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View Full Version : Modern sports medicine has made all this talk of "Grandpa" irrelevant


The Hype
06-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Federer can easily go to his mid thirties playing at very high level. Nadal will play into his thirties against all reasoning. Don't know if Djokovic has the commitment of those two but he could go into his thirties no problem. Even with the slowness of the courts and the amount of tournaments played, careers are going to go longer and longer a la Agassi. Oh yeah, and anyone who uses the term grandpa for late Agassi is talking garbage. I feel sorry for the younger generations. Their being stifled.

Federererer
06-05-2012, 10:34 AM
Yeah but that modern medicine is balanced by the higher level required to play in today's game

/thread

10is
06-05-2012, 10:38 AM
Federer can easily go to his mid thirties playing at very high level. Nadal will play into his thirties against all reasoning. Don't know if Djokovic has the commitment of those two but he could go into his thirties no problem. Even with the slowness of the courts and the amount of tournaments played, careers are going to go longer and longer a la Agassi. Oh yeah, and anyone who uses the term grandpa for late Agassi is talking garbage. I feel sorry for the younger generations. Their being stifled.

It's disingenuous to consider Agassi as the standard for athletic longevity in tennis considering his anamolous stop-start career.

Agassi Career Matches Played: 1114 -- 21 years on tour -- Avg. of 53 matches per year

Federer Career Matched Played: 1033 -- 14 years on tour -- Avg. of 74 matches per year

Its a scientific fact that athletic prowess diminishes with age especially for a physically demanding sport like tennis. Agassi was able to extend his longevity by not having played as rigorously through his late twenties thus not having taken as much of a toll physically as he would have otherwise. Federer is currently fooling people into thinking that age is an illusory barrier by virtue of his superlative talent and physical fitness, but even the fact that he has declined relative to his physical prime years is obvious no matter how much people might fool themselves into believing otherwise. Anyone with a half-a-brain can attest to this. Its only going to get worse form hereonin and glimpses of his peRFection will inevitably get rarer and rarer to behold.

dominikk1985
06-05-2012, 10:38 AM
That's correct. but still we haven't yet learned to defeat age completely.

so yes. players do decline later and slower but eventually they all do decline.

30 years ago players declined with 26-27 and now with 29-30 (when healthy- if not earlier)

10is
06-05-2012, 10:52 AM
That's correct. but still we haven't yet learned to defeat age completely.

30 years ago players declined with 26-27 and now with 29-30 (when healthy- if not earlier)

You do realize that most players in the 50s/60s/70s played well through their into their thirties -- the reason -- a less intensive and shorter tennis season.

People "live longer" these days but they still arent able to surpass the threshold of their body's peak performance years. Cellular degeneration is an unavoidable fact which modern science has yet to cure. If that were the case , the proverbial fountain of youth would have already been a reality.

The Hype
06-05-2012, 10:54 AM
That's correct. but still we haven't yet learned to defeat age completely.

so yes. players do decline later and slower but eventually they all do decline.

30 years ago players declined with 26-27 and now with 29-30 (when healthy- if not earlier)

Yeah. There's obviously going to be a decline but this talk of "Grandpa" when their in their thirties will be made a nonsense with modern sports medicine.

Don Felder
06-05-2012, 11:38 AM
I disagree. Federer is one of a kind in terms of his body type and playing style. Nadal won't last as long, and I'm almost certain Djoker won't, either.

And while we're talking about Federer, I'm reasonably convinced he's dealing with some type of injury given his play in the French so far.

BevelDevil
06-05-2012, 11:40 AM
"Grandpa" is often used as a compliment to an older player, or as an insult to a young one:

"Grandpa Fed beat prime Nadal twice this year."

The Hype
06-05-2012, 11:46 AM
I disagree. Federer is one of a kind in terms of his body type and playing style. Nadal won't last as long, and I'm almost certain Djoker won't, either.

And while we're talking about Federer, I'm reasonably convinced he's dealing with some type of injury given his play in the French so far.

Okay, I'll make a bet. Nadal will be playing quality tennis in his thirties.

nadal_slam_king
06-05-2012, 11:49 AM
Federer can easily go to his mid thirties playing at very high level. Nadal will play into his thirties against all reasoning. Don't know if Djokovic has the commitment of those two but he could go into his thirties no problem. Even with the slowness of the courts and the amount of tournaments played, careers are going to go longer and longer a la Agassi. Oh yeah, and anyone who uses the term grandpa for late Agassi is talking garbage. I feel sorry for the younger generations. Their being stifled.

But Agassi won slams past the age of 30 and was ranked number one. Federer hasn't won a slam for 2 years. Doesn't look like modern medicine is working for Fed. Or maybe it is but he just isn't talented enough to win slams in this era. The only guy winning slams well into his 30s will be Nadal, because he's so far ahead of the pack at Roland Garros (his best ever Roland Garros, at age 26). Modern medicine might be failing Federer, seeing as he can only win best-of-3 set events, and not best-of-5.

TopFH
06-05-2012, 12:33 PM
But Agassi won slams past the age of 30 and was ranked number one. Federer hasn't won a slam for 2 years. Doesn't look like modern medicine is working for Fed. Or maybe it is but he just isn't talented enough to win slams in this era. The only guy winning slams well into his 30s will be Nadal, because he's so far ahead of the pack at Roland Garros (his best ever Roland Garros, at age 26). Modern medicine might be failing Federer, seeing as he can only win best-of-3 set events, and not best-of-5.

I can't believe you're calling a 31-year old guy with more titles than Nadal this year not talented.

namelessone
06-05-2012, 12:36 PM
I can't believe you're calling a 31-year old guy with more titles than Nadal this year not talented.

I can't believe some of you are still responding to ***. Are you that bored?

TopFH
06-05-2012, 12:43 PM
I can't believe some of you are still responding to ***. Are you that bored?

In a few words, I'm bored to hell.

RedRae7
06-05-2012, 12:44 PM
I think its more down to playing style and intensity you've put the body through. Take Ryan Giggs for instance, extremely injury prone as a youngster and thus missed out on large chunks of his playing career.. thus keeping him relatively fresh.

Paul Scholes, very inteliigent player, economical in terms of movement, whereas someone like Roy Keane - a box to box destroyer in the mould of Nadal was finished by the age of 30.

In my opinion out of the current top 4, Nadal obviously has the least chance of a prolonged career. I think Murray has a very economical style for a grinder, in that he hasn't really Djokovic semi apart been involved with intense duels, in addition to this he has a very varied game which can easily adapt to the hindrance of old age.

Djokovic is a weird one to predict, grinder yes.. but he seems so flexible and like he wouldn't put much weight on. I think he might go longer than Nadal.

Don Felder
06-05-2012, 04:35 PM
Okay, I'll make a bet. Nadal will be playing quality tennis in his thirties.

Do you think Nadal fakes his physical ailments then?

I can't see him having anywhere near the success of a Federer or Agassi in his 30s at all. He was showing signs of extreme mental burnout until the clay season this year, and I think he'll come back to earth again once we move off the dirt. Once that happens, he'll go right back to being surly Rafa.

That's the thing: his style is not only PHYSICALLY taxing, but it's also incredibly mentally taxing. That's bound to start hurting him more with age.

WhiskeyEE
06-05-2012, 04:40 PM
Modern medicine isn't sophisticated at all. They have barely scratched the surface of human biology.

Hormone replacement therapy and whatnot is a huge step, but it doesn't halt ageing. Not even close.

They can't even halt hair loss yet, let alone the ageing of the body.

nadal_slam_king
06-05-2012, 06:10 PM
I can't believe you're calling a 31-year old guy with more titles than Nadal this year not talented.

Nadal beat that 31-year-old in 4 sets at the AO, after Federer had won 26 straight (best-of-3-set) matches. Proves my point about Federer not being physically able to win a best-5-set title. Just saying, Federer doesn't have enough talent to make up for his lack of physicality in the slams. Agassi had more talent.

Bobby Jr
06-05-2012, 06:45 PM
Its a scientific fact that athletic prowess diminishes with age especially for a physically demanding sport like tennis...
Yes, but the "facts" people claim are often not facts by true definition.

With regards to the magical, mythical 30 year physical decline threshold: is it actually the case that endurance for most males peaks after 30 years of age. This is evidenced by multisport athletes and marathon runners world over. The guys in their mid 20s can't even compete with them generally.

But, what the older guys may have in endurance they generally lose out on speed and injury avoidance.

Personal situations matter a lot also - how well or smart you train, how well you rest and recuperate, what you eat... and often simply what your body's natural limits are - which vary greatly person to person.

kishnabe
06-05-2012, 07:29 PM
Nadal beat that 31-year-old in 4 sets at the AO, after Federer had won 26 straight (best-of-3-set) matches. Proves my point about Federer not being physically able to win a best-5-set title. Just saying, Federer doesn't have enough talent to make up for his lack of physicality in the slams. Agassi had more talent.

http://c1206.hizliresim.com/y/5/7j3uv.gif

TopFH
06-05-2012, 07:46 PM
Nadal beat that 31-year-old in 4 sets at the AO, after Federer had won 26 straight (best-of-3-set) matches. Proves my point about Federer not being physically able to win a best-5-set title. Just saying, Federer doesn't have enough talent to make up for his lack of physicality in the slams. Agassi had more talent.

Do you know in how many sets Federer won today? 5.
Did you know that Federer-Agassi have an 8-3 head 2 head? 3-1 in slams.
Did you know that Federer has won 16 slams, which include 112 matches won in best of five?
Did you know that Federer has the most GS wins with 237?

WhiskeyEE
06-05-2012, 07:55 PM
Yes, but the "facts" people claim are often not facts by true definition.

With regards to the magical, mythical 30 year physical decline threshold: is it actually the case that endurance for most males peaks after 30 years of age. This is evidenced by multisport athletes and marathon runners world over. The guys in their mid 20s can't even compete with them generally.

But, what the older guys may have in endurance they generally lose out on speed and injury avoidance.

Personal situations matter a lot also - how well or smart you train, how well you rest and recuperate, what you eat... and often simply what your body's natural limits are - which vary greatly person to person.

Strength also peaks later. Somewhere around age 30. Unfortunately, speed is typically more important and is a limiting factor in most western sports.

Reflexes are something that really decline in/after one's 20s. That might be more significant than anything else. I mean look what happened to Roy Jones Jr.

Bjorn99
06-05-2012, 08:29 PM
Living forever is a simple matter of stopping telomeres from shrinking. And Nicolas Cage sure seems to have figured this one out. Here is a picture of him in 1870 as an UNIDENTIFIED, Confederate Soldier.

http://www.google.ca/imgres?hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&sa=X&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnso&tbnid=QtofBw0RX-8OIM:&imgrefurl=http://y98.cbslocal.com/2011/09/19/this-1870-photo-looks-like-which-celebrity/&docid=VhRfidzuY2S3FM&imgurl=http://cbsy98.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/nicolas-cage-old-photo.jpg%253Fw%253D420&w=385&h=240&ei=Cc7OT6-iMYfn0QHdr9SVCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=659&vpy=52&dur=884&hovh=177&hovw=284&tx=91&ty=86&sig=116516833398547361979&page=1&tbnh=136&tbnw=167&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:83&biw=1016&bih=612

10is
06-05-2012, 09:05 PM
But, what the older guys may have in endurance they generally lose out on speed and injury avoidance.

Though I absolutely agree that speed/reflexes (peaking by 25 on avg) always fall off way before (cardiovascular+muscular) endurance, I would contend that framing marathon performance as an age issue is somewhat erroneous since it isn't chronological age but athletic age i.e. a runner's history of aerobic training that ultimately determines their peak vo2max. This is apparent when you consider that max heart rate (calculated by substracting ones "age" from 220) decreases around a beat a year on average after 25.

For example, consider the "mileage base" of the two Beijing Olympic marathon winners from opposite ends of the age spectrum, the Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru (having trained since he was a child) who at 21 years of age broke the world record, and on the other hand the 38 year old Constantina Tomescu (who had only started training well into her twenties).

In the past, there was a concern that turning to the marathon too soon would unduly shorten a runner's career which comprised of sprinting first and foremost -- as a result elite athletes didn't start training for marathons until quite a bit later which is why ages of past winners have been so skewed towards the older range.

This also incidentally explains why Agassi was still able to compete at a high level later in his career because of the lower mileage his body had endured compared to his peer Sampras at the same age. However supreme athletic specimens like Federer can still perform at a high level (endurance-wise) past 30 because they have learned to recognize the types of training their bodies respond to best and they know how to occassionally summon their individual peaks when the situation demands it. Hence (barring statistical anomalies like Agassi) players certainly get smarter with age but they don't always necessarily peak in terms of their endurance/stamina/fatigue recovery, and they certainly don't get any better but in fact worsen in terms of power, speed and reflex.