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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Feb 3rd, 2013 05:54 PM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
I assume by legacy we all mean the same thing, i.e. the level of influence on the game of future generations.

For example looking back we can easily see that Steffi Graf dramatically revolutionized tennis by introducing the concept of power tennis - aggression from the baseline/back of the court. Monica build on that and expanded it to "two wings" thanks to her double handed groundstrokes. Then Mary Pierce added more power, especially on the serve. Then Venus followed - then Serena took it to the "max"? Then where is it going?

In other words if the power trend isn't continuing to go up - doesn't it mean that it is going down?
Okay, yes by Legacy we are referring to influence. But you suggested Venus' legacy will be greater than Serena's, because she has the height and body more similar to the 'typical' women tennis player coming up. Which I still don't understand!?!

And then you say that Serena has taken tennis to 'the max' which I'd interpret as playing the hightest level of tennis by any women to date... well then surely she has already achieved a greater legacy than Venus in that case, as future generations will be referring to Serena Williams Peak as the standard to which they must play...
Feb 3rd, 2013 03:38 PM
Wilson_07
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

I think saying Serena is better than Graf, even though she has achieved less, is due to the fact that she's the actual 'top-player' in terms of winning majors and beating the other top-women pretty frequently and it looks impressive and we are all witnessing it right now.
It's a phenomenon you have in every generation.
When Serena retires and another player takes over and wins alot of big titles, I bet that this player will be considered the greatest of all time too by some 'experts' and fans.
People just tend to rate actual 'big-achievers (I know this is not a real word :P)' much higher than people who have achieved much in past times.
This doesn't mean Serena isn't one of the greatest of all time. You just can't compare who actually plays better, you can only look at statistics
Feb 3rd, 2013 02:21 PM
pov
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
An argument often used in arguments of this kind is that the more recent great player is always better than the greatest player of the previous generation, simply because a sport as a general rule is constantly evolving.
Yeah it's a very common argument. Almost on the level of a cliche. It's also a crock.
First of all evolving doesn't mean better (even though it is often misused that way.) It just means changing. And different doesn't mean "better." Second, no sport is constantly changing in significant ways. Third, even with any changes in any sport sometimes former players are more skilled than current players. Jerry Rice is still the GOAT WR.
Feb 3rd, 2013 01:37 PM
Raiden
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilowannabe View Post
But again I ask, what does build have to do with their legacy?
I assume by legacy we all mean the same thing, i.e. the level of influence on the game of future generations.

For example looking back we can easily see that Steffi Graf dramatically revolutionized tennis by introducing the concept of power tennis - aggression from the baseline/back of the court. Monica build on that and expanded it to "two wings" thanks to her double handed groundstrokes. Then Mary Pierce added more power, especially on the serve. Then Venus followed - then Serena took it to the "max"? Then where is it going?

In other words if the power trend isn't continuing to go up - doesn't it mean that it is going down?
Feb 3rd, 2013 01:31 PM
Raiden
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilowannabe View Post
But again I ask, what does build have to do with their legacy?
Simple math?

I mean I assume by legacy we all mean the same thing, i.e. the level of influence on future generations.

For example Steffi Graf dramatically revolutionized tennis by introducing the concept of baseline first strike power game. Monica build on that and expanded it to "two wings". Then Mary Pierce added more power, especially on the serve. Then Venus followed - then Serena took it to the "max"? Then where is it going? If the trend isn't continuing to go up - it means it is going down
Feb 3rd, 2013 01:14 PM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
@Lilowannabe: The degree may vary but in tennis there have been a few tall-but-not-slow girls out there.

On the other hand I can't think of there being any short 'n stocky girl anytime soon that is gonna ace her way to multiples of slams and other titles.
But again I ask, what does build have to do with their legacy? And im interested in knowing how 5'10 is short. Essentially BOTH brought a level of tennis, with an emphasis on the serve, which will likely influence the way future generations play tennis. And Serena done it better, or at least more successfully than Venus. That will be the legacy. As was Monica Seles' on previous and future generations... and she was 'short n stocky' by tennis standards
Feb 3rd, 2013 12:53 PM
Raiden
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

@Lilowannabe: The degree may vary but in tennis there have been a few tall-but-not-slow girls out there.

On the other hand I can't think of there being any short 'n stocky girl anytime soon that is gonna ace her way to multiples of slams and other titles.
Feb 3rd, 2013 12:48 PM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by terjw View Post
This is the best post of the thread - very well reasoned.

FWIW - just some thoughts I have on this subject:
  1. I think the period in the early 2000's as being the best is overrated somewhat and the period nowadays is underrated somewhat. I often see a list of players reeled off in the early 2000's but at any one time - most of the players in that list would be a shadow of themselves or out injured. Yes there were some great players and sure - we haven't seen better since Serena 2002 - 2003. But the idea that there were a whole load of great players playing well then who would beat the current crop is opinion and greatly exaggereated.
    .
  2. No-one has mentioned anything about the depth in the game. A "generation" comprises all the players - not just the few at the top. And there is definitely far more depth in the game. In particular there are a lot of players now who can play a game that is very dangerous for a top seed. These players have a few brilliant matches (commentators will say she looks top 10 and if you look at the players - who would you think is the higher seed). But they lack the consistency to become top players themselves. But there's more of them around than in previous eras. Top players used to have an easier passage througth the early rounds because there wasn't much depth.
    .
  3. It is just a matter of opinion to say who is the better of two great players who played in different time periods. Different equipment, different access to facilties, training. Different amount of money. There is no right or wrong. I think if you put any champion of the past into today's game - she would be good but would struggle against the best players. But why is that the test? Why is it always that way? How would the top players today fare if they were wisked back in time to when the great player of the past being compared with played and with the equipment, facilities and money back then. When comparing - I think it's only fair and honest to imagine the scenario both ways.
Great post. I think the second point made hasn't been raised yet in this thread, yet its very important in raising the point that the games evolved!!
Feb 3rd, 2013 12:46 PM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
^ This way so: there seems to be (I'm careful not to be presumptuous and say "there definitely are") much more girls out there that could become tall and agile (Venus like) than a potential harvest crop of girls who would end up being average height, stocky and extremely powerful (Serena like).
Yes, but I don't see how build comes into this!?! I mean take away their respective physiques, both V and S brought the same 'brand' of tennis. Powerful, athletic, big serve and returns. And Serena (on results alone) was more successful at it!! I mean Venus was actually the exception for her build, I cant think of any 6ft+ with the agility and speed of Vee
Feb 3rd, 2013 12:23 PM
terjw
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilowannabe View Post
I don't understand why the subject matter has to be so black or white for you. I mean as a general rule, yes the game does evolve. For example, the Seles-Capriati USO 91 semi was a level of womens tennis not seen before. Two women hitting the ball flat and hard from the baseline, consistently. That match was an exception at the time. By the early 2000s that level of tennis at the top was the norm!!! Sadly that evolution plateaued by the late 2000s, and infact the level at the top has somewhat declined (yes I believe a prime Graf would be very successful in todays game)

Evert and Navaratilova raised the bar in the late 70s, Graf's athleticism took the game to new heights in the late 80s/eary 90s and Seles inspired an entire generation with her hyper-aggressive baseline game. For me, the WTA reached its supposed peak so far in the early 2000s. The WS (and Belgians) were on par with Graf in athleticism (Graf was arguably faster, but speed was the only athletic edge id say she had over the WS) and were more explosive offensively than Seles. In my opinion of course.

Of course I would agree with you that the argument that Serena is the greatest ever, using the 'game has evolved' is rubbish. Graf achieved far more against the competition she had and that's fact!!!
This is the best post of the thread - very well reasoned.

FWIW - just some thoughts I have on this subject:
  1. I think the period in the early 2000's as being the best is overrated somewhat and the period nowadays is underrated somewhat. I often see a list of players reeled off in the early 2000's but at any one time - most of the players in that list would be a shadow of themselves or out injured. Yes there were some great players and sure - we haven't seen better since Serena 2002 - 2003. But the idea that there were a whole load of great players playing well then who would beat the current crop is opinion and greatly exaggereated.
    .
  2. No-one has mentioned anything about the depth in the game. A "generation" comprises all the players - not just the few at the top. And there is definitely far more depth in the game. In particular there are a lot of players now who can play a game that is very dangerous for a top seed. These players have a few brilliant matches (commentators will say she looks top 10 and if you look at the players - who would you think is the higher seed). But they lack the consistency to become top players themselves. But there's more of them around than in previous eras. Top players used to have an easier passage througth the early rounds because there wasn't much depth.
    .
  3. It is just a matter of opinion to say who is the better of two great players who played in different time periods. Different equipment, different access to facilties, training. Different amount of money. There is no right or wrong. I think if you put any champion of the past into today's game - she would be good but would struggle against the best players. But why is that the test? Why is it always that way? How would the top players today fare if they were wisked back in time to when the great player of the past being compared with played and with the equipment, facilities and money back then. When comparing - I think it's only fair and honest to imagine the scenario both ways.
Feb 3rd, 2013 11:51 AM
Raiden
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

^ This way so: there seems to be (I'm careful not to be presumptuous and say "there definitely are") much more girls out there that could become tall and agile (Venus like) than a potential harvest crop of girls who would end up being average height, stocky and extremely powerful (Serena like).
Feb 3rd, 2013 11:33 AM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
In the long term Serena's legacy might be limited or even virtually negligible unless no one follows in her footstep (picks up where she left off in terms power and serve and all that).

Until then I say Venus is the one who leaves behind a greater legacy than Serena since Vee is the better prototype player that can and did function as model for others.
Very interesting... how so?
Feb 3rd, 2013 11:31 AM
Raiden
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

In the long term Serena's legacy might be limited or even virtually negligible unless no one follows in her footstep (picks up where she left off in terms power and serve and all that).

Until then I say Venus is the one who leaves behind a greater legacy than Serena despite winning much less slams and what not.
Feb 3rd, 2013 11:13 AM
Lilowannabe
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
But, in fairness, I really am making a point for ALL sports, not just the WTA. Like I said in the OP, it does seem to me that ATP commentators are even MORE fickle and subscribe to the illogical "this era is so much better than previous ones", to the extent that I've genuinely seen on Men'stennisforums people saying Peak Sampras and Agassi would have no chance against Murray

And just to expand on the point I was making in the OP -- I'm pretty sure that there'll be many posters on TF in 10 years' time, and many commentators in the tennis media, who WILL be saying that the new generation will be better than the Williams/Belgians/Sharapova era, on the basis of nothing whatsoever, and I'm sure many of the people who are currently huge tennis fans would be amazed by it.

I agree with you that when ANYONE starts introducing entirely subjective criteria and assumptions (such as "the game is so much stronger/has more depth than back then") -- which is why imo GOAT debates have to rest entirely on quantifiable achievements.





Sorry, but look at the other thread -- many people HAVE been saying Serena is better, that Peak Graf would have no chance against Peak Serena, etc, using the "the game has evolved" logic.
I don't understand why the subject matter has to be so black or white for you. I mean as a general rule, yes the game does evolve. For example, the Seles-Capriati USO 91 semi was a level of womens tennis not seen before. Two women hitting the ball flat and hard from the baseline, consistently. That match was an exception at the time. By the early 2000s that level of tennis at the top was the norm!!! Sadly that evolution plateaued by the late 2000s, and infact the level at the top has somewhat declined (yes I believe a prime Graf would be very successful in todays game)

Evert and Navaratilova raised the bar in the late 70s, Graf's athleticism took the game to new heights in the late 80s/eary 90s and Seles inspired an entire generation with her hyper-aggressive baseline game. For me, the WTA reached its supposed peak so far in the early 2000s. The WS (and Belgians) were on par with Graf in athleticism (Graf was arguably faster, but speed was the only athletic edge id say she had over the WS) and were more explosive offensively than Seles. In my opinion of course.

Of course I would agree with you that the argument that Serena is the greatest ever, using the 'game has evolved' is rubbish. Graf achieved far more against the competition she had and that's fact!!!
Feb 3rd, 2013 12:09 AM
Sam L
Re: "Every generation is better than the previous one. The game is always evolving"

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
But again, by that logic, Stosur HAS already "lifted the game", because she IS better than anyone before in generating topspin And, as Moby says, even if her gamestyle doesn't become more common (because it might turn out no other woman can produce as much spin as her), then it would STILL count as an advance for the game by your logic, because no women have managed to serve as well as the Williams sisters either.
How do you lift the game by winning one slam?
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