First time since 1973 no American men ranked in the top-30

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Last year I know that recreational tennis participation increased noticeably in the US (quite a few people I know in person in the country took up the sport themselves, signed their kids up for lessons etc), due to it being one most of the most suitable sports to play during COVID, for social distancing etc.

When it comes to 'serious participation', i.e. juniors vying to move through the ranks and turn pro, it would be interesting to see numbers by gender. Given that tennis has clearly been the no. 1 sport for women for a long time (I'd assume that eventually football / soccer will take that mantle), while for the men the financial disparity between team sports (and golf) and tennis has continued to widen considerably over time, I'd assume that far more girls play the sport on a regular basis than boys.
 
It turns out head trauma is not good for your short or long-term health so more parents don't want their kids playing football. I don't know there is evidence that American kids in general are any lazier than kids from elsewhere.



Plenty of evidence. U.S. Has the highest obesity rate among kids in the world.
 

Thriller

Professional
They should teach their kids on clay so they develop an all round game, fitness, balanced movement and understand how to patiently construct points form a very early age.
The days where you could get quite far with 'go hard or go home' big serve and forehand tennis are over. The Europeans who all grew up on red clay are technically sound and it's not like the old days. Their games translate to all surfaces now.
Pretty much with all the North American men, if they are not having a great serving day they are 2nd favourites. Technically they don't compare to the Europeans and South Americans.

I think it is interesting that the serve is less dominant in the women's game and not coincidentally (imo) the North Amercian women generally have developed better balanced games, perhaps with fewer outstanding strengths, but fewer outstanding weaknesses also relative to their European and South American colleagues.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Never thought I’d see the day Canadian tennis can clown on American tennis lol

Truth about the US is that their youth today are too busy trying to look good on social media, cry about first world problems, and wanting to receive maximum benefits while doing none of the work to earn it
 

JackSockIsTheBest

Professional
Never thought I’d see the day Canadian tennis can clown on American tennis lol

Truth about the US is that their youth today are too obsessed with looking good on social media and wanting to receive maximum benefits while doing none of the work to earn it
Yeah I see it on social media all the time with my friends & classmates, it's sad honestly but there are some who I know that work really hard in their respective sports.
 

Thriller

Professional
Never thought I’d see the day Canadian tennis can clown on American tennis lol

Truth about the US is that their youth today are too busy trying to look good on social media, cry about first world problems, and wanting to receive maximum benefits while doing none of the work to earn it
That's a cop out. You could be describing Tsitsipas or Zverev, both are future slam winners and World No. 1s never mind breaking the Top 30.
The problems with US mens tennis are technical.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
Truth about the US is that their youth today are too busy trying to look good on social media, cry about first world problems, and wanting to receive maximum benefits while doing none of the work to earn it

They're actually too busy playing other sports. Young American male athletic prodigies would be foolish to pursue tennis because it presents lesser odds of success and far lesser financial incentive to 'go pro.'

American ladies on the other hand have some of their best prospects for athletic success in tennis. That is why there are more American women ranked in the top-100 than any other country by far.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Didn't they always have many other sporting options?

Or do you mean that those sports now pay proportionately more than tennis, when they never used to?
Organized team sports at the pro level all have strong players’ union that have negotiated higher salaries and superior benefits for their members. It doesn’t make dollars and sense to be an independent subcontractor in a shrinking sport when the young man (predominantly male profile for this business formula) can warm the bench for a pro sports franchise and get paid, be taken care of and build a pension for his post-playing days no matter how well the team does.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
"It's a rough statistic but it's been a long & steady slide from the last glory days of Sampras, Agassi, Courier & Chang".

Hate that he doesn't include Roddick. After all, Roddick was the last American man to win a Slam and be ranked world #1. Hardly insignificant achievements! o_O
he doesn't include him because he wasn't part of that generation, which was the last time the US was a dominant force in tennis in that sense.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Organized team sports at the pro level all have strong players’ union that have negotiated higher salaries and superior benefits for their members. It doesn’t make dollars and sense to be an independent subcontractor in a shrinking sport when the young man (predominantly male profile for this business formula) can warm the bench for a pro sports franchise and get paid, be taken care of and build a pension for his post-playing days no matter how well the team does.
Understood - I wonder why this is so much the case in the US vs other countries though? I.e. why don’t many European sportsmen become football (soccer) players rather than tennis players?
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Understood - I wonder why this is so much the case in the US vs other countries though? I.e. why don’t many European sportsmen become football (soccer) players rather than tennis players?
They do! Did you watch the video made by the German born pro now in Florida. He mentioned that tennis and other sports are promoted locally in Germany at club level. Those clubs operate youth academies for football as well as tennis.

The one major difference that became obvious a few weeks ago with the failed super league is that a strong players’ union does not exist. That was a unilateral money grab move by owners. You can’t add a single game to the schedule in any of the NA pro sports leagues without the unions signing off on the change in their collective bargaining contracts with the league and its owners.

Likewise, I’m not sure what benefits are included in player agreements with any of the European team sports leagues. I have a sneaky feeling that the reason so many American team owners have dived into the EPL is that the potential ROI is higher because there are lower levels of pay and benefits.
 
Never thought I’d see the day Canadian tennis can clown on American tennis lol

Truth about the US is that their youth today are too busy trying to look good on social media, cry about first world problems, and wanting to receive maximum benefits while doing none of the work to earn it
LOL. Was waiting until we finally got to the point in this thread where we'd hear something along the lines of "these youngsters are just eating avocado toast, posting dances on TikTok, and ruining US professional tennis in the process. Back in my day I'd walk uphill both ways to school in the snow and understood the value of hard work yada yada yada"

congrats, we've done it. we've solved the problem. take away the participation trophies and those damn cell phones and all will be well once again...right? :rolleyes: [edit: /sarcasm]
 
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Crazy Finn

Professional
I'm pretty sure cell phones exist elsewhere in the world.

I have no idea about the prevalence of participation trophies.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
LOL. Was waiting until we finally got to the point in this thread where we'd hear something along the lines of "these youngsters are just eating avocado toast, posting dances on TikTok, and ruining US professional tennis in the process. Back in my day I'd walk uphill both ways to school in the snow and understood the value of hard work yada yada yada"

congrats, we've done it. we've solved the problem. take away the participation trophies and those damn cell phones and all will be well once again...right? :rolleyes:
No. Those generations are too far gone. America is just in hospice care on all fronts, waiting for the flatline. It was a good run, but the cavalry's not coming. The boomers crippled it mentally and physically to ensure they stayed in power till death. That plan worked for them, but ended American relevance at virtually everything moving forward.

Anyway, hardly surprising no yanks are in the top 30, and a minor miracle any are in the top 100 at all. Have you seen on youtube what passes for 4.5 these days? That's supposed to be well above 90th percentile tennis, and those guys can't bunt the ball in bounds any more. Tennis is dead as a doornail over here. There's no depth to the talent pool, and no way for kids to get better. The "elite" are getting plucked out of a group of no-talents. It's just one of about a million ways we're the laughing stock of the rest of the world.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I guess a major difference between the USA and numerous countries in Europe, is that in the USA there are several sporting leagues that offer absolutely huge salaries. The average salary in the NHL is around $2.7 million per year with further steep increases as you get to the MLB, NFL and then NBA which has the highest average salary of any sporting league in the world. In many countries in Europe, the top football leagues pay huge salaries but there is typically a huge drop off when you look at other sporting leagues.

The average salary of rugby players in the leagues in England and France, basketball players in the league in Spain and in the EuroLeague in general etc. are very good, and certainly on a net level minus expenses would surely fairly comfortably top what players finishing in the lower reaches of the ATP top 100 would earn in a year. However they don't come remotely close to the average salary of players in the NHL, let alone those in the NBA, NFL or MLB. In-fact they don't even come close to the minimum salary of players in any of those leagues. The players earning the absolute minimum salary in the NHL (let alone in those other 3 leagues) would make considerably more money in a year gross, before you even consider expenses, than the players finishing in at least the bottom quarter of the ATP top 100 would.

I'd assume (without having seen the figures so I could be completely wrong) that the average salary in the MLS would be higher than that in most non-football sporting leagues in Europe (within football I'd assume that the 2nd tier league in England the Championship would pay higher salaries on average than the MLS), and of course again far more (especially net) than what most tennis players could ever dream of earning in a year.
 
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ibbi

Legend
Wasn't all that long ago it was 'in the top 20' everyone was bemoaning, now it's top 30. Where will the slide end???
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Y'all got it wrong even when you gave the right answer of money, cuz you Big 3 fanboys ain't taking into account how tennis historically compares to other major sports. Here, I'll educate you jokers one more time.

Tennis fared quite well in the early Open Era, when the prize money of top (male) players used to be quite comparable to the salary of their soccer/NBA/MLB peers and well above the NFL (Dick Brutus' 5-year $575k deal in '73 was considered news at the time) or NHL ceiling*. Actually scratch that, Laver's record $292,717 in '71 was higher than Wilt Chamberlain's $250k from 1968-73 or Hank Aaron's $240k in '75 and '76 and dwarfed Luigi Riva's £60k in '70 - clearly falling short of only Pele's historic 3-year $2.8 million contract with the NY Cosmos four years later in '75 which made him the highest-paid athlete period - while Borg's own record-breaking $1 million+ in '79 (though a WaPo article on 1/14/80 calls Mac's $1,021,745 tops for the year) compares favorably with Nolan Ryan's $1.17 million in '79 (the first time a pro in the North American leagues topped the $1 mil mark, sans incentives or deferred money), Moses Malone/Kareem/Magic's** $1 million as late as '81, and OJ Simpson's $733,400 in '78 and $806,668 in '79 or Archie Manning's $600k in '81. (I should add that Giuseppe Savoldi became the first million pound soccer/football player in '75 when he was transferred to for 2 billion lira or £1.2 million which equaled roughly $2.4 million, though this seems to be the whole package rather than his salary only.)

Fast forward to today and even Novak's $14,138,824 prize money in '16 is barely comparable to the salary of his NHL counterpart and far below the NBA/MLB/NFL leader's, to say nothing of Messi's recent bombshell $167 million (yes I understand not all of that strictly qualifies as "salary"). Fed topping the annual Forbes list means nothing as almost all of his $106.3 million last year came from endorsements. That's just not a viable career path for the vast majority of pro athletes, which may well be the biggest reason why American men have been sucking at tennis unlike their female peers for whom the sport continues to offer high returns on investment. And while the North American sports leagues have never been more open to foreign athletes being part of the NCAA system still gives you a huge leg up, hence the disparity in men's tennis.

Also don't forget there are more career opportunities and distractions now than ever. Of course that's true just about everywhere, but tennis probably faces more of these "competitors" in the US than in any other country. Put 'em all together and you've got the precipitous decline in American men's tennis.

*For comparison the average NBA salary in '70 (I'm guessing 1969-70) was $35k and $90k in 1971-72 vs. $173,500 in 1979-80, $189k in 1980-81, $218k in 1981-82 and $246k in 1982-83. The MLB's came second, from $31,543 in '71 to $241,497 in '82. By contrast the NFL paid out just $25k in '69 and $68,893 in '79 on average, while the NHL could manage only $18k in '70 but over $100k in '79. The historical average at least in English soccer/football is more extreme, from a mere £20 a week in '61 to £1k or roughly an annual $68k in '85 (the weekly calculation seems to be a thing in soccer).

**Several secondhand articles/blog posts say Malone was the 1st NBA player to earn $1 mil a year, but I wasn't able to find an authoritative source verifying that. Also a 1985 LA Times article says Magic was the highest NBA earner with $2.5 million, which is seconded by Wiki's list of NBA salary leaders since 1984-85, so the Lakers must have accelerated that weird contract for Magic at some point.

One more thing:

And he's rich and in Charlotte which is an awesome city :D
Charlotte is indeed awesome. I'll just quote me-self from 3 yrs ago:

Having said that let me give a shout-out to a name that will probably not cross your mind: Charlotte, North Carolina. Took an overnight trip there a couple years ago (while en route to Atlanta), and was very pleasantly surprised by how cozy and clean the whole place was. From the suburbs (where my bud and I stayed) you could easily commute to a downtown district by metro in a matter of minutes, and despite its cosmopolitanism it also offers a healthy dose of the proverbial Southern hospitality (the people we met were all remarkably friendly). No wonder it's consistently voted among the most livable cities in the US (or anywhere). Next time you're stuck at the Charlotte Douglas airport try to make some time to explore its environs.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Average salaries:
NBA - $8.32 million
MLB - $4.03 million
NFL - $3.26 million
NHL - $2.69 million
MLS - $345k

Minimum salaries:
NBA - $925k
NHL - $750k
NFL - $660k
MLB - $550k
MLS - $81k

I don't know how accurate those MLS figures are as the salary rules in the league look quite complicated (well to me), especially in terms of designated, non-designated players etc.

But every single player in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB makes more money gross than numerous players finishing in the ATP top 100 (the top 100, well top 104 is a very big deal in tennis as that guarantees direct entry into all 4 grand slam main draws each year) would do in a year, and net minus expenses the disparity increases noticeably more. Even an average salary in the MLS (which isn't even the best football / soccer league in the CONCACAF region as the Mexican Liga MX is clearly superior as highlighted by CONCACAF Champions League results every year), isn't exactly paltry.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Y'all got it wrong even when you gave the right answer of money, cuz you Big 3 fanboys ain't taking into account how tennis historically compares to other major sports. Here, I'll educate you jokers one more time.

Tennis fared quite well in the early Open Era, when the prize money of top (male) players used to be quite comparable to the salary of their soccer/NBA/MLB peers and well above the NFL (Dick Brutus' 5-year $575k deal in '73 was considered news at the time) or NHL ceiling*. Actually scratch that, Laver's record $292,717 in '71 was higher than Wilt Chamberlain's $250k from 1968-73 or Hank Aaron's $240k in '75 and '76 and dwarfed Luigi Riva's £60k in '70 - clearly falling short of only Pele's historic 3-year $2.8 million contract with the NY Cosmos four years later in '75 which made him the highest-paid athlete period - while Borg's own record-breaking $1 million+ in '79 (though a WaPo article on 1/14/80 calls Mac's $1,021,745 tops for the year) compares favorably with Nolan Ryan's $1.17 million in '79 (the first time a pro in the North American leagues topped the $1 mil mark, sans incentives or deferred money), Moses Malone/Kareem/Magic's** $1 million as late as '81, and OJ Simpson's $733,400 in '78 and $806,668 in '79 or Archie Manning's $600k in '81. (I should add that Giuseppe Savoldi became the first million pound soccer/football player in '75 when he was transferred to for 2 billion lira or £1.2 million which equaled roughly $2.4 million, though this seems to be the whole package rather than his salary only.)

Fast forward to today and even Novak's $14,138,824 prize money in '16 is barely comparable to the salary of his NHL counterpart and far below the NBA/MLB/NFL leader's, to say nothing of Messi's recent bombshell $167 million (yes I understand not all of that strictly qualifies as "salary"). Fed topping the annual Forbes list means nothing as almost all of his $106.3 million last year came from endorsements. That's just not a viable career path for the vast majority of pro athletes, which may well be the biggest reason why American men have been sucking at tennis unlike their female peers for whom the sport continues to offer high returns on investment. And while the North American sports leagues have never been more open to foreign athletes being part of the NCAA system still gives you a huge leg up, hence the disparity in men's tennis.

Also don't forget there are more career opportunities and distractions now than ever. Of course that's true just about everywhere, but tennis probably faces more of these "competitors" in the US than in any other country. Put 'em all together and you've got the precipitous decline in American men's tennis.

*For comparison the average NBA salary in '70 (I'm guessing 1969-70) was $35k and $90k in 1971-72 vs. $173,500 in 1979-80, $189k in 1980-81, $218k in 1981-82 and $246k in 1982-83. The MLB's came second, from $31,543 in '71 to $241,497 in '82. By contrast the NFL paid out just $25k in '69 and $68,893 in '79 on average, while the NHL could manage only $18k in '70 but over $100k in '79. The historical average at least in English soccer/football is more extreme, from a mere £20 a week in '61 to £1k or roughly an annual $68k in '85 (the weekly calculation seems to be a thing in soccer).

**Several secondhand articles/blog posts say Malone was the 1st NBA player to earn $1 mil a year, but I wasn't able to find an authoritative source verifying that. Also a 1985 LA Times article says Magic was the highest NBA earner with $2.5 million, which is seconded by Wiki's list of NBA salary leaders since 1984-85, so the Lakers must have accelerated that weird contract for Magic at some point.

One more thing:



Charlotte is indeed awesome. I'll just quote me-self from 3 yrs ago:
Yep Charlotte is epic af. Will be there later this week visiting family. Miss my hometown lol, only Epiclando could pull me away. Hope u get to go again for more than a day sometime
 

mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
You don't think "Mahesh America Great Again" works?
English is not even my second preferred language - even I know that this does not work as a sentence or as a slogan. If it is your first language and you think this sentence works, then it is a scathing indictment of the quality of education you have had.
 
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