The inflated legacy of the big 3: consequences

#4
Simple question: what do you think will be the consequences for the sport from the continuing inflating of the career results of the big three?

:cool:
There are two paths: one leads to the continuous search for records that inflates the chest of the fans, the other to total boredom.
The domain leads to this: Phelps, Bolt, Ferrari & Schumacher ....

If you (Rafa fan?) think about it, what do you care about tennis now?
Overcoming Federer's records and .... that's it.
Aren't you bored by the continuous annihilation of Rafa on clay? Or do they exalt you as before?
 
#5
if the trend continues RG will lose its status and become scrapped
This is not about RG.

It has been evident for a long time now that the crisis is unprecedented. The 4 in a row from Djokovic was the harbinger for where the things are heading. Federer vs Nadal in 2017 was already a HUGE red flag. The chance for a second 4 in a row was already the confirmation that the things went out of control.

Also, this sentiment is not new (contrary of what some ****s think right now).

:cool:
 
#7
Laver, Rosewall and Gonzales already broke longevity records but the game went on.
The game will go on in any event. That is not in question. The question is: in what manner. Also, their achievements were made largely "from the period" due to the Open era.

What will be the new "Open era" once people realise what happened in the period of the big 3?

:cool:
 
#8
The game will go on in any event. That is not in question. The question is: in what manner. Also, their achievements were made largely "from the period" due to the Open era.

What will be the new "Open era" once people realise what happened in the period of the big 3?

:cool:
Okay, you have definitely sold me, but what can they do to fix this? If you were the ATP, what would you do?
 
#9
Simple question: what do you think will be the consequences for the sport from the continuing inflating of the career results of the big three?

:cool:
Too soon to tell. I think the same thing could have happened at the beginning of the open era if the top players back then had had the advantages of today's players to recover and keep on playing. Rosewall continued longer than Laver, probably due to Laver's back and other issues. There was no modern surgery back then, no MRIs, and so on. No eggs, no ice baths, and no roofs and such to stagger scheduling better. Yet look at Rosewall, and this time Lew is actually right. Check out what Gonzalez did when he was already 40 by the beginning of the open era. Something about the way these older players trained and strained made them tougher, and it took years for younger players to break through.

It may be that this is a weak era. I won't debate that. But it could also mean that the Big Three have been "that good", and look what Murray was doing until his body finally gave out.

So we'll never know for sure. These old players can't go on doing this forever, so when they finally fade most likely people will say it's only because they got so old and the next group will be labeled failures for not breaking through until the old guys' careers were over.

In my mind Nadal was crazy good again at RG. I have my doubts whether or not peak Fed or peak Djokovic could have done much better. Nadal may be slower, and he may get injured more often, but when he is on and not in pain his movement is still insane. Not sure if you caught the shot where he wiffed an impossible no look backhad overhead and still recovered and almost returned the ball starting a second time. I see a craftiness to his play now that is insanely good.

I watched the match long after it was done, after sleep, and I expected to be disgusted by the one-sidedness of the the whole thing. But the first two sets were insanely good, and who knows if the outcome might have been a bit different if Nadal had been forced to play over several days and Thiem got more rest.

So you can say that Nadal was just lucky, and in many ways he was this year, but I don't believe that the same player gets lucky 12 times. He's been doing this now for 15 years now.

Hard to say it's claim it's been a weak era for 15 years. And full disclosure: I was pulling for Thiem, not Rafa.
 
#11
There are two paths: one leads to the continuous search for records that inflates the chest of the fans, the other to total boredom.
The domain leads to this: Phelps, Bolt, Ferrari & Schumacher ....

If you (Rafa fan?) think about it, what do you care about tennis now?
Overcoming Federer's records and .... that's it.
Aren't you bored by the continuous annihilation of Rafa on clay? Or do they exalt you as before?
Yep, watching Nadal win another RG is about as exciting as watching Phelps win another Gold medal, esp if you are a non-fan of both.
But as a biased Nole fan, I'd be happy to watch him keep winning AOs and others as well, so need to put it in some perspective.
In the end, one can only hope the new brigade can step up, otherwise the passing of the torch will only occur when the Big 3 retire.
They have won the last 10 Slams, and no indication that is likely to stop soon.
 
#12
Here's what I think: I think fans are too partisan to look at tennis and appreciate what it is. What I saw was two insanely good sets, the first two, and what happened has happened many other times in majors before there were roofs and the schedules became more controlled. The weather is bad, and some players get screwed by the weather. It's unreasonable to claim preference for Nadal because he could just as easily have been scheduled the day after both Djokovic and the others, and then perhaps his chances of winning would have been screwed. Though likely he is so good that of all he would have had the best chances of still coming out on top.

In my mind Thiem was stretched to the max on Saturday, and after set 2 today he really didn't have much left. That's when he started to make really bad choices. His best bet was to win the 1st set - which he almost did - then go all out to win it fast.

The fact remains that there was very entertaining and high quality tennis for two sets. Most people here are way too young to remember Borg at RG. It was about the same, but his career was so much shorter so that he did not get so many wins. But when he was on top it was the same - the Bjorn Borg Invitational.
 
#13
I think they’ll have to change the sport to enable the up-and-comers a shot at the records, and I can see sth similar to what the NBA did. You have NBA “records” every single week, but they’re laughable and artificially inflated. So, basically adapt the rules to get new champs, use a boatload of cash to portray them as better, and hope enough people buy this crap.

But boy, they are sure milking the old guys like there is no tomorrow.
 
#16
Too soon to tell. I think the same thing could have happened at the beginning of the open era if the top players back then had had the advantages of today's players to recover and keep on playing. Rosewall continued longer than Laver, probably due to Laver's back and other issues. There was no modern surgery back then, no MRIs, and so on. No eggs, no ice baths, and no roofs and such to stagger scheduling better. Yet look at Rosewall, and this time Lew is actually right. Check out what Gonzalez did when he was already 40 by the beginning of the open era. Something about the way these older players trained and strained made them tougher, and it took years for younger players to break through.
Come on man, it didn't "took years" for the younger players to break through. Connors was 22 when he started dominating, Borg was, what, 18 when he broke through. What now, do we expect players to start dominating in their teens just to prove that it isn't so?

It may be that this is a weak era. I won't debate that. But it could also mean that the Big Three have been "that good", and look what Murray was doing until his body finally gave out.
No, there are no young players that are consistently there in the final rounds, even if they constantly fail to beat the big three. There are no young surface specialists (outside of the HC "specialists" that nowadays everyone is).

So we'll never know for sure. These old players can't go on doing this forever, so when they finally fade most likely people will say it's only because they got so old and the next group will be labeled failures for not breaking through until the old guys' careers were over.
That has already happened!!! The current situation is such that we are talking about at least two "lost gens" and a third underway.

In my mind Nadal was crazy good again at RG. I have my doubts whether or not peak Fed or peak Djokovic could have done much better. Nadal may be slower, and he may get injured more often, but when he is on and not in pain his movement is still insane. Not sure if you caught the shot where he wiffed an impossible no look backhad overhead and still recovered and almost returned the ball starting a second time. I see a craftiness to his play now that is insanely good.
Nadal didn't have a single high quality clay court specialist as a rival. No matter how good he might be, there is no going around the fact that his biggest rivals were ATGs with primary HC game.

I watched the match long after it was done, after sleep, and I expected to be disgusted by the one-sidedness of the the whole thing. But the first two sets were insanely good, and who knows if the outcome might have been a bit different if Nadal had been forced to play over several days and Thiem got more rest.
That is one of the reasons why I consider the tennis authorities partly responsible for the current status quo: they actively create advantages for the big 3. It is not about the weather though (although one can make a point about the tennis authorities catering to one other ATG from the big 3 by postponing the match until the next day, because Djokovic was all out of sorts that day). If you look at my thread about the then coming RG 2019, you will see that I actually predicted that Thiem might end up with one of the most difficult draws. It is a complete and utter joke when it is so obvious that it is easy to predict.

So you can say that Nadal was just lucky, and in many ways he was this year, but I don't believe that the same player gets lucky 12 times. He's been doing this now for 15 years now.
Oh, you will be surprised. I am currently working on compiling the list of opponent of Nadal at RG. The glaring "curiosities" are out there. Comfortable opponents, difficult opponents thrown on the other part of the draw, dark horses as far from him as possible. It is all there. Ferrer was in his part of the draw 10 out of possible 13 times, and one time he wasn't he has beaten him at the AO that year. Almagro was literally scheduled in Nadal's draw at RG. Thiem being thrown in his opponent's part of the draw three times in the last 4 years. It is a farce.

Here is how Almagro's scheduling at RG looked like during his career (the years are when he was scheduled in Nadal's half):

2005
2006
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2014
2015
2016
2018 did not participate
2019 did not participate

Hard to say it's claim it's been a weak era for 15 years. And full disclosure: I was pulling for Thiem, not Rafa.
I know that.

:cool:
 
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#18
Come on man, it didn't "took years" for the younger players to break through. Connors was 22 when he started dominating, Borg was, what, 18 when he broke through. What now, do we expect players to start dominating in their teens just to prove that it isn't so?



No, there are no young players that are consistently there in the final rounds, even if they constantly fail to beat the big three. There are no young surface specialists (outside of the HC "specialists" that nowadays everyone is).



That has already happened!!! The current situation is such that we are talking about at least two "lost gens" and a third underway.



Nadal didn't have a single high quality clay court specialist as a rival. No matter how good he might be, there is no going around the fact that his biggest rivals were ATGs with primary HC game.



That is one of the reasons why I consider the tennis authorities partly responsible for the current status quo: they actively create advantages for the big 3. It is not about the weather though. If you look at my thread about the then coming RG 2019, you will see that I actually predicted that Thiem might end up with one of the most difficult draws. It is a complete and utter joke when it is so obvious that it is easy to predict.



Oh, you will be surprised. I am currently working on compiling the list of opponent of Nadal at RG. The glaring "curiosities" are out there. Comfortable opponents, difficult opponents thrown on the other part of the draw, dark horses as far from him as possible. It is all there. Ferrer was in his part of the draw 10 out of possible 13 times, and one time he wasn't he has beaten him at the AO that year. Almagro was literally scheduled in Nadal's draw at RG. Thiem being thrown in his opponent's part of the draw in the last 4 years. It is a farce.


I know that.

:cool:

and also nadal maybe allowed to take certain ''supplements'' and the atp looks the other way
 
#20
I think they’ll have to change the sport to enable the up-and-comers a shot at the records, and I can see sth similar to what the NBA did. You have NBA “records” every single week, but they’re laughable and artificially inflated. So, basically adapt the rules to get new champs, use a boatload of cash to portray them as better, and hope enough people buy this crap.

But boy, they are sure milking the old guys like there is no tomorrow.
Whenever you see a stat qualified with "since the ABA merger" that translates to: Wilt's numbers are laughably untouchable.

Adding 4 teams clearly necessitates a new set of records???
 
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#21
Yep, watching Nadal win another RG is about as exciting as watching Phelps win another Gold medal, esp if you are a non-fan of both.
But as a biased Nole fan, I'd be happy to watch him keep winning AOs and others as well, so need to put it in some perspective.
In the end, one can only hope the new brigade can step up, otherwise the passing of the torch will only occur when the Big 3 retire.
They have won the last 10 Slams, and no indication that is likely to stop soon.
The questions are perhaps two:
- it's nice to see your idol win but to what extent? There is no breaking point, after which ... do you get bored?
- if your idol doesn't win, doesn't tennis become boring? It's always the usual movie.
 
#22
The questions are perhaps two:
- it's nice to see your idol win but to what extent? There is no breaking point, after which ... do you get bored?
- if your idol doesn't win, doesn't tennis become boring? It's always the usual movie.
Depends on the fan. I started liking Fed in 05, but never thought he would pass Sampras. He then did and was the greatest ever... but now that's in jeopardy. It does not change that I love watching him play, whether it is the first round of Halle, or the finals at Wimbledon. I savor every match, cause I know he won't be here much longer.
 
#23
Depends on the fan. I started liking Fed in 05, but never thought he would pass Sampras. He then did and was the greatest ever... but now that's in jeopardy. It does not change that I love watching him play, whether it is the first round of Halle, or the finals at Wimbledon. I savor every match, cause I know he won't be here much longer.
I believe that we are different in this world and it is good that way.
Being a fan (of Fedr or Rafa or Djok) is nice but it would be good to be tennis fans.
Tennis is better if the cake is shared, if there is competition, if when start a tournament you don't know how it ends.
If the Champions League always wins Liverpool or Barcelona or the NBA always Lakers or Celtics is perhaps not good.

It seems to me that the continuous search for records wanted by the media and by fans obscure the view.

Now we see if Nadal reaches 18 and we observe not more play the game and opponents. Opponents do not exist. We don't look at them anymore.
 
#26
Come on man, it didn't "took years" for the younger players to break through. Connors was 22 when he started dominating, Borg was, what, 18 when he broke through. What now, do we expect players to start dominating in their teens just to prove that it isn't so?
I did not say that there is a complete parallel between the early open era and now. That's was not my point. My point was that there are some similarities.

I can't explain why even at the beginning of the 2000s there were still very young guys breaking through, and now there are none. Not only do I not understand it, I hate it.

Also, I see the parallels between right now and the early open era as coming from very different circumstances.

In my mind the early dominance of guys like Laver and Rosewall came from being utterly hungry for money and recognition. They had worked their butts off over a decade for very little money, and it was in obscurity. It is likely that some amateurs got more money under the table, which is why Emerson stayed an amateur. This is why I have such huge respect for those guys. They played anywhere, at any time, under any conditions, and often had to drive themselves to tournaments. It was trial by fire, and I think they were the toughest, least coddled group of pros we've ever seen. And two of them, Laver and Rosewall, were quiet gentlemen.

The first young guy who really broke through was Connors, and he was more or less 14 years older than Laver, 18 years older than Rosewall and 24 years older than Gonzalez. Looking back through the telephoto lens of time it seems as though Connors broke through in zero time. Jimmy had some nice wins in 72, but that was still a few years later. By that time Laver was 34, Rosewall 38 and Gonzalez 44. Connors had more great wins in 73, but he still had no majors. That finally happened in 74, and the time between 68 and 74 is not small. The old pros did not have all the things older players have today to keep them going, and I believe more matches back then were 5 sets, although it could be argued that the game was less physical, so that could be a wash.

The dominance of older players in that twilight period was not as great, obviously, but you can still see it. There were guys like Ashe and Newcombe, but Newk went from winning Wimbledon as an amateur in 67 to nothing big until 70, and by that time he was 26. Ashe was a year older. He broke through at the USO in 68, around 25 at the time, but these guys were no teens when they started winning majors. Against that you have guys like Gimeno doing what normally would have been impossible, winning at such an old age.

Now, all of that looks small compared to right now. It's way more obvious, way more lopsided. In my opinion the reason for older dominance now is very different. Medicine, training and quick surgeries are keeping players going longer. There are TUEs, and who knows what is allowed under that loophole. The top players have so much money and inertia behind their success that for me that the whole balance has changed drastically, all on the side of the few players who are now multimillionaires. It's a bit like trying to compete financially in business with Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Everything now favors old players. They have so much money they can travel in luxury, socialize with their teams (no loneliness), take their families with them along with a nanny, pay the best people on the planet to advise them, train them and take care of their bodies.

That's a helluva lot on the seesaw that balances the talent of youth against the privilege of very successful players.

For that to change the Big Three and others like them finally have to run out of gas, then others have to break through. That's my link to the early open era, but because of all these other factors, and more than any thing the inertia of big money, it's taking way longer. WAY longer. Then if you have a top group who are much weaker, very likely, we may see more parity, and we may even see younger players break through, like Connors, Borg and Mac.

However, even then I think the young players who emerge will be several years older on average.
No, there are no young players that are consistently there in the final rounds, even if they constantly fail to beat the big three. There are no young surface specialists (outside of the HC "specialists" that nowadays everyone is).
No disagreement there at all. However, you would think this move away from surface specialization might have been a smooth curve right through the open era, yet it seems to me that it reached its peak in the 90s. You can even see it in RG seeding in those years, because RG seeds by ranking, and ranking had almost zero to do with who won RG in those years. I think the 90s was fun. I think this era mostly is not.
That has already happened!!! The current situation is such that we are talking about at least two "lost gens" and a third underway.
There is no question about this. The only question is why. Decreasing talent may be the biggest reason, but I personally think it is the balance of power based on money, privilege and so on.
Nadal didn't have a single high quality clay court specialist as a rival. No matter how good he might be, there is no going around the fact that his biggest rivals were ATGs with primary HC game.
Absolutely right. Any other clay court specialists have been too weak. But was Borg's dominance much less for the years he was on top? His stats are like Nadal's. The only difference I see is that he quit so much earlier. His greatest rivalry on clay should have been Vilas, but Vilas was normally no threat. There was Panatta, of course.

I'd say that Borg dominated much as Nadal does on clay. What made him unique was his 5 year run on grass. For 5 years Borg was doing the same thing on grass that Nadal did over a 5 year period at RG, and then he had that amazing grass run. Nothing is more impressive to me than that.
That is one of the reasons why I consider the tennis authorities partly responsible for the current status quo: they actively create advantages for the big 3. It is not about the weather though. If you look at my thread about the then coming RG 2019, you will see that I actually predicted that Thiem might end up with one of the most difficult draws. It is a complete and utter joke when it is so obvious that it is easy to predict.
I have not looked into this the way you have. You may be right. However, Thiem has never dominated as much as I think a player of his talent should, so I put that on the other things I talked about, the top players have so much money. Money is power. It's a cliche, but it's also true.
Oh, you will be surprised. I am currently working on compiling the list of opponent of Nadal at RG. The glaring "curiosities" are out there. Comfortable opponents, difficult opponents thrown on the other part of the draw, dark horses as far from him as possible. It is all there. Ferrer was in his part of the draw 10 out of possible 13 times, and one time he wasn't he has beaten him at the AO that year. Almagro was literally scheduled in Nadal's draw at RG. Thiem being thrown in his opponent's part of the draw in the last 4 years. It is a farce.
Again, you may be right about all this. I never underestimate how much powerful people can rig everything.

Question: Do you find that all this is worst at RG than in the other majors? I think RG is by far the most poorly run. Could it also be the most dishonest? Or is this across the board at all majors? And how much of it is due to money, how much due to perceived popularity and thus to ticket sales?
Here is how Almagro's scheduling at RG looked like during his career (the years are when he was scheduled in Nadal's half):
I have not looked closely at Almagro's career. I know that on clay he had an amazingly strong serve on clay for his height. But a quick look tells me that he was around 52% of points on clay for his career, and a guy like that is never a threat to a guy like Nadal.
 
#27
Simple question: what do you think will be the consequences for the sport from the continuing inflating of the career results of the big three?

:cool:
I expect a well thought out and specific algorithm that solves this issue. You are our last hope. But seriously, I want to know how you would fix this problem, because it is a problem.

I expect a thread on my computer first thing in the morning.

 
#28
Simple question: what do you think will be the consequences for the sport from the continuing inflating of the career results of the big three?

:cool:
It's just odd 70s-90s when it was difficult to amass large number of slams.

Year End number 1 record still valid metric to compare players in different eras.
Slam counts never was.

Pancho Gonzales(8 year, 2 year co-number one), Rod Laver(7, 2 year co-number 1) in pre-Open era.
70s-90s: Sampras with 6 straight year end #1(open era official ranking).

Djokovic is nearing open era record tie.
 
#29
I did not say that there is a complete parallel between the early open era and now. That's was not my point. My point was that there are some similarities.

I can't explain why even at the beginning of the 2000s there were still very young guys breaking through, and now there are none. Not only do I not understand it, I hate it.

Also, I see the parallels between right now and the early open era as coming from very different circumstances.

In my mind the early dominance of guys like Laver and Rosewall came from being utterly hungry for money and recognition. They had worked their butts off over a decade for very little money, and it was in obscurity. It is likely that some amateurs got more money under the table, which is why Emerson stayed an amateur. This is why I have such huge respect for those guys. They played anywhere, at any time, under any conditions, and often had to drive themselves to tournaments. It was trial by fire, and I think they were the toughest, least coddled group of pros we've ever seen. And two of them, Laver and Rosewall, were quiet gentlemen.
That is one of the things that the young spectators will never understand (or often can't which leads to confusion while comparing): that the sport during that time needed completely different mental approach. The money, yes, some amateurs received money under the table. There was even a word for that which I forget at the moment. Also, I remember reports for tensions amongst the pros because the newcomers on the pro tour were sometimes receiving less than the established player(s) despite of beating them with regularity.

The first young guy who really broke through was Connors, and he was more or less 14 years older than Laver, 18 years older than Rosewall and 24 years older than Gonzalez. Looking back through the telephoto lens of time it seems as though Connors broke through in zero time. Jimmy had some nice wins in 72, but that was still a few years later. By that time Laver was 34, Rosewall 38 and Gonzalez 44. Connors had more great wins in 73, but he still had no majors. That finally happened in 74, and the time between 68 and 74 is not small. The old pros did not have all the things older players have today to keep them going, and I believe more matches back then were 5 sets, although it could be argued that the game was less physical, so that could be a wash.
The biggest problem there is the separation of the pro and amateurs and the complete mess the structure of tennis at the time was. The void around the transition I assign mostly to that, so I would be reluctant to use this as a parallel, but I understand that factually you are correct in your observation about the age differences.

The dominance of older players in that twilight period was not as great, obviously, but you can still see it. There were guys like Ashe and Newcombe, but Newk went from winning Wimbledon as an amateur in 67 to nothing big until 70, and by that time he was 26. Ashe was a year older. He broke through at the USO in 68, around 25 at the time, but these guys were no teens when they started winning majors. Against that you have guys like Gimeno doing what normally would have been impossible, winning at such an old age.
You probably know that even the best amateurs needed time to adapt to the pro tour, so I don't find the adaptation periods for slightly lesser players all that extraordinary, and with the added confusion around the transition I can see the more experienced players having the upper hand at adapting.

Now, all of that looks small compared to right now. It's way more obvious, way more lopsided. In my opinion the reason for older dominance now is very different. Medicine, training and quick surgeries are keeping players going longer. There are TUEs, and who knows what is allowed under that loophole. The top players have so much money and inertia behind their success that for me that the whole balance has changed drastically, all on the side of the few players who are now multimillionaires. It's a bit like trying to compete financially in business with Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Everything now favors old players. They have so much money they can travel in luxury, socialize with their teams (no loneliness), take their families with them along with a nanny, pay the best people on the planet to advise them, train them and take care of their bodies.
I think that we are on the same page in thinking that the current situation is a result of multiple factors at play, but we need to make the distinction between factors that the players themselves can control legally and ethically, and what is happening.

That's a helluva lot on the seesaw that balances the talent of youth against the privilege of very successful players.

For that to change the Big Three and others like them finally have to run out of gas, then others have to break through. That's my link to the early open era, but because of all these other factors, and more than any thing the inertia of big money, it's taking way longer. WAY longer. Then if you have a top group who are much weaker, very likely, we may see more parity, and we may even see younger players break through, like Connors, Borg and Mac.

However, even then I think the young players who emerge will be several years older on average.

No disagreement there at all. However, you would think this move away from surface specialization might have been a smooth curve right through the open era, yet it seems to me that it reached its peak in the 90s. You can even see it in RG seeding in those years, because RG seeds by ranking, and ranking had almost zero to do with who won RG in those years. I think the 90s was fun. I think this era mostly is not.
Agreed. The 90ies were some of the most entertaining times. The 80ies were the making of the sport as an entertainment in its charismatic guise, and in the 90ies the sport aspect meshed with the charisma to form the broad spectrum.

There is no question about this. The only question is why. Decreasing talent may be the biggest reason, but I personally think it is the balance of power based on money, privilege and so on.
Yes.

Absolutely right. Any other clay court specialists have been too weak. But was Borg's dominance much less for the years he was on top? His stats are like Nadal's. The only difference I see is that he quit so much earlier. His greatest rivalry on clay should have been Vilas, but Vilas was normally no threat. There was Panatta, of course.

I'd say that Borg dominated much as Nadal does on clay. What made him unique was his 5 year run on grass. For 5 years Borg was doing the same thing on grass that Nadal did over a 5 year period at RG, and then he had that amazing grass run. Nothing is more impressive to me than that.
Borg was Borg. Nadal is not Borg, despite of the many similarities. Borg's transition between RG and Wimbledon was literally chameleon-like.

Nadal didn't have any clay court specialist rivals nearly as good as Borg's, so Borg being as dominant means more credit to him. Borg's virtual career end was prompted by factors that are unthinkable in today's conditions, that is why I don't hold it against him in comparisons with modern players. He was as good as it gets.

I have not looked into this the way you have. You may be right. However, Thiem has never dominated as much as I think a player of his talent should, so I put that on the other things I talked about, the top players have so much money. Money is power. It's a cliche, but it's also true.

Again, you may be right about all this. I never underestimate how much powerful people can rig everything.

Question: Do you find that all this is worst at RG than in the other majors? I think RG is by far the most poorly run. Could it also be the most dishonest? Or is this across the board at all majors? And how much of it is due to money, how much due to perceived popularity and thus to ticket sales?
They do it differently. AO and USO play with the surface to grant the desired outcome. USO is also known for several major riggings, including straight up leaked draw before the draw was actually made and admission that they have catered to the desires of certain players with their surface choice. RG was looking for identity similar to when Borg was the king and they found it with Nadal, so they threw everything to make sure he is there winning all the time. Wimbledon has been probably most conservative in that regard as the initial change of the grass composition was looking to solve a real problem and not give advantage. However, after that they also saw the potential in producing Fedal rivalry and succumbed to that. The blunder with the Isner-Mahut matchup three years in a row is also known as is the general speed of the courts presently.

I have not looked closely at Almagro's career. I know that on clay he had an amazingly strong serve on clay for his height. But a quick look tells me that he was around 52% of points on clay for his career, and a guy like that is never a threat to a guy like Nadal.
That is the point: players that are absolutely predictable and comfortable, because they represent basically a routine. He is also compatriot of Nadal, and that fact cannot be underestimated. The Spaniards thrive on established pecking order and the influence of the Nadal clan cannot be stressed enough.

:cool:
 
#30
It's just odd 70s-90s when it was difficult to amass large number of slams.

Year End number 1 record still valid metric to compare players in different eras.
Slam counts never was.

Pancho Gonzales(8 year, 2 year co-number one), Rod Laver(7, 2 year co-number 1) in pre-Open era.
70s-90s: Sampras with 6 straight year end #1(open era official ranking).

Djokovic is nearing open era record tie.
Nadal is some 800 points ahead in the Race to London. The YE#1 is very close.
 
#31
Depends on the fan. I started liking Fed in 05, but never thought he would pass Sampras. He then did and was the greatest ever... but now that's in jeopardy. It does not change that I love watching him play, whether it is the first round of Halle, or the finals at Wimbledon. I savor every match, cause I know he won't be here much longer.
Already in 2004 (when Federer won 3 Slams in a year, which Sampras never could do) it was clear to me that Federer would overtake him. It was also the fashion in which he did it, including the double bagel against Hewitt that convinced me.

Nadal was not there yet, and it was absolutely sure that Federer wouldn’t have the Sampras type of Slam losses against someone like Yzaga, Korda, Kucera, Martin etc. etc. in years to come. And we are not even talking yet about all the clay failures.

Apart from his last tournament (the 2002 US Open) Sampras won only Wimbledon after turning 25 and ne never won anything on clay for his whole career. That’s not enough. It was clear that his record wouldn’t stand for a long time and surely wouldn’t withstand Federer.

And now imagine where the record would stand now if Nadal didn’t come. In fact, he was a huge anomaly nobody could have predicted. And then Djokovic arrived. And still Federer broke the record easily. Now imagine again: How many Slams would Sampras have won in an era with 2 of those rivals?
 
#32
[/QUOTE]
I did not say that there is a complete parallel between the early open era and now. That's was not my point. My point was that there are some similarities.

I can't explain why even at the beginning of the 2000s there were still very young guys breaking through, and now there are none. Not only do I not understand it, I hate it.

Also, I see the parallels between right now and the early open era as coming from very different circumstances.

In my mind the early dominance of guys like Laver and Rosewall came from being utterly hungry for money and recognition. They had worked their butts off over a decade for very little money, and it was in obscurity. It is likely that some amateurs got more money under the table, which is why Emerson stayed an amateur. This is why I have such huge respect for those guys. They played anywhere, at any time, under any conditions, and often had to drive themselves to tournaments. It was trial by fire, and I think they were the toughest, least coddled group of pros we've ever seen. And two of them, Laver and Rosewall, were quiet gentlemen.

The first young guy who really broke through was Connors, and he was more or less 14 years older than Laver, 18 years older than Rosewall and 24 years older than Gonzalez. Looking back through the telephoto lens of time it seems as though Connors broke through in zero time. Jimmy had some nice wins in 72, but that was still a few years later. By that time Laver was 34, Rosewall 38 and Gonzalez 44. Connors had more great wins in 73, but he still had no majors. That finally happened in 74, and the time between 68 and 74 is not small. The old pros did not have all the things older players have today to keep them going, and I believe more matches back then were 5 sets, although it could be argued that the game was less physical, so that could be a wash.

The dominance of older players in that twilight period was not as great, obviously, but you can still see it. There were guys like Ashe and Newcombe, but Newk went from winning Wimbledon as an amateur in 67 to nothing big until 70, and by that time he was 26. Ashe was a year older. He broke through at the USO in 68, around 25 at the time, but these guys were no teens when they started winning majors. Against that you have guys like Gimeno doing what normally would have been impossible, winning at such an old age.

Now, all of that looks small compared to right now. It's way more obvious, way more lopsided. In my opinion the reason for older dominance now is very different. Medicine, training and quick surgeries are keeping players going longer. There are TUEs, and who knows what is allowed under that loophole. The top players have so much money and inertia behind their success that for me that the whole balance has changed drastically, all on the side of the few players who are now multimillionaires. It's a bit like trying to compete financially in business with Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Everything now favors old players. They have so much money they can travel in luxury, socialize with their teams (no loneliness), take their families with them along with a nanny, pay the best people on the planet to advise them, train them and take care of their bodies.

That's a helluva lot on the seesaw that balances the talent of youth against the privilege of very successful players.

For that to change the Big Three and others like them finally have to run out of gas, then others have to break through. That's my link to the early open era, but because of all these other factors, and more than any thing the inertia of big money, it's taking way longer. WAY longer. Then if you have a top group who are much weaker, very likely, we may see more parity, and we may even see younger players break through, like Connors, Borg and Mac.

However, even then I think the young players who emerge will be several years older on average.

No disagreement there at all. However, you would think this move away from surface specialization might have been a smooth curve right through the open era, yet it seems to me that it reached its peak in the 90s. You can even see it in RG seeding in those years, because RG seeds by ranking, and ranking had almost zero to do with who won RG in those years. I think the 90s was fun. I think this era mostly is not.

There is no question about this. The only question is why. Decreasing talent may be the biggest reason, but I personally think it is the balance of power based on money, privilege and so on.

Absolutely right. Any other clay court specialists have been too weak. But was Borg's dominance much less for the years he was on top? His stats are like Nadal's. The only difference I see is that he quit so much earlier. His greatest rivalry on clay should have been Vilas, but Vilas was normally no threat. There was Panatta, of course.

I'd say that Borg dominated much as Nadal does on clay. What made him unique was his 5 year run on grass. For 5 years Borg was doing the same thing on grass that Nadal did over a 5 year period at RG, and then he had that amazing grass run. Nothing is more impressive to me than that.

I have not looked into this the way you have. You may be right. However, Thiem has never dominated as much as I think a player of his talent should, so I put that on the other things I talked about, the top players have so much money. Money is power. It's a cliche, but it's also true.

Again, you may be right about all this. I never underestimate how much powerful people can rig everything.

Question: Do you find that all this is worst at RG than in the other majors? I think RG is by far the most poorly run. Could it also be the most dishonest? Or is this across the board at all majors? And how much of it is due to money, how much due to perceived popularity and thus to ticket sales?

I have not looked closely at Almagro's career. I know that on clay he had an amazingly strong serve on clay for his height. But a quick look tells me that he was around 52% of points on clay for his career, and a guy like that is never a threat to a guy like
I did not say that there is a complete parallel between the early open era and now. That's was not my point. My point was that there are some similarities.

I can't explain why even at the beginning of the 2000s there were still very young guys breaking through, and now there are none. Not only do I not understand it, I hate it.

Also, I see the parallels between right now and the early open era as coming from very different circumstances.

In my mind the early dominance of guys like Laver and Rosewall came from being utterly hungry for money and recognition. They had worked their butts off over a decade for very little money, and it was in obscurity. It is likely that some amateurs got more money under the table, which is why Emerson stayed an amateur. This is why I have such huge respect for those guys. They played anywhere, at any time, under any conditions, and often had to drive themselves to tournaments. It was trial by fire, and I think they were the toughest, least coddled group of pros we've ever seen. And two of them, Laver and Rosewall, were quiet gentlemen.


Absolutely right. Any other clay court specialists have been too weak. But was Borg's dominance much less for the years he was on top? His stats are like Nadal's. The only difference I see is that he quit so much earlier. His greatest rivalry on clay should have been Vilas, but Vilas was normally no threat. There was Panatta, of

I have not looked closely at Almagro's career. I know that on clay he had an amazingly strong serve on clay for his height. But a quick look tells me that he was around 52% of points on clay for his career, and a guy like that is never a threat to a guy like Nadal.
I'm far from convinced there's a problem for young players breaking through in the current era. If a player of the quality of Federer/Nadal/Djokovic came along now they'd break through in a heartbeat. Tsitsipas has gone from 205 to 6 in the world in 2 years, FAA from 110 to 25 in 3 months. All that's really happened is that the leading young players in the last decade have either been flakes or lacked genuine quality. Zverev is a player of very dubious physical and mental ability but got to number 3 with 2 Masters wins at age 20.

To the broader issue of the thread, the big 3 dominance has the sport moving into an interesting place. It looks set up as a classic race against time for Nadal or Djokovic to eclipse Federer's record before Thiem/Tsitsipas/FAA become too good for them. If those younger players compete successfully against the old guard over the next couple of years it positions the tour for strength at the top of the rankings, albeit with a lack of depth below them.
 
#35
[/QUOTE]

On the subject of the thread I think the big 3 dominance has put the sport into an interesting position. Will Thiem/Tsitsipas/FAA be able to thwart Djokovic and Nadal as they chase history. To me it positions it in a classic intergenerational battle.

Regarding the difficulty of young players breaking through. It's not young players that have failed to break through. Players simply didn't break through at all because they were inferior, not due to age. Tsitsipas currently and Zverev a couple of years ago are demonstrating that players can still come through young.
 
#36
On the subject of the thread I think the big 3 dominance has put the sport into an interesting position. Will Thiem/Tsitsipas/FAA be able to thwart Djokovic and Nadal as they chase history. To me it positions it in a classic intergenerational battle.

Regarding the difficulty of young players breaking through. It's not young players that have failed to break through. Players simply didn't break through at all because they were inferior, not due to age. Tsitsipas currently and Zverev a couple of years ago are demonstrating that players can still come through young.
Based on the history of the sport in the OE, it is very unlikely that there was a lack of talent to such an extent. Usually even less talented players would nick a Major and build a solid career around preferred conditions. With the exception of Del Potro, who was completely ruined by injuries, and Cilic, who is only two years younger than Djokovic there is no such a player. That is a HUGE amount of time. We are talking about 1! time Major winners here.

Also, let's not forget that even if the above mentioned young players start winning Majors immediately (and currently only Thiem at RG and USO looks ready for that) the transition will take another couple of years, so we are talking about up to fifteen years of almost no other competition. That is indeed unprecedented anyway you slice it.

:cool:
 
#37
Based on the history of the sport in the OE, it is very unlikely that there was a lack of talent to such an extent. Usually even less talented players would nick a Major and build a solid career around preferred conditions. With the exception of Del Potro, who was completely ruined by injuries, and Cilic, who is only two years younger than Djokovic there is no such a player. That is a HUGE amount of time. We are talking about 1! time Major winners here.

Also, let's not forget that even if the above mentioned young players start winning Majors immediately (and currently only Thiem at RG and USO looks ready for that) the transition will take another couple of years, so we are talking about up to fifteen years of almost no other competition. That is indeed unprecedented anyway you slice it.

:cool:
I think it's lack of talent, combined with mental fragility. Zverev broke through at a young age, and he seems to lack both talent and mental fortitude but was still able to win 2 masters and get to 3 in the world by age 20. Which player was thwarted by this "conspiracy" to sustain the dominance of the Big 3? Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov, Tomic or Kyrgios? It's hard to attribute any of their inability to make it to the very top to organisational bias towards the big 3.
 
#38
This is not about RG.

It has been evident for a long time now that the crisis is unprecedented. The 4 in a row from Djokovic was the harbinger for where the things are heading. Federer vs Nadal in 2017 was already a HUGE red flag. The chance for a second 4 in a row was already the confirmation that the things went out of control.

Also, this sentiment is not new (contrary of what some ****s think right now).

:cool:
Go watch WTA then.
 
#39
The media will try to hype the new gen up as soon as they start winning Slams and pretend that beating a 40 year old Federer and 35+ year old Nadal and Djokovic is just as impressive as it would have been 5-7 years earlier. Some may buy it, but I'm sure many here won't.

I don't know if there will be a significant slump in popularity long term, however. Tennis fans will continue to watch tennis and find new favourites, even if some of them will continue to cry weak era.
 
#40
Already in 2004 (when Federer won 3 Slams in a year, which Sampras never could do) it was clear to me that Federer would overtake him. It was also the fashion in which he did it, including the double bagel against Hewitt that convinced me.

Nadal was not there yet, and it was absolutely sure that Federer wouldn’t have the Sampras type of Slam losses against someone like Yzaga, Korda, Kucera, Martin etc. etc. in years to come. And we are not even talking yet about all the clay failures.

Apart from his last tournament (the 2002 US Open) Sampras won only Wimbledon after turning 25 and ne never won anything on clay for his whole career. That’s not enough. It was clear that his record wouldn’t stand for a long time and surely wouldn’t withstand Federer.

And now imagine where the record would stand now if Nadal didn’t come. In fact, he was a huge anomaly nobody could have predicted. And then Djokovic arrived. And still Federer broke the record easily. Now imagine again: How many Slams would Sampras have won in an era with 2 of those rivals?
Sampras' competition was spread out more. Many more top players existed then. Federer's toughest (and perhaps "tougher") rivals were clustered more closer together, although they may also have been fewer than the field of the 90's. The field has gotten worse and worse since the arrival of Federer and the extreme focus on the internet and self entertainment. The rivals outside the big 3/4 was only a foreshadow of the weakness we still see when old Nadal beats the likes of Thiem in a final. The best the world has "now" still cannot topple "the past".
 
#41
Fedalovic are just that good. Tennis_Hands said a third lost gen is on the way under the titulage of Fedalovic but i really just Believe they are 1 in many billion players who happened to play in the same era. These gens we are seeing, are not good enough cause Fedalovic doesn't allow it. Who knows, would guys like Becker, Edberg, Wilander, etc who all started winning at an early age be able to dethrone the big 3 as youngsters? We will never know, but just think about that for a minute. These lost gens we have seen over the years, have been incredibly unlucky. That's how I see it.
 
#42
Fedalovic are just that good. Tennis_Hands said a third lost gen is on the way under the titulage of Fedalovic but i really just Believe they are 1 in many billion players who happened to play in the same era. These gens we are seeing, are not good enough cause Fedalovic doesn't allow it. Who knows, would guys like Becker, Edberg, Wilander, etc who all started winning at an early age be able to dethrone the big 3 as youngsters? We will never know, but just think about that for a minute. These lost gens we have seen over the years, have been incredibly unlucky. That's how I see it.
Lol, so your explanation is 3 simultaneous cases of “1 in many billion”? Don’t quit your day job, buddy. Unless your day job is explaining things, then quit. Fast. :)
 
#44
Fedalovic are just that good. Tennis_Hands said a third lost gen is on the way under the titulage of Fedalovic but i really just Believe they are 1 in many billion players who happened to play in the same era. These gens we are seeing, are not good enough cause Fedalovic doesn't allow it. Who knows, would guys like Becker, Edberg, Wilander, etc who all started winning at an early age be able to dethrone the big 3 as youngsters? We will never know, but just think about that for a minute. These lost gens we have seen over the years, have been incredibly unlucky. That's how I see it.
The lost gens are real. You need more proof than actual tennis matches ? Nishikori and Rao have 1 major final each which they lost badly . Dmitrov , Zverev , Goffin - lesser said the better

Only Thiem has reached 4 SF now but he is clearly not at a level to beat Rafa

There is no other way to see it that the next gens have been an incredible failure . Nothing to do with big 3 being giants
 
#46
Fedalovic are just that good. Tennis_Hands said a third lost gen is on the way under the titulage of Fedalovic but i really just Believe they are 1 in many billion players who happened to play in the same era. These gens we are seeing, are not good enough cause Fedalovic doesn't allow it. Who knows, would guys like Becker, Edberg, Wilander, etc who all started winning at an early age be able to dethrone the big 3 as youngsters? We will never know, but just think about that for a minute. These lost gens we have seen over the years, have been incredibly unlucky. That's how I see it.
Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov are no better than Berdych, Ferrer and Tsonga. They're also no better than past "nearly" players such as Nalbandian, Henman, Martin, Gottfried, Curren etc. None of these players won a major.

They're not quite good enough to win majors, no matter what era they play in.
 
#48
Sampras' competition was spread out more. Many more top players existed then. Federer's toughest (and perhaps "tougher") rivals were clustered more closer together, although they may also have been fewer than the field of the 90's. The field has gotten worse and worse since the arrival of Federer and the extreme focus on the internet and self entertainment. The rivals outside the big 3/4 was only a foreshadow of the weakness we still see when old Nadal beats the likes of Thiem in a final. The best the world has "now" still cannot topple "the past".
The top isn’t always the same, that’s for sure. Not every 10 years have a GOAT candidate. But the field behind the top 5 or top 10 should always be quite comparable. At least it is highly unlikely statistically that a "full field" ist just that much weaker in another era. I think Sampras being pushed out of the game really was due to him being not exactly as good as the Big 3, at least not consistantly.

And the arrival of new racquet technology also played a part, because Sampras was too stubborn to change (and the others who started with it would have had an advantage anyway).

But by the way, even if Sampras really had a disadvantage, then that would have been an argument more that Federer would overtake him, and not the opposite.

No matter how we look at it, 14 was never that much. In the women’s game 4 players already had much more and the Open Era only existed some 30 years then with many players only played all 4 Slams for 10-15 years. That weren’t the right circumstances to already set a record for eternity with 14.
 
#49
Whenever you see a stat qualified with "since the ABA merger" that translates to: Wilt's numbers are laughably untouchable.

Adding 4 teams clearly necessitates a new set of records???
Also the consideration that about 30-40% of the best basketball players in North America by the year 1976 were playing in a rival league before the merger. And also the 1960's game is worlds different than the game after the introduction of the 3 point shot in 1979. And even in more modern times the NBA of today plays well differently than the NBA of 2004.
 
#50
I think it's lack of talent, combined with mental fragility. Zverev broke through at a young age, and he seems to lack both talent and mental fortitude but was still able to win 2 masters and get to 3 in the world by age 20. Which player was thwarted by this "conspiracy" to sustain the dominance of the Big 3? Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov, Tomic or Kyrgios? It's hard to attribute any of their inability to make it to the very top to organisational bias towards the big 3.
Being poised against ATGs with privileges creates mental fragility. I will be surprised if the current developments from RG don't have negative impact on Thiem. Not being able to get a foothold on your own terms does the same. The obvious victim from that tactic is Del Po, who literally broke himself because he was poised so much against Federer in his early years and was failing, thus being forced to overplay elsewhere. Thiem is the most recent example. Cilic is another. If you look up his draws in his best period 2014 and after until 2018 you will notice how often he was drawn in the Quarters and even in the R3 and R4 with possible the favourite or the second favourite and often his draws were nightmarish, including his winning USO run (Baghdatis 86 in R1 (but he retired after set and a half), Marchenko 163, Anderson #20 in R3!, Simon #31 in R4, Berdych #7 in QF, Federer #3 in the SF. Compare that to Nadal's USO runs and tell me what you see.

:cool:
 
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