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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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2010s - decline of Russian tennis

Whether we like it or not, it is impossible to deny.
We are still producing good juniors, but none of them seems to become a threat once moving to pros.
We had just few thousands of registered players in 90s. Yet we produced Kafelnikov, Safin, Dementieva, Myskina, Kournikova, Petrova, Zvonareva. Then a bit later it was Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Safina. And now that generation also approaches its twilights. And no change of guard in sight. I would not even go into doing the same for men, where situation is much worse.
Why is that that 90s seeded a great wave of champions, but nothing came after them? There is got to be some explanation. It's not really like Graf-Becker-Stich-not_much_after case. We had a massive wave of talent, not just a handful of players. We were 6 out of Top 10 at some point. There's got to be a systemic problem here. I have my version of what happened, and why. I'd like to hear yours.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

Its a difficult sport. Sharapova is still near the top. Very few players like that.
Kirilenko has moved up. Vesnina is moving up. Makarova, I still think has a good future in singles. Same with Pavlyuchenkova. These 4 with Maria are the next 5 years or so.
Sveta & Nadia are getting older. Vera is injured.
7 in the top 30, plus Vera.
6 of the top 10 is over. But 6 of the top 20 is very possible.
I think the sport changed and players develop later.

Some bad luck with Kleybanova, who has tremendous power, and injuries with Zvonareva, who I think would still be around 4-8 if healthy
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #3
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

I agree with GoldenLox. It's often a sport of attrition-- who is good and can stay healthy enough to get to the top. Vera got injured, but only after getting to two Slam finals! Alisa was mentioned. Chakvetadze is also injured-- former Top 15. Regina Kulikova had a lot of promise-- chronic back injury. Several of those in the Top 200 have been out due to injury, and we may never know their full potential-- Savinykh, Pivovarova, Diatchenko, Sirotkina.

This sport is one now for those who are veterans, like Kirilenko, who was mentioned. It will take time for the juniors to rise into form, but they are coming. (Loads of them!)
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

We're seeing some players reaching their best at late stages as a Professional athlete.. Maybe this new generation need more time..

Kirilenko and Vesnina are already part of the "new ideology", reaching their best moment, much later compared to the others.. Pretty sure the same will happen to Makarova and Pavlyuchenkova..


This generation have more 2 to 6 years in the Tour yet. Russia will be well represented in the next years. After that, is quite worrying...
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

I am agree with those ideas with players being good later, it is the same in many sports. The ITF rules are to stop burning out with less tournaments allowed for young players but this does not fully cover young ones. Here I see the bad level of coaching and the corrpting in the game. Now many families do not afford their children to play and the quality of the work is really bad. Our club got 2 head coaches in 6 month, each time they leave because they want to push push push and not tell anything for warm ups, body work and other important things. From top to coaches they are not going to get the best players ready. Only if children go away to like America, Croatia or Germany they are okay. If they go to the Spain and Portugal it is joke. Switserland is okay and Italy is ok, but it is very poo rhere.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

There are a ridiculous amount of very successful Russian juniors, probably more depth than any other country out there. Even if none of them end up being great players, there will surely be many Russian players on the pro tour one way or another.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:57 AM   #7
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

Not a good Wimbledon for Russian Girls

3 of 7 girls were lost yesterday
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 07:23 AM   #8
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Re: 2010s - decline of Russian tennis

I understand the 'worry', but I think it is too early to call it yet. I think it is more of a change of generations. Yes, in the years 2002-2006 when the whole range of young russians invaded, it was noticed and there where situations where the ranking showed 5-6 russians in top 10 and around 20 in top 100. Now there are 2 (barely) in top 10 and 8 in top 100. That generation of players is still there (not all, but the majority), but have also felt the pain of being succesfull early in their career. See the surgeries they have had and how long it took many to come back anyway if they came back. Probably those days will not come back where the russians ruled the rankings, but it also looks like that it is harder for young players to be succesfull so early, like the russians were anyway. How many teenagers are there now in top 20? None, I believe. So I think this not only counts for Russians, but also for other promising players. Are there any potential Slam winners or Number 1 players for Russia, that remains to be seen. If you look at the generation after Masha, Bepa, Makiri, Sveta, Nadia etc. it looks poor at the moment. Only Nastya is a potential top 10 I believe, and she is struggling to get there for 2 years already. But I think it all needs time these days, seems like it has to be the older, the better. But those are my 2 cents.
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