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Is men’s or women’s tennis in better health?

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Is men’s or women’s tennis in better health? Empty Is men’s or women’s tennis in better health?

Post by luvsports! on Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:07 pm


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Post by legendkillar on Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:30 pm

Apologies I can't bring myself to read it!

Both games are in the same boat. The Federer/Nadal/Djokovic shadow that engulfs the ATP Tour is the same one that the Williams shadow engulfs the WTA.

Change is necessary for the survival of both tours.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:44 pm

Both tours are fine. Slams keep bombarding us with ever breaking attendance records.
And yes, tennis will continue to live after Serena, Federer, Nadal, Nole...
Why wouldn't it?

Every generation have their own standards.

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Post by luvsports! on Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:51 pm

legendkillar wrote:Apologies I can't bring myself to read it!

Both games are in the same boat. The Federer/Nadal/Djokovic shadow that engulfs the ATP Tour is the same one that the Williams shadow engulfs the WTA.

Change is necessary for the survival of both tours.

Why not?

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Post by Daniel2 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:17 pm

Men's.  Women's is never in health.  It is forced to ride on the coat tails of the Men's  - and they all know it.  If you had 2 completely separate events, the women's would be empty.

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Post by barrystar on Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:53 am

This was interesting:

At the end of 2017, the average age of the men’s top 100 was 28.26. The women’s was 25.8.

It's difficult to argue with the conclusion that it depends which way you look at it too.

Personally, I'd say that a tour in premium health would be one where there are a handful of players on plus or minus half a dozen slams, some on the up and some on the down with top players being beatable, but only with a struggle, and a victory over a top player tending to be a portent of things to come - maybe one person being primus inter pares.  The men's game during the 1980's-early 1990's was in just such a position.  We have supposedly had a 'golden age' in men's tennis - again it's a personal view, but for me the most obviously golden bit has been watching a once in a lifetime genius like Federer plying his trade.  It has been interesting (nail-biting even) watching him compete for records with Djoko & Nadal but I have not enjoyed the mechanics of their tennis, although I accept that there has been drama - the 2018 Wimbledon SF was a very fine match.  There are two downsides, one present one longer-term.  The present downside has been watching a huge echelon of cannon fodder scrapping about waiting to be dispatched by the big guns - you have to be a real enthusiast to invest in players outside the very top like Nishikori or Berdych when you know that you'll be disappointed when the crunch comes - Cilic and del Potro less so, but even they have fed mostly on scraps.  Murray and Wawrinka have been very worthy gap-bridgers, but still behind.  The longer-term downside is that any sport which has gotten used to selling a star system with consistently tumbling records needs to make sure that they have not overlooked their other selling points when the record-breakers shuffle off.  That also affects the WTA with Serena Williams - and their eggs are more firmly in one basket.  WTA tournaments cease to be 'events' once Serena is knocked out.

From my personal perspective women's tennis is in a bigger hole - Serena Williams has come and gone over the last 20 years and not exactly supported the tour - she has only twice played as many as 16 tournaments in one season, but with the exception of Henin briefly, she has had the consistent beating of everyone else.  The fact that the rest are all able to beat each other and nobody steps up is, in my view, a sign of weakness of the spectacle, even if it can be argued to be evidence of strength in depth (which I doubt).  I find the inconsistency of multi-slam winners like Muguruza & Kerber & Kvitova (before her horrible incident) exasperating, not to mention so-called #1's who can't win a slam, or who are one-slam wonders.  Azarenka is a bit like Kvitova with her custody issues - and maybe life's a bit tougher for the women when you see that Stan rode through his marital mess.  Another thing more present in the women's game than the men's may be the 'hotness' or SI Swimsuit issue - there is big money to be made from being very good-looking, which the WTA does not shy away from selling; Kournikova, Ivanovic and Sharapova have shown the potential for off-court earnings to dwarf on-court doings, and nearly all the leading ladies are persuaded to pose for titillating photo-shoots.  I find that understandable, if not necessarily very wise or edifying (and it may say more about men than women), but it is possibly a distraction (I think of Bouchard in particular, and also players like Vaidisova).  Ultimately, I don't know, but it's only Sharapova who has really sold on looks and excelled on court - and I find her a most unattractive personality.

In the end it's a bit like the difference between watching a motorcycle race, when they are overtaking each other all the time (although Williams doesn't fit brilliantly into that analogy), or F1 when we know that the winner will be one of two or three drivers before it starts.  I don't like either set up - I prefer the structure of competition that existed in the men's game in the 1980's-1990's.  But that's a personal view, the question, 'good health' demands a more objective and evidence based answer and I think it's probably the ATP in better health right now because both tours sell excessively on the backs of their all-timer stars and the WTA has only one compared to the ATP's three.  However, unless somebody with a bit of on and off-court charisma steps up in the ATP (looking at you Tsitsipas right now), the WTA has a chance of getting close to the ATP in future years, and for a potential 'star' look no further than Osaka.


Last edited by barrystar on Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:21 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrections and further thoughts.)

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Post by bogbrush on Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:53 pm

I think despite not enjoying wome'ns tennis generally, the women's game is in better shape simply because there's change. It's obviously evolving. The mens is stagnant.

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Post by luvsports! on Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:20 pm

Excellent post, Barrystar!

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Post by Jahu on Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:47 pm

Honestly 2018 and this AO woman's tour is not bad, quite some unheard names moving through rounds, some non-Serena winners for GS, some younger age players pushing deep into GS.

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Post by bogbrush on Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:50 pm

luvsports! wrote:Excellent post, Barrystar!
I second that!  Applause

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Post by Jahu on Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:19 pm

Oh yes, well done to Barry for the write-up, maybe LS should outsource some articles to Barry and split the millions of $  Laugh Laugh

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Post by legendkillar on Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:38 pm

luvsports! wrote:
legendkillar wrote:Apologies I can't bring myself to read it!

Both games are in the same boat. The Federer/Nadal/Djokovic shadow that engulfs the ATP Tour is the same one that the Williams shadow engulfs the WTA.

Change is necessary for the survival of both tours.

Why not?

Not being disingenuous LS, similarly with the GOAT, this subject has been done to death a bit. 

In terms of health. Don't think the game has been awash with money and commercial opportunities as it has now. More TV rights, bigger sponsorship deals, more prize money and more tournaments. So from a player perspective, plenty of hay to be made. 

I'll try not to take any gloss off Barry's post or re-repeat.

For me, the biggest selling point of tennis is rivalries. Like any other sport really, it relies on it. Now the tour struck gold with Nadal and Federer, however that rivalry reached maturity by 2009 when it seemed Nadal had the measure of Federer and it seemed non-competitive. It's status beyond that was more about them being the biggest winners in the sport rather than it being a rivalry because of intricate differences. Now nearly 10 years on it's taken a new dimension and became interesting and competitive again purely because of Federer's 2017. It feels like an age and has been an age really. You go back to the 80's and rivalries were more brief and certainly felt short. However there is something in it that the shortness of those rivalries left many wanting more and asking what if. Now, I think people are willing this era over with. Healthy competition brings out the best quality of the field. Tennis on both tour is lacking that. 

I am not saying I haven't been thrilled and blown away by Federer's tennis, but it feels as if he has had the full career and for me should've moved on last year. There used to a natural succession in the mens game whereby the top players would gradually fade out by 32 or even younger. The 70's/early 80's brood seen out by racquet and ball technology and 5 set matches aplenty. The mid 80's brood seen off in similar fashion and then the 90's brigade seen off by changing court conditions, tech and enhancements in nutrition and science. So we are in a position whereby the game has caught up with itself and hit it's peak. An observation Tenez made whereby for is the edge for the 00/10's upcomers? There isn't. So the status quo is nicely preserved. I fear the game will go the way of Heavyweight Boxing. The big names go and it will be years and years of punchdrunkers winning the odd slam/s. No level of sustained brilliance.  

The WTA is crying out for a Henin. Which shows how under-appreciated she was by the tennis world because dwarfed by the shadow of the Williams Sisters. Now the WTA are trotting out the "working mother" in Serena which I have to say is painful and unpleasant viewing. Now Sharapova posed a challenge to that throne on all fronts on and off the court and she's shown herself to be every bit as unpleasant as the Williams. Now the Williams didn't play dare I say brilliant brand of tennis. It was brute force and will and pure power. Similarly with the mens game whereby they've had to push themselves to high levels of fitness and conditioning to compete. The anomaly is Federer as he offers a brand tennis that doesn't resemble anything else in the sport. One of the major things that for me is a turn off on the WTA is seeing women battle their emotions and pressure and unable to keep a rally going. It's mostly they lose the match than someone goes out and wins it. Soul destroying. 

Whilst now is the best time to be a professional player, it's probably not that best time to be a fan Sad

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Post by bogbrush on Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:41 pm

I’m hopeful that Osaka won’t be a fluke, she seems to have guts and a game she can improve.

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