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Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

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Is This A Weak Or Strong Era? (and why)

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Total Votes : 4

Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:56 pm

First, let's try and define what weak (or strong) era may be.

We now have a very dominant number one with a 7000 poins lead, and into his 18th successive tournament final.

Tennis fans are getting edgy seeing noone in sight to challenge and stop him.

Is no competition a sign of a weak era?

I don't think so.

Imagine if there was no Federer and Djokovic now...would we suddenly have a strong era just
because tournaments would be won by different players?

When Federer was ruling supreme with his talent 10 years ago, cutting his opposition like knife through butter people were saying it was a weak era...but it wasn't was it?

He was just that good.

Than came Nadal and his erratic, on and off (relatively) short-lived physical dominance.

Now with Djokovic appearing equally dominant though not as unbeatable as Federer was then, people are again saying this is a weak era.

Again, I disagree.
Djokovic is ruling by simply being superior in current playing conditions.

His dominance is of a different nature to Federer's, but it's still a dominance.

The only constant in all these eras of dominance is actually Federer. And in each of those eras his racquet size got bigger.

What do you think?


Last edited by noleisthebest on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by DECIMA on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:07 pm

I don't get the poll, are we voting for a weak era or a strong era ?

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:35 pm

I have edited the poll. And don't forget to write why you think it's weak or not.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Tenez on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:57 pm

we have discussed that before. It is clearly a strong physical era.....yet a poor one at the top when it comes to shot making.....if it was not for federer of course and a few others lower down teh ranking.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by DECIMA on Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:07 pm

Djokovic is playing great, but I think the competition for him at the top is not as strong as it was a few years ago.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:08 pm

Tenez wrote:we have discussed that before. It is clearly a strong physical era.....yet a poor one at the top when it comes to shot making.....if it was not for federer of course and a few others lower down teh ranking.
Laugh

There goes my effort to create a lively discussion down in flames...

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:18 pm

I think this is neither a strong nor a weak era.

This is a vacuum era.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Autumnleaf on Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:29 pm

While the concept of "weak" and "strong" eras is flimsy at best, it's hard to overlook the fact that the sport is currently lacking great young players. So by definition the competition isn't really exciting. Same old match ups, same old challenges, same old results.

I no longer buy the excuse that the current era is too physical for the youngsters. If anything increased physicality should be an advantage for guys aged in their early-mid twenties. I don't expect teenagers to challenge for top spots, but what exactly have players in their mid 20s done? Djokovic at almost 29 is still the youngest winner of a MS1000. This is not viable for any sport, the top of the game is rigid.

Thiem and Tomic are now the only players in the top 20 below 25. Tomic has clear issues with his movement (slowest in the top 100?) and he is limited by that (and his attitude, but that's another story). 

Until 2009 (iirc) teenagers made the top 100 with regularity, then they stopped. What has changed? Since 2014 we see teens in the top 100 again. What has changed? The players at the very top are the same now and then.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Daniel on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:24 pm

Weak.  At the current time.  And it's obvious.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:57 pm

Autumnleaf wrote:While the concept of "weak" and "strong" eras is flimsy at best, it's hard to overlook the fact that the sport is currently lacking great young players.
I disagree. And I guess you know why. All those young players will play at a higher level than the top 4. ...but they just need time.


I no longer buy the excuse that the current era is too physical for the youngsters. If anything increased physicality should be an advantage for guys aged in their early-mid twenties. I don't expect teenagers to challenge for top spots, but what exactly have players in their mid 20s done? Djokovic at almost 29 is still the youngest winner of a MS1000. This is not viable for any sport, the top of the game is rigid.
You keep overlooking why back then we had young players doing well. But I told you many times.....in the pre-open era youngsters were not doing well either.

Thiem and Tomic are now the only players in the top 20 below 25. Tomic has clear issues with his movement (slowest in the top 100?) and he is limited by that (and his attitude, but that's another story). 
So maybe it is physical and about fitness ...after all!

Until 2009 (iirc) teenagers made the top 100 with regularity, then they stopped. What has changed? Since 2014 we see teens in the top 100 again. What has changed? The players at the very top are the same now and then.
one cannot replace years of experience....unless a new technology or diet comes along! As simple as that.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Tenez on Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:59 pm

Simply watch Djoko, Nadal and Murray when they were 20...they are far worse than the new generation!..But at that time it was good enough to win TMS1000.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:20 am

Tenez wrote:Simply watch Djoko, Nadal and Murray when they were 20...they are far worse than the new generation!..But at that time it was good enough to win TMS1000.
Zverev is definitely a better version of Murray.
Coric...looks like Nole but is in fact not good as him even with his nice natural all court movement. He is an imitation whereas Zverev is a genuine improvement of the old model.

But, your point is good.

Tennis has moved on and has been evolving.

And a point to AL, it really is all about physicality.

Today's ball striking is all about putting "work" on the ball. It consumes a lot of energy and is really tough for young players.

If they had the fitness and stamina of their 10 years older colleagues, they'd beat them no problem.

And as Tenez said, experience is also very important.

Not just match play, but the sheer enriching/depth of the game, adding new shots, solidifying existing ones, not to mention ball-timing that keeps getting sweeter.
Just look at Federer!

If only he had a ten years younger body, we'd be feasting on better and better tennis from him all the time...

I actually find this particular era fascinating!

We have several different generations of players with age gaps like never before.

All because there was no technology change in the last ten years...so the only "improvement" happened in the area it could - fitness, which in my opinion is the only reason why young players are disadvantaged despite their obvious talent.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by legendkillar on Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:39 am

It's a niggly transition era. The alpha players are certainly there for the taking, but the maturity is taking longer than expected.

To an extent I do agree there is an element of weakness to the era, but for me the problem doesn't lie with the younger players not being physically strong enough to go the distance. There is a lot of self-doubt with these young players.

There are so many things that can be tweaked to encourage evolution within the game. Not just technology or conditions, but also tournament formats. Get rid of the number of seeds and create a fair playing field because a fresh youngster might have a greater chance in earlier rounds of putting the big seeds to the sword.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:47 am

Good points LK about "tweaking" conditions etc...

Unfortunately, as we know tennis is "only" a business to those who run it, not passion and love like it is to us...

And it's the big names that fill/sell the seats.

It's like Hollywood blockbusters...they are dragging out granddad Stalone from his rocking chair with the face about to tear and explode any minute from plastic surgeries to play young superhero characters in action movies, because his name sells!

I am sure there are many more talented and better suited actors than him, yet he gets the job!

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:56 am

I short: the smaller the racquet head - more talent needed.
The bigger the racquet head, more important the fitness as timing is easier, so more spin, harder hitting.

Couple that with a double backhand and ever taller players and we almost have a brand new sport compared to the one played by Suzanne Langlen and Rod Laver.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Autumnleaf on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:26 pm

Tenez wrote:So maybe it is physical and about fitness ...after all!

Yes, it's physical that he isn't a good athlete. Unfortunately that will never change, because not everybody has the goods to become a great athlete. There is something as talent for physical abilities as well. Someone like Djokovic had it in spades even as a youngster (not endurance, but speed).

Tenez wrote:one cannot replace years of experience....unless a new technology or diet comes along! As simple as that.

So which new technology or diet did come along lately? Why can Kyrgios succeed (2 major QFs at 19 and looking good for major damage, concern for him is his committment imho) where players like Dimitrov/Tomic failed? Why do we suddenly have teenagers again in the top 100 when there weren't any for several years? And in a highly physical sport, why would years of experience be valued higher than physical prowess?

About the beginning of the Open Era... It was certainly before my time and I wouldn't claim I know much about it, but weren't the conditions back then very different from today? Weren't the good players on the pro tour before and the younger players didn't play them and hence couldn't get used to them until they themselves changed from the amateurs? And then there were Connors and Borg who started to win very young. I'm not aware of any technology changes at the time. They all played with wooden racquets, right? Borg was a physical freak of course, a natural born athlete (unlike Tomic).


Last edited by Autumnleaf on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:43 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : ETA)

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Autumnleaf on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:47 pm

legendkillar wrote:There are so many things that can be tweaked to encourage evolution within the game. Not just technology or conditions, but also tournament formats. Get rid of the number of seeds and create a fair playing field because a fresh youngster might have a greater chance in earlier rounds of putting the big seeds to the sword.
Don't they usually play the big guns in the early rounds anyway? Djokovic has played Chung and Halys at the AO, Murray has played another teen iirc. Getting rid of the number of seeds could result in a heavily lopsided draw. 

Although I don't think 16 seeds would make much of a difference as the top players aren't usually bothered by the lower ranked players anyway.

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Re: Is This A Weak Or Strong Era?

Post by Tenez on Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:54 am

Autumnleaf wrote:
Yes, it's physical that he isn't a good athlete. Unfortunately that will never change, because not everybody has the goods to become a great athlete. There is something as talent for physical abilities as well. Someone like Djokovic had it in spades even as a youngster (not endurance, but speed).
Even his mouvement was not that great young. Watch AO 2006 for instance...however he had better mouvement than Tomic, I give you that. But then Tomic has better shots. At 20 Tomic ran Djoko close at Wimbledon. So clearly, he has not improved as much as Djoko since.

So which new technology or diet did come along lately? Why can Kyrgios succeed (2 major QFs at 19 and looking good for major damage, concern for him is his committment imho) where players like Dimitrov/Tomic failed? Why do we suddenly have teenagers again in the top 100 when there weren't any for several years? And in a highly physical sport, why would years of experience be valued higher than physical prowess?
There are a few factors. But Dimi and Tomic also had their moment of fame young. I think one reason they did not achieve as much is that the bar was put so high by the older players thanks to huge training and other means that it probably discouraged a few of those. When kyrgios will realise that he is miles from the top players, he might also get beaten more easily. he might simply also be better than Tomic and Dimi....but that does not mean that Dimi and Tomic will reach a better level than Djoko in 3 or 4 years.

About the beginning of the Open Era... It was certainly before my time and I wouldn't claim I know much about it, but weren't the conditions back then very different from today? Weren't the good players on the pro tour before and the younger players didn't play them and hence couldn't get used to them until they themselves changed from the amateurs? And then there were Connors and Borg who started to win very young. I'm not aware of any technology changes at the time. They all played with wooden racquets, right? Borg was a physical freak of course, a natural born athlete (unlike Tomic).
yes but the change was actually "the open" era. the fact one coudl make a decent living playing the game, suddenly brought 10 000 more competitors to the game. It was not a circus anymore (small club), it became a huge club....which kept on growing years in years out. Thi sis what shorten the life of all those great players. Borg and mcEnroe also had their career cut short....Connors played late but never achieved much late except when he managed to bring 20K people on his side of teh court.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UAOhGRe4mmIq8mTsKykX_fcwnNY1V5NifWCa22usung/edit#gid=106556854

It's not only the top 5 or 10 that got older, ....so it's not a phenomenon down to a few players, it's the all ATP that gets older. And that can only be explained by the fact that players improve with age beyond 27, especially if they are financially helped.

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