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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is much noise that 89-92 generation is extremely underachieving. Many call it possible the worst generation in Open Era, and there is even (by now infamous) nickname for them due to their perceived hopelesness: "Generation Useless".

Okay, first, lets look at numbers:

0 grand slams won
1 slam final (Nishikori)
0 World Tour Finals
0 Masters Series
0 weeks at #1
0 Olympic medals

Now, those are undoubtedly appalling numbers, especially since even the youngest of them turn 23 this year (ie. entering their prime years).

Of course the most commonly used excuse by their defenders is that no other generation has ever had such a competition from older players, 3 of whom are all-time greats, and who are hogging all of the big titles. Without a doubt, there is much truth to it.

However, lets take a look at one more 4-year spanning generation: 82-85.

3 grand slams (Wawrinka x2; Roddick x1)
12 slam finals (Roddick x4; Soderling x2; Nalbandian, Coria, Baghdatis, Tsonga, Berdych, Ferrer x1)
16 Masters Series (Roddick x5; Coria, Nalbandian, Tsonga x2; Berdych, Robredo, Soderling, Ferrer, Wawrinka x1)
1 World Tour Finals (Nalbandian)
13 weeks at #1 (Roddick)
0 Olympic medals

Well, certainly much more impressive numbers. However, not quite all that impressive, especially in the most important departments (slams won, WTF, weeks at #1) for an entire generation.

And it is precisely in those already listed most important departments tha the so-called "Generation Useless" can still reach 82-85 generation numners.

Granted, it is unlikely that 89-92 generation can reach 15 slam finals or 16 masters series (especially if members of Big 4 continue to dominate those for the next 2 years, which is very likely), but they still have chance, IMO, to snatch 2-3 slams, have a dozen or so weeks at #1, and get at least 1 WTF.

Consider the most important parameter of them all, grand slams. 2 out of those 3 slams were won when the player in question (Wawrinka) had 28 years and 10 months and 30 years and 2 months, respectively. By that criterion even Nishikori has 4-5 years to win one, let alone the younger players.

So, in conclusion, it is still very much too early to write this generation off as the worst of all time, especially as peak years in tennis seem to have increased by 2-3 years in the last decade.
 
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The 89-92 generation have had 7 years less to rack up results and also had to battle a significantly stiffer competition.

But just look at playing ability, it is still a bit worrying.
 

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The 89-92 generation have had 7 years less to rack up results and also had to battle a significantly stiffer competition.

But just look at playing ability, it is still a bit worrying.
Actually it is 1992-94 that has been dubbed gen (most?) useless, not the earlier group. Sure the 89-91 group have been slow, but at least they have a couple who have made top ten and show signs they might eventually do something.

The 1992-4 group by contrast managed only two teens into the top 100, both of who then proceeded to flop back badly (ie Tomic and Harrison).
 

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Actually it is 1992-94 that has been dubbed gen (most?) useless, not the earlier group. Sure the 89-91 group have been slow, but at least they have a couple who have made top ten and show signs they might eventually do something.

The 1992-4 group by contrast managed only two teens into the top 100, both of who then proceeded to flop back badly (ie Tomic and Harrison).
Well spotted.
 

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Last youngster who made an appearance with a bang on the grand stage was DelPotro in 2009 at age 20/21. Since then no youngster has broken through to the top level of the game, which enabled the old guard to still cling on to the top. Historically great youngsters have always pushed their great predecessors out of the game, now is the first time in recent memory that the young generation failed to do so. With the weak challenge from the youngsters, even Fed's generation managed to hang around past their expiry date and they are only slowly disappearing now.

Nishikori/ Raonic looked hopeful last year, but their game has clear sufficiencies that prevented them from going all the way and to top it off, their development is halted for now because of injury.

There might be hope for the newest young generation, but so far it's only that - hope.
 
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Interesting comparison. Thank you, OP.
 

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I might just remember how tough it was for Nole to break through Fed and Nadal. How long he dwelled on no.3 place. But look where he is now and who he became. And let's not forget Murray, one of most constant top players. So now imagine all those young players looking at same thing and having additional one or 2 more menaces (Nole and Andy) to beat, in order to win something. Kind of cruel ain't it ? Coric did win over Nadal and Murray, but that's about it. This is very bad time for younger players, all they could do is learn, but not break through.
 

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No time was ever good for young players. There were always great older players around that had to be pushed from the game, that's what every young generation did so far.

Sometimes technological development helps the youngsters, but mostly they just found a solution to the problem of the day, i.e. the reigning top players. If they can't do that, it means they are just not good enough, because they couldn't find that solution. Age is with them after all, they will in all likelihood improve faster than the older players, enough talent and basics provided.

They have the additional advantage that they can learn from their examples and what works against them and what not. Djokovic in your example succeeded exactly in that like he himself repeatedly emphasized. (Federer and Nadal made me a better player. So Nadal managed to grind him down earlier - he improved his stamina.)
 

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I don't agree because NOW you have 1 GOAT, Nadal - possible the next best after GOAT of all times, Novak the one who has realistic chance to surpass Nadal, and Murray who could be now easily better than Aggassi, McEnroe, Lendl and Wilander if there wasn't such harsh competition.
 

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For whatever reason, the youngest player to win a slam will turn 27 in two months time. The youngest man to win a masters is already 28. This is quite unprecedented.

Whether it is a new trend where average age of winners will now be higher, or just one or two useless generations right after very successful ones, remains to be seen.
 

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Slam winners almost always enter the top 100 as teens - but from 1990 onwards teens have been scarce on the ground.

Got to hope that the return of the teens we are seeing now (and its not just the current five, there are quite a few looking like they might make the jump sooner rather than later such as Ymer, Rublev etc) will translate into some action in a year or two.
 

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With Kyrgios and Kokkinakis losing tamely to Nedovyesov and Kukushkin today, neither of whom are exactly grassGOATs, they could end up being even more useless than the previous generation. If you start developing a reputation as a choker/tanker and you can't raise your game for a home Davis Cup tie, questions have to be asked. :shrug:
 

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I don't agree because NOW you have 1 GOAT, Nadal - possible the next best after GOAT of all times, Novak the one who has realistic chance to surpass Nadal, and Murray who could be now easily better than Aggassi, McEnroe, Lendl and Wilander if there wasn't such harsh competition.
Bold: just shows that youngsters don't step up to the task that Djokovic fans expect him to rack up majors in his late 20s/ early 30s. And not surprising when this year he was only beaten by 36 yo Karlovic, almost 34 year old Federer, 30 yo Wawrinka. :D Where are the young guys who can challenge him?

italic: :haha: sorry, that's not how this works. :D Everybody would achieve more if there is less competition. ;)
 

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Bold: just shows that youngsters don't step up to the task that Djokovic fans expect him to rack up majors in his late 20s/ early 30s. And not surprising when this year he was only beaten by 36 yo Karlovic, almost 34 year old Federer, 30 yo Wawrinka. :D Where are the young guys who can challenge him?

italic: :haha: sorry, that's not how this works. :D Everybody would achieve more if there is less competition. ;)
Novak is in his prime. 4-5 grand slams more, really too much to ask from Nole. :rolleyes:

As for italic... :confused::confused::confused:
 

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Novak is in his prime. 4-5 grand slams more, really too much to ask from Nole. :rolleyes:
Well, you can only expect that because the young players who ought to be challenging aren't at all up to the task. If he were seriously challenged from young generation like e.g. Federer or Sampras were, no way he'd win 4-5 more majors after age 28,5.

As for italic... :confused::confused::confused:
It means: If you take away the greatest players of any era, of course the 2nd tier players of that era (Murray in our case) would win more. In reality he was not good enough to win more against the competition he had and that's all that counts.
 

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Well, you can only expect that because the young players who ought to be challenging aren't at all up to the task. If he were seriously challenged from young generation like e.g. Federer or Sampras were, no way he'd win 4-5 more majors after age 28,5.



It means: If you take away the greatest players of any era, of course the 2nd tier players of that era (Murray in our case) would win more. In reality he was not good enough to win more against the competition he had and that's all that counts.
I guess they get frightened by the amount of work they need to give in order to be in that zone where anything is possible. That's why Novak and Rafa played such grueling rallies, such long matches and big fights, because they are also sending a message to youngsters.

Italic: Just imagine that GOAT and at least 1 near GOAT are out and replaced by "ordinary" champions like Aggassi, Wilander... what do you think Murray will do in such competition ??? He would be a walking nightmare.
 

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It has nothing to do with younger players being useless. The times have changed due to scientific and technological progress and historical patterns are no longer a reliable means to make correct conclusions. The body has a longer expiration date today due to improved medicine and nutrition but also more advanced training regimes. In contrast, the brain is developing at pretty much the same biological rate as before. While player bodies can fully mature between 16-20, their cognitive development ends between 24-26 (parts of neocortex that are responsible for planning, decision making etc.). Add 2 and 2 and it becomes clear that mature players who are fully cognitively developed but still have healthy, well trained bodies will possess a considerable advantage over teenagers. This does not mean young players cannot win slams, it just means that they need a lot greater physical efforts than before as they do not yet possess the mental fortitude and calmness of their mature peers. Look at Kyrgios, yound Fed and Nole - complete brats at 20/21. Novak didn't even mature physically as his voice was still mutating during WTF 2008.:superlol:
 

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I would also add that this 'useless' generation was the first to grow up with smartphones and Internet from a very young age. Fed used net at 17, Novak and Rafa at 12-14. Nishi in comparison was 8-9, Kyrgios 6. Kyrgios and Nishi are also in a symbiotic relationship with smartphones and social networks. Nick barely ever takes his earplugs out. Anyway - this generation deals with many more distractions. They are hyperdistracted and it's harder to build focus and be disciplined.
 

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It's very difficult to define precisely what a generation or era is, but there's no doubt that there are not many great 22-26 year-olds around at the moment. Raonic, Dimitrov and Nishikori are the best of these, and none of them is anywhere near as good as a 34 year-old Federer. Having said that, they are up against three truly great players, even though Federer and Nadal are in decline, but it says a lot about how disappointing they have been that Wawrinka has become a multiple Slam winner in his early thirties, but none of them seems particularly close to making a major breakthrough.

On the other hand, if the conditions played faster in general, or if Wimbledon or the US Open conditions played the way they did in the past, then Raonic would be a completely different proposition. So would someone like Berdych.
 

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I would also add that this 'useless' generation was the first to grow up with smartphones and Internet from a very young age. Fed used net at 17, Novak and Rafa at 12-14. Nishi in comparison was 8-9, Kyrgios 6. Kyrgios and Nishi are also in a symbiotic relationship with smartphones and social networks. Nick barely ever takes his earplugs out. Anyway - this generation deals with many more distractions. They are hyperdistracted and it's harder to build focus and be disciplined.
That's a very interesting argument, I'm sure there is something in what you are saying.
 
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