When is "old" as a tennis pro?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by FedFan_2009, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    I keep hearing that past 26 is "old age" in tennis, but is it really true? Gonzo at 29 is still going strong - I've seen no physical decline in his game yet. Same thing with James Blake - his is more of a mental decline. So why should Roger turning 28 mean anything?
     
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  2. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    I think the general consensus is that 22-26 is the standard prime years of most players. I don't think Roger is "old," per se, but I don't think he's in his prime anymore.
     
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  3. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    Sure he's not in his "prime" anymore, but the big question is does that mean anything? I guess it means no more 80-90 win seasons. But if he wins the US Open that will be another 3-slam year at 28 years old.
     
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  4. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    If he wins the U.S. Open, I think that makes the triple Slam feat his most impressive, though not his most dominant. But your question seemed more geared towards "has Roger lost anything at 28?" To me, as an earnest Federer fan, it seems he's lost a fraction on his foot speed, and he commits quite a bit more unforced errors, perhaps as a result of the loss in speed.

    However, I think his winning mentality is as sharp as ever, especially after completing the most difficult double in tennis. He doesn't have the invincible aura anymore, the mystique of "I'm getting on the court and wasting you in straight sets." Yet I think he's recently picked up something just as dangerous, the role of the "Survivor Man." He's outlasted three high quality opponents in five-setters at the last two slams. This says to opponents, "Yeah, you may have me down, but I'm not out" - a message he sent to Rafa at Wimbledon last year.
     
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  5. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    most players who are around 27-28 have been playing for about 10 years full time already... so it seems like they have been around forever. But then there are players who start later and end up having their best years in their late 20's and dont seem as 'old' as other players their same age, like Blake, Gonzo, college players like Becker, Isner etc.
     
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  6. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    In other words, he's gone from early Mohammed Ali to late Mohammed Ali. Early Mohammed Ali floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Later in his career, Ali gritted through and outlasted his opponents, even if he lacked the raw athleticism to blow them out of the ring.

    Is 28 old in tennis? I think so. It's hard to keep up sustained success at that age. Not impossible, obviously, but difficult. Tennis, more than most any other sport, is a game of personal stamina. At that age, players find it harder to bounce back after each game, set, or match. That wears on them.
     
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  7. Great question...Roger turning 28 doesnt mean a thing!
    The answer is...there is not an answer, it is extremely individual, lets take a look at some former world no1 and see when they peaked, Rafter 26-28, Agassi 29-32, Edberg 24-26, Wilander 24, Thomas Muster had his best season by FAR when he was 28, Connors even had a peak when he was over 30, Lendl peaked as 26-28. And id say that Federers game is much more effortless and body-friendly then all of the others, i definetely see Fed winning slams at 30-31.
    I think Rogers last slam and his 19th is gonna be Us Open or Wimbledon 2011
     
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  8. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

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    I say old is 28-29
     
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  9. dragonfire

    dragonfire Banned

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    when federer was 27 - he won 15 slams

    now that he has turned 28 - he won't see another slam again.

    it's a hard question, i think age in tennis isn't really necessary, in a few years federer could be winning slams, anyone else too. Players play until there body gives up, look at nadal, he's 23, which is considered young, and he's in a battlefield with himself at the moment
     
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  10. You dont think Fed will win another slam??
     
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  11. dragonfire

    dragonfire Banned

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    you don't get my post.


    i think federer will win many more slams, but age has nothing to do with it if he does or doesn't.
     
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  12. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    depends on the individual.
     
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  13. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    see agassi, hes at 35 or santoro, hes at 38
     
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  14. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I think its more accurate to say a player has X number of prime years. You can either use them up early and burn out, or you can be like Agassi and slack for a couple years and then use some of them later on.

    I feel like Nadal will be "old" at a young age if he doesn't start managing his body better. Fed seems to have slowed down in the non-slam events to preserve himself so he can play longer. Plus his style allows him to recover well because its not as grinding. It will definitely be hard for Fed to continue making slam F and SF rounds, but I guarantee he will always be a threat to win the title for at least 5 years even when his ranking slips and he starts losing earlier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
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  15. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Rosewall at 40 was still very much at a high level. Now, he was special and those were less intense years, still ...
     
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