WSJ: Coco Gauff is the future of American women. American men have no future.

time_fly

Hall of Fame
The WSJ posted an article about the state of American tennis. I'm not sure if non-subscribers can read it, but here is a link:

Coco Gauff Is the Future of American Tennis. But It Still Looks Bleak on the Men’s Side.

The thrust of the article is that tennis is a popular option for young, athletic women but young, athletic boys have too many other, more popular organized sports to play. The article then pivots to blaming the USTA for not organizing a compelling alternative to other organized boys' sports. The article is not open for discussion on the WSJ site, so why not discuss it here?

I can say that in our area, I see two types of male juniors: children of serious adult tennis players who were raised to play tennis, and boys that washed out of more popular sports like baseball and basketball.
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
People can correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Coco avoid the USTA and ended up at the academy Serena's coach runs? You can probably look at a lot of the "successful" American players have gone other routes in their development (Taylor Fritz is another example), so something is probably seriously wrong there and has been for a while.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
People can correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Coco avoid the USTA and ended up at the academy Serena's coach runs? You can probably look at a lot of the "successful" American players have gone other routes in their development (Taylor Fritz is another example), so something is probably seriously wrong there and has been for a while.
The USTA high performance centers are places where select players are invited for a short time. The USTA also assigns coaches to players on request for periods of time.

They do not replace academies or permanent coaches.

I agree that Coco does not seem to have used much of either.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
That is because tennis requires low levels of athleticism.
Actually, that's not true at all imo. It is starting to require a great bit of athleticism. Athleticism and heart. It's a reason why Fed, Nadal and Novak have dominated for so long. The others don't have one or the other or they just don't have either. The article is right on point. Girls don't have as many options and I think I heard them say tennis pays more than any other sport for women. So if you look at the girls you see more athletic women are starting to take over the sport. Before it was only for glamour girls. Now you got to be able to stick and move to be at the top. Plus it just costs too damn much money when you can go and learn other sports for free or minimum costs. That's the issue as to why more men don't play. You got a guy like Kyrios that basically hates the sport, but he wouldn't be worth a damn playing basketball because he doesn't have the heart. He is good at Tennis without even enjoying it half the time. Just think where he would be if he gave a damn. 7 matches 3 out of 5 is too much for him.

The USTA high performance centers are places where select players are invited for a short time. The USTA also assigns coaches to players on request for periods of time.

They do not replace academies or permanent coaches.

I agree that Coco does not seem to have used much of either.
Her dad probably saw right off from the start, it would be a waste of time. He did the right thing. Time will tell if she is the future, but it certainly looks that way. Just think of the experience she will have in the next 2 years and she still won't even be out of highschool. :) I think players like her that have their father's around do much better. He's certainly not going to allow her to be screwed over.
 

Pmasterfunk

Hall of Fame
The thrust of the article is that tennis is a popular option for young, athletic women but young, athletic boys have too many other, more popular organized sports to play. The article then pivots to blaming the USTA for not organizing a compelling alternative to other organized boys' sports. The article is not open for discussion on the WSJ site, so why not discuss it here?
What other financially viable sports are there for women? Maybe golf and skiing? Those are even more expensive than tennis.

On the men's side, there's soccer/football, (american) football, golf, baseball, basketball, hockey, all of which are more likely to get someone rich. There are maybe 40 male players who will hit the million mark this year, and all expenses are paid by the player, not a team. Compare that to any other sport mentioned here and it's embarrassing.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Tennis for female athletes is very lucrative. They can't make a living in pro team sports except maybe women's basketball. There are basically two sports where women can do reasonably well and that's tennis and golf. So of course you will see top female athletes gravitating that way.

In the male world it's complete opposite. Way more money to be had in team sports especially for those not in the top ten. A AAA Baseball pitcher is likely making more money than the 50th ranked tennis player, especially once you extract expenses.

Men's tennis needs to spread the wealth to make the top 100 a feasible option. Golf purses are far better at spreading wealth. You get a tour card and you'll likely fare reasonably well. Same should be said for ATP top 100. if you are the 100 best person at what you do in the entire world there should be a decent reward. You've put in the committment.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
I had a random theory that it was the Europeans/Non-American's enjoyment of soccer/football that was giving them an edge in men's tennis. The theory being that while young, the extra practice on footwork from soccer made a difference in the movement category. I've certainly noticed many Americans who tend to be caught out of position on the court and try to make up for it with sheer athleticism, servebotting and baseline bashing.

Then again, this theory coming from someone who doesn't play or watch soccer, so perhaps I'm just making stuff up.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I had a random theory that it was the Europeans/Non-American's enjoyment of soccer/football that was giving them an edge in men's tennis. The theory being that while young, the extra practice on footwork from soccer made a difference in the movement category. I've certainly noticed many Americans who tend to be caught out of position on the court and try to make up for it with sheer athleticism, servebotting and baseline bashing.

Then again, this theory coming from someone who doesn't play or watch soccer, so perhaps I'm just making stuff up.
That maybe a factor, and clay court tennis has often been mentioned as another.
 

insideguy

Legend
Tennis for female athletes is very lucrative. They can't make a living in pro team sports except maybe women's basketball. There are basically two sports where women can do reasonably well and that's tennis and golf. So of course you will see top female athletes gravitating that way.

In the male world it's complete opposite. Way more money to be had in team sports especially for those not in the top ten. A AAA Baseball pitcher is likely making more money than the 50th ranked tennis player, especially once you extract expenses.

Men's tennis needs to spread the wealth to make the top 100 a feasible option. Golf purses are far better at spreading wealth. You get a tour card and you'll likely fare reasonably well. Same should be said for ATP top 100. if you are the 100 best person at what you do in the entire world there should be a decent reward. You've put in the committment.
If you make the ladies national soccer team you can make a lot of money. MMA fighters to. And skiing, and probably some other sports. beach volley ball ect.
 

darkhorse

Semi-Pro
Tennis for female athletes is very lucrative. They can't make a living in pro team sports except maybe women's basketball. There are basically two sports where women can do reasonably well and that's tennis and golf. So of course you will see top female athletes gravitating that way.

In the male world it's complete opposite. Way more money to be had in team sports especially for those not in the top ten. A AAA Baseball pitcher is likely making more money than the 50th ranked tennis player, especially once you extract expenses.

Men's tennis needs to spread the wealth to make the top 100 a feasible option. Golf purses are far better at spreading wealth. You get a tour card and you'll likely fare reasonably well. Same should be said for ATP top 100. if you are the 100 best person at what you do in the entire world there should be a decent reward. You've put in the committment.

I agree with your premise that women have fewer opportunities in pro sports, but is it really any better for a female player outside of the top 100 as compared to a male player? I doubt it except in rare circumstances, and in most cases it's probably a worse situation.

And I would argue life in minor league sports, especially baseball, is as tough as life on the fringes of the ATP or WTA. A lot of those guys aren't making a living wage even in AAA ball.
 

insideguy

Legend
I agree with your premise that women have fewer opportunities in pro sports, but is it really any better for a female player outside of the top 100 as compared to a male player? I doubt it except in rare circumstances, and in most cases it's probably a worse situation.

And I would argue life in minor league sports, especially baseball, is as tough as life on the fringes of the ATP or WTA. A lot of those guys aren't making a living wage even in AAA ball.
Yea but even the minor league guys, get their meals and rooms paid for. And some of them have signed pretty large signing bonuses when drafted.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
I agree with your premise that women have fewer opportunities in pro sports, but is it really any better for a female player outside of the top 100 as compared to a male player? I doubt it except in rare circumstances, and in most cases it's probably a worse situation.

And I would argue life in minor league sports, especially baseball, is as tough as life on the fringes of the ATP or WTA. A lot of those guys aren't making a living wage even in AAA ball.
I agree with your first bit. But re: minor league baseball, the MLB has like 1,000 roster spots before you get to the minors. I'm much more familiar with NBA contracts; there are 450 roster spots and the league minimum is nearly $600,000, though most minimum contracts are between $1-3 million, to say nothing about the fact that NBA franchises provide food, travel, coaching, and a ton of additional support that represent expenses for tennis players.

That's why tennis player salaries/early round prizes are so crazy to me. You have to be inside top 100 in the world to have a shot at breaking even every year. Wild.
 

droliver

Professional
Ridiculous article. Coco has accomplished relatively little to merit this kind of hype. She got pistol whipped by Osaka in the early rounds of the Open, highlighting just how far she is from the top players.

For US male tennis, the answer is easy. Our best athletes don’t play and it’s not really a very popular sport culturally in the United States. We have players emerging from our junior system that are ill suited to be champions like Noah Rubin (too small to be a top player), Reilly Opelka (too tall), Tiafoe (weird strokes), etc.... we just aren’t getting thoroughbreds that are well coached in the last 20 years with any consistency.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
The WSJ posted an article about the state of American tennis. I'm not sure if non-subscribers can read it, but here is a link:

Coco Gauff Is the Future of American Tennis. But It Still Looks Bleak on the Men’s Side.

The thrust of the article is that tennis is a popular option for young, athletic women but young, athletic boys have too many other, more popular organized sports to play. The article then pivots to blaming the USTA for not organizing a compelling alternative to other organized boys' sports. The article is not open for discussion on the WSJ site, so why not discuss it here?

I can say that in our area, I see two types of male juniors: children of serious adult tennis players who were raised to play tennis, and boys that washed out of more popular sports like baseball and basketball.
The problem is accessible tennis coverage, pretty much this is tennis channel's fault.;)
 

fed1

Professional
It’s funny how about 18 months ago Whitney Osuigwe was the future of US women’s tennis, how quickly she’s been dropped.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
How has Canada produced Sharpovalov, Felix and Bianca?
U.S. is one of the largest populated countries and not a top 10 male player who has a good chance at winning a slam. It is inexcusable.
Serious young American men may need to train and be coached in Canada or by a Canadian.

The U.S is great in many other individual sports; swimming, gymnastics, boxing, MMA, cycling, golf, and others. Not all young men are great at basketball, football or baseball.
Is the payoff so much better in these 3 big sports' minor leagues?
NBA development - they make only $25k/year - can make $100k+ overseas
CFL -$40k/ year
MLB- minor leagues $1,500-$10k/month
 
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MarTennis

Semi-Pro
The WSJ posted an article about the state of American tennis. I'm not sure if non-subscribers can read it, but here is a link:

Coco Gauff Is the Future of American Tennis. But It Still Looks Bleak on the Men’s Side.

The thrust of the article is that tennis is a popular option for young, athletic women but young, athletic boys have too many other, more popular organized sports to play. The article then pivots to blaming the USTA for not organizing a compelling alternative to other organized boys' sports. The article is not open for discussion on the WSJ site, so why not discuss it here?

I can say that in our area, I see two types of male juniors: children of serious adult tennis players who were raised to play tennis, and boys that washed out of more popular sports like baseball and basketball.
I'm a serious nut. My kid wants to be a pro and knows the odds. Imo an American kid must love tennis and have all the physical and mental intangibles to be Top 300. Whereas imo other sports do not require love/obsession to reach very very high levels. Lots of kids think they love tennis until the brute physically and mental test kicks in, ironically, in the middle of puberty. This is when scores kids take the foot of the pedal, get hurt (I know two kids in our section who had stress fractures in their backs), breakdown mentally because they know the dream is exceedingly difficult or quit for other reasons like no more money after Juniors. Also college is a way better option than pro tennis if you are super high level but not at Challenger level in high school. We don't need lots of champions. We need the current guys to love the game and persevere to get one slam. I really could give a rat's ass if there are lots of American pros. I'm more concerned with participation. The USTA should be sponsoring physical education where any elementary school will let them, especially charter schools. I believe tennis is the best first sport for children. Early exposure will feed the games participation levels, save courts, preserve viewership and appreciationn for the game. Players not pros.
 

MarTennis

Semi-Pro
Ridiculous article. Coco has accomplished relatively little to merit this kind of hype. She got pistol whipped by Osaka in the early rounds of the Open, highlighting just how far she is from the top players.

For US male tennis, the answer is easy. Our best athletes don’t play and it’s not really a very popular sport culturally in the United States. We have players emerging from our junior system that are ill suited to be champions like Noah Rubin (too small to be a top player), Reilly Opelka (too tall), Tiafoe (weird strokes), etc.... we just aren’t getting thoroughbreds that are well coached in the last 20 years with any consistency.
Excellent observant post.
 

James P

G.O.A.T.
I don't get the impression that the Fritz, Tiafoe, Opelka NextGen American trio are ever going to be #1s, but they could be solid top 20 players and in the mix at big tournaments over the next 6-8 years. Hard to say what's behind them (Wolf, Brooskby, et al)
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
It’s funny how about 18 months ago Whitney Osuigwe was the future of US women’s tennis, how quickly she’s been dropped.
Watched her play Svitolina. She demonstrated some serious game in the second set, I'd never heard of her before.
 

tennis4me

Hall of Fame
I remember when Donald Young and Ryan Harrison were the "future of American Tennis".
I guess that statement is still correct. It didn't say it was going to be a bright future. Very unfortunate for American tennis.

The past American men legends are not involved in helping to develop new talents, or are they? The closest we have is Chang, but he's coaching Nishikori. McEnroe was in team Raonic - that just ended.

Maybe the closest is Annacone (ex Pete's coach) coaching Taylor Fritz. But, I don't see him being in top 10, maybe top 20.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
it is just a little weird that no promising american junior with a 'well-rounded' game has emerged in the past however many years. like, honestly, for whatever shortcomings exist with our development program, etc....how has not a single truly talented junior with a backhand and a net game bubbled up?
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
There is a very easy way to add a lot of promising new blood to the men's US tennis scene -- import the players from outside the United States. Offer citizenship to players who come to train in the US, as long as they're promising enough and willing to play for the US Davis Cup team. They could have done this with the Djokovic family years ago, amongst others.
 
There is a very easy way to add a lot of promising new blood to the men's US tennis scene -- import the players from outside the United States. Offer citizenship to players who come to train in the US, as long as they're promising enough and willing to play for the US Davis Cup team. They could have done this with the Djokovic family years ago, amongst others.
Djokovic would say no. He rejected several citizenship offers, including British.
 
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