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23 Feb 23 13:43
Date Joined: 14 May 06
| Topic/replies: 8,908 | Blogger: Journeyman's blog
Starting this before Fils' rematch with Sinner today in Marseille (and in case he becomes a superstar at Roland garros obviously).

I'm interested in the extent to which the era of the Elite has shaped the 18 year olds more than previous generations.
Their impressionable 'sponge' years from 4 years old to turning teenagers coincided with the generally accepted Golden era of 2008 to 2017 when the Big 3 and Muzza held a virtual monopoly on the second week of big events.

When thinking of specifically as an example French tennis players of the previous eras JWT, Monfils, Gasquet etc there are certain characteristics that have been associated or mentioned on the forums.
Flair, flamboyance, excitability and passion but also some brittleness, sometimes seeming to get lost in their thoughts.
Is there a reshaping of this that comes with growing through your most impressionable years in a unique period when 3 (or 4) men from different parts of Europe pushed each other to levels of intensity, obsession, performance beyond the perceived characteristics of their nationalities?

Arthur Fils is the player I think will be the first to win big titles but there's a crop of 18 year olds obviously eg Van Assche etc coming through.
Fils defines his idol as Federer but that Nadal's mentality and fighting spirit increased as an influence as he grew older.
He refers to their slam count and says 'I'll try to at least win one, two or three slams (Federer and Nadal) are examples'.

Interestingly he is already taking steps to attain an edge in the area heavily associated with the Elite and previously seen as an achilles heel of certain French players ie mental strength.
He talks about using detachment as a technique and has been working with mental trainer Francisca Dauzet.

Some people worry about Mens tennis after Novak and Rafa hang up their racquets but will their real legacy be a whole raft of players shaped predominantly by the Elite's standards, demands on self and refusal to accept perceived limitations rather than by nationality and individual background.
Pause Switch to Standard View Arthur Fils and the first generation...
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Report mesmerised February 23, 2023 9:22 PM GMT
Haven't seen him play, but to be honest, the only player who I see winning multiple slams on all surface is Alcaraz, he is the real deal, seen too many false dawns with NextGen players, it just so happened in a freak occurrence that the 3 greatest ever fought each other in the same era and the same time, bit like with the '4 kings' in Boxing, Duran, Hearns, Hagler and Leonard.
Report Journeyman February 23, 2023 9:49 PM GMT
I think you'll like him. Try to check him out this week in Marseille (of course I jinxed the Sinner rematch, jannik has withdrawn Blush )
He's incredibly aggressive, seems to have real belief.

I agree the Big 3 was a freak occurence albeit with some synergy. But I remember with the Berdych and Tsonga generation they had the approach that if they did what they did and were patient their time would come and it didn't. Their time never came.
These teenagers looked at Novak and Nadal especially and saw they were willing to get results by DEMAND, to do whatever is necessary. The intensity is different.
Report Baulkline February 26, 2023 11:42 PM GMT
I think you'll find that Juri Lehecka will win a tournament before Arthur Fils.
He should have beaten Murray in Doha but he is still improving.
Report Journeyman September 20, 2023 5:22 PM BST
Fils went on to win his first ATP Tour tournament in May at the Lyon Open.

The thread was meant to be more about the generation though, I've stumbled across a name that suits them I think.
The 'Apprentice Generation'.

The criteria being to be the first group to have grown up in the universe of the Elite without having their actual development inhibited by the Elite.
So assuming Novak will finally wind down in the next 2 years, this could include 21 year olds like Musetti and selected 22 year olds like Arnaldi who are still developing, building experince and by the time they are routinely in the QFs and SFs of slams the Big 3 won't actually be in the way.
Report Journeyman September 20, 2023 5:25 PM BST
These teenagers looked at Novak and Nadal especially and saw they were willing to get results by DEMAND, to do whatever is necessary. The intensity is different.

But that's the important bit though. The ultimate legacy of these three players who won a ludicrous amount of titles could be a whole generation of players inspired by the philosophy of results by demand. This could be incredibly exciting.
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