Tennis is in trouble

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Do we need better quality players? Probably. But how will one measure quality when the yardsticks (big 3) are gone?
Surely when they are gone the person(s) at the top will seem like they're playing great?

Let's take Hewitt as an example. When he was no 1, what in particular qualified him as being a weak no 1? What gave us that perception? All pro's are great to some degree. To be the best of the weak field still means you need to be quite good.

Do we not (perhaps) need better *personalities* who stand out more?
When a prodigy with a coolish sounding name comes along, and perhaps even good looking or likeable...does that not influence *our perception* of their abilities and also our perception regarding enjoyment of watching them play?

Hingis was good looking, had the name "Martina", played great and was a teenage prodigy. That was appealing. Not only her game, but also a mixture of ingredients that helped things along. Someone like Wozniaki (not to pick on her) I found to be boring...why I'm not sure.
 
Tennis is indeed in a bad spot but only because the Big 3 are just aeons ahead of the competition who are made to look complete crap by peak goatiness. Essentially the tennis developers have now nerfed the big 3 to make it possible to defeat them , like those ultra hard Candy Crush levels where not even boosters could save you
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
i mean, prize money in tennis has only gone astronomically up over the decades...the sport can't be in that bad of shape for as much as people talk about it. viewership will definitely suffer when the big 3 and serena retire, names that draw in viewers who don't normally watch tennis. but the sport will be fine. there are plenty of smaller sports that survive just fine without nearly the venues or press or stars or international growth that tennis has.

all i know is mouratoglou's tacky video game mode mess of tennis is not the answer. but i understand his intent...at the very least they should incorporate more court level views when airing tennis matches...too many non-tennis players think tennis is easy and boring cause they only ever see the bird's eye camera where everything looks slow and you have no read on the pace, spin, or player movement.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
re: serena: but seriously. serena williams crying at AO 2021 gets 1.1 million views:

the AO women's final full match has 200k views:

AO men's final full match has 370k views:

the highlight videos have slightly more views, but i mean come on, more people care to watch serena cry at a press conference than they do watch the men and women's finals combined lol (at least on youtube, i'm sure TV airings and streams are a different story).
 

NoleIsBoat

Hall of Fame
Tennis is in fantastic shape. Djokovic, Nadal both playing superb tennis in 30s, and plenty of young potential ATG like Tsitsipas, Zverev, Medvedev, Rublev, Shapo, Sinner, Musetti.

I think Tsitsipas is the guy you’re looking for. Has a good game on all surfaces, plays attacking, OHBH, cool name, has the stylish hair, unique personality
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Do we need better quality players? Probably. But how will one measure quality when the yardsticks (big 3) are gone?
Surely when they are gone the person(s) at the top will seem like they're playing great?

Let's take Hewitt as an example. When he was no 1, what in particular qualified him as being a weak no 1? What gave us that perception? All pro's are great to some degree. To be the best of the weak field still means you need to be quite good.

Do we not (perhaps) need better *personalities* who stand out more?
When a prodigy with a coolish sounding name comes along, and perhaps even good looking or likeable...does that not influence *our perception* of their abilities and also our perception regarding enjoyment of watching them play?

Hingis was good looking, had the name "Martina", played great and was a teenage prodigy. That was appealing. Not only her game, but also a mixture of ingredients that helped things along. Someone like Wozniaki (not to pick on her) I found to be boring...why I'm not sure.
there is no big american players, that is the problem, how do we solve this. what if we manipulated the genes and see if we make another federer ?
 
I think Tsitsipas is the guy you’re looking for. Has a good game on all surfaces, plays attacking, OHBH, cool name, has the stylish hair, unique personality
Agree with you on all but the "name"--dumb name, impossible to spell or pronounce, wish he would change it to just "Teats".
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
re: serena: but seriously. serena williams crying at AO 2021 gets 1.1 million views:

the AO women's final full match has 200k views:

AO men's final full match has 370k views:

the highlight videos have slightly more views, but i mean come on, more people care to watch serena cry at a press conference than they do watch the men and women's finals combined lol (at least on youtube, i'm sure TV airings and streams are a different story).
The problem with 'views' is that it counts as a 'view' if only watching for a few seconds.
I'm guilty of this on numerous occasions.
The Serena Williams video is click bait for both those that like and dislike her.

You get a better sense from 'likes' and 'dislikes'.
 

gjm127

Professional
re: serena: but seriously. serena williams crying at AO 2021 gets 1.1 million views:

the AO women's final full match has 200k views:

AO men's final full match has 370k views:

the highlight videos have slightly more views, but i mean come on, more people care to watch serena cry at a press conference than they do watch the men and women's finals combined lol (at least on youtube, i'm sure TV airings and streams are a different story).
I'd say this is normal. Everyone gets to see the match on TV. Not everyone gets to see a full press conference so YouTube is the go-to place for that.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Yes tennis is in immense trouble on both the ATP and the WTA but moreso the ATP as the WTA have Osaka who attracts countless headlines and millions to the sport.

Nobody on the street know who Tsitsipas or Zverev or Andreescu or Swiatek are. The sport needs charismatic people who make headlines and attract people. Medvedev had that in the bag during the 2019 USO with all the bad headlines but everyone loves a villain and many were drawn to him, myself included. But then he just turned into another player who just continues to do the same old thing and it did nothing for his image. Love her or hate her, Osaka has managed to captivate the tennis world. Whether it's dominating hard courts, being vocal in social activism, discussing mental health, shifting the establishment, she has been the discussion point of the WTA. In a positive way or in a negative Piers Morgan way. She has been discussed. The next time she plays a match (potentially this years USO) i'm sure it will be so widely reported on, more than any other match. That's what the sport needs. Serena v Sharapova wasn't juicy for the on court battles, Serena destroyed Maria in the overall H2H but the off court comments were what made it juicy.

The sport needs personality, it needs rivalry, it needs character.
 

Omega_7000

Legend
Do we need better quality players? Probably. But how will one measure quality when the yardsticks (big 3) are gone?
Surely when they are gone the person(s) at the top will seem like they're playing great?

Let's take Hewitt as an example. When he was no 1, what in particular qualified him as being a weak no 1? What gave us that perception? All pro's are great to some degree. To be the best of the weak field still means you need to be quite good.

Do we not (perhaps) need better *personalities* who stand out more?
When a prodigy with a coolish sounding name comes along, and perhaps even good looking or likeable...does that not influence *our perception* of their abilities and also our perception regarding enjoyment of watching them play?

Hingis was good looking, had the name "Martina", played great and was a teenage prodigy. That was appealing. Not only her game, but also a mixture of ingredients that helped things along. Someone like Wozniaki (not to pick on her) I found to be boring...why I'm not sure.
Not is but has been for a while. It's amazing that 12 years going and we don't have a single ATG from any of the younger generations.
 

NoleIsBoat

Hall of Fame
Not is but has been for a while. It's amazing that 12 years going and we don't have a single ATG from any of the younger generations.
That’s mainly the lostgen to blame. Dimitrov, Raonic, Nishikori, Thiem. Overall they’ve been a bit disappointing aside from Thiem.

I think Zverev, Tsitsipas, Medvedev gen will end up producing multiple ATGs. It’s hard for them to break through when peak Djokovic is on the other side of the net.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Not is but has been for a while. It's amazing that 12 years going and we don't have a single ATG from any of the younger generations.
Well i'm not surprised nobody has broken through at a time where 3 players have established themselves as the top 3 all time greats in all of history?

Someone like Hewitt with 2 slams could be considered an ATG in a weak era and yet we're hard on players not breaking through right now at a time where the top 3 men have 17+slams? that's never happened in history.
 
D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
Big time. I want to see a group of 18-26 year olds fighting it out to become future ATGs and some post prime champs still giving it their best effort. Surely that’s the best narrative?
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Well i'm not surprised nobody has broken through at a time where 3 players have established themselves as the top 3 all time greats in all of history?

Someone like Hewitt with 2 slams could be considered an ATG in a weak era and yet we're hard on players not breaking through right now at a time where the top 3 men have 17+slams? that's never happened in history.
For the millionth time, the problem is that until recently we didn’t even have guys that were only stopped by the big 3, they kept losing to random mugs and failing to go deep in tournaments consistently. Thiem getting blocked by Nadal/Djokovic for a couple years was the exception, and after his win he’s now fallen apart. More recently Med and Stef have been making some inroads but from Del Potro’s arrival in 2008-09, the decade plus after has been abysmal. Until Del Potro, a great player was breaking through every year or two
 

Jonas78

Legend
Do we need better quality players? Probably. But how will one measure quality when the yardsticks (big 3) are gone?
Surely when they are gone the person(s) at the top will seem like they're playing great?

Let's take Hewitt as an example. When he was no 1, what in particular qualified him as being a weak no 1? What gave us that perception? All pro's are great to some degree. To be the best of the weak field still means you need to be quite good.

Do we not (perhaps) need better *personalities* who stand out more?
When a prodigy with a coolish sounding name comes along, and perhaps even good looking or likeable...does that not influence *our perception* of their abilities and also our perception regarding enjoyment of watching them play?

Hingis was good looking, had the name "Martina", played great and was a teenage prodigy. That was appealing. Not only her game, but also a mixture of ingredients that helped things along. Someone like Wozniaki (not to pick on her) I found to be boring...why I'm not sure.
Well tennis greats existed before Big3. You had Agassi/Sampras. Before that Becker/Edberg. Then Wilander, Lendl, McEnroe, Borg. Same on the female side. Through history there have always appeared new ones when the older ones is at the tail of their careers. Some say Big3 are too good, i dont buy it. There are 8 billion people on the earth, Big3 (4) were born within 6 years, someone younger should have stepped up by now.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
For the millionth time, the problem is that until recently we didn’t even have guys that were only stopped by the big 3, they kept losing to random mugs and failing to go deep in tournaments consistently. Thiem getting blocked by Nadal/Djokovic for a couple years was the exception, and after his win he’s now fallen apart. More recently Med and Stef have been making some inroads but from Del Potro’s arrival in 2008-09, the decade plus after has been abysmal. Until Del Potro, a great player was breaking through every year or two
Huh? We had Berdych, Ferrer, Monfils etc. They went deep at the slams but lost consistently deep to the top 3. The issue is the top guys who are meant to be the new greats are losing to nobodies (Thiem losing to Andujar in the 1R at RG this year, Medvedev losing to Fucsovics 1R at RG last year, Tsitsipas losing to Coric 3R USO last year).
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Huh? We had Berdych, Ferrer, Monfils etc. They went deep at the slams but lost consistently deep to the top 3. The issue is the top guys who are meant to be the new greats are losing to nobodies (Thiem losing to Andujar in the 1R at RG this year, Medvedev losing to Fucsovics 1R at RG last year, Tsitsipas losing to Coric 3R USO last year).
Berdych, Ferrer, Monfils are older than Djokovic/Cilic/Del Potro. My point is that the younger gens are such mugs they were very clearly not even close to as good as the gatekeepers of the last generation, let alone ATG level
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Tennis is doing great with exciting players already making great viewing.

The focus on Djokovic et al is boring. You only have to look at players like Felix, Mesuti, Berretini and Tsitsipas to know that the audience will be more entertained than ever in the coming years ahead.

Is tennis over? Hec no - it’s just getting started!
 

Omega_7000

Legend
Well i'm not surprised nobody has broken through at a time where 3 players have established themselves as the top 3 all time greats in all of history?

Someone like Hewitt with 2 slams could be considered an ATG in a weak era and yet we're hard on players not breaking through right now at a time where the top 3 men have 17+slams? that's never happened in history.
Huh? Hewitt is eons ahead of Dimitrov, Raonic, Nishikori, Berdych, Monfils, Medvedev, Thiem, Kyrgios etc. etc. The reason top three have 18+ slams each is because they have never been stopped at majors where it matters the most and just like another poster pointed out, it wasn't always the big three that stopped them. They can't even get to through journeymen consistently. They are either injured, mentally fragile or not motivated enough. No matter how you slice it, they are not ATG material.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Berdych, Ferrer, Monfils are older than Djokovic/Cilic/Del Potro. My point is that the younger gens are such mugs they were very clearly not even close to as good as the gatekeepers of the last generation, let alone ATG level
Fair point, I agree with that. I wonder if a discussion is to be had about B03 v B05 because these young guys like Tsitsipas/Medvedev/Zverev can beat the big 3 back to back to win Masters titles at B03 but when it comes to B05 they choke.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Speaking of Hewitt, look at these highlights vs Nalbandian. Neither of these two are considered GOATs, but look at this tennis.
This is brilliant stuff. Both declined in the firepower and movement departments but tactically and strokes-wise this was an absolute battle. When you compare it to a random #27 playing a R1 opponent today the difference is stark. Both are exceptionally smart players with pretty strokes and tactical decisions.

What makes this a little scarier is the backdrop of knowing that both would get absolutely destroyed by any of the Big 3 at the time.
 
re: serena: but seriously. serena williams crying at AO 2021 gets 1.1 million views:

the AO women's final full match has 200k views:

AO men's final full match has 370k views:

the highlight videos have slightly more views, but i mean come on, more people care to watch serena cry at a press conference than they do watch the men and women's finals combined lol (at least on youtube, i'm sure TV airings and streams are a different story).
The masses always prefer short clips to long videos. A proper comparison would be, say, the 2017 women's AO final vs men's AO final. Both matches were played between the two most accomplished XXI century players at the time in their respective tours.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Huh? Hewitt is eons ahead of Dimitrov, Raonic, Nishikori, Berdych, Monfils, Medvedev, Thiem, Kyrgios etc. etc. The reason top three have 18+ slams each is because they have never been stopped at majors where it matters the most and just like another poster pointed out, it wasn't always the big three that stopped them. They can't even get to through journeymen consistently. They are either injured, mentally fragile or not motivated enough. No matter how you slice it, they are not ATG material.
Nowhere was I comparing Hewitt to those you mentioned, perhaps moreso someone that won multiple slams like Wawrinka. Either way I agree with you, the men's tour is weak at the moment. Whether it's because the competition is too hard or the current generation are too weak is one thing but I do agree.
 
people were saying men's tennis was in trouble back was sampras retired as there were no longer a true global star to market the sport. yes there was a mini doldrum for a couple years, but then federer popped onto the scene and the rest is history.

once the big 3 retire there will be some young prodigy that shows up in a year or two who then takes the torch. happens all the time.
 

Kralingen

Legend
I think the fear I have is that the 'savior' of tennis is some lanky 6'5" 14-year old with a PETE serve and acceptable groundstrokes. I mean, imagine Zverev with the balls to actually hit a 2nd serve and come to the net. Or Tsitsipas with a little more cardio and a BH.

What will likely end up winning in the future is just an improved version of Tsits/Zverev minus weaknesses, a huge server with a competent baseline game and power off both wings. Is that all that interesting to you? Would we have accepted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the savior of tennis back in '08 if there were no Big 3? Is that really what the masses want?
 

Omega_7000

Legend
people were saying men's tennis was in trouble back was sampras retired as there were no longer a true global star to market the sport. yes there was a mini doldrum for a couple years, but then federer popped onto the scene and the rest is history.

once the big 3 retire there will be some young prodigy that shows up in a year or two who then takes the torch. happens all the time.
Difference is that the torch was taken from Sampras.....Any young players that start winning after big three are retired or too old isn't really passing the torch. it's more like big three have thrown the torch away in a dumpster because they don't want it anymore and the younger players are fighting to grab the torch like a bunch of pathetic dumpster divers.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Novak Djokovic saved Tennis by dominating it from 2011 after dethroning Federer+Nadal.

Otherwise you would have seen the old man Federer sitting on 30 Slams now and Nadal also at 30 or somewhere close it, maybe around 27-28.

Tennis would have been dead for sure.
 

cortado

Professional
I would actually love to be an up-and-coming pro now. You no longer have to worry about setting grand-slam records because the records that have been set are so ridiculous that it would be almost impossible to beat them. So instead, you could just concentrate on having fun, making money, and winning a respectable number of tournaments.
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
Don't worry. Recency bias will fix all of these issues for us. The first guy to win multiple majors will easily be considered to play at the highest level ever seen in the sport, and the ridiculous inconsistencies among the players(winning a major and then not getting past the 3rd round for the next four etc) will only show how the tour is deeper and stronger than ever, not vice versa.

Recency bias is king :D
 

Adv. Edberg

Hall of Fame
Tennis will have troubles when Big3 retire but other stars will rise eventually.
Yeah I think so too. But the next Borg/Sampras/Becker/Edberg/Federer/Agassi/Nadal is probably just 5-10 years old now I think. So we'll see in 10-15 years. Then we'll have the next goat.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Don't worry. Recency bias will fix all of these issues for us. The first guy to win multiple majors will easily be considered to play at the highest level ever seen in the sport, and the ridiculous inconsistencies among the players(winning a major and then not getting past the 3rd round for the next four etc) will only show how the tour is deeper and stronger than ever, not vice versa.

Recency bias is king :D
Like the late 1990s-00 period when a guy called Thomas Enqvist (had to google about this clown) made a grand slam final ??
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I always directed my criticism at players from the early 90s born generation (I tend to separate generations out by players born with half-decades), rather than the late 90s born generation. That was basically the 'lost gen', by far the worst generation since I've followed the sport, and IMO their overall weakness contributed massively to what I perceive to be an overall decline in men's tennis. I've said this a million times but I'll say it again - I personally think that there was unquestionably better depth in the ATP 100 20 or 30 years ago than there is now, but that of course doesn't stop me given plenty of credit to the big 3 for what they achieved over such a long span of time.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the full list of 'big' titles won by players born in the early 90s (or actually born from 1989-1995):

Cincinnati 2017 - Dmitrov
Paris 2017 - Sock
YEC 2017 - Dmitrov
Indian Wells 2019 - Thiem
US Open 2020 - Thiem

So unless I've missed any out (which is definitely possible), they can be counted on one hand. Now of course Thiem reached 3 grand slams finals which he lost against Nadal and Djokovic before striking gold in New York last year, but apart from him what a disaster. And as I and others pointed out in the past, that generation basically had to wait for the likes of Ferrer and Berdych to decline due to age before finally overtaking them.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Yes tennis is in immense trouble on both the ATP and the WTA but moreso the ATP as the WTA have Osaka who attracts countless headlines and millions to the sport.

Nobody on the street know who Tsitsipas or Zverev or Andreescu or Swiatek are. The sport needs charismatic people who make headlines and attract people. Medvedev had that in the bag during the 2019 USO with all the bad headlines but everyone loves a villain and many were drawn to him, myself included. But then he just turned into another player who just continues to do the same old thing and it did nothing for his image. Love her or hate her, Osaka has managed to captivate the tennis world. Whether it's dominating hard courts, being vocal in social activism, discussing mental health, shifting the establishment, she has been the discussion point of the WTA. In a positive way or in a negative Piers Morgan way. She has been discussed. The next time she plays a match (potentially this years USO) i'm sure it will be so widely reported on, more than any other match. That's what the sport needs. Serena v Sharapova wasn't juicy for the on court battles, Serena destroyed Maria in the overall H2H but the off court comments were what made it juicy.

The sport needs personality, it needs rivalry, it needs character.
I agree Osaka has become one of the few women to become known outside of purely tennis.
It remains to be seen if she will become more known for her activities off the court, than on it.
 

Aabye5

Hall of Fame
I always directed my criticism at players from the early 90s born generation (I tend to separate generations out by players born with half-decades), rather than the late 90s born generation. That was basically the 'lost gen', by far the worst generation since I've followed the sport, and IMO their overall weakness contributed massively to what I perceive to be an overall decline in men's tennis. I've said this a million times but I'll say it again - I personally think that there was unquestionably better depth in the ATP 100 20 or 30 years ago than there is now, but that of course doesn't stop me given plenty of credit to the big 3 for what they achieved over such a long span of time.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the full list of 'big' titles won by players born in the early 90s (or actually born from 1989-1995):

Cincinnati 2017 - Dmitrov
Paris 2017 - Sock
YEC 2017 - Dmitrov
Indian Wells 2019 - Thiem
US Open 2020 - Thiem

So unless I've missed any out (which is definitely possible), they can be counted on one hand. Now of course Thiem reached 3 grand slams finals which he lost against Nadal and Djokovic before striking gold in New York last year, but apart from him what a disaster. And as I and others pointed out in the past, that generation basically had to wait for the likes of Ferrer and Berdych to decline due to age before finally overtaking them.
Cilic is part of that gen. Splitting it at 89 is a bit arbitrary. And Nish did get to that final.
 
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