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

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Yes, I generally agree. There's definitely been an age shift. But, I think it's been magnified by the Big 3, meaning that while there's definitely a shift generally, they shift for the Big 3 is even bigger. To put it another way - I expect more players because of GAS to have their best Slam performances or win Slams later than in previous eras. But, I don't expect players generally to follow the Big 3 and still be winning Slams or having their best performances in their mid 30s. So, the average player now peaks later than previous eras, but I don't expect them to keep that up as long as the Big 3. GAS isn't universal at one level - I still think they'll still be plenty of players who "age out" around 30 (which is later than it used to be) and if they keep on playing won't ever get back to their peak level.

Did this make any sense, lol. The shift is real, but on average not as broad of a shift as it is for the Big 3.
It's broad. Lopez and Karlovic are close to 40 or 40 and still they are dangerous. This was unheard of 20 years ago, that players who were never among the very best would still pose a threat at that age. Ditto Isner, Ferrer (until recently), Verdasco and many more.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
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.
It doesn't. You're struggling badly with your argument and are resorting to telling people that you "refuted"them as you squirm, trying to convince yourself of what you said.

As plenty in this very thread have said, that doesn't prove there has been an age shift. It proves that careers are longer. For a myriad of reasons. Peak play hasn't necessarily changed.

You spamming the thread with the same rubbish isn't going to make it any more true. Come up with a decent argument and present it rather than acting like a child.
 

40L0VE

New User
Lendl picks an anomaly, an exceptional anomaly at that, as the basis of his argument. Let's look at a sample of players with D.O.B close to Federer.

Federer D.O.B 8 August 1981

marat-safin D.O.B 27 January 1980
juan carlos ferrero D.O.B 12 February 1980
Xavier Malisse D.O.B 19 July 1980
fernando gonzalez D.O.B 29 July 1980
Lleyton Hewitt D.O.B 24 February 1981
Nikolay Davydenko D.O.B 2 June 1981
Feliciano Lopez D.O.B 20 September 1981
David Nalbandian D.O.B 1 January 1982
Guillermo Coria D.O.B 13 January 1982
Tommy Robredo D.O.B 1 May 1982
Andy Roddick D.O.B 30 August 1982
Fernando Verdasco D.O.B 15 November 1983


It's not hard to see the argument players peak in their 30s and get better with age is unsupported by far more cases disapproving the point.
 
I never use the ignore button. That's for sulky children. Plus I like to be amused by foolishness and bouts of anger.

Regarding Godwin, I already told you he's an idiot.

But perhaps you had me on ignore hence missed the post...
Nope, I don't use the ignore button either. I must have missed your reply.

Actually I think you're an idiot for comparing whoever it was (Kyrgios? Federer? I can't actually remember) to Hitler. Which as you know is the whole point of Godwin's Law - i.e. lowering oneself to the level of making Hitler/N-azi comparisons to try and win an argument.
 

AceSalvo

Legend
Lendl picks an anomaly, an exceptional anomaly at that, as the basis of his argument. Let's look at a sample of players with D.O.B close to Federer.

Federer D.O.B 8 August 1981

marat-safin D.O.B 27 January 1980
juan carlos ferrero D.O.B 12 February 1980
Xavier Malisse D.O.B 19 July 1980
fernando gonzalez D.O.B 29 July 1980
Lleyton Hewitt D.O.B 24 February 1981
Nikolay Davydenko D.O.B 2 June 1981
Feliciano Lopez D.O.B 20 September 1981
David Nalbandian D.O.B 1 January 1982
Guillermo Coria D.O.B 13 January 1982
Tommy Robredo D.O.B 1 May 1982
Andy Roddick D.O.B 30 August 1982
Fernando Verdasco D.O.B 15 November 1983


It's not hard to see the argument players peak in their 30s and get better with age is unsupported by far more cases disapproving the point.
I would never take that much time to do research on a illogical claim. Like I have said earlier, Lendl is saying this to save face of the ATP and Next Gen. He also clearly said its one of the many other reasons why Next Gen are not performing.

OP just picked that one just to invalidate the theory that 2015+ is a weak era.
 
Last edited:

Demented

Rookie
Lendl picks an anomaly, an exceptional anomaly at that, as the basis of his argument. Let's look at a sample of players with D.O.B close to Federer.

Federer D.O.B 8 August 1981

marat-safin D.O.B 27 January 1980
juan carlos ferrero D.O.B 12 February 1980
Xavier Malisse D.O.B 19 July 1980
fernando gonzalez D.O.B 29 July 1980
Lleyton Hewitt D.O.B 24 February 1981
Nikolay Davydenko D.O.B 2 June 1981
Feliciano Lopez D.O.B 20 September 1981
David Nalbandian D.O.B 1 January 1982
Guillermo Coria D.O.B 13 January 1982
Tommy Robredo D.O.B 1 May 1982
Andy Roddick D.O.B 30 August 1982
Fernando Verdasco D.O.B 15 November 1983


It's not hard to see the argument players peak in their 30s and get better with age is unsupported by far more cases disapproving the point.
That's such a garbage statement. It's not about who doesn't make it. There's literally 200 more names that are under 35 that have peaked in the top 100 and then faded off. The logical argument is to look at the past and determine that the rate of successful players post 28+ has dramatically increased compared to the past 50 years of tennis. Obviously the reason for this is specific and only applies to players who actually participate in clean living, better nutrition, regimented exercise and better medical advances to fix injures. The number 1 factor is likely the MONEY. The players who successfully extend their careers tend to be players that at once point cracked the top 15 in their prime which can lead you to 2 conclusions, they're skilled AND they made money to pay for all of this.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
It doesn't. You're struggling badly with your argument and are resorting to telling people that you "refuted"them as you squirm, trying to convince yourself of what you said.

As plenty in this very thread have said, that doesn't prove there has been an age shift. It proves that careers are longer. For a myriad of reasons. Peak play hasn't necessarily changed.

You spamming the thread with the same rubbish isn't going to make it any more true. Come up with a decent argument and present it rather than acting like a child.
Hilarious... What's the friggin' difference?

"It ain't red, it's CRIMSON!"
 

thrust

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...
They got Newcombe confused with Rosewall, as John was done at 32 or so, whereas, Ken was winning slams at 33,35,36 and 37 and at 39 beat 29 year old Newcombe in the semis of the USO in 74. Ken also beat John at Wimbledon earlier that year.
 

Robert Baratheon

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.
There are clearly two different phenomenons at play here and people are mixing them up.

It is indisputable that players at large have more longevity now with advanced sports medicine, proper diet and super effective fitness regimes.
So 27/28 of Lendl's time might very well be 33 of now.

Having said that there's still no excuse for the younger players(especially the lost gens) to not send the big3 packing their bags.
23-30 are peak years for players these days and we all know how the players of that age are doing today.
It's a clear lack of great talent in those players.
Poly, tennis not attracting the cream of the crop or whatever may be the reason behind it but there's clearly a drought.

It's the lost gens' utter failure that the ATP felt like investing in and hyping the next gen was their best chance at saving the sport.
And I do believe that the next gen are better than the lost gen.

Though almost all of them have some or the other form of technical glitches and which makes me believe that none is ever going to be in the league of the big3 or maybe even Andy(career stats wise at least).
Djokovic and Murray by the age of 20 were human backboards. Nadal was a beast. Fraud had so much potential that his fragile young self couldn't even contain it.

But the next gen have something over the lost gen. Many of them have a big serve and a good enough baseline game. They lack the consistency(there's still time there).
They lack the variety too. But at least 3-4 of them are very dangerous when they get hot. That is something they have over the lost gen. Another big thing is that they won't play peak big4.

In conclusion I would say that despite everything this gReAt AgE sHiFt can't be blamed for the state tennis is in.
 
There are clearly two different phenomenons at play here and people are mixing them up.

It is indisputable that players at large have more longevity now with advanced sports medicine, proper diet and super effective fitness regimes.
So 27/28 of Lendl's time might very well be 33 of now.

Having said that there's still no excuse for the younger players(especially the lost gens) to not send the big3 packing their bags.
23-30 are peak years for players these days and we all know how the players of that age are doing today.
It's a clear lack of great talent in those players.
Poly, tennis not attracting the cream of the crop or whatever may be the reason behind it but there's clearly a drought.

It's the lost gens' utter failure that the ATP felt like investing in and hyping the next gen was their best chance at saving the sport.
And I do believe that the next gen are better than the lost gen.

Though almost all of them have some or the other form of technical glitches and which makes me believe that none is ever going to be in the league of the big3 or maybe even Andy(career stats wise at least).
Djokovic and Murray by the age of 20 were human backboards. Nadal was a beast. Fraud had so much potential that his fragile young self couldn't even contain it.

But the next gen have something over the lost gen. Many of them have a big serve and a good enough baseline game. They lack the consistency(there's still time there).
They lack the variety too. But at least 3-4 of them are very dangerous when they get hot. That is something they have over the lost gen. Another big thing is that they won't play peak big4.

In conclusion I would say that despite everything this gReAt AgE sHiFt can't be blamed for the state tennis is in.
No it can't be blamed for this weak era, but in my opinion it is why we don't have young guys breaking out just yet.

I do think it makes it harder for the young players to break through. They still have the big3 to deal with when they wouldn't have in the past. Also, I think GAS era primes are more like 26-31 verse 22-27. Much harder to break through when the top players still play a higher level game and understand the game better.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
There are clearly two different phenomenons at play here and people are mixing them up.

It is indisputable that players at large have more longevity now with advanced sports medicine, proper diet and super effective fitness regimes.
So 27/28 of Lendl's time might very well be 33 of now.

Having said that there's still no excuse for the younger players(especially the lost gens) to not send the big3 packing their bags.
23-30 are peak years for players these days and we all know how the players of that age are doing today.
It's a clear lack of great talent in those players.
Poly, tennis not attracting the cream of the crop or whatever may be the reason behind it but there's clearly a drought.

It's the lost gens' utter failure that the ATP felt like investing in and hyping the next gen was their best chance at saving the sport.
And I do believe that the next gen are better than the lost gen.

Though almost all of them have some or the other form of technical glitches and which makes me believe that none is ever going to be in the league of the big3 or maybe even Andy(career stats wise at least).
Djokovic and Murray by the age of 20 were human backboards. Nadal was a beast. Fraud had so much potential that his fragile young self couldn't even contain it.

But the next gen have something over the lost gen. Many of them have a big serve and a good enough baseline game. They lack the consistency(there's still time there).
They lack the variety too. But at least 3-4 of them are very dangerous when they get hot. That is something they have over the lost gen. Another big thing is that they won't play peak big4.

In conclusion I would say that despite everything this gReAt AgE sHiFt can't be blamed for the state tennis is in.
It's much simpler than that.

WTA and ATP really are apples and oranges. One cannot compare them in most things.

Age-wise for example women have had champs at 13, 14, 15, while men had earliest champs at 17, perhaps very rarely 16.

Women mature physically and mentally earlier than men. That's just one aspect of it.
 
I agree with the longevity trend vs peak play argument being made here. I often post this list of breakout players:

2000 Safin
2001 Hewitt
2003 Federer/Roddick
2005 Nadal
2007 Djokovic
2008 Murray
2009 Del Potro

GAS proponents want to tell me that those versions of those players, especially 2003 on wouldn’t destroy the current tour? Sure the older gatekeepers like Berdych, Tsonga and co stuck around a lot longer than before but they weren’t as good as their own younger years.

There is some other problem in the development of young tennis players that’s prevented the emergence of new elite talents after 2009.

First gen on Poly? First gen to ignore the importance of net and transitional play? First gen raised around social media? First gen raised in the huge money environment of modern tennis? First gen raised on homogenous surfaces? I don’t know the answer but other sports are seeing increased longevity from older players (hockey, football, basketball) but still have young ATG caliber talent coming up
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
It's much simpler than that.

WTA and ATP really are apples and oranges. One cannot compare them in most things.

Age-wise for example women have had champs at 13, 14, 15, while men had earliest champs at 17, perhaps very rarely 16.

Women mature physically and mentally earlier than men. That's just one aspect of it.
If 33 is the new 27, does that mean Rafa won his first slam when he was (19-6=) 13?

At what age does the age shift start?
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
There is some other problem in the development of young tennis players that’s prevented the emergence of new elite talents after 2009.

First gen on Poly? First gen to ignore the importance of net and transitional play? First gen raised around social media? First gen raised in the huge money environment of modern tennis? First gen raised on homogenous surfaces? I don’t know the answer but other sports are seeing increased longevity from older players (hockey, football, basketball) but still have young ATG caliber talent coming up
This could be a big factor.

Tomic the Tank Engine makes a nice living not putting in much effort. That would have been impossible in the 80s, with the money he'd have earned back then losing often in early rounds.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
If 33 is the new 27, does that mean Rafa won his first slam when he was (19-6=) 13?

At what age does the age shift start?
Pro tennis isn't a computer game. It is real life. There is no switch that makes things start. Things gradually change.

That's like asking when did apes turn into men.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
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...
These video's with Lendl et al were really great and the Mad Lad has delivered tennis already in 18 days rather than 18 months. He may not have a major, but he's peaking as he nears age 24 next January for all to see. He's also the oldest Milan participant and oldest "NextGen" player. Its quite likely that many of the others will have big level jumps for quite a few years. 18 year old Italian Sinner probably the youngest potential prodigy on the radar.


Frankly these guys (Boreass is the worst) can moan about Thiem if they want, but the reality is he would have won Roland Garros the last three years if the 800 pound gorilla did not still have his crown on his head. Thiem was about Medvedev's age in 2017, but just old enough to really break out on clay. The amazing thing for me with Thiem is from my extensive watching he hit his speed peak this Spring at age 25.5.:p

The real issue is just how bad LostGen have been turning out. From Del Potro/Cilic back to about Thiem's age just not an impressive record. Frankly we're all in just one big vacuum era except at the very top of the game.

I'm warming to the GAS acronym. Short and succinct.(y)
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I repeat things because clearly half of you are not reading the numbers, or fail to understand them.

38 is HUGE if prime is 20.

38 is great if prime is 25.

38 is pretty solid if prime is 30.

38 is nothing if prime is 38.

Capiche?

As the prime goes up, the number 38 becomes less impressive.

This is literally Maths 101. I can't make it any simpler.

I am not saying 38 isn't impressive, just saying it's LESS impressive.

Make an effort to understand what I just posted.
Please don't stop. Underrated slamming indeed.:D
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Didn't read most that wall of text but you're wrong. The younger generation just aren't good enough. Raonic is nearly 30... don't tell me he's "near his peak" or some stupid crap.
Part of the definite issue is Lost Gen is garbage. Where are they in the rankings? Those left are on the way out.

Recent Elo (ask yourself if you're betting on those in bold taking the world by storm next year? (Goffin good. Dimitrov maybe lol.)
RankBest RankCountryNameElo Rating
1​
1​
ESPRafael Nadal
2551​
2​
1​
SRBNovak Djokovic
2430​
3​
3​
RUSDaniil Medvedev
2405
4​
1​
SUIRoger Federer
2374​
5​
4​
AUTDominic Thiem
2275​
6​
3​
GERAlexander Zverev
2223​
7​
6​
ITAMatteo Berrettini
2219​
8​
5​
BELDavid Goffin
2216​
9​
5​
RSAKevin Anderson
2201​
10​
4​
GREStefanos Tsitsipas
2189​
11​
3​
SUIStan Wawrinka
2159​
12​
12​
RUSAndrey Rublev
2142​
13​
3​
JPNKei Nishikori
2135​
14​
9​
ITAFabio Fognini
2131​
15​
10​
ARGDiego Sebastian Schwartzman
2127​
16​
8​
ESPRoberto Bautista Agut
2117​
17​
8​
USAJohn Isner
2115​
18​
5​
AUSNick Kyrgios
2107​
19​
4​
FRAJo Wilfried Tsonga
2106​
20​
15​
ESPPablo Carreno Busta
2103​
21​
6​
FRAGael Monfils
2100​
22​
5​
RUSKaren Khachanov
2098​
23​
4​
CANMilos Raonic
2087​
24​
10​
USASam Querrey
2082​
25​
20​
CANDenis Shapovalov
2074​
26​
18​
AUSAlex De Minaur
2071​
27​
14​
GEONikoloz Basilashvili
2064​
28​
4​
CROMarin Cilic
2064​
29​
17​
ESPAlbert Ramos
2061​
30​
16​
POLHubert Hurkacz
2055​
31​
3​
BULGrigor Dimitrov
2046​
32​
10​
ESPFeliciano Lopez
2037​
33​
17​
ARGGuido Pella
2035​
34​
14​
FRALucas Pouille
2034​
35​
23​
CANFelix Auger Aliassime
2028​
36​
12​
GERJan Lennard Struff
2025​
37​
8​
CROBorna Coric
2020​
38​
6​
FRARichard Gasquet
2019​
39​
24​
AUSJohn Millman
2004​
40​
40​
USAReilly Opelka
2002​
41​
36​
JPNYoshihito Nishioka
2002​
42​
16​
FRAJeremy Chardy
2000​
43​
37​
SLOAljaz Bedene
1999​
44​
18​
FRAAdrian Mannarino
1996​
45​
16​
FRABenoit Paire
1995​
46​
20​
USATaylor Harry Fritz
1988​
47​
16​
SRBFilip Krajinovic
1983​
48​
30​
GBRDaniel Evans
1980​
49​
9​
KORHyeon Chung
1974​
50​
3​
CZETomas Berdych
1972​

This just calls into question the last ten years plus of competition. Save a few like Verdasco (not in top 50) and Feliciano these guys are not lasting all that much longer.

Its a bit of GAS plus the realization that outside the Big 5 let's say its been a bit sparse since the even bigger vacuum before 2007.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
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.
Because they play three sets with a day off in between.;) Slams are easier than regular WTA events with plenty of recovery time. Zverev won WTF. He'd wins slams too if they were best of three with a day off between matches. Its not rocket science.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
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.
And the ATP and most slams (grass does what it does) especially this year has propped up the older players by making the courts suddenly faster then they had been for almost a decade.

The Big 4 are also unprecedented athletes combining bigger size with tremendous speed. We don't have anyone in that size range other than Dimitrov that has their raw athletic ability. In the NextGen their is very fine speed in a group of tall players, probably the best has seen at that height. We take what we can get.;)
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Too early too call the GAS. I want to see first what Tsitsipas, Medvedev and a few more do when they enter traditional prime age 24-27.
I'd say traditional prime is 23 (even 22)- 26 very much in line with our speed peaks. You'll still see this in return numbers in our sport on hard courts. Usually top players have a nice jump in return performance around age 23 and by age 26 this defines their peak returning and probably goes with what posters on here think of movement.

When tennis was low bouncing grass, speed was the dominant factor. With graphite rackets and now Poly strings strength and stamina have become huge in the men's game especially at majors. This is due to the grueling baseline nature of the game. Strength and stamina have a later peak best demonstrated by Wawrinka. Novak also had that late peak at age 29 or so and maybe shortened it with his little melt down. It is now possible to peak overall at age 30.

Wawrinka was maybe the first player to also reinvent himself at an older age and now the Big 3 have done it and last, but not least Nadal has done it twice.:p Its all there to see in their stats. They've found a way to extend their careers and compensate for what is now a gradual loss of movement. Stamina may even peak at age 33 or so. We can see Federer's game withering away now slowly, but surely after hand injury messed up latter part of 2018 for him.

As long as the older players keep healthy they can keep the decline slow. The best also have an advantage in that they can afford to play a lighter schedule and give up thousands of points. Anyone outside the top ten can't do so much of that or they'll be qualifying everywhere and sliding even more down the rankings. These middling veterans have to play more to keep afloat and perhaps that is why we're seeing more injury issues for them and then exiting game. Berdych is in this swirling vortex right now.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Funny, coming from a Fognini avatar...

The irony, he won his biggest title aged 32 and reached top 10,

People are so in denial over GAS... just because of RF.

Let go of the RF worship and you'll all understand things a lot better. He is a great player but only human.
Recent Elo graph for Flabbio's career (Stan on there for fun):

He's comeback, but technically his peak was age 27. I expect this peak was on clay. Fabio has had some hard court success that has helped him recently.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I agree with the longevity trend vs peak play argument being made here. I often post this list of breakout players:

2000 Safin
2001 Hewitt
2003 Federer/Roddick
2005 Nadal
2007 Djokovic
2008 Murray
2009 Del Potro

GAS proponents want to tell me that those versions of those players, especially 2003 on wouldn’t destroy the current tour? Sure the older gatekeepers like Berdych, Tsonga and co stuck around a lot longer than before but they weren’t as good as their own younger years.

There is some other problem in the development of young tennis players that’s prevented the emergence of new elite talents after 2009.

First gen on Poly? First gen to ignore the importance of net and transitional play? First gen raised around social media? First gen raised in the huge money environment of modern tennis? First gen raised on homogenous surfaces? I don’t know the answer but other sports are seeing increased longevity from older players (hockey, football, basketball) but still have young ATG caliber talent coming up
I'll say NO. ;) 2004 Federer would be something to see. The rest are too young or from a bygone era in the case of Roddick with gut in their racket.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
There are clearly two different phenomenons at play here and people are mixing them up.

It is indisputable that players at large have more longevity now with advanced sports medicine, proper diet and super effective fitness regimes.
So 27/28 of Lendl's time might very well be 33 of now.

Having said that there's still no excuse for the younger players(especially the lost gens) to not send the big3 packing their bags.
23-30 are peak years for players these days and we all know how the players of that age are doing today.
It's a clear lack of great talent in those players.
Poly, tennis not attracting the cream of the crop or whatever may be the reason behind it but there's clearly a drought.

It's the lost gens' utter failure that the ATP felt like investing in and hyping the next gen was their best chance at saving the sport.
And I do believe that the next gen are better than the lost gen.

Though almost all of them have some or the other form of technical glitches and which makes me believe that none is ever going to be in the league of the big3 or maybe even Andy(career stats wise at least).
Djokovic and Murray by the age of 20 were human backboards. Nadal was a beast. Fraud had so much potential that his fragile young self couldn't even contain it.

But the next gen have something over the lost gen. Many of them have a big serve and a good enough baseline game. They lack the consistency(there's still time there).
They lack the variety too. But at least 3-4 of them are very dangerous when they get hot. That is something they have over the lost gen. Another big thing is that they won't play peak big4.

In conclusion I would say that despite everything this gReAt AgE sHiFt can't be blamed for the state tennis is in.
Much of what you say is correct.

The state of tennis is exceptional at the top now. The Big 3 have had banner years really beyond belief for their age. And the NextGen are emerging:
1. Medvedev - he's starting to peak right when he should at age 23 and an amazing surprise who has the potential to amass a serve game right in with Sampras/Federer with a better return game than Federer.
2. Tsitsipas - better serving game than Medvedev this year and just beat Djokovic in extremely good form, coupled with giving Nole his lone defeat among five tournaments in a row won in 2018. A very troubling development for the top player. 32 months younger than Medvedev
3. Zverev - horrific year, but his week at Shanghai was successful. 16 months younger than Medvedev.

All of these players have momentum at the end of the year heading into World Tour Finals which with the Big 3 should make for an awesome event.

Add into this a Thiem peaking at age 25.5 this year and winning some nice hard court events. And lets face reality that without an 800 pound gorilla back on clay with his crown, Thiem would have won the last three RGs.

No one in the history of tennis has been close to Big 3. We can't expect that level again and again.

We agree the LostGen stink. I would say outside of the big 5 and a rare Tsonga or Del Potro moment that the rest of the tour has been relatively weak.

Also please remember that technology change was a huge factor all the way through probably 2010 roughly and made it a lot easier for Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray. Federer amazingly adapted. The rest of the Big 5 had the technology in their younger years. Technology change hurt Roddick and helped these players without a shadow of a doubt.

I'm also amazed that you reference statistics, but don't appear to actually look at them all that much when it comes to the younger players. There is a very strong group coming up and those without injury issues are tracking very, very nicely.

Tennis is in a very, very strong state right now. Attendance is setting records everywhere since Wimbledon (don't know about rest of year). The Big 3 have played well and still remain to pass off the baton to at least Medvedev. We may never see a group as great as the Big 4 every again in our lives, but right now the very top of the game is quite healthy. Good riddance to the LostGen. ;)
 

davced1

Professional
I'd say traditional prime is 23 (even 22)- 26 very much in line with our speed peaks. You'll still see this in return numbers in our sport on hard courts. Usually top players have a nice jump in return performance around age 23 and by age 26 this defines their peak returning and probably goes with what posters on here think of movement.

When tennis was low bouncing grass, speed was the dominant factor. With graphite rackets and now Poly strings strength and stamina have become huge in the men's game especially at majors. This is due to the grueling baseline nature of the game. Strength and stamina have a later peak best demonstrated by Wawrinka. Novak also had that late peak at age 29 or so and maybe shortened it with his little melt down. It is now possible to peak overall at age 30.

Wawrinka was maybe the first player to also reinvent himself at an older age and now the Big 3 have done it and last, but not least Nadal has done it twice.:p Its all there to see in their stats. They've found a way to extend their careers and compensate for what is now a gradual loss of movement. Stamina may even peak at age 33 or so. We can see Federer's game withering away now slowly, but surely after hand injury messed up latter part of 2018 for him.

As long as the older players keep healthy they can keep the decline slow. The best also have an advantage in that they can afford to play a lighter schedule and give up thousands of points. Anyone outside the top ten can't do so much of that or they'll be qualifying everywhere and sliding even more down the rankings. These middling veterans have to play more to keep afloat and perhaps that is why we're seeing more injury issues for them and then exiting game. Berdych is in this swirling vortex right now.
I agree about the stamina I experience it myself. At 37 my stamina is better than ever.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I agree about the stamina I experience it myself. At 37 my stamina is better than ever.
What about that last paragraph. Literally came up with that writing the post. I think it helps explain the injury issue a bit for the typical older player.

This is basically happened to Ferrer. He just got beat down in the ranking enough and didn't want to go through the grind. Admirably he set up his wild card retirement tour and played some fine tennis to go out an a really high note.

Feleciano is trying to retire, but just had excellent grass season so picking and choosing some good events for him like indoors. He's not really been injured just trying to hang on and play without having to go through the rigors of qualifying.

Verdasco has done a great job clinging to the top 40 the last couple years and his time is nearing. Simon probably in similar boat, but some injury.

Others get hit with injury and its a closer thing. Tsonga, Monfils, and Gasquet come to mind.

For the injured players its hard to get back your level simply because you are not playing enough. Tsonga and Monfils had/have some good tennis left in them, but the injuries just are keeping them down and now some decline. A reliable Top 20 player suddenly is fighting to stay on tour.
 

blablavla

Professional
I repeat things because clearly half of you are not reading the numbers, or fail to understand them.

38 is HUGE if prime is 20.

38 is great if prime is 25.

38 is pretty solid if prime is 30.

38 is nothing if prime is 38.

Capiche?

As the prime goes up, the number 38 becomes less impressive.

This is literally Maths 101. I can't make it any simpler.

I am not saying 38 isn't impressive, just saying it's LESS impressive.

Make an effort to understand what I just posted.
you're right.
Last time when I checked the ATP ranking, the top 10 was all full of 33-38 year old folks.
What the heck, the top 100 was full of them.
Somewhere in a parallel reality, Safin, Hewitt, Kuerten, Nalbandian, Berdych, Tsonga, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Davydenko, Coria, Robredo, Roddick are still dominating the ATP Tour.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
These video's with Lendl et al were really great and the Mad Lad has delivered tennis already in 18 days rather than 18 months. He may not have a major, but he's peaking as he nears age 24 next January for all to see. He's also the oldest Milan participant and oldest "NextGen" player. Its quite likely that many of the others will have big level jumps for quite a few years. 18 year old Italian Sinner probably the youngest potential prodigy on the radar.


Frankly these guys (Boreass is the worst) can moan about Thiem if they want, but the reality is he would have won Roland Garros the last three years if the 800 pound gorilla did not still have his crown on his head. Thiem was about Medvedev's age in 2017, but just old enough to really break out on clay. The amazing thing for me with Thiem is from my extensive watching he hit his speed peak this Spring at age 25.5.:p

The real issue is just how bad LostGen have been turning out. From Del Potro/Cilic back to about Thiem's age just not an impressive record. Frankly we're all in just one big vacuum era except at the very top of the game.

I'm warming to the GAS acronym. Short and succinct.(y)
1988 doesn't count as LostGen. Cilic/Delpo are 1988, hence part of the 1985-1988 gen. Hence LostGen have no slam champs.

1989 is the cut-off line. It also makes sense to cut it off there because it would be absurd to separate Cilic/Delpo from Murray/Djokovic just due to one year difference, plus both Cilic/Delpo started winning a lot already at 19/20, especially Delpo. They are from that era and that generation.

Agreed about Thiem. Underrated just because he didn't win a slam. Some people even say "but if we don't count FO what's he done in slams?". WHY would you not count the FO when talking about slams... FO is a slam, not an Italian opera.

Bearerer is playing Milan? Why?
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
@UnderratedSlam

Good posts. I agree with you about the age shift. By the way, the average ages HAS gone up a lot in women's tennis, too, over time. It's down right now over the last few years, but it's on the upward trajectory overall.
The main reasons women's tennis hasn't gone up nearly as much are simple.

Women mature earlier, physically and mentally. It's in all the textbooks. We've always has very young prodigies at WTA, such as young as 13 or 14, in men's tennis that's 17 or 18, 19.

Secondly, WTA don't have three exceptional players who dominate, such as Big 3. They have just one and she's 38 and injured half the time.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
you're right.
Last time when I checked the ATP ranking, the top 10 was all full of 33-38 year old folks.
What the heck, the top 100 was full of them.
Somewhere in a parallel reality, Safin, Hewitt, Kuerten, Nalbandian, Berdych, Tsonga, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Davydenko, Coria, Robredo, Roddick are still dominating the ATP Tour.
You mean in a WEAK ERA parallel universe...

Nobody said EVERY player above 30 or close to 40 gets to have prolonged careers. Humans are not robots or clones. There is no everybody.

Or should I yet again post the list of ages in the top 100 since the 90s?
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
You mean in a WEAK ERA parallel universe...

Nobody said EVERY player above 30 or close to 40 gets to have prolonged careers. Humans are not robots or clones. There is no everybody.

Or should I yet again post the list of ages in the top 100 since the 90s?
there wasn't a player over the age of 23 in the semis of the shanghai masters.
 

blablavla

Professional
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.
Players at 35 years or older in ATP 100:
Ivo Karlovic (40 yo)
Roger Federer (38 yo)
Feliciano Lopez (38 yo)
Fernando Verdasco (38 yo)

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.
Players aged 34 yo. current ranking vs best ranking.
J Isner 16 vs 9
S Wawrinka 18 vs 3
JW Tsonga 36 vs 5
G Simon 47 vs 6

Players aged 33 yo. current ranking vs best ranking.
R Nadal 2 vs 1
G Monfils 13 vs 6
K Anderson 21 vs 5
P Cuevas 45 vs 19
R Gasquet 57 vs 7
P Andujar 63 vs 32

I don't think that statistics supports the GAS theory.

With the exception of Big 3, other players aren't doing better as the GAS would be suggesting.
When looking at the age factor, you need to account as well for the financial side.
How much money a pro was making while touring in the past?
Was this enough to keep the hard training in order to stay competitive? or perhaps a pro could consider to stop the hard training and get a somewhat smaller income but with a very different lifestyle?
What legal activity Anderson or Cuevas or Gasquest could be doing and earning as much as they do from prize money?

P Andujar, world number 63, made 681'039 USD prize money in 2019.
What legal activity he could be doing and earning that much?
Or do you think that all these guys play simply because they love the game?
so let me guess that 30+ yo pros from 20 - 30 years ago were retiring largely because touring is an exhaustive activity, and it didn't pay off at that age, meaning that they could take other ventures, perhaps not so demanding, and yet have a steady income revenue, so the choice is obvious.
 

blablavla

Professional
as well, keep in mind that the guys that are still competitive at 30+, did reach quite high positions in ranking.
so, with some decrease in footwork, they still can remain competitive due to experience and weapons they have.
I wonder if the court surface slow-down has any impact here as well, and why in Shanghai all the peaking old guns lost to the social media generation.
What if all HC were as fast as Shanghai? how many 30+ guys would be in top 100?

it's not like guys that were top 156 (for example) at 27 yo, at 33 yo peak to top 20 and prevent the young guys from dominating the tour.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Players at 35 years or older in ATP 100:
Ivo Karlovic (40 yo)
Roger Federer (38 yo)
Feliciano Lopez (38 yo)
Fernando Verdasco (38 yo)



Players aged 34 yo. current ranking vs best ranking.
J Isner 16 vs 9
S Wawrinka 18 vs 3
JW Tsonga 36 vs 5
G Simon 47 vs 6

Players aged 33 yo. current ranking vs best ranking.
R Nadal 2 vs 1
G Monfils 13 vs 6
K Anderson 21 vs 5
P Cuevas 45 vs 19
R Gasquet 57 vs 7
P Andujar 63 vs 32

I don't think that statistics supports the GAS theory.

With the exception of Big 3, other players aren't doing better as the GAS would be suggesting.
When looking at the age factor, you need to account as well for the financial side.
How much money a pro was making while touring in the past?
Was this enough to keep the hard training in order to stay competitive? or perhaps a pro could consider to stop the hard training and get a somewhat smaller income but with a very different lifestyle?
What legal activity Anderson or Cuevas or Gasquest could be doing and earning as much as they do from prize money?

P Andujar, world number 63, made 681'039 USD prize money in 2019.
What legal activity he could be doing and earning that much?
Or do you think that all these guys play simply because they love the game?
so let me guess that 30+ yo pros from 20 - 30 years ago were retiring largely because touring is an exhaustive activity, and it didn't pay off at that age, meaning that they could take other ventures, perhaps not so demanding, and yet have a steady income revenue, so the choice is obvious.
Cheery-picking facts is always cute.

Try to cherry-pick this...

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

The difference between my stats and yours:

1. I am not here promoting any fan agenda.

2. I included ALL the players.

3. I don't cherry-pick facts to push a fan agenda.
 

blablavla

Professional
So why can't you accept the top 100 age stats since early 90s posted here?

Simple question, I'd like a simple answer.
here you go, 1 + 2 + 3

because it fails to take some important aspects into account:
1. training and recovery science improved since 90s
2. financial aspect of the game.
In the past, it was a norm to skip big tournaments if getting there was considered as a big hassle as opposed to the prize money. can you imagine that nowadays? what legal activity the 30+ yo guys should be doing after retirement from ATP Tour in order to have similar financial stream?
In 2006, A Agassi received 42'000 USD for reaching R3 at USO.
He started the year in top 10, went down to top 40, and earned 156k USD.
P. Andujar in 2019, as #63, made 681'039 USD prize money in 2019.
What is your opinion, had the prize money be same 30 years ago, how would this impact the age distribution in top 100?
3. court surface speed.
the guys that are still competitive at 30+, did reach quite high positions in ranking.
with some decrease in footwork, they still can remain competitive due to experience and weapons they have.
I wonder if the court surface slow-down has any impact here as well, and why in Shanghai all the peaking old guns lost to the social media generation.

Now can you show me relevant statistics, that would take into account at least the court speed factor and prize money into account when comparing the age of professional tennis players in top 100 since whenever you want?
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
here you go, 1 + 2 + 3

because it fails to take some important aspects into account:
1. training and recovery science improved since 90s
2. financial aspect of the game.
In the past, it was a norm to skip big tournaments if getting there was considered as a big hassle as opposed to the prize money. can you imagine that nowadays? what legal activity the 30+ yo guys should be doing after retirement from ATP Tour in order to have similar financial stream?
In 2006, A Agassi received 42'000 USD for reaching R3 at USO.
He started the year in top 10, went down to top 40, and earned 156k USD.
P. Andujar in 2019, as #63, made 681'039 USD prize money in 2019.
What is your opinion, had the prize money be same 30 years ago, how would this impact the age distribution in top 100?
3. court surface speed.
the guys that are still competitive at 30+, did reach quite high positions in ranking.
with some decrease in footwork, they still can remain competitive due to experience and weapons they have.
I wonder if the court surface slow-down has any impact here as well, and why in Shanghai all the peaking old guns lost to the social media generation.

Now can you show me relevant statistics, that would take into account at least the court speed factor and prize money into account when comparing the age of professional tennis players in top 100 since whenever you want?
The science aspects are part of the EXPLANATIONS for why we have GAS.

You are finally admitting there is GAS.

As for money, arguing players are older now (which you finally admit) because of higher pay is rather far-fetched.

Surface speeds: if anything, MORE RUNNING should SHORTEN careers, not make them longer. I.e with fast courts maybe players would have EVEN LONGER careers now.

You completely misunderstand this thread. I am simply showing that GAS has occurred, that is all. The REASONS for GAS are possible multiple, and I'm not saying I know them all. If you are saying there are REASONS for GAS you are correct. There are reasons/explanations for everything.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
1988 doesn't count as LostGen. Cilic/Delpo are 1988, hence part of the 1985-1988 gen. Hence LostGen have no slam champs.

1989 is the cut-off line. It also makes sense to cut it off there because it would be absurd to separate Cilic/Delpo from Murray/Djokovic just due to one year difference, plus both Cilic/Delpo started winning a lot already at 19/20, especially Delpo. They are from that era and that generation.

Agreed about Thiem. Underrated just because he didn't win a slam. Some people even say "but if we don't count FO what's he done in slams?". WHY would you not count the FO when talking about slams... FO is a slam, not an Italian opera.

Bearerer is playing Milan? Why?
Its a favorite proclivity of mine including Delpo/Cilic as LostGen. Delpo may be lost due to injuries, but still lost. Cilic just not all that good and got red hot on serve for one slam. Calling him great is like saying what would Medvedev have done if he won 75% of serve points at every slam like he did in Tokyo. :D

Mad Lad played the inaugural event in Milan two years ago and just part of the pack as the elder statesman.
 
Top