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View Full Version : Do players have less respect for their opponents than they did 25 years ago?


Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:50 AM
My apologies to you life-newbies. This is obviously a question youcan't answer. With luck, one day you'll be as old as I am now.

Tennis certainly isn't a sport of universal respect and never has been. Their were some Davis Cup matches in the 60's that would have made soccer hooligans proud. But there was an expectation of mutual respect, and an expectation that that mutual respect would be demonstrated through fair play. Trying to cheat, or take advantage by a well-timed bathroom break, was considered DEMEANING. Faking an injury to break your opponent's rythym caused the spectators to lose respect for YOU. You didn't cheat because only a low class individual could cheat and not lose respect for themselves.

The athletic quality of the sport is higher than it ever has been, and many players are very bit as honorable as any from the 60's or 40's or 20's. But, to use a recent example, refusing to shake your opponents hand at net is an indication that you consider them a dishonorable opponent, unworthy of respect. Unless they shot your dog, you just don't DO that in tennis. Same thing with tanking matches. Respect for the sport makes demands.

At Indian Wells in 2001, Serena addressed the crowd with respect after she won, despite how they'd treated her. Martina Navratilova was called everything from 'gorilla' to 'half-man' in the 80's, and never demonstrated anything other than class. Watching Agassi grow from a big mouth, selfish, disrespectful wannabe to a true ambassdor for the game has been one of the great pleasure of the modern game. Seeing Sampras remain a whining churlish punk was one of the great disappointments.

Nowadays, players rub out ball marks, quick serve opponents and throw temper tantrums just to get an opponent off-stride. So what does that make tennis except just like every other sport? In two years, they'll be trash-talking during the changeovers.

It seems to me we've lost something. Once upon a time, tennis WASN'T like every other sport.

1Williams
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:53 AM
It's da money. Things changed when everyone got paid for tennis. It's
not a game anymore- it's a career. The rules should've also changed; to
meet the new demands of it's being a professional sport. No one is being
rude, the rules are outdated.

GoDominique
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:56 AM
I don't think Serena and Andre are great examples for respectful behaviour.

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:57 AM
nope
we just hear about more shit these days. no one would have cared if 2 players outside the top 10 had been playing mental games in a match against each other 20 years ago (patty and conchi). as far as i've known, rubbing out ball marks IS respect, it says 'yep that one was in' and it makes it easier to call the lines in the next series of points...

i think there are more injuries now and some players use them strategically, so there's a point there... but havent players always had the bathroom breaks and stuff like that.

maybe it's competitive now in a bigger way and it appears that there's less respect to go around, but i just don't buy into that. tennis really seems to be a sport where sometimes the "cold" succeed, and that's not necessarlity through lack of respect it's just being more focused on yourself than ever before and the game has benefitted greatly from that, IMO.

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:57 AM
I don't think Serena and Andre are great examples for respectful behaviour.
me either, but to each their own...

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:59 AM
I won't comment about Serena, but I agree with you about Agassi. Starting from the comment he made at Hamburg referring to Seles stabbing, he didn't sound to me like a "true ambassdor for the game".
really, what did he say-- i've never known this and would be really interested. if it's short, could you just post it here, if not, i like pm's... thanks!

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 01:59 AM
It's da money. Things changed when everyone got paid for tennis. It's
not a game anymore- it's a career. The rules should've also changed; to
meet the new demands of it's being a professional sport. No one is being
rude, the rules are outdated.Yes, but can you imagine Monica rubbing out a ball mark? Or Kim Clijsters throwing a temper tantrum? Or Venus repeatedly stepping back for the service line just as her opponent was about to serve?

People ARE being rude. They aren't CHEATING, for the most part, because they are acting within the letter of the law. But it's like half the tour has no idea what 'sportsmanship' is.

I don't think Serena and Andre are great examples for respectful behaviour.
You're entitled to your opinion. I think they've both showed immature bahaviour early, and both matured into good representatives for the sport. The tournament directors are certainly fond enoughof their presence.

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:01 AM
as far as i've known, rubbing out ball marks IS respect, it says 'yep that one was in' and it makes it easier to call the lines in the next series of points...
Actually I meant when their was a dispute, but you're right, that was an imperfect example. I've seen players rub them out the moment the chair umpire refused to over-rule a call, and the opponent was still arguing.

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:03 AM
Actually I meant when their was a dispute, but you're right, that was an imperfect example. I've seen player rub them out the moment the chair umpire refused to over-rule a call, and the opponent was still arguing.
o, lol, well that IS completely different. thanks for clearing it up.
and no, i cannot imagine monica doing THAT, i was about to respond-- "i think i HAVE seen monica do that before..." but now definitely not

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:05 AM
I won't comment about Serena, but I agree with you about Agassi. Starting from the comment he made at Hamburg referring to Seles stabbing, he didn't sound to me like a "true ambassdor for the game".
I have no idea what you're talking about. However, this is the same guy who refused to play Wimbledon, saying he was 'allergic to grass'. The guy who, after a win, referred to himslef as 'happier than a ****** in a submarine'. He WAS a punk. In the last coule years though, it's like he finally got the idea that what he did for a living was a privilege, and that he owed more than an honest effort and picking up the paycheck at the end of the day.

I don't have any idea about any remarks about Monica's stabbing, but if he made them in 1992, I'm prepared to believe he's grown some in the ensuing 12 years.

calabar
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:06 AM
I can't say for sure whether it's a lack of respect. I do believe however, that with the burgeoning media lead by the internet no less, information travels faster, is analysed in greater detail and what is an issue today may very well have been an issue 25 years ago, it's just that the level of scrunity was different. I also think the lure of money (nothing wrong with that btw) affect the competitiveness by untold margins.

All things considered, I see nothing wrong with amending rules as a sport evolves. Mores and values and behavoral principles should be as dynamic as life itself.

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:07 AM
wow, we could really dig deep in te agassi quote section...
but i think he is so fake now and it bothers me...
i don't really think hes changed as a person. he's just changed for everyone else so that he can be more successful.
example-- i bet he's still a homphobe (used that to apply to your quote)

GoDominique
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:11 AM
Well, Andre still tries to shoot the umpire from time to time ...

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:12 AM
i bet he's still a homphobe (used that to apply to your quote)Maybe he is. I certainly don't know. But not using a highly public forum to express that is a distinct improvement. And people DO mature. I would hate for my measure to be some of the stupid things I said 25 years ago. I like to think I've grown since then.

faboozadoo15
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:16 AM
yea, people do mature, perhaps hes one of them... you're right...

and yea, that quote's not as bad as i thought it was going to be... thought it was going to be something anti monica or something joking about it or something. it's hard to get past the stigma of a city where that went down (the stabbing) and where nothing was done about it. if i was a tennis player, i wouldn't play there. nothing against germans or anything, but it was just terrible and i wouldn't want to be there.

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:17 AM
What happened is that he was booed at Hamburg and he told a spectator something like "What are you gonna do, stab me in the back?". He got fined by the ATP.

It's not that bad, it was just an example, but I never felt he was an true embassador from the game.When was that? Does being a tennis player mean you can't grow into a better, more thoughtful individual? He's not Mr. Image-is-Everything anymore. When they were young, I was much more of a Sampras fan. But now all I can think of when I hear 'Sampras' is him whining about people not considering him better than Rod Laver. Agassi, somewhere along the line, got a clue.

GoDominique
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:24 AM
Was that the Las Vegas challenger 1997 where he lost to Christian Vinck? :o

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:29 AM
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug 16, 1996 - 12:17 EST) - Olympic gold medalist Andre
Agassi, who was defaulted from the $1 million RCA Championships tournament
Wednesday after a ball abuse incident and cursing at the umpire, was handed
a $6,000 fine Thursday.

He was, no doubt about it, an ass. But the point is his behaviour has improved drastically.

Martian Willow
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:30 AM
...I don't see what respect for your opponents has to do with being 'an ambassador for your sport'... :)

ptkten
Apr 28th, 2004, 02:55 AM
It's all up to opinion. I find Sampras to be a lot more respectful than Agassi, others may disagree.

Jane
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:02 AM
Yes; but tennis is only a reflection of the general decline in civility and ethics in the society in general over the last 25-30 years.

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:08 AM
Yes; but tennis is only a reflection of the general decline in civility and ethics in the society in general over the last 25-30 years.
Well, if you're limiting it to the USA, I certainly agree with that. But is that true of the rest of the world?

Martian Willow
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:15 AM
Well, if you're limiting it to the USA, I certainly agree with that. But is that true of the rest of the world?

...of course...once people get to your age they always think there's been a decline in civility and ethics over the preceding 25-30 years...it's a universal phenomena, not just an American one... :)

Volcana
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:31 AM
...of course...once people get to your age they always think there's been a decline in civility and ethics over the preceding 25-30 years...it's a universal phenomena, not just an American one... :)When those middle-aged bones beging to creak..... :)

Actually though, I just read what I wrote, and i completely disagree with myself. The USA is a hell of a lot nicer and MORE civil than it was 30 years ag0. Thirty years ago, we were just coming to the ned of the 'rebellions'. The really big burning of the cities was just over, but people were still throwing rocks at busses full of scholl-children because they didn't like their color. As the first Black family in a white New York neighborhood, we were greeted with rocks through the windows and having the mailbox blown up.

Measured against that, we've become warm and fuzzy, through and through.

Guess with age, your memory really DOES start playing trick on you, huh?:)

Black Mamba.
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:46 AM
Whoever said it's about money is right. With so much money on the line in professional sports, not to mention endorsements some players will try to win at all cost, even if that includes using a little gamesmanship.

bobcat
Apr 28th, 2004, 04:18 AM
No. They were worse in the 70's when you had jerks like Connors, McEnroe, and Nastase.

Seenus
Apr 28th, 2004, 05:25 AM
Yes; but tennis is only a reflection of the general decline in civility and ethics in the society in general over the last 25-30 years.
People are increasingly powerless. Government and institutions are increasingly unresponsive. Only in interaction with each other can people assert themselves.

irma
Apr 28th, 2004, 05:47 AM
Well, if you're limiting it to the USA, I certainly agree with that. But is that true of the rest of the world?
a man here has to pay 4000 euro's because he (by accident, he claims) shoot a thief who broke into his house. The thief has to suffer now and the judge named the man responsable for that so now he is convincted and the thief is free to go and break in any house he wants :o

That's how low the civil rights went in this country :o

BigTennisFan
Apr 28th, 2004, 06:23 AM
Maybe he is. I certainly don't know. But not using a highly public forum to express that is a distinct improvement. And people DO mature. I would hate for my measure to be some of the stupid things I said 25 years ago. I like to think I've grown since then.
Hear, hear. Only the young believe that it's not possible to mature. But then again, wisdom never dances with youth.;)

BigTennisFan
Apr 28th, 2004, 06:28 AM
People are increasingly powerless. Government and institutions are increasingly unresponsive. Only in interaction with each other can people assert themselves.
When did people in the past have more power than they do now?:confused:

Jakeev
Apr 28th, 2004, 10:35 AM
I don't think certain players respected each other 20-25 years ago anymore than today. The same junk we see now happened back then.

Perhaps not bathroom breaks or injury time outs, but players had other ways and means.

Hard to believe nobody has mentioned John McEnroe or Jimmy Conners as of yet. We already know about their antics on court. Eddie Dibbs had a temper on him too. Ilie Nastasse, he was classic for his antics.

And the women had their problems too. I consider Pam Shriver and Andrea Jaeger to be THE original tennis brats. Hana Mandlikova had her moments. So did Kathy Jordon, Sylvia Hanika and Bettina Bunge.

Believe me it wasn't all peaches and cream 20-25 years ago.

Seenus
Apr 28th, 2004, 11:08 AM
labour unions were more powerful, votes mattered and people could influence the decisions of government. There were fewer media outlets and what they had to say was more important. The pensions and benefits of workers are cancelled without repercussions. Social security is going bankrupt Medicare is in trouble. people are losing their jobs or having their incomes reduced. companies have little loyalty to their employees and are legally allowed to invest their pension funds in questionable ventures. There are more poor more homeless and less services for them.
Today governments openly support the export of jobs to other countries. The ordinary people in First world countries control a smaller percentage of the national resource and have to work much harder for that control.
bush will win the elections but the downward slide of america will continue regardless of who wins.
whatever your personal situation you will be persuaded that you are better off. you will shrug your shoulder because you don't really matter that much.

Seenus
Apr 28th, 2004, 11:13 AM
tennis players reacted to authority much more aggressively than to other players.