Originally Posted by ClubHoUno
I'm about your age soon
Also played a lot in my teens, then took a break in my late 20's and then started again 4 years ago.
My knees hurt, and I have to cut down on the number of times I play tennis a week - maximum 2 times a week now.
You have to do certain things to be able to continue playing tennis in my view.
Avoid hard courts - I'm serious AVOID HARD COURTS !! They are very tough on your legs and will destroy you in the long run. Find a place where they have clay courts. Continue on hard courts and you're done in 4-5 years time.
Start playing doubles more, practice on the wall more often and just hit with your partners instead of playing actual matches. Matches are very tough on your body in the long run, so try to cut down on that.
Think about the racquet you use, the strings and how you hit your shots.
Do this to minimize the strain on your arms and body.
Why are there so few clay courts in the US, when all you can find in Europe is clay courts ?
Clay is sooo much cofter on your legs and body.
I completely agree with Club's comments. Dan, I have a very similar experience to you and Club but I am approaching 50. I also have been playing since 12. I learned old school tennis in the mid to late 70s at Ron Holmberg's tennis camp. I played high school tennis and took a break through college and law school to concentrate on academics but I could have played Division 3.
After having a knee scoped in my mid 20s from basketball,while in the recovery room, my family was told my tennis days were over. Flashforward a year and after rehab and my ortho changed his tune and said I could play for the rest of my life.
I picked the game up again with a vengenance in my late 20s but was at the 4.0 level until my mid 30s when i hooked up with a coach who modernized my technique and I rose to 5.0 and started playing skill-level and age tournaments.
Let me emphasize that until my mid 30s I played on hard courts which probably took a major toll on my body. I then embraced har-tru and clay.
As I incorporated the modern game and I got older, my body started to break down. At 39, I needed rotator cuff surgery. I cut down on my playing due to professional and family commitments and played 1-2 a week including an advanced league.
At 45 I moved to the burbs. My community had beautiful har-tru courts and an advanced team that competed in the country club circuit. I started playing more often again. However, by 47 I needed microfracuture surgry on one knee which was arthritic and could probably use the same procedure on the other knee. However, my ortho said its not worth the time and effort to go thru it again.
My ortho advised to only play on har-tru which I have been doing for years and only doubles and I will be fine for another 30 years.
However, I now have a strained ligament in my index finger of my racquet hand which has kept me out almost 3 months.
It sucks getting older!
Regarding the 70 olds who play, many of them never competed at the highest levels. I play and hit with some 60-70 year olds who played pro or the highest level division 1 and they can't move to the ball very well even with knee and hip replacements. Although they can generate very good pace on the serve they double fault very often due to their mobility limitations.
So don't go crazy, if you want to be able to play into your 70s nad enjoy yourself, it is time to start pacing yourself.
Best of luck to you from a guy who is 10 years older with 10 years more wear and tear!