes.

In former decades, no.

In the past, with smaller, lighter and faster balls, a hard-flat down the line baseline shot was almost sure a winner (unreturnable or at worst you had then an easy volley) on every surface bar clay.

The clay game (long rallies, super-top-spin shots, many crosscourt shots, very angled shots to open the court) did not translate very well to other surfaces (under former conditions).

Under today's slow conditions and slow balls, the clay game translates very well to hard courts and even to grass.

So Agassi's words make sense today (but not so much in former eras).

BigServer1 07-13-2012 02:41 PM

McEnroe's words make me sad: "It's more of a track meet than a tennis match". All too true, especially with slower surfaces and modern technology.

santoro 07-13-2012 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigServer1 (Post 6725080)
McEnroe's words make me sad: "It's more of a track meet than a tennis match". All too true, especially with slower surfaces and modern technology.

Indeed, Nadal with his muscels, athleticism and "crazy" topspin is a beast on the track (almost like maurice green..:)

pistolpower 08-12-2012 12:03 PM

Nice title of the second article :" Why does America suck at tennis"
Wouldn't expect in Europe to have that kind of title for an article- so probably there might be some despair (when talking about this topic)
That's somehow interesting how it works, cause in America they probably spent the most $$ in this sport and the outcome is quite poor lately. (except the Williams sisters if you're interested in WTA)
Yet some people seem to have found another heroe instead (esp. on this forum- FED, but hey be aware he ISN'T American)
Seems to me that in this debate some even have forgotten how great Pete Sampras was and really is up there with the great Federer.

SystemicAnomaly 08-12-2012 12:19 PM

Many of the top/most gifted athletes in the US go into other sports where it is much easier to make a hefty salary. Think about it. The #300 guy in MLB, the NFL or the NBA is probably a millionaire. The #1000 guy is probably making a decent living as well. Many of his travel expenses might be paid by his team. The #300 guy in tennis will have a difficult time making ends meets, esp given travel/lodging expenses. The tennis player at #1000 probably has another job for his primary income.

TimothyO 08-12-2012 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigServer1 (Post 6725080)
McEnroe's words make me sad: "It's more of a track meet than a tennis match". All too true, especially with slower surfaces and modern technology.

I don't understand this nostalgia for super fast balls and super fast courts which were themselves a result of technology change.

As far as I can tell when the racquets moved from wood to other materials the ball and courts were still in the wood era. Thus you had a period during which the sport devolved into serving contests of just a couple of shots per serve. THAT wasn't tennis compared to the wood frame era. It was boring serve contests with the winner being the guy with a uni-dimensional game. Just serve bigger and better.

Today the ball and courts are getting back in sync with the frame technology resulting in more balance. Big servers still have opportunities to serve their way out of trouble or win sets/matches in tie breakers. But they can't JUST rely on serves to win consistently. They need to build points and exploit opportunities instead of just smashing aces down the T.

Longer/more complex points, more diverse skills, greater demands for physical and mental endurance/conditioning...that's far more interesting than tie break serve contests.

Flash O'Groove 08-12-2012 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 6801498)
Many of the top/most gifted athletes in the US go into other sports where it is much easier to make a hefty salary. Think about it. The #300 guy in MLB, the NFL or the NBA is probably a millionaire. The #1000 guy is probably making a decent living as well. Many of his travel expenses might be paid by his team. The #300 guy in tennis will have a difficult time making ends meets, esp given travel/lodging expenses. The tennis player at #1000 probably has another job for his primary income.

That is true in every country. Serbian, Swiss, Spanish, and Scott have more chance to access to a descent revenue in soccer than in tennis. Beside, their is more american than any national european, and there is more money for the sport than in any european country. The surfaces is a better explanation. US player are rised on hard court, they learn to serve bigger enough to bring them high in the ranking, but their game is not suited to the actual conditions.

pistolpower 08-12-2012 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 6801519)
I don't understand this nostalgia for super fast balls and super fast courts which were themselves a result of technology change.

As far as I can tell when the racquets moved from wood to other materials the ball and courts were still in the wood era. Thus you had a period during which the sport devolved into serving contests of just a couple of shots per serve. THAT wasn't tennis compared to the wood frame era. It was boring serve contests with the winner being the guy with a uni-dimensional game. Just serve bigger and better.

Today the ball and courts are getting back in sync with the frame technology resulting in more balance. Big servers still have opportunities to serve their way out of trouble or win sets/matches in tie breakers. But they can't JUST rely on serves to win consistently. They need to build points and exploit opportunities instead of just smashing aces down the T.

Longer/more complex points, more diverse skills, greater demands for physical and mental endurance/conditioning...that's far more interesting than tie break serve contests.

great response !

pistolpower 08-12-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by santoro (Post 6723902)
an article about last years' tennis pro's
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...ion/52779350/1

"First of all, it's just the basic 'you-can't-have-it-all-all-the-time' rule that applies. Many countries have gone through some years of real successful top-of-their-game champions, and then we see it kind of shift." Agassi

"When it comes to surfaces, I think those growing up on the slower clayŚnot only do their games translate better across other surfaces, but I think you learn the layers of the game more uniquely."
"if you don't grow up on the dirt, you're at a disadvantage. Guys who are out there grinding out those long points have a degree of strength in the game that is just a bigger asset.". Agassi
Is it a matter on what kind of surface you grow up?

http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/20...layers-us-open

Basically what Agassi is also saying is that people brought up on clay seem to have better ball construction abilities and can better adop to the layers, nowadays.
When you take for example Nick Bolietteri:
He's been criticized for training robotic players who hit hard but didn't have much ability to construct points or strategize.
And when you look for example at Roddick: he is great at hittng balls hard, however doesn't have a great all court game, strategy..
Additionally U.S. players don't adapt to other surfaces as other players do.

Quote:

Many of the top/most gifted athletes in the US go into other sports where it is much easier to make a hefty salary. Think about it. The #300 guy in MLB, the NFL or the NBA is probably a millionaire. The #1000 guy is probably making a decent living as well. Many of his travel expenses might be paid by his team. The #300 guy in tennis will have a difficult time making ends meets, esp given travel/lodging expenses. The tennis player at #1000 probably has another job for his primary income.
In other countries athletes could also get into other sports (soccer, skiing or whatever) They would earn there more than in tennis at the beginning/ weak pro level. However you see e.g Spaniards/ Argentines are overwhole more successfull wiht bringing up great tennis players in the last years.

SystemicAnomaly 08-12-2012 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flash O'Groove (Post 6801531)
That is true in every country. Serbian, Swiss, Spanish, and Scott have more chance to access to a descent revenue in soccer than in tennis. Beside, their is more american than any national european, and there is more money for the sport than in any european country. The surfaces is a better explanation. US player are rised on hard court, they learn to serve bigger enough to bring them high in the ranking, but their game is not suited to the actual conditions.

Sure they have other sports in these countries. But isn't futbol/soccer the only real viable alternative for big money for most players in many countries?

Also, when I was talking about #300 in MLB, NFL and NBA, I was taking about #300 in the US (population = 0.3 billion). When I talked about #300 in tennis, that was #300 in the world (population = 7 billion). This does not sound like very good odds for someone looking to possibly make a hefty salary in sports.

West Coast Ace 08-12-2012 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 6801621)
Sure they have other sports in these countries. But isn't futbol/soccer the only real viable alternative for big money for most players in many countries?

Also, when I was talking about #300 in MLB, NFL and NBA, I was taking about #300 in the US (population = 0.3 billion). When I talked about #300 in tennis, that was #300 in the world (population = 7 billion). This does not sound like very good odds for someone looking to possibly make a hefty salary in sports.

You're right - he's wrong. The Australian sports scene is like ours in the US and they are seeing the same thing - the top athletes are going to the other sports - they have Aussie Rules Footy and cricket vs our NFL and MLB, respectively. And basketball. And look at the Olympics - we're cleaning up - again - in the medals. It's soccer or nothing in most of the rest of the world - and I'm sure the ranks are thinned pretty early.

I think Agassi made some good points - but that's not nearly the whole story. If it were then how did he, Courier and Chang adapt and win on clay? They should have been doomed.

Everyone should take a statistics class - this is a blip - the US is a country that excels in individual sports by nature - and somewhere out there a family is nurturing our next star. The USTA could even get lucky and spit one or two out - although I'm not counting on any group that talks about growing the game and producing champions that pays their head $9 mil a year.

TenS_Ace 08-12-2012 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 6801498)
Many of the top/most gifted athletes in the US go into other sports where it is much easier to make a hefty salary. Think about it. The #300 guy in MLB, the NFL or the NBA is probably a millionaire. The #1000 guy is probably making a decent living as well. Many of his travel expenses might be paid by his team. The #300 guy in tennis will have a difficult time making ends meets, esp given travel/lodging expenses. The tennis player at #1000 probably has another job for his primary income.

x 100...............

BeHappy 08-12-2012 04:49 PM

Americans don't like tennis anymore. Playing numbers, racquet and tennis ball sales dropped dramatically in the 90's.

JustBob 08-12-2012 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 6801498)
Many of the top/most gifted athletes in the US go into other sports where it is much easier to make a hefty salary. Think about it. The #300 guy in MLB, the NFL or the NBA is probably a millionaire. The #1000 guy is probably making a decent living as well. Many of his travel expenses might be paid by his team. The #300 guy in tennis will have a difficult time making ends meets, esp given travel/lodging expenses. The tennis player at #1000 probably has another job for his primary income.

This is a constant so I don't see how it's relevant in terms of discussing why the US is currently unable to develop elite tennis players.

courtking 08-12-2012 08:49 PM

There are so many lame coaches in the local park that ruin the kids.. .. USTA should look again at the coach certification.. I have seen many guys with BIG certificate can't even hold the racket correctly..

SystemicAnomaly 08-12-2012 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JustBob (Post 6802114)
This is a constant so I don't see how it's relevant in terms of discussing why the US is currently unable to develop elite tennis players.

Is anything really constant? Perhaps the perception has changed. Many athletes in the past may have perceived tennis as a means to big money. Perhaps the economics has changed. More money (larger salaries) available more than in the past in other sports. Just throwing out some ideas here.

Flash O'Groove 08-13-2012 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 6801621)
Sure they have other sports in these countries. But isn't futbol/soccer the only real viable alternative for big money for most players in many countries?

Soccer is the most played sport in Europe and the sport which yield the more money, but each country have other sport than can be profitable. Ice hockey in Switzerland, Rugby in England/France, Basketball in spain, and so one. Beside, what really matter is not the absolute money you can make in a sport, but the relative money you can do regarding other activities. Volleyball may be not very lucrative in serbia, but it probably remain better than taxi driver. Thus, volleyball could be an interesting sport in many countries where it impossible to make as many money than in any american area.


Plus, you assume that their is such thing as "talended people" who could be successfull in anything they would do, which is a very strong assumption. Most people choose a sport because they are interested in it, and begin to to consider it as a possible carrer later when they notice that they are good at it in comparison to other young player. At the moment they are too old to change and become successfull in another sport.

timnz 08-13-2012 01:58 AM

Yep
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by santoro (Post 6723902)
an article about last years' tennis pro's
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...ion/52779350/1

"First of all, it's just the basic 'you-can't-have-it-all-all-the-time' rule that applies. Many countries have gone through some years of real successful top-of-their-game champions, and then we see it kind of shift." Agassi

"When it comes to surfaces, I think those growing up on the slower clayŚnot only do their games translate better across other surfaces, but I think you learn the layers of the game more uniquely."
"if you don't grow up on the dirt, you're at a disadvantage. Guys who are out there grinding out those long points have a degree of strength in the game that is just a bigger asset.". Agassi
Is it a matter on what kind of surface you grow up?

http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/20...layers-us-open

It completely matters what surface you grow up on.that is why britain has struggled to produce good players even though millionsare spent on development there. (note murray had his key developmentteensge years in spain). The british dont Understand how important surface is.


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