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Discussion Starter #1
I am very worried about this generation of youngsters that are coming up, is this the spoiled computer generation who grew up just at the time when children started comunicating and playing more at home than outside? Well, that is one theory I have but anyway, here is the deal, look at this graph and see that we are witnessing an unique period in tennis where no regrowth is happening and the same old faces are allowed to keep playing tennis without beeinc challened:

http://www.tennis28.com/charts/Top50Ages.GIF

So, we had 2 talented generations coming up, first the ones born in early 80s with Federer, Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Safin, Coria, Davydenko, Ferrer and company and later the ones born after the mid 80s with Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Del Potro, Gasquet, Monfils and company. We also had a slightly less talented but still very good midgeneration with Berdych, Soderling, Tsonga, Verdasco and some other quite good tennis players.

Before these 2 generations we had what is known as the worst tennis generation in recent time, the ones unable to fill the shoes of Agassi and Sampras, we had among them Haas, Kuerten (who was stopped because of injury), Moya, Johansson and Kafelnikov. Still it might be a great generation compared to those born in the 90s, I will examine if their achievments compared to age of other generations at their age and if it can tell us anything about the future achievments of this generation...

So, let us begin. We have first the older youngsters born 1990, I dont count Nishikori (89), Dolgopolov (88) and Young (89) as youngsters anymore. Sorry, 23-24 years of age is peak age in tennis and not up and coming talents as we see in this graph:

http://www.tennis28.com/charts/mw_slam_ages.GIF

As you can see the age between 22 and 26 is the best years of a tennis player, in reality even the age of 21, 22 are peak age but we can count in the ones born 1990 because some are late bloomers and also they might still win something big this year (who knows?).

So let us begin, talents born 1990 (only one):

Raonic, has won 3 titles and is the shining start of this generation. No master series finals or semifinals, just inside top 30, no grand slam r16, ranking no victories against top 5.

At the age of 21 years and 5 months Nadal had won 3 grand slams and been to 2 Wimbledon finals, but that is unfair because Raonic is an aggressive minded player. So let us compare with late bloomer Federer, Federer at that age had won 4 tournaments, had won 1 master series and been to another final, R16 in all slams and QF in Wimbledon/RG, had defeated Sampras in Wimbledon, defeated world nr1 Hewitt and top 5 Safin in a master series final.

Some other late bloomers to compare with Raonic: Sampras, had won a slam. Lendl had been to a slam final. Murray (and Djokovic) had been in a slam final. Conclusion is that it is unlikely that Raonic is going to be a multiple slam winner, all of those I mentioned and many more (Kuerten, Agassi, Kafelnikov) was in the top 10 at Raonic's age. Raonic cant even blame the exceptional top 4 stopping his progress because he barely ever got far enought to play against them, in Australian Open he was stopped by 31 year old 180th ranked Hewitt which really sums up how much better that old generation was compared to these youngsters, players like Gasquet, Monfils and Berdych had also achieved more at that age.

(we also have Berankis, next one born 1990 in the rankings, ranked 168th and really havent achieved anything at all)

Now, all those born 1991:

Dimitrov ranked 102th, 0 atp finals, 0 wins against top 10, never past 2nd round in grand slam.

Let us not even compare Dimitrov to great players, let us just compare Dimitrov to players who just were talented and never developped to real top players. Lets look at Gasquet and Berdych at his age, Gasquet and Berdych were both top 10 players at his age, Berdych had won master series title and defeated Nadal and Federer, Gasquet had been in multiple master series finals, both of them had 4-5 atp titles and some deep runs in grand slams (atleast to QF many times).

No one else worth mentioning born 1991, Dimitrov might not even be worth mentioning.

Now, those born 1992:

Tomic, the most promising star of those born in the 1990s. He hasnt won a tournament, he has been to QF in a slam, he has not beaten any top 5, he is ranked 36th in the world.

Now, Tomic is born late 1992 so will be 19 until october. At 19 1/2 players like Djokovic and Murray had already won titles, Murray had beaten Federer and shown signs of promise. Murray was ranked 19th at the end of 2006 and Djokovic 16th. Let us say Tomic is just slightly behind, he showed signs of talent in Wimbledon at a very young age, he is still on track to have the potential to be great but he could just aswell develop into a Gasquet, it is worrysome that this whole generation depends only on Tomic to deliver.

RYAN HARRISON will already turn 20 in 2 months and hasnt been to an atp final, no grand slam results. Not good at all, ranked 72th and struggling to beat 30+ past it players like Rochus and Ginepri?

Nah, too little too late, not much potential to grow into a top 10 player, almost all greats had won a tournament or show great signs of talent at some time before they turned 20.

Now, the players born 1993 I havent even heard of which is worrysome indeed. I heard of Nadal when he was 16, Federer when he was 17, Djokovic and Murray when they were 18. Even Dimitrov and Tomic I heard about at a young age, now if no one turning 19 this year is even in the top 200 and no one talks about them I will asume there are no 1993ers worth mentioning here. Shall we put our hopes in the 1994 generation then?

There will be a vacuum of this lost generation, really makes me wonder how tennis will look like in 2015.
 
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Give them time, mate.

Not everyone can be Nadal/Hewitt/Safin, winning slams at 19-20 years old.
 

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After the big 3 retire tennis will enter a transitional mug era. When clowns like Raonic, Tomic and Harrison are in the mix to win slams, ATP will become worse than WTA today
 

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After the big 3 retire tennis will enter a transitional mug era. When clowns like Raonic, Tomic and Harrison are in the mix to win slams, ATP will become worse than WTA today
Oh God, imagine that :facepalm:. What an insult to legends who have earned GS's the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Give them time, mate.

Not everyone can be Nadal/Hewitt/Safin, winning slams at 19-20 years old.
How about winning a title at 19-20? How about beating a top player once here and there showing real talent but beeing inconsistent and losing sometimes against mugs? That I can allow, but beeing ranked outside top 100 at 20 years of age is not a sign of a great talent at all.

Tomic is the only one allowed to be called a promising player, but if he fails to achieve anything (a big win against top 4 or a master series final or atleast win an ATP tournament) this year odds will be against him.
 

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How about winning a title at 19-20? How about beating a top player once here and there showing real talent but beeing inconsistent and losing sometimes against mugs? That I can allow, but beeing ranked outside top 100 at 20 years of age is not a sign of a great talent at all.

Tomic is the only one allowed to be called a promising player, but if he fails to achieve anything (a big win against top 4 or a master series final or atleast win an ATP tournament) this year odds will be against him.
Gotta disagree, man.

I feel in this day and age, everybody is always on the look out for the next young talent, the next young player, and if you are not top 100 in the world by age 20, "it is not a sign of great talent."

Huh?

People need to be patient, especially in this day and age of slower courts and a tougher road to the top. I also feel the technology age has diverted attention from young players as well.

Bottom line, age doesn't matter, the most important thing I look for in a player is his mental outlook. How much does he want it? Is he willing to suffer? Is he willing to put his body through hell for 6 hours to win a slam? Is he willing to sacrifice as much as Nadal and Djokovic are? Probably not, he'd rather play games on his iPhone or get chased by the cops (Tomic).

Shit, even Bill Tilden, one of the all time greats, couldn't even make his high school team or his college tennis team. He was a nobody at age 23, surely called a bust if he was in this era. 4 years later he was the undisputed champion of the world. :shrug:
 

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Gotta disagree, man.

I feel in this day and age, everybody is always on the look out for the next young talent, the next young player, and if you are not top 100 in the world by age 20, "it is not a sign of great talent."

Huh?

People need to be patient, especially in this day and age of slower courts and a tougher road to the top. I also feel the technology age has diverted attention from young players as well.

Bottom line, age doesn't matter, the most important thing I look for in a player is his mental outlook. How much does he want it? Is he willing to suffer? Is he willing to put his body through hell for 6 hours to win a slam? Is he willing to sacrifice as much as Nadal and Djokovic are? Probably not, he'd rather play games on his iPhone or get chased by the cops (Tomic).

Shit, even Bill Tilden, one of the all time greats, couldn't even make his high school team or his college tennis team. He was a nobody at age 23, surely called a bust if he was in this era. 4 years later he was the undisputed champion of the world. :shrug:
You cant go back to the 20s to find an exception to the rule, in modern tennis you better achieve something when you turn 20 or odds are clearly against you. Statistics tell you this, I cant find a grand slam winner in the 00s who hadnt achieved anything at 20 but won a slam except the greatest fluke slam winners, Johansson and Gaudio who both were on the level of Dimitrov when they turned 20.
 

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Perhaps this is true for the last decade, but what is to say it is going to continue? The only constant in life is change.

I think the trend in tennis these days is for players breaking through at a later age, 23, 24 and then playing at a high level into their early 30's, 32, 33.

As opposed to guys breaking through in late teen years and they are finished by 30.

What is going to happen after Nole and Rafa? I'd still bet on a 34 year old Federer vs. peak Harrison/Tomic/Dimitrov, a la Agassi in his later years when he was still a top 5 player.

At least until the next dominant Borg/Sampras/Federer player comes along...
 
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its true- by 20 your tennis life is plotted out already

but even recently

sampras changed his 2 hander (his best shot according to agassi_ to a 1 hander at 14 years of age- thats career suicide for anyone else

so anything is possible- i think confidence and experience is what these young guns need

what they definitely dont need is a 2 year ranking system designed to protect spainish ass scratchers
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was searching for talents born 1993, from the top 10 juniors last year and couldnt find anyone who won 1 single atp match so far, no one who have won a challenger or anything like that. Jiri Vesely who was ranked nr1 last year in the juniors ranking is just struggling at the moment to win 1 futures match and is turning 19 this year, like Federer in 2000 when he got to 4th round in RG or Murray in 2006 who had played an atp final against Federer in Bangkok and defeated him in Cincinatti. Others like Tiago Fernandez and Dominic Thiem are just struggling as much in futures championships.
 

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Soderling is the most incredible late bloom story in the 2000s and he had atleast been to 3rd round in Wimbledon and final in Stockholm at 19. Ferrer had been to the Umag final at 19, another amazing late bloom story.

I am not looking for the next Ferrer and Soderling and less than 10% can have their late bloom evolution at 24-25 and become consistant top 5-10 players. I am looking for the next great player like the top 4, cant see anyone of that caliber among the young guns.
 

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What about John Isner?

He went to college, he was still 900 ATP at age 22 :shrug:

This is the way most juniors are going these days. College and then if they are good enough, hit the tour, if not, at least they have a degree.

Much less risky than betting it all on the tennis career.
 

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Soderling is the most incredible late bloom story in the 2000s and he had atleast been to 3rd round in Wimbledon and final in Stockholm at 19. Ferrer had been to the Umag final at 19, another amazing late bloom story.

I am not looking for the next Ferrer and Soderling and less than 10% can have their late bloom evolution at 24-25 and become consistant top 5-10 players. I am looking for the next great player like the top 4, cant see anyone of that caliber among the young guns.
Hello.

You are speaking to him.

Look for the guys a little older, age 20-24, my contemporaries. There is some good talent in there. Also among the 16 year olds, the American Noah Rubin has a good future I think.
 

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What about John Isner?

He went to college, he was still 900 ATP at age 22 :shrug:

This is the way most juniors are going these days. College and then if they are good enough, hit the tour, if not, at least they have a degree.

Much less risky than betting it all on the tennis career.
Isner and Karlovic are freaks of nature, they have physical attributes that few people are born with.
 

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What about John Isner?

He went to college, he was still 900 ATP at age 22 :shrug:

This is the way most juniors are going these days. College and then if they are good enough, hit the tour, if not, at least they have a degree.

Much less risky than betting it all on the tennis career.
Most?

That's simply not true.

Anyway, majority of college players who make it on the pro tour are mediocre doubles players. There are a few exceptions.
 

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I'm in general agreement with the thrust of the OP's argument.

Disagree wrt Raonic though. He needs to be compared with his peers, who are (late developers) Karlovic and Isner, not the guys around 6'6 like Del Potro/Cilic/Querrey. That serve is a step above theirs, just devastating, and I think a reasonable argument can be made it's the best in the sport already - I'll stick my neck out and say in a few years it might be a candidate for best in history.

He's also only really blossomed into a top player since linking up with Blanco, and we only have 14 months of him playing at the current level, interspersed with a fairly nasty injury in the middle at Wimbledon, and back problems last IW/Miami. It's not really surprising he hasn't had any genuinely big wins yet.
 

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Isner and Karlovic are freaks of nature, they have physical attributes that few people are born with.
So? Somdev Devvarman is 5'10'', 155, went to college, and he made top 70ish last year. Yes, he is a bit of a mug, and not top 4 material you are looking for, but I'm saying the college route can work.

Wait 4-5 years, I will show you.

Most?

That's simply not true.

Anyway, majority of college players who make it on the pro tour are mediocre doubles players. There are a few exceptions.
Actually yes, most is true. If anything, almost all good juniors go to college. Unless they are legit phenoms, inside the top 500 before finishing high school, they almost all go to college.
 
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the problem is tennis doesn't harvest the best talent

you get lucky with the federer/nadal/djokovic's every so often but for the most part you dont

for example- novak's story- his parents giving up everything for their son- what amazing courage on their part- but the reality is most families wouldn't do that

i wouln't say tennis is a rich mans sport- but it doesn't really reach out like it should- a big man (6'6+) who is athletically gifted would much rather go into basketball than tennis

tennis players are still short changed by the ATP compared to other sports-

whats messi worth today- 150 million pounds?- more than nadal's lifetime income

why dont major events give out percentages of money taken in- and TV rights money- basically the players are being shafted big time

yes the top guys make a living but after 200 down- you cant make a living- and the fact is- if you have potential to be a top 100 player but cant afford the financial risk then you dont take it because tennis isn't viable financially

i mean for most of you guys- its really nice never having to worry about your financial futures but for someone who had the talent but couldnt take the financial risk (not to mention injury risks) its just not worth it- so thats why there isnt the young gun surge there should be

tennis isnt doing enough to feed its future talents- so the crop that its raised is going to be chaff not wheat

the simple reality is- there is nothing like poverty to drive a desire for success- that is russia's secret when it comes to tennis

the greatest tennis player is probably some kid living in africa or china who can't afford a tennis racquet
 

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the problem is tennis doesn't harvest the best talent

you get lucky with the federer/nadal/djokovic's every so often but for the most part you dont

for example- novak's story- his parents giving up everything for their son- what amazing courage on their part- but the reality is most families wouldn't do that

i wouln't say tennis is a rich mans sport- but it doesn't really reach out like it should- a big man (6'6+) who is athletically gifted would much rather go into basketball than tennis

tennis players are still short changed by the ATP compared to other sports-

whats messi worth today- 150 million pounds?- more than nadal's lifetime income

why dont major events give out percentages of money taken in- and TV rights money- basically the players are being shafted big time

yes the top guys make a living but after 200 down- you cant make a living- and the fact is- if you have potential to be a top 100 player but cant afford the financial risk then you dont take it because tennis isn't viable financially

i mean for most of you guys- its really nice never having to worry about your financial futures but for someone who had the talent but couldnt take the financial risk (not to mention injury risks) its just not worth it- so thats why there isnt the young gun surge there should be

tennis isnt doing enough to feed its future talents- so the crop that its raised is going to be chaff not wheat

the simple reality is- there is nothing like poverty to drive a desire for success- that is russia's secret when it comes to tennis

the greatest tennis player is probably some kid living in africa or china who can't afford a tennis racquet
Boring essay. D-. Next.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Imagine if Murray had been born in 1992, what a great future would be waiting him in a couple of years or so.
 
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