MensTennisForums.com - Reply to Topic
Thread: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the MensTennisForums.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-10-2008 05:58 PM
Fumus
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
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.
06-10-2008 03:24 PM
fast_clay
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

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...
06-10-2008 03:14 PM
fast_clay
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
`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...!'
06-10-2008 02:57 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by fast_clay View Post
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.
06-10-2008 02:41 PM
fast_clay
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
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...
06-10-2008 02:21 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by fast_clay View Post
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'???
06-10-2008 02:18 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by fast_clay View Post
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.
06-10-2008 01:50 PM
fast_clay
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
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...


Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
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...
06-10-2008 01:46 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fumus View Post
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.
06-10-2008 01:39 PM
Fumus
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

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.
06-10-2008 12:34 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundstroke View Post
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.
06-10-2008 12:15 PM
groundstroke
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
`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).
06-10-2008 12:04 PM
sanshisan
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
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.
06-10-2008 04:56 AM
Chip_s_m
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

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.
06-10-2008 03:50 AM
fast_clay
Re: Interesting Article - USA and Oz: Empires in decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanshisan View Post
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...
This thread has more than 15 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome