The greatest decade in tennis open era history?

The greatest decade in tennis open history

  • 70s

    Votes: 5 9.6%
  • 80s

    Votes: 27 51.9%
  • 90s

    Votes: 10 19.2%
  • 00s

    Votes: 6 11.5%
  • 10s

    Votes: 4 7.7%

  • Total voters
    52
80s was best imo. Great start (Borg, JMac, nascent Lendl, still strong Connors), solid middle, great finish (Lendl, Wilander peak season, Becker and Edberg steadily maturing). The 90s were going nicely but rather collapsed towards the end, as Becker, Edberg, Courier were not replaced by an equally great roster and Agassi lost three years to personal issues, leaving Sampras alone even as he was struggling with consistency for much of 1996 and 1998.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
Although the 70s saw the tail end of the Laver, Newcombe, Roache, Rosewall era, I still voted for the 80s.

The surfaces still offered real variety, the game wasn't ruled by poly .. and this meant there was a real clash of styles between McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Becker, Lendl, Edberg and others.

The balance of playing styles is what made the 80s the greatest decade of the open era.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
I'm gonna get called out for recency bias but I don't see how it isn't the most recent one. When have we ever seen 3 guys chase history against each other all at the same time
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
There's a difference between ATP and WTA here.

WTA 2000s definitely, both the strongest and the most watchable field.
For ATP I would pick the 80s - Edberg with his elegant serve and volley game, Lendl and his sharp aggression, McEnroe's skill and intelligence, Mecir's graceful movement and touch, Noah's amazing athleticism, Cash with his exciting net attacks, Borg's fabulous mobility and mentality... more wonderful players and playing styles than ever(not to mention the outfits :)).
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Public poll would be better in future OP.

Voted 80's.
There are some gaps in the poll.

It should read like this:

Which of the following decades was the greatest in tennis history.

1900's

1910's

1920's

1930's

1940's

1950's

1960's

All others ineligible for soft living and easy travel.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
My vote is for the 80's. Tennis was soaring in popularity. There were a wide variety of tennis racquets and clothing. Even the journeymen seem more exciting and worth following.
Give some examples of exciting journeymen, I cannot remember any....got any clips?
 

KG1965

Legend
I don't know if the 70s was the greatest decade, for sure they were the most anarchist and revolutionary: tennis champions became stars, small circles became stadiums, circuit fragmentation, wealth comes with Lamar Hunt's WCT, lots of money even at women, boycotts, the story of ATP begins.
All the champions who played after owe a lot to the 70s.
If I was Tarantino (*) I would make a film on the 70s not on the other decades.

(*) Once upon a time .... in 70s.

with Ashe, Nastase, Newcombe, Connors, Gerulaitis, Borg, Vilas, Panatta, McEnroe, ...
 
Last edited:

Mr.Lob

Legend
80's. Nothing else comes close. The players. The personalities...even Lendl. The booming popularity of the game. The rivalries in both the men's and women's game. Tops.
 

Tshooter

Legend
80's. Nothing else comes close. ... The booming popularity of the game. ..
I think the boom was in the 70s. With the boom maybe continuing into the early-80s and then tennis beginning a long, steady slide down. At least in the US in terms of people playing the sport (and perhaps TV audience as well).

I think this writer is correct but I don't have the numbers at hand. :cautious:

"But tennis’s popularity, in terms of people playing, peaked in 1978 and has been dropping ever since."

 

Xavier G

Professional
Of the Open era, it's the 1980's, the strongest and most fascinating decade overall imo, the decade of Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Becker and Edberg, with a strong supporting cast at various times, of Vilas, Gerulaitis, Clerc, Noah, Cash, Curren, Kriek, Mecir, Leconte and with young Agassi and Chang breaking through towards the end.

The 1970's were great also.

I liked the 2000's overall and 2010's, but didn't find the 1990's that interesting.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Of the Open era, it's the 1980's, the strongest and most fascinating decade overall imo, the decade of Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Becker and Edberg, with a strong supporting cast at various times, of Vilas, Gerulaitis, Clerc, Noah, Cash, Curren, Kriek, Mecir, Leconte and with young Agassi and Chang breaking through towards the end.

The 1970's were great also.

I liked the 2000's overall and 2010's, but didn't find the 1990's that interesting.
In terms of money, tennis reached peak success relative to other sports in the late fifties, tennis players were the highest earning athletes in the world.

Not so today.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
80s was best imo. Great start (Borg, JMac, nascent Lendl, still strong Connors), solid middle, great finish (Lendl, Wilander peak season, Becker and Edberg steadily maturing). The 90s were going nicely but rather collapsed towards the end, as Becker, Edberg, Courier were not replaced by an equally great roster and Agassi lost three years to personal issues, leaving Sampras alone even as he was struggling with consistency for much of 1996 and 1998.
I would agree with you.
 

Xavier G

Professional
In terms of money, tennis reached peak success relative to other sports in the late fifties, tennis players were the highest earning athletes in the world.

Not so today.
I don't remember the late fifties, Dan, so I would bow to your superior knowledge there.
The topic raised here was the greatest decade in Open era history. I would think it was the 1980's overall.
 

Harrybollz

New User
I grew up with 90s heroes. Though I've watched 80s tennis. Agassi was colourful in his Challenge Court. Chang was Pump and running fast with his Victory Court. Rios dancing on the baseline. Kuertan with the backhand DTL. Rafter at the net. Sampras with his Supreme Court. Who can forget Kournikova, the babe to date, till today she's the hottest to ever hit the courts.

For the 2000s, Agassi said no one could replace him and Sampras. Boy was Roddick and Blake seeing red, but Agassi is right.
 
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aliceinpains

New User
I chose 70's. Tennis popularity peaked in the U.S. With 30 million rec players. Then the decline started in the 80's with the technology. Technology also killed the sport of bowling starting in the 80's. Pro tennis players in the 70's were like rock stars.
 

Tshooter

Legend
I chose 70's. Tennis popularity peaked in the U.S. With 30 million rec players. Then the decline started in the 80's with the technology. Technology also killed the sport of bowling starting in the 80's. Pro tennis players in the 70's were like rock stars.
Rock Stars in the 70s were like rock stars too.
 
For me the golden era of tennis is clearly the mid/late 80s early/to mid 90s. You simply had so many legends from different eras competing in this time period. Plus, in terms of style I think tennis never looked cooler than in those days. And I think Tennis has never been as popular as in those days.
This!
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
The year Hewitt rolled through the Wimbledon draw and faced fellow consistent baseliner Nalbandian in the final — Pro tennis died that day.
Weird.

I celebrated that Wimby year as the rejuvenation of tennis.

Servebots were devastated. Their hope of speeding up Wimby so they can serve 150 aces per match were shattered.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
The year Hewitt rolled through the Wimbledon draw and faced fellow consistent baseliner Nalbandian in the final — Pro tennis died that day.
I would not put consistent and Nalbandian in the same sentence. :-D I wouldn't call him a baseliner either. He was consistent from the baseline when on, sure.
 
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