Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Guccionefan
06-09-2008, 12:02 PM
USA and Oz : Empires in decline
Monday, 9 June, 2008
Written by Ronald Atkin

Perhaps nothing has been more surprising at The Championships in recent years than the comparative decline of the English-speaking world in the men's singles competition.

Among Britons the decline can be summed up in a word: catastrophic. Seventy-two years have now passed since Fred Perry posted a ‘home’ victory on Centre Court, but the absence of winners from previously dominant nations like the United States and Australia is a dramatic indication that other countries have caught up, and sometimes surged past, the former giants of grass.

In the 22 years between the resumption of The Championships after World War II in 1946 and the advent of the Open era in 1968, the men's champion on 19 occasions was either American or Australian.

Even the beginning of the Open era suggested this trend would continue. But Rod Laver (1968-9) and John Newcombe (1970-1) actually represented the last great flourish for Australian tennis at Wimbledon. Since then, only Pat Cash in 1987 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 have been Australian-born singles champions.

Hewitt’s victory was the highlight of a mini-revival in Australian tennis. Pat Rafter had been runner-up in 2000 and 2001 prior to Hewitt’s win while Mark Philippoussis reached the final in 2003, only to become Roger Federer’s first final victim.

The Americans have enjoyed two spells of Open-era domination. Between 1972 and 1984, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe and John McEnroe all won Wimbledon titles. They would have been more successful except for the emergence of Bjorn Borg.

It was 1992 when Andre Agassi won his only Wimbledon, followed by Pete Sampras’ domination of the tournament — a seven times champion between 1993 and 2000.

There were other noteworthy Americans in the Sampras decade. Jim Courier was part of an all-American final in 1993 and Agassi contested the last all-American final, with Sampras in 1999.

Following Sampras, Andy Roddick, runner-up to Roger Federer in 2004 and 2005, has been the best performed American man and even he could only manage the quarter-finals in 2007.

Wimbledon is not the only Grand Slam to highlight the decline of the Australian and American men. Agassi (1999) is the only American champion of Roland Garros over the past 16 years, while no Australian since Laver in 1969 has lifted the French Open trophy.

This year there were no English-speaking players in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros in either the men or women’s draw.

The last home champion at the Australian Open remains Mark Edmondson in 1976. Americans have done much better at the US Open, thanks to the likes of Agassi, Sampras and Roddick, the last 11 years have seen a home-grown men's champion just three times.

It is an indication of the atrophy of tennis in these formerly great tennis nations that Hewitt and Roddick still represent their countries’ best hope.

Hewitt, the only Australian in the world's top 50, and Roddick, still one of the top ten, both have had recent injury concerns.

Hewitt has a persistent hip problem, while Roddick missed Roland Garros because of a problem with the shoulder of his serving arm.

In fact, perhaps the best English-speaking bet for the 2008 Championships could be a Scot, Andy Murray.

sanshisan
06-09-2008, 12:13 PM
`This year there were no English-speaking players in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros in either the men or women’s draw' -


2007 was even worse - all the American men were knocked out of RG by the 2nd round. Pitiful!

Now that the Williams sisters seem to be in recession, there are virtually NO American women tennis stars on the horizon. Ashley Harkleroad? Vania King? I don't think so.

krystlel
06-09-2008, 12:15 PM
`This year there were no English-speaking players in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros in either the men or women’s draw' -


This was too kind - As I remember, all the American men were knocked out of RG by the 2nd round. Pitiful!

Now that the Williams sisters seem to be in recession, there are virtually NO American women tennis stars on the horizon. Ashley Harkleroad? Vania King? I don't think so.
Robby Ginepri made the 4th round.

Guccionefan
06-09-2008, 12:22 PM
I would like to see players from Asia and Africa to flourish on the circuit

sanshisan
06-09-2008, 12:44 PM
Robby Ginepri made the 4th round.

Yes you are right, I was thinking of RG 2007.

star
06-09-2008, 12:50 PM
I would like to see players from Asia and Africa to flourish on the circuit

A lad from Taiwan won the RG juniors, so maybe there is your hope. There are several chinese women doing well, and one Indian doing well and a couple of Japanese women have done well and a couple of Indonesian women have had some success. I don't know of any Africans on the tour since the Blacks and Noah. Oh yeah, isn't Kevin Anderson from South Africa? Lisl Huber too, no?

FedererSlam
06-09-2008, 01:39 PM
`This year there were no English-speaking players in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros in either the men or women’s draw' -


This was too kind - As I remember, all the American men were knocked out of RG by the 2nd round. Pitiful!

Now that the Williams sisters seem to be in recession, there are virtually NO American women tennis stars on the horizon. Ashley Harkleroad? Vania King? I don't think so.

Nobody knows where they are...they can never win another slam and they can dominate them for the next 3 years..unpredictable. The WTA is in a rutt completely.

As for mens well hasn't this been obvious for the last 5 years?

octatennis
06-09-2008, 01:39 PM
kevin andersson could be the answer for africa, in asia the development of tennis is growing every day, don't surprise if in a couple of years the tour is full asians...

pricdews
06-09-2008, 11:59 PM
Shouldn't it be "native English-speaking world".

I've heard many of the quarterfinalists speak English, some quite expertly (Federer, Djokovic, Jankovic).

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 01:03 AM
yeah... asia will boom pretty hard soon and this article will be just another reminder of what the world tennis scene was once like...

while it is huge issue with me - the fall of aussie tennis, i could talk for fukn hours - i'm not blind to see that there are many more positive to come out of that situation...

not all the time do u need your own countrymen involved to fully appreciate a tennis match...

helps tho of course...

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 04:24 AM
Nobody knows where they are...they can never win another slam and they can dominate them for the next 3 years..unpredictable. The WTA is in a rutt completely.

As for mens well hasn't this been obvious for the last 5 years?

Kinda reminds me of that old Beetles song - `Money Can't Buy Me Love'. All the money in the world can't buy the US, UK or OZ a Grand Slam champion tennis player right now, male or female. Yet look at little Serbia - sanctioned for over 10 years til their economy was in complete collapse, bombed by NATO and their infrastructure destroyed, their country piecemealed away and look what they are doing in world tennis - out of sheer guts and talent.

Meanwhile the Brtish Tennis Assn paid Brad Gilbert a million dollars to make a GS winner out of Andy Murray and he couldn't do it. The entire tennis world is scratching their heads in disbelief. What's gone wrong? I love to hear the US commentators talk about `CLAY'. How hard it is for Americans to play on clay, blah blah. Well we didn't seem to have much problem winning on clay back in the day...what about then?

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 04:50 AM
Kinda reminds me of that old Beetles song - `Money Can't Buy Me Love'. All the money in the world can't buy the US, UK or OZ a Grand Slam champion tennis player right now, male or female. Yet look at little Serbia - sanctioned for over 10 years til their economy was in complete collapse, bombed by NATO and their infrastructure destroyed, their country piecemealed away and look what they are doing in world tennis - out of sheer guts and talent.

Meanwhile the Brtish Tennis Assn paid Brad Gilbert a million dollars to make a GS winner out of Andy Murray and he couldn't do it. The entire tennis world is scratching their heads in disbelief. What's gone wrong? I love to hear the US commentators talk about `CLAY'. How hard it is for Americans to play on clay, blah blah. Well we didn't seem to have much problem winning on clay back in the day...what about then?

a total lack of foresight and understanding by the governing bodies in the respective countries to the basic needs in grooming a champion tennis player is the primary factor in my opinion...

in australia i know that there has been a systematic death of clay court venues... it would seem to tough to turn the clock back to how things worked back then - players plying their trade on claycourt venues in the country regions, with only the best getting to the grasscourt events in the cities. such a simple system was the blueprint for building well rounded and skilled players...

in the states... i feel it would be in their best interests to hold a masters series event on clay before the euro clay season starts...

but... i think the day has passed where that could ever be the case...

Chip_s_m
06-10-2008, 05:56 AM
Old news. This has been discussed before. USA, England, Australia, France, Germany, even Spain and Sweden really developed the game of tennis. It makes sense that for most of tennis history they would have the best players and most successful programs because the tennis infrastructure was much more built up in these countries. Availability of courts, top-notch instructors/academies, wisdom/knowledge of former pros, professional tournaments, and of course funding all meant that juniors in these countries were more likely to turn into a top pro than those in developing/less tennis-friendly nations.

In the last 15-20 years or so it's not that the tennis infrastructure in these countries has deteriorated, but that it has significantly improved elsewhere. At least in the U.S. (not sure about Australia, UK, Sweden, and Germany), the tennis infrastructure has actually improved, especially with the rise of more academies and more structured junior competition. However, the tennis infrastructure has improved dramatically in places like eastern Europe and South America.

This is most likely due to increased political/economic stability. Is it really just a coincidence that Russian tennis became so powerful approximately 10-15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union? With the excecption of the ongoing Kosovo incident, which isn't nearly as severe as the events in the mid-90's (I'm not familiar at all with Serbian history so if I'm wrong just correct me), Serbia has been pretty stable for the past 10 years, which has allowed the tennis infrastructure to build up. Novak, Ivanovic, and Jankovic are around 20-22 years old. Is it surprising that they were around 10-12, the age when most players start training seriously in order to become a top player, when the events in Serbia ended? Economic conditions in Latin America have certainly improved in the last 20 years, and sure enough there are a ton of South Americans at the top of the game.

The tennis infrastructure is improving in Asia now, not so much as a result of increased political/economic stability, although China and India are certainly doing much better economically than they were 20 years ago, but rather because of more interest in the game. Look at the juniors, there are a ton of Asian players. We're gradually going to see more Asians in the top 100.

There is obviously a fixed number of players in the top 100, so it's natural that as these trends in which players not from the traditional powerhouse countries reach the top of the game it's going to be at the expense of players from those historically very tennis-successful countries.

To be honost, as an American and a fan of American tennis, I'm not particularly worried about any "decline" in American tennis. I'm pretty sure that there will always be a decent number of Americans in the top 100, with at least one top player. Sure, tournaments have been slowly leaving, but the creation of the US Open Series and the success of IW/Miami will limit future departures. The USOS has also increased TV viewership/attendance during the summer hardcourt season and therefore has increased sponsorship revenue. It's not surprising that ESPN has outbid USA Network for the rights to show the US Open. More viewership = more advertising revenue, and ESPN wants to tap into that. That extra revenue from sponsors, ticket sales, and the sale of TV rights all gets reinvested by the USTA back into the development of American tennis. I know the USOS doesn't gain much attention overseas, but in the US it's already been a big success and will become even more succesful in the future. That's why I'm not worried about American tennis. I'd be much more worried if I was a fan of German, Australian (although Tomic looks like he'll be the real deal), Swedish, and especially British tennis.

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 01:04 PM
Old news. This has been discussed before. USA, England, Australia, France, Germany, even Spain and Sweden really developed the game of tennis. It makes sense that for most of tennis history they would have the best players and most successful programs because the tennis infrastructure was much more built up in these countries. Availability of courts, top-notch instructors/academies, wisdom/knowledge of former pros, professional tournaments, and of course funding all meant that juniors in these countries were more likely to turn into a top pro than those in developing/less tennis-friendly nations.

In the last 15-20 years or so it's not that the tennis infrastructure in these countries has deteriorated, but that it has significantly improved elsewhere. At least in the U.S. (not sure about Australia, UK, Sweden, and Germany), the tennis infrastructure has actually improved, especially with the rise of more academies and more structured junior competition. However, the tennis infrastructure has improved dramatically in places like eastern Europe and South America.

This is most likely due to increased political/economic stability. Is it really just a coincidence that Russian tennis became so powerful approximately 10-15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union? With the excecption of the ongoing Kosovo incident, which isn't nearly as severe as the events in the mid-90's (I'm not familiar at all with Serbian history so if I'm wrong just correct me), Serbia has been pretty stable for the past 10 years, which has allowed the tennis infrastructure to build up. Novak, Ivanovic, and Jankovic are around 20-22 years old. Is it surprising that they were around 10-12, the age when most players start training seriously in order to become a top player, when the events in Serbia ended? Economic conditions in Latin America have certainly improved in the last 20 years, and sure enough there are a ton of South Americans at the top of the game.

The tennis infrastructure is improving in Asia now, not so much as a result of increased political/economic stability, although China and India are certainly doing much better economically than they were 20 years ago, but rather because of more interest in the game. Look at the juniors, there are a ton of Asian players. We're gradually going to see more Asians in the top 100.

There is obviously a fixed number of players in the top 100, so it's natural that as these trends in which players not from the traditional powerhouse countries reach the top of the game it's going to be at the expense of players from those historically very tennis-successful countries.

To be honost, as an American and a fan of American tennis, I'm not particularly worried about any "decline" in American tennis. I'm pretty sure that there will always be a decent number of Americans in the top 100, with at least one top player. Sure, tournaments have been slowly leaving, but the creation of the US Open Series and the success of IW/Miami will limit future departures. The USOS has also increased TV viewership/attendance during the summer hardcourt season and therefore has increased sponsorship revenue. It's not surprising that ESPN has outbid USA Network for the rights to show the US Open. More viewership = more advertising revenue, and ESPN wants to tap into that. That extra revenue from sponsors, ticket sales, and the sale of TV rights all gets reinvested by the USTA back into the development of American tennis. I know the USOS doesn't gain much attention overseas, but in the US it's already been a big success and will become even more succesful in the future. That's why I'm not worried about American tennis. I'd be much more worried if I was a fan of German, Australian (although Tomic looks like he'll be the real deal), Swedish, and especially British tennis.


You make some good points. Right now there is a stunning gap betw the English-speaking countries who were formerly the major powers in world tennis and Europe/Sth Am. I can't help feeling that the the USUK and OZ have lost The WAY. You mention Bernard Tomic of Australia - born in GERMANY of CROATIAN parents, Tomic is a good example of a NON Australian making it good in tennis-poor Australia. Jelena Dokic is another example - born in Croatia of Serbian parents who were forced to emigrate during the Yugoslav civil war when Croatia ethnically cleansed all Serbs in 1995 (Operation Storm). Dokic was the leading Aussie women's player and rose to #4 in the WTA before the wrangling between her parents and the Aussie Tennis Assn destroyed her career.

You know that the British Tennis Assn tried to BUY Djokovic?! That's right - the Brits are so-oo desperate for a winner they offered Djokovic British citizenship and bigtime sponsorship in 2006 when he was rapidly moving up the ranks. Fortunately for Serbia Djokovic declined.

You mention that the decline of the USSR has brought many East Europeans more prosperity so they can have access to tennis courts. Actually the opposite is true. The Communists heavily subsidized sports and that whole program fell apart, many nations such as Belarus fell into DEEP poverty. For Yugo/Serbia the collapse of the old SU has been a CATASTROPHE.

Many times Ivanovic tells about how she had to practice in a drained SWIMMING POOL because that was all they had in Belgrade, there was no tennis center, no subsidizing of young juniors to go around Europe and play. It costs alot to do that. Many times the Serbs couldn't even GET OUT to play because of the extreme sanctions against Serbia. As Tipsarevic says `We came from MUD. No one helped us but our parents.'

IMO - the English speaking countries have lost The WAY. We need to think deeply about the directions our youth are taking. At my local high school we have 5 beautiful tennis courts. We often go there on weekends to play and 99% of the time the courts are EMPTY.

groundstroke
06-10-2008, 01:15 PM
`This year there were no English-speaking players in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros in either the men or women’s draw' -


This was too kind - As I remember, all the American men were knocked out of RG by the 2nd round. Pitiful!

Now that the Williams sisters seem to be in recession, there are virtually NO American women tennis stars on the horizon. Ashley Harkleroad? Vania King? I don't think so.
Robby Ginepri made it past the 2nd round all the way into the fourth round (I think). :|

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 01:34 PM
Robby Ginepri made it past the 2nd round all the way into the fourth round (I think). :|

You are right - I was thinking of RG 2007.

Fumus
06-10-2008, 02:39 PM
No way, US, France, Australia still have the best tennis programs in the world. Why do you think every trains here? Where the best talent comes from is random.

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 02:46 PM
No way, US, France, Australia still have the best tennis programs in the world. Why do you think every trains here? Where the best talent comes from is random.

Oh not that tired old exscuse. Yes we we still have the MONEY for a while...but even that is fading fast...

MANY if not most of the top players, such as Federer, Nadal, Ivanovic, Djokovic, etc etc don't train in any of the countries you mentioned.

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 02:50 PM
Old news. This has been discussed before. USA, England, Australia, France, Germany, even Spain and Sweden really developed the game of tennis. It makes sense that for most of tennis history they would have the best players and most successful programs because the tennis infrastructure was much more built up in these countries. Availability of courts, top-notch instructors/academies, wisdom/knowledge of former pros, professional tournaments, and of course funding all meant that juniors in these countries were more likely to turn into a top pro than those in developing/less tennis-friendly nations.

In the last 15-20 years or so it's not that the tennis infrastructure in these countries has deteriorated, but that it has significantly improved elsewhere. At least in the U.S. (not sure about Australia, UK, Sweden, and Germany), the tennis infrastructure has actually improved, especially with the rise of more academies and more structured junior competition. However, the tennis infrastructure has improved dramatically in places like eastern Europe and South America.

This is most likely due to increased political/economic stability. Is it really just a coincidence that Russian tennis became so powerful approximately 10-15 years after the fall of the Soviet Union? With the excecption of the ongoing Kosovo incident, which isn't nearly as severe as the events in the mid-90's (I'm not familiar at all with Serbian history so if I'm wrong just correct me), Serbia has been pretty stable for the past 10 years, which has allowed the tennis infrastructure to build up. Novak, Ivanovic, and Jankovic are around 20-22 years old. Is it surprising that they were around 10-12, the age when most players start training seriously in order to become a top player, when the events in Serbia ended? Economic conditions in Latin America have certainly improved in the last 20 years, and sure enough there are a ton of South Americans at the top of the game.

The tennis infrastructure is improving in Asia now, not so much as a result of increased political/economic stability, although China and India are certainly doing much better economically than they were 20 years ago, but rather because of more interest in the game. Look at the juniors, there are a ton of Asian players. We're gradually going to see more Asians in the top 100.

There is obviously a fixed number of players in the top 100, so it's natural that as these trends in which players not from the traditional powerhouse countries reach the top of the game it's going to be at the expense of players from those historically very tennis-successful countries.

To be honost, as an American and a fan of American tennis, I'm not particularly worried about any "decline" in American tennis. I'm pretty sure that there will always be a decent number of Americans in the top 100, with at least one top player. Sure, tournaments have been slowly leaving, but the creation of the US Open Series and the success of IW/Miami will limit future departures. The USOS has also increased TV viewership/attendance during the summer hardcourt season and therefore has increased sponsorship revenue. It's not surprising that ESPN has outbid USA Network for the rights to show the US Open. More viewership = more advertising revenue, and ESPN wants to tap into that. That extra revenue from sponsors, ticket sales, and the sale of TV rights all gets reinvested by the USTA back into the development of American tennis. I know the USOS doesn't gain much attention overseas, but in the US it's already been a big success and will become even more succesful in the future. That's why I'm not worried about American tennis. I'd be much more worried if I was a fan of German, Australian (although Tomic looks like he'll be the real deal), Swedish, and especially British tennis.

nice one... and, i understand why you are not panicing about the US situation. the country itself is a consumerist machine and all it will ever take to get things movings is for one or two interested rich guys to put simple business plans together and... job done... tennis is not a hard product to package up, like u say, with the USO series...

from this... you'll always be able to bring on players, provided viewing is broadly accessible to most...

a better stuctured and more meaningful US tour (ie clay masters pre euro season) will add variety and ensure the US produce players that have faith in points that last longer that 4.5 shots on average - the type of players excessive hardcourts produce...

your college system, while 70%+ of college coaches own methods born from the jurassic era, will also ensure you have no worries in producing solid top 150 rank talent... that is, if their bodies are not wrecked...


You make some good points. Right now there is a stunning gap betw the English-speaking countries who were formerly the major powers in world tennis and Europe/Sth Am. I can't help feeling that the the USUK and OZ have lost The WAY. You mention Bernard Tomic of Australia - born in GERMANY of CROATIAN parents, Tomic is a good example of a NON Australian making it good in tennis-poor Australia. Jelena Dokic is another example - born in Croatia of Serbian parents who were forced to emigrate during the Yugoslav civil war when Croatia ethnically cleansed all Serbs in 1995 (Operation Storm). Dokic was the leading Aussie women's player and rose to #4 in the WTA before the wrangling between her parents and the Aussie Tennis Assn destroyed her career.

You know that the British Tennis Assn tried to BUY Djokovic?! That's right - the Brits are so-oo desperate for a winner they offered Djokovic British citizenship and bigtime sponsorship in 2006 when he was rapidly moving up the ranks. Fortunately for Serbia Djokovic declined.

You mention that the decline of the USSR has brought many East Europeans more prosperity so they can have access to tennis courts. Actually the opposite is true. The Communists heavily subsidized sports and that whole program fell apart, many nations such as Belarus fell into DEEP poverty. For Yugo/Serbia the collapse of the old SU has been a CATASTROPHE.

Many times Ivanovic tells about how she had to practice in a drained SWIMMING POOL because that was all they had in Belgrade, there was no tennis center, no subsidizing of young juniors to go around Europe and play. It costs alot to do that. Many times the Serbs couldn't even GET OUT to play because of the extreme sanctions against Serbia. As Tipsarevic says `We came from MUD. No one helped us but our parents.'

IMO - the English speaking countries have lost The WAY. We need to think deeply about the directions our youth are taking. At my local high school we have 5 beautiful tennis courts. We often go there on weekends to play and 99% of the time the courts are EMPTY.


i lived in slovakia for a time... what amazed me is the hunger of kids on a court... where brit/irish kids would stop running after 'they think' they cannot get to a ball - kids from central/eastern europe still ran after balls that had bounced 3 or 4 times...

just a simple observation... but, i saw volumes in it...


funny you talk of empty courts... when i was working as a coach in the south of England, the LTA put on a scholarship to train as an LTA coach, gave me free tix to wimbledon and a job at a school which housed 6 nice hardcourts... they threw £12k a year at me to operate there and keep a certain amount of programs running... anything i created extra... was my own - a good deal i thought...

i know this sounds all pretty normal and moving into schools is something most tennis federations try to do...

but the difference here was the type of school i was given. this was the school where kids ended up if you got kicked out of every other school... for the bad boys and girls... real gypsy stronghold, which still i think holds the record for the youngest pregnancy in the UK - 9yrs of age. it was dire to look at, but, it was a sports college and, in that, a football (soccer) stronghold that produced a good number of academy products - if only the coaches were able to channel their raw, unchecked and sometimes wild energy.

now... most of these kids didnt know what a tennis racquet looked like... butm the deeper point was, that the LTA had identified where they must move to in order to produce hardcore champions...

they understand what the traditional boundaries they must break in order to create a situation where players from disadvantaged backrounds were able to at least taste the sport...

they know they need a slice of the everyman sport in the UK - football... they know where they must breed their next champions...




sadly... after 8 months of holding the program together... the coach who followed me couldn't hack the school... and, after i rang the school a year after i left to see how it was going, i found the program which took 6 months to build before i took over for 9 months... had died...

still a few more young-uns in the area had played a sport... which couldn't be said previous...

the brits are trying... i know that...

the media dont help...



when u ask a six 7-year-olds who there favourite tennis player is... and 1 says Tim Henman, while the other five kids ridicule him/her saying 'henman' is rubbish...

well... i know why i i'll never work in the uk again... the media driven culture of 'born losers' is too hard to combat... so unfair...

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 03:18 PM
a total lack of foresight and understanding by the governing bodies in the respective countries to the basic needs in grooming a champion tennis player is the primary factor in my opinion...

but... i think the day has passed where that could ever be the case...


Here I agree with you - last Saturday we happened to run into the girl's tennis `coach' at our local high school. The sad thing was - she clearly knew nothing about tennis beyond the absolute basics and she simply was not interested! She had no inspiration to pass on, no DRIVE. She saw no FUTURE in tennis for young women. So there the tennis courts sit all weekend and every evening - empty. Competitive sports wise - the US is rapidly going down the tubes. And not just in tennis.

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 03:21 PM
nice one... and, i understand why you are not panicing about the US situation. the country itself is a consumerist machine and all it will ever take to get things movings is for one or two interested rich guys to put simple business plans together and... job done... tennis is not a hard product to package up, like u say, with the USO series...

from this... you'll always be able to bring on players, provided viewing is broadly accessible to most...

a better stuctured and more meaningful US tour (ie clay masters pre euro season) will add variety and ensure the US produce players that have faith in points that last longer that 4.5 shots on average - the type of players excessive hardcourts produce...

your college system, while 70%+ of college coaches own methods born from the jurassic era, will also ensure you have no worries in producing solid top 150 rank talent... that is, if their bodies are not wrecked...

i lived in slovakia for a time... what amazed me is the hunger of kids on a court... where brit/irish kids would stop running after 'they think' they cannot get to a ball - kids from central/eastern europe still ran after balls that had bounced 3 or 4 times...

just a simple observation... but, i saw volumes in it...

funny you talk of empty courts... when i was working as a coach in the south of England, the LTA put on a scholarship to train as an LTA coach, gave me free tix to wimbledon and a job at a school which housed 6 nice hardcourts... they threw £12k a year at me to operate there and keep a certain amount of programs running... anything i created extra... was my own - a good deal i thought...

i know this sounds all pretty normal and moving into schools is something most tennis federations try to do...

but the difference here was the type of school i was given. this was the school where kids ended up if you got kicked out of every other school... for the bad boys and girls... real gypsy stronghold, which still i think holds the record for the youngest pregnancy in the UK - 9yrs of age. it was dire to look at, but, it was a sports college and, in that, a football (soccer) stronghold that produced a good number of academy products - if only the coaches were able to channel their raw, unchecked and sometimes wild energy.

now... most of these kids didnt know what a tennis racquet looked like... butm the deeper point was, that the LTA had identified where they must move to in order to produce hardcore champions...

they understand what the traditional boundaries they must break in order to create a situation where players from disadvantaged backrounds were able to at least taste the sport...

they know they need a slice of the everyman sport in the UK - football... they know where they must breed their next champions...

sadly... after 8 months of holding the program together... the coach who followed me couldn't hack the school... and, after i rang the school a year after i left to see how it was going, i found the program which took 6 months to build before i took over for 9 months... had died...

still a few more young-uns in the area had played a sport... which couldn't be said previous...

the brits are trying... i know that...

the media dont help...

when u ask a six 7-year-olds who there favourite tennis player is... and 1 says Tim Henman, while the other five kids ridicule him/her saying 'henman' is rubbish...

well... i know why i i'll never work in the uk again... the media driven culture of 'born losers' is too hard to combat... so unfair...


Very interesting. What do you mean by `the media-driven culture of BORN LOSERS'???

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 03:41 PM
Very interesting. What do you mean by `the media-driven culture of BORN LOSERS'???

basically, a tennis player in the UK has no chance... career death by media by 1 of 2 ways... is the same for other sports as well...

i) pre-career hype suggesting that beyond all doubt that this person is the new hope in tennis... when, in truth, the chances are minimal of ever being top ten... which is where i admire murray, he has overcome the hype... now for the Grand Slam hype however - the bugbear that Henman had to deal with... murrays mentality is watertight in this regard...

and...

ii) juniors read and watch as people who are at the top of their game be ridiculed, and, they themselves jump on the bandwagon... and, at an adolescent age, realise that they do not wish to be subjected to the same public focus and ridicule - from their peers, but driven by the media... his is the sad option, because the player with talent never actually gives it a proper go...


so, mediocrity is garaunteed when it is easier and safer to hang around the challenger circuit without threat of being britains biggest letdown... its safer just to poke around getting help here and there... and end a career without having any celebrity status attatched to your person at all...

why be a star when any success is ready to be pulled down in front of you...? not me...


call it subliminal messaging, call it what you will... but if someone selling furnitures places a dog shit in the window, sprays it with perfume,puts some christmas decoration on it and calls it furniture - well, by day 234, someone will buy that piece of furniture because they believe it is furniture... no... its not a piece of furniture... it is a piece of shit...

sadly, this is career death by media... the longer the media builds things up and then strips it down time and time and time again.... then, a nation will begin to believe it ACTUALLY is shit...

i have heard arguments that the same sort of sh!te happens in the states on tv - the mass dumbing down and fear mongering creating open doorways where was previously was none... but, i wouldnt know... i never lived there...

but u hear what i am saying...

sooner or later you are gonna believe something if it is shoved in your face...

like i said, i'll never work in my field in the UK again... at any level... doesnt suit a proper players mentality...

sanshisan
06-10-2008, 03:57 PM
basically, a tennis player in the UK has no chance... career death by media by 1 of 2 ways... is the same for other sports as well...

i) pre-career hype suggesting that beyond all doubt that this person is the new hope in tennis... when, in truth, the chances are minimal of ever being top ten... which is where i admire murray, he has overcome the hype... now for the Grand Slam hype however - the bugbear that Henman had to deal with... murrays mentality is watertight in this regard...

and...

ii) juniors read and watch as people who are at the top of their game be ridiculed, and, they themselves jump on the bandwagon... and, at an adolescent age, realise that they do not wish to be subjected to the same public focus and ridicule - from their peers, but driven by the media... his is the sad option, because the player with talent never actually gives it a proper go...


so, mediocrity is garaunteed when it is easier and safer to hang around the challenger circuit without threat of being britains biggest letdown... its safer just to poke around getting help here and there... and end a career without having any celebrity status attatched to your person at all...

why be a star when any success is ready to be pulled down in front of you...? not me...


call it subliminal messaging, call it what you will... but if someone selling furnitures places a dog shit in the window, sprays it with perfume,puts some christmas decoration on it and calls it furniture - well, by day 234, someone will buy that piece of furniture because they believe it is furniture... no... its not a piece of furniture... it is a piece of shit...

sadly, this is career death by media... the longer the media builds things up and then strips it down time and time and time again.... then, a nation will begin to believe it ACTUALLY is shit...

i have heard arguments that the same sort of sh!te happens in the states on tv - the mass dumbing down and fear mongering creating open doorways where was previously was none... but, i wouldnt know... i never lived there...

but u hear what i am saying...

sooner or later you are gonna believe something if it is shoved in your face...

like i said, i'll never work in my field in the UK again... at any level... doesnt suit a proper players mentality...


`Subliminal messaging' - definitely stikes a chord. Reminds me of the US movie - `White Men Can't Jump'. Clearly alot of people believed it because now we have only blacks in the NBA with a `token' white. US coaches have to go to Europe to find competitive white players - where they still think they can compete with blacks.

The fact is - the `Boyz in the Hood' have a special deal going - they only like to throw the ball to each other, one reason the token whites don't do well. But when it comes to the OLYMPICS and the World Championships, it's a different story - America no longer dominates and it's downright embarrassing. The day is coming when NBA play will be below par for the world.

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 04:14 PM
`Subliminal messaging' - definitely stikes a chord. Reminds me of the US movie - `White Men Can't Jump'. Clearly alot of people believed it because now we have only blacks in the NBA with a `token' white. US coaches have to go to Europe to find competitive white players - where they still think they can compete with blacks.

The fact is - the `Boyz in the Hood' have a special deal going - they only like to throw the ball to each other, one reason the token whites don't do well. But when it comes to the OLYMPICS and the World Championships, it's a different story - America no longer dominates and it's downright embarrassing. The day is coming when NBA play will be below par for the world.


i have an opinion on US basketball not performing on the world stage like it used to... i believe overpaid and overrated players are to blame... and, at its source ego and money...

where once only guys like jordan commanded top dollar... unproven, hype ridden youth have price tags attached to them after 1 year of college...

such gambling is obscene when you look at the money being spent... and, as such, such obscenity will be punished...

money built the game and rewarded the best... no worries...

now excess and below par performance have discredited one of the worlds major leagues...




man... i used to watch the NBA highlights show a couple of times a week and tape it... had the video game... and some cards as well... but it was always the performance i was interested in... it was top shelf... every week... i havent watched an NBA game in about 12 years...



today... i have a shrine in my bedroom to darts legend Phil 'The Power' Taylor (who replaced a buddha painted in aussie colours, cricketer David Boon who drank 24 cans of beer + 2 bottles of wine on a trip from Melbourne to London in 1989 - the records still stands), who i worship by having a exactly 1 beer with before i go to bed...


now... that is fukn talent...



'oonnnneee HUNNDREED AND EEEEIIIGHTTTYY...!'

fast_clay
06-10-2008, 04:24 PM
oh yeah... i'd be remiss if i didnt totally hijack this thread by saying that boon broke a record previously held by another aussie cricketer rodney marsh... elite sportsmen who were a rare breed...

Tennis Australia appointed a person named Craig Tiley. I am sure US college tennis followers know who this is. South African guy who understands what needs to happen... what he did in the US college scene was quite extraordinary... great CV...

TA have put faith in him, and... i feel we'll see some results from this appointment in the coming years...

For now tho, Hewitt is the pillar upon which aussie tennis places its bets... which they wait for molik n stosur to get it right again...

Fumus
06-10-2008, 06:58 PM
Oh not that tired old exscuse. Yes we we still have the MONEY for a while...but even that is fading fast...

MANY if not most of the top players, such as Federer, Nadal, Ivanovic, Djokovic, etc etc don't train in any of the countries you mentioned.

What? Money fading fast...what the hell are you talking about? Tired excuse? This argument about US tennis being in decline is tired. There are as many or more players(respectively) in the top 10 from the US as there is from any other country(Spain, US, and Switzerland all have 2).

The US has some of the most well established facilities in the world(Australia too). Infrastructure my man, the developed countries all have it, watch the documentary "chasing the dream" you'll see what I'm talking about.

4 players, wow! However, the largest amount of professional tennis players live and train in Florida, which is why it is referred to as "the tennis capital of the world". California is popular too.