Does the lost gen suck or were they just really unlucky?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by EloQuent, May 16, 2018.

  1. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    Apologies if there's already a thread on this, but it's off season and at least it's not another EPIC or Zverev thread.

    The lost gen is players born in from around 1989 to whenever you consider the NextGen to start. Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov, etc. They've been comprehensively owned by the Big 4 and overall haven't accomplished much. But the question is, is it a uniquely weak group, or were they just unlucky enough to be at the same time as the Big 4?

    The Big 4 aren't only unique for their accomplishments, but also their longevity. Rafa and Roger still at the top, and Djokovic & Murray were at peak at 28-29, when generally players begin to decline in their later 20s, allowing the next crop to shine. There also was a consistency to the big 4, with only a few exceptions they blanket almost all masters, Majors, even finals and SFs for a decade. Is it the fault of the Lost Gen that they came right after these ATG?

    (Side note: I know that Murray dossn't belong in the same category as the other 3 ATGs, but in terms of the utter dominance, he was a big part of that, always a step behind the others.)

    Before the rise of the Big 4 there was a whole generation of Federer's contemporaries who started winning, then got mostly blocked out. Asides from this unique quartet, was the generation of players born in the early, mid, and late 80s that much better than those born in the early 90s?

    For example, Sascha Zverev gets a lot of hype, and he's won 3 masters by 21, but I think we all know that if he was just a few years older and faced the big 4 in pre-dotage he wouldn't have won those.

    So what do you think? Chime in, rant about #weakera, have at it!
     
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  2. Plamen1234

    Plamen1234 Hall of Fame

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    Murray is not ATG.But I agree that the Lost Gen was partly unlucky.Meanwhile this Next Gen is luckier than them.They have to face 37 year old Federer,32 year old Nadal and 31 year old Djokovic who is in bad form for now at least.So they should do far better than the Lost Gen
     
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  3. Jimbud

    Jimbud Semi-Pro

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    This is actually a great topic, I think. I wish I had something insightful to add, but don't think I do. All I can say is maybe a phenomenon I often see in my line of work is comparable. I find that when there is a true alpha male who is the father or older brother, etc, starts a very successful family business, the son or beta male starts really being content with that role. They never reach what might have been their full potential, because they never have to. For example, I know of a law firm who has as its founder one of the greatest trial lawyers I've ever seen. The generation of partners below him don't have any standouts, because they always were content with playing the role of "second." Maybe a similar phenomenon developed where the lost generation realized they were never going to match the big 4, and never really tried or reached potential. Meh, what do I know?

    Unrelated question -- someone asked me when the term "Nextgen" came into the tennis lexicon. I didn't know. Seems fairly recent to me, but anyone know?
     
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  4. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    Correct, he is not. Didn't mean to imply that he is. But he has a level of consistency and longevity (he reached #1 at 29, that's rare) that combined with the 3 ATG blocked out the lost gen
     
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  5. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    ATP has been marketing it aggressively since 2017 as players 21 and younger.
     
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  6. Abhinandan

    Abhinandan Professional

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    They suck.
    Granted that they were unlucky in facing the ATGs in their early 20s. But what is stopping them from playing (and god forbid winning) slam finals now?

    I personally feel that the thing with the lost gen is that when they were up and coming, they had absolutely no pressure or (expectation) of winning. All the limelight was on the ATGs - their rivalries, their slam race etc. Soon the lost gen got into a comfort zone where they were always the underdogs and played (and lost) as if they had nothing to lose. That psyche got stuck with them and I won't be surprised if the next gen bulldozes past them in the next 2 years.
     
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  7. AnOctorokForDinner

    AnOctorokForDinner Hall of Fame

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    Roddick (post-2003), Davydenko, Ferrer, Berdych, Tsonga have also been dickblocked by the B1/2/3/4 consistently, and they were clearly better than the likes of Nishikori, Raonic (though those two are unlucky to be physically fragile, which prevented them from ralising more of their potential), Dimitrough, Goffin etc. So yeah, they kind of suck relative to other generations before and now even after them.
     
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  8. duaneeo

    duaneeo Hall of Fame

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    #8
  9. Abhinandan

    Abhinandan Professional

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    I would have said unlucky had they occupied the ranking 5-8 or 5-10 consistently for the past 5 years.
     
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  10. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    Extremely unlucky to have the likes of Fabio, Edmund, and Busta in their way. No other generation faced obstacles like this.
     
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  11. Service Ace

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    The former.
     
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  12. Jonas78

    Jonas78 Hall of Fame

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    They suck... Zverev is 21y old and has already "stolen" 3 Masters In this weak era. LostGen has won two:eek: (Sock/Dimitrov).

    In Big4's absense it's old guys DelPo/Isner and young guys (Zverev) who wins Masters, and not LostGen who should be In peak age.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  13. ibbi

    ibbi Hall of Fame

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    I think they suck. As has been said, if they were lined up behind the top dogs in the top 10 for the past 5 years then it might be a question worth asking, but they haven't even managed that level of consistency. If we take the 4 premier 'stars' of the lost gen - Raonic, Goffin, Dimitrov and Nishikori - they are a combined 4-32 against the big 4 over best of 5 set matches. I mean that's pathetic. Federer is like 2 generations older than these guys, and between the 4 of them they're 1-8 against him. Compare that to the fabled little 3 of Ferrer, Tsonga, and Berdych who don't have the gift of a generation or two advantage over those guys, and... I mean just Tsonga himself has managed more wins over the big 4 in bo5. He's 5-17. None of these lost gen scrubs has ever beaten Nadal in a major, and yet Kyrgios already managed it 4 years ago (granted none of them have ever played him at Wimbledon, but still).
     
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  14. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    lol well put.

    But isn't Pablo lost gen?
     
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  15. YetAnotherFedFan

    YetAnotherFedFan Legend

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    Tennis is a game of momentum and confidence and the Big 3 robbed them of that, so yeah they were unlucky.
     
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  16. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict Bionic Poster

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    There is a reason why 2014-16 is regarded as the worst possible weak era.

    2017-18 is also bad, but Grandpa Fed, Oldal and a undistinguishable Djok are not able to take full advantage given their mileage and the next gen is taking partial advantage winning masters events
     
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  17. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    all good points... but is the exact same people consistently in the top 5 really the norm? look at the 90s for example, Sampras was consistently top 3 but was the rest of the top 5 always the same?

    So imagine just putting these 4 on top of a typical average generation
     
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  18. Omega_7000

    Omega_7000 Legend

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    They suck...They don't lose to all time greats only. They lose to lower ranked players very often too...
     
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  19. Alba Barragan

    Alba Barragan Semi-Pro

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    I think it's a bit of both. Undoubtedly they have been very unlucky to have to play in the era of the big 4 (or 3, whatever you want to see it) who swept almost all the big trophies. However, if it were only that, today, when the big 4 are on their way out and they're supposed to be on the peak of their physical efficiency (mid-late 20s), they should be taking advantage of the moment and be winning all the tournaments the big 4 aren't winning, and that's not happening. They're not only losing against the big 4, they continue to choke matches against other players, even losing to players outside the top 20, they still don't have consistent results and can barely make deep runs in some tournaments from time to time... the fact that a 21-year-old with a game far from being the most complete is ranked above them says a lot about their level, and most importantly, their mentality.
     
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  20. Hyde

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    So what about the years 1993-1995 (Thiem, Kyrgios etc). Are they also part of the lost gen? They haven‘t achieved more than Nishikori or Raonic and I‘m not sure if they ever will.
     
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  21. George Turner

    George Turner Hall of Fame

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    The lost gen sucked. But it's harsh to blame the "big three" (Raonic, Nishi and Dimi) for it.

    They were the best of a bad generation of players, so they got overhyped cos we were desperate for fresh blood.

    Nishi got crazy hype after beating Nole in the US open, which was a one in a career performance for him. But because of that one day he got the crazy hype, the fact he laid an egg in the final was largely overlooked when hyping him up. Nishi simply doesn't have the game to consistently play at that standard, nor do Dimi or Raonic.

    Blaming the big four doesn't make sense because the lost gen have never been consistent enough against the other players either. it was a generation of players that didn't have a single world class player. That's the bottom line unfortunately.

    Raonic, Nishikori and Dimi each have one major final. So do Berdych, Tsonga and Ferrer. the latter group have more major semi finals aswell. Which proves my point, the lost gen didn't have anyone better than those gatekeepers of the big four era.
     
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  22. reaper

    reaper Legend

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    You're a year out. 1993-96...
     
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  23. Abhinandan

    Abhinandan Professional

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    When was that?
     
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  24. reaper

    reaper Legend

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    Not really...Cilic and Wawrinka should have been robbed of confidence and momentum if that were the case.
     
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  25. George Turner

    George Turner Hall of Fame

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    Ahhh phuck, my mistake. Though Dimi did land the WTF's which is worth more than being a major runner up.

    My point stall stands that it's not really the big fours fault. If Cilic can win a major, there's no excuse for the lost gen other than they weren't quite good enough.

    Ferrer, Berdych and Tsonga lost many more times to the big four, they have more cause to blame them.
     
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  26. AnOctorokForDinner

    AnOctorokForDinner Hall of Fame

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    Top 5 no, top 10 (as per the post you've quoted) yes. Chang spent about 6 consecutive years in top 10; Ivanisevic also 6 (barring a few weeks); Courier only 3+1, but 2 of them in top 2; Kafelnikov 7 years (didn't know that, huh); Stich 1+2 years (i.e. one year consecutively, then a gap, then two more consecutive years); Rafter two years in the top 5 (stopped by injury); Muster only 2 years, but they were insanely prolific.

    Right now we have three muggens in the top 10: Dimitrough, Thiemmy and Goffin. Greg and Dave couldn't even make the top 10 consistently (barely a few months) until the current mugzeit helped (since last year). Thiem has been securely in the top 10 since RG '16 - with him, the problem is that it's his claycourt prowess keeping him there, while HC/grass results continue to be disappointing; he's like the classic claycourter, which is silly in today's homugenised landscape.
     
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  27. YetAnotherFedFan

    YetAnotherFedFan Legend

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    Well Wawrinka’s glory came right at the end of his career so let’s judge them when it’s over for them. As for Cilic he had his breakthrough against Nishikori, they both couldn’t win the same slam, could they?
     
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  28. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    Dunno, I kind of left the definitions vague.

    I think they are?
     
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  29. Hyde

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    Yeah but I thought maybe 1996 is still too early to judge. We don‘t know how guys like Chung or Coric will develop. They are still next gen. Even Kyrgios is, but I think we can already say that he doesn‘t have the personality to make it to the top.

    But Thiem is clearly lost gen for me. He turns 25 this year. Nishikori reached his first slam final at 24, Raonic at 25. Thiem still hasn‘t reached a slam final. He also didn‘t win a Masters until now.

    So for me Thiem is in the same tier as Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  30. reaper

    reaper Legend

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    Yes but you don't just play a final to win a slam. Cilic won in straight sets in the quarters, semi against Federer then the final, so it's not as though he just struck a bit of luck in the draw. It's possible one of these lost gen guys could do a Wawrinka and go on a late career spree, but it is a low percentage play. I don't think any other player has ever done it?
     
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  31. Hyde

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    Lol 2017-2018 is much worse than the years before. Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka are practically non-existent since 2017, and Nadal is the only one out of the big four who is better now than he was before 2017
     
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  32. reaper

    reaper Legend

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    It's getting a bit late in the day for guys born in 1996. Not because they haven't won slams, that can come later but their rankings don't reflect any great ability. Kyrgios might have the talent but seems short on application and pain tolerance, Coric has a career high ranking of 28, while Chung must know he has a weakness with his serve but shows no sign of remodeling it. Younger players look likely to breeze past them.
     
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  33. Hyde

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    I never understood why anyone would be „desperate for fresh blood“ from the years 1989-1991 because they are bored by 1986-87. I mean, there is a 2-year age difference between Djokovic/Murray and Nishikori. Why would anyone want to have „fresh blood“ after 2 years? That‘s more reasonable after minimum 5-6 years and that would be the years 1992-1994. Not Nishikori or Raonic, who are two years younger than Djokovic.
     
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  34. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict Bionic Poster

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    2017-18 is not really talked as a weak era as the 2 players at the top are already ancient in tennis terms .

    They are weak to begin with in terms of their potential
     
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  35. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Federer, Nadal and Djokovic will go down as three of the top ten players of all time. Murray and Wawrinka, while not ATG, are also shoo-ins for the Hall of Fame. Wawrinka has be a little up and down but, with some recent exceptions, the others have all had unusual consistency and longevity. By any measure this has been not only a "strong generation" but truly unique in tennis history. I see the lost generation as being more unlucky in having to deal with the unique generation than weak. After all, the unique generation also had some extremely talented players who weren't able to achieve Hall of Fame resume's because of the unique strength of the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray/Wawrinka generation. Players like Tsonga, Monfils and Davydenko come to mind.
     
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  36. George Turner

    George Turner Hall of Fame

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    The big four had won for years unchallenged, people wanted to see some new players who could challenge them for the sake of Variety. No exciting teenage sensations were emerging so we ended up latching on to the best players who weren't Berdych/Ferrer etc. When a teenager did emerge in Kyrgios everyone jumped straight on the bandwagon until it became clear he didn't have the mentality to fulfill his potential.

    Although the hate Zvrv receives here remains a mystery to me, if he'd emerged five years earlier to threaten the big four i think he'd have a bit more support, rather than when the big four are in the late stages of their career.
     
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  37. Hyde

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    Yeah but if players dominate the sport for like 6-7 years, you can‘t expect that a player who is just 2 years younger than them (and already in his mid-20s, like Nishikori was in his 2014 break-through year) to suddenly overtake them. That‘s just not realistic. Nishikori is basically in the same age group as Djokovic, Murray and Nadal, so you can‘t expect „fresh blood“ from him after years of dominance from the mentioned guys.
     
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  38. Raz11

    Raz11 Semi-Pro

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    Between 2014 to 2016, Nishikori had around 85% win rate against everyone else outside the Big 4.Don't think anyone else in the past 10 years other than Ferrer between 2011 and 2013 (84%) has won this much against the rest of the field. Not even Zverev has been winning that much since last year and his success has only came after the big 4 has dropped off which something Ferrer and Nishikori didn't have the luxury of. (Though Zverev is still relatively young so who knows)
     
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  39. Sudacafan

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  40. BrokenGears

    BrokenGears Hall of Fame

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    How much does one have to boost Fed?

    The lostGen are better than the nextGen. 2017-2018 is 10x worse than 2014-2016.

     
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  41. Shaolin

    Shaolin G.O.A.T.

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    If they didn't suck they wouldn't have been "robbed" in the first place.
     
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  42. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict Bionic Poster

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    It is like comparing horse poop with dog poop. Both are poop.
     
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  43. mike danny

    mike danny Talk Tennis Guru

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    Dimi unfortunately doesn't have a major final. He has 2 semis. But he is still the best player of the Lost Gen thanks to his Cincy and WTF titles.
     
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  44. mike danny

    mike danny Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thiem is a member of the Lost Gen, who simply made a name of himself a bit later. He isn't Next Gen.
     
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  45. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    Best in terms of accomplishments, which came in 2017, in tournaments where the big 4 weren't factors. Nishikori and Raonic were better players overall but both suffered from injuries at ~27, which made for bad timing.
     
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  46. mike danny

    mike danny Talk Tennis Guru

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    Which proves that Nishikori wasn't unlucky because of the Big 4. He had the opportunity of a lifetime that guys like Gonzalez, Raonic, Baghdatis never had: to face a non-Big 4 player in a slam final. He still couldn't capitalize.

    Not to mention that he has gone past the QF's of a major just twice in his career. Surely the Big 4 can't be blamed for that.
     
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  47. mike danny

    mike danny Talk Tennis Guru

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    Accomplishments is what you judge a player by at the end of the day.

    I can also say that Raonic and Nishikori were also more fortunate than Dimitrov to reach their slam finals, especially Raonic. Dimitrov got tough opponents in both of his slam semifinals.
     
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  48. EloQuent

    EloQuent Legend

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    Sure, but it is relevant to the question of the quality of the generation. Why did Dimitrov have his best season in 2017? Did he improve then, or was his timing good?
     
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  49. mike danny

    mike danny Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, he did improve on his 2015-2016 level, which was deplorable. His timing, of course, was also spot on. But Raonic's timing was also brilliant. He reached his only slam final in one of the weakest years ever.

    At the end of the day Dimitrov deserves to be the best of his generation because he is the healthiest. Nishikori and Raonic are just unreliable, especially Raonic.
     
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  50. Hyde

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    If you wanted to win a slam, 2016 was everything but a good timing. In first half of 2016, Djokovic was still in his goat/record-breaking-form, and in the second half of 2016 Murray had the run of his life, winning basically everything.

    So everything you could do in that year was to reach a final. Raonic did.
     
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