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Old 04-19-2011, 02:56 AM   #61
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Yup, the scary part is these are mid-tier conditions. Think about futures and what pros like Amir Weintraub have to go through (love his blog). That goat might end up being your dinner if things don't fall into place, and they usually don't.

I think it's time that someone records a documentary on the life of a futures/challenger player. Year-long chronicle, it would be great television.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:04 AM   #62
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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 tennisfan856 View Post
Yup, the scary part is these are mid-tier conditions. Think about futures and what pros like Amir Weintraub have to go through (love his blog). That goat might end up being your dinner if things don't fall into place, and they usually don't.

I think it's time that someone records a documentary on the life of a futures/challenger player. Year-long chronicle, it would be great television.
It wouldn't sell to the masses sadly, then again this is not a good thing. The South Americans have it tough when it comes to tennis, but as you said a lot of them were already from rich backgrounds.

From an interview with Luczak

How were the early years of being on the ATP tour and did you have doubts that you’d be able to make it?

The final exams, I left with a smile on my face that lasted 3 days. It was a mixture of excitement, high confidence level and I thought it was just normal, competing, traveling and getting ready for the experience.

24 hour Greyhound bus rides, as I was not a rich kid at all. There were a group of 7 of us in a basement of a house, 2 beds, 1 couch, and the rest slept on the floor. Before the tournament we would play games of cards or chess to decide who would get a bed, once you lost your singles match, and then you were on the floor. I got the nickname of “Lucky Looch” and “Diablo” because I was always winning these games and getting the bed. One of the guys traveled with a stringer, so he was able to do all of our racquets. When it came to food, there were the 29c McDonalds burgers, I would have 5 of them in one sitting, eating 2 minute noodles and the free player lunch.
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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, 03:04 AM   #63
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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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Takao Suzuki

Challenger titles: 16 (more than any other player I think)
Career high ranking: 102
Yeah, he's the record owner of most challenger titles.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:06 AM   #64
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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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Yeah, he's the record owner of most challenger titles.
Younes won heaps of them, but he left Africa sometimes
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On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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, 03:10 AM   #65
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

That's a great point. Usually after the money from travel, hotel, paying the coach and having to clean clothes (and many times having to buy clothes), very little to no money remains, so scraping together a dinner is something that can be difficult from day to day. A lot of the future events are literally played on public rec courts. Cars and trucks buzzing by, tons of noise, no crowds. A documentary would make for great TV. I loved the Grant/Keil documentary I saw on Tennis Channel, it really spotlighted so many of these dilemmas.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:21 AM   #66
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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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Younes won heaps of them, but he left Africa sometimes
I get you.

Daniel will beat their records though.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:24 AM   #67
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Marcos Daniel the king of Colombia.
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On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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, 03:47 AM   #68
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Montanes used to be this exact type. He used to be mediocre in ATP, got almost all his results in weaker ATP events and strong challengers, usually did well at RG, and did enough to keep his ranking between 65-95. It's been the last 4 years where he's improved his game to a top 50 level, and these past couple of years he's improved to a top 25-30 level, and is winning a fair amount off clay now. So you can get out of that cycle, not many do but it's possible.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:47 AM   #69
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

I still never understood why Daniel doesn't do better outside of Colombian and Brazilian challengers. When I see him play, to me he's a top 70-75 player. He's got a really sweet game. His FH to me isn't as bad as people make it out to be.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:48 AM   #70
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

Montañes improved his serve and his backhand.
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On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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, 03:49 AM   #71
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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
Montanes used to be this exact type. He used to be mediocre in ATP, got almost all his results in weaker ATP events and strong challengers, usually did well at RG, and did enough to keep his ranking between 65-95. It's been the last 4 years where he's improved his game to a top 50 level, and these past couple of years he's improved to a top 25-30 level, and is winning a fair amount off clay now. So you can get out of that cycle, not many do but it's possible.
The tour level got weaker.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:10 AM   #72
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

I think that's pretty true, you can also say that the top players (basically the top 4 now) are just way better than everyone else, and that the field has not weakened but that everyone outside of the top 4 are close to equal in ability and Albert has improved.

But, he's not the only example. Melzer was right around .500 in his career before 2009. Soderling was below .500 outside of indoor events, and then by 2008 and especially 2009, he became a top 5-10 player. GGL, Verdasco, Simon, Monaco, are all guys who were long term average to below average and then they have now become top 30 players. Is it all their improving or the field weakening, I think a combination perhaps?
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:12 AM   #73
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Default Re: The dilemma of being too good for challengers and not good enough at the ATP leve

It's tough being a Challenger-level player. I got to chat with a few folks over at the Singapore CH. Basically, most of these guys can't travel with a permanent coach... they simply don't earn enough to do so. So when you've got a bunch of players grinding it out on the Challenger Tour, they kinda stay on the same level if they don't get enough coaching, particularly during a tournament. Which I'm sure doesn't help when we're talking about AAAA-level players.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:19 AM   #74
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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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I think that's pretty true, you can also say that the top players (basically the top 4 now) are just way better than everyone else, and that the field has not weakened but that everyone outside of the top 4 are close to equal in ability and Albert has improved.

But, he's not the only example. Melzer was right around .500 in his career before 2009. Soderling was below .500 outside of indoor events, and then by 2008 and especially 2009, he became a top 5-10 player. GGL, Verdasco, Simon, Monaco, are all guys who were long term average to below average and then they have now become top 30 players. Is it all their improving or the field weakening, I think a combination perhaps?
I think it's a combination of both. Albert, for me is an exception like Action said, because he truly improved the backhand and serve facets of his game. But, as a whole, the tour has been relatively static for the past 3-4 years with maybe 2-3 new potential faces (Raonic, Dolgo, Dodig). Even the 3 I mention just came within a year. I truly believe the top 100 are genuinely wearing down from the schedule that they have to play from year to year, and it opens up a lot more opportunities for players to achieve results on certain weeks of the calendar. I also think the tour's schedule rewards players who can be streaky for a short period of time and then their ranking is inflated. You could have a good month (win a tourny, semis) and firmly keep yourself in the top 100 for the rest of the year.

I would like to say players have improved their game, but i think a lot of potential on the tour has been tapped out and people are just grinding against each other week to week. Whoever is more physically fresh and mentally tough at that given time will prevail.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:39 AM   #75
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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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I think it's a combination of both. Albert, for me is an exception like Action said, because he truly improved the backhand and serve facets of his game. But, as a whole, the tour has been relatively static for the past 3-4 years with maybe 2-3 new potential faces (Raonic, Dolgo, Dodig). Even the 3 I mention just came within a year. I truly believe the top 100 are genuinely wearing down from the schedule that they have to play from year to year, and it opens up a lot more opportunities for players to achieve results on certain weeks of the calendar. I also think the tour's schedule rewards players who can be streaky for a short period of time and then their ranking is inflated. You could have a good month (win a tourny, semis) and firmly keep yourself in the top 100 for the rest of the year.

I would like to say players have improved their game, but i think a lot of potential on the tour has been tapped out and people are just grinding against each other week to week. Whoever is more physically fresh and mentally tough at that given time will prevail.
That's a good perspective, definitely can't disagree. Tennis season is definitely a very long grind and the off-seasons have gotten shorter with the schedules being more packed together than in the past, so it's good that will be improved somewhat next season, and that should make for better play on the court.
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