Topic: US Men versus Women

I saw this interesting article in fivethirtyeight.com about the relative strength of American tennis, comparing the men and the women. Interested in thoughts/reactions.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/u-s … n-u-s-men/

2019 RG Yoda Cup Co-Champion
2016 Yoda Cup Guru
2015 USO Yoda Cup Champion
2014 AO Yoda Cup Champion

Re: US Men versus Women

I started writing a reply. I still haven't come close to finishing it. Maybe by tomorrow I will be able to put all my thoughts together coherently. I think it is a complicated issue.

Re: US Men versus Women

TLS, I agree about it being a complication issue. The part that was most interesting to me was that the US has more people ranked than any other nation. Not sure what to make of that.

2019 RG Yoda Cup Co-Champion
2016 Yoda Cup Guru
2015 USO Yoda Cup Champion
2014 AO Yoda Cup Champion

Re: US Men versus Women

Having the most ranked players doesn't surprise me. Having been part
of the tennis community (albeit not near the highest levels) I can
Say with confidence that the US produces many really good players.

If you ever can, go watch some collegiate tennis players.
Even at the community college level, it is highly competitive.
I know many of these teams are dominated by foreign talent,
But there are many successful Americans at that level too. A
Good collegiate match is very high quality tennis.

Re: US Men versus Women

I have seen a few college matches in my lifetime, and I agree that they are highly competitive. It also makes sense that college produces a lot of players who are ranked, and that a similar collegiate system does not exist to the extent that it exists in the US.

2019 RG Yoda Cup Co-Champion
2016 Yoda Cup Guru
2015 USO Yoda Cup Champion
2014 AO Yoda Cup Champion

Re: US Men versus Women

There are also more families that can afford to send their children off to expensive academies during high school. I played some pretty competitive matches with some of these guys before they went off to the academies, and afterwards I would be lucky to be getting only broken once per set (more often way more). When you are playing tennis or strength/conditioning training for 7-8 hours per day, it is possible to reach higher levels such as the college game. College can springboard some players into the pro rankings but going to college probably ended their hopes of competing for the slams and other major tournaments. Isner is a huge exception to this, but that is primarily due to how he plays the game.

The difference between players such as Donaldson and the best American college players is that Donaldson probably was wiping the floor with these guys at the age of 14-15. These players like Donaldson, Young, Harrison, Fratangelo, and Klahn are exceptional talents. However, they just don't have the same stuff that makes champions like a Murray or Djoko.

Re: US Men versus Women

the_lost_scot wrote:

There are also more families that can afford to send their children off to expensive academies during high school. .

The age of joining an academy is part of the problem. If families are beginning to send there kids to academies during high school as opposed to when they are 10, 11, 12, aren't these kids already behind developmentally? I hear time after time stories of Eastern European/Russian players being shipped to another country away from there families at young (not high school) ages to pursue tennis, and generally speaking they do pretty well. That level of dedication and sacrifice doesn't seem to exist on the same level in the states, and we suffer as a result.

2019 RG Yoda Cup Co-Champion
2016 Yoda Cup Guru
2015 USO Yoda Cup Champion
2014 AO Yoda Cup Champion

Re: US Men versus Women

Yes that is true. I was more or less saying that players leaving during high school to go to the
Academies have the best shot at a college scholarship.

You are correct. High school is too late. I think it
Is more difficult to identify talent in tennis at that ideal young age
Than it is for a sport like soccer. I also think it is difficult for
Families in America to give up on the normal high school education
That leads to a normal college life. Risking your child's normal life in hopes
Of the possibility that he/she can make a career out of tennis is a difficult thing to do
No doubt. There isn't a lot of room in tennis for players
To have lucrative careers when only the top 150 can
Sustain a decent quality of life on tour.