A brief history of the chaotic beginning of the Open Era...

NonP

Hall of Fame
With respect to the Gamegate(?) from the women's USO final. Posted this earlier in another forum (don't ask) and frankly thought it too good to be buried among the deluge of hyperventilating rigmarole where it's no doubt headed, so here it is. (Consider that my way of filing it under the "Former Pro" banner. I shudder to think what the crazies next door have been saying about the flare-up in "General Pro.") Slight modifications were made where appropriate:

Guess I should chime in to debunk a common refrain that keeps popping up everywhere, namely that the amount of crap a McEnroe or Connors was allowed to get away with proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the double standards in rules enforcement for men vs. women in tennis. So here's the bottom line: yes, Mac and Jimbo did usually get little more than a slap on the wrist for their outrageous behavior, but no, that's not quite the smoking gun far too many know-nothing pundits wish it is.

Many of you may be at least vaguely aware that tennis became "open" in 1968, when Roland Garros (French Open) opened its gates to professionals and amateurs alike - thereby ending the previous era of shamateurism where the latter players were barred from joining the former but routinely paid under the table to the surprise of practically no one. (The very 1st Open tournament was actually Bournemouth in April 1968, but I digress.) What most of you probably don't know is that the first 2-3 decades of Open tennis were a particularly chaotic era, a veritable Wild Wild West with competing circuits - as many as four(!) on the men's tour in 1973, and the ATP and the WTA weren't formed until 1972 and 1973 respectively - which all but precluded standardization of tour formats and rules across the board. In fact it wasn't until 1990 that the ATP launched its own tour that replaced its previous hydra-headed incarnations, and even then there was further tweaking to do till the late '90s/early '00s, when the ATP became the all-encompassing men's tour as we know it today. (The four GS events are still organized by the ITF.)

Long story short: you cannot compare the kind of standardized officiating you see today with the seeming anarchy and permissive culture of yesterday especially on the men's tour as umpires literally weren't playing by the same book back then, and I guarantee you there's no way the likes of Mac and Jimbo would be able to survive the daily grind of today's more corporate environment unscathed with their tomfoolery and invective of yore. Indeed it's no coincidence that Mac was defaulted at the '90 Australian Open where a new Code of Conduct had just been introduced, which of course has been glossed over in virtually all the pro-Serena narratives.

Now there's an argument to be had over whether this standardization of tennis was such a good thing. Wild as the beginning of the Open Era was, the feverish infusion of capital and the competing forces of interest saw the rise of many household names - the legendary trinity of Connors, Borg and McEnroe followed by Lendl, Wilander, Becker and Edberg who themselves paved the way for a new American renaissance spearheaded by Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang along with more international representation - and such disparate exponents as classic serve-and-volleyers (Newcombe to an extent, Gerulaitis, Cash, Edberg), specialized net rushers for clay (Panatta, Noah), various types of baseliners (Lendl, Vilas, Wilander, too many to name), genuine all-courters (Becker, Sampras, Stich) and oddities (Gilbert, Santoro) that lent the game much-welcome variety. And who could forget the storied Navratilova-Evert rivalry, arguably the greatest ever of any gender, or the near mythical Graf-Seles which might well have replaced its predecessor if not for a deranged fanatic whose name remains infamous in tennis lore? It's quite possible the '80s/early to mid-'90s were the single richest span in all of tennis history, and we have the messy experimentation of the early Open Era to thank for it.

Alas we don't have much of this variety today. The corporatization of the ATP/WTA meant that efficiency took precedence over anything else, which in turn led to more tennis factories touting the tried-and-true over risky ventures and churning out one baseline clone after another that continues to underwhelm in both results and audience engagement. For all the talk about the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio being the greatest Big 3 ever and Serena's unique place in the sport it's no longer arguable that they have not inspired the younger generations as much as the pundits expected. (I'd actually go so far as to argue that this generation at least among men is the worst field I've seen in my lifetime, but that's for another time and place.)

That's the part about today's tennis I won't miss. But what I also don't miss are the outrageous on-court behavior of yesterday's Connors or McEnroe (let alone Pancho Gonzalez's infamous explosions which make his successors' antics tame by comparison) and the anything-goes culture that enabled it. (Though I'll give a shout-out to Jimbo calling chair umpire David Littlefield "an abortion," probably my all-time "favorite" insult at least in sports.) Now you may not be surprised to hear that many longtime tennis fans don't hide their nostalgia for this very kind of behavior which to them is part of the same freewheeling coin that made the whole rock era of tennis possible, warts and all. If this reasoning sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the same brand of flippant logic anti-PC agitators love to deploy against the left/Democrats/SJWs/BLM/#MeToo/fill-in-the-blank in favor of the "good old days" when people weren't so uptight and prudish.

So chew on that before you keep defending Serena's indefensible behavior in the women's final. Again nothing Ramos did that afternoon remotely justifies the attacks she made on his person. You could say he should've made it clear that it was because of her coach rather than herself that he gave her a warning, or that she insulted him in a childish fit rather than out of pure malice, or what have you, but that still doesn't make it right! And as others have pointed out she has done Osaka a big disfavor by refusing to accept her share of the blame during the post-match presser. After all if you insist that you were unfairly docked a game what does that make your opponent's victory?

There are legit areas to take issue with in tennis (including, like I said earlier, equal pay), and maybe umpires do penalize women more disproportionately than men, but ganging up on Ramos for doing his job last Saturday isn't the best way to go about it, especially given his well-deserved reputation as a stickler. For that analysis you need a far larger sample size than one or two hand-picked examples that you wish validate your agenda, especially when it turns out you're not even making an apples-to-apples comparison as far too many armchair critics and journos are wont with respect to Serena vs. Jimbo/Mac.
 

DMP

Professional
I like it, a lot. Some very relevant points. Personally I always note the professionalism of the linespersons these days compared with those far off days.
 

BTURNER

Legend
With respect to the Gamegate(?) from the women's USO final. Posted this earlier in another forum (don't ask) and frankly thought it too good to be buried among the deluge of hyperventilating rigmarole where it's no doubt headed, so here it is. (Consider that my way of filing it under the "Former Pro" banner. I shudder to think what the crazies next door have been saying about the flare-up in "General Pro.") Slight modifications were made where appropriate:

Guess I should chime in to debunk a common refrain that keeps popping up everywhere, namely that the amount of crap a McEnroe or Connors was allowed to get away with proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the double standards in rules enforcement for men vs. women in tennis. So here's the bottom line: yes, Mac and Jimbo did usually get little more than a slap on the wrist for their outrageous behavior, but no, that's not quite the smoking gun far too many know-nothing pundits wish it is.

Many of you may be at least vaguely aware that tennis became "open" in 1968, when Roland Garros (French Open) opened its gates to professionals and amateurs alike - thereby ending the previous era of shamateurism where the latter players were barred from joining the former but routinely paid under the table to the surprise of practically no one. (The very 1st Open tournament was actually Bournemouth in April 1968, but I digress.) What most of you probably don't know is that the first 2-3 decades of Open tennis were a particularly chaotic era, a veritable Wild Wild West with competing circuits - as many as four(!) on the men's tour in 1973, and the ATP and the WTA weren't formed until 1972 and 1973 respectively - which all but precluded standardization of tour formats and rules across the board. In fact it wasn't until 1990 that the ATP launched its own tour that replaced its previous hydra-headed incarnations, and even then there was further tweaking to do till the late '90s/early '00s, when the ATP became the all-encompassing men's tour as we know it today. (The four GS events are still organized by the ITF.)

Long story short: you cannot compare the kind of standardized officiating you see today with the seeming anarchy and permissive culture of yesterday especially on the men's tour as umpires literally weren't playing by the same book back then, and I guarantee you there's no way the likes of Mac and Jimbo would be able to survive the daily grind of today's more corporate environment unscathed with their tomfoolery and invective of yore. Indeed it's no coincidence that Mac was defaulted at the '90 Australian Open where a new Code of Conduct had just been introduced, which of course has been glossed over in virtually all the pro-Serena narratives.

Now there's an argument to be had over whether this standardization of tennis was such a good thing. Wild as the beginning of the Open Era was, the feverish infusion of capital and the competing forces of interest saw the rise of many household names - the legendary trinity of Connors, Borg and McEnroe followed by Lendl, Wilander, Becker and Edberg who themselves paved the way for a new American renaissance spearheaded by Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang along with more international representation - and such disparate exponents as classic serve-and-volleyers (Newcombe to an extent, Gerulaitis, Cash, Edberg), specialized net rushers for clay (Panatta, Noah), various types of baseliners (Lendl, Vilas, Wilander, too many to name), genuine all-courters (Becker, Sampras, Stich) and oddities (Gilbert, Santoro) that lent the game much-welcome variety. And who could forget the storied Navratilova-Evert rivalry, arguably the greatest ever of any gender, or the near mythical Graf-Seles which might well have replaced its predecessor if not for a deranged fanatic whose name remains infamous in tennis lore? It's quite possible the '80s/early to mid-'90s were the single richest span in all of tennis history, and we have the messy experimentation of the early Open Era to thank for it.

Alas we don't have much of this variety today. The corporatization of the ATP/WTA meant that efficiency took precedence over anything else, which in turn led to more tennis factories touting the tried-and-true over risky ventures and churning out one baseline clone after another that continues to underwhelm in both results and audience engagement. For all the talk about the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio being the greatest Big 3 ever and Serena's unique place in the sport it's no longer arguable that they have not inspired the younger generations as much as the pundits expected. (I'd actually go so far as to argue that this generation at least among men is the worst field I've seen in my lifetime, but that's for another time and place.)

That's the part about today's tennis I won't miss. But what I also don't miss are the outrageous on-court behavior of yesterday's Connors or McEnroe (let alone Pancho Gonzalez's infamous explosions which make his successors' antics tame by comparison) and the anything-goes culture that enabled it. (Though I'll give a shout-out to Jimbo calling chair umpire David Littlefield "an abortion," probably my all-time "favorite" insult at least in sports.) Now you may not be surprised to hear that many longtime tennis fans don't hide their nostalgia for this very kind of behavior which to them is part of the same freewheeling coin that made the whole rock era of tennis possible, warts and all. If this reasoning sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the same brand of flippant logic anti-PC agitators love to deploy against the left/Democrats/SJWs/BLM/#MeToo/fill-in-the-blank in favor of the "good old days" when people weren't so uptight and prudish.

So chew on that before you keep defending Serena's indefensible behavior in the women's final. Again nothing Ramos did that afternoon remotely justifies the attacks she made on his person. You could say he should've made it clear that it was because of her coach rather than herself that he gave her a warning, or that she insulted him in a childish fit rather than out of pure malice, or what have you, but that still doesn't make it right! And as others have pointed out she has done Osaka a big disfavor by refusing to accept her share of the blame during the post-match presser. After all if you insist that you were unfairly docked a game what does that make your opponent's victory?

There are legit areas to take issue with in tennis (including, like I said earlier, equal pay), and maybe umpires do penalize women more disproportionately than men, but ganging up on Ramos for doing his job last Saturday isn't the best way to go about it, especially given his well-deserved reputation as a stickler. For that analysis you need a far larger sample size than one or two hand-picked examples that you wish validate your agenda, especially when it turns out you're not even making an apples-to-apples comparison as far too many armchair critics and journos are wont with respect to Serena vs. Jimbo/Mac.
Without getting into the Serena Williams matter, I can only commend the context you provide here which is of value to lots of topical conversations. In other words, had the Serena controversy never happened, this post was worth your writing and our reading.
 

hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
With respect to the Gamegate(?) from the women's USO final. Posted this earlier in another forum (don't ask) and frankly thought it too good to be buried among the deluge of hyperventilating rigmarole where it's no doubt headed, so here it is. (Consider that my way of filing it under the "Former Pro" banner. I shudder to think what the crazies next door have been saying about the flare-up in "General Pro.") Slight modifications were made where appropriate:

Guess I should chime in to debunk a common refrain that keeps popping up everywhere, namely that the amount of crap a McEnroe or Connors was allowed to get away with proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the double standards in rules enforcement for men vs. women in tennis. So here's the bottom line: yes, Mac and Jimbo did usually get little more than a slap on the wrist for their outrageous behavior, but no, that's not quite the smoking gun far too many know-nothing pundits wish it is.

Many of you may be at least vaguely aware that tennis became "open" in 1968, when Roland Garros (French Open) opened its gates to professionals and amateurs alike - thereby ending the previous era of shamateurism where the latter players were barred from joining the former but routinely paid under the table to the surprise of practically no one. (The very 1st Open tournament was actually Bournemouth in April 1968, but I digress.) What most of you probably don't know is that the first 2-3 decades of Open tennis were a particularly chaotic era, a veritable Wild Wild West with competing circuits - as many as four(!) on the men's tour in 1973, and the ATP and the WTA weren't formed until 1972 and 1973 respectively - which all but precluded standardization of tour formats and rules across the board. In fact it wasn't until 1990 that the ATP launched its own tour that replaced its previous hydra-headed incarnations, and even then there was further tweaking to do till the late '90s/early '00s, when the ATP became the all-encompassing men's tour as we know it today. (The four GS events are still organized by the ITF.)

Long story short: you cannot compare the kind of standardized officiating you see today with the seeming anarchy and permissive culture of yesterday especially on the men's tour as umpires literally weren't playing by the same book back then, and I guarantee you there's no way the likes of Mac and Jimbo would be able to survive the daily grind of today's more corporate environment unscathed with their tomfoolery and invective of yore. Indeed it's no coincidence that Mac was defaulted at the '90 Australian Open where a new Code of Conduct had just been introduced, which of course has been glossed over in virtually all the pro-Serena narratives.

Now there's an argument to be had over whether this standardization of tennis was such a good thing. Wild as the beginning of the Open Era was, the feverish infusion of capital and the competing forces of interest saw the rise of many household names - the legendary trinity of Connors, Borg and McEnroe followed by Lendl, Wilander, Becker and Edberg who themselves paved the way for a new American renaissance spearheaded by Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang along with more international representation - and such disparate exponents as classic serve-and-volleyers (Newcombe to an extent, Gerulaitis, Cash, Edberg), specialized net rushers for clay (Panatta, Noah), various types of baseliners (Lendl, Vilas, Wilander, too many to name), genuine all-courters (Becker, Sampras, Stich) and oddities (Gilbert, Santoro) that lent the game much-welcome variety. And who could forget the storied Navratilova-Evert rivalry, arguably the greatest ever of any gender, or the near mythical Graf-Seles which might well have replaced its predecessor if not for a deranged fanatic whose name remains infamous in tennis lore? It's quite possible the '80s/early to mid-'90s were the single richest span in all of tennis history, and we have the messy experimentation of the early Open Era to thank for it.

Alas we don't have much of this variety today. The corporatization of the ATP/WTA meant that efficiency took precedence over anything else, which in turn led to more tennis factories touting the tried-and-true over risky ventures and churning out one baseline clone after another that continues to underwhelm in both results and audience engagement. For all the talk about the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio being the greatest Big 3 ever and Serena's unique place in the sport it's no longer arguable that they have not inspired the younger generations as much as the pundits expected. (I'd actually go so far as to argue that this generation at least among men is the worst field I've seen in my lifetime, but that's for another time and place.)

That's the part about today's tennis I won't miss. But what I also don't miss are the outrageous on-court behavior of yesterday's Connors or McEnroe (let alone Pancho Gonzalez's infamous explosions which make his successors' antics tame by comparison) and the anything-goes culture that enabled it. (Though I'll give a shout-out to Jimbo calling chair umpire David Littlefield "an abortion," probably my all-time "favorite" insult at least in sports.) Now you may not be surprised to hear that many longtime tennis fans don't hide their nostalgia for this very kind of behavior which to them is part of the same freewheeling coin that made the whole rock era of tennis possible, warts and all. If this reasoning sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the same brand of flippant logic anti-PC agitators love to deploy against the left/Democrats/SJWs/BLM/#MeToo/fill-in-the-blank in favor of the "good old days" when people weren't so uptight and prudish.

So chew on that before you keep defending Serena's indefensible behavior in the women's final. Again nothing Ramos did that afternoon remotely justifies the attacks she made on his person. You could say he should've made it clear that it was because of her coach rather than herself that he gave her a warning, or that she insulted him in a childish fit rather than out of pure malice, or what have you, but that still doesn't make it right! And as others have pointed out she has done Osaka a big disfavor by refusing to accept her share of the blame during the post-match presser. After all if you insist that you were unfairly docked a game what does that make your opponent's victory?

There are legit areas to take issue with in tennis (including, like I said earlier, equal pay), and maybe umpires do penalize women more disproportionately than men, but ganging up on Ramos for doing his job last Saturday isn't the best way to go about it, especially given his well-deserved reputation as a stickler. For that analysis you need a far larger sample size than one or two hand-picked examples that you wish validate your agenda, especially when it turns out you're not even making an apples-to-apples comparison as far too many armchair critics and journos are wont with respect to Serena vs. Jimbo/Mac.
Ahh, yes. The good old days.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I like it, a lot. Some very relevant points. Personally I always note the professionalism of the linespersons these days compared with those far off days.
Without getting into the Serena Williams matter, I can only commend the context you provide here which is of value to lots of topical conversations. In other words, had the Serena controversy never happened, this post was worth your writing and our reading.
I'm flattered! And yes, Moose also likes to point out how terrible lots of line calling used to be back then. And of course we've now got Hawk-Eye, which has been an unabashedly good thing for the sport.

Ahh, yes. The good old days.
Some things were indeed better in those days, like this:


Or this:


P.S. Tyner still stops by my local Blues Alley to jam every now and then. (Alas not anytime soon, apparently.) I keep meaning to go see the great man live... but with the mandatory food purchase it'd set me back almost $100 if not more! Still would bite the bullet next time, though, given Aretha's recent death and my lifelong failure to claim the Queen of Soul's name under my list of musical bragging rights thanks to my constant procrastination.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Now there's an argument to be had over whether this standardization of tennis was such a good thing.
Skipping the whole topic of officiating, this brings up something I talk about in music that I call "homogenization". It happens when a period of time is reached in which things become more and more perfected but where everyone is copying everyone else.

I'm not sure what drives this in tennis, but for sure it happens in music when musicians play the music of others but stop creating themselves. Timing is different for different kinds of music, or genres.

I can't think of any area of music that is new and creative at this time, so for me music is paralleling tennis.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
C’est vrai.
Listened to the entire Village Vanguard set for like the 19645th time yesterday and it remains as electrifying and exhilarating as ever. By now I probably could transcribe the whole thing from memory (though, on second thought, not quite 'cause I never really learned drums). Easily one of my desert-island records, if not my all-time fave jazz album.

Should switch to Schnabel's Ludwig 32 later today. Don't care much for the earlier ones including the Pathetique, but it's been a while since I gave all of 'em a whirl in one go so why not another now?

More from the Vanguard:


Skipping the whole topic of officiating, this brings up something I talk about in music that I call "homogenization". It happens when a period of time is reached in which things become more and more perfected but where everyone is copying everyone else.

I'm not sure what drives this in tennis, but for sure it happens in music when musicians play the music of others but stop creating themselves. Timing is different for different kinds of music, or genres.

I can't think of any area of music that is new and creative at this time, so for me music is paralleling tennis.
Many would say hip-hop is constantly reinventing itself now in that the genre has become so elastic as to encompass modern pop itself. (One could say the same thing about country, too, though its influence is of course much more limited.) Can't really say one way or another cuz I stopped trying to follow all the latest hits a long time ago, but I suspect this early fusion from the get-go will help hip-hop avoid the fate of jazz - both, of course, have unmistakable African-American roots - which it'll surprise many here to know was THE popular music of America as late as the 1950s but eventually became this staple of conservatories, museums and elite clubs that nobody but a small but stubbornly unyielding number of diehards consumes these days. (Obviously this is too big a topic to get into here, but the biggest culprit I'd say is the bebop avant-garde that with exceptions like Miles failed to see the upside of incorporating the latest developments in popular music and soon turned into conservatives in their own right.) And of course society is much more civilized and tolerant today (which is easy to forget in this era of Trumpism), with fewer obstacles for the black community to produce the Armstrong or Parker of our own era. We'll see, no?

Also I think you sell the art of studio wizardry a tad short. I gave a shout-out to this book except a couple years ago but here it is again:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2015/10/denniz_pop_max_martin_and_cheiron_studios_the_man_who_invented_modern_pop.single.html

And the whole book is indeed quite fascinating. Unsurprisingly it focuses more on the commercial side of the modern hit factory, but it also spends a fair amount of space on its artistic aspirations with plenty of pertinent examples like that Ace of Base production. Do check it out if that's enough to whet your appetite. :cool:
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Many would say hip-hop is constantly reinventing itself now in that the genre has become so elastic as to encompass modern pop itself.
To be honest, that's my big hope. The words to Hamilton are devilishly clever, so I see it as a potential art-form in the future. But you need more than one composer on that level, and you need more Hamiltons. Miranda needs to do the same thing several times, and other people need to hop on board.

I am continually writing materials for my students, and I've been doing this for around 25 years. So I'm keenly aware of music that is simple, effective and that uses one or two concepts well. Some of the gaming music is actually rather clever.

There is too much to comment on, but this caught my eye:
(Obviously this is too big a topic to get into here, but the biggest culprit I'd say is the bebop avant-garde that with exceptions like Miles failed to see the upside of incorporating the latest developments in popular music and soon turned into conservatives in their own right.)
Something about "turned into conservatives" caught my eye because I saw "turned into conservatories". I read it wrong the first time, but I immediately flashed on the idea of taking some kind of idea and then making it appeal to a supposedly more advanced and enlightened elite to the point where it no longer connects with an audience. I would put into that category both composers like Schoenberg and John Adams, for different reasons.
Also I think you sell the art of studio wizardry a tad short. I gave a shout-out to this book except a couple years ago but here it is again:
Do I? Maybe. I probably don't connect to anything, no matter how novel or clever, unless it merges somehow with music I am interested in, and I'm not the kind of fool who thinks he knows about everything in music. ;)
 
Top