I totally agree with that :
the upcoming players now are bringing nothing new to the fore........hence the veterans are finding it easy to keep them at their places and the young guns are unable to scalp the big fishes right away........
but I don't agree with that :
simply because of the one dimensionality........you create an immediate impact and make your mark right away only when you are somewhat different from others........
even in the 80s and 90s, generally we had players with varied styles and hence it was easier for younger players to surprise the veterans with their variety and spring a surprise........for example chang sprung up in 89 and took everyone by surprise with his lightening speed, tricky low slices, slap forehands and clever passes........he had decent success for his height and whatever talent he possessed, the key was the variety that he brought to the game........
becker broke through in 85 and ran away with wimbledon........he brought that energy and vigor with him along with his tennis........something different to routine........
If I remember big emergences of very young players on tour :
- in the beginning of their carreers, Borg and Lendl had little variety, very limited on backhand ; Noah also had a limited backhand
- a little bit later, Arias, Krickstein had no variety, only big forehands : Bollettieri academy
- Agassi, Courier later still that academy by way, and also emerged very early by hitting very hard
- there was the time of the baseline players using a lot of spin : Carlsson, Perez-Roldan, Mancini, and many others ... not to mention Wilander or Nyström who had little variety when they emerged, even though they had more than the previous ones
- Becker emerged mostly thanks to his big serve at Wimbledon and indoors, not thanks to his variety which he developed a little bit later
All of these players were allowed to emerging thanks to a few shots, and despite their little variety.
But the problem is ... today it's not enough.
By the way, many insisted on the physical aspect, endurance and so on : I'm not sure it's a main factor, I rather see tactical/mental shortages which limit the youngsters when they play against older players.
In the 60s/70s, the game was less physical, and more tactical, technical and mental than in the end of the 70s and in the 80s/90s ... and players could play very well until very old and reached their best later than today (even than today).
Probably there's a matter of physical preparation, maybe playing less as well, anyway taking more care of their health, which allows players to stay fit later.
BUT .. I think the main aspect is tactical and mental, as Angle Queens mentioned in his double match against youngsters.
By the way I read something by Angle Queens about money : if I understand well, it means that top-50 players need to play less than in the past because they get more money. Please note that it's the opposite to what all the people who complain on the calendar say here usually.
This is possible : there was a time when even Lendl or Connors had a silly schedule, playing an incredible number of tournaments ... for money more than points actually (for instance there were WCT tournaments inside). I even read recently that Lendl had an incredible record of 3 tournaments won in 3 weeks ... on 3 different surfaces and even changing continent in that period !
Well, Lendl could play very well until quite late ... but here you can surely see the importance of physical preparation.
Originally Posted by about challengers
This is an interesting point and very difficult to put numbers to (trust me, I've tried!). The reason being that it is dependant on what Challenger finish (e.g. Winner, finalist or semi-finalist) players get and the number of Challengers. For example, Challenger winners can quickly accumulate points, but frequent Challengers semi-finalists and quarter-finalists are finding it harder.
Believe me, on the mathematical point of view, I've studied it very precisely, there are one or two threads still left in this forum about that (maybve you've read them actually as what you mention is precisely one of the main things I said) :
you will find nothing special about the last change and on the mathematical point of view
If you really want to find something, you have to watch on a longer run, and more important than the ranking points will be the composition of the tour, the number of tournaments in the calendar, and the number of tournaments played by players.
It's not only the points which have changed, it's the number/composition of tournaments (far far many more challengers than in the past), it's also ... the density of players at the top
I mean : if the sport is very developed, you have more players on top ... and then it may be more difficult for youngsters to compete in those challengers and so on.
When you see the 70s, how many players came from the USA ? a big proportion of the best players. It's clear that the situation is completely different in that case : for the composition of the tour, for wild cards ... and also for the density of the Tour ... because one reason why so many of the top-players came from the USA is probably because tennis was not enough developed elsewhere.
I don't think you will find anything about mathematics ... but the composition of the tour itself is much more important.
About Tomic :
I think it's an interesting case, as I said he's very tall but he didn't chose a hitting very hard-bashing game :
it's interesting for his development as I think that later, with size and muscles, he could also develop that.
I mean many people compare him to Hewitt ... but what may be different for him is that he's so tall : he has a lot of further potential development there for the future (see Del Potro when he got some muscle how quickly he raised at this moment).
I mean it's interesting to follow his development : maybe he has a good combination, developing tactically/mentally first (even though he's far from perfect there), then hitting more when he has more muscles/power.
think it has something to do with the changes made in Masters tournaments. The younger players are only used to playing best of 5 set matches in slams and best of 3 everywhere else. Before, players had to win best of 5 set matches in Masters tournaments.... seems to make them hardier.
it was only in the finals, then young players were not concerned by that