Why American Men Have Not Succeeded in Tennis

After watching several matches, I have come to the conclusion that American men don't take fitness as seriously as everyone else and rely on talent more than anything. Steve Johnson (as of US Open 2020) looks chubby and out of shape, along with Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Stefan Kozlov, and others I'm sure I've forgotten. Why haven't they gotten the memo yet?
 

clayqueen

G.O.A.T.
I was on holiday in Washington once standing outside the White House when an American family walked by with a little boy wearing an oversized t-shirt. One of the people standing there remarked: "look at the size of that boy's shirt" another guy said "because he knows he's going to be fat one day". :-D

Sorry to the Americans on this forum. I am not being mean, just relating a true story.
 

Miki 1234

Rookie
Its because pro tennis is a crapy sport and no one wants to risk their future playing it.Chances to make it are slim to none.
Only top athletes with full commitment can make it in such sport and there are much better options around from young age.You need to be born to do it and other better sports take the most talent away. Tennis as a pro sport is going down fast.Americans just figured it out sooner.
 

zaph

Professional
Its because pro tennis is a crapy sport and no one wants to risk their future playing it.Chances to make it are slim to none.
Only top athletes with full commitment can make it in such sport and there are much better options around from young age.You need to be born to do it and other better sports take the most talent away. Tennis as a pro sport is going down fast.Americans just figured it out sooner.
I have heard this excuse before and the problem with it is Americans are acting as if Europeans don't have other sporting options, when they do. Football is huge in Europe and sucks in a lot of potential tennis players. Yet Europe still manages to produce decent players.

My take on it is the American game is too dependent on power. European players are brought up on clay courts and are simply better from the back of the court than their American equivalents.
 

Miki 1234

Rookie
I have heard this excuse before and the problem with it is Americans are acting as if Europeans don't have other sporting options, when they do. Football is huge in Europe and sucks in a lot of potential tennis players. Yet Europe still manages to produce decent players.

My take on it is the American game is too dependent on power. European players are brought up on clay courts and are simply better from the back of the court than their American equivalents.
You are comparing europe to america lol.Europe is not one country but many countries that are way different from each other.You cant compare it like that.Each countrie is very specific and some are really good for tennis.Keep in mind pro tennis is very specific sport that takes way more then it gives.And it needs specific conditions which i will not go in detail.
 

blablavla

Legend
Lol google swiss then bulgaria or moldova. You americans are very ignorant to say the least when it comes to countries haha.
I'm not American.
so, you might be the ignorant here.

P.S.
I might know more than you about Switzerland, Bulgaria and Moldova.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
The US style of play (for the men) is not working. Too much focus on power and not enough on finesse and the right tactics. Serena got away with it because her power was just that much greater, but overall it doesn't always work. Somehow other countries just play smarter. It has to be a cultural thing. Men in europe don't frown upon soccer or ballet, whereas in the US basketball, NFL and NHL makes kids want to be something that doesn't necessarily apply to tennis. Being smart is just as impressive to me as hitting powerful. Heck I miss Hingis and someone like McEnroe for the US.

Hsieh on the women's side shows that tennis is not just about power.
 

blablavla

Legend
Then you would not compare american cpuntries with european .
I am not comparing them.
Simply pointed to a flaw in your argument.

Just like Switzerland is a confederation, where every canton has own rules about many things, USA is having states, where every state has its own rules on many aspects of life.
And in both cases, there are some laws, that apply all over the country, they use same currency, but essentially Switzerland is a union of 26 countries with 4 official languages and CHF as currency and USA is a union of 50 countries with a 1 official language and USD as currency.
And if you want to take it further, to say that Europe is a bunch of countries, that have various laws, etc., well, it's not that different in the US.

Main difference is that US has 1 official language, and a huge community of people speaking Spanish, so essentially by covering these 2 languages you can cover most of the US, while in Europe you would need much more languages.
But that's all about it.
Just like in Europe, US has different regions at different economic development level.
And not only economic development.

Perhaps you should travel some time to US, open your mind and explore the country.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
American tennis is too dependent on expensive in many cases inferior coaching and too many sports that are more meaningful to this country
 

Miki 1234

Rookie
I am not comparing them.
Simply pointed to a flaw in your argument.

Just like Switzerland is a confederation, where every canton has own rules about many things, USA is having states, where every state has its own rules on many aspects of life.
And in both cases, there are some laws, that apply all over the country, they use same currency, but essentially Switzerland is a union of 26 countries with 4 official languages and CHF as currency and USA is a union of 50 countries with a 1 official language and USD as currency.
And if you want to take it further, to say that Europe is a bunch of countries, that have various laws, etc., well, it's not that different in the US.

Main difference is that US has 1 official language, and a huge community of people speaking Spanish, so essentially by covering these 2 languages you can cover most of the US, while in Europe you would need much more languages.
But that's all about it.
Just like in Europe, US has different regions at different economic development level.
And not only economic development.

Perhaps you should travel some time to US, open your mind and explore the country.
Not even close as i said beyond ignorant you compare swiss with swiss lol not swiss with moldova
 

blablavla

Legend
Not even close as i said beyond ignorant you comprae swuss with swiss lol not swiss with moldova
and you think that there are no poor places in the US?
if you wouldn't be so ignorant, and you wouldn't let the mass media to wash your brain, you'd be shocked to learn about the amount of poor people in the US.
you might actually be shocked to learn about the amount of poor people in the EU, if you wouldn't be that ignorant.

so try again.
 

Miki 1234

Rookie
and you think that there are no poor places in the US?
if you wouldn't be so ignorant, and you wouldn't let the mass media to wash your brain, you'd be shocked to learn about the amount of poor people in the US.
you might actually be shocked to learn about the amount of poor people in the EU, if you wouldn't be that ignorant.

so try again.
Moldova and bulgaria 2 poorest countries in europe have both top 100 atp players and could probably beat usa in davis cup together . Now stop talking you know nothing about europe countries. Its not about being poor or rich but conditions for pro tennis
 

blablavla

Legend
Moldova and bulgaria 2 poorest countries in europe have both top 100 atp players and could probably beat usa in davis cup together . Now stop talking you know nothing about europe countries. Its not about being poor or rich but conditions for pro tennis
tell me better what do you know about US
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
There is a great interview with Brad Gilbert and he talks about this:
Don't remember when, but the whole interview is interesting.

Ok found it - 27:50
 
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tonylg

Hall of Fame
American tennis has lost its soul, as has Australian tennis.

Sure, you can employ European coaches to teach kids to play slow court tennis, but there is no 100 years of culture for the community to really embrace it. Europeans have a history of boring baseline play (with a few beautiful exceptions) so the current conditions suit them to a tee.

With that comes increased interest in tennis, increased participation and increased success. The reverse applies when those who have spent a lifetime playing tennis have very little interest in what the sport has become.

Imagine being European and there being no clay court tennis. Sounds like heaven to me, but I think it would have a negative effect on European tennis as a whole.
 

lisea

New User
Let me count the ways 1. McEnroes - they did a horrible job in being General Manager in USTA player development. Patrick has the longest tenure being the Davis Cup coach and with the talent he had he should have won more than once. They have foot in everything- player development, coaching, broadcasting. 2. USTA spending too much time on political correct issues rather then player development. USTA does a lousy job in player development and promoting tennis. 3. Pete Sampras and Agassi don’t want to be coaches. 4. Opelka, Isner, Querrey, Steve Johnson- we are producing tall unathletic players that rely too much on their serve. 5. Players not picking the right coaches - didn’t Blake and Chang have their brothers as coaches. who did Donald Young have as his coach- his mother? 6. No clay court tournaments in USA or not spending time playing on clay which strengthens baseline techniques.
 

Miki 1234

Rookie
Let me count the ways 1. McEnroes - they did a horrible job in being General Manager in USTA player development. Patrick has the longest tenure being the Davis Cup coach and with the talent he had he should have won more than once. They have foot in everything- player development, coaching, broadcasting. 2. USTA spending too much time on political correct issues rather then player development. USTA does a lousy job in player development and promoting tennis. 3. Pete Sampras and Agassi don’t want to be coaches. 4. Opelka, Isner, Querrey, Steve Johnson- we are producing tall unathletic players that rely too much on their serve. 5. Players not picking the right coaches - didn’t Blake and Chang have their brothers as coaches. who did Donald Young have as his coach- his mother? 6. No clay court tournaments in USA or not spending time playing on clay which strengthens baseline techniques.
There arent 2 hard courts in whole croatia and you cry about minor things .
Not a single hard court in zagreb 1 million population and a capital city, and not even 1 in second largest city split.
They beat usa last 5 times i davis cup
No one in a right mind would pay for their kids to go pro in tennis when there are better options to get rich .
 
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r2473

G.O.A.T.
What does it mean to be successful in tennis as a country?

If I knew how you define success, I could give you a better answer.
 

EdMcMush

Professional
they all have crap backhands and all these kids worshipped Roddick growing up and just serve and forehand or something like that. I peaked in D3 so i am not qualified
 

Kevin T

Hall of Fame
The REAL question is...why does France stink so bad at tennis? :)

Europe has dominated recently and there are coaching and participation issues in the US but as late as 2018, the US had won 25% of all open era men's Slam championships (~51 out of 200 at the time). We've also produce multiple multi-Slam winners:

.

Sweden and Australia definitely punch above their weight. Great tradition with smaller population bases.

American women have utterly dominated the Slam count with multiple champions:

.

Take that, skinny Euros! Just imagine if we weren't so fat.
 

rabidranger

Rookie
Americans have normalised being unhealthy within their country.

It's just difficult to appreciate, because most US sportspeople play in niche and parochial sports.

For a country with a third of a billion people, they are pretty bloody cr*p at any meaningful sport.
Which sports are those? I have a feeling you are going to say soccer and you would be correct. The U.S. sporting culture is by and large built around North American-centric sports (baseball, American football, basketball, and hockey). Tennis has become more of a niche sport/recreational game-especially on the men's side. Add in deficient coaching, bloated infrastructure, and a general "style" that is ill-suited to rising to the top of the profession and it's not hard to understand why U.S. men's tennis is in the crapper. To me, the only way you will see the rise of the next's U.S. men's champion is if at a young age the chosen one relocates to Europe and is trained in that system. Will probably be a kid from a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant family-maybe eastern European.
 
Marvelous thread... Why American Men have not Succeeded in Tennis....

These guys say Hi. 37 major titles between them all.


once again you have outdone yourself in terms of not reading what my post is about. it is obvious that i am speaking about the CURRENT (current means “right now”) state of American’s men’s tennis. This is before the obesity epidemic in the US that obviously has somewhat carried over to our male players. i know this will be difficult for you, but please FINISH reading my post before you go crazy with a counter-comment next time. thanks babe
 
The REAL question is...why does France stink so bad at tennis? :)

Take that, skinny Euros! Just imagine if we weren't so fat.
I'm not sure "Euros" are so skinny, after the end of the confinement in France there was people waiting for three hours at the Macdonal drive :rolleyes: "Kebab" greek sandwich are very popular too. French gastronomy...

And yes the France is like America for tennis : https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/no-raise-for-the-french-tennis.677077/
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
Steve Johnson (as of US Open 2020) looks chubby and out of shape, along with Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Stefan Kozlov, and others I'm sure I've forgotten.


wut?

Johnson looked great after 4 hours in the 1st round. No fitness issues there! I feel like that guy is maximizing his talent level on the tour.

I agree that Sock looks thick... but he kinda' always has, even when he was #8 in the world. But he was still moving good in his first round 5 setter. Confidence and focus are his biggest obstacles.

Harrison and Kozlov? Do those guys even play anymore? Both of them are ranked outside the top 300 right now. Harrison is a head case and Kozlov's main issues were injuries and a lack of a pro level weapon.

The fact is that the US has not had a top 5 level talent in the game since Roddick. Lots of guys in that #15 to #50 range, but no next level Slam championship players, similar to what has happened in Sweden. But if countries like Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain can produce Hall of Famers, it's just a matter of time before an American man rises to the top again.
 

dahcovixx

Professional
If you notice, americans are only good at sports they "only play". Football, basketball and baseball. We call our championships "world champs"

Tennis has an international competition pool. You also have to be good at all things, not specialized (like the sports i mentioned)
 

gdeangel

Rookie
I think an interesting question to throw into the mix is why Andy Roddick decided to retire. Sure, 30 was a pretty "normal" age to retire at, but we are seeing Federer having relative success right through now, with always retirement in the horizon but he just keeps coming back for more. Why? What psychologically or economically is different from what Roddick might have looked forward to?

I think it has a lot to do with opportunity cost. If you are famous enough to press palms of rich people, you can follow the example of our former US Presidents, and appropriate the goodwill of your past fame into private wealth... tax free... for just being "available" to peddle influence and talk and act like a hot shot.

There is another reason why US women have success but US men have not. It has to do with race. But it's not what you think. There is a huge amount of risk associated with kids sports. This is because the way higher education works in the USA. You can't just take the BAC and get into college. You have to build a "portfolio" of crap, even to get into a decent public college. When you are just playing on the courts early on, you are sacrificing "value" in building that portfolio if you don't pan out. And statistically speaking, it won't pan out for the majority of kids. So what demographic can afford to slack off on their grades, skip the Eagle Scouts, not bother with school sports or character oriented activities? Well, here's a clue... when you check a particular box on your college applications in the USA you earn a VERY big bump for what would otherwise be "meh" grades, SAT scores, etc. That group has been handed a risk subsidy so that pursuing "fame" and "fortune" in the form of sports and entertainment (including music, fashion, etc.) by the cabal disguising itself as the trustees of the budding intellects of America. Now, why are the African American women able to figure this out, while African American men don't seem to care? Well, that's where it gets sport specific. Once America had Tiger, it became "conventional wisdom" that a new wave of black golfers was going to dominate. It didn't happen. And Tiger really didn't set himself up as an ambasador of Black male culture -- because Black male culture isn't really a consumer culture... at least not the kind of consumption that moves merch. So Tiger shrugged and moved on to peddline merch to white dudes, and stopped being a black inspiration. But in tennis, it was the Williams Sisters, and it turns out black FEMALE culture is a great fit for merchandizing everything from cosmetics to tennis outfits for people who will never step on a court. And in a largely color blind consumer society, they are able to pretty much seamlessly peddle merch to Caucasian women & girls too. That has been a beacon for African American girls to get in the women's game of tennis. When you see more African American boys on the tennis courts instead of the basketball courts, that's when the American mens game will get back to some level of matching the rest of the world elite men.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
once again you have outdone yourself in terms of not reading what my post is about.
Then learn English grammar and your problem is solved.

Your thread read:

Why American men have not succeeded in tennis.

So actually I did read "what your post is all about," and exposed it as the asinine non-grammatical nonsense it is. Is you wanted to restrict your thread to current players, then take a course in first grade English grammar and change your thread to:

"Why American men are not succeeding in tennis."

Present and past tense in English are generally covered by the first grade. Good luck!
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
I sort of think it's a holdover from the Bollettieri days.

We train our players in the Agassi mold, and today that no longer works.
 

Crazy Finn

Semi-Pro
I sort of think it's a holdover from the Bollettieri days.

We train our players in the Agassi mold, and today that no longer works.
I don't think that's true.

You see echoes of Agassi's game in Rafa and Novak to a degree. Not completely, but some.
Agassi was an aggressive baseliner that had excellent all-court skills. He was a mover, he was a grinder, he could attack and defend. He built an effective serve, but it was not dominant.

Most current American players have a big serve and a big forehand.... and that's it. Everything else is mediocre.

We train our players in the Agassi Roddick mold, and today that no longer works.

Fixed it for ya.
 
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