Adjustments to technique and strategy as you get older (55+)?

LoanStar

New User
With an emphasis on playing singles, what adjustments to technique, strategy and training have you found yourself having to make as you've become older to stay competitive and continue enjoying the game?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I’m not quite that age yet, but getting there soon.

1. Stay injury free (don’t overplay).
2. Stop chasing to rekindle the dominant serve of yesterday - losing battle.
3. Don’t miss. Don’t overhit.
4. Learn to serve with slice to keep bounce low (the defensive serve).
5. Use placement as a weapon.
6. Use your mind as a weapon. Strategize for each opponent differently.
7. Know what your strengths are, and set your equipment up to maximize them.
8. Get good at finishing at net. Practice lots of overheads.
9. Get good at drop shots.
10. Get good at using depth as a weapon, rather than power.
11. Understand the underrated value of a precise launch angle control (the older I get, the less i care about spin).
 

nyta2

Rookie
it's ok to let some shots go (i know i know... "i could have gotten it, and in my younger days, it'd have been a highlight reel shot"... but just let it go... not worth getting injured for).... generally try to stay balanced for everything, and comfortable especially when changing directions

spend equal time (as playing) doing active recovery (foam roll, massage gun, stretch, ice bath/cryo/etc..., etc...)

warmup! gone are the days of just doing a 5m warmup and go. dynamic movements before (get fluid into joints), mini tennis (split, get wrist(s)/ankles/knees loose, do NOT do FBI - take the practice serves... slowly, etc...). i can see why florida is appealing to older folks... the heat feels nice when i'm stiff.

play on clay... changing direction on hard courts is brutal on the body (joints, ligaments, tendons)

placement over power

play when it's warm, or generally stay warm when playing (cold weather + explosive movement == tear)... did i mention to warmup?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The trunk twists on forehands and backhands and there is separation between the hips and shoulders. I watch the uppermost body (at shoulders) turn back and then forward. The speed of ATP and WTA twisting is rapid and the angular range of that twist is very considerable. As you get older be aware of the limitations of twisting your spine. Especially, many people have experienced back issues.

As the years go on, we lose ranges of motion often due to our lifestyles and not aging. Be aware of those limitations. Make lists of your risk factors for certain tennis motions as is done for medical issues.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
With an emphasis on playing singles, what adjustments to technique, strategy and training have you found yourself having to make as you've become older to stay competitive and continue enjoying the game?
Learn drop shots and FH punch/slice.

Both are very easy on your body but deadly to your old peers. Your old guy friends will hate but the golden gals will love you for winning. Thank me later.


Bonus tip: learn slice serve. Neglect the pace. Keep increasing the slicey part. Old geezers can't react adequately to funny bounce balls.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
One key tip for playing against old guys:

Some guys like high bouncing balls. Some guys like low sliced balls. But very few old guys are good against both of these.

Learn to hit both moonballs and short slices well, and you will dominate the old-guy divisions.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Think for yourself?
How would you play if you lost a step, jump half as high, swing only 80% of speed, need 2 days to recover, and constantly get new aches and pain?
Don't forget slower reflexes, worse vision, and injury always in the back of your mind.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Think for yourself?
How would you play if you lost a step, jump half as high, swing only 80% of speed, need 2 days to recover, and constantly get new aches and pain?
Don't forget slower reflexes, worse vision, and injury always in the back of your mind.
Perhaps improved mental strength is needed to compensate.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
With an emphasis on playing singles, what adjustments to technique, strategy and training have you found yourself having to make as you've become older to stay competitive and continue enjoying the game?
Things not said so far:

An hour in the gym for every two hours on court. Many older players give up on tougher shots like topspin backhands because they lack the strength to hit those shots effectively with aging. If you can still do those things, it makes a big difference in how attackable you are, a bigger difference than if you were younger and had faster movement.

It is okay to use more forgiving equipment to compensate for eyesight or movement that is not as good as when younger. At the 2019 National 60's indoors tournament held local to me, three of the four players in the semifinals of doubles played with extreme OS racquets. These were 4.5/5.0 players with beautiful strokes and among the best rec players in the country.

Flexibility is the key to many aspects of good movement and injury prevention. Emphasize core and leg/pelvis flexibility. Most of the better age group players are those who have maintained their ability to move fast and effectively swing when off balance.

As a player who will compete in the 60's next year, I've found that being able to hit with either spin or speed are effective weapons, with spin generally being more effective at receiving back a more centrally directed reply than ball speed, which many more players are very good at redirecting accurately to get me on the move.

Lastly, take maximal advantage of the one or two years when you are the baby of your age group.
 
I’m not quite that age yet, but getting there soon.

1. Stay injury free (don’t overplay).
Stretch, pre- and post-match.
Do yoga, Tai Chi or something similar.
Don't play too many days in a row.

2. Stop chasing to rekindle the dominant serve of yesterday - losing battle.
Not a problem; I never had a dominant serve.

3. Don’t miss. Don’t overhit.
I'm workin' on it!

4. Learn to serve with slice to keep bounce low (the defensive serve).
It was common to learn all of the different serves.

5. Use placement as a weapon.
6. Use your mind as a weapon. Strategize for each opponent differently.
7. Know what your strengths are, and set your equipment up to maximize them.
8. Get good at finishing at net. Practice lots of overheads.
9. Get good at drop shots.
10. Get good at using depth as a weapon, rather than power.
11. Understand the underrated value of a precise launch angle control (the older I get, the less i care about spin).
All wise advice.

An addendum to #7: know your weaknesses and craft a strategy to avoid exposing them so much.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I’m not 55+ yet but as I’ve gotten older, I have altered my service motion from pinpoint to platform and toss less into the court, less kick.

Need to focus on fixing my toss and motion to be less over the left shoulder and easier on my lower back.
 

Bobs tennis

Semi-Pro
I’m not quite that age yet, but getting there soon.

1. Stay injury free (don’t overplay).
2. Stop chasing to rekindle the dominant serve of yesterday - losing battle.
3. Don’t miss. Don’t overhit.
4. Learn to serve with slice to keep bounce low (the defensive serve).
5. Use placement as a weapon.
6. Use your mind as a weapon. Strategize for each opponent differently.
7. Know what your strengths are, and set your equipment up to maximize them.
8. Get good at finishing at net. Practice lots of overheads.
9. Get good at drop shots.
10. Get good at using depth as a weapon, rather than power.
11. Understand the underrated value of a precise launch angle control (the older I get, the less i care about spin).
Trav this is a great list-making me think more of direction
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
I’m 52 so almost there. My main advice, play with people your age. It’s more satisfying. I beat all my opponents who are 50+. However I often have to play guys who are 10-15 years younger and they consistently kick my butt which really frustrates me and reminds me of the limitations of my body. It also pushes me to do stuff I don’t even need to try with people my age so I know this could be risky injury wise. The advantage that we have over the young guys is experience so we should try to maximize this advantage.
 

Fintft

Legend
I’m 52 so almost there. My main advice, play with people your age. It’s more satisfying. I beat all my opponents who are 50+. However I often have to play guys who are 10-15 years younger and they consistently kick my butt which really frustrates me and reminds me of the limitations of my body. It also pushes me to do stuff I don’t even need to try with people my age so I know this could be risky injury wise. The advantage that we have over the young guys is experience so we should try to maximize this advantage.
Well, I beg to differ with some of the above, as playing with people much younger (as most of my regulars are), keeps me sharper especially in terms of:

  1. Movement
  2. Swinging the racquet fast and relaxed/full strokes.
 

nyta2

Rookie
Well, I beg to differ with some of the above, as playing with people much younger (as most of my regulars are), keeps me sharper especially in terms of:

  1. Movement
  2. Swinging the racquet fast and relaxed/full strokes.
+1
and it's just damn fun! who cares if win/lose... i'm out there competing with folks half my age, getting a great workout! double bonus if i win.
biggest challenge (for me) is convincing them to play a tb as 3rd set, whereas they always want to play it out, and 90F is "fine".
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
Well, I beg to differ with some of the above, as playing with people much younger (as most of my regulars are), keeps me sharper especially in terms of:

  1. Movement
  2. Swinging the racquet fast and relaxed/full strokes.
Can’t disagree with that. I have to admit that I regularly beat guys my age precisely because I play with young guys often. The challenge keeps my technique sharp and my fitness level up, and I do manage to win from time to time :)
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
In addition to what has been said already...

Get a more powerful racquet that creates more spin. You can’t afford to give up what these racquets provide. The dangers of tennis elbow from these racquets are dramatically overstated. As you age, you need to get something for free. Demo the Pure Drive and Pure Aero types of racquets. No more thin beam flexy 55 RA frames that weight 12+ ounces or your serve is going to get demolished by guys in their 30s.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
With an emphasis on playing singles, what adjustments to technique, strategy and training have you found yourself having to make as you've become older to stay competitive and continue enjoying the game?
You are up against it, because it is virtually impossible to compensate for declining fitness and foot speed in singles. If you can’t cover the court, you can’t cover the court.

Once you start to age, all you can really do is play first strike tennis and hope you can knock off a winner or forced error before any decent opponent inevitably runs you off the court. Not much fun.

Doubles is a lot more rewarding at that age because it takes away the emphasis on court coverage and puts it back on using your actual tennis skills. I doubt I will ever play singles after I hit my fifties.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
First off, "emphasizing singles play" needs to be looked at carefully. I'd strongly suggest emphasizing doubles play and dabbling in singles play. Singles play is much harder on your body physically and that will become limiting with age for many people. There are the odd guys that are built for a prolonged singles career but they are exceptions. My peer group is virtually all 50-60 year old men and doubles play is at least 75% of what everyone in that group does.
 
You are up against it, because it is virtually impossible to compensate for declining fitness and foot speed in singles. If you can’t cover the court, you can’t cover the court.

Once you start to age, all you can really do is play first strike tennis and hope you can knock off a winner or forced error before any decent opponent inevitably runs you off the court. Not much fun.

Doubles is a lot more rewarding at that age because it takes away the emphasis on court coverage and puts it back on using your actual tennis skills. I doubt I will ever play singles after I hit my fifties.
To your point of moving more slowly and court coverage, if not green dot, there should be a ball for old peeps just like there is for kids.
 

Fintft

Legend
You are up against it, because it is virtually impossible to compensate for declining fitness and foot speed in singles. If you can’t cover the court, you can’t cover the court.

Once you start to age, all you can really do is play first strike tennis and hope you can knock off a winner or forced error before any decent opponent inevitably runs you off the court. Not much fun.

Doubles is a lot more rewarding at that age because it takes away the emphasis on court coverage and puts it back on using your actual tennis skills. I doubt I will ever play singles after I hit my fifties.
It's still fun to rally with a decent, young opponent though.
And you don't necesarelly have to play first strike tennis, technique and strategy can also help you in other ways. And even equipment (great racquet, full bed natural gut, etc).
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I’m 52 so almost there. My main advice, play with people your age. It’s more satisfying. I beat all my opponents who are 50+. However I often have to play guys who are 10-15 years younger and they consistently kick my butt which really frustrates me and reminds me of the limitations of my body. It also pushes me to do stuff I don’t even need to try with people my age so I know this could be risky injury wise. The advantage that we have over the young guys is experience so we should try to maximize this advantage.

What experience are you talking about?

If it's life experience, then it's useless in tennis. If it's tennis experience, then it's just due to level. I doubt anyone of us, no matter how old, have more tennis experience than Zverez, who's only 23! LOL.

I know this because I play with seniors 20, 30 years older than me all the time. No wisdom or advantage could be found from aging, only liability :)
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
What experience are you talking about?

If it's life experience, then it's useless in tennis. If it's tennis experience, then it's just due to level. I doubt anyone of us, no matter how old, have more tennis experience than Zverez, who's only 23! LOL.

I know this because I play with seniors 20, 30 years older than me all the time. No wisdom or advantage could be found from aging, only liability :)
I started playing competitive tennis at age 15. My serve peaked 5 years later, at age 20, then has gradually got worse for the last 27 years.
 

Fintft

Legend
What experience are you talking about?

If it's life experience, then it's useless in tennis. If it's tennis experience, then it's just due to level. I doubt anyone of us, no matter how old, have more tennis experience than Zverez, who's only 23! LOL.

I know this because I play with seniors 20, 30 years older than me all the time. No wisdom or advantage could be found from aging, only liability :)
But more experienced players read the ball faster. At times even have better technique...
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
It's still fun to rally with a decent, young opponent though.
And you don't necesarelly have to play first strike tennis, technique and strategy can also help you in other ways. And even equipment (great racquet, full bed natural gut, etc).
I have only played a handful of competitive singles matches with guys over 55. Generally speaking, they were incredible players. They hit such a good ball that I struggled to hang in a neutral rally with them, and had such high-level court sense that they were moving towards their next shot almost before I knew where I was going to hit it.

A 55 year old playing a 35 year old in singles is like 35 year olds playing singles, but one of them gets the tramlines plus another metre or so behind the baseline. Not exactly something that a good racquet with natty gut can fix...
 

LOBALOT

Professional
I am finding I am enjoying tennis much more as I have gotten older. I play more and I enjoy it more. I really think the reason is I focus on having fun with friends. We play competitively so it is not like we are just goofing off but ones perspective changes. We usually have drinks/food after (pre-pandemic), this type of thing. As I have gotten older these special times with friends and family are what make me enjoy playing tennis.
 

LoanStar

New User
Thanks for so many great responses! I turn 59 in a few days and some of the adjustments I’ve started to make over the past few months include...

Shortening my ground strokes to compensate for slower reaction time and preparation.

Prioritizing depth and placement over power and spin.

More slice on my backhand since coming over the top is becoming harder from a timing, preparation and strength standpoint.

Stick to directionals so I’m not opening the court and having to run down too many balls. I’m fit and have great court coverage, but know there’s a point where the later is going to fall off and increase the risk of injury.

Using resistance bands versus weights; easier on the joints and shorter recovery time so able to do more often.

Regular stretching and posture work for balance, alignment and range of motion.

Keeping the weight off. I dropped 20 pounds in the last year and it’s made a big difference in energy level, movement, recovery and overall wear and tear.

Recently switched to a slightly heavier racquet for better stability and plow thru.

And while not a new thing, practice gratitude for being able to play and enjoy the company and healthy competition with my friends.
 

just out

New User
With an emphasis on playing singles, what adjustments to technique, strategy and training have you found yourself having to make as you've become older to stay competitive and continue enjoying the game?
A lot of different perspectives, I'm in that group and play almost all singles or just hit and practice and enjoy that the most. I peaked probably in my mid 20's and now I just enjoy the feel of hitting the ball solidly (that has never changed) and putting it where I want it to go, even if it is getting there much slower now. I don't train much outside of tennis, I'm not competitive (hard for me to be competitive when I know I would have a hard time even getting a game off my 20 year old self) so can't help you there but there is never a day on the court where I don't enjoy the game.

I would lose to many players because of inconsistency, wanting to hit certain shots I enjoy hitting but are not high percentage and poor fitness/getting tired and losing movement. So my advice if you want to be competitive in this age group is focus on fitness, consistency and hit with power when you are in position and have good balance, unfortunately, being in position and early preparation especially against heavy pace gets difficult as you get older (at least from my experience).
 
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RajS

Semi-Pro
I am 64. Lots of changes are in the works for me, the serve being a big one since I hurt my shoulder some months ago. I am serving again, but am following Rick Macci's progression for serves in my quest to rebuild it from scratch so it is safe. It is working great for me, and I am kicking myself because I think I should have done this much earlier.
 
I’m 52 so almost there. My main advice, play with people your age. It’s more satisfying. I beat all my opponents who are 50+.
Unless I was going for a Gold Ball [natl championship], I'd get bored winning every match.

However I often have to play guys who are 10-15 years younger and they consistently kick my butt which really frustrates me and reminds me of the limitations of my body. It also pushes me to do stuff I don’t even need to try with people my age so I know this could be risky injury wise. The advantage that we have over the young guys is experience so we should try to maximize this advantage.
Are the guys beating you because they are younger or simply because they are better?

I don't pick opponents based on age. Given my social circles, it's a lot more likely I'm going to play someone roughly my age than a junior. But I would welcome any opponent of somewhat comparable skill, age notwithstanding.
 
I have only played a handful of competitive singles matches with guys over 55. Generally speaking, they were incredible players. They hit such a good ball that I struggled to hang in a neutral rally with them, and had such high-level court sense that they were moving towards their next shot almost before I knew where I was going to hit it.

A 55 year old playing a 35 year old in singles is like 35 year olds playing singles, but one of them gets the tramlines plus another metre or so behind the baseline. Not exactly something that a good racquet with natty gut can fix...
I don't see it that way: how 55 does vs 35 is determined by many things, age being one factor but not necessarily a dominant one. My match vs Josh was a 20+ age differential. He worked me but it's because he's a better player, not because I ran out of gas. And only last year I lost to him in a 3rd set TB so obviously age wasn't much of a factor.
 
Thanks for so many great responses! I turn 59 in a few days and some of the adjustments I’ve started to make over the past few months include...

Shortening my ground strokes to compensate for slower reaction time and preparation.

Prioritizing depth and placement over power and spin.

More slice on my backhand since coming over the top is becoming harder from a timing, preparation and strength standpoint.

Stick to directionals so I’m not opening the court and having to run down too many balls. I’m fit and have great court coverage, but know there’s a point where the later is going to fall off and increase the risk of injury.

Using resistance bands versus weights; easier on the joints and shorter recovery time so able to do more often.

Regular stretching and posture work for balance, alignment and range of motion.

Keeping the weight off. I dropped 20 pounds in the last year and it’s made a big difference in energy level, movement, recovery and overall wear and tear.

Recently switched to a slightly heavier racquet for better stability and plow thru.

And while not a new thing, practice gratitude for being able to play and enjoy the company and healthy competition with my friends.
I'd say the last one is the most important.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I don't see it that way: how 55 does vs 35 is determined by many things, age being one factor but not necessarily a dominant one. My match vs Josh was a 20+ age differential. He worked me but it's because he's a better player, not because I ran out of gas. And only last year I lost to him in a 3rd set TB so obviously age wasn't much of a factor.
Yeah, but you're not in your late 50s.

I just find that guys who get to that age have lost that yard of pace that lets them cover the court effectively. That means I don’t have to do anything crazy to beat them - just hang in the rally and move them around. Even if they have great shots and great strategy, they’ll probably still lose because it’s just way too easy for me to put balls out of their reach.

Then I step onto the doubles courts with them and they crush me, because suddenly their lack of movement isn’t such a handicap.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
Unless I was going for a Gold Ball [natl championship], I'd get bored winning every match.



Are the guys beating you because they are younger or simply because they are better?

I don't pick opponents based on age. Given my social circles, it's a lot more likely I'm going to play someone roughly my age than a junior. But I would welcome any opponent of somewhat comparable skill, age notwithstanding.
They beat me because they have better endurance but I’m pretty sure I’m better technically speaking. For instance yesterday’s match was 6-2 5-7 0-6. I tried to win in two sets, but failing to do so, I got nothing left in the tank and got bageled by a 34 years old who is much fitter than me.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I am 52 and still play tennis every day on hard courts at my club - usually about 4 singles matches and a couple of doubles matches every week along with a drill session or coaching lesson. I have about 10 guys I play singles with regularly (each guy roughly once every two weeks) and a list of about 15 guys I organize doubles matches with. The age of the players in my group varies widely and we play together because our playing level is roughly about the same - most of us are USTA 4.5s and there are a few with a high 4.0 or low 5.0 rating. My club will refer all new members who are at the 4.5/5.0 level to contact me and so, I keep getting new players to add to my group. I’ll keep guys on my invitation list if they make fair line calls and behave with good sportsmanship on the court - age does not matter. There are some guys in their early twenties who are just out of high school or played for a junior college while there are a couple of doubles players in their seventies who are Gold Ball winners for their age group. I know a 77-year old guy at my club with a current 4.5 computer rating who is a US national doubles champion for the 75+ age group - he is so physically fit and spritely that he is willing to crouch and play I-formation when his partner is serving throughout a match. He is an inspiration for the rest of us.

In many cases, the younger guys in their twenties and early thirties are slightly more mobile and hit bigger serves, but otherwise they don’t have any systemic advantage over the 4.5 players in their forties and fifties. This is because the younger guys are usually ex-high school players while most of the older guys are ex-college players or guys who have been playing USTA league at the 4.5 level for decades. The young guys under 40 who are ex-college players are still 5.0+ and are too good to play with my group - they have their own clique at our club. All the older guys who play singles regularly in my group are physically fit and that’s why they still continue to enjoy competitive singles - so, I can’t assume that an opponent’s mobility or endurance in a singles match will be limited by their age as many are swimmers, surfers, soccer/hockey players etc. along with playing singles in USTA leagues and tournaments. We’ll usually play a full third set instead of a 10-point tiebreaker to decide matches that are tied after two sets.

In my personal case, I do find that I‘ve lost back flexibility and some speed over the years, but don’t find much difference in endurance. So, kick serves and explosive quickness at the net are affected a bit compared to 15-20 years ago, but I don’t think ability to cover the court or play long rallies has been affected yet. I’ve started taking lessons once a week since I turned 50 to improve my game further - I feel like I need to keep improving my technique/footwork to make up for any physical decline that happens over time. My coach is in his late twenties and played College/Futures tennis less than 7 years ago - the main benefit of playing with him weekly is hitting against the high quality of his shots and the movement drills he makes me do. He does help with minor technique tweaks as he has added more topspin to my shots with an increase of shot tolerance and better footwork - so, I play less defensively than in the past against better players which helps make up for any potential decline in court coverage. I feel that I notice what’s working or not working during a match quicker and make tactical adjustments much faster than when I was younger as ‘experience‘ does come with playing thousands of matches. Also, doubles skills have improved a lot as I started playing doubles seriously only in the last decade after I turned forty. I’ve played all my life with heavy, thin-beam mid/mid-plus racquets starting with a Dunlop Max200G and play now with Pure Strike Tours strung with a gut/poly hybrid.

The other benefit of being over fifty is that many of us are empty-nesters and can devote more time to tennis now that our kids are grown up and we don’t have to spend our evenings and weekends taking them to after-school activities. The guys with young kids play much less than the older guys who are close to retirement or are retired. So, I don’t necessarily agree with those who say you need an oversize or very stiff racquet, have to stop playing singles, have to change technique, need to have rest days, need to change playing style etc. just because your age is over 50 or 55 - it really depends on your current fitness and tennis level. But, the need for stretching/workouts, good nutrition and a regular recovery program after matches definitely increases with age. And you can always keep improving your technique and footwork with the help of a good coach and solid drilling partners. There is usually a kernel of truth when a group is stereotyped, but you have to keep in mind that there can be a lot of variance within that group of people - so, not all older players can be thrown into one bucket and generalized about.
 
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socallefty

Hall of Fame
Some earlier posts on recovery that are germane to this topic.

Heavy-duty tennis shoes with good support that fit well…and throw them out too soon rather than too late when they start getting soft. I’m talking about warranty shoes like Barricades, Gel Resolutions etc.

Hard courts mainly impact the knees - good to do workouts to strengthen all the lower limb muscles to put less pressure on the knee joint.

Do dynamic stretching or light running/biking to loosen muscles up before you start playing.

Have a post-match recovery routine - Epsom salt baths, saunas, percussion massager, arnica cream/gel, more stretching. I also take Advil before I play to reduce inflammation, but it might not be advisable for everyone.
If I play 3-4 times a week, I have to do leg strengthening exercises and/or a focused stretching routine specifically to strengthen the muscles around my knees. If I play every day, the tennis itself strengthens my lower limbs and I only need to do light stretching before and after a match. I prefer the latter.
 

Bobs tennis

Semi-Pro
I’m 52 so almost there. My main advice, play with people your age. It’s more satisfying. I beat all my opponents who are 50+. However I often have to play guys who are 10-15 years younger and they consistently kick my butt which really frustrates me and reminds me of the limitations of my body. It also pushes me to do stuff I don’t even need to try with people my age so I know this could be risky injury wise. The advantage that we have over the young guys is experience so we should try to maximize this advantage.
Well at my age its hard to find players as old or older so i'm constantly playing younger players. I hold my own with most but i've wasted to much time trying to serve aces when a good spin serve will work. I've tried to stop expecting my ground strokes to scare even good 50 year olds. Better pick of rackets and absolutely more thinking. Ow and lots of drop shots. Now none of this works against 30 yr olds but when I look at my peers in wheel chairs and walkers I can save alot of frustration at 76 by following Trav's list...
 

jered

Rookie
I am finding I am enjoying tennis much more as I have gotten older. I play more and I enjoy it more. I really think the reason is I focus on having fun with friends. We play competitively so it is not like we are just goofing off but ones perspective changes. We usually have drinks/food after (pre-pandemic), this type of thing. As I have gotten older these special times with friends and family are what make me enjoy playing tennis.
This resonates strongly with me. I was a long time competitive volleyball player but the injuries have piled up making it have to be an occasional thing or sand only as I'm just wrecked for a couple days after playing hardcourt vb. What I loved most is the people, drinks afterward (or during), the BBQ get togethers and even destination vacations to play on beaches around the world. But volleyball isn't kind to age and I'm glad I've found tennis as a sport I can play through the latter half of my life that has some of the same social vibes. Winning is always fun but the good times of friendly competition and good friends is even better.
 

Fintft

Legend
Again, what type of experience?

The post I quoted seems to suggest experience from (simply) getting older over "younger guys". o_O:D
Players who have played 20-30 years of tennis have better anticipation then people who have played 3 years. I'm talking at club level, not at the pros like you brought up Zverev into the equation :)
 

Fintft

Legend
I have only played a handful of competitive singles matches with guys over 55. Generally speaking, they were incredible players. They hit such a good ball that I struggled to hang in a neutral rally with them, and had such high-level court sense that they were moving towards their next shot almost before I knew where I was going to hit it.

A 55 year old playing a 35 year old in singles is like 35 year olds playing singles, but one of them gets the tramlines plus another metre or so behind the baseline. Not exactly something that a good racquet with natty gut can fix...
Dunno, one can hit winners from the BL as well...But in general, all things being equal you are, of course correct.
 
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