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Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

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Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Emancipator on Mon May 15, 2017 7:30 pm

Hello

Big Grin

Those who have become accustomed to my posts in recent years (both as emancipator and TMF) will have noticed a common theme. I like to bemoan the lack of talent coming through on the tour. The lost generations as I like to call them. Plural essential.

The state of play in the under 30's (that's right folks - I said under 30's Yikes ) is dire. Djokovic will be 30 next week. Murray has already reached the big 30.

The leading stars of the lost generations are Raonic, Nishikori, Cilic, Dimitrov, Thiem, Kyrgios and Zverev (cue: big laugh; tears streaming down the face). That's running the whole gamut from 29 down to 19 - pathetic! We can take out Del Potro from any serious consideration since he is a full time injury rehabber and part time tennis player.

This is an unprecedented state of affairs. Historically the sport has been dominated by players in their early to mid twenties.

Lots of theories have been proposed as to why the tour appears to be getting older. Advances in nutrition, sports medicine, training techniques etc have prolonged careers; the slowing down and homogenisation of conditions allows older allows to stay competitive for longer since baseline tennis is less reliant on reflexes than serve and volley; and so forth.

I have a new theory as to why this may be the case. Conventional wisdom dictates that over time the standard in any professional sport will improve. Not necessarily in a linear fashion but given enough time the overall standard will gradually get better.

Except, there is a limit to all things. A ceiling if you like. Tennis has been evolving for over a hundred years. It has been ultra professional for at least 30 years. The likes of Lendl and Navrat left no stone unturned in their quests to become fitter, faster, stronger. The trend has continued to this day.

Could it be that tennis has virtually peaked with the emergence of Federer and then Nadal and Djokovic? Federer in terms of racquet skills and shot making and the other two in terms of physicality. The three combined have moved the game 'light years ahead' as Agassi once famously said of Federer, and the tour is still playing catch up? Perhaps they have almost moved it to the evolutionary end point and any further improvements will be down to technology rather than pure human endeavour. Sure, in time, if the conditions for growth of the game continue, we can expect further improvement, but, I expect it may not look too drastically different twenty years from now.

Thus, perhaps the reason the tour looks to be in such dire straits is because these three players have artificially moved the bar forward. Of course, this is not something entirely new. Borg did the same in the seventies and early eighties; Lendl moved the physical bar in the eighties; Sampras again moved the game on in a giant leap in the nineties. However, the difference is that these three, in particular Federer, have moved the game so far forward that there may be no more huge leaps to be made.

To move the game any further forward we may need another Federer like talent, which combined with the improved tech, may raise the bar even higher. We've been waiting for over 10 years for something close to that level (ie since Djokovic appeared); we may need to wait a lot longer.

ghost

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Jahu on Mon May 15, 2017 8:33 pm

Emanci Galactic, stop changing names  Big Grin

Guess we all agree that new guys current and future can not bring anything new on tennis field, the old Top 3 for last 10 years now has just about done every possible tennis trick, from elegance, to continuity, super attacks to great defence to 6h matches etc etc.

And while we agree on this, we keep hoping for new faces to show up, knowing it wont be anything special, but mostly cause we are tired (apart from Fed, he is orgasmic this 2017) of these 4 players who have monopolized the Tennis for last 15 years (till Djoko came and ruined for everyone, now he ruined himself).

I will hope for some new talent, but I know no one will be able to overrun these Top 3 in any aspect, ever.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Tenez on Mon May 15, 2017 11:31 pm

So you are emancipated? Welcome here....i thought you were someone else.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by summerblues on Tue May 16, 2017 2:03 am

Hi Eman, good to have to around.  I must admit I did not realize it was you.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by legendkillar on Tue May 16, 2017 10:11 am

Do you know I had an inkling it might've been you given your recent spicy affairs with a certain poster here. Reminded me of the socal affair and I am not for one to call out others on forums of who they might be and who they might not.

Welcome to the forum! You've seen the light!

PS. Carlos GOAT! Winking

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Emancipator on Tue May 16, 2017 3:49 pm

Thank you everyone.

I'm glad to be here. V2 is in it's death throes. I much prefer this place. I think I shall say. Big Grin

Any thoughts on the topic?

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by bogbrush on Tue May 16, 2017 5:35 pm

Hi - we're you already here in the guise of TMF when I got in touch through 606v2 to encourage you over?

Yeah, that place crashed a long time ago, modded to death.

On topic, I don't agree. I see nothing in Djokovic or certainly Murray that won't be reproduced again and again. I have hopes for Kyrgios or maybe Thiem/Zverev though the next leap is likely to come from power rather than mite running. Don't forget also that conditions might evolve faster.

Federer is different, we might see another in 30 years if we're lucky.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Emancipator on Tue May 16, 2017 7:09 pm

bogbrush wrote:Hi - we're you already here in the guise of TMF when I got in touch through 606v2 to encourage you over?

Yes - but hadn't committed.

After our little convo I deleted my V2 account and made the move permanent.


I think Djokovic and Nadal have pushed the physical to almost it's limit.

Federer the talent bar.

To me, watching videos of the tour from 10 tears ago, it doesn't look very different. When you consider that the top 2 players in the world from 10 years ago.. are still the top 2 in the world today (YTD) then again it doesn't show a great evolution in the play.

The style of tennis is exactly the same: baseline, butterfly rallies. Serve speeds, FH seeds, etc - there's very little difference.

Compare this to the tour and what it looked like in '97 compared with 2007 - now you can see a difference. A lot of it no doubt due to changing playing conditions.

Of course things will change with time but not, I suspect, a lot - unless of course there is a drastic change in tech and conditions.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by ... on Wed May 17, 2017 7:38 am

Hello Emancipator and welcome!

I remember you by another nickname from bbc606 but forgot what it was. Blush

On your topic, yes, interesting meditations on the evolution of tennis...the fact it never stops and is actually quite unpredictable (who could've imagined such "old" top 10) 10 years ago?
So, although it now looks as if there are no talented youngsters (i.e. they aren't winning anything big) we have to see it through the prism of the reasons behind
this aged tour.

Plus tennis is a big business.

On the one hand, TDs are probably worried what will happen when the big three retire, yet on the other they are doing nothing to allow young players to break through (except some silly marketing of "next gen-ing "stars" through silly videos on ATP website...in one last year they even showed Taylor Fritz having his hair done for the photo shoot...Doh

All will go back to "normal" with maybe some new strings or balls...

Because with current stagnant technology that has NOT evolved we have this limbo.

But the few youngsters that are in too 50-100 are very good and would have been winning slams in any other era easily.

So, the future of tennis is neither bright nor gloomy I think.

And for me personally, I view it as "I'll cross that bridge when I get there", exclusively because of Federer.

He alone is so good and inspiring, that selfishly, I couldn't care less about why youngsters (esp as most show little flair) aren't winning slams right now Run

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Emancipator on Wed May 17, 2017 6:41 pm

Thanks for the welcome NITB.

You are right; I existed on 606 from 2008.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by bogbrush on Wed May 17, 2017 7:30 pm

Ah 606

Now that was a brutal forum! Not one for the faint hearted. Had a lot of fun on there.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Veejay on Wed May 17, 2017 8:03 pm

i remember you from v2,wasnt there for long before i got banned for having an opinion
its good to have you here now

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Jahu on Wed May 17, 2017 8:08 pm

You were banned cause you kept insisting on politicizing tennis, human rights, sex freedoms, god knows what problems you have  Laugh

In general I've been disappointed last 4-5 years on new comers, starting from Nishi, Dimi, Dolgo and a few who faded, I so wanted to have some new faces in top 5-10, and current crop of future younger stars looks about same.

Guess Tennis now starts at 27+ so these kids under 27 ain't cutting it.

And then Fed wakes up and ruins it for all this year with master show, Rafa pretty good too, just killing the hopes of new guys even more.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Veejay on Wed May 17, 2017 8:27 pm

it just doesnt seem like the younger generation have what it takes to compete at the highest level,dimitrov just turned 26,hasnt live up to any of the hype,promise or expectation 
most of them are mentally weak and choke on the big points 

if you think that those are problems jahu then all i can say is  Laugh

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Jahu on Wed May 17, 2017 8:42 pm

Dimi was ok at AO, tiny miss would of sent him to F, but good that Fed dismantled Nadal.

Also I'll discount 2y of Dimis career wasted on that russian doped girl, maybe he can wake up after RG.

Don't know what happened to Dolgo, seem a good unique style of play a few years back, top slice, this and that, faded too.

Ninja hot and cold, just no power to cut it when needed.

Delpo and Soldering, loved them both and if no injures, they would of done some crushing.


P.S: No those were just first few ones  Laugh

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Tenez on Wed May 17, 2017 9:45 pm

Interesting topic but I also disagree with the content. 

I have highlighted that even though rallies may look similar to 10 years ago, they are played at a different pace. The game of "10 years ago", was largely surpassed in 2011 by Djoko when he exposed Nadal's limitation and stopped him in his tracks while Nadal was still ascending. Djoko beat Nadal in 7 consecutive finals. 

Then Nadal had to learn to take the ball earlier and the pace of a rally was imply sped up. Just look at AO 09 (Verdasco/Nadal for instance) and see how slow the game was then. 

I have said that a million times but the main explanation for the top players to be unchanged for so long is that there has been hardly any change in technology and change of pace condition in the last 10 years and that means that the youngsters had no advantage and shortcut to the top like they had in the past. 

For instance, I have no doubt that neither Agassi nor Pete woudl have been able to beat McEnroe and Lendl in 1990 USO had they learnt the game with a wooden racquet, same with Becker beating Keving Curren in Wimbledon 85 and so on. 

The reason I don;t think it is a generation issue like emancipator says is that it is not limited to the big 4 but even average players like Berdych, Ferrer, Tsonga are also in the top 10 or thereabout  simply because they have the  advantage of being more experienced, more mature and professional than the previous generation. 

The advantage of the younger generation is having to learn to play against more professional players than the current top players did when they were younger. 

I still think that, bar injury, Nishi, Dimi will get to a higher level than Murray and Djoko (they already have in my view but just need more consistency) even if they will not achieve nearly as much. 

Unlike Djoko, Murray and Nadal, Nishi generation were victim of lack of technology inovation or court pace changes. 

Had they for instance paced up the conditions considerably in 2006, we would not be talking of Djoko, Murray and nadal as being amongst the great players of the last decade.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Emancipator on Wed May 17, 2017 10:28 pm

Tenez wrote:Interesting topic but I also disagree with the content. 

I have highlighted that even though rallies may look similar to 10 years ago, they are played at a different pace. The game of "10 years ago", was largely surpassed in 2011 by Djoko when he exposed Nadal's limitation and stopped him in his tracks while Nadal was still ascending. Djoko beat Nadal in 7 consecutive finals. 

Then Nadal had to learn to take the ball earlier and the pace of a rally was imply sped up. Just look at AO 09 (Verdasco/Nadal for instance) and see how slow the game was then. 

I have said that a million times but the main explanation for the top players to be unchanged for so long is that there has been hardly any change in technology and change of pace condition in the last 10 years and that means that the youngsters had no advantage and shortcut to the top like they had in the past. 

For instance, I have no doubt that neither Agassi nor Pete woudl have been able to beat McEnroe and Lendl in 1990 USO had they learnt the game with a wooden racquet, same with Becker beating Keving Curren in Wimbledon 85 and so on. 

The reason I don;t think it is a generation issue like emancipator says is that it is not limited to the big 4 but even average players like Berdych, Ferrer, Tsonga are also in the top 10 or thereabout  simply because they have the  advantage of being more experienced, more mature and professional than the previous generation. 

The advantage of the younger generation is having to learn to play against more professional players than the current top players did when they were younger. 

I still think that, bar injury, Nishi, Dimi will get to a higher level than Murray and Djoko (they already have in my view but just need more consistency) even if they will not achieve nearly as much. 

Unlike Djoko, Murray and Nadal, Nishi generation were victim of lack of technology inovation or court pace changes. 

Had they for instance paced up the conditions considerably in 2006, we would not be talking of Djoko, Murray and nadal as being amongst the great players of the last decade.


Good post.

BTW I don't necessarily subscribe to the view in the OP but it's a possibility.

The bit that you've put in bold I think is a very valid point. Younger generations have the advantage of growing up with evolving tech (predominantly strings and racquets - mostly the former - but also courts and balls) and as we all know it's easier to adapt to such changes earlier in life. Hence it would seem logical that a stagnation in tech would take away that advantage and if anything would give it to the older players who have had longer to adapt and play with the static conditions.

I'm not so sure about the pace of the game being faster than 10 years ago - it looks pretty similar to me. Of course OZ 09 was played in slower conditions than '17.

The second highlighted part (by me) is also a very good point and would seem to go against the OP view.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Tenez on Wed May 17, 2017 11:32 pm

Thanks. It's not so much that youngsters adapt quicker to new technology as much as they actually develop their games with it whereas the old generation has already a game and need to adjust to new technology. 

It's quite clear with Agassi for instance who simply could not have developed his game with a wooden racquet. Therefore had he learnt the game with a wooden racquet he woudl have had a different game. Likewise had McEnroe learnt to play with his Max 200G (medium frame) he woudl not have developed this "push" game which consisted more about placing the ball than whacking it a la Pete, Agassi or Becker. Also why Lendl did better than McEnroe in the long term cause Lendl was also a hard hitter hence the bigger frame simply helped his existing shots.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Tenez on Wed May 17, 2017 11:40 pm

Also amazing that next week, all top 5 players will be 30 or over. Not so much an odd stat as the number of 30s in the top 100 has considerably increased recently, supporting the point about players typically peaking than earlier thought and lack of technology innovation.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by legendkillar on Thu May 18, 2017 1:15 pm

To the OP, for me simply the new generation are the mentally weakest I have ever seen. I don't see that a just in tennis isolated problem, but in the wider contexts of sport. Milennials for me, just weak. Poor parenting and mentoring which allows for a "yes you are crap, however that's good enough!"

I see it everywhere. Especially in the younger generation in which mediocrity is widely accepted as the norm and what we should live with. Take universities. In my day was for the elite of the elite. Other words people who were above the norm would excel. The bar since then has been lowered and any dipshit gets into uni and ends up stacking shelves in ASDA.

I see it in sport now. I know Murray for example isn't well liked for his tennis, however if other athletes had a ounce of the immense professionalism he did, they would do much better.

I never hear Kyrgios after a defeat strive to improve or anything that inspires me to think he wants to be better. Same with the others before them. Not willing to push their limits and don't even look to sustain their norm. The attitude and mentality to adapt themselves to the surroundings and environment of the sport is crap. No effort at all.

Cincy in 2015 was the lowest point I can remember. Dolgo had Djokovic to rights and fluffed it. Dimi had Murray to rights and fluffed it. Powder piss mental fortitude.

Whilst I accept other factors such as court speed, equipment and what have you. Much more forgiveness in equipment nowadays e.g the margin for error greatly reduced. Essentially bigger racquets have taken the talent out of the player who doesn't need to think with a more precise and risk mindset. Again highlighting reliance on technology.

I know that's a rather random Jahuesq rant (without sexual references) but I think the starting point is mentality and this generation's is lazy!

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by Veejay on Thu May 18, 2017 2:22 pm

legendkillar wrote:To the OP, for me simply the new generation are the mentally weakest I have ever seen. I don't see that a just in tennis isolated problem, but in the wider contexts of sport. Milennials for me, just weak. Poor parenting and mentoring which allows for a "yes you are crap, however that's good enough!"

I see it everywhere. Especially in the younger generation in which mediocrity is widely accepted as the norm and what we should live with. Take universities. In my day was for the elite of the elite. Other words people who were above the norm would excel. The bar since then has been lowered and any dipshit gets into uni and ends up stacking shelves in ASDA.

I see it in sport now. I know Murray for example isn't well liked for his tennis, however if other athletes had a ounce of the immense professionalism he did, they would do much better.

I never hear Kyrgios after a defeat strive to improve or anything that inspires me to think he wants to be better. Same with the others before them. Not willing to push their limits and don't even look to sustain their norm. The attitude and mentality to adapt themselves to the surroundings and environment of the sport is crap. No effort at all.

Cincy in 2015 was the lowest point I can remember. Dolgo had Djokovic to rights and fluffed it. Dimi had Murray to rights and fluffed it. Powder piss mental fortitude.

Whilst I accept other factors such as court speed, equipment and what have you. Much more forgiveness in equipment nowadays e.g the margin for error greatly reduced. Essentially bigger racquets have taken the talent out of the player who doesn't need to think with a more precise and risk mindset. Again highlighting reliance on technology.

I know that's a rather random Jahuesq rant (without sexual references) but I think the starting point is mentality and this generation's is lazy!
i completely agree with this comment,the younger generation also seem to lack passion or a will to want to win
i cant think of anyone of them that could be considered a tough competitor

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by luvsports! on Thu May 18, 2017 2:28 pm

I hate my generation. Regressive left, anti freedom of speech, pc police. Bunch of ball washing bastards.

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Re: Tennis - evolutionary endpoint

Post by legendkillar on Thu May 18, 2017 3:18 pm

Oooooh I am liking the Captain Hadley reference LS Winking

I actually sympathise with my generation because they've had an hybrid of nature and nurture that's left them in limbo. Thus making them useless.

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