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Seeing that there are some threads saying that the Golden Era of tennis where 3-4 players are dominating is over, is it really that healthy for men's professional tennis to have just less than 4 players dominate the big titles? I agree about consistency, but some of the players I have seen have consistent capability to be big titlists, just for some reason can't get to that final hurdle at Finals. It is true that too many upsets might mean winners that just capitalized with a fortunate draw, but less players who dominate (1 to 2) may just mean the competition is weak.

So, in say a 5 year window, how many top players would be the "right amount" of consistently sharing these big titles (Slams and Masters)?
 

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10-15 players sharing big titles

Today's tennis is somehow predictable at the top. Early 2000' tennis was better having players like Federer, JC Ferrero, Safin, Haas, Gonzalez, Coria, Nalbandian, Henman, Hewitt, Moya, Kuerten, Agassi and many others to compete for ATP big titles.
 

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Dullwawrinka, dullgumbyoverheadsmashnovak, dull dal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Personally on a year 8 would be the ideal, as with 8 going to the WTF, it would be more interesting of those 8 were the ones who took big titles. 6 would be the most reasonable, though.
 

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8-15 players
 

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It would be nice to see at least 10 players with a legitimate chance to win Slams, as it was in the late 90s/early 2000s.
 

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Around 10. Enough to make it more unprdictable, but not too much, so that the highest level can be kept for later stages.
 

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There are children on here, for God's sake.
 

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Homogenized surfaces have made tennis more of an oligopoly. It used to be rare to succeed at both RG and Wb, now it's common. Still, in the non-dominated '90s, Sampras dominated Wimby more than Fed in the last decade.

I'd like it if there were player types like these:

Fed-type: Can win any slam but RG is a difficult one.
Nadal-type: Can win any slam but Wb is a difficult one.
Maybe one more like those above.
Roddick-type: A clay mug who can win any other slam but RG.
Anti-Roddick-type: A grass mug who can win any other slam but Wb.
Maybe one more like those above.
Couple of surface specialists for each surface.
Half dozen of Berdych/Tsonga-type players who could win a slam if stars aligned.

So basically: two (or three) big names, two (or three) great players with one bad surface, few dangerous surface specialists, and some dark horses. So slams would always be decided between at least five players and you could name over 10 guys with a chance to win. Maybe eight players per year would end up winning madatory titles.
 

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The 80s are the best example of perfect competitive distribution.
 

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Unpredictability is good, but not at the cost of quality - which seems to be the case this year.

Talking numbers I'd be happy with 8 players sharing slams and 12-15 sharing M1000 and below.
 

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Be careful when wishing for more parity at the top of the game. The dominance of the Big 4 has been much better for tennis than people give it credit for. People show up at stadiums because they love the big names - Rafa and Roger have propelled tennis to new heights both in terms of quality and marketability.

The WTA has plenty of parity, but no stars, making it extremely hard to market. You can maybe point to Serena, but she's too inconsistent and so laughably dominant when she actually decides to care about winning. And so the WTA suffers from empty seats at practically every event.

Casual fans need superstars. Hardcore fans understandably want parity, but it actually hurts the sport once you get more than 4 or 5 dominating forces at the top.
 

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Women's tennis was at its best in the late 90s/early 2000s when you had Serena and Venus, Henin, Clijsters, Hingis, Davenport, Pierce, Capriati, Mauresmo, Dementieva.... And I wouldn't say the WTA doesn't have stars - there's Serena, Azarenka, Li Na, and Sharapova (and Bouchard is rising very fast) - but I think in general it's harder to market female sports than male sports no matter what. When Fed and Rafa are gone, there will be new guys the ATP will market as their new stars.
 

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Be careful when wishing for more parity at the top of the game. The dominance of the Big 4 has been much better for tennis than people give it credit for. People show up at stadiums because they love the big names - Rafa and Roger have propelled tennis to new heights both in terms of quality and marketability.

The WTA has plenty of parity, but no stars, making it extremely hard to market. You can maybe point to Serena, but she's too inconsistent and so laughably dominant when she actually decides to care about winning. And so the WTA suffers from empty seats at practically every event.

Casual fans need superstars. Hardcore fans understandably want parity, but it actually hurts the sport once you get more than 4 or 5 dominating forces at the top.
you can't be 20yo :eek:

good post, fully agreed
 

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women's problem is that everybody knows that serena is able to double bagel world nr 2 which is a bigger dominance than federer ever had
If azarenka or li could beat her sometimes and not get demolished they would also be stars
I think that 8-10 legitimate slam winners with 3-4 favourites is a good number
 
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