View Full Version : Surface and Longevity of Tennis Players
04-04-2009, 12:12 AM
In many sports including basketball, baseball, soccer, football, boxing, etc many of the best players have had amazing seasons if not there best seasons past the age of 30. Michael Jordan was a better player in his early 30's than when he was in his mid 20's. Kobe is way better now than when he was in his early or mid 20's. Most baseball players put ther best numbers in there early thirties. Manny Pacquiao is at his best right now. Barry Sanders rushed for over 2000 yards as a 29 year old and had another amazing year as a 30 year old. Many other NFL greats have had amazing or even ther best seasons at or over the age of thirty. The point is none of these surfaces are nearly as rough on the body as a tennis hardcourt. Even many of the cushioned hardcourts are still way harder than a wood floor basketball court, or natural grass surfaces of baseball, soccer, football etc. I love the true and more consistent and predictable bounce of hardcourts as compared to grass or clay but wonder if more of the tournaments were played on grass and clay if tennis players would have longer careers? If so is it worth switching some of the tournaments in order to extend the longevity of tennis players?
04-04-2009, 12:25 AM
Well, you listed a quite a few GREAT players, who are for the most part exceptions to the topic you mention. In the NBA most players are already on the decline by the time the hit 30. In the NFL I would say that the peak is even sooner than in the NBA, and most players start playing even later age wise in the NFL. Baseball is probably about the least physically demanding sport that i still consider to be a sport (I don't consider golf, or NASCAR, etc to be sprts) and therefore I think that is why you see many MLB players putting up great seasons even passed the age of 30. Tennis is indeed very physically demanding and rough on the body. I am not sure if it is a hard ont he body as the NFL, or the NHL though. I would put tennis ahead of the NBA in terms of how rough it is ont he body though. There will of course always be some great players who play well even well passed 30, and some even on to almost 40, but in most sports, especially more physically demanding ones like tennis or football it is less likely to happen.
I don't think switching tournaments to different surfaces will really have any affect on the longevity either. Either way, if a player spends enough time on tour he is eventually going to burn his knees and joints out, as well as the fact that the more worn out they get with age, there are new young guns with still youthful legs ready to jump in and start beating the aging players.
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