"Today's 33 is our 27." - Ivan Lendl explaining the Great Age Shift in tennis.

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Go to 26:20 in the clip.


I've been saying this for years, that a huge age shift had taken place in tennis in this decade. The Great Age Shift. GAS. You heard it here first.

Which means - for example - that RF being 38 isn't nearly the big deal it would have been in the 90s or 80s. It is admirable and amazing but not THAT amazing.

It also means that we cannot moan too much about 23 year-olds not winning slams anymore, because it's a completely different ballgame in modern pro tennis, with guys playing their best tennis at around 30 - give or take a few years. Wawrinka and Anderson are just two examples.

In other words, 27-34 (roughly speaking) may have become the new peak/prime/shmeep as opposed to the past eras when it was quite clearly 20-25.

Players used to drop their form at around 27-29, then retire at 30 or 31, roughly speaking. Now they are kicking ass at 30, and doing very well or reasonably well at 35 even, which would have been very rare in past eras. Agassi, Newcombe and Connors were exceptions.

We need to finally acknowledge this age shift (as much as it may annoy some RF fans who have a fetish for agism and age-related excuses), which may even be much greater than Lendl suggested (off the cuff probably). We cannot glorify RF for being a top player at 38 the way we would have done in 1993. That's just a fact.

Nor can we mock young players for not slaying the Big 3 at age 21 - which would have been normal in 1991 when 21 year-olds killed the veterans regularly.

And another thing: this is the first time in the Open Era (or probably ever) that no player younger than 31 has a slam title!!! If that fact doesn't convince you of the Great Age Shift (GAS), then nothing will, and perhaps you are in denial?

Opinions...
 

steenkash

Professional
I was talking about this yesterday actually on the forum. Federer winning at 37 does not surprise me at all, with his experience, fitness regime, diet, conditioning etc, it does not come as a surprise that he is still competing at the highest level.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
Then how do you explain the Womans draw having more than half of the players under 25 in the 4th round? How do you explain 15 year old vs 21 year old defending champion? Why does this only apply to mens tennis? Why are young people doing great things in other sports? They are just making excuse for these losers so that ratings don't die.
 
I generally agree with you, OP. Federer’s form at 38 is very impressive, but probably only the equivalent of Connors being able to reach the later stages of slams in his early 30s. To match Connors’ run to the US Open semis aged 39, Federer would have to do the same aged 43 or something.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
Go to 26:20 in the clip.


I've been saying this for years, that a huge age shift had taken place in tennis in this decade. The Great Age Shift. GAS. You heard it here first.

Which means - for example - that RF being 38 isn't nearly the big deal it would have been in the 90s or 80s. It is admirable and amazing but not THAT amazing.

It also means that we cannot moan too much about 23 year-olds not winning slams anymore, because it's a completely different ballgame in modern pro tennis, with guys playing their best tennis at around 30 - give or take a few years. Wawrinka and Anderson are just two examples.

In other words, 27-34 (roughly speaking) may have become the new peak/prime/shmeep as opposed to the past eras when it was quite clearly 20-25.

Players used to drop their form at around 27-29, then retire at 30 or 31, roughly speaking. Now they are kicking ass at 30, and doing very well or reasonably well at 35 even, which would have been very rare in past eras. Agassi, Newcombe and Connors were exceptions.

We need to finally acknowledge this age shift (as much as it may annoy some RF fans who have a fetish for agism and age-related excuses), which may even be much greater than Lendl suggested (off the cuff probably). We cannot glorify RF for being a top player at 38 the way we would have done in 1993. That's just a fact.

Nor can we mock young players for not slaying the Big 3 at age 21 - which would have been normal in 1991 when 21 year-olds killed the veterans regularly.

And another thing: this is the first time in the Open Era (or probably ever) that no player younger than 31 has a slam title!!! If that fact doesn't convince you of the Great Age Shift (GAS), then nothing will, and perhaps you are in denial?

Opinions...
Ivan is the wise man of tennis. So much in everything he says. An absolute treasure of our sport.
 

Lew II

Legend
over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53
 

steenkash

Professional
Then how do you explain the Womans draw having more than half of the players under 25 in the 4th round? How do you explain 15 year old vs 21 year old defending champion? Why does this only apply to mens tennis? Why are young people doing great things in other sports? They are just making excuse for these losers so that ratings don't die.
I think the point is nowadays older players can still compete amongst the best, late into their thirties, not they they are the only ones winning.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Then how do you explain the Womans draw having more than half of the players under 25 in the 4th round? How do you explain 15 year old vs 21 year old defending champion? Why does this only apply to mens tennis? Why are young people doing great things in other sports? They are just making excuse for these losers so that ratings don't die.
Yes, we are talking about men's tennis here.

A different beast to women's tennis, in many ways.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
look at other sports then. Plenty of success form young players in other sports.
If we can't even compare men's tennis and women's, then how can we really compare it to other sports?

Tennis is very peculiar, in many ways. A unique combination of mental balance, experience, skill and stamina.

Take a look at the age spread in top 100...

over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53
... any questions?
 
Which he probably will do...
I generally agree with you, OP. Federer’s form at 38 is very impressive, but probably only the equivalent of Connors being able to reach the later stages of slams in his early 30s. To match Connors’ run to the US Open semis aged 39, Federer would have to do the same aged 43 or something.
Even the most insane roger fans won't hope that, let alone leave the normal ones..
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
If we can't even compare men's tennis and women's, then how can we really compare it to other sports?

Tennis is very peculiar, in many ways. A unique combination of mental balance, experience, skill and stamina.

Take a look at the age spread in top 100...



... any questions?
LOL your post reeks of desperateness. Im not convinced. We just have to agree to disagree.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I don’t believe there has been an age shift. The younger guys are just worse due to a backwards shift in training techniques. They all hit with wristy forehands that are great when the incoming ball is slow, but terrible for returning pace on the rise. The old guys that learned the game pre-poly have superior technique better for making clean contact.

The median age of ATP pros will return to the early 20’s within the next 3 years when the current crop of old guys finally fades away and we are left with the best of the worst generation in the modern era.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I don’t believe there has been an age shift. The younger guys are just worse due to a backwards shift in training techniques. They all hit with wristy forehands that are great when the incoming ball is slow, but terrible for returning pace on the rise. The old guys that learned the game pre-poly have superior technique better for making clean contact.

The median age of ATP pros will return to the early 20’s within the next 3 years when the current crop of old guys finally fades away and we are left with the best of the worst generation in the modern era.
You are ignoring numbers, but then making a Nostradamus-like prediction.

Nobody can predict the future. At least not 5 or 10 years in advance, in tennis.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
You are ignoring numbers, but then making a Nostradamus-like prediction.

Nobody can predict the future.
and you're ignoring results in other sports and Womans tennis as well. Whatever suits your agenda. Like I said, just agree to disagree. You can believe whatever you want.
 

Jonas78

Legend
If you take away Big3, the mean age of the top10 is 26y. Although players can have longer careers, i dont believe peak age have changed.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
So based on this (if true) I'm expecting lost gen to start peaking in their 30s after big 3 retire and win all the slams. If lost gen are succeeded by generation born in 2000s then this theory completely falls apart.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
and you're ignoring results in other sports and Womans tennis as well. Whatever suits your agenda. Like I said, just agree to disagree. You can believe whatever you want.
But we aren't talking about women's tennis...

An example.

In the 90s WTA was just about 2-3 players completely dominating, while ATP was far less predictable. Now, the COMPLETE OPPOSITE is the case.

Get it? WTA and ATP, very different.
 

raph6

Semi-Pro
and you're ignoring results in other sports and Womans tennis as well. Whatever suits your agenda. Like I said, just agree to disagree. You can believe whatever you want.
Man, other sports are other sports and women tennis is also kind of another sport. I have a book of physical training for tennis and in it they explain the difference in training between men and women. There is a big difference due to the format and the physical difference between men and women.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
So based on this (if true) I'm expecting lost gen to start peaking in their 30s after big 3 retire and win all the slams. If lost gen are succeeded by generation born in 2000s then this theory completely falls apart.
It's not a theory.

You cannot fight numbers. You can only be in denial.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Man, other sports are other sports and women tennis is also kind of another sport. I have a book of physical training for tennis and in it they explain the difference in training between men and women. There is a big difference due to the format and the physical difference between men and women.
Give it up... I've tried explaining it to him. People choose to be stubborn in order to not have to adjust to new facts - because that requires effort and might involve disappointment.
 

Jonas78

Legend
I don’t believe there has been an age shift. The younger guys are just worse due to a backwards shift in training techniques. They all hit with wristy forehands that are great when the incoming ball is slow, but terrible for returning pace on the rise. The old guys that learned the game pre-poly have superior technique better for making clean contact.

The median age of ATP pros will return to the early 20’s within the next 3 years when the current crop of old guys finally fades away and we are left with the best of the worst generation in the modern era.
I pretty much agree. Just saying, if you take away Big3, the mean age of the top10 is 26y. Peak age hasnt changed much.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
But we aren't talking about women's tennis...

An example.

In the 90s WTA was just about 2-3 players completely dominating, while ATP was far less predictable. Now, the COMPLETE OPPOSITE is the case.

Get it? WTA and ATP, very different.
look at other athletic sports then. That's your only rebuttal.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I pretty much agree. Just saying, if you take away Big3, the mean age of the top10 is 26y. Peak age hasnt changed much.
So this chart is nonsense?

over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

It's based on the TOP ONE HUNDRED. Large sample. Not just top 10, hence it's NOT a Big 3 issue.
 

DjokoLand

Semi-Pro
Like Ronaldo I’m football he is in great mid thirties as he has the use of medical science and nutrition. He is also one the best of all time and same goes for the big 3, they are so good plus taking advantage of all the health benefits these days as kept them at the top
 

raph6

Semi-Pro
look at other athletic sports then. That's your only rebuttal.
You can’t compare sports. In which other sports do you do efforts between 1 and 20 seconds then have 25 seconds of rest then repeat ? And I’m not even talking about the size of the court. All these elements make tennis a very specific sport.
 

Jonas78

Legend
So this chart is nonsense?

over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

It's based on the TOP ONE HUNDRED. Large sample. Not just top 10, hence it's NOT a Big 3 issue.
As i said, its because players can have longer careers, not because peak age has changed. Its not the same thing.

Look at most of the 30+ guys in the top100 and you will see they did better when they were younger.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
You can’t compare sports. In which other sports do you do efforts between 1 and 20 seconds then have 25 seconds of rest then repeat ? And I’m not even talking about the size of the court. All these elements make tennis a very specific sport.
No no, he's right... Tennis should be comparable to UFO-hunting as well, and of course to writing novels... Very similar.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
So this chart is nonsense?

over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

It's based on the TOP ONE HUNDRED. Large sample. Not just top 10, hence it's NOT a Big 3 issue.
I agree it’s not just a Big3 issue. It’s a whole generation of tennis players that suck compared to the guys that cane before them. I’m saying it’s not coincidence that the current guys in their early 30’s are part of the last generation to grow up with strokes designed to control the ball with synthetic gut.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
I agree it’s not just a Big3 issue. It’s a whole generation of tennis players that suck compared to the guys that cane before them. I’m saying it’s not coincidence that the current guys in their early 30’s are part of the last generation to grow up with strokes designed to control the ball with synthetic gut.
That's certainly one possible explanation. I personally believe it has to be several things.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
We've managed to teach fans that weak eras exist (or at least we tried), so I'm pretty sure that GAS will eventually be accepted by everybody. It'll just take time, because people tend to dislike mysteries and change.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
and I didn't know yoga, engineering, and shark-hunting are athletic sports. Please enlighten me.
They are, according to you.

Everything is comparable to tennis, according to you.

So take this up with yourself, not me. I'm just the messenger here.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Lendl is generally wrong. The uptick in the performance vs age timeline is minimal in tennis. Once the big 3 are gone that will become apparent.
Lendl is wrong and you are always right?

Sure...

over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

This chart refutes you, completely.

I understand that you need to "protect" RF's god status, but... you can also be objective... occasionally.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
What has Thiem, Zverev , Tsitaipas , Khachanov , Nishikori , Raonic losing to Vesely, fabbiano , Sandgren , De Minaur have anything to do with age shift ??

And how many players are in top 50 over 34 ??

Fed is an anomaly and the leader for the future gen. He is showing Nadal and Djokovic how to plan an execute

For that reason , it is not enough if Fed’s records are just matched . It would need success at age 40 and winning 25 majors to say that they went past fed

Otherwise it is a case of ‘Follow the GOAT, he is my reference ‘
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
What has Thiem, Zverev , Tsitaipas , Khachanov , Nishikori , Raonic losing to Vesely, fabbiano , Sandgren , De Minaur have anything to do with age shift ??

And how many players are in top 50 over 34 ??

Fed is an anomaly and the leader for the future gen. He is showing Nadal and Djokovic how to plan an execute

For that reason , it is not enough if Fed’s records are just matched . It would need success at age 40 and winning 25 majors to say that they went past fed

Otherwise it is a case of ‘Follow the GOAT, he is my reference ‘
over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

Any more questions?
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
over28 in the top100:

1990 - 15
1991 - 11
1992 - 11
1993 - 17
1994 - 23
1995 - 19
1996 - 22
1997 - 18
1998 - 24
1999 - 23
2000 - 26
2001 - 24
2002 - 27
2003 - 26
2004 - 28
2005 - 23
2006 - 27
2007 - 27
2008 - 30
2009 - 40
2010 - 37
2011 - 43
2012 - 43
2013 - 49
2014 - 51
2015 - 55
2016 - 56
2017 - 58
2018 - 52
current - 53

Any more questions?
Irrelevant .

How many over age 33 in top 50 ??

And it is a weak era of epic proportions
 
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