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Tennis

Page 134 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
robow7 said:
Maria is a cash cow to the WTA and because of the miserable state of the current women's play, with few owning any star power available to sell their product, they need her back in the game asap and weren't ready for her to retire.

I am pretty sure that the WTA has a fairly stable (and not massive) audience number, regardless of Sharapova's participation. Some of the best players will always be stars in the eyes of fans; for me personally I don't see a recent reduction in the standard or entertainment of play. It's mostly based on power, but has been ever since Graf really. Hingis broke that down briefly, and perhaps Henin, but we still have Radwanska today for example who is very prominent.

Re Sharapova and star power: Unless you are talking about a Kournikova type of factor, but in reality there are always going to be a number of players on the tour with sex appeal.

This isn't like Jordan in basketball or Armstrong in cycling (both increased the popularity of their sports significantly worldwide). I doubt that many have become - or would become - permanent fans of women's tennis due to Maria Sharapova.
 
What I takeout of the last few pages, is it you have a smaller physique and less power than your compatriots, that means you must be a clean athlete - I find this to be a staggering admission - Tennis players will dope whether they are short or tall, black white or pink, have curly hair or short hair.
 
gregrowlerson said:
robow7 said:
Maria is a cash cow to the WTA and because of the miserable state of the current women's play, with few owning any star power available to sell their product, they need her back in the game asap and weren't ready for her to retire.

I am pretty sure that the WTA has a fairly stable (and not massive) audience number, regardless of Sharapova's participation. Some of the best players will always be stars in the eyes of fans; for me personally I don't see a recent reduction in the standard or entertainment of play. It's mostly based on power, but has been ever since Graf really. Hingis broke that down briefly, and perhaps Henin, but we still have Radwanska today for example who is very prominent.

Re Sharapova and star power: Unless you are talking about a Kournikova type of factor, but in reality there are always going to be a number of players on the tour with sex appeal.

This isn't like Jordan in basketball or Armstrong in cycling (both increased the popularity of their sports significantly worldwide). I doubt that many have become - or would become - permanent fans of women's tennis due to Maria Sharapova.
WTA has become a big joke to a lot of the possible audience due to all the screaming. That's a bigger problem than the competition, dope, or star power of it's individual stars I think.

And yes, variety on the WTA tour is hard to find. I think speeding up the courts would help both the WTA and ATP in that regard.
 
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from the ski thread, Marit Bjoergen making Serena look average

978x.jpg

marit-bjoergen-pokazala-wielki-biceps.jpg
 
How sure are we that they just didn't photoshop Nadal's left arm from 2007 on her? Anyway, a skiers having bigger arms than tennis players is not surprising it all. A bunch of variables determine how hard you can hit a ball, and muscle mass isn't one of them and only slows you down. Unless you're swinging a 2kg racket.
 
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Red Rick said:
How sure are we that they just didn't photoshop Nadal's left arm from 2007 on her?
this should settle that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr1jB8KyUUM

Anyway, a skiers having bigger arms than tennis players is not surprising it all. A bunch of variables determine how hard you can hit a ball, and muscle mass isn't one of them and only slows you down. Unless you're swinging a 2kg racket.
fair point.

all photos to be evaluated (semi-) tongue-in-cheeck of course :)
 
I just read that when Wawrinka won the US title last year, he was the oldest males singles winner since before Aggasi and Samprass were even born (1970). Which I thought was an error for sure because I remember when Pete won it in 2002 he was old and a shadow of his former self and used every last ounce of energy he had to get to the final and never played another game.
But I looked it up and yes, Wawrinka now is older than Samprass was then. And yet he destroyed Roidkovic in that final, physically. Crazy how a sport for teenagers and mid 20 year olds magically turned into a game for people in their late 20's and early 30's over the last few years.

I wonder what the average age of a GT winner in our thing has been this decade, and the average age of a GS winner too.
 
The Hitch said:
I just read that when Wawrinka won the US title last year, he was the oldest males singles winner since before Aggasi and Samprass were even born (1970). Which I thought was an error for sure because I remember when Pete won it in 2002 he was old and a shadow of his former self and used every last ounce of energy he had to get to the final and never played another game.
But I looked it up and yes, Wawrinka now is older than Samprass was then. And yet he destroyed Roidkovic in that final, physically. Crazy how a sport for teenagers and mid 20 year olds magically turned into a game for people in their late 20's and early 30's over the last few years.

I wonder what the average age of a GT winner in our thing has been this decade, and the average age of a GS winner too.
I partially agree.

On the other hand, both are past their absolute peak. Djokovic's draw was a combination of cake, injured people, and a clown. Wawrinka hadn't beaten a top 10 player before the USO in 2016, and ended the year with only 3 wins against fellow top 10 players. Their match was noticibly worse than their previous slam matches from Aussie Open 2013 onwards.

The generation after Djokovic/Murray has been noticibly weaker. Delpo is one year younger, and often injured, Cilic is one year younger, and fluked a slam. There's been a huge of some 5 years where the best players of that generation don't have the physical talent, technical talent, or mental fortitude to win slams. This has allowed the Big 4 to reign supreme until well after they started declining.

Players acknowledge that tennis needs better anti-doping. Fed's called out for more OOC tests, Murray has called out for better testing. But whatever. Tennis has a few problems other than doping.

That said, I'm pretty sure the ATP is a juicefest. Doping is definitely amongst the factors that players are playing for longer. And let's be honest. The big 4 are wayyyyy too big of a cashcow to let a positive get out. The ATP is very desperate to hype the #nextgen, as they probably know tennis will take a hit when Federer retires. Fed got like half a million viewers when livestreaming a training session, and more than 6000 people went to watch him practice in a stadium in Perth just before the Hopman Cup. Federer is way past his best, but the hype isn't.

Another factor in this is that with the game getting more physically demanding, American mens tennis has fallen off a cliff, as 90+% of athletic prodigies go play a sport that pays millions when you're like the 200th best.

Also, tennis fans are probably way more delusional about tennis being clean than cycling fans are about cycling. Tennis is a bigger moneymaker than cycling, and it would take a bigger hit
 
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King Boonen said:
Tennis season underway. Evans... What's the general feeling?

I didn't watch the match, however Evans, certainly in the British press has been thought of as a huge waste of talent. I believe he's been around the top 100 for a decent amount of time now. Beating Cilic and Thiem is no reason to sound alarms just yet, lets see how far he gets.
 
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Remmie123 said:
King Boonen said:
Tennis season underway. Evans... What's the general feeling?

I didn't watch the match, however Evans, certainly in the British press has been thought of as a huge waste of talent. I believe he's been around the top 100 for a decent amount of time now. Beating Cilic and Thiem is no reason to sound alarms just yet, lets see how far he gets.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/daniel-evans/e687/rankings-history

Seems to have made steady progress but that's two big scalps (his first two as well). Hardcourt favours guys like Cilic doesn't it?
 
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King Boonen said:
Remmie123 said:
King Boonen said:
Tennis season underway. Evans... What's the general feeling?

I didn't watch the match, however Evans, certainly in the British press has been thought of as a huge waste of talent. I believe he's been around the top 100 for a decent amount of time now. Beating Cilic and Thiem is no reason to sound alarms just yet, lets see how far he gets.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/daniel-evans/e687/rankings-history

Seems to have made steady progress but that's two big scalps (his first two as well). Hardcourt favours guys like Cilic doesn't it?

Agree on all comments. Cilic's only slam came at the US open. I just don't think his first two big wins coming this close together are too much of a red flag.

Also, Im not sure what the stats are on this, however I feel like a lot of the top guys tend to struggle in the opening few rounds, Nadal is the one I always mention when talking about this, and wonder if the top, big hitting guys gear their program towards the second week, assuming they should win the early rounds. I could very well be just remembering shock losses more than the easy wins however.

The brit that should be sounding all alram bells is Joanna Konta, now 9th in the world. What an improvement.
 
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King Boonen said:
I really don't know enough about tennis to get too involved. Konta again seems to be on a fairly steady progression but I have no idea about strength in depth etc. in mens' or womens' tennis to know if this is expected, strange, not representative etc:

http://www.wtatennis.com/players/player/13120/title/johanna-konta

The story with Konta is she was always talented but was previously a basket case when the pressure went on. She found a sports psychologist who sorted the mental stuff out and hey presto.

Now we know that there are drugs out there that help with this sort of thing as well so...

Evans, if I was to take a wild baseless swing at it, I might suggest that it could be less drugs of the recreational type that have helped out. The wasted talent, not committed story line was played pretty strongly before.

Of course they're top tennis players so they were probably on something already and they've either perfected it or the change is non PED related.
 
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The UK doesn't have a great tennis history in the post-Fred Perry and post-Virginia Wade era.

I'd say it's slightly 'suspect' to see two UK talents emerge like this, with Murray already being nr1, but people will put it down to Andy Murray's popularity giving UK tennis an injection, and there's probably some truth in that. Anyway, it's a bit of a golden era for British tennis.

The Belgian situation in the early 00s was slightly more suspect when Henin and Clijsters emerged simultaneously at the very top of women's tennis. People speculated about a silent ban for Henin when she retired in 07 being nr1 in the world. Tried a comeback 18 months later but failed.
 
Re:

sniper said:
The UK doesn't have a great tennis history in the post-Fred Perry and post-Virginia Wade era.

I'd say it's slightly 'suspect' to see two UK talents emerge like this, with Murray already being nr1, but people will put it down to Andy Murray's popularity giving UK tennis an injection, and there's probably some truth in that. Anyway, it's a bit of a golden era for British tennis.

The Belgian situation in the early 00s was slightly more suspect when Henin and Clijsters emerged simultaneously at the very top of women's tennis. People speculated about a silent ban for Henin when she retired in 07 being nr1 in the world. Tried a comeback 18 months later but failed.

Not for these two. Konta, An Aussie born, naturalised Brit who started playing there then her parents move to England when she was 14 and attending a tennis academy in Spain, is unlikely to count Murray among her heroes. Evans is only 3 years younger than Murray. He may look up to him but he was set on playing tennis before Murray came onto the scene in any significant way.
 
Re:

sniper said:
The UK doesn't have a great tennis history in the post-Fred Perry and post-Virginia Wade era.

I'd say it's slightly 'suspect' to see two UK talents emerge like this, with Murray already being nr1, but people will put it down to Andy Murray's popularity giving UK tennis an injection, and there's probably some truth in that. Anyway, it's a bit of a golden era for British tennis.

The Belgian situation in the early 00s was slightly more suspect when Henin and Clijsters emerged simultaneously at the very top of women's tennis. People speculated about a silent ban for Henin when she retired in 07 being nr1 in the world. Tried a comeback 18 months later but failed.

Britain's had two top male tennis players in 80 years - This is hardly suspicious.
 
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King Boonen said:
sniper said:
The UK doesn't have a great tennis history in the post-Fred Perry and post-Virginia Wade era.

I'd say it's slightly 'suspect' to see two UK talents emerge like this, with Murray already being nr1, but people will put it down to Andy Murray's popularity giving UK tennis an injection, and there's probably some truth in that. Anyway, it's a bit of a golden era for British tennis.

The Belgian situation in the early 00s was slightly more suspect when Henin and Clijsters emerged simultaneously at the very top of women's tennis. People speculated about a silent ban for Henin when she retired in 07 being nr1 in the world. Tried a comeback 18 months later but failed.

Not for these two. Konta, An Aussie born, naturalised Brit who started playing there then her parents move to England when she was 14 and attending a tennis academy in Spain, is unlikely to count Murray among her heroes. Evans is only 3 years younger than Murray. He may look up to him but he was set on playing tennis before Murray came onto the scene in any significant way.
fair points.

(which reminds me of canadian Rusedski, turned English, then got caught for nandrolone but was later cleared. A very nice guy by the way.)

I remember seeing the Spanish gravel armada in the 90s turning into an all-court armada in the early 00s.
I thought it was all normal and thought it was down to tennis being more popular in Spain than in other countries.
Ignorance is bliss.

Once we see the British gain the depth and strength of the Spanish armada from the 90s/00s, then it's really time to raise the alarm.
 
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red_flanders said:
sniper said:
from the ski thread, Marit Bjoergen making Serena look average

978x.jpg

marit-bjoergen-pokazala-wielki-biceps.jpg

Good heavens. Cleans.


And ironically the woman on the left (Therese Johaug) is on a temporary ban while an ongoing investigation takes place regarding her use of a banned anabolic steroid that she tested positive for while on a high altitude camp in Italy this past Fall. She, the Norwegian ski team and their team doctor (one that will most likely take the ultimate fall and one that has almost 40 years of experience) have claimed it was for a lip burn

Anyway, to make the story short and not to go off topic, it's pretty ironic that the woman on the left is the one busted and some are calling a four year ban while the woman on the right, is skiing away, scot free. If you want more detail, just google Norwegian Ski Team Asthma Use or even better, head on over to 'doping in xc skiing' in the forum here.
 
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T_S_A_R said:
Super skinny Djokovic beaten by a wild card entrant.

9 double faults and 72 unforced errors from Novak. Something went wrong.

Edit: Also interestingly, stats claim he covered less distance than Istoman. Never seen this stat before but im definitely going to keep an eye on it from now on. Currently have no context as to whether 4km over 5 sets is a lot or not.

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/stats/1232ms.html
 
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I think Djokovic's diet is causing him problems. He seems to have went quite close to veganism.

I was shocked by how thin his face, arms and legs were when i saw him versus Murray in Doha. He doesn't look unhealthy like Froome but he doesn't look cut out for the rigours of Grand Slam tennis.