For the first time in 40 years, there will be no American men in the top 20

Walenty

Professional
Due to Isner's early loss in Canada, he'll fall out of the top 20 starting on Monday.

I wonder how long the American drought will last now that Roddick's gone.
 

Zildite

Hall of Fame
Well there is still an American citizen there (Haas) :)
Didn't realise the 3rd ranked USA player is Jack Sock.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
If it was 20+ years ago, some current American players would definitely make the top 20. Today the international are much better than in the past which left the US behind. Australia in the 60s dominated the sport, but eventually they also fall because tennis was increasing getting better in the 70s plus the establishment of the ATP that all got tennis expand world wide at a rapid pace.
 

Morj

Semi-Pro
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.
Actually, soccer is more popular in America than it has ever been. The national team has more depth than it's ever had, with several players playing in top leagues abroad.

Also, NBC just bought the rights to show English Premier League matches next season, and the Seattle Sounders are expecting a sellout crowd of about 66,000 to see Clint Dempsey's first game after transferring back to the US.

I'm starting to wonder if soccer is draining talent from the same pool that tennis relies on. In many parts of the country (though not all), both sports have similar demographics. Also, the rise of US soccer seems to correlate with the fall of US tennis.
 

Morj

Semi-Pro
Actually, soccer is more popular in America than it has ever been. The national team has more depth than it's ever had, with several players playing in top leagues abroad.

Also, NBC just bought the rights to show English Premier League matches next season, and the Seattle Sounders are expecting a sellout crowd of about 66,000 to see Clint Dempsey's first game after transferring back to the US.

I'm starting to wonder if soccer is draining talent from the same pool that tennis relies on. In many parts of the country (though not all), both sports have similar demographics. Also, the rise of US soccer seems to correlate with the fall of US tennis.
Sorry, I guess I wasn't accurate. But I will point out that this does support the effect I'm talking about. When Americans have top players in a sport, then they have more interest in it (which is natural). Since as you say, currently there are more top American soccer players, interest in the sport goes up and more athletes choose soccer. So the popularity feeds itself.

In the past decades, tennis had more American top players so interest in the sport was higher in the US and more quality athletes went into tennis. However, after Sampras/Agassi became less dominant, US interest in tennis dropped and less quality athletes entered the sport. And without new top American players emerging to boost interest, the effect will continue.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
Sorry, I guess I wasn't accurate. But I will point out that this does support the effect I'm talking about. When Americans have top players in a sport, then they have more interest in it (which is natural). Since as you say, currently there are more top American soccer players, interest in the sport goes up and more athletes choose soccer. So the popularity feeds itself.

In the past decades, tennis had more American top players so interest in the sport was higher in the US and more quality athletes went into tennis. However, after Sampras/Agassi became less dominant, US interest in tennis dropped and less quality athletes entered the sport. And without new top American players emerging to boost interest, the effect will continue.
Actually, soccer got popular first in terms of participation before the US became a strong team. The guys on the national team in the mid- to late-90's grew up at a time when the US team couldn't even qualify for the World Cup. Even quite a few of the current older players got started before the US hosted the World Cup and finally got a team capable of producing good results.

Also, if having top players around inspires future players, then the US should have had another golden generation around Roddick's age, since all of those players would have grown up watching Chang, Courier, Agassi, and Sampras in their prime.
 
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veroniquem

Bionic Poster
American tennis (male) has completely collapsed. Hard to believe after being in the forefront for so many years :(
 

timnz

Legend
Well there is still an American citizen there (Haas) :)
Didn't realise the 3rd ranked USA player is Jack Sock.
I have seen this in the media about there being no American man in the top 20. Why is not Haas included in 'American Men'? He is an american citizen. Surely that is enough. Well there may be those who say, well he was born in Germany...well so was John McEnroe. Still others will say, well he wasn't developed in America...but.....where is bolleteri's again?

Can't understand why Haas isn't listed as an American. (Yes he has dual citizenship - but so do a lot of people)
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.
I really can't understand this argument which is brought in each discussion regarding the state of US tennis. Two reasons:

1) How do you think it work in other countries? Tennis is nowhere one of the top sport.

2) Why do you give so much importance at the good athlete thing? Are sports so similar that the requiere close skill set and the same body caracterisitcs? Could Michael Phelps have been a great tennis player, if tennis had been more popular than swimming?
 

Zildite

Hall of Fame
I have seen this in the media about there being no American man in the top 20. Why is not Haas included in 'American Men'? He is an american citizen. Surely that is enough. Well there may be those who say, well he was born in Germany...well so was John McEnroe. Still others will say, well he wasn't developed in America...but.....where is bolleteri's again?

Can't understand why Haas isn't listed as an American. (Yes he has dual citizenship - but so do a lot of people)
The player gets to choose what country shows up beside their name in these cases right, like Sharapova is still Russian, Dokic changed to Australia...
Haas wants to keep it German, he will be treated as a German.
 

m2nk2

Hall of Fame
It always goes in cycles though. Sweden in the 80s with a population of 6-7 million had 7 players among the top 20 and won Davis Cup a number of times as well as some 25 Grand Slams.

Now our best player is ranked around 500...
 

pound cat

G.O.A.T.
I have seen this in the media about there being no American man in the top 20. Why is not Haas included in 'American Men'? He is an american citizen. Surely that is enough. Well there may be those who say, well he was born in Germany...well so was John McEnroe. Still others will say, well he wasn't developed in America...but.....where is bolleteri's again?

Can't understand why Haas isn't listed as an American. (Yes he has dual citizenship - but so do a lot of people)
Haas is German and he plays for Germany always has, always will.
 

ricki

Hall of Fame
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.
Thats not true - kids start playing tennis at age below 10. At that age it is too early to know if that kid will be good in baseball, basketball or tennis. Not talking about american football...
 

sundaypunch

Hall of Fame
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.

Also, consider this-

The average salary of a major league baseball player is well over $3 million. There are at least 1000 available spots to be in this club. You play only in the USA and your travel expenses are paid for by your team.

If you are a parent and dream of your kid being a professional athlete, how attractive is tennis compared to baseball or football?
 
It always goes in cycles though. Sweden in the 80s with a population of 6-7 million had 7 players among the top 20 and won Davis Cup a number of times as well as some 25 Grand Slams.

Now our best player is ranked around 500...
My Gawd... Markus Eriksson, #487. I never realised it was that bad. The Borg effect has well and truly vanished.
:(

I remember reading about how Sweden had loads of indoor tennis facilities in the '80s because of the boom in the sport ~ something like four times as many as the UK, even though we had about 10x the population. Do you know what's happened to all of them?


Regards,
MDL
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.
I don't think that "better" athletes, whatever that means in this context, choose other sports over tennis.

I do think that more young people choose other sports over tennis for many reasons, some of which you have touched upon.

With tennis in particular it's a numbers game. All it takes is 2-4 great players from the US and tennis would be super hot here. If you have a large base of people playing tennis, your odds increase tremendously that you end up with a couple outliers who reach the highest levels.

Also, keep in mind that football in particular, but also baseball to a degree, are largely American (or North American) sports, which means that the majority of the players and the stars are also American. When it comes to sports, Americans are a bit odd in that most of them don't have a true love for the particular sport. They tend to like a combination of (i) the very highest levels of the sport plus (ii) domination of the highest levels by Americans.
 

MindoverMatter

Professional
Haas is German and he plays for Germany always has, always will.
Interestingly, that's not quite true. When Haas received his dual citizenship back in 2010, he changed his affiliation to American for a few months. I also believe there was some tennis event somewhere (world team tennis? world tennis challenge?) where Haas filled in for another American to play with McEnroe for America.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I don't think that "better" athletes, whatever that means in this context, choose other sports over tennis.

I do think that more young people choose other sports over tennis for many reasons, some of which you have touched upon.


With tennis in particular it's a numbers game. All it takes is 2-4 great players from the US and tennis would be super hot here. If you have a large base of people playing tennis, your odds increase tremendously that you end up with a couple outliers who reach the highest levels.
I agree with that, but how does it explain the states of tennis in USA? What was the popularity of tennis in Switzerland before Hingis and Federer? It was so low, it had so few practicants that I never had the idea to interest myself in it when I was a kid. Soccer, hockey, skiing, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, cycling, I tried because I knew people who were doing them. But tennis? I had to wait to have my grandmother being crazy about Hingis and Federer to pay attention to it and finally get into it.

So I garantee you that tennis is not big in Switzerland, and it was even less before Hingis and Federer. Yet, Federer, Hingis, Schnyder, Wawrinka, have emerged.

I believe it's even worse than here in Serbia and Spain. I would like to know the opinion of the serbians and spanish about it. Maybe I'm completely wrong and simply come from a social class who isn't interested in tennis.
 

pmerk34

Legend
I don't think that "better" athletes, whatever that means in this context, choose other sports over tennis.

I do think that more young people choose other sports over tennis for many reasons, some of which you have touched upon.

With tennis in particular it's a numbers game. All it takes is 2-4 great players from the US and tennis would be super hot here. If you have a large base of people playing tennis, your odds increase tremendously that you end up with a couple outliers who reach the highest levels.

Also, keep in mind that football in particular, but also baseball to a degree, are largely American (or North American) sports, which means that the majority of the players and the stars are also American. When it comes to sports, Americans are a bit odd in that most of them don't have a true love for the particular sport. They tend to like a combination of (i) the very highest levels of the sport plus (ii) domination of the highest levels by Americans.
I love tennis but as an American I freely acknowledge that I have more interest when American players are doing well.
 

Sorana fan

Banned
Actually, soccer is more popular in America than it has ever been. The national team has more depth than it's ever had, with several players playing in top leagues abroad.

Also, NBC just bought the rights to show English Premier League matches next season, and the Seattle Sounders are expecting a sellout crowd of about 66,000 to see Clint Dempsey's first game after transferring back to the US.

I'm starting to wonder if soccer is draining talent from the same pool that tennis relies on. In many parts of the country (though not all), both sports have similar demographics. Also, the rise of US soccer seems to correlate with the fall of US tennis.
What the hell is soccer? It is called FOOTBALL.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
I agree with that, but how does it explain the states of tennis in USA? What was the popularity of tennis in Switzerland before Hingis and Federer? It was so low, it had so few practicants that I never had the idea to interest myself in it when I was a kid. Soccer, hockey, skiing, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, cycling, I tried because I knew people who were doing them. But tennis? I had to wait to have my grandmother being crazy about Hingis and Federer to pay attention to it and finally get into it.

So I garantee you that tennis is not big in Switzerland, and it was even less before Hingis and Federer. Yet, Federer, Hingis, Schnyder, Wawrinka, have emerged.

I believe it's even worse than here in Serbia and Spain. I would like to know the opinion of the serbians and spanish about it. Maybe I'm completely wrong and simply come from a social class who isn't interested in tennis.
You can have outliers like Federer, Hingis and Djokovic without having huge numbers, however, it's much harder to consistently produce those outliers without huge numbers.

Also, I wouldn't really lump players like Wawrinka, Schnyder, Tipsy, Jankovic into the former group of players. As good as they are, I simply think they wouldn't register much here in the US because they weren't winning majors and getting to finals regularly.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
What the hell is soccer? It is called FOOTBALL.
The word "soccer" dates back to the 1860's and was invented by the English (who, by the way, invented the sport). It's a slang version of the word "association" and was created to differentiate what is now simply called football from other games that also had "football" in the name, mainly Rugby. In those days, the two were officially referred to as association football and Rugby football, or soccer and rugger for short.

Nowadays, it's mainly Americans and Australians who use the word "soccer" since they also have other games called "football" (Aussie Rules and American football). So, in a conversation with participants from around the world, including a number of Americans and Aussies, I find it's easier to use the word "soccer" for the sake of clarity.
 
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ollinger

G.O.A.T.
I understand presently there is no teenager in the top 200 men for the first time since rankings have been kept.
 

Goosehead

Legend
The word "soccer" dates back to the 1860's and was invented by the English (who, by the way, invented the sport). It's a slang version of the word "association" and was created to differentiate what is now simply called football from other games that also had "football" in the name, mainly Rugby. In those days, the two were officially referred to as association football and Rugby football, or soccer and rugger for short.

Nowadays, it's mainly Americans and Australians who use the word "soccer" since they also have other games called "football" (Aussie Rules and American football). So, in a conversation with participants from around the world, including a number of Americans and Aussies, I find it's easier to use the word "soccer" for the sake of clarity.
yes..'soccer' is short/slang for 'association football'..its just a by product of a lot of other sports having 'football' in their title even though technically the other sports using the 'feet' isn't the only way to hit the 'ball'

it always made me laugh how rugby and American football often call 'football' by the name 'soccer' and how many folk over here get agitated by it..in the uk some folk see people calling football 'soccer' as johnny-come-lately' fans who don't know anything about association football, but the usa is a growing market (major league soccer MLS in 17th season soon) and Australia even with the recently launched A-League..

also I remember when I was small in the late70s/early 80s..a sunday afternoon 'football' highlight programme called 'Star Soccer'..so its not as if we don't call it soccer in the uk.
 

Morj

Semi-Pro
I'm fairly certain I'm correct about the "athlete thing" and how the best natural talents in the US may not be picking tennis because it is just not popular right now. Naturally athletic people are capable of excelling in multiple sports, so it is important that Americans pick tennis. Simple proof of this is that both Federer and Nadal were very talented football players as well at a young age, and they both had to make a decision whether to pursue football or tennis as a profession. Thankfully for us they both chose tennis.

In the world, tennis is the 4th most popular sport after Football, cricket, and hockey. That is just a fact, but in the USA, tennis is behind almost everything in popularity. So, globally, young, naturally athletic kids will be interested in picking up tennis because it is a bigger sport, but in the US, its likely that potentially great athletes are not picking tennis because of the popularity issue.

I live in the United States and I can say for a fact that the US is just not as interested in global sports competition as other countries are; it prefers to focus on "american" football, basketball, and baseball. Even now that there is a rising increase in Soccer (football), its still nowhere close to American interest in its domestic sports. So I stand by my belief, that without American tennis players to cheer for the popularity of tennis in the USA will remain low, and if it remains low then young talents will not go for tennis in America.
 

m2nk2

Hall of Fame
My Gawd... Markus Eriksson, #487. I never realised it was that bad. The Borg effect has well and truly vanished.
:(

I remember reading about how Sweden had loads of indoor tennis facilities in the '80s because of the boom in the sport ~ something like four times as many as the UK, even though we had about 10x the population. Do you know what's happened to all of them?


Regards,
MDL
Yeah we have loads of indoor hard court courts as well as a number of outdoors clay courts. They are afaik still very busy, mostly with rec players though.

UK really lacks indoor courts, and the outdoor courts are to 95% tarmac. No wonder they suck at tennis :)
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
Due to Isner's early loss in Canada, he'll fall out of the top 20 starting on Monday.

I wonder how long the American drought will last now that Roddick's gone.
It will last as long as the training methods of the past 15 years stands as the forced model. In other words, the one-dimensional baseline obsessed / no understanding of the entire court will never lead to the giants of American men's tennis seen from the 90s and earlier.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
I'm fairly certain I'm correct about the "athlete thing" and how the best natural talents in the US may not be picking tennis because it is just not popular right now. Naturally athletic people are capable of excelling in multiple sports, so it is important that Americans pick tennis. Simple proof of this is that both Federer and Nadal were very talented football players as well at a young age, and they both had to make a decision whether to pursue football or tennis as a profession. Thankfully for us they both chose tennis.

In the world, tennis is the 4th most popular sport after Football, cricket, and hockey. That is just a fact, but in the USA, tennis is behind almost everything in popularity. So, globally, young, naturally athletic kids will be interested in picking up tennis because it is a bigger sport, but in the US, its likely that potentially great athletes are not picking tennis because of the popularity issue.

I live in the United States and I can say for a fact that the US is just not as interested in global sports competition as other countries are; it prefers to focus on "american" football, basketball, and baseball. Even now that there is a rising increase in Soccer (football), its still nowhere close to American interest in its domestic sports. So I stand by my belief, that without American tennis players to cheer for the popularity of tennis in the USA will remain low, and if it remains low then young talents will not go for tennis in America.
I think we might be saying the same thing.

If you're saying that, because very few kids in the US play tennis, we have way fewer of the top 20% ability kids playing tennis who might progress to being champions, then I would say I agree with you.

If you are saying that there are only a few top athletes and that those athletes would be elite in any sport, and it just so happens in America that the LeBron James' and Aaron Rodgers' of the world aren't picking tennis, then I disagree with you.
 

Morj

Semi-Pro
I think we might be saying the same thing.

If you're saying that, because very few kids in the US play tennis, we have way fewer of the top 20% ability kids playing tennis who might progress to being champions, then I would say I agree with you.

If you are saying that there are only a few top athletes and that those athletes would be elite in any sport, and it just so happens in America that the LeBron James' and Aaron Rodgers' of the world aren't picking tennis, then I disagree with you.
Sorry if I was unclear, I am saying the first thing haha
 

egn

Hall of Fame
I think this isn't so much an American problem as it is a world problem. There is no real young talent developing. Outside of Spain and France most countries are not doing all that well either. Tennis as a whole is having a problem. Janowicz was praised for making it to a semi final of a major at 22. Where as Novak Djokvoic was being criticized for having only won one major by 22 and people were wondering if he ever would again? Hewitt won his last major before he even turned 22! Federer was a major winner and top 5 player. Roddick was approaching the top ranking as well. Safin had already been number 1 and won a major at that point. Sampras was a major champ as was Agassi. I mean personally I'm sure if Roddick was still playing he could be clawing his way into the top 20 with motivation due to lack of depth and consistency among the young crowd.

Tennis youth is hitting a dry spell. People get excited for Christian Harrison and Filip Pewilo winning main tour matches at 19, when these guys aren't even ranked in the top 200. Back 5 years ago success was judged if a player had made the top 100 by 18. Just look at Novak, Rafa, Roddick, Federer, Murray, Hewitt, Safin, Guga, Agassi, Sampras, Becker, Courier, Lendl etc. etc. Find one who wasn't at least top 100 by 18 and top 30 by 19 and top 10 by 21. Not sure what is nowadays but these problems are apparent.
 

thor's hammer

Semi-Pro
Actually, soccer is more popular in America than it has ever been.
...
I'm starting to wonder if soccer is draining talent from the same pool that tennis relies on. In many parts of the country (though not all), both sports have similar demographics. Also, the rise of US soccer seems to correlate with the fall of US tennis.
I've noticed over the past dozen years or so that more and more tennis courts in apartment complexes, (likely originally built during the tennis boom in the 70's), have been converted to small soccer fields. And courts in public parks or actual tennis centers (also built in the 70's) are often poorly maintained (if at all).

Changing demographics and shrinking budgets (and interest in the game) - the only silver lining is it's easier to get a public court.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
I think this isn't so much an American problem as it is a world problem. There is no real young talent developing. Outside of Spain and France most countries are not doing all that well either. Tennis as a whole is having a problem. Janowicz was praised for making it to a semi final of a major at 22. Where as Novak Djokvoic was being criticized for having only won one major by 22 and people were wondering if he ever would again? Hewitt won his last major before he even turned 22! Federer was a major winner and top 5 player. Roddick was approaching the top ranking as well. Safin had already been number 1 and won a major at that point. Sampras was a major champ as was Agassi. I mean personally I'm sure if Roddick was still playing he could be clawing his way into the top 20 with motivation due to lack of depth and consistency among the young crowd.

Tennis youth is hitting a dry spell. People get excited for Christian Harrison and Filip Pewilo winning main tour matches at 19, when these guys aren't even ranked in the top 200. Back 5 years ago success was judged if a player had made the top 100 by 18. Just look at Novak, Rafa, Roddick, Federer, Murray, Hewitt, Safin, Guga, Agassi, Sampras, Becker, Courier, Lendl etc. etc. Find one who wasn't at least top 100 by 18 and top 30 by 19 and top 10 by 21. Not sure what is nowadays but these problems are apparent.
That's frightening.
 

skiracer55

Hall of Fame
My thoughts exactly...

It will last as long as the training methods of the past 15 years stands as the forced model. In other words, the one-dimensional baseline obsessed / no understanding of the entire court will never lead to the giants of American men's tennis seen from the 90s and earlier.
...the "big serve, big forehand, that is all you need to know" method isn't really working right now (the top 4 have more than that), but it's the current gospel according to US tennis. The next great American player needs to think outside the box, and be an all-courter or even (gasp!) a S&V star...
 

skiracer55

Hall of Fame
I don't think it's quite that cut and dried...

I think this isn't so much an American problem as it is a world problem. There is no real young talent developing. Outside of Spain and France most countries are not doing all that well either. Tennis as a whole is having a problem. Janowicz was praised for making it to a semi final of a major at 22. Where as Novak Djokvoic was being criticized for having only won one major by 22 and people were wondering if he ever would again? Hewitt won his last major before he even turned 22! Federer was a major winner and top 5 player. Roddick was approaching the top ranking as well. Safin had already been number 1 and won a major at that point. Sampras was a major champ as was Agassi. I mean personally I'm sure if Roddick was still playing he could be clawing his way into the top 20 with motivation due to lack of depth and consistency among the young crowd.

Tennis youth is hitting a dry spell. People get excited for Christian Harrison and Filip Pewilo winning main tour matches at 19, when these guys aren't even ranked in the top 200. Back 5 years ago success was judged if a player had made the top 100 by 18. Just look at Novak, Rafa, Roddick, Federer, Murray, Hewitt, Safin, Guga, Agassi, Sampras, Becker, Courier, Lendl etc. etc. Find one who wasn't at least top 100 by 18 and top 30 by 19 and top 10 by 21. Not sure what is nowadays but these problems are apparent.
...I think it's also due to today's top players being more mature physically and mentally than most of the juniors coming up (example: Tommy Haas).

But...I'd tend to agree, not a lot of young guys (women, different story...) who look like the next #1...or even #10. My guess? None of the young guys coming up are hungry enough or don't believe enough to become #1. Outside of the top 100 or so, it's only a so-so living. But if you get as high as the top 20 or 30 in the rankings, you can make a lot of $$$$, with a lot less risk of serious injury than even, say, soccer. So I'm making a good buck, traveling the world, and I didn't even have to go to college or find a real job...who cares if I ever make it to the top?
 

BeHappy

Hall of Fame
I agree with that, but how does it explain the states of tennis in USA? What was the popularity of tennis in Switzerland before Hingis and Federer? It was so low, it had so few practicants that I never had the idea to interest myself in it when I was a kid. Soccer, hockey, skiing, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, cycling, I tried because I knew people who were doing them. But tennis? I had to wait to have my grandmother being crazy about Hingis and Federer to pay attention to it and finally get into it.

So I garantee you that tennis is not big in Switzerland, and it was even less before Hingis and Federer. Yet, Federer, Hingis, Schnyder, Wawrinka, have emerged.

I believe it's even worse than here in Serbia and Spain. I would like to know the opinion of the serbians and spanish about it. Maybe I'm completely wrong and simply come from a social class who isn't interested in tennis.
Mark Rosset was a very good player.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
As an American I think this is a disgrace. I am going to quite my job, practice hard, and make the top 20 ATP just to show up the current no good crop of American ATP players. Wait, I'm 56 years old and I don't this will work. It is kind of like when I told my wife I was going to work as a gigolo when I retired to earn extra income. She said we are going to starve if that's my retirement plan.

Hopefully, there's some American talent on the way up. Geez, come on American youth. Tennis is way cooler than football, basketball and baseball and you get better looking girls too. Look at Berdych's and Tipsaravic's lady friends - very nice incentive there.
 

skiracer55

Hall of Fame
Go for it...

As an American I think this is a disgrace. I am going to quite my job, practice hard, and make the top 20 ATP just to show up the current no good crop of American ATP players. Wait, I'm 56 years old and I don't this will work. It is kind of like when I told my wife I was going to work as a gigolo when I retired to earn extra income. She said we are going to starve if that's my retirement plan.

Hopefully, there's some American talent on the way up. Geez, come on American youth. Tennis is way cooler than football, basketball and baseball and you get better looking girls too. Look at Berdych's and Tipsaravic's lady friends - very nice incentive there.
...I've had the same thoughts, and I'm 10 years older than you are. As they say in the Air Force, "Aim High"...or maybe we could make that "Get High...on tennis, that is!"
 

kiki

Banned
It's unfortunately a compounding effect. In the US, there's only mainstream interest in tennis when there are American champions. It's the same reason Basketball/Baseball are very popular here, whereas soccer(football)/tennis are not at the moment.

Because the US has so many opportunities for athletes and offers such excellent resources for sports, the best athletes will naturally go towards sports that are more popular in America. So as a result, less top-quality athletes end up in tennis.

So basically: No top american tennis players means lack of interest in the sport. Lack of interest in the sport means less quality athletes will choose tennis.
Yes, unfortunately it is just like that...and when oneself thinks about the many important players US had in the Golden Era...
 

kiki

Banned
I'm fairly certain I'm correct about the "athlete thing" and how the best natural talents in the US may not be picking tennis because it is just not popular right now. Naturally athletic people are capable of excelling in multiple sports, so it is important that Americans pick tennis. Simple proof of this is that both Federer and Nadal were very talented football players as well at a young age, and they both had to make a decision whether to pursue football or tennis as a profession. Thankfully for us they both chose tennis.

In the world, tennis is the 4th most popular sport after Football, cricket, and hockey. That is just a fact, but in the USA, tennis is behind almost everything in popularity. So, globally, young, naturally athletic kids will be interested in picking up tennis because it is a bigger sport, but in the US, its likely that potentially great athletes are not picking tennis because of the popularity issue.

I live in the United States and I can say for a fact that the US is just not as interested in global sports competition as other countries are; it prefers to focus on "american" football, basketball, and baseball. Even now that there is a rising increase in Soccer (football), its still nowhere close to American interest in its domestic sports. So I stand by my belief, that without American tennis players to cheer for the popularity of tennis in the USA will remain low, and if it remains low then young talents will not go for tennis in America.
cricket? Hockey? geez where did you take that?

Worldwide speaking, after football or soccer, it comes basketball,Atheltics and tennis.Car racing and golf are lower.IMo.
 

egn

Hall of Fame
...I think it's also due to today's top players being more mature physically and mentally than most of the juniors coming up (example: Tommy Haas).

But...I'd tend to agree, not a lot of young guys (women, different story...) who look like the next #1...or even #10. My guess? None of the young guys coming up are hungry enough or don't believe enough to become #1. Outside of the top 100 or so, it's only a so-so living. But if you get as high as the top 20 or 30 in the rankings, you can make a lot of $$$$, with a lot less risk of serious injury than even, say, soccer. So I'm making a good buck, traveling the world, and I didn't even have to go to college or find a real job...who cares if I ever make it to the top?
Yea it's sad to see Raonic making zero improvements week in and out. Dimitrov beating the number one to go out next round, maybe Janowicz will be the first of this crew to break into the top 10 but as of now they all seem to have no drive. Except Kei, he has a lot of passion but he lacks the power to really push up to the top spot, but he's improving daily.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
cricket? Hockey? geez where did you take that?

Worldwide speaking, after football or soccer, it comes basketball,Atheltics and tennis.Car racing and golf are lower.IMo.
Geographical distribution-wise or population-wise? Population-wise, cricket, table tennis and badminton are way up there.
 

kiki

Banned
Geographical distribution-wise or population-wise? Population-wise, cricket, table tennis and badminton are way up there.
Yes, cricket wise, India and Pakistan that´s a bunch of millions people,and Indonesia and Malaysia for badmington and China and most southeast assian countries for table tennis , a hell of people too.But I meant geographically.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
What is so great about being in the top "20?" Why not 19 or 21? These are just made-up numbers having no significance. You can't aim to be in the top 20 as if it is some deterministic thing.
 
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