Originally Posted by NLBwell
They always could.
Whatever level you are at, you aren't significantly better or worse than anyone else in that level - no matter what your age. (there are 10 USTA levels from 2.5 to 7.0)
Except that 5.0+ does not apply because it for all intents and purposes does not exist. And 2.5 (and now) 3.0 are almost non-existent outside of doubles leagues.
It's far more common to see a 50 or 60 year old think they're just as good as a 20 year old. This may be true at flight level play, but once you get to the playoffs and beyond these 50-somethings start making less starting lineups and will almost never touch singles.
I feel the age gap between 20's and 30's. I can only imagine what kinda rose tinted goggled someone would need to honestly believe that there isnt any difference in ability between a 20 year old former high school champ at 3.5 nationals and an overweight, balding, knee braced, 50-something.
Yes, some old people can be competitive, the same way some women can play equal to men in terms of NTRP rating.
That just isnt the norm.
With that said, I do enjoy playing against older players from time to time. These players are usually challenging me. It's these types of players that think they're good enough to play adult league at all levels. It's these types of players that I want to play.