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

van_Loederen

Professional
what Lendl says is wellknown for several years.
just not among the clowns on this board, haha. :laughing:

here my attempt at explaining it: :whistle:
if there are so many more old players in the top 100, then this also means that players enter their prime significantly later,
cause the vast majority of top 100 players manages to be there only during their prime.
 

blablavla

Professional
Money cannot extend careers. Only healthy bodies can. Healthy bodies are now healthier for longer periods due to medical advances and various substances.
money can change scheduling decision for example, isn't it? instead of playing 30 tournaments per year, focus on 20-25 events -> a healthier body for a longer period of time
money can change the way one takes care about recovery after match. You know, many things cost money, starting with massage specialist for example, which is probably one of the most basic things. -> a healthier body for a longer period of time
money can make a difference between being able to afford a coach, for example fitness coach, a nutrition specialist or not being able to afford one -> a healthier body
+ money other ways in which having money can help one to have a healthier body in particular, and a more successful career in general.

Healthy bodies are now healthier for longer periods due to medical advances and various substances -> which again costs money, isn't it? so someone who is struggling at break-even point, or below can't afford them, while those at top can.
oops, looks like we are running into a logical problem here :)
 

blablavla

Professional
More money being available should mean that players get richer SOONER hence have the incentive to quit earlier, because being a pro for longer than a decade is NOT nearly as much fun as amateurs believe it is. It's an extremely tough job, especially for journeymen who have much less success. It would be more logical for previous era players to wanna play longer for money BECAUSE they earned LESS. This is simple plain logic. Human logic. It is basic.
did you play tennis at pro level?

one can assume that having enough money -> retirement
or one can assume that as long as a pro can make money, the pro will keep playing -> no voluntarily retirement
both assumptions are logical, it simply depends on point of view.
Looking at many examples in sport, I assume that many top athletes choose the second option, whether it is fun or whether it is not nearly as much fun as amateurs believe.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
did you play tennis at pro level?

one can assume that having enough money -> retirement
or one can assume that as long as a pro can make money, the pro will keep playing -> no voluntarily retirement
both assumptions are logical, it simply depends on point of view.
Looking at many examples in sport, I assume that many top athletes choose the second option, whether it is fun or whether it is not nearly as much fun as amateurs believe.
There is no such a thing as "enough" money, so it looks like we don't have a case of choosing at all between those two things.

:cool:
 

blablavla

Professional
More money being available should mean that players get richer SOONER hence have the incentive to quit earlier, because being a pro for longer than a decade is NOT nearly as much fun as amateurs believe it is. It's an extremely tough job, especially for journeymen who have much less success. It would be more logical for previous era players to wanna play longer for money BECAUSE they earned LESS. This is simple plain logic. Human logic. It is basic.
Again, depends on point of view.
If a former pro, made 300'000 USD / year as prize money, but has to pay for travel arrangements, taxes, and many other costs, remaining with let's say 50'000 USD net, or same pro can be once a while expert at local TV, or plain and simple be a very expensive hitting partner for rich folks, making same 50'000 USD net per year, what do you think a logical person will choose?
-> to travel and fight on ATP Tour, which is not nearly as much fun as amateurs believe
-> stay home, enjoy life and make similar amount of money

For me it's obvious that a logical person would choose point #2.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
money can change scheduling decision for example, isn't it? instead of playing 30 tournaments per year, focus on 20-25 events -> a healthier body for a longer period of time
money can change the way one takes care about recovery after match. You know, many things cost money, starting with massage specialist for example, which is probably one of the most basic things. -> a healthier body for a longer period of time
money can make a difference between being able to afford a coach, for example fitness coach, a nutrition specialist or not being able to afford one -> a healthier body
+ money other ways in which having money can help one to have a healthier body in particular, and a more successful career in general.

Healthy bodies are now healthier for longer periods due to medical advances and various substances -> which again costs money, isn't it? so someone who is struggling at break-even point, or below can't afford them, while those at top can.
oops, looks like we are running into a logical problem here :)
Yup, you've run into a logic hole yet again...

Now get out of it, fill it up so you don't fall inside again, and try another theory...

Just try to avoid comparing the amateurs with pros as you tend to do often... I am slightly amazed you didn't speak of how much recession affected your own club "career"... I.e. amazed you didn't make this about amateurs yet again. So yes, you are improving with your logic skills, thanks to me to some extent perhaps. But you still have ways to go...

Of course, Genghis Khan was one of the richest people in the history of the world. And yet he couldn't find a dentist to save his life. Or a surgeon.

You catch my drift?

Not to mention your silly assumption that BEFORE GAS pros made so little money that they had to play every week (which I don't understand how they could do considering they had to travel by air mostly - which costs money which allegedly they had little of according to you) in order to make money. So there's a neat little contradiction you made... Journeymen still play tons of events as they used to do, and top players generally play less - because they win more. I mean, surely you've noticed this? Things haven't changed in that regard. You make it sound like everyone is playing 11 events per year...

There was PLENTY of money in the 90s. Winning 500,000 dollars after winning a slam may seem like little to clueless fans used to the current era, but to anyone firmly planted in the real world 90s pro tennis offered huge amounts of money. Yet the average age was quite low. You would have a case if Sampras played for a pittance but that is way off the mark, hence you have no case.

Also, this fable about pre-RF era pros not having coaches and fitness experts... Such nonsense. You might wanna do some research there...

If money is so all-important then why don't millionaires buy themselves tennis careers?

They can't. Because talent, hard work, and health create careers. Medical advances enhance this health to an extent but they are not all-powerful, nobody said they were.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Again, depends on point of view.
If a former pro, made 300'000 USD / year as prize money, but has to pay for travel arrangements, taxes, and many other costs, remaining with let's say 50'000 USD net, or same pro can be once a while expert at local TV, or plain and simple be a very expensive hitting partner for rich folks, making same 50'000 USD net per year, what do you think a logical person will choose?
-> to travel and fight on ATP Tour, which is not nearly as much fun as amateurs believe
-> stay home, enjoy life and make similar amount of money

For me it's obvious that a logical person would choose point #2.
Your accounting skills need help from an accountant with skills.

That's all I gotta say on this post...
 

MS_07

Rookie
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...
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...
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...


TBH , not many young guys are interested in playing tennis as opposed to early decades . there's not enough money for anyone outside top 50/70 . nobody sees it as career . check followers of any top footballer vs fedelovic .

so there's noone to kick old guys ass . they're rotting on top since years now .
 

blablavla

Professional
Your accounting skills need help from an accountant with skills.

That's all I gotta say on this post...
dude, do you know the difference between gross income and net income?
if not, let me open a secret for ya.

say, a person is a trucker, working on his / her own.
makes 250'000 USD per year as fees for transporting goods.
That's the gross income.
Minus expenses, fuel, tyres, truck maintenance, hotel, etc.
minus taxes
say that person has 50'000 USD remaining
that is net income

(you know, just like with companies.
there are sales, gross profit and net profit.)

so a touring pro earns checks for prize money.
often from prize money local taxes are deducted.
some countries allow you to claim them back, but this still has the risk of getting back only a fraction when transformed back to USD / EUR
travel arrangements need to be paid. If you are not Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, chances are that you pay these by yourself.
coach, hitting partner, etc. all probably want money, doubt that they cooperate because they simply love the game.
etc. etc. etc.
costs tend to add up
so, at the end of the day, for a touring pro, who doesn't make 5 - 10 Mio in prize money, but rather 500k, there is a big difference between gross income from prize money and net income, remaining on bank account at the end of the year.
 

blablavla

Professional
Yup, you've run into a logic hole yet again...

Now get out of it, fill it up so you don't fall inside again, and try another theory...

Just try to avoid comparing the amateurs with pros as you tend to do often... I am slightly amazed you didn't speak of how much recession affected your own club "career"... I.e. amazed you didn't make this about amateurs yet again. So yes, you are improving with your logic skills, thanks to me to some extent perhaps. But you still have ways to go...
right.
says the person who believed that police follows criminals because they like to do so, or for justice, but not for salary.
says the person who compared London WTF (World Tour Final) popularity with yellow press.

what can I say - this is Logic, with a capital L.
 
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Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
dude, do you know the difference between gross income and net income?
if not, let me open a secret for ya.

say, a person is a trucker, working on his / her own.
makes 250'000 USD per year as fees for transporting goods.
That's the gross income.
Minus expenses, fuel, tyres, truck maintenance, hotel, etc.
minus taxes
say that person has 50'000 USD remaining
that is net income

(you know, just like with companies.
there are sales, gross profit and net profit.)

so a touring pro earns checks for prize money.
often from prize money local taxes are deducted.
some countries allow you to claim them back, but this still has the risk of getting back only a fraction when transformed back to USD / EUR
travel arrangements need to be paid. If you are not Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, chances are that you pay these by yourself.
coach, hitting partner, etc. all probably want money, doubt that they cooperate because they simply love the game.
etc. etc. etc.
costs tend to add up
so, at the end of the day, for a touring pro, who doesn't make 5 - 10 Mio in prize money, but rather 500k, there is a big difference between gross income from prize money and net income, remaining on bank account at the end of the year.
According to that chap the touring pro in the 50-100 ranking range is living the life. That is why Pospisil ..... oh, never mind!

:cool:
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
Also, this fable about pre-RF era pros not having coaches and fitness experts... Such nonsense. You might wanna do some research there...
Oh, dabbling in inventing things that aren't there again? No one said/says that they didn't have coaches and fitness experts (you probably wanted to say mostly the latter, as I haven't heard of many high profile tennis players that went on without coaches for very long periods of time anyway). What is being said is that with the increasing importance of sports science these people get increasingly important and much more expensive to hire and have around. Especially the top guys in that field.

:cool:
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Tsitsipas, Zverev, Medvedev are possibly future ATGs and they still beat zero times Djokovic or Nadal in Slams.
Lew, that only shows that the Big 3 are special players, not that what they are doing will continue to be any kind of norm. The acid test will be what happens to the next group of slam winners. When new guys break through, how long will they stay on top? Will other aging players closer to age 30 or older continue to dominate? If Tsitispas starts winning slams - and I'm personally not expecting this - or if other people in his age group start sucking up the majors, we have to rethink things. For instance, if in the next couple years guys like FAA, Shapo, Meddy and Stafanos win all the slams, things will reset as they did after Conners, Borg and Mac drove out the old guys like Laver and Roswell.

But if other guys in their late 20s and early 30s replace the Big 3 in winning slams, then the current trend will continue even if not as severe. My personal hunch is that the age range is going to lower a bit but that primes and peaks will stay older, in general. What we need is more time to see how this all settles down.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
Lew, that only shows that the Big 3 are special players, not that what they are doing will continue to be any kind of norm. The acid test will be what happens to the next group of slam winners. When new guys break through, how long will they stay on top? Will other aging players closer to age 30 or older continue to dominate? If Tsitispas starts winning slams - and I'm personally not expecting this - or if other people in his age group start sucking up the majors, we have to rethink things. For instance, if in the next couple years guys like FAA, Shapo, Meddy and Stafanos win all the slams, things will reset as they did after Conners, Borg and Mac drove out the old guys like Laver and Roswell.

But if other guys in their late 20s and early 30s replace the Big 3 in winning slams, then the current trend will continue even if not as severe. My personal hunch is that the age range is going to lower a bit but that primes and peaks will stay older, in general. What we need is more time to see how this all settles down.
(y)

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.

:cool:
To that I would add that apart from the big 3 being special the other contributing factor is the generational change of attitude towards the sport which led to exceptionally weak successive generations.

:cool:
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
To that I would add that apart from the big 3 being special the other contributing factor is the generational change of attitude towards the sport which led to exceptionally weak successive generations.
This will self-correct if true. Unless something changes to make a whole bunch of younger, talented athletes go into tennis, we should have a new level based on the lesser interest/talent which will become the new norm. That will lower the ability of the new people on top and make them more vulnerable to the next group of youngsters.

I'm not saying any of this is true, only that IF it is true, the results will show it to be true in the future.

The problem in evaluating the level of the best players now against those from other eras is the lack of objective measures. Other than the radar gun for serving speed and some numbers coming from Hawkeye, we're all pretty much trading opinions. We have all sorts of stats, but most stats are about one guy measured against another, so those stats are relative. The two biggest winners in terms of games in the open era are Borg and Nadal, on clay, but just a few minutes spent watching both shows that comparing is impossible.

Compare this with something like bowling, where we can check averages in a way that allows us to compare eras, or pool, where we have records of how many balls have been sunk in a row in straight pool.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
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.
Messi, Ronaldo, LeBron all in their thirties and still among the best in their sports. Brady is 42
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
Avg age of Top 32 in December 1973 - '26.2'
Avg age of Top 32 in December 2019 - '27.1'

Not much change in 46 years if you ask me..... Oh wait! Suddenly, peak years moved up ten (10) years in 2014-2019!
And in the years between 1973 and 2019?
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
over28 in the top100:

1973 - 33
1974 - 43
1975 - 42
1976 - 40
1977 - 40
1978 - 29
1979 - 35
1980 - 32
1981 - 30
1982 - 19
1983 - 27
1984 - 26
1985 - 17
1986 - 13
1987 - 14
1988 - 14
1989 - 16
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
2019 - 46
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
over28 in the top100:

1973 - 33
1974 - 43
1975 - 42
1976 - 40
1977 - 40
1978 - 29
1979 - 35
1980 - 32
1981 - 30
1982 - 19
1983 - 27
1984 - 26
1985 - 17
1986 - 13
1987 - 14
1988 - 14
1989 - 16
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
2019 - 46
In the early open era you had a group of very ambitious older players who were not allowed to compete against amateurs, and they hung around a long time both to make more money and to prove how good they were. In some ways not so different from right now.
 

blablavla

Professional
over28 in the top100:

1973 - 33
1974 - 43
1975 - 42
1976 - 40
1977 - 40
1978 - 29
1979 - 35
1980 - 32
1981 - 30
1982 - 19
1983 - 27
1984 - 26
1985 - 17
1986 - 13
1987 - 14
1988 - 14
1989 - 16
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
2019 - 46
oh no, are you saying that the GAS happened initially around years 1973 - 1974 and then the "reverse" GAS happened in 1978?
how dare you! :)
 

blablavla

Professional
In the early open era you had a group of very ambitious older players who were not allowed to compete against amateurs, and they hung around a long time both to make more money and to prove how good they were. In some ways not so different from right now.
is this the entire explanation, or perhaps there were some other factors that played a role?

just brainstorming.
- change of surfaces
- change of racket technology, e.g. wood -> composite materials -> bigger head size resulting in higher pace
- technique improvement, when young guns would outpower the established players

or is it all related to 27 tansforming into 33 then going back to 27 and yet again transforming into 33
 
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