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View Full Version : Are all multi-Slam winners roughly between 5'11 to 6'2?


Mike Sams
12-26-2011, 10:48 PM
Multi-Slam winners Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Sampras are all between 6' to 6'2.
Other Grand Slam winners who only won 1 or 2 Slams like Safin and Del Potro are 6'4+ but dealt with many injuries also which hampered their careers.
Lendl, MacEnroe, Agassi, Becker, Edberg, Courier, Connors etc also were either near 6' but no more than 6'2 or so.
Of course there are exceptions like Laver although the sport and its players evolve. But generally multi-Slam winners are at the 5'11 to 6'2 mark.
So judging by this, is it likely that we will not see monsters like Del Potro and giants who come along in the future winning more than a Slam or two at best? Is it primarily just in the cards based on tennis' history?

TMF
12-26-2011, 11:11 PM
This is a good thread to tell the old timers from the "former pro player talk" forum that shorter players doesn't belong in the elite group. You need to be atleast 6' to be great. Even Agassi who was the closest to 6', but he was 2nd to Courier in the early 90s, Sampras throughout the 90s and then Federer in 00s.

stringertom
12-26-2011, 11:15 PM
Stan Smith would beg to disagree with you. Safin would second the motion.

Raonic and/or JMDP are very capable of achieving multi-slam-winner status within the next few years.

MariaRafael
12-26-2011, 11:21 PM
Especially Raonic. He's been a top 10 players for many years. High time for him to move further with his all-round game reduced to his hectic all-round serve.

DeShaun
12-27-2011, 12:22 AM
Especially Raonic. He's been a top 10 players for many years. High time for him to move further with his all-round game reduced to his hectic all-round serve.
This was funny. I don't know that Raonic's personality is aggressive enough for him to build a top 10 pro-level game around his admittedly superb serve; and I say this because I see so many similarities between his game and Sampras' EXCEPT for the simple observation that Pete was always secretly hungry like a wild animal for victory whereas Milos SEEMS of a naturally more docile character.

Fedchamp
12-27-2011, 12:43 AM
Michael Chang anyone? 5' 9". Oh you said "multi- slam winners". Sorry.
It's a fact you can't be a major player in the modern game without big strokes and a big serve. These qualities are greatly helped along by having greater height and longer limbs. I also think being taller and having a longer stride is a plus for court movement.

cc0509
12-27-2011, 12:49 AM
Michael Chang anyone? 5' 9". Oh you said "multi- slam winners". Sorry.
It's a fact you can't be a major player in the modern game without big strokes and a big serve. These qualities are greatly helped along by having greater height and longer limbs. I also think being taller and having a longer stride is a plus for court movement.

That is not true at all. In fact most of the really tall players have horrible movement for example, Del Potro, Raonic, Sharapova, etc.

ledwix
12-27-2011, 01:18 AM
Longer limbs are not great for agility once you start to get above 6'3 or so. They are only good for top speed, if that. For instance, Usain Bolt, 6'5, is actually not the fastest starter in the world, though his top speed in the 60-100 meter range make up for this, rendering his sprint times godly.

Fedchamp
12-27-2011, 01:19 AM
That is not true at all. In fact most of the really tall players have horrible movement for example, Del Potro, Raonic, Sharapova, etc.

I actually think Del Potro's movement is good in that he covers the court quickly with fewer strides. He frequently runs down difficult shots and keeps his tactical advantage when stretched. Back in the day the phrase "moves well for a big man" would frequently be used for guys like Becker or Lendl. You don't hear that these days. Fast moving big guys have almost become the norm. Nowadays I think the average height of the top 100 players would probably be around 6'1" to 6' 2" ( just a guess). Good movement is essential to be a top player.
However, I think height in regards to movement , can only help up to a point. After that it becomes a hindrance (eg Ivo Karlovic).

SLD76
12-27-2011, 04:46 AM
I agree wholeheartedly.

I think a very tall body is ultimately not the most efficient for tennis.


conversely, very short players struggle to win slams as well.

my eyes tell me that players in the 6 6'2 range are ideal height.

mental midget
12-27-2011, 08:26 AM
this comes up a lot, i know i've opined on the subject a bunch of times. in a nutshell, anything over 6'3 or so seems to hinder more than it helps in the long run. slower, more injuries, stamina issues, etc.

for me, roger, pete, and maybe edberg are three guys with optimal tennis builds. tall but not towering, strong but not heavily built, lanky and flexible. pancho gonzalez probably belongs in this club as well. novak is close, but i think he may trend a bit towards the frail side. he seems almost 'overtrained to perfection', if he can keep it up, that's great, but i have my doubts.

sunof tennis
12-27-2011, 01:29 PM
Longer limbs are not great for agility once you start to get above 6'3 or so. They are only good for top speed, if that. For instance, Usain Bolt, 6'5, is actually not the fastest starter in the world, though his top speed in the 60-100 meter range make up for this, rendering his sprint times godly.

Tell that to Michael Jordon who moved around the BB court very well. He, of course, is 6'6"

gregor.b
12-27-2011, 01:38 PM
Tell that to Michael Jordon who moved around the BB court very well. He, of course, is 6'6"

Different kettle of fish. Basketball is oh,i'm tired,need a sub. Tennis don't work that way. Although,in saying that Jordan was a supreme athlete who probably would have excelled in whatever sport he chose. Not only was he a gifted athlete, but also demonic in his pursuit of sporting perfection. Try getting a lob over his head. Good luck with that.

celoft
12-27-2011, 02:10 PM
Multi-Slam winners Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Sampras are all between 6' to 6'2.
Other Grand Slam winners who only won 1 or 2 Slams like Safin and Del Potro are 6'4+ but dealt with many injuries also which hampered their careers.
Lendl, MacEnroe, Agassi, Becker, Edberg, Courier, Connors etc also were either near 6' but no more than 6'2 or so.
Of course there are exceptions like Laver although the sport and its players evolve. But generally multi-Slam winners are at the 5'11 to 6'2 mark.
So judging by this, is it likely that we will not see monsters like Del Potro and giants who come along in the future winning more than a Slam or two at best? Is it primarily just in the cards based on tennis' history?

Del Potro might pull a Safin someday after all.

pc1
12-27-2011, 02:33 PM
I don't think you can necessarily stereotype all multi slam winners as between a certain height. For example Pancho Gonzalez was a multi slam winner and he was a bit over 6"3" tall. Henri Cochet won many majors and he was clearly under 5'11" by a good margin, probably around 5'7" or 5'6" tall. Jimmy Connors was about 5'10" tall and he won a lot of majors and over 140 tournaments.

Michael Chang only won one major but he won a lot of tournaments and clearly was of the quality to win more than one major.

I think the bottom line is that top players have to have the ability to handle just about anything. They had to have good agility and speed. Does anyone think that Michael Jordan at 6"6" tall wouldn't have the ability to play tennis if he was taught from a very young age? Often taller players don't move as well or perhaps wouldn't have great agility but this wouldn't be the case with Michael Jordan.

I don't know if anyone playing tennis today would have the athletic ability of Michael Jordan.

Limpinhitter
12-27-2011, 02:34 PM
Multi-Slam winners Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Sampras are all between 6' to 6'2.
Other Grand Slam winners who only won 1 or 2 Slams like Safin and Del Potro are 6'4+ but dealt with many injuries also which hampered their careers.
Lendl, MacEnroe, Agassi, Becker, Edberg, Courier, Connors etc also were either near 6' but no more than 6'2 or so.
Of course there are exceptions like Laver although the sport and its players evolve. But generally multi-Slam winners are at the 5'11 to 6'2 mark.
So judging by this, is it likely that we will not see monsters like Del Potro and giants who come along in the future winning more than a Slam or two at best? Is it primarily just in the cards based on tennis' history?

I don't see it that way. I just think players like Laver and Rosewall were exceptionally talented and made their size an advantage with their quickness and ability to change direction better than anyone else.

Further, I don't think players are much bigger now than in the 60's. In another section, someone stated that the top ten players were all over 6'. I responded with the following:



* * *

Actually, the ATP top 10 includes 2 players under 6' right now: David Ferrer (5'9") and Janko Tipsarevic (5'11")

The 16 seeds at Wimbledon 1969 included:

1. Rod Laver (Champion) 5'8"
2. Tony Roche (Semifinals) 5'10"
3. Tom Okker (Quarterfinals) 5'9"
4. Ken Rosewall (Third Round) 5'6"
5. Arthur Ashe (Semifinals) 6'1"
6. John Newcombe (Final) 6'1"
7. Clark Graebner (Quarterfinals) 6'3"
8. Cliff Drysdale (Quarterfinals) 6'2"
9. Roy Emerson (Fourth Round) 6'
10. Andrés Gimeno (Fourth Round) 6'1"
11. Fred Stolle (Fourth Round) 6'3"
12. Richard Pancho Gonzales (Fourth Round) 6'3"
13. Raymond Moore (First Round) 6'
14. Bob Hewitt (First Round) 6'3"
15. Dennis Ralston (Fourth Round) 6'2"
16. Stan Smith (Fourth Round) 6'4"

Funny, the top 4 seeds were all under 6', and they were the only seeds under 6'. Hmmm, I guess this would tend to prove that smaller players have an advantage. They certainly have a mobility advantage.

World Beater
12-27-2011, 02:55 PM
the strike zone for the game today is higher than it was during laver's time.

the optimal height today is around 6'1 / 6'2...
but during laver's time it was probably lower because the surfaces skidded more, less topspin than today making the strike zone lower.

Laver remarked that had he played in today's game, he would prefer to have been taller to handle the higher bounce.

Mighty Matteo
12-27-2011, 03:47 PM
I think it's very good to be 6' as long as you have a strong build, like Wawrinka. Nobody can say that he hits the ball softly or lacks power. He frequently hits serves in the 130's. His movement is also pretty decent. 6'-6'2 is the optimal range for a tennis player. If they are 6'3, then their movement suffers unless they are extremely skinny like Andy Murray. Still, there aren't many players at 6'3 who can move like Murray, while most shorter players move pretty well. Of course, there are exceptions.

Bobby Jr
12-27-2011, 04:37 PM
Becker was 190cm / 6'3"... definitely taller than Lendl and Edberg.

stringertom
12-28-2011, 05:14 AM
Serving "out of a tree" has its advantages...ask anyone who draws Isner how focused they must become to hold their own serve or face death by TB's.

Excessive height, such as Isner's and Ivo's, comes with drawbacks in mobility. At a slightly less excess in height (6'4 to 6'6), the mobility issue is mitigated slightly while the physics of the serve still has distinct advantages. Milos' physique quite possibly could become the ideal of the future just as 6'0+ height has replaced the sub-6'0 bodies of the past masters. After all, average human height in industrialized Western countries is on the rise. Why wouldn't tennis players go along with that trend?

helloworld
12-28-2011, 06:02 AM
It's about the rule of average. The average height of population is around 5'10-6'0. This means that around 50% of the world, particularly western population, are around this tall. Thus, we can assume that the pool of people with this height will be large. Since most people are around that tall anyway, it isn't a surprise that top players would come from a pool of population around 6'0 height. If most people are 6'5, then we'll see much more great players with that height, but right now, the average height of the population isn't that tall just yet.

zcarzach
12-28-2011, 06:20 AM
Removed, since this was a completely pointless diatribe in the completely wrong place. My apologies.

djokovicgonzalez2010
12-28-2011, 06:20 AM
It's harder, but under 6' could win slams
Tipsarevic could win a Slam- probably 2nd best player at USO
Rochus could have been top 16 if he wasn't such a choker
Clement made a Slam final
Kohly could've done great things- who knows what happened to him...

Bobby Jr
12-28-2011, 03:36 PM
...Mobility isn't an issue for me at 4.0 or 4.5
The comparison basically ends here though. At 5.5 or above any mobility issue at all is amplified as consistency and accuracy rises. Just look at Isner and Karlovic for a perfect example of this. They lose because struggle to get into position, especially once a match gets into its 2nd or 3rd hours. Raw firepower should see them both firmly in the top 5 but they're nowhere near it.

SLD76
12-28-2011, 03:42 PM
The comparison basically ends here though. At 5.5 or above any mobility issue at all is amplified as consistency and accuracy rises. Just look at Isner and Karlovic for a perfect example of this. They lose because struggle to get into position, especially once a match gets into its 2nd or 3rd hours. Raw firepower should see them both firmly in the top 5 but they're nowhere near it.

eh yeah, I stopped reading when he was talking about his height advantage...at the 4.5 level.

mental midget
12-28-2011, 05:03 PM
It's about the rule of average. The average height of population is around 5'10-6'0. This means that around 50% of the world, particularly western population, are around this tall. Thus, we can assume that the pool of people with this height will be large. Since most people are around that tall anyway, it isn't a surprise that top players would come from a pool of population around 6'0 height. If most people are 6'5, then we'll see much more great players with that height, but right now, the average height of the population isn't that tall just yet.

explain the nba.

it's got nothing to do with average height across a given population and everything to do with the particular demands of the sport. somebody mentioned jordan-i'd take iverson or steve nash any day if we're picking an nba star to raise on 'tennis island' from a young age. jordan's too tall.

Limpinhitter
12-28-2011, 06:46 PM
the strike zone for the game today is higher than it was during laver's time.

the optimal height today is around 6'1 / 6'2...
but during laver's time it was probably lower because the surfaces skidded more, less topspin than today making the strike zone lower.

Laver remarked that had he played in today's game, he would prefer to have been taller to handle the higher bounce.

I have not read anything like that from Laver. If anything, IMO, his size was more of an advantage than a disadvantage. But, I have read that he has stated that he would have to change his grip to deal with the higher bounce of the modern game.

Cup8489
12-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Wasn't Becker 6'3"?

Fedchamp
12-28-2011, 11:25 PM
It's about the rule of average. The average height of population is around 5'10-6'0. This means that around 50% of the world, particularly western population, are around this tall. Thus, we can assume that the pool of people with this height will be large. Since most people are around that tall anyway, it isn't a surprise that top players would come from a pool of population around 6'0 height. If most people are 6'5, then we'll see much more great players with that height, but right now, the average height of the population isn't that tall just yet.

Interesting theory, but I think there is an advantage to being 6 foot or taller in tennis. Here's an interesting quote from Mark Philippoussis-
"MP: What’s changed is the power game. When I first came on tour, there were a few guys who could serve over 120 mph. You know, like Ivanisevic, Becker, Sampras, and Rosset, only a handful of guys could slap a ball, but now everyone can slap a ball. The new technology is to thank for that, it’s the strings, the racquets, and the guys out there. The guys now, hit the ball naturally bigger, you know, hitting serves over 120 is the standard now. The game, however; has slowed down a bit over the last few years. When I was playing, the balls were going through the court much quicker, I guess too many spectators complained that they couldn’t see the ball on the TV, so the courts were changed to be slower. So when things change like that, you have to evolve, you know? Guys now aren’t coming into the net as often because the ball is much slower now, so you get a slow ball and you can pass them all day long. Also the guys are much taller now. The average height is about 6’2” now; back then the average was about 6 foot, so taller players now are hitting bigger." Source: http://www.tennisthis.com/pro-players/mark-philippoussis-coming-back-from-down-under-in-2011/

So I think big guys have an advantage and generally have more success. The cream rises to the top. Interesting comment about court speeds as well, for all the doubters.

syc23
12-29-2011, 03:03 AM
I've watched both NBA and tennis for the last 20 years and appreciate the different skills required to excel in both. I think there's a crossover in both sports with general court movements.

Federer has the ideal footwork and build for a perfect tennis player and Jordan for basketball. I do think Jordan, along with Lebron and Kobe with their athleticism, footwork, speed and balance would be absolute monsters on a tennis court. Likewise the likes of Monfils would excel in basketball too.

SLD76
12-29-2011, 03:07 AM
Interesting theory, but I think there is an advantage to being 6 foot or taller in tennis. Here's an interesting quote from Mark Philippoussis-
"MP: What’s changed is the power game. When I first came on tour, there were a few guys who could serve over 120 mph. You know, like Ivanisevic, Becker, Sampras, and Rosset, only a handful of guys could slap a ball, but now everyone can slap a ball. The new technology is to thank for that, it’s the strings, the racquets, and the guys out there. The guys now, hit the ball naturally bigger, you know, hitting serves over 120 is the standard now. The game, however; has slowed down a bit over the last few years. When I was playing, the balls were going through the court much quicker, I guess too many spectators complained that they couldn’t see the ball on the TV, so the courts were changed to be slower. So when things change like that, you have to evolve, you know? Guys now aren’t coming into the net as often because the ball is much slower now, so you get a slow ball and you can pass them all day long. Also the guys are much taller now. The average height is about 6’2” now; back then the average was about 6 foot, so taller players now are hitting bigger." Source: http://www.tennisthis.com/pro-players/mark-philippoussis-coming-back-from-down-under-in-2011/

.


how people stilll debate and deny that the courts have been slowed down over the years is beyond me.

zcarzach
12-29-2011, 11:33 AM
Never mind... pointless sentence. Wrong place to talk about anything not pro related.

TMF
12-29-2011, 11:39 AM
I have not read anything like that from Laver. If anything, IMO, his size was more of an advantage than a disadvantage. But, I have read that he has stated that he would have to change his grip to deal with the higher bounce of the modern game.

Nope. In the past 20 years, all the great champions are bigger than Laver whether if it was a low or high bounce surface. There's no evidence to support your claim.

remember, you are not in the "former pro player talk" forum, so you aren't going to get much support from the old-timers.:wink: