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Good news from the world of tennis, edition #1:

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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:07 am

Again I thought I would pursue a regular series of reports detailing positive news from the world of tennis and the sport that we love. Much has been made of unsubstantiated and opinionated voices demanding sweeping change and claiming that the game is losing fans. What evidence has been presented by these people who religiously follow tennis and weekly claim that tennis is losing in popularity, well not much if any.

Here is are some conflicting reports that seem to contradict these reports:

Tennis Channel is reporting record ratings in this, its sixth year of televising the French Open.

The network’s live match coverage between Sunday, May 27, and Saturday, June 2,averaged a 0.61 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 17 percent from last year standard (0.52).



http://blog.timesunion.com/sportsmedia/tennis-channel-reports-record-ratings-for-french-open/9902/


Tennis continues to deliver TV viewing figures that would be the envy of most sports bar football.
While Wimbledon clearly represents a two-week ‘spike’ it is worth noting that ITV were ecstatic with the audiences brought by its first major foray into tennis at the French Open, with even the lesser-seen ITV4 getting 1.2 million watchers for Andy Murray


http://worldoftennisblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/07/wimbledon-2012-tennis-is-a-ratings-hit-for-bbc-and-itv-.html


So we have very good reports on the ratings coming from America, the UK, and Australia, also for the french open. I know lets completely change course 180 degrees and favor a style of play that has already proven itself completely unmarketable.

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Post by bogbrush Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:58 pm

Groundhog Day.

Sly digs and repetitive articles based on more TV ratings Rolling Eyes

Let the abuse begin.......

PS I though the irony of beginning an article entitled "Edition #1" with "Again...." was unintentionally deliciously ironic. Laugh
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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:43 pm

I am glad you enjoyed it BB I know I did. As many know i do not buy the view that the game is in trouble and losing fans. In fact if the fans have told us anything is that they like the current state of the game. But as usual I must disagree with your characterization of my post as laced with "sly digs".

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Post by bogbrush Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:06 pm

So don't buy the thing nobody's selling.

Congratulations.

What you don't get is that experienced observers of the game on here are forecasting the way will go, based on the dearth of new talent due in no small part to the handing over of the game to WTA style baseliners. We're doing more than just parroting TV ratings numbers. But that's ok, because we've got you to do that Rolling Eyes
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Post by Danny_1982 Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:24 pm

I agree there does seem to be a lack of new talent, but I disagree with the way the game is played being a factor. I love the way the game is played now. I've never enjoyed tennis as much as when the big 4 play each other.

I wouldn't be averse to a couple of the bigger tournaments being a bit quicker for the sake of variety, but for my taste tennis is in great shape at the moment. It might not be in 5 years, but for all we know the next Rafa or Roger is developing in the juniors as we speak.

That's just my opinion though. BB sees things differently and fair enough for that.

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Post by bogbrush Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:44 pm

There's no contradiction in your first para there Danny; it's possible to really enjoy the game, AND it having an adverse effect on the emergence of talent.

Can you imagine John McEnroe coming through today? Not a chance in Hell.
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Post by Danny_1982 Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:25 pm

No, I can't imagine a McEnroe coming through today. It's a different game from that generation, just like every sport is.

I don't see anything to stop the next Roger, Rafa, Novak or Andy coming through though. In fact, in my opinion it's the perfect environment for those types of player.

I know you prefer the tennis if previous generations, and you'd like playing conditions to move back towards that. I like where the game is now personally. I guess the future is pointing towards my style than yours.

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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:26 pm

bogbrush wrote:So don't buy the thing nobody's selling.

Congratulations.

What you don't get is that experienced observers of the game on here are forecasting the way will go, based on the dearth of new talent due in no small part to the handing over of the game to WTA style baseliners. We're doing more than just parroting TV ratings numbers. But that's ok, because we've got you to do that Rolling Eyes

Yes you have me to bring actual facts to your biases and assumptions run wild. Sorry if I don't buy judgement of experienced observers of the game typing out their self serving conclusions online. I like to know what exactly is the evidence that the game is losing in popularity and in deep trouble? From a marketing aspect I see the opposite. There are solid ratings, good attendance, and the brightest tennis stars shine in terms of star power and wealth among the biggest athletes in all of global sport.

Sorry BB, here is where our opinions diverge I like the modern game and need more evidence than your pronoucements and the reading of tea leaves and animal entrails to predict that in 3 years the fans will leave tennis in droves.

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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:31 pm

Danny_1982 wrote:No, I can't imagine a McEnroe coming through today. It's a different game from that generation, just like every sport is.

I don't see anything to stop the next Roger, Rafa, Novak or Andy coming through though. In fact, in my opinion it's the perfect environment for those types of player.

I know you prefer the tennis if previous generations, and you'd like playing conditions to move back towards that. I like where the game is now personally. I guess the future is pointing towards my style than yours.

Yes Danny in all this talk of mens tennis in turmoil or the talk of some future peril what are we who like the current game to do? Accede to the demands of the online critics and drastically change a formula that to all objective measures is working well. Now after a great 5 set battle people come on and talk about how tedious it was and how many average shots per point it took. As if this has ever been a measure of a great tennis match. If you watch a grandslam 5 set war and your first instinct is to do points per shot average to determine if the match is good then frankly you aren't a tennis fan.

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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:35 pm

And this talk about Mcenroe not being able to come up in this era make the mistake of assuming that if Mac played in this era with modern training, equipment, and coaching from his youth that he would play the same way. From his youth he was taught that it was all about getting to the net, if he was born in 1986 and started to play tennis he wouldn't develop into the Mcenroe that we all nostalgically look back on. No reason that incredible lefty serve and that ball striking wouldn't be able to play today. Does he have less talent than Radek Stepanek or David Ferrer? Under this criteria we should change tennis till a guy like rod laver at 5 eight could play the game. Why just stop at mcenroe we need to go back to shoddy grass, little balls, gut strings, and wood racquets. Because ken Rosewall wouldn't be able to win slams today.

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Post by User 774433 Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:54 pm

lol.

There are many good and bad aspects of every generation. Competition at the top wise, this aspect is right up there with the Top 4, but after that not many youngsters coming through, lack in strength of depth etc.
Before in the mid noughties there wasn't much competition at the top, but there were more youngsters coming through, and I think the players ranked #50-#100 were probably better.
So there's positives and negatives of every era, no reason to get OTT either way.

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Post by socal1976 Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:03 pm

IMBL the idea that because the youngsters aren't good right now that in 12 months or 24 months that those youngsters can't make big strides, or that one of them isn't poised at this moment to make a big push. When it clicks it can happen real quick. For example, I feel that for Raonic, he strikes me as being smart and mature, which with the talent he has will be a guy that in my mind is a future slam winner. Also as Danny pointed out, we have no idea of what is waiting down in the juniors and futures either.

Furthermore, the window of tennis success with advances in coaching, training, and medicine is pushing the window back further and further. Agassi was the harbringer of this. So del po at 24, Murray and Djoko at 25 and Nadal at 26 could be around and very good for a very long time in sports years. Murray and Djoko in particular work hard enough and are good enough where there is no reason they shouldn't be able barring unforseen catastrophic injury play at slam level into there late 20s and early 30s.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:11 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:So there's positives and negatives of every era, no reason to get OTT either way.

I'd agree with that.
One of the positives for Wimbledon viewing figures this year was having a lot of evening matches.
"“Inevitably, when play moves into the peak evening, audiences are higher,” said Slater in an interview with Bloomberg'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon/9569338/BBC-chief-wants-more-night-time-Wimbledon-action-after-late-finishes-boost-viewing-figures.html

A British finalist might have helped a bit as well.

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Post by bogbrush Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:11 pm

socal1976 wrote:
bogbrush wrote:So don't buy the thing nobody's selling.

Congratulations.

What you don't get is that experienced observers of the game on here are forecasting the way will go, based on the dearth of new talent due in no small part to the handing over of the game to WTA style baseliners. We're doing more than just parroting TV ratings numbers. But that's ok, because we've got you to do that Rolling Eyes

Yes you have me to bring actual facts to your biases and assumptions run wild. Sorry if I don't buy judgement of experienced observers of the game typing out their self serving conclusions online. I like to know what exactly is the evidence that the game is losing in popularity and in deep trouble? From a marketing aspect I see the opposite. There are solid ratings, good attendance, and the brightest tennis stars shine in terms of star power and wealth among the biggest athletes in all of global sport.

Sorry BB, here is where our opinions diverge I like the modern game and need more evidence than your pronoucements and the reading of tea leaves and animal entrails to predict that in 3 years the fans will leave tennis in droves.
So you can't anticipate the future without information that its already happened?

You see the problem with your approach, don't you?
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Post by bogbrush Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:14 pm

socal1976 wrote: IMBL the idea that because the youngsters aren't good right now that in 12 months or 24 months that those youngsters can't make big strides, or that one of them isn't poised at this moment to make a big push. When it clicks it can happen real quick. For example, I feel that for Raonic, he strikes me as being smart and mature, which with the talent he has will be a guy that in my mind is a future slam winner. Also as Danny pointed out, we have no idea of what is waiting down in the juniors and futures either.

Furthermore, the window of tennis success with advances in coaching, training, and medicine is pushing the window back further and further. Agassi was the harbringer of this. So del po at 24, Murray and Djoko at 25 and Nadal at 26 could be around and very good for a very long time in sports years. Murray and Djoko in particular work hard enough and are good enough where there is no reason they shouldn't be able barring unforseen catastrophic injury play at slam level into there late 20s and early 30s.
So 26 is the new 17? lol

You're missing the point; the fact that the game will not run out of players doesn't negate the dearth of young talent.
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Post by lags72 Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:01 pm

Personally I would question just how many 'top flight' seasons we can expect to see from the likes of Rafa and even Novak. But if young players aren't pushing through to challenge them, will these 'tour veterans' be allowed the luxury of continuing to dominate in their advanced years ...??

Within around 7/8 months from now Rafa and Novak will be 27 & 26 respectively, the sort of age that historically has very much signified the twilight of a tennis career - certainly as far as major wins are concerned. Few players in recent times have enjoyed much Slam success beyond 28. Sure, there are famous exceptions - most notably Connors, Lendl, Sampras, Agassi and Federer ; but in terms of longevity, these guys are few & far between, and the fact remains that overall your chances of winning a Slam aged 25 or under are around three times greater than above it. And once you hit 30 the picture becomes much more pronounced : taking even a pretty wide spread of the 'recent' past, covering as much as thirty years going way back to 1982, only eight of 120 Slams have been taken by players aged 30 or over, or a ratio of just 6% ...... Shocked

Like bb, I'm concerned that so few young players are making consistently serious headway in the current game, and the fact that all recent Slam winners (with the possible exception of Del Potro) are, in truth, 'getting on a bit' - simply highlights this lack of fresh talent. But, as some have pointed out, things might change within the next year or two. For the good of the sport, here's hoping that's what happens.

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