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What's happened to American tennis?

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  • What's happened to American tennis?

    Guessing we haven't had an American win a major since Sampras. Haven't checked on this, but I'm guessing. Maybe Roddick won one. But there are not a lot of top Americans on the tour.

    And look at college tennis. It is dominated by non-Americans. Vols got a commit from a top German player. http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/jun ... r-germany/ We had only one American among our top six. The same is true for all the top programs.

    I wonder if the reason for the lack of top US tennis players isn't the same reason we don't have a lot of top distance runners. Maybe our guys in both sports are guys who just don't have the fire in them. There has to be some reason. We are the richest country in the world with a population of 300 million.

  • #2
    Here's one hypothesis: Tennis is a rich kid's sport, and rich American kids play video games now instead of running around sweating and developing endurance and gross physical skills.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jhc68
      Here's one hypothesis: Tennis is a rich kid's sport, and rich American kids play video games now instead of running around sweating and developing endurance and gross physical skills.
      j, I wonder if tennis is a rich kid's sport in Europe? If it is, why are they still kicking our butts?

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      • #4
        Re: What's happened to American tennis?

        Originally posted by BillVol
        I wonder if the reason for the lack of top US tennis players isn't the same reason we don't have a lot of top distance runners. Maybe our guys in both sports are guys who just don't have the fire in them.
        No, the situation is very different. There are very few top tennis players from third world countries.
        Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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        • #5
          Why do you want to play tennis when you can shoot baskets in a driveway?

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          • #6
            It is a couple things. The image is poor. When my son was in 8th grade he told his soccer coach and kids that after practice he was going to go play tennis - the kids laughed and the coach replied, "ok go play that pansy sport".

            Later my son wanted to try tennis in high school. But, only having played recrationally with me, he would have needed private lessons at $50 a pop to try to get some good technique...I'm not paying $50 for private lessons.

            So, he played soccer and ran track. He is 6'3" very athletic (varsity track as a 9th grader etc.) and loves watching and playing tennis but it wasn't a serious option for him.

            In southern Cal. tennis is dominated by upper class neighborhood schools.

            It has a bad image in this country and is a rich man's sport.

            We don't have a solid talent id process and training is simply too expensive for most families. And to be really good, early training on proper technique is absolutely required.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cyril
              In southern Cal. tennis is dominated by upper class neighborhood schools.

              It has a bad image in this country and is a rich man's sport.
              What about golf because I think that sport is more for a rich man than tennis.

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              • #8
                Strange thing. When I was young and poor and working I had time and could afford to play golf.
                Now that I am old, much more affluent and kinda retired, I can't seem to find the time and my depression era mentality is not willing to pay the current cost of golfing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tlb747
                  Originally posted by Cyril
                  In southern Cal. tennis is dominated by upper class neighborhood schools.

                  It has a bad image in this country and is a rich man's sport.
                  What about golf because I think that sport is more for a rich man than tennis.
                  Definitely! There are many places to play tennis for free but one needs to pay in order to play golf.

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                  • #10
                    Of course golf is more of a rich man's sport than tennis.

                    At least you can play tennis for fun without having to pay a dime. Not so with golf.

                    My son and I do continue to play tennis recreationally but the question was to do about why Americans aren't really good at it. any more...the reason is the cost of pro instruction.

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