Anyone has an explanation on why the US has trouble developing great tennis players?
On the men’s side, there is 1 in the top 45 (#15). On the women’s side, Serena is #1 but she’s turning 33 next month. No one else in the top 20.
I just missed the McEnroe and Connors era, but I remember seeing Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang. There wasn’t a tournament during a 3 decade stretch where an American didn’t have a legit shot to win it all.
Is it simply the fact that the rest of the world caught up or is there something I’m missing? What sports are the suburban white kids (no offense C vs M) getting into?
The USTA is a dysfunctional organization. They make all is this money from the US Open in New York and then blow it trying to pick the next “Sampras” and the next “Agassi”. If you are a coach and you bring up an up and coming junior tennis player, the USTA will take that player from you and put him/her in their system offering them all this training/coaching/money/incentives. In my opinion they need to funnel all that money to coaches who bring up good players and not put all these tennis players in a centralized system. This is what they do in Europe and that is where all the best tennis players are coming from these days.
So it is because the player development is institutionalized by USTA? So within the organization, it’s not a league that puts somewhat independent players to compete against one another? NBA, for instance, is also somewhat institutionalized. However, maybe the difference is that the teams have different ownership.
it is because suburban white kids are more and more playing soccer and lacrosse. Team sports are emphasized because we dont want lil Jimmy failing all by his lonesome. And super athletic kids are generally playing football or basketball.
Agassi/Courier/Chang all came from American academies in the 80s. You know who is training at those academies now? Europeans and South Americans mostly.
There is a pretty promising crop of players coming up though now that hasnt been seen in a while. Koslov, Tiafoe, Rubin, and Altamarino are names that you could hear in 2-3 years time.
US players are also at a large disadvantage due to the lack of clay courts in the states. It is much easier transition your game from Clay to hard courts than hard to clay. I also think more than probably any other sport, you have to have a mixed set of skills to excel unless your a servebot ala isner/querry
Tennis also takes a tremondous amount of work to get really good(US people are lazy and 1st and foremost tennis is a game that requires proper foot work which is a pain in the azz to perfect) plus mental fornitude due to it being an individual sport. Fed/nadal/joker are statistical freaks of nature
Which country in Europe does tennis come anywhere near the popularity of soccer? It is far behind, making it a minority sport. And I don’t think tennis is very popular in East Asia. I’d be willing to say table tennis and badminton are probably bigger there.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is still a niche, elite sport.