Originally Posted by August
What country do you think is the "Tennis Country"? Which country has the best combination of great players, traditions, and interest in tennis? Here are my options:
Are in both Davis and Fed Cup finals this year, maybe the best Eastern European country in tennis. Have produced slam winners Kodes, Lendl, and Kvitova.
Nice thread, but have you ever heard of these other Czech or Czech-born players?:
Martina Navratilova, 59 slams in total (18 in singles), world#1, one of the best female players of all time
Martina Hingis, A daughter of two top Czechoslovak players, the youngest world #1, 5 single slams, youngest slam-champion of all time
Hana Mandlikova, 4 single slams, loads of FedCups, world#3
Petr Korda, 1998 Aussie Open champ, world #2
Jana Novotna, 1998 Wimbledon champion, world #2
Helena Sukova, 14 slams in doubles, loads of Fed Cups, just nominated for Hall of Fame
Or maybe you have heard about these coaches, former Czechoslovak players?
Pavel Složil - 10 slams with Steffi Graf (including the Golden Slam in 1988)
Marian Vajda - 5 slams with Novak Djokovic
Ivan Lendl - Olympic Gold and US Open with Andy Murray
Or maybe you have noticed that in 2011:
Petra Kvitova was voted the world's best female singles player
Kveta Peschke was voted the world's best female doubles player
Jiri Vesely was voted the world's best male junior player?
Just a few examples.
To answer your question, there are obviously several strong tennis countries:
USA - huge country, which will always have several top players, but they have had no single slams champions recently. As for WTA, it will be interesting what will happen when Serena retires
Australia - much weaker now than in the past, one of the reasons may be that tennis is no longer a compulsory subject at schools
Spain - amazing recently especially in ATP, while no top WTA player
Czech Rep./Czechoslovakia - strong past, strong present, probably the most successful small country of the Open Era (41 single slams by Czech or Czech-born players), has a top 10 player both in ATP and WTA, just reached both Fed Cup and Davis Cup finals
Serbia - great results over the past 5-10 years plus Monica Seles in the past
Russia - another huge country, which will always have a top player, 12 players in WTA 100
Germany - big past with Graf, Becker, Stich etc., still waiting for a new big champion
Sweden - amazing past with Borg, Edberg and Wilander, but these times are long gone and the country has never produced a top WTA player
Honorable mentions: France, UK, Belgium, Argentina