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Postpre
07-10-2007, 03:49 PM
If I understood him correctly Luke Jensen (from an ESPN clip) said that he thought Nadal has already reached the zenith of his career. He made this statement before the final against Federer.

Barring a career threatening injury what man reaches his peak at 21? Is it even possible that Nadal at 24-26 could be less of a tennis player than at 21? Granted, his physical progression will probably not equal 21yr old Federer vs 25yr old Federer (Nadal seems to be very physical and skilled already), but can't we expect some improvement in the Nadal game as he matures.

What do you think?

Rudy
07-10-2007, 03:59 PM
Luke Jenson is an idiot for making that statement. I couldn't believe my ears when he said that Rafa had reached his zenith both at Wimbeldon and in his career. ESPN should dock his pay. He must be crazy jealous of Rafa, he is always dissing him. He picked Rafa to go out in the first round...

I have seen him around at a tournament or 2, and next time I see him I am going to make him do 50 push ups for saying something that stupid on national tv.

welcome2petrkordaland
07-10-2007, 04:04 PM
both Jenson brothers remind me of that dude on the exercise infomercials with long blond, permed hair that sounds like a woman w/ a deep voice. they should just go w/ the sex change operation.

anointedone
07-10-2007, 04:07 PM
Is it even possible that Nadal at 24-26 could be less of a tennis player than at 21?

Of course it is possible. I am not saying it is likely, but it would be wrong to say it is impossible.

veritech
07-10-2007, 04:12 PM
both Jenson brothers remind me of that dude on the exercise infomercials with long blond, permed hair that sounds like a woman w/ a deep voice. they should just go w/ the sex change operation.

do you mean richard simmons?

anyway, it is possible for nadal to be a better player now than he will be in 4-5 years. although it's a sad prospect to picture, it's reality. i hope he stays in the game for a long time.

welcome2petrkordaland
07-10-2007, 04:18 PM
no, not Richard Simmons. this dude has long, permed blond hair but actually looks a bit like simmons has that similar jensenesque voice.

The Gorilla
07-10-2007, 04:23 PM
lleyton hewitt

Postpre
07-10-2007, 04:24 PM
Of course it is possible.

I shouldn't have worded it like that. I realize that there is a chance that it could happen, albeit slight in my mind. Jensen may have knowledge that I don't possess about these things. He did, after all, predict a 5 set Federer winning final.

FalconX
07-10-2007, 04:28 PM
If Luke Jensen could drink Rafa's pee during his play days he would have been much more accomplished player. That's what he's ****ed off about.

AAAA
07-10-2007, 04:35 PM
Barring a career threatening injury what man reaches his peak at 21?

What do you think?


Roddick was born Aug 1982 and won the USO in 2003, so he was almost 21 or past his 21st birthday. The USO win was very roughly in the middle of his peak years I think. <Edit : You need to check this last sentence if it really matters - it doesn't to me>

Morrissey
07-10-2007, 04:45 PM
If Luke Jensen could drink Rafa's pee during his play days he would have been much more accomplished player. That's what he's ****ed off about.

Luke Jensen doesn't have a "thing" for Nadal it seems. He certainly refused to give him credit and just sounded like a hater but actually being paid for it by ESPN. He picked Federer in both FO finals and came out looking like the stoner that he is. He picked Nadal to lose to Mardy Fish. C'mon man. Get a clue. At least Brad Gilbert seems to like Nadal, but he also understands how good he really is. I'm sure he was feeling good about his prediction when it went to a fifth set on Sunday.

Morrissey
07-10-2007, 04:47 PM
Roddick was born Aug 1982 and won the USO in 2003, so he was almost 21 or past his 21st birthday. The USO win was very roughly in the middle of his peak years I think. <Edit : You need to check this last sentence if it really matters - it doesn't to me>

Um Roddick? That's an insult to compare Nadal to Roddick.

Postpre
07-10-2007, 04:49 PM
Interesting observation on Roddick.

To clarify, my point was not to point to Jensen and say "how could someone think such a thing." He may have good reasons. I guess I don't understand tennis all that well. In other sports (like Basketball, Track & Field Sprinting, etc) its almost unheard of to hear of someone reaching their peak at 21. But tennis is different, perhaps, in that the mental aspect may be tough to maintain year after year.

anointedone
07-10-2007, 04:54 PM
Um Roddick? That's an insult to compare Nadal to Roddick.

Yeah Roddick is a 1-slam wonder. I cant believe ESPN still talks about Roddick as a threat to Federer or Nadal. It makes me sick to hear it almost. He has no chance to beat either of those guys ever again, especialy not in a best 3-of-5 match in a grand slam.

He might never end a year in the top 3 again. He ended last year #6, and it might be similar this year. Djokovic is arguably already better and improving fast. Murray has done well vs him head to head and is improving fast. Gasquet has finally beaten him and has so much more talent then Roddick. Davydenko, while a mid aged late bloomer, is probably better then Roddick now too. So to even talk about him as clearly being the top 3 is wrong.

Anyone who returns his serve with some consistency will beat him. The hard part is returning his serve which is still outstanding and one of the best. However once that is in play he has nothing left to hurt a good player. Even good mid ranked players, those in the 30-50 range, have an obvious edge on him in the baseline rallies.

Nadal is the better player then Roddick on every surface now. Can you believe people are even arguing that it isnt clear Nadal is better then Roddick on grass yet?

travlerajm
07-10-2007, 05:07 PM
Many players, especially baseliners, usually peak by age 22:

Some baseliners who peaked at 22 when they reached #1:

Courier - no majors after 22.
Moya - only major at 21.
Kuerten - won majors at age 20, 22, and 23.
Hewitt - no majors after 22.

And:

Agassi won his only Wimbledon at 22.

Chang won his only major at 17.

Becker won 3 Wimbledons by age 21 and never won another.

OrangeOne
07-10-2007, 05:21 PM
Barring a career threatening injury what man reaches his peak at 21?

Hewitt pretty much did....

Edit: and then I scroll up and see that TravelerAJM has answered this question MUCH more comprehensively than I did.

Morrissey
07-10-2007, 06:26 PM
Yeah Roddick is a 1-slam wonder. I cant believe ESPN still talks about Roddick as a threat to Federer or Nadal. It makes me sick to hear it almost. He has no chance to beat either of those guys ever again, especialy not in a best 3-of-5 match in a grand slam.

He might never end a year in the top 3 again. He ended last year #6, and it might be similar this year. Djokovic is arguably already better and improving fast. Murray has done well vs him head to head and is improving fast. Gasquet has finally beaten him and has so much more talent then Roddick. Davydenko, while a mid aged late bloomer, is probably better then Roddick now too. So to even talk about him as clearly being the top 3 is wrong.

Anyone who returns his serve with some consistency will beat him. The hard part is returning his serve which is still outstanding and one of the best. However once that is in play he has nothing left to hurt a good player. Even good mid ranked players, those in the 30-50 range, have an obvious edge on him in the baseline rallies.

Nadal is the better player then Roddick on every surface now. Can you believe people are even arguing that it isnt clear Nadal is better then Roddick on grass yet?

You hit it on the spot on every part in this post. Roddick as the years go by is looking less likely to ever win another slam. Before it was just Fed in the way, but now that Nadal has stepped up on grass he's less likely to win Wimbledon now. Especially with the emergence of Joker and Murray. I can see Joker wiping the floor with Roddick in future encounters, Murray has him beat since he can easily return his serve. For Roddick to remain in the top 5 will be his biggest hurdle, not trying to win another slam. That possibility is unlikely. He has reached the most that Connors can do with his limited game. Alot of it is on plain desire but his backhand isn't any better and neither is his volley. Roddick's game isn't going to get better and at his best he got destroyed by Fed and Nadal on hardcourts no less.

mileslong
07-10-2007, 06:37 PM
Many players, especially baseliners, usually peak by age 22:

Some baseliners who peaked at 22 when they reached #1:

Courier - no majors after 22.
Moya - only major at 21.
Kuerten - won majors at age 20, 22, and 23.
Hewitt - no majors after 22.

And:

Agassi won his only Wimbledon at 22.

Chang won his only major at 17.

Becker won 3 Wimbledons by age 21 and never won another.
you beat me to it travel, great post, this is what i have been talking about regarding nadal. all his fanboyz keep saying how he will get better and better every year until he is 30. it usually doesnt happen that way. federer was a late bloomer, there are far more examples of players who peaked by 21 to 22. im not saying that nadal has peaked just that it wouldnt surprise me if he did. his body wont last as long as federers...

iamke55
07-10-2007, 06:54 PM
Many players, especially baseliners, usually peak by age 22:

Some baseliners who peaked at 22 when they reached #1:

Courier - no majors after 22.
Moya - only major at 21.
Kuerten - won majors at age 20, 22, and 23.
Hewitt - no majors after 22.

And:

Agassi won his only Wimbledon at 22.

Chang won his only major at 17.

Becker won 3 Wimbledons by age 21 and never won another.

It's not that they passed their peak, it's that they were overwhelmed by the fast-improving competition that passed them by. When you're at the top of the game, every player is watching you play and knows your strengths and weaknesses. Do you honestly think Agassi peaked in 1992?

Tennis_Monk
07-10-2007, 08:35 PM
Wht about Federer?. He peaked early too and hence cant loose any more!! :)

Luke Jensen at the best is a Stupid MOR** and doesnt really know. His comments are best ignored.

Its like saying Tennis players in this forum over 21 , will not improve or get good results.

David L
07-10-2007, 08:37 PM
Interesting observation on Roddick.

To clarify, my point was not to point to Jensen and say "how could someone think such a thing." He may have good reasons. I guess I don't understand tennis all that well. In other sports (like Basketball, Track & Field Sprinting, etc) its almost unheard of to hear of someone reaching their peak at 21. But tennis is different, perhaps, in that the mental aspect may be tough to maintain year after year.Nadal plays a young man's game, running everything down and throwing himself at the ball, the way Becker did when he won his first Wimbledon. This is a big part of his success. The energy and excitement of youth can deal with this. However, it's hard to keep this up year in year out as you get older. Becker had to calm down, and I can see Nadal is already starting to calm down as well. Next year will be interesting. I don't believe Nadal will be playing with the same energy at 24 as he does now. Tennis can be a very gruelling sport. He'll still be a good player, top 10 or 20, but I doubt he'll be competing for the top spot. A more efficient, less taxing game is easier to sustain without burning out. People like Sampras, Federer, Lendl, Gasquet, Berdych etc, have this type of game.

Team sports are a bit different because you have team mates to help bear some of the burden. Track and field usually only requires one big effort for your event and then you can relax. Tennis is individual, combative and ongoing. You play rounds every day or every other day against world class athletes jerking you around the court, then after the tournament is over, you have to go and play another one. This goes on for a whole year with one month's rest. All this while having to train as well. The key to longevity and success, is finding a way to win and expend as little energy as possible. If you can't do both, something is going to have to give.

gugarafa
07-11-2007, 03:42 AM
here go the experts