Simon Reed: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Simon Reed: Is elite tennis now just a case of last man standing?

FedererBulgaria
04-03-2013, 12:38 AM
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.


http://s24.postimg.org/gbl3p4gf9/Muzzlehaioghiaoghiwoghiwogh.jpg (http://postimage.org/)


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?

http://s22.postimg.org/ilw6wl89d/image.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

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

Time Violation
04-03-2013, 12:44 AM
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 :)

rocketassist
04-03-2013, 12:46 AM
Finally those in the media are taking note.

Good lad Simon.

Moozza
04-03-2013, 12:52 AM
Thought you were serious, then saw the words 'best in the world' followed by pic of Dimitrov.

Newcomer
04-03-2013, 12:59 AM
This is the era, where Ferrer won Indoor Masters and reach Wimby Q\F
btw, No1e 1.0>>No1e 2.0

FedererBulgaria
04-03-2013, 12:59 AM
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 :)

Blue Heart24
04-03-2013, 01:21 AM
Unfortunately yes.Valid point.And the top of the rankings reflect it well.

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 01:24 AM
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.

FedererBulgaria
04-03-2013, 01:35 AM
We all agree,so what is the future of our sport ?

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 01:40 AM
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.

FedererBulgaria
04-03-2013, 01:44 AM
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 :angel:

ProdigyEng
04-03-2013, 01:47 AM
Wonder what Simon Reed will curse this time :lol:

Moozza
04-03-2013, 01:47 AM
IW and Miami are possibly the two slowest courts on tour. This was expected.

SliceAce
04-03-2013, 01:51 AM
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.

Newcomer
04-03-2013, 01:55 AM
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? :lol:

MrPlateperson
04-03-2013, 01:56 AM
How do you explain the age of the top 100 getting older every year? By this logic shouldn't players peak at 18-25?

rocketassist
04-03-2013, 01:58 AM
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.

Rye grass is a strange one- it's decent for the first few days before becoming a mud-pit in the second week, which is why Nadal has been bothered by Rosol, Petzschner, Haase types when the grass is still green, yet is nigh on unbeatable from R4 onwards.

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 01:58 AM
so it means that Rogi Noserer is the best defensive player on tour? :lol:

I believe he was speculating about how surfaces would work if/when the dynamics of men's tennis completes its transformation into tireless retrievers vs monsters hitters, and he made a fair point I though, monster hitters are bound to encounter problems with their movement and return of serve on grass, not to mention the ball won't bounce into their strike zone.

Federer doesn't fit either mould, he's an all-court player: a dying breed in men's tennis.

Mountaindewslave
04-03-2013, 02:04 AM
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.

it scary because variety might die, what are Haas and Federer practially the only remaining players who mix things up

Mountaindewslave
04-03-2013, 02:05 AM
How do you explain the age of the top 100 getting older every year? By this logic shouldn't players peak at 18-25?

week young generations are mostly responsible for this, literally look at ages 16-23 right now, extremely poor all the generations, this is a rarity and because of it older fit players can still dominate

as to why the young generations are so bad, can't give an answer, but I suppose dark periods like this occur in every sport

SliceAce
04-03-2013, 02:05 AM
so it means that Rogi Noserer is the best defensive player on tour? :lol:

Roger is lucky he got to play Fakervic and Mugray, both of whom are poor grass players compared to players of his generation (Roddick, Hewitt, Henman, Grosjean, Haas, etc) that he had to beat in his prime. Roger's win in 2012 was great no doubt, but that Fakervic won Wimbledon in 2011, Mugray made a Wimby final and won the OG, and Nadull has won 3 times shows grass is not a surface players are good on anymore.

superslam77
04-03-2013, 02:12 AM
just make everything much faster and be done with it

Newcomer
04-03-2013, 02:13 AM
I believe he was speculating about how surfaces would work if/when the dynamics of men's tennis completes its transformation into tireless retrievers vs monsters hitters, and he made a fair point I though, monster hitters are bound to encounter problems with their movement and return of serve on grass, not to mention the ball won't bounce into their strike zone.

Federer doesn't fit either mould, he's an all-court player: a dying breed in men's tennis.

I understand his point. But classic offensive hitters on clay (Tsonga,Berdych,Soderling) danger in specific conditions. Deplotro has far more better movement than Berdych or Soderling and just more multipurpose player and his game better adjust for clay . As for grass i can't agree at all. Big guys struggle at Wimby coz they playing at baseline. There are no good volleyers at tour with huge serve. It's funny, but Federer has best volleys on tour. Even fat Malisse or injured Fish can reach 4r at Wimby couse their game at net is superior comparing to others.

Newcomer
04-03-2013, 02:18 AM
Roger is lucky he got to play Fakervic and Mugray, both of whom are poor grass players compared to players of his generation (Roddick, Hewitt, Henman, Grosjean, Haas, etc) that he had to beat in his prime. Roger's win in 2012 was great no doubt, but that Fakervic won Wimbledon in 2011, Mugray made a Wimby final and won the OG, and Nadull has won 3 times shows grass is not a surface players are good on anymore.

Federer is baseliner too. Yup he mixed styles at Wimby. But as i remember Rogi was destroyed at fast-grass by croatian child Mario Ancic. Djokovic 1.0 was decent at net.

SliceAce
04-03-2013, 02:29 AM
Federer is baseliner too. Yup he mixed styles at Wimby. But as i remember Rogi was destroyed at fast-grass by croatian child Mario Ancic. Djokovic 1.0 was decent at net.

I agree Fed has had trouble in the past with pure S/V and has benefited from slower courts. Unlike many people frustrated with today's grindy game, I don't want to bring back the 90s. The ideal for me is mid 2001-2006, with a mix of all styles. But maybe Fed's excellent defense-into-offense is what caused these pure defensive beats to show up and those great years had the seeds of the crap today.

LOL Fakervic is one of the worst net players in history. He has maybe the most technically flawed overhead of a top player ever, doesn't follow his dropshots to the net or anticipate passing shots at all, and in general sucks at hitting anything but easy winning volleys. You've lost your mind from not seeing good net play in so many years.

Gabe32
04-03-2013, 02:34 AM
The big 4/5 outweigh the field in terms of talent by a considerable margin.

But that is not what you're asking.

I don't think any one of the top 4 are unfit. If I had to rank them in terms of fitness, I would say Murray, Djokovic, and then Nadal/Federer tied.

But that lineup is contradictory to what you are stating. Federer and Nadal, the relatively least fit of the 4, have the overwhelming majority of the slams. Murray, the fittest -- has a mere 1.

Johnny Groove
04-03-2013, 02:42 AM
Speed up the bloody courts, damn it.

No one wants to see 1 shot rallies like the 90's, but 6 hour slam finals with 30 shot rallies the norm are just as bad.

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 03:23 AM
I understand his point. But classic offensive hitters on clay (Tsonga,Berdych,Soderling) danger in specific conditions. Deplotro has far more better movement than Berdych or Soderling and just more multipurpose player and his game better adjust for clay . As for grass i can't agree at all. Big guys struggle at Wimby coz they playing at baseline. There are no good volleyers at tour with huge serve. It's funny, but Federer has best volleys on tour. Even fat Malisse or injured Fish can reach 4r at Wimby couse their game at net is superior comparing to others.

That is the point though, tennis is becoming more and more of a baseline war of attriction, featuring tireless retrievers and monster hitters with nothing in between. Volleying/using the net strategically is becoming obsolete, what you have at the top of the game at the moment is baseline slugs, with only Federer and Tsonga occasionally bringing something different, and this trend doesn't look like reversing any time soon, well on the contrary: expect top players to become even more one dimensional and allcourt players to be completely extinguished the way things are doing.

In said situation, grass will probably be the surface where huge hitters will be rewarded the least since the ball won't bounce into their strike zone often, they will struggle with the return of serve big time and their movement will be more easily exposed.

Johnny Groove
04-03-2013, 03:48 AM
Let's compare AO 2005:

xkBUod7nnC0

vs.

AO 2012

Urn4a2VgvgI

The ball just explodes off the court in 2005 vs. 2012.

SerialKillerToBe
04-03-2013, 05:50 AM
Let's compare AO 2005:

xkBUod7nnC0

vs.

AO 2012

Urn4a2VgvgI

The ball just explodes off the court in 2005 vs. 2012.


yeah, let's just forget about Nadal being able to create monstrous spin off of his forehand, slowing the pace of the game considerably. :facepalm:

T.C
04-03-2013, 06:39 AM
yeah, let's just forget about Nadal being able to create monstrous spin off of his forehand, slowing the pace of the game considerably. :facepalm:

but shouldn't the ball leap off the court with nadal's massive topspin? it just looks really slow compared to 2005.

I'm truly surprised: I know the courts are slower but didn't think it was so obviously slower.



Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App (http://www.verticalsports.com/mobile)

Benny_Maths
04-03-2013, 07:09 AM
If only they could rig all draws to put all grinders on one half of the draw. Then at least when it comes to the final there's a high chance of the outcome being dependent on tennis-specific skills.

Sri
04-03-2013, 07:27 AM
Say your prayers:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m88na2OK6g1qzbvcmo1_400.gif

B-Nard
04-03-2013, 10:52 AM
We all agree,so what is the future of our sport ?

Nonsensical. "The future of our sport?". Please tell me what is so unbearable about today's game to the extent that it warrants such a blunt and hyperbolic statement such as that. Please, I am curious.

Jverweij
04-03-2013, 11:49 AM
Nonsensical. "The future of our sport?". Please tell me what is so unbearable about today's game to the extent that it warrants such a blunt and hyperbolic statement such as that. Please, I am curious.

to me matches are increasingly boring and the outcome is predictable in 99% of the cases. It's not unbearable, but I tend to lose interest in matches. This never happened in the past.

August
04-03-2013, 11:57 AM
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.

Yep. On faster surfaces, skilled players could do well without having incredible stamina or strength. Of faster surfaces you needed to defend less and fast court enabled hitting through even if you didn't have that much power. On slow surfaces you need to have very powerful shots like DelPo, Berdych, or Tsonga to be able to hit through, and even then you're likely to lose against great defenders like Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, or Ferrer. If talent is your main weapon, then you need to be like Federer, extremely talented with better than average fitness. In short, average fitness ain't enough, no matter how talented you are.

Nole fan
04-03-2013, 12:00 PM
:bs:

leng jai
04-03-2013, 12:02 PM
:bs:

This. Tennis matches are more skilful than ever and this is displayed by how efficient players are at ending points within 40 strokes.

A_Skywalker
04-03-2013, 12:26 PM
Let's compare AO 2005:

xkBUod7nnC0

vs.

AO 2012

Urn4a2VgvgI

The ball just explodes off the court in 2005 vs. 2012.

They play totaly different styles. Plus Djoko and Nadal are way faster than Agassi and Fed.

Lugburz
04-03-2013, 12:33 PM
my take on the subject from other forum:

I might sound a bit selfish, but to me tennis is slowly dying.

I had many alternatives when my fave players retired in the past, but when my favorite players retire soonish, I really have doubts that tennis for me will become very uninteresting.

Luckily I had Tommy still playing after Henman retired. But that was the time I really enjoyed tennis, watching other players like Sampras, Rafter, Safin, Agassi, even clay specialist Kuerten, etc etc..

Now its all about fitness and who can endure more grinding. aka 'last man standing'
More and more youngsters turning into robots playing same points over and over again. There's really limited variety today.
And those who can play all around and various game, are old players.

Slowing down courts is another example of how difficult for new players is to lean more to the all around play.

It feels like I just might lose interest in tennis after Haas retires, being probably the last guy on tour who has the ultimate all around game.
It just feels sad, but it is also true.

Nole fan
04-03-2013, 12:37 PM
This. Tennis matches are more skilful than ever and this is displayed by how efficient players are at ending points within 40 strokes.

I don't know man, but I think this will be my last post here. All i see is stupid thread after stupid thread because some whiners are upset that Federer is not relevant anymore, they just can't simply accept tennis is much more exciting now and they pollute this forum every day with stupid diatribes that bore me to no end viciously attacking Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and whoever is not called the Allmighty God. I don't see any point in discussing tennis at MTF anymore. I'm simply too tired of this fucking site and its unsufferable trolls. I'm done. Bye.

TigerTim
04-03-2013, 12:39 PM
This. Tennis matches are more skilful than ever and this is displayed by how efficient players are at ending points within 40 strokes.

via UEs one must add ;)

Abel
04-03-2013, 01:05 PM
It's great that the people going on and on about tennis dying take the time to repeatedly tell everyone about it in every thread.

paseo
04-03-2013, 01:38 PM
I don't know man, but I think this will be my last post here. All i see is stupid thread after stupid thread because some whiners are upset that Federer is not relevant anymore, they just can't simply accept tennis is much more exciting now and they pollute this forum every day with stupid diatribes that bore me to no end viciously attacking Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and whoever is not called the Allmighty God. I don't see any point in discussing tennis at MTF anymore. I'm simply too tired of this fucking site and its unsufferable trolls. I'm done. Bye.

April's fool?

Ivelina_P
04-03-2013, 05:16 PM
ahem...not the entire population consists of people old enough to have witnessed the legends of the game.There are people who actually enjoy how physical the sport has become,after all it's an athletic discipline,not a fashion show.The only thing I really really dislike now is that the top guys rarely come to the net.

August
04-03-2013, 06:28 PM
I don't know man, but I think this will be my last post here. All i see is stupid thread after stupid thread because some whiners are upset that Federer is not relevant anymore, they just can't simply accept tennis is much more exciting now and they pollute this forum every day with stupid diatribes that bore me to no end viciously attacking Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and whoever is not called the Allmighty God. I don't see any point in discussing tennis at MTF anymore. I'm simply too tired of this fucking site and its unsufferable trolls. I'm done. Bye.

:bs:

Majority of MTF wouldn't be complaining if current #1 was as talented as Fed, instead of a grinder who outlasts his opponents.

Moonball Pusher
04-03-2013, 07:04 PM
I love S&V, I love fast courts, I hate slow

fedalrock
04-03-2013, 07:16 PM
Yeah it is really..:(
I only REALLY started following avidly 3 years ago and sometimes it gets boring watching 2 walls play each other where points are won by UE's from the opponent not by hitting winners.
True skill and shotmaking has taken a backseat to grinding and fitness. Though I won't deny even that needs hard work, its not what tennis is about.
Tennis is becoming boring with one dimensional players the majority on the tour:help:

GSMnadal
04-03-2013, 07:21 PM
:bs:

Majority of MTF wouldn't be complaining if current #1 was as talented as Fed, instead of a grinder who outlasts his opponents.

Just as stupid. Complaining about the game when the style of tennis you prefer isn't #1.

Nadal at first, followed by Djokovic and Murray have massively improved the standard of physique and fitness required to be the best -> You need to be a better athlete now. Simply making the game more professional. Do you want the top athletes to be fat and unprofessional, but decent ballstrikers like in WTA?

You also underestimate the talent of those three. They don't just outlast their opponents, they dictate rallies alongside superior defense and fitness. Otherwise we'd surely see them dropping the opening sets more often before clawing themselves back in the match when the opponent tires.

August
04-03-2013, 07:33 PM
You also underestimate the talent of those three.

Indoor HC is probably the surface favouring talented players the most. Being fast, it doesn't require that much definsive abilities, yet you can't just servebot your way to title. And how many indoor HC titles Nadal has?

Assuming Nadal is so talented, we can just worship Tsonga's talent as he has 7 times the number of Nadal's indoor HC titles.

Mechlan
04-03-2013, 07:52 PM
Just as stupid. Complaining about the game when the style of tennis you prefer isn't #1.

Nadal at first, followed by Djokovic and Murray have massively improved the standard of physique and fitness required to be the best -> You need to be a better athlete now. Simply making the game more professional. Do you want the top athletes to be fat and unprofessional, but decent ballstrikers like in WTA?

You also underestimate the talent of those three. They don't just outlast their opponents, they dictate rallies alongside superior defense and fitness. Otherwise we'd surely see them dropping the opening sets more often before clawing themselves back in the match when the opponent tires.

The great players adapt to the conditions. If conditions were as fast as 2005, I'm pretty sure that the same guys would be at the top of the game (Nadal, Djokovic, Murray). However, the tennis would be much more enjoyable to me. The reason some of us want faster conditions has nothing to do with who it would favor. I'm a huge fan of Andy and watching the Miami final made my eyes bleed. I would a thousand times rather watch him play aggressively than seeing him win marathon grinding battles. Honestly I don't mind if there are some surfaces that play slowly, but every surface these days seems to gradually move towards medium-slow hardcourt. Takes all the fun out of it.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 07:57 PM
It's very obvious the courts were faster in 2005 than 2012. The plexicushion is way slower than the rebound ace. And yeah, Djokovic and Nadal may be quicker and better defenders than Federer and Agassi, but Nole and Rafa played on a slow court with more time to defend and Fed/AA played right up on the baseline taking the ball early and hitting flatter and going for their shots more. And Federer is his prime was just as amazing an athlete as Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray are now - his defense to attack was unrivaled.

The courts must be sped up a degree for the good of the game. Talent and skill should NOT take a back seat to fitness and endurance. And please, you need to be a better athlete now? Maybe. But Sampras was arguably the greatest athlete tennis has ever seen in his heyday and he was extremely athletic.

GSMnadal
04-03-2013, 07:58 PM
Indoor HC is probably the surface favouring talented players the most. Being fast, it doesn't require that much definsive abilities, yet you can't just servebot your way to title. And how many indoor HC titles Nadal has?

Assuming Nadal is so talented, we can just worship Tsonga's talent as he has 7 times the number of Nadal's indoor HC titles.

You seem to think that

Attacking = Talented

Wrong.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 08:02 PM
You seem to think that

Attacking = Talented

Wrong.

No.

Until Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal, all the greats of the game were attacking and offensive-minded. Federer, Sampras, Connors, Agassi, Rafter, Becker, Edberg, Safin, Roddick, Lendl, Laver .... tennis has only become more defensive the last few years.

janko05
04-03-2013, 08:02 PM
Indoor HC is probably the surface favouring talented players the most. Being fast, it doesn't require that much definsive abilities, yet you can't just servebot your way to title. And how many indoor HC titles Nadal has?

Assuming Nadal is so talented, we can just worship Tsonga's talent as he has 7 times the number of Nadal's indoor HC titles.

So, Ferrer is a talented player unlike Nadal & co.

hum...Interesting

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 08:07 PM
Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray's talent is underrated. They are clearly talented and they wouldn't be where they are if they weren't. However, unlike Federer and the vast majority of past greats, their greatest asset now is their strength and conditioning where they can outlast all their opponents, especially the ones who are having great days (like Stan at the AO).

fluffyyelloballz
04-03-2013, 08:48 PM
Yes. Tennis matches are not won any longer by the player with the better tennis skills. Time and time again we see a player construct a point, find the open court and then hit a huge ground stroke or come forward and volley only for their opponent to race down the ball and send it back. This is repeated until the attacking minded player, who is playing better tennis, constructing points to win them rather than make an error or profit from an opponent's error, is finally frustrated or forced into error or passed at the net.
Wawrinka versus Djokovic is a good recent example. There is no doubt that the current conditions totally favor the Djokovics and Murrays who will keep grinding while their opponents end up, perhaps due to their own inability to adjust to the slower courts, getting frustrated and losing not just the physical battle but the mental one, too.
Thus the fitter, more physically imposing players who have tailored their games to these conditions are reaping the rewards from these slow courts, able to be the last man standing while the ones playing tennis that belonged to begone days are on the losing end.
The most terrifying part of it all though, for me anyway, is that there are less and less tennis players like Wawrinka and co and what we are getting is more grinder versus grinder instead.

Mechlan
04-03-2013, 09:11 PM
It's very obvious the courts were faster in 2005 than 2012. The plexicushion is way slower than the rebound ace.

Funny thing is, the rebound ace was considered slow back in the day.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 09:18 PM
Funny thing is, the rebound ace was considered slow back in the day.

And now it would be the fastest surface on tour.

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 09:22 PM
The great players adapt to the conditions. If conditions were as fast as 2005, I'm pretty sure that the same guys would be at the top of the game (Nadal, Djokovic, Murray). However, the tennis would be much more enjoyable to me. The reason some of us want faster conditions has nothing to do with who it would favor. I'm a huge fan of Andy and watching the Miami final made my eyes bleed. I would a thousand times rather watch him play aggressively than seeing him win marathon grinding battles. Honestly I don't mind if there are some surfaces that play slowly, but every surface these days seems to gradually move towards medium-slow hardcourt. Takes all the fun out of it.

There is no way to prove this obvious cliché. No one serious will deny that the players you mention are talented and not mere fitness machines but a lot of players who fear facing them today wouldn't if the surfaces minimized the effectiveness of their defenses. They are not necessarily the most talented players on tour (in fact very few would argue they are the three best shotmakers on tour), but the most talented in the specific aspects that modern tennis rewards (movement, defense, fitness, return of serve...)

MTwEeZi
04-03-2013, 09:33 PM
No.

Until Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal, all the greats of the game were attacking and offensive-minded. Federer, Sampras, Connors, Agassi, Rafter, Becker, Edberg, Safin, Roddick, Lendl, Laver .... tennis has only become more defensive the last few years.

Borg is not a great? :awww: But Safin, Rafter, and Roddick are? Lendl more aggressive than Nadal & Djokovic? :haha:

Mechlan
04-03-2013, 09:35 PM
There is no way to prove this obvious cliché. No one serious will deny that the players you mention are talented and not mere fitness machines but a lot of players who fear facing them today wouldn't if the surfaces minimized the effectiveness of their defenses. They are not necessarily the most talented players on tour (in fact very few would argue they are the three best shotmakers on tour), but the most talented in the specific aspects that modern tennis rewards (movement, defense, fitness, return of serve...)

Well obviously I can't prove it, but look at the way Federer, Murray, Djokovic's games have evolved over the past few years. It's pretty clear to me they all play more defensively than they used to. They were very good players and remain very good players. I have a very strong feeling they would continue to be at (or very close to) the top if the conditions changed.

That said, your point is very valid. There are a lot of great players out there (Tsonga, Berdych etc) who are knocking at the door, but don't have the fitness and/or movement necessary to be truly elite in today's game. If the surfaces were just a touch faster, it's entirely possible that they break through and snatch a major. And I would love that. I think seeing the same guys in the late rounds time after time is boring. I want someone having an amazing day to take down a higher ranked player (and not just succumb to last man standing tennis). Used to happen all the time, now it never does. I don't like either.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 09:37 PM
Borg is not a great? :awww: But Safin, Rafter, and Roddick are? Lendl more aggressive than Nadal & Djokovic? :haha:

I forgot Borg, and he won 5 straight Wimbledons. So he could play attack-based tennis.

Orka_n
04-03-2013, 09:39 PM
I don't know man, but I think this will be my last post here. All i see is stupid thread after stupid thread because some whiners are upset that Federer is not relevant anymore, they just can't simply accept tennis is much more exciting now and they pollute this forum every day with stupid diatribes that bore me to no end viciously attacking Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and whoever is not called the Allmighty God. I don't see any point in discussing tennis at MTF anymore. I'm simply too tired of this fucking site and its unsufferable trolls. I'm done. Bye.Many tennis enthusiasts prefer more diversity in courts & playing styles than what the tour can produce right now, not much to it. And you exaggerate the hate towards Nole, Murray & Nadal... the number of Fedtards has gone down.

Btw Nina if you're leaving MTF then all the best. We haven't really seen eye to eye since 2011 but take care of yourself.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 09:41 PM
I don't see how tennis is more exciting now than in any previous time period. Because of the longer matches and rallies? Give me Sampras/Agassi or Federer/Safin over Djokovic/Murray any day. I'd rather have two hours of the former than five hours of the latter.

Overall though, MTF would be helped by there not being so much leads-to-nothing discussion on the top 4, particularly the stupid threads talking about Federer and his era and his downfall from the sport in the current day (which is great exaggerated).

Mark Lenders
04-03-2013, 09:43 PM
Well obviously I can't prove it, but look at the way Federer, Murray, Djokovic's games have evolved over the past few years. It's pretty clear to me they all play more defensively than they used to. They were very good players and remain very good players. I have a very strong feeling they would continue to be at (or very close to) the top if the conditions changed.

That said, your point is very valid. There are a lot of great players out there (Tsonga, Berdych etc) who are knocking at the door, but don't have the fitness and/or movement necessary to be truly elite in today's game. If the surfaces were just a touch faster, it's entirely possible that they break through and snatch a major. And I would love that. I think seeing the same guys in the late rounds time after time is boring. I want someone having an amazing day to take down a higher ranked player (and not just succumb to last man standing tennis). Used to happen all the time, now it never does. I don't like either.

Yes, I don't think there's any set of conditions that would ever make those players not be factors, especially Nadal who always has clay if all else fails. But I think we both agree that Djokovic, Murray, Nadal... are not all-court talents like Federer, while obviously great players they will most definitely not inspire fear or have any aura of invincibility on courts where their defense can't shut down talented shotmakers.

Take Djokovic's AO match vs Stan, that's a match he'd have most definitely lost if the courts didn't force Stan to finish points off three times to hit through him. There are plenty of more examples of those players winning matches by outlasting their opponents, within rallies and the duration of the match, which wouldn't be possible in faster conditions.

Orka_n
04-03-2013, 09:44 PM
I don't see how tennis is more exciting now than in any previous time period. Because of the longer matches and rallies? Give me Sampras/Agassi or Federer/Safin over Djokovic/Murray any day. I'd rather have two hours of the former than five hours of the latter.Easily.

Kyle_Johansen
04-03-2013, 09:45 PM
Yes, I don't think there's any set of conditions that would ever make those players not be factors, especially Nadal who always clay if all else fails. But I think we both agree that Djokovic, Murray, Nadal... are not all-court talents like Federer, while obviously great players they will most definitely not inspire fear or have any aura of invincibility on courts where their defense can't shut down talented shotmakers.

Take Djokovic's AO match vs Stan, that's a match he'd have most definitely lost if the courts didn't force Stan to finish points off three times to hit through him. There are plenty of more examples of those players winning matches by outlasting their opponents, within rallies and the duration of the match, which wouldn't be possible in faster conditions.

Pretty much spot on with everything.

retister
04-03-2013, 10:03 PM
:bs:

Majority of MTF wouldn't be complaining if current #1 was as talented as Fed, instead of a grinder who outlasts his opponents.
Try thinking about Djokovic as a guy who got so tired of banging his head against a wall (i.e. losing to Fed and Rafa) that he conditioned himself to play the most efficient game possible in current conditions. I've seen him consistently pull of even the hardest of tennis shots (except smash) before 2011, even his serve was great for a while. Then he got lost in his attempts to adapt to top guys for a while, and emerged victorious in 2011 with winning game style that provoked countless bashings, mostly from Fed fans.
Funny thing is, all this was a result of him trying to find an answer to Rafa's game, not Roger's. His team correctly saw Nadal as THE obstacle to overcome, with other opponents being handled as the side effect.
That is the main reason for the occasional unexpected defeat, and also why Roger troubled him slightly more than Rafa in the last couple of years - he is playing the anti-Nadal game against EVERYONE, it is just not worth it to disrupt it for the lesser matches.
Bottom line - his apparent limited game is a matter of choice, not a limitation of his capabilities.
Also, many here seem to honestly believe that Nole or Rafa actually twisted ATP's arm into slowing down the courts, which is beyond ridiculous.
Fact that they adapted the best does not mean they caused it.

GSMnadal
04-03-2013, 10:08 PM
Nadal and Djokovic hit a far heavier average rally ball than those ballbashing clowns some of you guys think are 'more talented'. And they do it without hitting an UE every two shots.

BauerAlmeida
04-03-2013, 10:14 PM
Borg is not a great? :awww: But Safin, Rafter, and Roddick are? Lendl more aggressive than Nadal & Djokovic? :haha:

Safin is the GOAT. We all know that.

Abel
04-03-2013, 11:33 PM
Why are people questioning whether Nadal (as one example) could get it done on fast(er) courts? Before he bulked up too much he was capable of putting in amazing fast HC displays.

His FH is an all-time great shot and can dictate on any surface. There are very, very few players that we can say that about of the last 10 years.

philosophicalarf
04-04-2013, 01:11 AM
The plexicushion is way slower than the rebound ace.

That's actually not true. Court friction between 2007 and 2008 was pretty much the same. Now, admittedly 2012 was insanely slow, which led them to speed up the courts this year, but that sort of year-to-year variation is the norm everywhere. Matches between athletes like Nadal/Djoko/Murray/Ferrer just exacerbate that impression.

The 2005 youtube clip above also isn't terribly helpful, given the next year they switched to Wilson balls .... and those were slowed themselves over the next 4/5 years.


The irony about this sort of thread is that the slowing of tennis surfaces/balls is not new. It started in the current era in 2001, when the US Open slowed its surface (and again in 2003). Outdoors, most of the changes since have been the balls.

Mechlan
04-04-2013, 01:45 AM
Outdoors, most of the changes since have been the balls.

Good point, nobody seems to get this. The surface doesn't change that frequently, but a small change in ball size can make a big difference to how the court plays.

stewietennis
04-04-2013, 02:49 AM
I think fitness plays a greater role in the sport nowadays because players can get to the ball easier - due to a combination of greater athleticism, slower courts, balls and racket technology. If a player lacks shotmaking skills, his fitness better be up to par because he'll be doing a lot of running.

atennisfan
04-04-2013, 04:42 AM
Nadal and Djokovic hit a far heavier average rally ball than those ballbashing clowns some of you guys think are 'more talented'. And they do it without hitting an UE every two shots.

Yeah, but to maintain their power and stamina Djokovic needs the egg and gluten-free diet, and Nadal needs to have few months off almost every year.