Are you ready to witness the death of tennis? Cause it's coming.

In the late 90s we had Chang as number 2 for 2 years, Moya Ríos Kafelnikov Rafter as 1 for some weeks, Corretja as 2, and nobody thought tennis was dying.
Young people just can't imagine a world without the big 3.

The biggest risk imo is new top players being very similar to each other. Tall big servers like Cilic or Anderson without a spectacular ground game. That could turn people off tennis.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Med moves like a big cat, but has the ugliest strokes lol. All arms.

I was at Shapo v Karatsev, too. Was the first time all tournament I felt the crowd was really engaged and rooting for someone. Was bummed when Karatsev went right through him.
Not The Big Cat, eh?
 

Robert F

Professional
I don't think it will die. It will have a lull until new personalities emerge or someone makes a big change to the game.
Imagine an Opelka with a slightly better ground game. He might bring on a big level of domination that can liven the sport. It would help if he/she was from the US, but that isn't very likely.

I think the real death, is the death of tennis in America. Maybe COVID will help get more people on courts and I hope we get that effect from COVID instead of all the other crud we got from it.
I think less people watch it in America, it is harder to find on TV, less people know who anyone is outside of Serena and most of the big 3. Most of my Tennis friends are my age or older. I went to the WTA 500 Chicago Event--it was great. Yet I was on the younger side being 47 in the crowd. It wasn't full, but at least it wasn't empty--but why can't Chicagoland area fill seats at a fairly premier event?

Once the Americans born in the late 1950/1960's start dying, tennis in America is going to lose a lot of support--TV viewership, attendance at events, people actually playing the games, people buying balls and racquets.. Unless the USTA finds a way to make it grow with players who play all the time not just twice a year. Plus pickleball is vulturing anyone interested in racquet sports in the US. Courts are either having pickleball lines added or are being paved over and replaced 2 pickleball courts. Retail walls that had 4-5 racquet banks, a wall of grips/dampners and a wall of tennis balls for purchase have been consolidated into one wall, while pickle has taken the other 2 walls.
 

MasterZeb

Hall of Fame
The last time I watched a mens tennis match was the US Open final only because of what was at stake with Novak. Before that? Rogers last match. Pretty good feeling that we are about to see a switch again in popularity between the mens and womens.
 

Standaa

G.O.A.T.
The last time I watched a mens tennis match was the US Open final only because of what was at stake with Novak. Before that? Rogers last match. Pretty good feeling that we are about to see a switch again in popularity between the mens and womens.
yeah I miss AO 17 too

best slam we had in quite a while

 

MasterZeb

Hall of Fame
yeah I miss AO 17 too

best slam we had in quite a while

I think we all knew this was coming, yet somehow we were still hoping on to a hope that they’d magically find a new gear or something and not continue to disappoint. Oh well. Maybe the next next next gen
 

Standaa

G.O.A.T.
I think we all knew this was coming, yet somehow we were still hoping on to a hope that they’d magically find a new gear or something and not continue to disappoint. Oh well. Maybe the next next next gen
IMO this next gen failure after next gen failure is a symptom that we the society as a whole are in decline
 

MasterZeb

Hall of Fame
IMO this next gen failure after next gen failure is a symptom that we the society as a whole are in decline
Perhaps all the good athletes are going to other sports realising it’s far more rewarding financially. Reckon it’s actually has a lot to do with the equipment with these tweener frames. Ball bashing works. And the serve is massively overpowered. So when going through juniors, where most people haven’t developed physically yet, these massive giants come through and serve their way through to wins and ranking points and stuff, while maybe the better ‘tennis’ players maybe quit too soon or something. Idk maybe I’m clutching at straws but there has to be a reason.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
I love how this suddenly is of big concern to people and the ATP when this was blatantly obvious years ago that the tour has no names, no faces, no rivalries. Nothing to watch.

Here’s my prediction from over 4 years ago After the 2017 Wimbledon..
So our QF are (almost) set for another slam and there's nobody under the age of 26. 5 of the 9 players remaining are over 30 and 2 more are 29.

Murray (30yo) v Querrey (29yo)
Muller (34yo) v Cilic (28yo)
Raonic (26yo) v Federer (35yo)
Berdych (31yo) v either Mannarino (29yo) or Djokovic (30yo)

Compare it to the women's QF's:
Muguruza (23yo) v Kuznetsova (32yo)
Rybarikova (28yo) v Vandeweghe (25yo)
Venus (37yo) v Ostapenko (20yo)
Konta (26yo) v Halep (25yo)

Nobody younger than a 26yo on the mens tour yet on the womens tour, 5 of the 8 are 26 or younger.

While it's great to see familiar names in there for the mens side, including 3 of the big 4, you have to ask, what happens when they all retire? Zverev, Kyrgios, Dimitrov, Thiem, Tomic, Sock and more are all failing to make slam QF's, SF's or finals. Thiem is the only one to make a slam SF in the past 2 years.

So why can't the younger men do what the older men do? Dimitrov fell in the 4R of this years Wimbledon as did Thiem and Zverev. 21yo Khachanov and 20yo Donaldson fell in the 3R.

Zverev was hyped cause he won a Masters but yet he still hasn't made a slam QF!


The French Open QF's tell a similar story:

Murray (30yo) v Nishikori (27yo)
Wawrinka (32yo) v Cilic (28yo)
Carreno Busta (25yo) v Nadal (31yo)
Thiem (23yo) v Djokovic (30yo)

Compared to the women:
Ostapenko (19yo) v Wozniacki (26yo)
Mladenovic (24yo) v Bacsinszky (28yo)
Svitolina (22yo) v Halep (25yo)
Garcia (23yo) v Pliskova (25yo)

So, what's going on? We have 34 year old Muller making a slam QF a whopping 9 years after his last slam QF yet Zverev and co still can't make a Wimbledon QF despite supposedly being young guns? Who's going to tune in for some no name finals in a couple years when the big 4 are gone? We assume it'll be someone somewhat recognizable winning slams like Thiem or Kyrgios but what if it's some unknown? I won't want to tune in and watch that. As is, i'm only really watching the big 4's matches + Tomic, Kyrgios and Thiem. ATP are sitting pretty at the moment with the big 4 and their great matches but that can't last forever. They could be in a real bind like they were in the early 2000's when the ATP struggled with a name of big star power.
As I said back then, looks like the ATP are in that real bind that I said years ago.
 

tudwell

Legend
Yes, when one doesn’t have a good understanding of the game, it’s hard to appreciate the subtle strategies taking place in each point of the match where each player is trying to get his opponent off balance.
Isnt the same true of most sports? Major sports like baseball and soccer are horrendously boring if you’re not really into the game and know what’s going on at a given time.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
We have been utterly spoiled by Nadal and Federer (and even Djokovic to some extent who although boring is a great player).
 

Kralingen

Legend
This is an interesting reading of the OP.

No irony here.

And I wonder whether there is a significant subset of the user base that does actually desire that outcome.
"want"?

What are you talking about?
Whenever I read these sort of posts about the death of tennis they have to be accompanied by quite a bit more personal feeling. You cannot feign objectivity when talking a sport dying - no? There has to be at least a little resentment and possibly even a vested interest in seeing it all fail, when you make statements such as this.

this sentiment underpins quite a lot of posts on here these days, some justifiably and some less so - I can’t help but feel that there is a lot of projection going on in these posts.
 

Kralingen

Legend
I do feel an inexorable hollowness to most athletic entertainment these days… so I understand it. I feel like the golden age of sports truly mattering in the cultural zeitgeist has passed - pro athletics are far too lucrative for the facade of competition. I suppose a more cultured eye must have noticed this around the 80s.

The “targeted” advertisements and ads make following sports a near predatory experience via social media and youtube. I feel in the past a great match found you. Perhaps that has to do with the medium of communications available. Either way I don’t think tennis is really dead. It is simply coming down from a dizzying high and needs new stars.
"want"?

What are you talking about?
 

gadge

Professional
There are players with charisma : shapo, tiafoe… but they’re damn inconsistent. Tsitsipas has all the tools but is unlikeable for his off court persona.

Medvedev doesn’t bother with anything and doesn’t care except his tennis.

On the women’s side there are players but they’re damn inconsistent and most of them play very similar to each other. I really thought barty, Osaka, Iga and Bianca would start a closed circle like Williams, Kim, henin and Maria but so far they haven’t.
 
Tsitisipas is the only guy whose game looks somewhere imaginative. We will see what he makes of his career. So far , he has laid a lag in majors.

Others are plain boring
He only has 7 titles and he's already 23, while Medvevdev has 13 titles including the Us open. The one with most titles of the next gen is Zverev at 17, but he has no slam to show for it. Tennis is really going to be lacking with consistency and peaks without the big 3.
 

socallefty

Legend
I guess if Djokovic were a little bit worse in his mid-thirties and had let the NextGen win the 8 Slams he has won since June of 2018, many of you will be screaming from the rooftops that tennis is ‘alive and healthy’. I bet that if an old Federer in his late thirties had won a few of those Slams, it would have made many of you even happier and you wouldn‘t be complaining about the weak NextGen in that case just like you didn’t complain when the absence of a healthy, motivated Djokovic helped Federer win 3 Slams in 2017-18.

The NextGen players are hitting 130mph serves, 80mph FHs, 75mph BHs at high RPM and covering the court like crazy in spite of being taller than previous generations. I found the tennis this week at Indian Wells to be high-level like always and once Djokovic dips a bit in level, there will be no shortage of young players winning multiple Slams. The only unfortunate thing is that the top 3 young players seem lacking in likability and might not become media darling superstars because of that.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
He only has 7 titles and he's already 23, while Medvevdev has 13 titles including the Us open. The one with most titles of the next gen is Zverev at 17.
This is a huge problem. At Indian wells, the only times I saw the stadiums even close to full were to see Shapo and Tsitsipas. Most casual fans bought a ticket only to see those guys smack winners and smoke one handers down the line, not to watch Medved or Zverev arm every ball from the back of the court and wait for an error.

The NBA makes sure Steph Curry and Lebron can score 40/game. The NFL makes sure no defender even breathes on a QB or receiver. Meanwhile tennis only punishes offense heavy players.
 

MurraysMetalHip

Hall of Fame
On the plus side, if tennis does die the amount of braindead threads on here should be reduced significantly. Or at least kept to the former players section. Every cloud…
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
This is an interesting reading of the OP.

No irony here.

And I wonder whether there is a significant subset of the user base that does actually desire that outcome.
Have been saying this for some time but people seem to gain a bizarre feeling of ecstasy from making a dire prediction and getting vindicated for it. Sign of the times. I am guilty as charged too, but I just chose to punt money on a stock market crash the day of the Brexit vote rather than on the death of tennis. I love tennis so you couldn't possibly get me to root for its demise.
 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I do feel an inexorable hollowness to most athletic entertainment these days… so I understand it. I feel like the golden age of sports truly mattering in the cultural zeitgeist has passed - pro athletics are far too lucrative for the facade of competition. I suppose a more cultured eye must have noticed this around the 80s.

The “targeted” advertisements and ads make following sports a near predatory experience via social media and youtube. I feel in the past a great match found you. Perhaps that has to do with the medium of communications available. Either way I don’t think tennis is really dead. It is simply coming down from a dizzying high and needs new stars.
Riffing on this, I said in a different forum that music can't be too relevant if people are more interested in watching react videos than listening to music. But this is just indicative of a broad based change in how we consume entertainment. You can't fight it and if such trends impoverish tennis or other sports, it will be an inexorable event rather than something that could be fixed by teaching Zverev to volley or speeding up Australian Open courts beyond an already ridiculous CPR of 50.

If you want great stories, this US Open was full of it like no slam tournament in a long, long time. If such stories still don't make for compelling viewing, it means what people want has changed and nothing that can be fixed by the sportspersons playing better or, uh, smiling more. I would have laughed if you had told me that a Netflix series would ignite American interest in F1 that the long running Indianapolis GP could not back in the day. But it's a new world out there today.
 
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Start da Game

Hall of Fame
i don't get why people are getting bored.......us open and indian wells results feels like a breath of fresh air after a long time.......give the next gen some time, we are witnessing a transitional era after 20 years.......or is it the lack of patience with the fans today? i remember people were patient in the 2000s.......i think it is the cell phones and digital life again, damn digital world.......
 

a12345

Professional
Actually in the late 90' early 2000's people were also saying Tennis is dying and getting boring due to lack of personalities and it was true.

It wasnt until Fed and Nadal came in that started to rescue things. Then Djokovic and Murray came along too. Fed played like a magician, Nadal was topspin king with that forehand, Djokovic became the all round machine.

As it stands Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Zverev, theres no wow factor with these players. They are solid decent players thats all.

Someone in the mould of Carlos Alcaraz does look exciting but ultimately he has to come through and win.
 

ibbi

Legend
The Lendl years were the best ever – he had guys like Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Mac, Connors, Noah, Leconte etc out to get him. Tennis heyday.
Again, I agree. At least part of that period is the greatest tennis era there's probably ever been. I don't think that's the point of the discussion here. Most people no care about the good tennis.
 
D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
Tbh, the Big 3 don't have great personalities. They just all had a quality that stood out in comparison with each other and which could be marketed. They had narratives.
It's now the job of the tennis machine to find out what the new narrative is and then sell it.
 

cortado

Professional
I don't think it will die. It will have a lull until new personalities emerge or someone makes a big change to the game.
Imagine an Opelka with a slightly better ground game. He might bring on a big level of domination that can liven the sport. It would help if he/she was from the US, but that isn't very likely.

I think the real death, is the death of tennis in America. Maybe COVID will help get more people on courts and I hope we get that effect from COVID instead of all the other crud we got from it.
I think less people watch it in America, it is harder to find on TV, less people know who anyone is outside of Serena and most of the big 3. Most of my Tennis friends are my age or older. I went to the WTA 500 Chicago Event--it was great. Yet I was on the younger side being 47 in the crowd. It wasn't full, but at least it wasn't empty--but why can't Chicagoland area fill seats at a fairly premier event?

Once the Americans born in the late 1950/1960's start dying, tennis in America is going to lose a lot of support--TV viewership, attendance at events, people actually playing the games, people buying balls and racquets.. Unless the USTA finds a way to make it grow with players who play all the time not just twice a year. Plus pickleball is vulturing anyone interested in racquet sports in the US. Courts are either having pickleball lines added or are being paved over and replaced 2 pickleball courts. Retail walls that had 4-5 racquet banks, a wall of grips/dampners and a wall of tennis balls for purchase have been consolidated into one wall, while pickle has taken the other 2 walls.
I'm 31, started playing at 29, love it, but I've noticed that almost everybody I play is substantially older than me. As you say, born 50s/60s.
I just got back from a morning drills session and there was nobody younger than 50 there.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
In fact, last time women tennis got intersting was when Hingis and the Williams sisters , and both parents, hated each other.
We need more hate, more tension, more drama.
Someone obviously doesn't watch the current WTA and is projecting their own uninformed views onto everyone else. It's as if the biggest WTA story in years didn't just happen at the U.S. Open.

"The entire sport is dying, dying I tell you!" = "I'm personally losing interest but my ego is so big I think I represent everyone."
 

racquetreligion

Hall of Fame
I'm 31, started playing at 29, love it, but I've noticed that almost everybody I play is substantially older than me. As you say, born 50s/60s.
I just got back from a morning drills session and there was nobody younger than 50 there.
problem is Tennis needs focus, the kind of focus that is not goldfish like pushed on todays youth
Idiocracy is here, it arrived faster than expected with all the smart devices, less focus less brains.
Good to see you are 31 as that is the peak for most players these days.

More serious though is how can anyone win such long distance marathon points day in day out.
It takes time to build maturity and stamina required for never ending story tennis.
Thanks the ATP dictatorship for that
 
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goldengate14

Professional
In a sport as "boring" to watch as tennis, if there's no personalities, or exciting rivalries, there's no point.

If I'd be a sponsor, I would run. Tennis will be dead in no more than three years. It could go as low as to rivalize with Polo on sports channels.

Tennis was barely unknown before McEnroe and Connors. Tennis will be unknown after the Big Three.
Sponsors are leaving tennis in their droves. Tennis will be reliant on Asia to keep it going but Asia only is interested in the Big 3. Once they have gone and that may be sooner than we think as i suspect they will be aware of how dependent tennis is on them and perhaps want more remuneration to reflect that, tennis will be no different to badminton. It is an elite game that in a world now sufferig with the afrer effects of a pandemic amd about to enter a great global depresssion financially is simply not a viable option for kids to take up in almost all countries.
It is not the only sport struggling. Cricket American football and baseball are also struggling
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
I love how this suddenly is of big concern to people and the ATP when this was blatantly obvious years ago that the tour has no names, no faces, no rivalries. Nothing to watch.

Here’s my prediction from over 4 years ago After the 2017 Wimbledon..


As I said back then, looks like the ATP are in that real bind that I said years ago.
Come on, Darcy, the ATP is in exactly the same position as the WTA after the decline of its biggest star, Serena. Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas are at least as consistent as any WTA player. Now, the WTA has more interesting personalities than the ATP once the Big 3 are gone, but in terms of consistency of play, it's the same. But personality won't matter if you don't go deep into tournaments.
 

nachiket nolefam

Hall of Fame
Come on, Darcy, the ATP is in exactly the same position as the WTA after the decline of its biggest star, Serena. Medvedev, Zverev, and Tsitsipas are at least as consistent as any WTA player. Now, the WTA has more interesting personalities than the ATP once the Big 3 are gone, but in terms of consistency of play, it's the same. But personality won't matter if you don't go deep into tournaments.
WTA doesn't have concept of consistency at all. ATP is much better than wta.
 
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