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Old 04-19-2011, 02:00 AM   #46
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

The best examples (outside of Berlocq) of players currently playing:

Ruben Ramirez Hidaldgo----Had zero top 100 wins last year, finished inside top 80. Has bounced in and out of the top 100 most of his career, has over 250 career challenger clay wins, is a bit better than most of his kind on ATP clay events but still generally struggles to the point he can't maintain a high ranking.

Marcos Daniel----Has been around 80-120 for 5+ years, 3 straight top 100 finishes, 24-65 in ATP events in his career. Has 2 wins out of 29 matches in his career off clay in ATP events. 13 challenger titles, 184-90 career record in clay challengers.

Eduardo Schwank----Actually is decent enough in ATP clay events where he should be able to maintain a top 100 ranking, but has failed both times after making it, falling out of the top 100 after a year. 9-30 off clay at the ATP level, 23-6 on HC in challengers, 84-34 overall record in challengers.

Simon Greul
----Like Schwank, isn't horrible in ATP events, but not good enough to maintain a top 100 ranking consistently. Has had some big runs in ATP events, only to go on long cold spells. Has 200 challenger wins and 9 titles, 43-71 in ATP events.

Michael Russell----Has improved to the point he can be considered a legitimate low-level ATP player rather than a high-level challenger player, although challengers continue to comprise a large portion of his points total. Has a 46-101 career ATP record, 211-136 in challengers, with 12 titles. The fact he's been healthy has helped him, and these past few years he's been consistently top 100 for the first time in his career.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:03 AM   #47
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Machi doesn't fit to me, because he was actually pretty OK in 2009 when he made the ATP level, and he's been decent this year. He just got injured last year and it hurt his momentum, but he's proven he's top 100 when healthy and playing well. He can also play off clay, unlike other clay specialists.

Bjorn is really streaky, he's proven he can be an ATP player long term, but he can only keep good form for about 4-5 weeks a season. Which is why he is perpetually around 100 in the rankings. He's got 185 challenger losses and a below .500 clay record in challengers.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:05 AM   #48
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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With that problem, this means players will stick around longer in the challengers.
Good point.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:06 AM   #49
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

A propos of this thread, I just read this the other day:

Quote:
Smaller tennis tournaments mainly serve to clog the tennis season and provide easy money to the few high ranked players, who make their way to these meaningless events to feed off the ineptitude of lower ranked players.

Instead of diluting the quality of bigger tournaments, whilst creating mismatches at smaller events, the ITF could consider setting up a tennis league system, with each league contesting a specific set of tournaments. The Grand Slams would remain 'opens', giving lower league players the opportunity to take on the best in the world.

At the conclusion of each season, the top ranked players in the 'B' league could be promoted to the next level of competition, whilst those players lurking at the bottom of their specific league rankings, would be relegated to a lower league.

http://wimbledon.open-tennis.com/tennis-change.html
ATP 250s would be a good place for these "in-between" guys, but they're often full of top 30 players. With the points rules, many of a top player's 250s won't be "countable," but he can still go to collect easy money and titles.

I don't know if "leagues" is going too far; maybe a limit on how many top 30 (for example) players can enter a 250? Treat their spots like wildcards and accept no more than maybe 5 per tournament?
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:12 AM   #50
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Takao Suzuki

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:14 AM   #51
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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Good point.
Btw, good thread and the factors I have mentioned are related. Every one else in here have some good points.

Challengers are very important to the tour and I said if a player is good enough to make it at ATP level they will do it, if not then they will fall back.

Qualie points, these should be higher but there will be a cost there as well.
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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:28 AM   #52
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Robert Kendrick----Has 250 challenger wins, 10 titles and 22 finals. 220-116 in challenger HC events. Is 35-73 in ATP events. Bounced in and out of the top 100 for the past 5 years. Has had good runs in ATP events, but lack of consistency, injuries/fitness, and his volatile nature have cost him.

Brian Dabul----Is a great challenger HC player, at 62-32 with 6 titles. Is mediocre on clay, and is 15-25 at the ATP level. Has been good enough to get on the back end of the top 100, but hasn't been able to move past that area, and now is down in the 120s after a mediocre start to this season.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:35 AM   #53
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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Btw, good thread and the factors I have mentioned are related. Every one else in here have some good points.

Challengers are very important to the tour and I said if a player is good enough to make it at ATP level they will do it, if not then they will fall back.

Qualie points, these should be higher but there will be a cost there as well.
Thanks, I thought this thread would be interesting to discuss and see the names and ideas people came up with.

Challengers are very important, because they thin the herd and really prepare players for the daily grind of the tennis season. It makes you tough and you have to really work for wins at that level. As you say, the cream rises to the top. The truly high-level talented players don't fail at the ATP level once making it there.

Qualie points should be higher, but if you make winning two matches in qualies greater than making a SF in a challenger, you're going to hurt the challenger series. It has to be a balance. Maybe boost the points of winning an R1 ATP match rather than overwhelmingly boosting the qualie points. Or reduce the number of challengers per week, but make the points availability all the same.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:42 AM   #54
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
Thanks, I thought this thread would be interesting to discuss and see the names and ideas people came up with.

Challengers are very important, because they thin the herd and really prepare players for the daily grind of the tennis season. It makes you tough and you have to really work for wins at that level. As you say, the cream rises to the top. The truly high-level talented players don't fail at the ATP level once making it there.

Qualie points should be higher, but if you make winning two matches in qualies greater than making a SF in a challenger, you're going to hurt the challenger series. It has to be a balance. Maybe boost the points of winning an R1 ATP match rather than overwhelmingly boosting the qualie points. Or reduce the number of challengers per week, but make the points availability all the same.
That's the reason challengers are important, most of the best players went through them. It's a tough school , not always in the nicest conditions playing tough tennis.

The guys say outsider top 60 if they don't have sponsors, have to play a balance between ATP and challenger events. The cost effective and also which one will give the best chance at points. My main thing is the cash should be increased for challengers. Winning a R1 match at main level of course should be rewarded with more points, but as Henry said they didn't think too much about this.

The challenger hounds will get found out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:44 AM   #55
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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ATP 250s would be a good place for these "in-between" guys, but they're often full of top 30 players. With the points rules, many of a top player's 250s won't be "countable," but he can still go to collect easy money and titles.

I don't know if "leagues" is going too far; maybe a limit on how many top 30 (for example) players can enter a 250? Treat their spots like wildcards and accept no more than maybe 5 per tournament?
They do something like this on the WTA tour, there can only be like 2 top 10 players in the non elite events. With that said, taking away opportunities for wins for these top players, whether they "need" as much as lesser players or not, is something that would be hotly debated. I can see both sides of that issue.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:58 AM   #56
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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That's the reason challengers are important, most of the best players went through them. It's a tough school , not always in the nicest conditions playing tough tennis.

The guys say outsider top 60 if they don't have sponsors, have to play a balance between ATP and challenger events. The cost effective and also which one will give the best chance at points. My main thing is the cash should be increased for challengers. Winning a R1 match at main level of course should be rewarded with more points, but as Henry said they didn't think too much about this.

The challenger hounds will get found out.
Definitely not the nicest conditions at times. Some of those challengers are in remote areas with high crime, hospitality is poor or virtually non-existent, traveling is tough. You're playing on courts with other matches right beside you, and not getting paid a lot. Cash definitely needs to be bumped up in challengers, but I don't see that happening. That's why I think there should be fewer overall challengers, but instead more big challengers and a more uniformed point system. You do that, you're making players truly earn top 100 positions against other players in the same boat with the same general ability level, you reward them in doing so with more points and money and they rise to the top 100 and give themselves a real opportunity against the best of the best.

Some of the ATP events now could be reduced to challengers to make that happen, but I don't see that going over well, either. So it's a definite challenge. And, of course, since things are done with the elite players in mind, all of this is wishful thinking.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:12 AM   #57
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

The American challengers seem to be very average in this respect. But the tour is a grind, all part of the experience.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:25 AM   #58
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

True, ultimately, this all adds to the mental toughness a player gains. Also it gives players more incentive to jump their rankings to the top 100 and get out of the challenger lifestyle.

American challengers definitely can be suspect in terms of the overall conditions of the arenas and hospitality, especially the indoor events (Dallas is a good one, some of the others are in quite run down arenas and disorganized management). Also US challengers generally have issues when it comes to live scoring, but that hasn't been a big issue this year.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:34 AM   #59
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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True, ultimately, this all adds to the mental toughness a player gains. Also it gives players more incentive to jump their rankings to the top 100 and get out of the challenger lifestyle.

American challengers definitely can be suspect in terms of the overall conditions of the arenas and hospitality, especially the indoor events (Dallas is a good one, some of the others are in quite run down arenas and disorganized management). Also US challengers generally have issues when it comes to live scoring, but that hasn't been a big issue this year.
Read an article a while ago where they tracked the life of Robbie kendrick, basically spending most of his career on challengers. Cracked courts are the norm and like you said, everyone is playing next to each with little to no crowd. There was a tournament he had in the farmlands, and he literally had goats waiting for him on court before play.

Tennis is not the sport I would want my kid to become a pro at, that's for sure. Most of the top players were already financially secure before the success came.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:46 AM   #60
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

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Read an article a while ago where they tracked the life of Robbie kendrick, basically spending most of his career on challengers. Cracked courts are the norm and like you said, everyone is playing next to each with little to no crowd. There was a tournament he had in the farmlands, and he literally had goats waiting for him on court before play.

Tennis is not the sport I would want my kid to become a pro at, that's for sure. Most of the top players were already financially secure before the success came.
Both Robbie and Mikey have openly talked about how much of a grind challengers are. Both have also said that they never want to be a regular challenger player again because of the regular shit they have to deal with at that level, Mikey has accomplished that, I hope Robbie does. Cracked courts, that's ridiculous at a professional level. Goats on the court is hilarious. The quality of courts aren't too much better than any random kept together rec courts. And I forgot to mention the crowds, but definitely in some of these American events, fans are basically non-existent.

I wouldn't want my kid to play tennis professionally either unless he or she knew for sure they were good enough to make it to the elite level. And you usually know by 18 what you have and don't. Not many players magically become elite if they weren't as juniors and in futures. The money it takes to be a pro tennis player makes it very difficult bordering on impossible if you lack sponsors and don't have family backing. Knowing this, there is a lot of shadiness on the challenger tour in terms of throwing matches, going to events unhealthy with no shot at winning but collecting paychecks and/or fixing. It's not a pretty life.
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