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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 06:20 PM   #1
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Tennis today versus yesterday??

Does anyone ever wonder what it would have been like to be a fan with the technology we have now, to follow tennis. could we have known a lot more about these players, like we do now. Does anyone think about how much they may have missed out on? Today you can be a fan and get on the internet and find out more, but back then, that was not available. Just curious what we could have learned back in the day. I'm sure there are lots of juicy nuggets of matches that would have also highly entertained us and let us know more about our favorites. I'm old school, just wishing this technology was around a lot earlier. (Btw, sorry if this question has already been asked, whoops)
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

Well, I was born in 1971, started playing tennis around 1977-78 and I can remember quite clearly tournaments and matches probably from 1981-82 until today.
In the early 80s tennis in general and the WTA tour in particular were much more popular than today here in America. 90% of the WTA tournaments were located in the US and televised by the main national networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) from the quarterfinals. Almost every weekend we had a WTA tournament on one of the main channels. Major American brands like Avon, Colgate and Virginia Slims sponsored the tour. Everyday there was an article about Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger and other WTA players in almost every major (USA Today, New York Times etc.) or local newspaper, tennis used to get a huge section in the sports' page. Every week Sports Illustrated, the most popular sports magazine ever, published in depth analysis and stories from the tennis tour. Not to mention that the top players were featured in many television commercials, shows and gossip magazines.
Ironically enough I think that in America we knew more about tennis players back in the 80s than today.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

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Originally Posted by larryd View Post
Well, I was born in 1971, started playing tennis around 1977-78 and I can remember quite clearly tournaments and matches probably from 1981-82 until today.
In the early 80s tennis in general and the WTA tour in particular were much more popular than today here in America. 90% of the WTA tournaments were located in the US and televised by the main national networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) from the quarterfinals. Almost every weekend we had a WTA tournament on one of the main channels. Major American brands like Avon, Colgate and Virginia Slims sponsored the tour. Everyday there was an article about Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger and other WTA players in almost every major (USA Today, New York Times etc.) or local newspaper, tennis used to get a huge section in the sports' page. Every week Sports Illustrated, the most popular sports magazine ever, published in depth analysis and stories from the tennis tour. Not to mention that the top players were featured in many television commercials, shows and gossip magazines.
Ironically enough I think that in America we knew more about tennis players back in the 80s than today.
Is that really true?? I grew up watching tennis in the late 80's. I had no idea tennis got covered that much at that time. I still say, today is better, with technology, mostly internet. What I would give to have internet back in the 80's.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

I would say the tennis at Wuhan yesterday was much better than the tennis today...
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #5
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

Back in the day I remember reading the results in the newspaper relatively daily. Nowadays you might see an article if a slam just finished or is going on. Today, however, I don't read a newspaper per se, but I know they don't report the daily results in the local paper, as I know someone who still subscribes to it. Even without social media, gossip was spread about. I remember working briefly with someone who worked for the USTA. Now she spread some stories, but from my point of view, just as now, you had to take it all with a grain of salt. Tennis was quite popular in the 80s. You could go to a sports bar and see a tennis match without people wanting you to switch to football or football or basketball or whatever.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

I watched a video of Steffi Graf refusing to shake Gabriela Sabatini's hand at the end of the match, after she lost. I'm not sure what year, maybe mid '90's. Alot of TF people may know this already, but I didn't. I had no idea Steffi could be so unsportsmanlike. Here's a good example how if the internet was alive, TF would have been all over that. (Or maybe it was)
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 09:45 PM   #7
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerberfan View Post
Does anyone ever wonder what it would have been like to be a fan with the technology we have now, to follow tennis. could we have known a lot more about these players, like we do now. Does anyone think about how much they may have missed out on? Today you can be a fan and get on the internet and find out more, but back then, that was not available. Just curious what we could have learned back in the day. I'm sure there are lots of juicy nuggets of matches that would have also highly entertained us and let us know more about our favorites. I'm old school, just wishing this technology was around a lot earlier. (Btw, sorry if this question has already been asked, whoops)
Although i do enjoy all the access we have today and all info about every aspect on the sport, i can positively say that i miss the good all days for a number of reasons. First of all i believe that we know far more about players that we really need to (u can actually know what sb had for lunch) and all kind of useless info. Back in the day tennis did not have a great coverage in my country, but i will never experience the same thrill during the latter stages of grand slams when i could actually watch my favorite sport and nothing compares to the joy i had when i got my monthly issue of the Tennis Magazine in the mail. We sure missed a lot but that mystery that came through the lack of info made me as a kid idolize certain players and i created a nice 'fairy tale' in my head about the world of tennis that suit me, made me love the game and got me out on to the courts. When a game was on i appreciated and loved every minute of it, while now i catch myself getting disappointed because the level of some games in lower that the 250 tourney i watched last week. All i say is that tennis was a big deal back then as is now and i have enjoyed it the same from the 80s till now.

Last edited by gonzo79 : Sep 25th, 2014 at 11:35 PM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

I've been a dedicated fan since 1997. Access to scores has changed the most. I remember calling tournament venues when we had no tv access to ask for scores. People were so friendly and told us the results.
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 01:31 AM   #9
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

I think it's not just tennis, but all sports. I remember back in the day, fans pretty much watched what was fed to them over the networks--I remember watching tennis, football, baseball, various types of autoracing, etc. just because that's what was available. (I still never got into basketball or hockey, and remember just hating the time between the Superbowl and baseball/soccer season).

Now, you can follow you're favorite sport all the time on the 'net and cable TV. Honestly, I would have loved to have had that back in the day. It would have been especially heaven sent for me as a soccer fan, even more than as a tennis fan as tennis did get decent coverage in the '70s and '80s.
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 02:56 AM   #10
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

Quote:
Originally Posted by VSFan1 aka Joshua L. View Post
I've been a dedicated fan since 1997. Access to scores has changed the most. I remember calling tournament venues when we had no tv access to ask for scores. People were so friendly and told us the results.
This. So many phone calls
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 04:29 AM   #11
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

People just don't get how big a sport tennis was in the 60's and 70's. For Americans, I have the perfect comparison. Tennis was bigger than the NBA. Bigger than the NFL (American football). Basically, the only two bigger sports in the USA were baseball and .... boxing.

1975 offers the perfect example. 'Love Doubles'. 1975. A mixed doubles EXHIBITION match was on network television. These days, mixed is played four times a year, and can't even get three honest sets.

As much as it's impossible to understand if you weren't around then, Chris Evert was Anna Kournikova. Only she won like ... Chris Evert. When you imagine what Maria Sharapova would be as a sports icon if she won like Serena, that's what Chris Evert actually was, in 1970's terms.

But, back to the thread subject ....

I might not have ever fallen in love with tennis if coverage was 25 hours a day like it is now. I used to LOVE American football. And baseball. I know so much about baseball I don't watch it anymore. I know too much about how money influences wins and losses. Most pro sports are NOT a fair fight.

(It's dishonest of course, but tennis is so right to keep it's financials under wraps.)
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 05:01 AM   #12
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

Quote:
Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
I think it's not just tennis, but all sports. I remember back in the day, fans pretty much watched what was fed to them over the networks--I remember watching tennis, football, baseball, various types of autoracing, etc. just because that's what was available. (I still never got into basketball or hockey, and remember just hating the time between the Superbowl and baseball/soccer season).

Now, you can follow you're favorite sport all the time on the 'net and cable TV. Honestly, I would have loved to have had that back in the day. It would have been especially heaven sent for me as a soccer fan, even more than as a tennis fan as tennis did get decent coverage in the '70s and '80s.
Slightly but I almost take for granted the Soccer coverage I get now. I can watch every Manchester City league game and most of the cups/European games. Of course getting a steady job/income to afford pay tv has helped.
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Old Sep 26th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #13
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

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Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
As much as it's impossible to understand if you weren't around then, Chris Evert was Anna Kournikova. Only she won like ... Chris Evert. When you imagine what Maria Sharapova would be as a sports icon if she won like Serena, that's what Chris Evert actually was, in 1970's terms.
I agree 100%. And then when Tracy Austin started challenging Chris Evert between 1979 and 1982, women's tennis was even more popular in the US. On the men's side we had Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe.
Tennis was probably the most televised sport in America back then.
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Old Sep 27th, 2014, 12:06 AM   #14
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

I remember in t he 90s I used to buy newspapers all the time get tennis results/information. Now there's so much information available but I'm not that interested anymore. Back then, I used to know every player in the top 100.
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Old Sep 27th, 2014, 12:09 AM   #15
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Re: Tennis today versus yesterday??

When I watch old tennis I am amazed how slow it was. The new strings and rackets make a much faster more physical game.
You watch Wozniacki run around, then put on a tape of 1980's tennis and they barely move.
I was watching Borg at the French Open and he hit moonballs down the middle. Thats how you play clay tennis with wood rackets. Big topspin down the middle.
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