How good do you think Federer would be if...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by HunterST, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,412
    It's fairly common knowledge that for someone to become a professional tennis player that have to have started playing tennis at least before 10 years of age and preferably around 5. So what if someone like Roger Federer with a huge amount of natural talent started at an age like 18 or so. How fast do you think he would progress? How good do you think he'd be overall?
     
    #1
  2. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Never picked up a racquet before 18?

    Local Teaching Pro: 4.5/5.0 IF he stayed with it.
     
    #2
  3. shazbot

    shazbot Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    416
    Location:
    MA
    Agreed. Probably 4.5-5.0 at most.

    It takes someone 6-7 years of playing 4-6 hours a day to get to the 6.0 level. For someone to start playing when they just turn 18, that is near impossible because you have probably already started your college life and will not have a lot of time to practice tennis.
     
    #3
  4. Tsonga#1fan

    Tsonga#1fan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    540
    Location:
    East Coast USA, Puerto Rico
    In my opinion, not much difference if any at all....Stan Smith didn't pick up a racquet until 14, 15...16, or so, and went on to be a US and Wimbledon champion and I don't think he'd have been any better if he had been born with a racquet hanging out of his butt to play with.
     
    #4
  5. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,412
    Really? I know a guy that started playing at 19 and he's 27 now and is a solid 4.5. I figure Federer with way more natural talent would be better than him. I would have guessed 5.0 to 5.5 myself.
     
    #5
  6. shazbot

    shazbot Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    416
    Location:
    MA
    You are quite the funny troll heh.
     
    #6
  7. elquien

    elquien New User

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    86
    uh. I started at age 21 and got to 4.5 in about 4 years. I am short and have the reflexes of a sloth.

    some college players started in high school

    Fed would at least be in a top ranked college tennis team.
     
    #7
  8. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Silvis, IL
    Bill Tilden dominated tennis for 7 years, but didn't start till he was an adult!
     
    #8
  9. You cant compare him to todays players, i thought you understood that.
    Fascinating man though, i just finished reading a book about him. He had a very exciting life.
     
    #9
  10. Kostas

    Kostas Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I guess this somewhat depends on the perspective of what exactly "starts tennis at age 18 means"...does it means he instantly goes to Bolleterri and gets world class training at age 18? Or does it mean he picks up a racquet and just starts playing?
     
    #10
  11. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,145
    too many variables involved. What if he played both baseball and soccer for years? Not crazy too say that then he would have developed the necessary coordination/footwork to play at a very high level.

    On the other hand, if he played no sports for the first 15 years of his life, he wouldn't get anywhere.

    The reason the ages 4-12 are so important is b/c these are the years where a child develops important muscular tendencies. Did you know that if you don't learn to throw a ball by about age 6, you'll never be able to master the motion?

    Like I said, it's impossible to determine, there are just too many unknowns
     
    #11
  12. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,412
    Yeah I know it's impossible to know for sure, that's why it's (to me) and interesting theoretical discussion. The situation is assuming Federer lived a normal life, playing other sports like any kid would, and then started playing tennis with a coach at age 18.

    Basically we're discussing how much of a role starting early has. Is it so much that even with Federer's talent he couldn't reach 6.0 or would talent be enough to get him to a high level despite a late start.
     
    #12
  13. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Silvis, IL
    winning is winning, and while i realize that today's game is based on fitness, becoming a dominant no 1 when you didn't make your college team is pretty impressive.
     
    #13
  14. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    17,223
    Location:
    Toronto
    Plus as a kid you have dreams of winning wimbledon or rolland garros. That motivates you to play better and to have the psychological desire. If federer started played tennis at the age 18 even if there was that desire it won't be beyond the other players who had dreams as a kid. That why you can see so many hungry guys in grand slams. They want it badly.
     
    #14
  15. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,039
    Tilden played in the pre-open era when the quality of play was nowhere near today's level. Stan Smith also would not have succeeded in today's game due to his s&v style
     
    #15
  16. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,328
    Well it is completely useless to base on what one's own experience or what one see around. That is the enigma of genius.
     
    #16

Share This Page