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As a tennis history buff, I remember the days of American legends dominating- Connors, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang, etc. Hell, even guys like Todd Martin and Aaron Krickstein were legit threats to go deep at slams. More recently, only Andy Roddick has been considered a threat, and he remains the last US singles male grand slam champion (US Open 2003).
Of the current crop of youngsters, Tiafoe looks the most promising, but you could hardly say he is a likely slam winner (in the same way you could talk about Tsitsipas, Zverev or even Shapo). Below Tiafoe, I don’t think anyone is seriously considering Fritz, McDonald, Opelka etc as legit slam contenders of the future. Beyond that.... it looks miserable. All the top US juniors are going to college, which suggests that they aren’t on a trajectory to become top 10 or a regular slam threat.
It’s depressing that Jisner at nearly age 34 is likely to be the biggest slam threat for the next 2 years or so.
What is the reason for this? Yes, European training methods are superior, but why have Canada produced 3 potential grand slam champions in recent years(Raonic, Shapo and FAA) while the US has produced jack all?
Just curious on people’s thoughts.
 

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Besides the fact that several major sports organizers compete over the same talent pool (basketball, baseball, football, ice hockey, etc.), the USTA may not have a system for juniors that supports the upbringing of potential slam champs.
 

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What? You think Nakashima polish or something?
 
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Besides the fact that several major sports organizers compete over the same talent pool (basketball, baseball, football, ice hockey, etc.), the USTA may not have a system for juniors that supports the upbringing of potential slam champs.
Yup

I've explained this in many threads before but not for a while so let me explain again

Tennis is a very expensive sport. The only kids whose parents can afford 10-15 years of training and tournaments and dedication to the game, are kids of rich families. Generally these kids do not have the drive of the kids from poor or middle class backgrounds, who also generally are better athletes. So the better athletes with less money and more motivation to succeed in sport and lift their families from debt and poverty choose other sports where the chance for a free education and a handful of years in the pros are much more possible. Not to mention how lonely and depressing tennis can be, compared to the fun and friendships found in team sports.

Not only that, USTA tends to only promote and sponsor players who have really good early results. Those that have good early results tend to be guys that have an early growth spurt and can dominate the 12's and 14's age divisions with a big serve even if the rest of their game is weak. That's why you see so many USA servebots. They won big events very young cause they had the serve and they got the sponsorship while a more talented kid who maybe only gets to be 185cm at the end, has to scrape and claw just to get by.

Everyone wants quick results, everyone wants to say they found that kid at 10 yrs old, 11 years old. No one cares what kind of player will he be at 25
 

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Yup

I've explained this in many threads before but not for a while so let me explain again

Tennis is a very expensive sport. The only kids whose parents can afford 10-15 years of training and tournaments and dedication to the game, are kids of rich families. Generally these kids do not have the drive of the kids from poor or middle class backgrounds, who also generally are better athletes. So the better athletes with less money and more motivation to succeed in sport and lift their families from debt and poverty choose other sports where the chance for a free education and a handful of years in the pros are much more possible. Not to mention how lonely and depressing tennis can be, compared to the fun and friendships found in team sports.

Not only that, USTA tends to only promote and sponsor players who have really good early results. Those that have good early results tend to be guys that have an early growth spurt and can dominate the 12's and 14's age divisions with a big serve even if the rest of their game is weak. That's why you see so many USA servebots. They won big events very young cause they had the serve and they got the sponsorship while a more talented kid who maybe only gets to be 185cm at the end, has to scrape and claw just to get by.

Everyone wants quick results, everyone wants to say they found that kid at 10 yrs old, 11 years old. No one cares what kind of player will he be at 25
Great post. But how do you account for US women being so successful? Is there a different dynamic at play there?
 

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Great post. But how do you account for US women being so successful? Is there a different dynamic at play there?
Well the women's game is completely different. The women's sporting world is different. Tennis is the highest earning sport for women in the world BY FAR. Therefore all the best female athletes go into tennis. Men, we have so many sports to choose from and we can make millions. Tennis is maybe like the 5th or worse sport in terms of ability to earn money. Women, it is tennis, and then a huge gap, and then the rest.

So if you are a female and you are athletic in any way shape or form, you are going to try tennis for the vast financial rewards. You saw Ash Barty went into cricket, saw how shit the salaries were, and went back to tennis. So when you already have all the best athletes in tennis, rich, poor and in between, it is easy for USTA to choose who to sponsor. Plus, in women's, the serve is not so important as the men's game, so the one who wins the tournament in the 12, 14 age group, that girl probably didn't do it with huge serve, but with overall tennis ability. Also, women peak earlier. You can have 16/17/18 yo girl top 100 in the world like it is nothing. You don't have to wait until 26/27 to peak like the men
 

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Well the women's game is completely different. The women's sporting world is different. Tennis is the highest earning sport for women in the world BY FAR. Therefore all the best female athletes go into tennis. Men, we have so many sports to choose from and we can make millions. Tennis is maybe like the 5th or worse sport in terms of ability to earn money. Women, it is tennis, and then a huge gap, and then the rest.

So if you are a female and you are athletic in any way shape or form, you are going to try tennis for the vast financial rewards. You saw Ash Barty went into cricket, saw how shit the salaries were, and went back to tennis. So when you already have all the best athletes in tennis, rich, poor and in between, it is easy for USTA to choose who to sponsor. Plus, in women's, the serve is not so important as the men's game, so the one who wins the tournament in the 12, 14 age group, that girl probably didn't do it with huge serve, but with overall tennis ability. Also, women peak earlier. You can have 16/17/18 yo girl top 100 in the world like it is nothing. You don't have to wait until 26/27 to peak like the men
Hmm not sure about this.

But yes what Groove said is right.

Also its still really hard to make it as a mens professional player.

Tiafoe is doing ok for himself and making decent salary....

A person I knew was on a tennis team with Bradley Klahn . This guy ranked 126 in the world and is actually a very talented player. My friend who watched him play knew he was going to play professionally.


He is still slugging it out on the challegers tour and is blessed when he makes it to R1 of GS. He is 4-13 at GS and 3-9 at Masters 1000... Probably making 50 k a year or less depending on results... so it probably makes more sense for guys to just try to go college instead of barely making it in mens tennis.
 

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Of the current crop of youngsters, Tiafoe looks the most promising
Not anymore. Maybe two years ago this was true. But he's falling apart. He was as high as 29. Looks to be on the same trajectory as Donald Young.
 

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Tennis is a very expensive sport. The only kids whose parents can afford 10-15 years of training and tournaments and dedication to the game, are kids of rich families. Generally these kids do not have the drive of the kids from poor or middle class backgrounds, who also generally are better athletes. So the better athletes with less money and more motivation to succeed in sport and lift their families from debt and poverty choose other sports where the chance for a free education and a handful of years in the pros are much more possible. Not to mention how lonely and depressing tennis can be, compared to the fun and friendships found in team sports.
That totally doesn't answer the guys question. Which is why the US used to have Mac, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Courier and now they have a total Slam drought.
 

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That totally doesn't answer the guys question. Which is why the US used to have Mac, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Courier and now they have a total Slam drought.
That's another time period. The answer to that is the world caught up. I was not as deep in the game, or alive, then as I am now so I don't know all the politics of that age as I do the current time epoch. I know why we suck now, don't know why we were so good back then. I'd imagine because the proliferation of tennis academies like Bollitieri and others allowed international players the same opportunities American players had, making it a bigger and more global talent pool. In such a scenario, US players holding 20 of the top 50 positions in the ranking like back in the day is simply impossible with such a global game. Plus tennis popularity waned. Everyone wanted to be Michael Jordan, not Pete Sampras
 
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