Question: Is Tennis evolving into a niche sport in the US?



By Duke Carnoustie

Why is tennis evolving into a niche sport in the U.S.? We have seen that many tournaments have disappeared from the States (Memphis, Scottsdale, San Jose, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas) and it is less accessible to watch on TV unlike 15-20 years ago. Please don’t tell me it’s because U.S. players are not champions because I do not believe that is the reason.

The U.S. sporting public simply seems to have lost interest in tennis. What is a shame is I believe this is the most grueling sport, mentally and physically. The players have never been better athletes than this era yet no appreciation in a sports-loving place like the U.S. It baffles me…

Please discuss…

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  • Chazz · November 1, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him do this before, but I just saw Sock pull off an incredible comeback against Edmund. He lost the first set 6-4, then won the second in a tiebreaker. He was down 5-1 (2 breaks) in the third and came back to win in a tiebreaker. He showed resilience and heart in this one. Maybe it’s a sign of things to come.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    That is a pretty big win for Sock and the kind that can revive his stalled career. I can’t recall seeing Sock dig down deep and making that kind of stunning comeback saving victory from the jaws of defeat.

  • catherine · November 2, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Ashleigh Barty impressing in Zuhai. How much better can her serve get ? She served 11 aces against Kerber, sending Angie out of the top 20, and has a Serena type serve down the T.
    And only 5’5″? Maybe the same as Simona but Ash is tougher.

  • Chazz · November 2, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Scoop, I think you’ve mentioned it before, but Jack having a girlfriend who is very supportive may have helped in this one. She was shown on camera a lot, she was right behind one of the baselines and when he was on that side there was a lot of eye contact made and encouragement given. She’s only 18 from what I hear but traveling around with him for the last month. I still don’t know if it’s legit but he again took an injury timeout in the 3rd and was given a back/shoulder massage, which seemed to help him because he was down 1-4 at the time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Chazz, I don’t have any info on Sock’s new gf. But if she’s traveling full time with him they must be close. 18 is very young, maybe she dropped out of college? Sock used to show extreme displeasure when other players used fake medical timeouts on him and it disrupted his focus and his game. Now he’s apparently using the same trick on his opponents which is smart. When in Rome do as the Romans… To Sock’s credit it took him a while to bend his integrity to resort to fake injuries and timeouts, he tried to do it the clean way but I think it happened too many times against him and he said the hell with it, I’m gonna play that dirty game too. Unless he really is now having these minor aches and pains at these coincidental moments in matches :)

  • Joe Blow · November 2, 2017 at 11:11 am

    This is such BS. Turns me off to Tennis. Down a break in a final set, you just know the guy losing is calling the trainer. Only individual sport you can get a 10 minute massage to break momentum.

    If Tiger Woods would have been able get a massage every time his back tightened up on a golf course, he’d never have had to bail on a tournament.

    You don’t want to see “ retirements” in matches, but it’s total BS, and as I don’t respect people I play with pulling BS gamesmanship, watching Pros do it is a real turn off

  • catherine · November 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Same with bathroom breaks. Get rid of them. Go to the toilet before the match :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Venus has become the main player who elects to run to the bathroom after the warmup and before the first serve. Look, the rules have to be tightened or changed, otherwise dodgy players will keep stretching and bending the rules with these calculated timeouts. I can say with near certainty that Sock was a clean fair player but after REPEATEDLY getting fake injury timeouted by several players, he said the hell with it, I’m gonna play the same dirty game. I remember vividly seeing Sock annoyed by players calling timeouts on him with bogus injuries, specifically Juan Monaco in the Houston final. Sock was ticked off and Monaco’s trickery ended up winning him the title. Timeouts at a lil extra dimension of drama and controversy. I like to see it and it gives observers something extra to talk about.

  • Chazz · November 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I do not think it was a legitimate injury because Sock looked great today in beating his friend Pouille in straight sets, and I think he is scheduled to play doubles with Monroe later. He also used the injury timeout in a recent 3 setter against Fognini too. One thing that’s kind of entertaining or annoying depending on how you look at it, is he disputes line calls all the time but when they show the replay he is almost never right.

  • Joe Blow · November 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Bathroom breaks at the end of a set are almost bearable, compared to the calling of a trainer for a massage, as soon as you go down a break in a final set.

    They need to put a pot-o-potty under the umpires chair

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Bryden Klein told me a story about Cuevas needing to go to the bathroom at Wimbledon when the score was like 13-11 in the fifth set and the chair ump wouldn’t let him go so he peed in a bottle in his shorts at his chair. Silly inconsistency in executing the rules. Sock must have played well to beat Pouille in Paris. Looks like Sock has awakened from his slumber. Just watched Paes and Purav lose in doubles to a teenager Danny Thomas, a lefty, and Denis Kudla. The top seeded Indians had a night mare evening on court, blowing the break in the first and non call on a let and then a missed long call on the deciding point and some bad missed volleys. The TV announcer Mike Cation said interestingly after Purav gave a fierce face in his direction “Purav can be a SCARY guy out there.” Which I found interesting because Purav seems like a regular guy. But it illustrates how top tier tennis can be insanely feisty and competitive. Thomas and Kudla rolled in the second set with the momentum 76 62, Thomas gets his first ATP point. Tough loss for Paes and Purav who are ranked in the 60s and on the cusp of main draw for Aussie Open. Paes playing a Challenger in Nov shows he wants to keep going next year. Purav is a good player but he is the fattest player in the ATP, me and Dan and JG are in better shape than Purav but Purav has some weapons.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Get this: Patty Schnyder, age 38, ranked 160 vs Elena Bovina, age 34, ranked 531, at Toronto ITF QF. Bovina leads head to head 3-1 and the last time they played was 2004 in Rome won by Bovina 63 67 Ret. They also played in Moscow, Zurich and s-Hertogenbosch.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Alexandra Stevenson still out there, age 36, ranked 600. Recently played in Quebec Canada losing Shilin Lu losing 36 06. And earlier in Oct lost in Toowoomba Australia to Viktoria Rajicic quitting at 4-5 down in the third set in the third round of qualies.

  • catherine · November 3, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Scoop -Which players of today can you picture trailing around the circuit ranked in the 4-500s ?

    I’m not sure I believe that story about Cuevas.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Catherine, Some of them are still out there grinding with a very low ranking – DeBakker, Matosevic, Peliwo, Alejandro Gonzalez, Bradley Klahn, Robredo, Janowicz, Gimeno-Traver, Eysseric, James Ward, Michelle Larcher DeBrito (though she has not played since July). Klein wouldn’t make that story up.

  • catherine · November 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    If you think about Klein’s story there are a few questions – eg if players are permitted to take bathroom breaks at W’don why did the umpire refuse Cuevas ? He could have complained to the referee.

    Consider the practicalities of using a bottle in front of a crowd on any court, show courts or outside. Who brought him the bottle, how was it inserted into his shorts and how was the bottle removed afterwards ?
    Can’t remember any journalists mentioning this incident. Perhaps they were too embarrassed :)
    (Might actually be an offense to urinate in public.)

    And what if a woman player had made the same request ? Would she have been refused ? And what would have happened then ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I guess Cuevas had already gone to the bathroom multiple times and the ump thought he was abusing it.

  • Chazz · November 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    This is too funny – now Sock gets the injury timeout done to him. Verdasco took one at 0-3 in the 3rd. It didn’t work though, Sock won the match. Sock and Isner into the SFs in Paris, both with favorable matchups against Benneteau and Krajinovic. Sock is playing incredibly well, as good or better than he was early in the year. I would not bet against him winning this, though if it is Isner vs Sock it is a toss-up.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Chazz, I think Verdasco pulling that stunt illustrates these players know Sock hates it and they try to upset him with fake injury timeouts. But he has adapted to this trickery and added it to his own arsenal. Well done by Sock to learn how to deal with this dirty aspect of pro tennis. An American Final in Paris – further proof that American tennis is back.

  • catherine · November 4, 2017 at 9:08 am

    More American tennis- CoCo delivers serving master (mistress ?)class to batter Barty and enter top 10 this week.
    Maybe CoCo’s turned the corner…

  • Chazz · November 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Coco is 25, if she’s making a push to the top, now is the time to do it. She’s just not as likable as Sloane or Madison but good to see her elevating her game. I still wonder if she’s mentally capable of winning a slam.

  • catherine · November 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Chazz – looked pretty good against Ashleigh who’s no pushover these days. I expect CoCo to win tomorrow v Julia G but a Slam ? Maybe in a year or so if she keeps going. Faster surface in Zhuhai suits her.

    Sloane looked out of it – knee injury and also a bit overweight seemed to me.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Saw a few points of Sock today and he has a different intensity about him. I like what I’m seeing from Sock. Would be a huge title if he can take this Paris title.

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