Age distribution of all Open Era major finalists

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by falstaff78, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. bjsnider

    bjsnider Professional

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    I think the fitness level and slow courts mean this is changing and leaning more towards success in the late 20s/early 30s, but we'll see. I'm not convinced young players are capable of hanging around as Murray or Djokovic pounds them down over 5 sets.
     
  2. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    it's a good point. however one of the big takeaways from these charts is to expect substantial improvements between ages 20 and 24. so while it may be the case no one rises to challenge D/N/M we could also be in for a few surprises in the next couple of years!
     
  3. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    that's a great compliment mate. cheers!
     
  4. Cosmic_Colin

    Cosmic_Colin Professional

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    Thanks for your offer... maybe in a month or two. A project at work is making me work 55 hour weeks at the moment, so I haven't had much energy for anything.

    I began the very early stages of the project the other evening. It will be slow but I'll let you know when I've put something meaningful together.
     
  5. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    Here you go - sorry it wasn't the answer you were expecting!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    I don't understand. Isn't it just 9 years between Wimbledon 2003 and Wimbledon 2012? And 7 between Roland Garros 2005 and Roland Garros 2012?
     
  7. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    See footnote. For current players (i.e. Fed, Rafa and Nole) I thought it made more sense to show the span from the first major till TODAY as opposed to the last major.

    Given that the ostensible purpose of doing this analysis is to put an upper bound on the length of time over which these guys can keep winning majors.
     
  8. PseudoFed

    PseudoFed Banned

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    Good thread.
     
  9. Soundog

    Soundog Rookie

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    Great analysis !

    I suspect this was because of the catastrophic change in racket technology around that time.

    The 1981 Wimbledon final was played with wood conventional rackets. In 1982, Mats Wilander won the French Open with a graphite mid - the Rossignol F200. The new graphite rackets allowed the young guns to slip past the old guard for the most part except for McEnroe who had adopted the Dunlop Max 200G in 1983. From then on, it was oversize graphite all the way with perhaps the zenith being Chang sneaking past Lendl on his way to winning the French open in 1989 using a prince graphite.
     
  10. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Amazing work Falstaff! It's really interesting. I had the same problem than you. My wife thinks that I'm crazy to spend so much time in tennis number (instead of playing it!).

    However I think their is a problem with your analysis of outlier. Are outlier really outlier when they are nearly half of the total cases? To solve this problem it would be necessary to include more cases. You can't make that with players who have won less than 5 slams, because they wouldn't be spread enough, so you have to include finals as well. The ideal thing would be to pick a bunch of top 10 players from each decades we know were not to much stoped by injuries and make a scale for their slam result. Thus we could see slam success by age for a variety of players, including the one who are not able to win or reach slam final.

    Unfortunately I don't have a lot of free time now but I hope that I can someday participate to a community of tennis freak scientist.
     
  11. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    Thanks. Perfect.

    It is what i knew. My silly caveat is sampras won 12 of his 14 between 1993 wimby and 2000 wimby (7 years). 1990 usopen and 2002 usopen the other two.
     
  12. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    the slam finalists are underrated thus gets overlooked in here. It's not that easy and only a handful of players that have reach the final. If we include the finals Lendl is very impressive.
     
  13. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    thanks ten char
     
  14. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    Hey Flash always a pleasure to meet a fellow freak / nut. Not to mention a fellow member of the married club.

    When I first made the little table with age buckets I thought the same thing - why are half the guys outliers? and do I need to include more cases?

    Then I realized that the chart in the OP does precisely that! Essentially it includes ALL the cases, and sums them up! And the size of the sample (n=444) means it is statistically robust. There are 229 major / season finale final appearances between ages 22-25 and only 140 from ages 26-39!
     
  15. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    outstanding hypothesis! I had totally not thought of that. But that would have to be the answer. it would explain the only outlying period in open era history where teenagers were performing by an absurd margin!

    you pretty much have to be rafa on clay to be able to reach a major final as a teenager!
     
  16. falstaff78

    falstaff78 Professional

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    Sorry for the random bump, but in the aftermath of the Stakh-tastrophe someone posted precisely the kind of ignorant, fanciful garbage that this thread was designed to counteract.

    So just to remind everyone once again, Federer IS feeling the effects of age.
     
  17. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    And he also was the youngest winning the AO!
     
  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Thanks, Phoenix, for mentioning Rosewall and my name...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  19. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Yes, 18 years and 2 months.
     
  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    It would certainly appear that 22-25 are the magic years for male tennis players.
     
  21. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Falstaff,

    I read most of this thread when you linked to it in the thread about Nadal's MTOs today. I liked it and am thankful that you wrote it. But I do have a few questions and comments:

    1) You say that the sample size is significant because you have 444 data points but the problem is that many of the data points are repeated for different people. In fact, you don't have nearly that number of different Grand Slam winners or finalists, and so I wonder whether you are really on such firm ground in predicting that the data won't change over time?

    2) Do you still stand by what you said a year ago about the improvement of younger players? Already in the women's game, the number of 31+ Slam champions is greater in the past year than it was for decades before that, and it seems plausible that the ages will rise in the men's game, too. Already Ferrer made his first major final at 31. A multiple Slam champion making a final at 31 is explicable in terms of the high level of his overall game, so that proportionate drop in skills still leaves him competitive. But Ferrer was essentially as good as, or better than, ever at 31. Tommy Haas isn't that far off his best-ever level at 35. Federer being #12 at 35 might imply that he was way off his best. But although Haas was #2 at one point, he only finished in the top 10 once, so he's also almost at his maximum level.

    3) In short, it seems to me that, just as the teen Slam finalist phenomenon turned out to be a feature of the 1980s (one of the 4 non-80s finalists was Sampras in 1990, so still the same era, anyway), so a feature of the 2010s might well be more finalists in their 30s.

    4) Even if that doesn't happen, it still seems rather unlikely that 2014 won't be a year of domination by players aged 27+. By the time of the next Slam, every single member of the current top 10 apart from Del Potro will be 27. Sure, Raonic is #11 and Dimitrov might well break through. But the current composition of the top ten is much older than it has been before.

    Here's a website that tracks ranking by age: http://tennisabstract.com/reports/rankingsByAge.html
     
  22. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I forgot just how good and potentially insightful this thread was/is.

    PS, I bet falstaff is pretty cheesed off right about now.
     
  23. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    this needs an update before AO15 (after the WTF14)

    I love this thread! :)

    thanks a lot to falstaff!
     
  24. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the great data !

    By the way, the major shift in modern tennis happened between 2003-4, namely when
    1. Wimbledon and US Open slow down their surfaces.
    2. Polyester string took over fully.
    3. The ATP ranking system changed.

    I mean it's the beginning of modern baseline era with advent of major players like Federer and Nadal.

    It would nice to see some data before and after that.

    It would be also nice to see the average ages of top 25 or 50 at each periods.
    Current top 25 certainly look pretty old compared to 80s and 90s.
     

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