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VictorS.
02-22-2005, 06:55 PM
I recently noticed Kenneth Carlsen at age 31 is one of the only players in the last year or so to actually win an atp title (Agassi in Cincy 2004 was the last). I often wonder why tennis players fall off so quickly in comparison to other elite athletes. Obviously a lot of these guys turn pro at an early age and the grind and travel they go thru is unbelievable. But I still think it's strange how many of these guys cannot compete in their later years. We've seen in a number of other sports....how guys can compete into their late 30s and even early 40s. Michael Jordan played some of his best basketball in his mid-30s. Also guys like Karl Malone and John Stockton were perennial all-stars well into their late 30s. And in football, Jerry Rice is still competing at a fairly high level in his 40s. Just a few years ago he was a big contributor on that Oakland Raider team that made it to the Super Bowl. Now I understand the long tennis season takes a toll on one's body. But the same could be said for the nba season as well with the constant travel and the grind of playing the game of basketball.

I didn't mean to go into a tangent discussing the other sports. But it just makes you wonder whether a guy like Pete Sampras could be competing right now for grand slams, had he taken on the training regimen of an Andre Agassi or Karl Malone. Guys like , Courier, Sampras, and Rafter are all in their early 30s. Think about all the potential match-ups we've missed out on.

On another sidenote....I really think the atp really needs to shorten the tennis season. Because I think it plays a major part in shortening player's careers.

Phil
02-22-2005, 06:59 PM
You answered your question, on all fronts.

Obviously a lot of these guys turn pro at an early age and the grind and travel they go thru is unbelievable. That's one reason.
I really think the atp really needs to shorten the tennis season. Because I think it plays a major part in shortening player's careers. That's the other, and possibly more important reason. That is why the players in the other sports you mentioned can excel even well into their 30's and early 40's. Their sports have an off season.

Zverev
02-22-2005, 07:51 PM
it just shows that tennis is different from other sports.
Specific qualities of human body play different roles in different sports.
And with age those qualities are changing at different rates and sometimes in different directions.
When strength and endurance are still developing in the mid twenties, one's agility and flex are starting to decline.
That's why 23 yo long distance cyclist is called young, because his endurance is still on the rise.
23yo gymnast is old and about to retire.
23yo wrestler is too young and his strength will keep growing for another 10 years - Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, 3-time Olympic champion, 9-time World champion, was 45 when he last reached final at Olympics.

Too much tennis? Come on... I am sure first round losers don't get enough of it, give them more chances...

VictorS.
02-22-2005, 08:09 PM
Basketball, to me, is one of the most demanding sports both physically and mentally. It is also one of the most athletic sports in that it requires tremendous speed and power. Obviously Michael Jordan at age 35 couldn't sky like he once could as a young 25 yr old. However his quickness and speed was pretty comparable. Sampras on the other hand really fell off athletically right around the age of 29-30. Unlike Jordan and a guy like John Stockton....he appeared to really put on weight which seemed to hinder his quickness around the court.

I think also another hinderance which I just thought of...is the pounding of playing on hard courts. Anybody who's played on clay and hard court can vouch for the physical toll hard courts have on the body.

RickN
02-22-2005, 08:34 PM
It's hard to succeed at tennis past the age of 30 because tennis is one on one competition whereas the other sports mentioned (basketball, baseball) are team sports. You don't have to play every minute or every inning to still win while in tennis, you have to be better than your opponent on that given day for every second of play. If Agassi could come in as a pinch hitter, he could dominate for years to come but that's not how tennis is played. Jordan couldn't play as many minutes after 30 as he once did as well but given the rest, he was still the go-to guy with 2 sec left and 2 points down.

ty slothrop
02-22-2005, 08:52 PM
tennis vs. basketball, asphalt vs. hardwood, 12 month season vs. 7 month season, earn-as-you-go vs. guaranteed contracts

wildbill88AA
02-22-2005, 09:13 PM
tennis is an individual sport. you dont have teammates to help carry the load for u like football, basketball, etc. jordan played great in his mid 30's, but how would he have done on say the clippers not the bulls? boxing would b a better comparison. and even there you have several weight categorys. to be a contender in tennis you have stay in the top 10 or 20 in the world. was rice one of the 10 best football players late in his career? no way. but all he had to do was make the team. former champions are not going to hang around to be #50 in the world. and the young guys are just getting better all the time. and lose just a split second off your game and it ll leave u in the dust. just ask pete sampras.

joeman957
02-22-2005, 09:19 PM
I love basketball, but basketball demands about a fraction of what tennis demands both physically and mentally. I'm not being a huge tennis fanboy here, but is there any other sport that is as demanding as tennis?

VictorS.
02-22-2005, 10:07 PM
Well, I think boxing is a pretty demanding sport. And speaking of boxing...any of you guys heard of Bernard Hopkins?? 40 yr old middleweight champion.

I think Agassi is proving it can be done. However, I think a lot of the guys get burnt out mentally and just can't grind it out anymore. Agassi's a special case in a sense. He really had 2 or 3 gaps in his career where he didn't play for a significant amount of time due to either injury or indifference. I think this has played a major role in his mid-30s success.

I have experience with both tennis and basketball growing up, though I now play primarily tennis. However, I must disagree with you joeman. Basketball is an extremely demanding sport. It is so dynamic in the movements with the moving and cutting and jumping. The athleticism demands are just off the charts. I don't really want to get into a big comparison between basketball and tennis. However, as much as I love tennis...it's difficult for me to shortchange basketball athletes. I just have so much respect for a lot of these nba athletes...as far as their athletic ability is concerned. Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson.....I honestly can't think of many athletes in other sports that stack up with these guys athletically, skill-wise, etc.

laurie
02-23-2005, 04:27 AM
Personally I would love to see players in their 30's playing at the top. Rosewall, Connors, Lendl all did well in their early 30's getting to latter rounds of major tournaments. The ATP always hide behind the argument of players reducing the schedule themselves to further thier career. Just shows how money can ruin a sport. A two month off season would be ideal. But then again, tennis fans will have to get over the idea of not having tennis for such long periods in a calender year.

I was at the Royal Albert Hall last year to see Becker play Krajicek. Just to think Krajicek is only 33 and Becker had just turned 37. Crazy to think these guys are still so young. I myself am in that age bracket(early 30s). I would love to see some of these players on the main tour. Just think, Federer, Safin, Hewitt etc could potentially be all washed up in 5 years time. That is very sad indeed compared to other sports.

Marius_Hancu
02-23-2005, 06:08 AM
tennis is an individual sport. you dont have teammates to help carry the load for u like football, basketball, etc.

Great point.

Also the object you're playing with is much smaller and demands more precision (a dynamic precision as opposed to the static one in golf). That precision is placing huge demands on the neuro-muscular system. Being 5% off is much more critical in a sport in which you're playing alone.

And that 5% is not usually visible to the eye, but you see it in the results.

joe sch
02-23-2005, 07:39 AM
Probably due to burnout since todays top tennis stars train harder, play more matches (no real offseason) and travel (around world) much more than any other sport. Many of the greats in the past played at the top level until almost 40 including connors, kramer, gonzales, and a few of the aussies, but they did not have the same level of burnout, year after year, although some years had events like the Kramer tour which were more extreme than any continuous tennis competition today.

Xevoius
02-24-2005, 07:00 AM
I hear all the burnout arguments but what I want to know is why don't any of the ex pros train up to play only a few events per year? I am not talking about them trying to hold a ranking but just try and win a couple of events per year Navratalova style.

laurie
02-24-2005, 07:08 AM
I think the problem would be that its hard to stay sharp with such few events going into the big tournaments. And these men have a lot of pride. They want to be physically and mentally ready for the big ones. Kuerten for instance wants to make sure he can play a few events before the French Open after coming back from injury.

I think the ATP can be of help in this situation. After all they run the game and could come up with some ideas to help ease congestion.

VictorS.
02-24-2005, 07:28 AM
Xevoius, You have a point. Martina reminds me of Michael Jordan in many ways, in that she just really loves the game of tennis and can't stay away from it.

I guess tennis being such an individual sport, it's very easy to get exposed if your skills are not up to par. And we all know these pros have huge egos. In other team sports, such as basketball, your weaknesses can often be hidden.

tennissavy
02-24-2005, 08:20 AM
People are mentioning basketball and football participants as such great athletes. However, they absolutely pale in comparison to figure skaters and gymnasts. You don't have to be as fit to play basketball and football as you must be to do skating, gymnastics or even tennis. Having done may sports, I must say that I find figure skating to be the most demanding. I also get more of a workout in 45 minutes of stroking around the ice, jumping and spinning than in a 90 minute tennis match and figure skating injuries are, in general, more serious than tennis injuries. After years of skating, tennis is much easier on my body, believe me. That is why there are older football and basketball players. Those sports are less athletically demanding.

PS I always get a real laugh when a football player leaves the game and is out for weeks for minor stuff- finger cut, bone bruise, pulled hamstring, etc.
Figure skaters and gymnasts have much much worse than that and still compete and train. Believe me, skaters and gymnasts are much more affected by those sorts of injuries than football players- I know because growing up I played football and all the other "mainstream" sports but this would be another post topic.

Type40
02-24-2005, 08:32 AM
I'm sure Sampras could have carried on for another 10 years, but he would never be number 1 any more, and that's why he quit.
Being a top 20 player was not a good enough reason for him to keep doing it.

I think Tennis has more in common with boxing and track sprinting than any other sport, in that it requires explosive power, that needs to be on tap for between 1.5 and 4 hours.

Keeping that explosive insentity up over a 5 set match is very tough if you are over 35. If they made tennis all best of 3 set matches then I'm sure many more players could keep playing till 40.

!Tym
02-24-2005, 10:06 AM
My cousin was once a very promising junior figure skater who at one time had Olympic aspirations. In my opinion, while the demands of figure skating are very real, I absolutely cannot and will not diminish the physical capabilities of elite football players.

At least in the U.S. In my opinion, in America, the BEST athletes almost always turn to football, basketball, and baseball...the "jock" sports.

Because of this, there is FAR more competition than there is in figure skating. My cousin finished I believe second in states after just six months of starting the sport. She obviously had a natural affinity and innate "talent" for the sport. She is VERY athletic, flexible, fast, and fluid.

The thing is so was I. I remember winning the award year after year in elementary school for being the most flexible guy on the sit and reach, for being the best sprinter, yada, yada, yada. I had innate athleticism.

With that said, I honestly do not believe that RAW athleticism is THAT important in tennis.

Yes, it's important, but to be honest covering the court is not that hard. It's pretty darn small actually. I've seen slow pokes like Rosset and Martin make plenty of good gets. While there is a difference certainly between having super speedy feet and not, even lumbering guys can cover the court relatively decently in tennis.

In football, you MUST have the raw athleticism, you MUST be an athletic freak.

If I'm going by just raw athleticism, I believe the football players take the cake. Their combination of SPEED and POWER is awe-inspiring...and I don't even watch or care about football one bit. Never have and never will, never appealed to me like baseball and basketball did.

With that said, in terms of skill, I believe that while football certainly requires skill, high school football coaches are more keen on recruiting ATHLETES first and foremost. You can definitely work with athletes in football.

Even in hockey somewhat. I remember playing a very high level junior hockey player in p.e. once, and though I never took any hockey lessons or had ever really played, I took my team to victory in the "P.E. Championship" finals (lol, so prestigious) anyway almost single handedly. How? Raw athleticism. I don't know any hockey rules, all I know is that I remember sprinting my behind off and trying to deflect every shot I could. Basically, I swarmed the field with my raw athleticism, and surprisingly it was enough to win in overtime by a hair.

You absolutely can NOT do this in tennis though. There is just no way.

It's too much of a skill sport.

In sport like football, I think athleticism is first in importance, then skill.

In a sport like tennis, I think skill is first, then athleticism. You need both obviously to make it to the pro level, but clearly one aspect takes precedence.

For example, I can't really ever recall any top fifty caliber tennis player who had no skills but just athleticism. Chang and Muster you say? Well, Chang and Muster also had skills...maybe not as pretty as others, but they did NOT mishit very often.

Now, in a sport like football, however, if you've got certain "gifts" athletically, if you're an Olympic caliber sprinter...there ain't a coach alive who ain't willing to talk to you. Believe me, they can work with you, they can use you.

Of course, that doesn't mean you can wiggle through defenders like cottage cheese either, but at the same time, you can get by on just being able to FLY reasonably well. Just like in tennis, you can be an old geezer schooling a teenager with your superior "skills." I've seen it happen many a time. Like I said, tennis is NOT a primarily athletic sport. It's still athletic sure, but you do NOT need to be a freak of nature athletically to play at a more than reasonable pro level (see Todd Martin and Magnus Larson...sooo lumbering).

Put it this way, Stich, Goran, and Martin were all tall guys. And to be honest, though Stich and Goran were the better players, it's not like they were THAT much better such that they would beat Martin with their eyes closed 2, 2, and 2. No, Martin played relatively speaking at a very similar level to them, just a hair not quite as good. With that said, the gulf in their athleticism vs. Martin's, however, is NOT *fairly* similar. Not by a long shot. Stich and Goran are in my opinion GREAT athletes. Goran was a European 400m junior champion. Stich was on the German jr. national soccer team. These guys are RAW athletes that Martin never could be. Put Martin on a soccer field, and I'm betting it wouldn't be a pretty sight...not because skill wise he wouldn't be able to adapt, but rather he's just not that athletic. Plain and simple. It'd be like expecting Abe Lincoln to move like Mia Hamm...comical.

That's my point.

Bertchel Banks
02-24-2005, 01:13 PM
I remember winning the award year after year in elementary school for being the most flexible guy on the sit and reach...

ROTF. What's that?

daniel_rst
02-24-2005, 03:00 PM
At least in the U.S. In my opinion, in America, the BEST athletes almost always turn to football, basketball, and baseball...the "jock" sports.


I can't believe you just grouped baseball in there. While I have tremendous respect for football and basketball players, baseball is a whole different ball game [pun intended]. Certainly it requires great hand-eye coordination and strength helps, but the best athletes? Come on.

WW Volley
02-24-2005, 03:19 PM
Even in hockey somewhat. I remember playing a very high level junior hockey player in p.e. once, and though I never took any hockey lessons or had ever really played, I took my team to victory in the "P.E. Championship" finals (lol, so prestigious) anyway almost single handedly. How? Raw athleticism. I don't know any hockey rules, all I know is that I remember sprinting my behind off and trying to deflect every shot I could. Basically, I swarmed the field with my raw athleticism, and surprisingly it was enough to win in overtime by a hair.

You absolutely can NOT do this in tennis though. There is just no way.

Look, friend. Just because you did well in your floor hockey gym class, doesn't mean you're qualified to comment on the skill required to play hockey. Skating is kind of a huge part of the sport, and nobody can compete at a high level with less than 10 years under their belt.

Sports like football, baseball, and basketball all have specialized positions. For example, you take Shaq who isn't much of a shooter and is kinda slow - but can still dominate the game. He's got a specialized position as a center. In football the positions are even more specialized. Baseball, for example, you might only have to throw a ball 3 innings a game. And not have to bat. Again, we're talking people who have a very specific skill set to get one job done.

However, in hockey, such specific skill sets aren't possible. While there are players with niches such as scoring, hitting, or defense, each player holds an extreme high level in all the skills. Each one of them is deadly fast, has excellent hands, and can pass with extreme accuracy. It's impossible for a specialized player to dominate the game, like Shaq can. Instead, the dominant players have a combination of all the skills required.

Tennis, is kind of like this. In tennis you can have a specialization, but you pretty much have to be awesome at every shot in the book. The weaknesses we precieve, such as the Roddick backhand, are merely compared to other top 5 players. In the tennis spectrum, most of us would die to have a Roddick backhand.

So both sports require having the full skillset to excel. Why can a hockey player go to the late 40s and a tennis player not? As has been discussed, the team aspect comes into play. While early in his career, Brett Hull would be a first liner, go-to scorer, these days Hull is a powerplay weapon that is used for his amazing shooting ability. He's lost some speed, but his high skill level can still be used quite effectively if other players can help him out.

Can you imagine if you could just get a young, speedy kid to pass the ball to Sampras for the serve? Yeah, he'd still be around. But in an individual sport that requires the whole skill package, keeping such a high level when the body slows down is a difficult task. Playing less events would help this situation, but nothing can account for father time in a sport built on speed and quickness.

Kevin Patrick
02-24-2005, 03:25 PM
daniel,
It all depends on the individual & the position. I'm sure those who know more will jump in shortly. Almost any MLB shortstop blows away any pro tennis player in terms of raw athleticism. Have you seen A-Rod, Jeter, & Nomar move? Also their bodyfat is close to nil. They are extensively tested with how fast they are, strong etc. There are exceptions, but tym is correct, the purest jocks in the US play in the NBA, MLB, NFL.

I've been a lifelong fan of tennis & understandably have to defend it to those who don't know anything about it & judge it by how it looks on tv. But the opposite is true as well, don't you think? Many who mock the NFL, NBA, or MLB on these boards haven't played the sport & are judging it based on appearances.

Chadwixx
02-24-2005, 04:01 PM
ppl cannot understand how hard pro tennis is when they are playing with intermediates. once u get out there with a coria type where u run ur *** off, then tell me its easy. basically until u get good (5.0+) u wont understand how tough tennis really is.

daniel_rst
02-24-2005, 04:20 PM
I've been a lifelong fan of tennis & understandably have to defend it to those who don't know anything about it & judge it by how it looks on tv. But the opposite is true as well, don't you think? Many who mock the NFL, NBA, or MLB on these boards haven't played the sport & are judging it based on appearances.

Okay, I was a little harsh on baseball. All I know is that I've played all of these sports extensively (tennis, football, baseball, soccer, basketball) and of all of them I found baseball the least physically challenging. You spend most of the time sitting on your bum for the rare sprint between bases. Certainly a professional athlete is a talent no matter what the sport, and I'm sure baseball has it's share of extraordinary talent, but I don't consider the _average_ pro baseball player to be on par with the average pro in those other sports, including tennis. Just my opinion.

Type40
02-24-2005, 04:25 PM
None of these sports make a player run and sprint for 4 hours like a 5 set tennis match does. That makes Tennis much more of an athletic challenge than any baseball football or basketball match. If the level of tennis is high, then it's about as athletically demanding as it gets.

Kevin Patrick
02-25-2005, 09:17 AM
daniel,
I think chadwixx, sort of answered that question. When you play any sport casually, it may seem undemanding. When you play it a professional/advanced level you start to see how physically demanding the sport is & how extraordinary the athleticism is. I don't know what level you played baseball at, but trust me the majors requires some pretty remarkable athleticsm.

And as far baseball involving a lot of 'sitting around' how bout the time spent in between points in tennis? There have been many studies on this but the ball is only in play 7 minutes per 1 hour of a pro clay court match. Not to mention 90 second changeovers. So pro tennis players do quite a bit of nothing physical during a 3 hour match.

In another thread many were debating whether Sampras could dunk & many were shocked by the possibility that he might have(no real confirmation on that)
It's pretty common for NFL/MLB players being able to dunk, many of these athletes played multiple sports competitively & could have probably been pros in other sports. To me that's amazing, to be that much of a pure athlete in sports that require the most raw speed/strength/stamina & be able to excel in more than one?
I love Federer/Sampras/McEnroe but do you honestly think any of them could be a pro in any the US team sports? Sampras & Roddick are huge fans of the team sports, they'd probably laugh if someone suggested that a tennis pro could excel in those sports.
I don't know much about soccer, but have noticed the way the South American/European tennis players revere it. I remember the French players being asked about the World Cup a few years ago. They were asked if they thought they could have been pro soccer players. They looked baffled by that question & said something like, "we are only tennis players, soccer players are gods"

Tennis is a great game, that requires skill & atheticism, but skill far outways atheticism in terms of importance.

joehight
02-25-2005, 09:34 AM
tennis is an individual sport. you dont have teammates to help carry the load for u like football, basketball, etc. jordan played great in his mid 30's, but how would he have done on say the clippers not the bulls? boxing would b a better comparison. and even there you have several weight categorys. to be a contender in tennis you have stay in the top 10 or 20 in the world. was rice one of the 10 best football players late in his career? no way. but all he had to do was make the team. former champions are not going to hang around to be #50 in the world. and the young guys are just getting better all the time. and lose just a split second off your game and it ll leave u in the dust. just ask pete sampras.
Interesting thread and lots of good answers provided for why tennis players don't stay around to compete at very "top" levels much past their early 30s. But I think this quote gets to the most important points. "Top" level in tennis means winning grand slams, masters series events, and being in the top 5, 10, or at least 20 in the world in an individual sport, where you can't pick your opponents, as in boxing. Past your very ealy 30s that is very difficult to do. Tennis has had some exceptions. Jimmy Conners competing for the US Open at 39. Navratolova content to compete in doubles at 45.

35ft6
02-25-2005, 05:02 PM
PS I always get a real laugh when a football player leaves the game and is out for weeks for minor stuff- finger cut, bone bruise, pulled hamstring, etc.
Figure skaters and gymnasts have much much worse than that and still compete and train. Believe me, skaters and gymnasts are much more affected by those sorts of injuries than football players- I know because growing up I played football and all the other "mainstream" sports but this would be another post topic. It has a lot to do with money. Football players, unlike figure skaters and gymnasts, have contracts worth tens of millions, and owners are just trying to protect their investment, as for the most part even if a player is permanently injured to the point of never being able to play again, they get their money. So it's worth it for them to play it safe.

Also, it can be argued that professional football players are playing in almost constant pain, or threat of pain. Those guys are getting creamed by the some of the fastest, strongest athletes in the world, and they have to get right back up. There are probably just as many instances of football players playing in considerable pain, but that's probably not something you want to advertise so that the other team can exploit it.

Compare that to tennis, where injuries often seem like excuses for losing.

35ft6
02-25-2005, 05:09 PM
I agree with JoeHight that the post 2 above hit some great points...

Another thing is that I just think each generation packs just a bit more heat in their groundstrokes. I'm sorry if somebody already suggested this, but I think it's comparable to the 4 minute mile, at one time thought impossible. But once 1 person did it, a lot of people afterwards suddenly were able to do the "impossible" as well.

I think each generation does a bit to redefine what is possible, doing things the previous generation thought was too risky. The generation afterwards does a bit to make what was once "risky" a bread and butter shot.

So a lot of it is that the game simply evolves too quickly. The 30 year old in comparison to the 20 year old is play too conservatively. The 30 year old might be playing the best he's ever played, and he might be a smarter player than the 20 yo, but the 20 yo with his different mindset might just hit him off the court.

Ramble ramble ramble.

Kaptain Karl
02-26-2005, 09:32 AM
While I understand what 35ft6 writes in his post #29 (Yesterday's exceptional technique is today's basic weapon. And the evolution of the game.) I also want to challenge that just a bit....

[Note that I am not completely confident that the differences I write about here ... apply at the top level of competition. But I do see correlation even among the top 200 - 100 level of the Pros....]

I coach our HS team. What's funny is none of my boys can beat me ... but each of the top three singles *believes* he is a better player than I am. (I can see it in their eyes and their attitude.)

I use "old school" tactics to take them down a peg or two when they get too cocky. They all complain that if I'd "hit the ball" they'd win. No matter how often I remind them the key to winning is giving your opponent what they *don't* like ... their "testosterone" takes over and they simply try to out-bang their opponent.

Against #1 I *am able* out-hit him, but it's so much easier to let him wear himself down, I don't bother. He complains that I only give him "baseline drop-shots". (Zero pace balls which land within two and one-half feet of the baseline.) I tell him if he'd come to net, I'd have to change my strategy. He won't; I don't.

#2 actually has the best all-around game, but he gets down on himself too much. He takes a set off me quite regularly -- and therefore is *certain* he can take me -- even though he's never done so. But he cannot -- or will not -- stick to a good game plan long enough to take me in a three-set match.

#3 has all the strokes ... and is a *total* head case. All the other coaches in our District just tell their #3's, "Stay in there, long enough for him to hit two bad shots in a row. As soon as that happens, he falls apart and you will win." They are right....

[I can help with strokes and strategy. I can encourage and correct. I cannot *make* a boy mature....]

My point is, these “old school” tactics still work ... in the right circumstance. (Roddick even *started* using smart tennis to play Hewitt in the AO. I can only guess that he stopped, because it was so “foreign” for him to play that game.) He reverted to what was “comfortable” -- to *banging* -- and Hewitt won.

- KK

pro10is
02-26-2005, 01:36 PM
How about the fact that every day thousands of kids are learning how to hit harder,faster,and do whatever it takes. Ten years ago everyone was talking about how huge a 120 mph serve was. Now that's considered slow. Ten years ago I could just break 100 mph, now I hit 140 mph. When you are a pro you don't have the chance or courage to change your strokes. You can only make small changes, but sometimes you need a radical change if you want to win. Eventualy enough young guy's with bigger and better games push you down the rankings. It's over, you're old and so is your game.

35ft6
02-26-2005, 05:57 PM
How about the fact that every day thousands of kids are learning how to hit harder,faster,and do whatever it takes. Ten years ago everyone was talking about how huge a 120 mph serve was. Now that's considered slow. Ten years ago I could just break 100 mph, now I hit 140 mph. When you are a pro you don't have the chance or courage to change your strokes. You can only make small changes, but sometimes you need a radical change if you want to win. Eventualy enough young guy's with bigger and better games push you down the rankings. It's over, you're old and so is your game. This is basically what I said except more concise and... uh... better, I guess.

35ft6
02-26-2005, 06:07 PM
I coach our HS team. What's funny is none of my boys can beat me ... but each of the top three singles *believes* he is a better player than I am. (I can see it in their eyes and their attitude.)

I use "old school" tactics to take them down a peg or two when they get too cocky. They all complain that if I'd "hit the ball" they'd win. No matter how often I remind them the key to winning is giving your opponent what they *don't* like ... their "testosterone" takes over and they simply try to out-bang their opponent.

My point is, these “old school” tactics still work ... in the right circumstance. (Roddick even *started* using smart tennis to play Hewitt in the AO. I can only guess that he stopped, because it was so “foreign” for him to play that game.) He reverted to what was “comfortable” -- to *banging* -- and Hewitt won.- KK Great post, KK. No, I understand what you're saying. It's a very funny phenomenon. I remember watching old men (like 65 and up) schooling youngsters because while they sprayed balls all over the place trying to hit like Agassi, old timer would simply keep the ball in play.

My friends and I all know these dudes who were former pros or Davis Cup coaches or something, and they use a continental forehand and they school the average junior.

BTW, on The Tennis Channel I watched Johnny Mac smoke Andrew Murray in a set of Superset tennis. 6-1, and it was every bit as lop sided as the score suggests. This was only about a month after Andrew won the US Open juniors.

Anyway, I don't know how good you are but maybe a top 10 junior in your section could hit you off the court? The disparity you find in everyday civilian tennis is great. Like you suggested, I'm talking more about the pro game. Tony Roche would still beat the average high school player.

I've gotta split. If I read this over later and see that it's a stupid incomplete response, I'll come back to fill in the blanks.

Kobble
02-26-2005, 09:40 PM
Lack of motivation.

Kaptain Karl
02-26-2005, 10:43 PM
Do you mean ...
... the new guys are hungrier?
... the veterans' level of motivation has reduced?
... the veterans are just tired?
... or the veterans simply dont care anymore?

- KK