Why is Europe so dominant over the rest of the world tenniswise?

Oldbaby

New User
It's a cycle thing, no? American tennis was bigger in the era before the rise of Roger. Australian and South American tennis have been better than they are at the top level now, too.

But I also just think tennis is more popular (relatively speaking) in Europe (especially Eastern Europe?) than it is in the U.S. anyway. Not that it's the most popular sport in Europe either.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
There's 10 other pro sports that all pay more than tennis in America. The truly athletic freaks play those sports usually because they're initially cheaper to get started in and have a higher chance of working out. Europe just has soccer and not much else for the people with extreme upper body coordination.
 

dadadas

Semi-Pro
There's 10 other pro sports that all pay more than tennis in America. The truly athletic freaks play those sports usually because they're initially cheaper to get started in and have a higher chance of working out. Europe just has soccer and not much else for the people with extreme upper body coordination.
1st. Tennis is a skill sport. Would the top NFL athletes make it into in the top 10 ATP if they had chosen tennis? Dont you think that they had tried out multiple sports in their childhood years and eventually chose the one sport that they excel at?
2nd. America as a nation has always won Olympic gold medals in many sports. So the excuse of "not having the best athletes to play tennis" doesnt sound right when you have the best athletes in so many sports.
3rd. America still has a good number of well-off families. If a sport is too expensive, it would still favour the Americans more than folks from European nations. Just look at golf.
 
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Fabresque

Hall of Fame
Because Europe doesn’t **** around and actually invites the best players for the most part. Ruud is as boring as pig snot but he’s #2 in the world.

World just invite anyone who’s flashy. Jack Sock isn’t even a tour player yet got invited lol.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
It's mostly due to the decline of tennis in America and Australia since 2000
Australian tennis declined in the mid 1970s, ending the biggest 40+ year boom of new talent ever seen in the sport from a nation, that had been largely spearheaded by Harry Hopman. Ever since, Australia has only had a small number of really top tennis players. It used to be overflowing with such players for decades from 1930s to 1970s.
 
Who can afford to take tennis lessons and get good under these inflation ridden countries with lousy leadership? Its cheaper to go shoot hoops or throw a football. Tennis is for rich yuppies and most people can't afford groceries now in this hell-hole we call contemporary earth much less dropping thousands on tennis lessons at the club
 

Hoi Polloi

Professional
There's 10 other pro sports that all pay more than tennis in America. The truly athletic freaks play those sports usually because they're initially cheaper to get started in and have a higher chance of working out. Europe just has soccer and not much else for the people with extreme upper body coordination.
What are those 10 other pro sports?
Golf, pickleball, wrestling, rugby, cricket and…?
 

Hoi Polloi

Professional
Australian tennis declined in the mid 1970s, ending the biggest 40+ year boom of new talent ever seen in the sport from a nation, that had been largely spearheaded by Harry Hopman. Ever since, Australia has only had a small number of really top tennis players. It used to be overflowing with such players for decades from 1930s to 1970s.
Australians are about 0.1 % of the world population.
 

Hoi Polloi

Professional
Who can afford to take tennis lessons and get good under these inflation ridden countries with lousy leadership? Its cheaper to go shoot hoops or throw a football. Tennis is for rich yuppies and most people can't afford groceries now in this hell-hole we call contemporary earth much less dropping thousands on tennis lessons at the club
Thank God Poland, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Spain don‘t have these problems.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Australians are about 0.1 % of the world population.
Try listing all the good to great Australian players from the 1930s to 1970s. It's a long list. Pat Cash must have felt a little lonely by comparison in the 1980s, although there were the Macs in the doubles.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
There's 10 other pro sports that all pay more than tennis in America. The truly athletic freaks play those sports usually because they're initially cheaper to get started in and have a higher chance of working out. Europe just has soccer and not much else for the people with extreme upper body coordination.
pretty much this... Australia is similar

Outside Australia and the US, there aren't many other affluent non-European countries with a strong tennis culture
 

aus89

Rookie
Clay courts are a pretty big part of it, competition with other sports and the fact that European players can drive around Europe pretty cheaply all year playing high level tournaments in Futures/Challengers, vs the exorbitant cost of trying to be a pro tennis player from somewhere like Australia requiring international flights etc... in a sport which is already elitist and expensive - it just isn't really a realistic prospect unless you're the 1 in 1000 who get Tennis Australia's attention/support
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Becausw Europeans (including us Brits) are level headed and ready for hard work unlike entitled Americans.
I think the USTA made a big mistake 20+ years ago by using Sampras as their model instead of Agassi. By that, I mean big power serving, blast opponents off the face of the earth with power groundstrokes, ending the rally early. That doesn't work as well in the poly era, which favours endurance rallying more.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Basketball
NBA
NFL
Football

All those sports pay way more than tennis and the parents of future US athletes push their kids to the sports that will get them the most $$$.

Fritz is 24, the best American in the world. He's earned a total career earnings of $9 million USD. Fellow 24 year old NBA player Jayson Tatum is on a 5 year $200 million dollar deal.

Doesn't compare does it.
 

AO13

Professional
Easy. Just look at the ranks of European players and the ranks of World players. The quality is obviously on side of Team Europe.

Plus, in every edition of Laver Cup so far apart of 2021, Team Europe had 2 out of 3 greatest tennis player ever in their roster.
 

Bambooman

Hall of Fame
Realistically it seems because it costs less to get noticed and supported.

Americans seem to complicate the sport excessively.
 

CHillTennis

Professional
Because Europe doesn’t **** around and actually invites the best players for the most part. Ruud is as boring as pig snot but he’s #2 in the world.

World just invite anyone who’s flashy. Jack Sock isn’t even a tour player yet got invited lol.
"Lame Horse Nick" is also a regular at the Laver Cup.
 

insideguy

Legend
I was thinking about modern day and I also think, the sport is mostly centered around Europe. Players from other parts of the world have a bigger challenge not just in development, for various reasons but 70 percent of the tournaments are in Europe. If you are from Aussie you are always away from home. South America even more so. Japan, China ect. China doesn't even have tournaments anymore. North America has a couple or tournament runs, but most of the Tennis world is centered around the European continent. So its a chicken or egg thing. The season starts in Australia, then moves to Europe, then comes to North America, Then back to Europe for a looooooooong time. Then even after Wimbledon more euro tournaments, then back to North America, and now with barely and Asian swing, baaaaaaack to Europe.
 

Hoi Polloi

Professional
Try listing all the good to great Australian players from the 1930s to 1970s. It's a long list. Pat Cash must have felt a little lonely by comparison in the 1980s, although there were the Macs in the doubles.
That is a big part because in those decades tennis was mainly a sport played by Americans, Brits and Australians with a few French and South African sprinkles.
 

nemala

New User
Basketball
NBA
NFL
Football

All those sports pay way more than tennis and the parents of future US athletes push their kids to the sports that will get them the most $$$.

Fritz is 24, the best American in the world. He's earned a total career earnings of $9 million USD. Fellow 24 year old NBA player Jayson Tatum is on a 5 year $200 million dollar deal.

Doesn't compare does it.
NBA and NFL definitely drain most of the African American talent but where are all the athletic talents from the other 85% of the population?
 

insideguy

Legend
NBA and NFL definitely drain most of the African American talent but where are all the athletic talents from the other 85% of the population?
MLB, NHL, Even MLS. But its more than just that. But like I said most of the tour is centered around Europe. The American Women do fine as it is probably outside of playing on the national soccer team, or being a super high level figure skater or gymnast the most profitable sport for women in the USA.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I've been gaming out the implications of the NIL change in America and how it might impact men's/women's tennis. I think that you're going to see an uptick in American men playing tennis in college for 4 years and the possibility that the overall quality of our development league will start to raise the bar a bit.
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
Australia is just about talent pool. Though swimming, rugby, basketball compete.

USA just has too much choice and tennis pay is crap in comparison for lower tier players.

South America lacks the money but Delpo & Nalbandian both had injury issues so that's just flukey.

Europe has the most tournaments and travel proximity/cost allows for easiest path to make money plus so many national programs. Numbers game.
 

TimHenmanATG

Hall of Fame
The population of first-world countries in Western, Central, and Southern Europe amounts to around 400 million. Throw in another 250+ million people from ''not quite, but almost'' first-world countries in Eastern Europe, then the dominance is understandable.

It's just whingeing yanks (population 330m) who decry the fact that they are second-rate in sports every time they venture out olf their comfy ''neighbourhood''.

Also, ''Europe'' isn't a ''thing''. A Swede has no simpatico with a Hungarian, a Dutch person doesn't share any meaningful cultural relatioship with a Greek, a British person has virtually nothing in common with a Bulgarian, etc.
 
1st. Tennis is a skill sport. Would the top NFL athletes make it into in the top 10 ATP if they had chosen tennis? Dont you think that they had tried out multiple sports in their childhood years and eventually chose the one sport that they excel at?
2nd. America as a nation has always won Olympic gold medals in many sports. So the excuse of "not having the best athletes to play tennis" doesnt sound right when you have the best athletes in so many sports.
3rd. America still has a good number of well-off families. If a sport is too expensive, it would still favour the Americans more than folks from European nations. Just look at golf.
Sure, lots of jocks in affluent families but they're not living in Florida and California. McEnroe's academy doesn't seem able to recruit top notch athletes
 

crimson87

Rookie
When you think of it. Most sports are dominated by Europe: Lots of population with high income. State sponsored programs. Lots of different countries to foster competition, ridiculous distances...
And n a sport where travel makes or breaks your career, Europe will always dominate. If south American/Australian trained instead of spending a bajillion hours on a plane results could be different.
 

insideguy

Legend
When you think of it. Most sports are dominated by Europe: Lots of population with high income. State sponsored programs. Lots of different countries to foster competition, ridiculous distances...
And n a sport where travel makes or breaks your career, Europe will always dominate. If south American/Australian trained instead of spending a bajillion hours on a plane results could be different.
Not really sure what you mean by most sports. Different countries play different sports. The USA consistently wins the most Olympic medals in the summer games by far. The USA also plays American football which no one else plays. And baseball which maybe 10 countries produce players. These are thousands of high payed pro athletes right there. Also almost half the NHL is American players. Europe dominates soccer and tennis and bicycle stuff which makes sense. There are so many sports I dont know how someone could say Europe dominates most sports. The whole thing is silly anyway. The UK doesn't produce any skiers which is understandable. Countries with mountains and snow do.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Basketball
NBA
NFL
Football

All those sports pay way more than tennis and the parents of future US athletes push their kids to the sports that will get them the most $$$.

Fritz is 24, the best American in the world. He's earned a total career earnings of $9 million USD. Fellow 24 year old NBA player Jayson Tatum is on a 5 year $200 million dollar deal.

Doesn't compare does it.
People like to say that 'the best American athletes are playing football and basketball,' but I think it's a mistake to assume that NBA players would automatically dominate tennis

The big, rangy wing players that dominate the NBA are literally too big and not agile enough for a tennis court

Their levers are too long to generate the kind of RHS you consistently need (this is one reason MJ sucked in baseball)

Long arms/legs aren't the same advantage on the ATP that they are in the NBA
 

JeMar

Legend
The conventional wisdom is that it comes down to...

1. European players usually having a background in soccer when younger, thus developing good footwork skills from a very young age, and

2. A much greater availability of clay courts in Europe leads to more players developing a more complete skill set. On clay, you can't dominate with just a big forehand and a big serve, like you can on hard courts, especially when you're a young junior player. Thus, players often have to develop consistency, a drop shot, play the angles, etc. and when a player comes into their body and benefits from the power that comes with that, it's an added tool in an already-wide arsenal.
 

PSNELKE

Legend
I think the USTA made a big mistake 20+ years ago by using Sampras as their model instead of Agassi. By that, I mean big power serving, blast opponents off the face of the earth with power groundstrokes, ending the rally early. That doesn't work as well in the poly era, which favours endurance rallying more.
It's not just about the poly era. Idk wtf they were thinking but I am not sure they understood how hard it is and how much talent it takes to serve like Pete, Goran when you're not a 7 foot tree like Isner, Opelka and Karlovic.

Til this day 6'3 Goran holds the record for most aces in a single season (1477 in 1996), the next 10 best seasons are all by 7 footers Isner and Karlovic with another one by Goran. Pete is in there somwhere as well with a bunch of 1000 aces per season feats.
 
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PSNELKE

Legend
Basketball
NBA
NFL
Football

All those sports pay way more than tennis and the parents of future US athletes push their kids to the sports that will get them the most $$$.

Fritz is 24, the best American in the world. He's earned a total career earnings of $9 million USD. Fellow 24 year old NBA player Jayson Tatum is on a 5 year $200 million dollar deal.

Doesn't compare does it.
Reasonable post. Also that's a reason why heavyweight boxing is dying. Why would a 6'4, 250 Ibs dude choose to get beat tf up in the ring for 20 years, rise up the rankings...when he can become a linebacker, nose tackle or whatever in the NFL and make millions playing 5-10, years?
 

insideguy

Legend
The conventional wisdom is that it comes down to...

1. European players usually having a background in soccer when younger, thus developing good footwork skills from a very young age, and

2. A much greater availability of clay courts in Europe leads to more players developing a more complete skill set. On clay, you can't dominate with just a big forehand and a big serve, like you can on hard courts, especially when you're a young junior player. Thus, players often have to develop consistency, a drop shot, play the angles, etc. and when a player comes into their body and benefits from the power that comes with that, it's an added tool in an already-wide arsenal.
The sport centers around Europe. It’s really like asking why Europeans win most tour de frances. Most of the tournaments are there. Most of the tour is there. This whole thing is really silly. It’s like asking why Canada dominates hockey
 

JeMar

Legend
The sport centers around Europe. It’s really like asking why Europeans win most tour de frances. Most of the tournaments are there. Most of the tour is there. This whole thing is really silly. It’s like asking why Canada dominates hockey
I think it's an interesting question, since the US has had a good number of great players over the years up until the last 20 years or so. If you look at a list of all-time greats, the US and Australia are both extremely overrepresented in comparison to Europe.

But you're right about simply having more access. In Europe, you're always at least a decent drive's distance away from high level completion. A player can sustain himself playing club tennis, while still working on their game. In the US, you may need to fly and those tournaments are much less common.
 
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insideguy

Legend
I think it's an interesting question, since the US has had a good number of great players over the years up until the last 20 years or so. If you look at a list of all-time greats, the US and Australia are both extremely overrepresented in comparison to Europe.

But you're right about simply having more access. In Europe, you're always at least a decent drive's distance away from high level completion. A player can sustain himself playing club tennis, while still working on their game. In the US, you may need to fly and those tournaments are much less common.
Yea and Australia before that but the center of the tennis universe now is europe. The infrastructure is there the players don’t have to travel as much, the incentives are higher.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Tennis is a truly global sport now, whereas in the "golden days" it was still a predominantly English-speaking game and the best players rightly came from the Anglosphere. Sampras and Agassi were the last holdovers from that era

So as the Anglosphere declined in influence, so did the tennis
 

insideguy

Legend
Tennis is a truly global sport now, whereas in the "golden days" it was still a predominantly English-speaking game and the best players rightly came from the Anglosphere. Sampras and Agassi were the last holdovers from that era

So as the Anglosphere declined in influence, so did the tennis
Exactly I would maintain a guy like nishikori coming out of is a anomaly. Japan has like 130 million people but most don’t ever even pick up a racket. They have no infrastructure for it . And if you actually are a good Japanese player you are gone from home almost all year. Being a tennis player is hard enough. Trying to do it while living in Japan is another story all together. So you then have to decided ok I will live on the road. Sounds easy enough but it’s a whole different challenge than most euro players face straight up. You are already dealing with things many don’t have to. If your a French tennis player your an hour plane ride away from 70 percent of the atp tournaments. And heck lots not even talk about playing on the challenger circuit
 

ibbi

G.O.A.T.
Likely Federer and Nadal, and maybe Djokovic too, have caused a tennis boom in Europe that we are now seeing the impact of.

Pete was so *beep* boring he lead to no boom. :D (Meanwhile look at all the American women now. Coincidink? I think not)

What has happened to Australia is anyones guess.
 
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