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Re: JMac’s Thumbnail History of Player’s Rights

Johnny Mac is goin' off about EVERYTHING wrong with tennis these days, and he is making some awesome points.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Muster, Medvedev and quite a few others have criticised the ATP. The organisational structure is a bad joke at best. IMG and Tiriac run the ATP. Johnny just bringing it to a wider audience.
 

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one thing to take into consideration though is that mcenroe has a pretty big grudge against the usta for not complying with his idea for a tennis academy. He does make good points, but he is also another man with ulterior motives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He wasn’t really talking about the USTA, but rather the structure of tennis.
 

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I actually listened to what he said on the video, which was:

1. Outside the grand slams, tennis is run on a system where the players have 3 votes, the tournaments have 3 votes, and on some issues the head of the ATP gets a casting vote. On other issues, there is just deadlock.

2. The grand slams are independent of this system, and just run themselves.

3. The US Open is run by the USTA.

4. He thinks the grand slams should share revenue with the players. At the moment, they make a lot of money relative to player prize money. He thinks that any new money for players shouldn't all go to the top players, but be spread out to the lower ranks.

My problem with this is that, in all probability, all the new money will accrue to the top players, however defined. What I mean is that at a certain point, a bunch of top players will get together and point out to the rest that nobody cares about them, and they will just run a "Super Tour" of the top 32 guys or whatever, with some system that allows a small flow of players from the elite to the wilderness and vice versa. So either that will happen, or the mere threat of it will ensure a huge slice of the pie for the most successful players.

Not saying I agree with the current system, although my understanding of it is limited pretty much to what John McEnroe has said in this interview.

5. The ATP has no power over the USTA in relation to the running of the US Open. Therefore it is wrong to blame the ATP for bad scheduling, forcing players to play in the rain and so on.

Not sure where the umpires fit into this, but they have discretion to call things off if conditions are unplayable. No doubt they may have pressure from the USTA if they are their paymasters for this tournament.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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one thing to take into consideration though is that mcenroe has a pretty big grudge against the usta for not complying with his idea for a tennis academy. He does make good points, but he is also another man with ulterior motives.
True, the ATP can't get the drug testing or gambling policies right, can't expect too much from then. USTA is its own peculiar beast.
 

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This is great, but as a fan, why do I give a shit?

Guess what....owners drive a hard bargain with "workers". Only a handful of these "workers" (i.e., the superstars) have any power whatsoever (and we see that even they don't have as much power as you might think).

Does it sound like the players have been screwed in the past? Of course. Does it sound like they still get screwed today? Yes. Do I care? Not really.
 

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This is great, but as a fan, why do I give a shit?
Surely you realize how the general structure affects the emergence of new players, or do you expect the current crop to last at least for your lifetime?
 

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Surely you realize how the general structure affects the emergence of new players, or do you expect the current crop to last at least for your lifetime?
That's fairly indirect.

1) Everyone knows that only ~50 men and women can make a good living playing professional tennis at any given time, yet thousands of parents are paying for their kids to be in high dollar tennis camps.

2) I really, really doubt that parents are carefully analyzing the general structure in detail before deciding to pay for their kids tennis academy.

3) No matter what changes are made, only the very, very, very best will ever make money playing professionally and everybody knows this.

4) Given the above, I doubt this has a huge effect on much. Afterall, the current crop was getting trained when things were even worse for the players and yet thousands upon thousands are competing to be in these spots.

5) But yes, we all know that the best athletes are not going to choose tennis (probably) if they can instead choose soccer, football, basketball, baseball or other sports where it looks like the payoff could be greater. Soccer probably is the sport that steals most potential tennis stars and will continue to do so (for good reason). Heck, most of the guys you see playing tennis now are kicking around tennis balls like soccer balls. They are just the few that decided to go the tennis route. There will always be some. It just depends on the players relative strengths, if someone will pay for their tennis training, and myriad other factors, only one of which is the "current structure" of the ATP (which is a pretty abstract thought for most anyway).
 

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That's fairly indirect.

1) Everyone knows that only ~50 men and women can make a good living playing professional tennis at any given time, yet thousands of parents are paying for their kids to be in high dollar tennis camps.

2) I really, really doubt that parents are carefully analyzing the general structure in detail before deciding to pay for their kids tennis academy.

3) No matter what changes are made, only the very, very, very best will ever make money playing professionally and everybody knows this.

4) Given the above, I doubt this has a huge effect on much. Afterall, the current crop was getting trained when things were even worse for the players and yet thousands upon thousands are competing to be in these spots.

5) But yes, we all know that the best athletes are not going to choose tennis (probably) if they can instead choose soccer, football, basketball, baseball or other sports where it looks like the payoff could be greater. Soccer probably is the sport that steals most potential tennis stars and will continue to do so (for good reason). Heck, most of the guys you see playing tennis now are kicking around tennis balls like soccer balls. They are just the few that decided to go the tennis route. There will always be some. It just depends on the players relative strengths, if someone will pay for their tennis training, and myriad other factors, only one of which is the "current structure" of the ATP (which is a pretty abstract thought for most anyway).
American football? What makes you think they'd be suited to tennis??

Baseball, basketball and soccer make sense.
 

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4) Given the above, I doubt this has a huge effect on much. Afterall, the current crop was getting trained when things were even worse for the players and yet thousands upon thousands are competing to be in these spots.
Just a minor point, actually when current crop of top players were juniors, things were better off for the players. There were more events to play and the minor events offered better prize money (relatively) than today. Grand Slams didn't pay as much as they do today, but there was Grand Slam Cup which handed out obscene amount of money :)
 

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That's fairly indirect.
Not at all.

1) Everyone knows that only ~50 men and women can make a good living playing professional tennis at any given time, yet thousands of parents are paying for their kids to be in high dollar tennis camps.
It's common sense that if the situation were less dependent on parents financing the early career, the chances of great young prospects emrging would increase. It's not even strictlz about willingness to invest, many, many people simply do not have the means. So thank you for proving my point ;)
2) I really, really doubt that parents are carefully analyzing the general structure in detail before deciding to pay for their kids tennis academy.
See above
3) No matter what changes are made, only the very, very, very best will ever make money playing professionally and everybody knows this.
Why on earth do you accept this as such a given? It's not as if it's generally the case in sports. Most sports of comparable popularity enable one to make ends meet much, much further down the line. It helps the sport be more competitive as the basis from which new players arrive is much broader. Tennis should aim at something similar as much as possible.

4) Given the above, I doubt this has a huge effect on much. Afterall, the current crop was getting trained when things were even worse for the players and yet thousands upon thousands are competing to be in these spots.
The point being thta thousands were also lost due to lack financial backing, some of which maz very well have been new Federers, Safins, Gorans, Edbergs, etc. etc. We'll never know.
5) But yes, we all know that the best athletes are not going to choose tennis (probably) if they can instead choose soccer, football, basketball, baseball or other sports where it looks like the payoff could be greater. Soccer probably is the sport that steals most potential tennis stars and will continue to do so (for good reason). Heck, most of the guys you see playing tennis now are kicking around tennis balls like soccer balls. They are just the few that decided to go the tennis route. There will always be some. It just depends on the players relative strengths, if someone will pay for their tennis training, and myriad other factors, only one of which is the "current structure" of the ATP (which is a pretty abstract thought for most anyway).
Not sure I follow your line of reasoning. Very few people are extremely talented for more than one sport. Scratch that, very few are extremely talented even for one, let alone two. Your choice soccer vs tennis is an artificial one. In practice, people tend to opt for what they are better at. True, more people will try soccer than those that will try their luck in tennis, but it's not merely about popularity of the sport, it's about acessibilty as well, anyone can play it anywhere without investing a small fortune, which returns us to my initial point. Don't see what's vague about that structure and its effects. Spreading some money further down the line would go a long way towards alleviating some of the effects and it has everything to do with fans too, not just players strugling to find their way on the circuit.
 

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Wait a second. I though this was about Jmac's tirade (as outlined above by chalkdust).

I'm saying that, if we made the changes Jmac suggests (or addressed the problems Jmac specifically talked about) it would have no effect on your concerns Oranges. I went a little far afield addressing your point in post #11 and suggesting that Jmac's comments had little to do with that.

For the record, I do agree with many of your points however.\\

I guess my point was that, kids that show sports potential often are good at many sports. But, they have to choose pretty early which one to really go after if they have any hope of being professional. So, I think that many "young athletes" will choose one of the "major" sports over tennis (because of the support, future earnings, chances of making it, etc).

Maybe I'm not making myself clear. Anyway, I think what Jmac is saying has little effect on future player development, or at least not as much as other factors. Jmac is more talking about profit sharing and player rights / power. No matter how the money is sliced, there are only room for a relative few people to make it as touring professionals. This is a fact that is pretty hard to change (though, golf has done it I guess).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Maybe I'm not making myself clear. Anyway, I think what Jmac is saying has little effect on future player development, or at least not as much as other factors. Jmac is more talking about profit sharing and player rights / power. No matter how the money is sliced, there are only room for a relative few people to make it as touring professionals. This is a fact that is pretty hard to change (though, golf has done it I guess).
That’s what I got out of it too.
 
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