What happened to the mental wherewithal in men's tennis? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What happened to the mental wherewithal in men's tennis?

mongo
04-10-2007, 03:11 PM
First, I want to express my apologies to Fee for she may find this thread elsewhere and become "unnervered." I'm looking for a broad cross-section of responses.

Why do so few top players today have the mental wherewithal and determination of those of previous generations?

I'll offer "my guy", Marat Safin, as a case study. Sure, injuries have cost him time, but more importantly, his focus, or lack thereof, has cost him much more.

Aside from Federer, Nadal and (apparently, if not hopefully) Djokovic, the circuit is full of Hewitts--derailed by a "shotgun" wedding--Nalbandians, Baghdatises and Blakes. Compare them to the likes of Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander and Edberg and you'll come to the same conclusion as I: there's no comparison.

Anyone want to take a shot at this conundrum? I'll start.

1. Many have noted that strategy and point construction was a huge part of the game until power took over. Yet, it seems that once power was neurtalized, a mental vaacuum appeared.

2. Prize money? Are players too comfortable now? Is Hewitt talking a good talk, but simply satisfied collecting a big paycheck week after week?

What you say?

Thanks in advance.

Jenrios
04-10-2007, 03:22 PM
I'd say prize money and sponsorship plays it's part. Someone like Marat has made a lot of money from tennis - he could retire now and be well off for the rest of his life. Don't forget, the players also get appearance money - they can turn up, lose first round and still make a lot of money - especially if they are amongst the 'popular' players.

Also, maybe the 'traditional element' from tennis maybe lacking. Monte Carlo has been down-graded from next year - and yet in the 1980's/90's, it was a prestigious tournament to win. Maybe today's players think of tournaments in order of money on offer? not on the great players in the past who won them.

Kitty de Sade
04-10-2007, 03:27 PM
I'd say prize money and sponsorship plays it's part. Someone like Marat has made a lot of money from tennis - he could retire now and be well off for the rest of his life. Don't forget, the players also get appearance money - they can turn up, lose first round and still make a lot of money - especially if they are amongst the 'popular' players.

Also, maybe the 'traditional element' from tennis maybe lacking. Monte Carlo has been down-graded from next year - and yet in the 1980's/90's, it was a prestigious tournament to win. Maybe today's players think of tournaments in order of money on offer? not on the great players in the past who won them.

All good points. Money is a major culprit. When there is no sense of urgency, as in...I have to win so I can put food on the table or a roof over my head, it's far easier to become complacent.

When you can make a fabulous salary by most measures, buy lots of toys, and enjoy the perks of a great standard of living without killing yourself, the motivation doesn't necessarily manifest itself. Some players are content to just finance a lifestyle, not put forth 100% of their effort.

stebs
04-10-2007, 03:28 PM
There are longer rallies and slower courts with lots of retrieving. This makes choking easier. The tour being so deep as it is with most top 20 players being given a fight against most top 100 players means that surprising results happen more. Some fans put this down to the higher ranked player being poor mentally but really it is just that a bad day is more likely to cost you know than it was a while back.

oz_boz
04-10-2007, 03:29 PM
1) Hewitt's problems are not mental, he just lacks the game to compete.

2) No difference against the previous generations. Lendl was a big time choker before the mid 80's, Edberg wsn't a mental giant exactly. Besides, your main examples of foremer players are taken from a period of 15+ years - Connors to Edberg. In Connors heydays, he and Borg were about the only ones to be reckoned with, Mac and Lendl dominated the same way, Edberg and Wilander too, now it's Fed-Nadal - the parallell is far from perfect, but you get the point.

Time to dig up the hitchhiker clown thread again.

r2473
04-10-2007, 10:15 PM
There are longer rallies and slower courts with lots of retrieving. This makes choking easier. The tour being so deep as it is with most top 20 players being given a fight against most top 100 players means that surprising results happen more. Some fans put this down to the higher ranked player being poor mentally but really it is just that a bad day is more likely to cost you know than it was a while back.

Agree!

danton
04-11-2007, 12:05 AM
McEnroe a mental giant?? - when you first see one of his outbursts it's funny - after that it's just cringingly embarrasing - and he's still at it. He also withdrew from the tour for 6 months because he lost to Gilbert - poor didums

Dougie
04-11-2007, 08:44 AM
McEnroe a mental giant?? - when you first see one of his outbursts it's funny - after that it's just cringingly embarrasing - and he's still at it. He also withdrew from the tour for 6 months because he lost to Gilbert - poor didums

McEnroe´s outbursts don´t make him mentally weak. He´s one of the few players who actually play better after throwing a racquet or screaming at the umpire.