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Discussion Starter #1
Honestly, I can't recall any period where men's tennis was as exciting as right at this moment, and I have been following the sport (on and off) for about 25 years.

We have no less than three players competing for the top spot. And they're not at the top because of a few "fluke" wins. They're at the top because of stellar results over a 52 week period. Infact, the lowest ranked of the three, Novak Djokovic, now has so many points that he would have been ranked #1 in most cases in the past.

Also, the three are not only stellar performers, they're also very different. We have the incredible artist, who can do things no other player in tennis history have been able to and who seems to be making history every time he steps on a court. We have the physical wonder, the ultimate grinder and probably the greatest clay-courter of all time. And finally and we have the up and coming fast court baseliner with no apparent weaknesses in his game.

Add to this a legion of players and young up-and-coming players who are determined to make life difficult for the top 3 and you have a dream scenario. If people don't want to watch men's tennis now, they're never going to want to watch men's tennis.

The only period that gets close to this is the sadly brief period where Sampras, Agassi and Muster competing for the top honors. Sadly Agassi and Muster faded fast. That won't happen this time.

This is an amazing period in men's tennis. Enjoy it while it lasts.
 

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There have been many great times in tennis in the last 25 years and this isn't better than most of them.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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No, this is not an amazing period of the game.
 

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I don't see how it can be in good shape when it has James Blake in the top 10.
Well it has improved with the exit of Boredo (although I have nothing against him personally). :p

Actually, Boredo > Blake...so Blake being in top 10 over Boredo perhaps isn't such a great thing. :scratch: :help:


To reply to the thread itself...I'm not really familar with tennis pre-1996. I guess I enjoyed more the Sampras, Agassi, Kuerten etc era. :shrug:
 

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I personally find it pretty awful, I am not really enjoying tennis at the moment. I loved it from 1995-2004, but for me it is going downhill.
 

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Well it has improved with the exit of Boredo (although I have nothing against him personally). :p

Actually, Boredo > Blake...so Blake being in top 10 over Boredo perhaps isn't such a great thing. :scratch: :help:
On Monday neither Boredo or Blake will be in the Top 10 :p
 

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On Monday neither Boredo or Blake will be in the Top 10 :p
Well, I don't know what to say. :lol:

I don't dislike either of them, although I quite enjoy watching Blake play (yep, not the right thing to say on MTF :eek:), while Boredo...well, not really.

I'm not sure having Berdych replace Blake in the top 10 is particularly great, either. :p
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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The politics of the game and what is planned for the future doesn't make it look good no matter how good it is on the court.
 

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I somewhat agree with the thread starter, the quality of competition is pretty high at the moment, especially on the hard courts.

However I don't see the future of men's tennis being too bright under the current leadership of Mr. Disney and co.
 

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The politics of the game and what is planned for the future doesn't make it look good no matter how good it is on the court.
I don't think that's true at all. I am not under the impression that this is an amazing time in tennis (though it's not the opposite either) but the way the game is run will not ruin tennis. It may make things worse, make things less exciting in some instances but at the end of the day the quality of tennis played by players on the court IS the thing that will overide it all.

Obviously you enjoy your specticism a lot and that's fine but for 99% of tennis fans (including those who understand the game well) what matters is watching tennis and enjoying the match rather than the layout of events, the politics of the game can only be more important than the tennis if you aren't enjoying the tennis anymore and if that's the case then it shouldn't matter anyway.

What I mean to say is this. Disney can chnage the name of events, change importance of events to favour one surface or to favour bigger names. At the end of the day the best players will always come through and sport is meant to be a tough road. At any rate, regardless of the extent that thse things matter to you if you really enjoy tennis you will forget all about it when you see Hewitt win over Baghdatis at 4.30am or when you watch Janko Tipsarevic push Roger Federer to 8-10 in the fifth.
 

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I don't see how it can be in good shape when it has James Blake in the top 10.
LOL


Hey pal it could be worse Tommy Robredo could still be in top 10 lol
 

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I'd be interested in an elaboration on this (especially as I don't really have an opinion to this effect)? You're one of the most knowledgable posters here, and I always enjoy reading your comments. Thanks.
Thanks for appreciated my tennis knowledge :)
I've been watching men's tennis carefully for many years and I see that increasingly matches between Top 5 players and players rank. 50-100 are unattractive and one-sided. It reminds me of women Grand Slam events from the 90's when you knew in the 1st round who would play in the semifinals.
In years 2005-2006 men's tennis had been completely dominated by only two players, since last year by three (Djokovic's revelation). The progress of tournaments becomes very predictable what isn't a good thing. Look at this comparison of Grand Slam semifinalists from 4 events in a row (years: 1997 and 2007) ->

1997
RG: Dewulf, Kuerten, Bruguera, Rafter
WB: Sampras, Woodbridge, Stich, Pioline
UO: Bjorkman, Rusedski, Rafter, Chang
1998
AO: Kucera, Korda, Rios, Escude

15 players (only Rafter was in the SF twice)

2007
RG: Federer, Davydenko, Nadal, Djokovic
WB: Federer, Gasquet, Nadal, Djokovic
UO: Federer, Davydenko, Djokovic, Ferrer
2008
AO: Federer, Djokovic, Tsonga, Nadal

Only 7 players.

--------------------------

This one issue, the other is style of play. In the 90's we had many different styles and the matches were more intriguing. The best thing in tennis is diversity, when a player "A" is a serve-volleyer and a player "B" plays from the baseline.
Nowadays almost every player stays on the baseline, even Federer, who is a very good volleyer.

Look at the Top 20 at the end of 1998 & 2007.

1998:

1 Sampras, Pete
2 Rios, Marcelo
3 Corretja, Alex
4 Rafter, Patrick
5 Moya, Carlos
6 Agassi, Andre
7 Henman, Tim
8 Kucera, Karol
9 Rusedski, Greg
10 Krajicek, Richard
11 Kafelnikov, Yevgeny
12 Ivanisevic, Goran
13 Korda, Petr
14 Costa, Albert
15 Philippoussis, Mark
16 Martin, Todd
17 Johansson, Thomas
18 Pioline, Cedric
19 Siemerink, Jan
20 Mantilla, Felix

The types of Top 20 players (generally 3 categories):
A - 9 players with the tactics "serve & volley",
B - 6 playing offensive from the baseline (rather big serve) &
C - 5 with deffensive play

2007:

1 Federer, Roger
2 Nadal, Rafael
3 Djokovic, Novak
4 Davydenko, Nikolay
5 Ferrer, David
6 Roddick, Andy
7 Gonzalez, Fernando
8 Gasquet, Richard
9 Nalbandian, David
10 Robredo, Tommy
11 Murray, Andy
12 Haas, Tommy
13 Blake, James
14 Berdych, Tomas
15 Canas, Guillermo
16 Baghdatis, Marcos
17 Moya, Carlos
18 Ljubicic, Ivan
19 Youzhny, Mikhail
20 Chela, Juan Ignacio

A - 0 :help:
B - 10
C - 10
 

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Anastasia Komananov, KGB
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I don't think that's true at all. I am not under the impression that this is an amazing time in tennis (though it's not the opposite either) but the way the game is run will not ruin tennis. It may make things worse, make things less exciting in some instances but at the end of the day the quality of tennis played by players on the court IS the thing that will overide it all.

Obviously you enjoy your specticism a lot and that's fine but for 99% of tennis fans (including those who understand the game well) what matters is watching tennis and enjoying the match rather than the layout of events, the politics of the game can only be more important than the tennis if you aren't enjoying the tennis anymore and if that's the case then it shouldn't matter anyway.

What I mean to say is this. Disney can chnage the name of events, change importance of events to favour one surface or to favour bigger names. At the end of the day the best players will always come through and sport is meant to be a tough road. At any rate, regardless of the extent that thse things matter to you if you really enjoy tennis you will forget all about it when you see Hewitt win over Baghdatis at 4.30am or when you watch Janko Tipsarevic push Roger Federer to 8-10 in the fifth.
I agree with this to a large extent - I think the tennis will find a way to still be relevant and exciting , regardless of the largely cosmetic and fatuous changes made to it by the people who happen to be in charge at any given moment.

Obviously I'd rather see good management taking good decisions in consultation with all interested parties, including fans, but even without that, once you get two good players out on a court with something at stake, the trained monkeys in charge fade right out of the picture - they're mostly a force of distraction anyway even at the best of times.

My only real concern is if they do start to tamper with the Grand Slams.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for appreciated my tennis knowledge :)
I've been watching men's tennis carefully for many years and I see that increasingly matches between Top 5 players and players rank. 50-100 are unattractive and one-sided. It reminds me of women Grand Slam events from the 90's when you knew in the 1st round who would play in the semifinals.
In years 2005-2006 men's tennis had been completely dominated by only two players, since last year by three (Djokovic's revelation). The progress of tournaments becomes very predictable what isn't a good thing. Look at this comparison of Grand Slam semifinalists from 4 events in a row (years: 1997 and 2007) ->

1997
RG: Dewulf, Kuerten, Bruguera, Rafter
WB: Sampras, Woodbridge, Stich, Pioline
UO: Bjorkman, Rusedski, Rafter, Chang
1998
AO: Kucera, Korda, Rios, Escude
To me, that's exactly what made men's tennis dull during the late 90's. Back then, if you had a good run of a few tournaments you were basically in contention for the #1 slot. It all seemed very "flukey". Players hit a hot streak, then turned cold after a few weeks again. Basically it didn't matter if you lost in the first round 5 tournaments in a row, because NOONE was consistent. The stakes weren't high enough. While that era had lots of diversity, it had little in the way of following sublime athletes making history (with the exception of Sampras). I believe we now have three players fighting for #1, who will all make history. None of them can afford first round losses at major events. Every match matters in this battle. Personally I love that, but I respect that you and others in this thread feel otherwise.

This one issue, the other is style of play. In the 90's we had many different styles and the matches were more intriguing. The best thing in tennis is diversity, when a player "A" is a serve-volleyer and a player "B" plays from the baseline.
Nowadays almost every player stays on the baseline, even Federer, who is a very good volleyer.
True. But that diversity came at a cost. Basically the serve and volley game was possible due to fast playing conditions and the fact that noone knew how to return serve (or didn't have good enough rackets for it). I too miss having a few top notch serve and volleyers around, but I don't miss 1-2 stroke rallies dominating entire matches. Wimbledon was virtually unwatchable back then.
 

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To me, that's exactly what made men's tennis dull during the late 90's. Back then, if you had a good run of a few tournaments you were basically in contention for the #1 slot. It all seemed very "flukey". Players hit a hot streak, then turned cold after a few weeks again. Basically it didn't matter if you lost in the first round 5 tournaments in a row, because NOONE was consistent. The stakes weren't high enough. While that era had lots of diversity, it had little in the way of following sublime athletes making history (with the exception of Sampras). I believe we now have three players fighting for #1, who will all make history. None of them can afford first round losses at major events. Every match matters in this battle. Personally I love that, but I respect that you and others in this thread feel otherwise.


True. But that diversity came at a cost. Basically the serve and volley game was possible due to fast playing conditions and the fact that noone knew how to return serve (or didn't have good enough rackets for it). I too miss having a few top notch serve and volleyers around, but I don't miss 1-2 stroke rallies dominating entire matches. Wimbledon was virtually unwatchable back then.
Yes, that was the Wimbledon finals in 1994 that drew criticism as a boring serve feast (personally I found it thrilling except the result (lol) but I know I belong to minority!), and the following year Wimbledon started using a heavier ball. It didn't stop big servers from flourishing there, so they then changed the court surface in 2001 (Many people seem to think it was 2002 that the grass at All England Club were slowed down because Hewitt won that year, but it was actuallly 2001). So people got what they wanted.
But with the advanced technology of the rackets and players learning more and more how to pass, serve and volley tennis has become a surprise tactics employed by baseline players. Few players who serve and volley more often than not, like Feli, Mahut, Llodra, Navarro and Kendrick, occasionally do some damages but not much more, and versatile guys like Santoro, Kiefer and Grosjean are getting older (although I'm expecting one more good season from Seb)...

I also like watching a match between players with different styles of play, even better if they have different personalities, so to me 2003 was a very exciting year with the three guys at the top with different games and characters, and Agassi was still good enough to be in the mix.

Back to the topic and I hope this year will bring something as exciting as 2003. But Nole has still a lot to prove to make that happen IMHO. He's won a slam and his confidence is sky high, so I expect him to continue to improve his tennis and defend as many points as he can, but we'll have to wait and see.
 
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