Simon Reed: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Simon Reed: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Tennis has become steadily more gladiatorial and it is losing a lot of quality because of the ‘last man standing’ nature of the matches at the highest level.





Many of the ATP finals are about one player outlasting another, and the concept of pure tennis does not come into it, sadly. It is a great shame that players have to concentrate all of their efforts on simply surviving physically.

A classic example was at the Miami Masters when the final between Andy Murray and David Ferrer simply came down to conditioning and the two players taking themselves to their limits in terms of fitness.

I am a Murray fan, but it was not great tennis: it was an error-strewn contest decided by the Brit’s astonishing levels of fitness and strength; it was a difficult match to watch with two players giving absolutely everything in tough conditions.

Novak Djokovic and Murray are the top two players in the world right now because they are fitter than anyone else and can outlast their opponents under all sorts of difficult situations and in testing match after testing match.

Rafael Nadal has relied upon his superior intensity and fitness levels for a long time at the top of the game, and his strength and power continues to see him thrive despite a spate of long-term injury problems.

But is this all we want from the game that we love? Do we just want to see marathon finals decided by one player outlasting another?

I am far from the biggest purist, but I sometimes despair when I see this survival tennis becoming such a theme in the modern game.

The last couple of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami have left me increasingly concerned for the future of the sport, with American TV networks even cutting away from matches because of their seemingly endless plodding.

There has to be a solution, however, and I believe that it is to quicken up the courts – to shorten the rallies and to restore the game to be focusing primarily upon shot-making and not purely on fitness levels.

The sport is fast becoming a question of ultra fit players slogging it out on desperately slow courts, and the benchmark of a so-called good match is how long it lasted. This has to change, because spectators and TV networks are fast losing interest.

The courts at Indian Wells and Miami were shockingly slow, and this is becoming an issue across the board. Even at Wimbledon, the courts are slower by the year and that is not conducive to pure, attacking tennis.

No one wants to see consistently defensive play from the top players, and the issue of fitness should be a secondary aspect behind the quality of the shots that are produced at the top level. After all, why do we watch tennis if it is not to admire the play of the best in the world?



The talent is being taken away from the tennis, and incredibly gifted shot-makers are being crushed due to them not having enough strength or stamina – we will never again see a young player burst onto the scene in an exciting way because of how difficult it is to compete physically. An immensely talented player such as Grigor Dimitrov has not had a sniff of a Grand Slam, whereas in other eras perhaps he could have stunned the world.

The players have to put so much into matches that it is impossible for them to maintain such a high intensity throughout the season – this means that there are always going to be very serious blips in form and drops in quality. It has to be a real concern.

Tennis at the very highest level has totally changed, even in the last five years, and it is far too attritional now. We want to see the very best of the top players, and the courts and the approach has to change, because the game is only going in one direction.

Simon Reed ,eurosport.yahoo.com
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post #2 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:44 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

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Originally Posted by FedererBulgaria View Post

The talent is being taken away from the tennis, and incredibly gifted shot-makers are being crushed due to them not having enough strength or stamina – we will never again see a young player burst onto the scene in an exciting way because of how difficult it is to compete physically. An immensely talented player such as Grigor Dimitrov has not had a sniff of a Grand Slam, whereas in other eras perhaps he could have stunned the world.
4 DFs in a row are not a fitness problem. Neither are 3 DFs in a row

“There’s so many athletes, tennis players around the world,” he continued, trying to put his life into some kind of perspective, “they want to be the best in what they do. They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and succeed.”
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post #3 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:46 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Finally those in the media are taking note.

Good lad Simon.

unbiased analyst extraordinaire
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post #4 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:52 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Thought you were serious, then saw the words 'best in the world' followed by pic of Dimitrov.

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post #5 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:59 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

This is the era, where Ferrer won Indoor Masters and reach Wimby Q\F
btw, No1e 1.0>>No1e 2.0
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post #6 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

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4 DFs in a row are not a fitness problem. Neither are 3 DFs in a row
it comes from fear and fear comes from not believing
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post #7 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:21 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Unfortunately yes.Valid point.And the top of the rankings reflect it well.
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post #8 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:24 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Spot on. Skill has taken a backseat to physicality and it's a trend that only looks to become more prevalent.

The way the sport is heading right now it won't be long until the entire elite of tennis is made of retrievers and ballbashers with nothing in between.

MTF games titles:

Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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post #9 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

We all agree,so what is the future of our sport ?
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post #10 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:40 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

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Originally Posted by FedererBulgaria View Post
We all agree,so what is the future of our sport ?
Retrievers and monsters hitters with nothing in between. It's already happening, look at the current top 8.

Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Ferrer - retrievers

Berdych, Del Potro - monster hitters


The only exceptions are Federer and Tsonga - Federer is old and declining, Tsonga's place in the top 8 seems in some jeapordy at the moment, not to mention both of them have changed their game to play from the baseline far more than they'd have like. This trend will only accentuate, all court players are slowly but steadily being weeded out of the game.

MTF games titles:

Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost

Last edited by Mark Lenders; 04-03-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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post #11 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

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Retrievers and monsters hitters without nothing in between. It's already happening, look at the current top 8.

Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Ferrer - retrievers

Berdych, Del Potro - monster hitters


The only exceptions are Federer and Tsonga - Federer is old and declining, Tsonga's place in the top 8 seems in some jeapordy at the moment, not to mention both of them have changed their game to play from the baseline far more than they'd have like. This trend will only accentuate.
Yeah ! You are right and its really getting more and more boring to watch ...i dont know when will see matches like Federer-Nadal again: )now we just have drama for some hours and boring tennis ,how to enjoy this
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post #12 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:47 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Wonder what Simon Reed will curse this time

Mark Lenders banged your girlfriend, I'm sorry to tell you that mate.
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post #13 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:47 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

IW and Miami are possibly the two slowest courts on tour. This was expected.

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post #14 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:51 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

Strangest thing about the monsters vs. defenders is it changes what the surfaces mean. Clay is traditionally a defenders surface, while grass is for attackers. But tall powerful guys can hit through any court: Soderling, Del Potro, Isner, Berdych and can have their best results on clay where the ball is in the strike zone.Grass on the other hand is a defensive court now because the tall guys can't move well on it and wearing down the baseline makes it reward defending.

Eventually winning RG/USO vs. AO/Wimby in a year will be the norm and tennis history will be even more of a farce.
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post #15 of 76 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:55 AM
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Re: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

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Originally Posted by SliceAce View Post
Strangest thing about the monsters vs. defenders is it changes what the surfaces mean. Clay is traditionally a defenders surface, while grass is for attackers. But tall powerful guys can hit through any court: Soderling, Del Potro, Isner, Berdych and can have their best results on clay where the ball is in the strike zone.Grass on the other hand is a defensive court now because the tall guys can't move well on it and wearing down the baseline makes it reward defending.

Eventually winning RG/USO vs. AO/Wimby in a year will be the norm and tennis history will be even more of a farce.
so it means that Rogi Noserer is the best defensive player on tour?
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