Men's tennis is going through a very weak period [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Men's tennis is going through a very weak period

Ada Monroe
09-08-2002, 08:15 AM
I saw both the semi-finals and I thought it was poor quality.

For one, the fact that two 30+ year old men (who's NOT playing the best tennis of their life) is in the latest GS final is an indictment on the rest of the tour that there's not enough talent.

Pete and Andre played great but I've seen them play 10 times better. If they're still contesting slam finals, there's something wrong with the rest of the tour.

N.B: The womens' equivalent would be like if Graf-Sabatini were in the womens' final :o imagine that!

But then this would explain a lot about the fact that Hewitt is #1.

There will be better days ahead though, when the next generation of players with true talent actually takes over.

Nimi
09-08-2002, 11:56 AM
I already started a thread that there is no point comparing the WTA to the ATP. Really.

Experimentee
09-08-2002, 01:20 PM
Agassi reached four Slam finals in 1999, winning 3 of them. This was when he was 30. Was men's tennis weak then? :rolleyes:
Just because someone is over 30 doesnt mean that they cant play tennis anymore. Most of the greats were still winning when they were over 30, a good example being Connors. That doesnt mean tennis was weak then.

Layla
09-08-2002, 03:24 PM
We've covered this topic in another thread so I'll just copy and paste my thoughts on this issue:

ATP does NOT have a problem. I love this transitional period when new stars are coming through. Everything goes through cycles and the world of tennis is no exception. You can't expect these young players to have 10 slams to their name when they have barely turned 20. Why are people so impatient?

I really do love the ATP as it is now - its diversity and unpredictabilty. There are so many exciting players around, young and old. :D I don't like domination of any kind. I have no desire to see the situation in the WTA repeated in men's tennis. Besides, Andre and Pete are hardly dominating the tour, are they.

And that's what makes this period so exciting. We don't know which players will turn out to be the future great champions of a new era. But we can follow their progress and witness the birth of greatness as it happens. And there will be breakthroughs, of that I have no doubt. Like I said, it's just a phase in the cycle.

So to sum it up, no, the ATP is not going through a weak period, on the contrary. I've never enjoyed tennis more. :) You can't judge the state of the ATP based on one tournament. As for the remark that there's not enought talent around at the moment, I beg to differ. The new balls are very talents, they just need more consistency and that comes with age and experience, as it did for the old guns.

Just what do you mean by the next generation? The players who have not started playing professionally? I wouldn't write off the current generation of players so easily. They have already achieved some pretty remarkable results, with plenty more to come.

Chloe le Bopper
09-08-2002, 07:55 PM
Pete and Andre are among the best ever. They don't have to play their best to win, its part of being a champ.

They are special cases! You don't see Jeff Tarango and Wayne Ferreira in the finals of the US Open do you?

If you find mens tennis such poor quality, then why watch? Go back and watch the T&A - oh my bad, thats WTA ;) - there are tons of good quality bagels there.

Chloe le Bopper
09-08-2002, 07:56 PM
By the way, talking about 30 year olds as old and using them as an example for why the ATP is so apparently weak, then bringing up Graf is pretty amusing.

Graf won a grand slam at 29. Was the WTA weak? :o

Chloe le Bopper
09-08-2002, 07:57 PM
And could you remind me how old Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert were when they stopped contending at slams?

ILR
09-08-2002, 08:02 PM
The ATP DOES NOT HAVE A PROBLEM!This year all 4 Grand Slams have been won(or will be) by a different player,young and old(I say old but.......) compared to the WTA which Serena has won 3 of and wasnt in the Australian Open due to injury.I think its great that there are so many men who can win Grand Slams and it is certainly not boring because we have no idea who is going to win,whereas the WTA grandslams are becoming a bit predictable.

Chloe le Bopper
09-08-2002, 08:05 PM
i love how every points out how old this final is and uses it as a staple of the ATP, and totally ignored Wimbledon when one of the youngest finals ever occured :rolleyes:

Tennis Fool
09-08-2002, 08:32 PM
Agassi reached four Slam finals in 1999, winning 3 of them. This was when he was 30. Was men's tennis weak then?
==========================================
YES! Although you still had a strong Pete (at Wimby anyway) and of course Rafter (please unretire. Please!) The New Ballz did nothing then, and are still doing nothng.

I agree with you mostly, Marat & Venus_Fan, although I think Pete (Mr. Roboto) is playing great. He seems to pick it up only at slams (although still not sure what happened at Wimby). I don't really care to slam the older guys, I'm really slamming the younger generation:) :) :)

luvbadboys
09-08-2002, 09:15 PM
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MEN'S TENNIS IF IT BOTHERS ANYONE DON'T WATCH!

I have questions about the state of the new balls too (except hewitt) but I would never dismiss them. New balls got to the finals of OZ (Marat), the finals of French(JCF) the finals of Wimby(Hewitt) not to mention that new bals have quite a few masters titles/ finals between them so if old balls got to 1, I repeat ONE slam final it is not the end of the world.

A true men's tennis fan knowing this would not be so flippant about the acomplishments of the new balls.

We do have to worry about Roddick though.

dbc
09-08-2002, 11:00 PM
Can't think how anyone thinks men's tennis is going through aeeak period with so many playes causing upsets etc. The fact that Sampras/Agassi have got through to the final just proves they know how to up their games that little bit on the important points.
How can anyone compare it to the WTA when the early rounds are in the majority extremely 1-sided and the main finals are contested by the Williams sisters with the knowledge that Serena is a step above & it is a foregone conclusion that she's going to win. In the other t'ments, if either of them are playing 99% of the time they will be a finalist & win.

Chloe le Bopper
09-09-2002, 12:57 AM
Could someone explain to me why it is so appalling for Pete and Andre to be doing this into their 30's, but nothing was wrong when Steffi won at 29, and Martina and Chris were good into their 30's.

Not to mention the fact that Monica Seles is 28 and still in the top 5.

Ace Tracker
09-09-2002, 01:24 AM
it's very annoying when these WTAWorld posters who love to bash men's tennis over there decide to come down here and do some more bashing..:rolleyes:

if men's tennis is weak, I don't know if we could find words to describe the quality of women's tennis out of the top 15 players... but we are not here (in ATPWorld, I mean) to bash any tour, are we? Hopefully this will remain a better board...:mad:

Ada Monroe
09-09-2002, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by Rebecca
And could you remind me how old Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert were when they stopped contending at slams?

Exactly, that WAS a weak period in womens' tennis during the mid-80's when Navratilova and Evert both 30+ were winning slams regularly. That's why Graf in her teens was able to fill that niche perfectly.

Of course, the ATP is NOT as bad as it was then. But there is lack of talent right now. As a result quality of matches have declined. If mens' tennis was at its peak right now, Pete and Andre would've lost in the semis at best.

Layla, I like your post and I share your view on this same situtation. The point I'm trying to put across is also that ATP is in a "transitional period when new stars are coming through".

I'm not "bashing" the ATP, but the young guys on ATP have a lot of work to do to catch up, and they better do it soon.

Lleyton Hewitt is a puppet #1. Wait til Safin and others actually fill their potential. But they must do it quick.

And to those who thinks so, I don't have a problem with mens' tennis (otherwise I wouldn't post here) and I don't think the ATP is going through a problem (read my posts again).

claudine140
09-09-2002, 07:04 AM
I don't agree with the fact that ATP tennis is weak.
The matches I saw at the beginning of the us open were great, just because there are a lot of good males players who are possible slamwinners. If you compair this with the ladies, it was borring the first rounds, look to the scores/
The final against the sisters was beautifull to watch, good tennis.

What i saw this night in the men final was also beautifull tennis. Sampras shows back his great gift to play tennis like nobody else, I am not a big sampras fan, but i must be honest, that man can play so good, so briljant, agassi couldn't do nothing against him.
Ages doesn't meen a player don't count any more on the tour. It shows that if a player has a good condition, is motivated, he can play as + 30 in big tournements and be a threat to anyone.

So that gives me hope for MOYKE. He is now 26 years old and I surely hope he will play such a good tennis when he is +30 as sampras and agassi.

Vera
09-09-2002, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Marat&Venus_Fan


Of course, the ATP is NOT as bad as it was then. But there is lack of talent right now. As a result quality of matches have declined. If mens' tennis was at its peak right now, Pete and Andre would've lost in the semis at best.


It really is a matter of whether the glass is half full or half empty. I think that the men tour is actually in a very high standard that there's too many good players in the field to compete for every tournament. The fact that now that first round and second round is already a real battle is making it more difficult for anyone to win the title. I mean, there's no more easy round anymore, unlike 10 years ago when the elite group is so much smaller.

There's exactly 2 older players that are still competing well among the top group, Agassi and Sampras. And we all agree that they are among the best EVER, if not THE. So why is everybody so concern that these 2 are in the final and not the young guns. Is it bcos ppl think that they are in the final because the young players are not good enouge, but not because these 2 are truly exceptional?

Chloe le Bopper
09-09-2002, 08:05 AM
Wonderful post Vera :) I find it frusterating that people are using Pete and Andre as examples of "old men" in the finals. You can't take two all time greats and ask why some 20 year old who was named a "new ball" isn't as succesful as they are.

Furthermore, neither Andre or Pete were near all time great status when they were 20-22 years old.

Ada Monroe
09-09-2002, 01:34 PM
Good post Vera, I agree that there's depth in mens' tennis and that every round is tough, but that was like that in the early 90's too. Upsets were very common then too.

Look, I just feel mens' tennis is going through a transitional weak period right now, which it will SURELY get out of.

Right now is probably the equivalent of 97-99 on the WTA. In the next year or after, I expect a "Williams Sisters"-esque dominance to emerge by one or two of the younger players.

dbc
09-09-2002, 02:43 PM
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that the Pete/Andre bashing club are under 20's who feel that once you're 25+ you're over the hill and it pains them to have these 2 still great players making the young guns look foolish occasionally.

Vera
09-09-2002, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Marat&Venus_Fan
Good post Vera, I agree that there's depth in mens' tennis and that every round is tough, but that was like that in the early 90's too. Upsets were very common then too.

Look, I just feel mens' tennis is going through a transitional weak period right now, which it will SURELY get out of.


I believe that you're merely stating an observation instead of passing a judgement, and that it's well-intended. So I'm not trying to be mean, but I wonder that: if upsets were also common in the 90s, then what makes this period different than then? I just thought that more ppl are playing tennis in the competitive level now and it's just natural that the gap between the top are narrowing.

Anyway, I do think it is frustrating that right after Andre and Pete got into the final that so many ppl started bashing men tennis. It's not like these 2 are consistently beating the young players. I saw Hewitt spanked Agassi in Cincy and Pete has never got past Roddick before USO. So the fact they both come to the Open with new inspirations, raised their level of the game to meet the occasion and provide some exceptional performance in an event that mean more to them than to anyone else, that deserves the credit. But instead, lots of other somehow just concentrate on how they think the young guns didn't deliver. :confused: Pay the credit where credit is due, is what I want to say.

Lily
09-09-2002, 08:29 PM
Yeah, I agree, its not like Andre and Pete get to every slam final. This year is a good example. Even Hewitt only made it to one. I think it is an age thing, like dbc said. We're so used to seeing youth rule sports (and the world) that when someone older than 25 wins something, thats seen as bad for the game. Well, not everyone in the world is the same age, just like in sports. For a 31 year old and a 21 year old to win a slam in the same year, says alot about how great this sport is.

Chloe le Bopper
09-09-2002, 09:41 PM
Instead of pointing out what I don't agree with ;) for once I'll point out what I do agree with...

Marat Safin, for example, has been a grade A dissapointment the last couple years.

However, Pete didn't win any slams between US Open 1990 and Wimbledon 1993 either.

Not to suggest that he will parallel Petes carreer in anyway, just pointing out that there is plenty of time to improve - eventually he will get there.

:)

Layla
09-09-2002, 09:54 PM
Amen to that Lily! :)

Marat&Venus_Fan,

I don't doubt your appreciation for men's tennis and you made some valuable points. I understand your concern over the inconsistency of the top young players and the uncertain future.

I do however strongly disagree with the following paragraph in three accounts.

Originally posted by Marat&Venus_Fan
Of course, the ATP is NOT as bad as it was then. But there is lack of talent right now. As a result quality of matches have declined. If mens' tennis was at its peak right now, Pete and Andre would've lost in the semis at best.


First of all, there is A LOT of talent present on the tour at the moment. Surely you are not suggesting that the new balls are not talented? Imo, the problem was never in the talent or lack of it, but in the lack of consistency and the ability to harness that talent to achieve full potential. Part of the reason why there are so many upsets is that there are almost too many talented players around. The standard of play is so high that even someone outside top 100 can play great tennis.

Which brings me to the second point. The quality of the matches has definitely not declined, for that very reason. Sure, certain hyped up matches will occasionally fail to deliver, but I have seen so many outstanding, even spectacular matches this year that I'm getting more and more excited about what the future will bring. And a lot of those happened in the first rounds, which is why a tournament will unfortunately sometimes fizzle out in the end. You might be referring to the lack of on-going rivalries, which is indeed the case, I admit that. But that doesn't make the individual matches any less exciting or competitive.

And thirdly, Pete and Andre are living legends. Like Rebecca said somewhere, it's not fair to compare the young guns to these two players, who have earned their spot among the greatest players of all times. Because they have obviously not forgotten how to play tennis yet, I would never count them out in any tournament. It doesn't mean that the young players are not good enough. Some of them have been beating these two legends on a regular basis. These results speaks for themselves.

That is why I am not worried about the state of men's tennis at the moment.

Ada Monroe
09-10-2002, 05:55 AM
Vera all I was saying was I've seen Agassi and Sampras play much better than this. If they can still win slams and be in slam finals when not 100%, then maybe the other guys on the tour aren't doing enough work.

Rebecca, you keep bringing up Steffi Graf at 29 winning Roland Garros 99. YES, I saw her play a heck of a lot better tennis in her earlier career and the fact that she still won RG99, goes to prove that womens' tennis then was weak.

You can't say that now, Serena Williams right now, is the absolutely best, playing her best tennis EVER! Heck she'd probably beat any female player in history of tennis on a given day and THAT is a strong period in womens' tennis.

THAT is why I'm saying mens' tennis is weak, but don't worry it will get better, and that day will be when the likes of Johansson, Costa, Hewitt will be has-beens who won slams in the "ucky"era.

PS: I'm not bashing 25+ people, why the heck would some of you say that? :confused:

Tennis Fool
09-10-2002, 05:57 AM
M&V_fan:

I agree with your points, but you'll notice we are in a minority on this board. Keep up the good fight! I hope you do better than I was able to.

By the way...I'm a Marat&Serena_fan:) (At least one of my favs won!)

Chloe le Bopper
09-10-2002, 05:58 AM
THAT is why I'm saying mens' tennis is weak, but don't worry it will get better, and that day will be when the likes of Johansson, Costa, Hewitt will be has-beens who won slams in the "ucky"era.

I'm not sure I think hewitt will be considered a has been... I dont' think he'll be number one for years on end, but I see him contending in the future.

Though I'm sure tennis writers galore will refer to it as the weak period, that part I agree with.

Chloe le Bopper
09-10-2002, 06:00 AM
you'll notice we are in a minority on this board. Keep up the good fight! I hope you do better than I was able to

That isn't a bad thing.... if we all totally agreed that would be boring :o

Tennis Fool
09-10-2002, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by Rebecca



Though I'm sure tennis writers galore will refer to it as the weak period, that part I agree with.


Rebecca, make up your mind. Is the ATP going through a weak period or not:confused:

luvbadboys
09-10-2002, 06:19 AM
Why do you feel that Hewitt will be a has-been? More specifically what do you see in his game since he turned pro at 16 leads you to believe that he will not win more slams? particularly given that his game has improved incremetally every year and continues to do so.
All the legends are looking at Hewitt to make a place for himself among them. J. Mac, Jimmy Connors, Boris, Laver Rosewall, Billie Jean King, Mary Carillo, Martina N.. Of course there is always the question of whether he can live up to expectations but I think you are rather quick to dismiss him.

I love Marat but I would be more willing (though very reluctantly)to accept that he could be a has-been in a few years mostly due to his inability to focus then anything else. I am starting to get the feeling however that Roger is like Corretja, to nice a guy to destroy the competition.

Anyway, M&V, for someone who claims to be a long-time men's tennis fan you are very critical of today's men's game while most experts agree that there has never been such a large pool of talent, and we have seen an incredible amount of dramatic matches this year.

I don't want to seem like I'm bashing you so perhaps the following question is more positive: what is your prescrition to inprove the game?

Chloe le Bopper
09-10-2002, 06:28 AM
Tennis Fool - I meant that I agree that many people, including tennis writers will say that. I just didn't articulate my thought very well ;)

I think that there are potential champs who have been dissapointing thus far, in the sense that they haven't yet fulfilled their potential. But neither had Pete and Andre at 22 or what have you.

I think people are being to hard on them, and expecting too much too soon... if that makes sense.

I am not a fan of a handful of players being dominant and everyone else just coming along for the ride - I like a lot of upsets and that anyone can beat anyone on a given day... that is why I don't consider it weak. If I enjoy something, I can't see it as "weak"...

Though some of the younger men, should do like Hewitt has and learn to win ugly, when they aren't playing their best.

Tennis Fool
09-10-2002, 06:55 AM
Rebecca,

FINALLY I understand your position.

My own sentiment is very different. I believe there is an elite level of players that, by their extraordinary talent, rise above the rest. This crop of elite players is small, and they can work their way through draws to meet each other in finals. When this happens, you have rivalries: Pete v. Agassi. McEnroe v. Borg, McEnroe vs. Connors, McEnroe vs. Lendl.

A strong period in the ATP you hope to have two or three rivalries. Now, besides the long-standing Pete v. Agassi, there really aren't any.

To me, players like Marat and Roger are not just "tour pros". They have extraordinary talent on the lines of Pete and Agassi. To see them go out early to "tour pros" is disheartening. Yes, you expect upsets. But, over and over? To me, I don't understand how Marat could lose to Johannsen, JC to Costa, Roger to Jo-Blo in first round.

This should be a classic ATP period, with at least four or five rivalries.

If there is a different winner every time (and they happen to be "tour pros"), who do you root for? What keeps you interested? I don't see user names such as "Mrs. Costa" or "TarangoFan".

There must be a reason atpworld.com gives you a choice of certain avatars ( Marat, Lleyton, Andre, JC). And it's not because they are just "tour pros".

tennisvideos
09-10-2002, 01:41 PM
Marat&VenusFan

I disagree entirely with your posts. I feel men's tennis is in a very healthy state, we have our older generation popping up occasionally with their heroics, and we have the younger stars shining on occasion (read: Safin USO 2000). The depth is immense on the mens tour, and there is a galaxy of exciting talent (read: Agassi, Hewitt, Safin, Federer, Haas, Sampras, Moya, Roddick to name just a few).

And Lleyton Hewitt is a deserving number 1. He has been a very consistent performer for the past 18 months. A puppet #1 is someone who might cling to #1 for a few months at best. But at this rate, Hewitt has the ability to stay #1 for a very long time. And let's just remember Agassi's words on the weekend... something to the effect of "I am at my peak now". And take a look at his fitness - looks to me as though he is in just about the best shape of his life, and his match with Hewitt was incredible. He was in super form. Just goes to show how strong & exciting the tour is.

Freefall
09-10-2002, 02:57 PM
Shaq O'neal is 30, does that mean the Lakers should roll over & die now?

Lennox Lewis is better in his later 30's then ever & you would think boxers would get worse wish age from taking a beating all the time.

Bonds, Sosa & McGwire were setting home run records & are over 30. Golfers win Grand Slams at over 40, prolly have won them over 50 or 60 even. (I don't watch Basketball, Baseball or golf but have heard how old all of them are.)

I may not turn 30 for a long time yet, but I can tell that anyone who would dis the whole tour cuz a 31 & 32 year old were in a final is Brain Dead. Agassi's been playing as good as ever & Pete played as good as ever at the USOpen the last two years, besides being out of gass in last years final, because of an INSANE draw.

I think the ATP is very deep & as good or better then any other sport is right now.

Ada Monroe
09-10-2002, 03:17 PM
luvbadboys: "what is your prescrition to inprove the game?" I think you're missing my point. I'm saying it's going through an inevitable weak period. I have no prescription and I doubt anyone else does. The only ones who does are those like Safin, Federer, Ferrero etc.. to take to the next level very much like Venus and Serena did in womens' tennis. Get it? If they do, the likes of Pete and Andre won't find themselves in GS slams.

Tennis Fool, good to see SOMEONE agrees with me here :) But looks like we're the minority ;)

Tennisvideos, interesting points, ok so I admit I may have been a little harsh on Lleyton and the puppet #1 comment is not deserved, he does look like a stayer, but I still think he's only dominating because this is a weak period in mens' tennis. I stand by that. It's interesting you talk about Andre's words though. I don't know, if I was him I wouldn't exactly come out and say "I'm not at my best at all, I'm over the hill" would I? Hmm... I still think I've seen him play much better before.

Freefall, you can't compare tennis to other sports. Especially with the age factor. For one, a sport like golf is nothing as physical as tennis. As for Lewis and O'Neal etc.. who knows maybe they're going through weak periods too. Did I hear they had to bring Jordan back from the dead? LOL!