What do you think about the evolution of sport science with regard to Federer?

Federer is the oldest man in the top 130 rankings.

Most of his competitors (currently 39 or younger) retired way before him:

Andy Roddick (2012)
Nalbandian (2013)
Davydenko (2014)
Hewitt (2016)
Berdych (2019)
Ferrer (2019)

Many of the above, were not particularly competitive in the later stages of their career (unlike Federer who has always been a threat), and they retired significantly before Federer.

Has sports medicine really played a role in cementing his position? If that's the case, it is in significant contrast to the physical decline of his peers. As mentioned above, no man in the top 130 ranks is older than him. Even assuming competition has "declined", it is nothing short of incredible. Similarly, in football, Ronaldo at age 35 still clocks incredible speeds, and competes at a high level. What factors do you reckon have enabled Federer to preserve his level in contrast to every man from his generation?
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Fed was the first guy who made it a point to stay light. We are used to it now, but the first time I saw his little noodle of a left arm it looked so weird. No other player has been so asymmetrical and it goes to the heart of Fed's greatness, which was to only build as much muscle as was necessary to get the job done and not a pound more.
 

James P

Legend
I think there's a little luck, both genetically (athleticism, skill, etc) and injury-wise, that's keeping him going. Sports science helps, but it isn't the end-all, be-all. Could have just as easily been dealt a Delpo hand in life.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
Good genes, and style that does not rely too much on physicality (no extreme grips, relaxed power, net play).
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Its got to be PEDs, don’t you think? The Big 3 take long breaks from competition due to injuries and always seem to come back stronger with no decline in their physical fitness or endurance. They have so much money that they can hire the best doctors to beat all the drug-testing that tennis is not serious about with their superstars anyway.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Yes. This puts doubt in my mind that it's just him or just genetics. They are also linked with Gates who may be far more involved with medical things (in relation to computers) than we may think. And what about stem cell therapy?

And then....does the Atp purposefully look away?
It's the freaking Soros-sponsored 5G microchips in vaccines man, Bill Gates controls Federer with that chip running in Fed's blood from his Surface Pro like IRL Top Spin 4
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
And then....does the Atp purposefully look away?
What I’ve heard from coaches of some lower-ranked ATP players is that the out-of-tournament random testing of top players is not really “random”. Since tennis players live all over the world, they can determine how frequently they are tested by where they choose to stay in between tournaments. When Federer is in Dubai or some of the players live in the Bahamas or Monaco or in developing countries, they don’t get tested much as opposed to living in Florida or France. Also, it is rumored that the top players might get advance notice before being tested especially in the off-season. Lastly, the security protocol around out-of-tournament testing is supposed to be very lax and it should not be difficult for players to substitute samples that are not current. This is all locker-room gossip from pro tournaments in California.
 

daphne

Semi-Pro
Sport science was around in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and will be around in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026...3020, 3040, 3060, 4000, etc.
 

blablavla

Legend
What I’ve heard from coaches of some lower-ranked ATP players is that the out-of-tournament random testing of top players is not really “random”. Since tennis players live all over the world, they can determine how frequently they are tested by where they choose to stay in between tournaments. When Federer is in Dubai or some of the players live in the Bahamas or Monaco or in developing countries, they don’t get tested much as opposed to living in Florida or France. Also, it is rumored that the top players might get advance notice before being tested especially in the off-season. Lastly, the security protocol around out-of-tournament testing is supposed to be very lax and it should not be difficult for players to substitute samples that are not current. This is all locker-room gossip from pro tournaments in California.
but athletes in a bunch of other sports claim that they need to input on a daily basis all relevant information into a specially designated system, so that the anti-dope officers can find you 24/7.
it would be weird if tennis pro players can simply "disappear" from the radar for 4-6 weeks during the pre-season period if they decide to train in Bahamas or Monaco for example.
Monaco is easily accessible from Europe.
Dubai is a well connected hub as well.
And I'd be surprised if there were no connections between Bahamas and the outer world during tennis pre-season prep
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
but athletes in a bunch of other sports claim that they need to input on a daily basis all relevant information into a specially designated system, so that the anti-dope officers can find you 24/7.
it would be weird if tennis pro players can simply "disappear" from the radar for 4-6 weeks during the pre-season period if they decide to train in Bahamas or Monaco for example.
Monaco is easily accessible from Europe.
Dubai is a well connected hub as well.
And I'd be surprised if there were no connections between Bahamas and the outer world during tennis pre-season prep
There are less ATP drug-testers available if you are in Dubai or the Bahamas (where Kyrgios, DeMinaur, Edmunds, Bouchard etc have residency status)). Tennis has a drug-testing system that is way less stringent than many Olympic sports - partly because the top players on the ATP/WTA player councils have a lot of say in how it is designed and partly because tennis doesn’t want bad publicity from catching its superstars cheating as that would be bad for business. See what Federer says.

 

blablavla

Legend
There are less ATP drug-testers available if you are in Dubai or the Bahamas (where Kyrgios, DeMinaur, Edmunds, Bouchard etc have residency status)). Tennis has a drug-testing system that is way less stringent than many Olympic sports - partly because the top players on the ATP/WTA player councils have a lot of say in how it is designed and partly because tennis doesn’t want bad publicity from catching its superstars cheating as that would be bad for business. See what Federer says.

how naiver was I to believe the PTPA founders when they said that neither the ATP nor the tournaments listen to them...
 

Lew II

Legend
Federer's longevity doesn't look so special anymore. Djokodal are dominating in their 30s.

slam titles at age 31-34:

Nadal 6
Djokovic 5
Federer 0
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
how naiver was I to believe the PTPA founders when they said that neither the ATP nor the tournaments listen to them...
When it comes to how much of tournament profits should be given to lower-ranked players, the player councils and the tournaments have different agendas and that is what PTPA wants to fight against. When It comes to drug testing, the tournaments don’t want to catch cheats and the players want to cheat - they are perfectly aligned. Just like baseball turned a blind eye on steroid cheating in the late Nineties when home run hitters like McGwire, Sosa and Bonds helped ramp up baseball’s popularity and fostered MLB marketing campaigns like “Chicks dig the long ball”. It’s only when traditional baseball fans started complaining that all-time records and statistics were being wrecked by drug cheats that baseball started tightening its rules and even then, they had a hard time negotiating it with the players union.

If PEDs allow top-ranked players to play three 4-hour matches in a row without much recovery time and keep winning while the TV ratings go through the roof, why would the tournaments complain? Also, I wonder if it would be possible for players to play tournaments 10 months of the year on all kinds of surfaces all over the world dealing with jet lag, fatigue etc. without taking PEDs to help with recovery. The most commonly used PEDs in tennis are likely those that help players recover quickly from workouts/matches or have longer, more strenuous workouts than the types that build up muscle. That’s similar to why baseball pitchers also took PEDs and it was not only the big-muscled home-run hitters. The whole calendar of pro tennis all-year long might not be sustainable as a business for the ATP without PEDs.
 
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blablavla

Legend
Federer's longevity doesn't look so special anymore. Djokodal are dominating in their 30s.

slam titles at age 31-34:

Nadal 6
Djokovic 5
Federer 0
yeah dude, you're totally right.
Of course Fed's longevity doesn't look special, when he keeps playing folks born in 1980-1982. Oh wait, that is happening in a parallel reality, like most of other things in Wonderland.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Fed was the first guy who made it a point to stay light. We are used to it now, but the first time I saw his little noodle of a left arm it looked so weird. No other player has been so asymmetrical and it goes to the heart of Fed's greatness, which was to only build as much muscle as was necessary to get the job done and not a pound more.
85 kg, 185 cm is not really super light. For instance, Djokovic is 8 kg lighter and 3 cm taller.

I think many guys who retire in their early 30s are capable of playing several more years but don't have motivation to stay on tour.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
85 kg, 185 cm is not really super light. For instance, Djokovic is 8 kg lighter and 3 cm taller.

I think many guys who retire in their early 30s are capable of playing several more years but don't have motivation to stay on tour.
Kyrgios as efficient as ever is skipping a few steps and decided to have no motivation to stay on tour even before he started
 

Wander

Professional
Fed was the first guy who made it a point to stay light. We are used to it now, but the first time I saw his little noodle of a left arm it looked so weird. No other player has been so asymmetrical and it goes to the heart of Fed's greatness, which was to only build as much muscle as was necessary to get the job done and not a pound more.
I don't think this is true though. Federer looks to have a heavier build than many of the all time greats before him. I'm thinking Rosewall, Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Edberg, Wilander, even Pete. And many of his rivals have been far lighter too. Players like Henman, Coria and of course Djokovic.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
When it comes to how much of tournament profits should be given to lower-ranked players, the player councils and the tournaments have different agendas and that is what PTPA wants to fight against. When It comes to drug testing, the tournaments don’t want to catch cheats and the players want to cheat - they are perfectly aligned. Just like baseball turned a blind eye on steroid cheating in the late Nineties when home run hitters like McGwire, Sosa and Bonds helped ramp up baseball’s popularity and fostered MLB marketing campaigns like “Chicks dig the long ball”. It’s only when traditional baseball fans started complaining that all-time records and statistics were being wrecked by drug cheats that baseball started tightening its rules and even then, they had a hard time negotiating it with the players union.

If PEDs allow top-ranked players to play three 4-hour matches in a row without much recovery time and keep winning while the TV ratings go through the roof, why would the tournaments complain? Also, I wonder if it would be possible for players to play tournaments 10 months of the year on all kinds of surfaces all over the world dealing with jet lag, fatigue etc. without taking PEDs to help with recovery. The most commonly used PEDs in tennis are likely those that help players recover quickly from workouts/matches or have longer, more strenuous workouts than the types that build up muscle. That’s similar to why baseball pitchers also took PEDs and it was not only the big-muscled home-run hitters. The whole calendar of pro tennis all-year long might not be sustainable as a business for the ATP without PEDs.
Yes, and when was the last time a tennis player was caught for doping? I can’t really remember. Excluding sharapova of course, who in my opinion, can’t be considered as doping since she was taking an over the counter drug.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
What I’ve heard from coaches of some lower-ranked ATP players is that the out-of-tournament random testing of top players is not really “random”. Since tennis players live all over the world, they can determine how frequently they are tested by where they choose to stay in between tournaments. When Federer is in Dubai or some of the players live in the Bahamas or Monaco or in developing countries, they don’t get tested much as opposed to living in Florida or France. Also, it is rumored that the top players might get advance notice before being tested especially in the off-season. Lastly, the security protocol around out-of-tournament testing is supposed to be very lax and it should not be difficult for players to substitute samples that are not current. This is all locker-room gossip from pro tournaments in California.
Seesh. If it's true then there will most definitely be doping at a Armstrong level. What's the point of even watching tennis then?
 
Federer is the oldest man in the top 130 rankings.

Most of his competitors (currently 39 or younger) retired way before him:

Andy Roddick (2012)
Nalbandian (2013)
Davydenko (2014)
Hewitt (2016)
Berdych (2019)
Ferrer (2019)

Many of the above, were not particularly competitive in the later stages of their career (unlike Federer who has always been a threat), and they retired significantly before Federer.

Has sports medicine really played a role in cementing his position? If that's the case, it is in significant contrast to the physical decline of his peers. As mentioned above, no man in the top 130 ranks is older than him. Even assuming competition has "declined", it is nothing short of incredible. Similarly, in football, Ronaldo at age 35 still clocks incredible speeds, and competes at a high level. What factors do you reckon have enabled Federer to preserve his level in contrast to every man from his generation?
Everybody's careers are longer.
 

Le Master

Professional
Its got to be PEDs, don’t you think? The Big 3 take long breaks from competition due to injuries and always seem to come back stronger with no decline in their physical fitness or endurance. They have so much money that they can hire the best doctors to beat all the drug-testing that tennis is not serious about with their superstars anyway.
Is it also a possibility that these "long breaks" are in fact silent bans due to failed drug tests?
 

blablavla

Legend
Is it also a possibility that these "long breaks" are in fact silent bans due to failed drug tests?
quite unlikely.
the more people are in the know, the more likely it is that evidence will leak.

even if they will keep silence, it is unlikely that all discussions happen face to face in locations that are properly secured from surveillance.
and as soon as there is any kind of electronic evidence, it can be hacked.

do you think if allegedly Russian hackers obtained such proof about Nadal they wouldn't make it public?
like they published a bunch of materials about athletes from countries that imposed sanctions on Russia starting with 2014/2015?
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
Why though? What makes it obvious and more obvious than Federer?
Hmmm, let me think, one has uncontrollable rage bouts and the other abnormal sweating like he took a shower with his clothes on just five minutes into the match, and the thinning hair.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
Well, first Federer was so much better than his generational peers to begin with.
His game is pretty much all round and timeless. It's maybe not a coincidence that Laver and Newcombe were able to play quite far into their 30s.
Federer also maximised his game for efficiency when he was struggling.
We also should not get too confused- Federer has played into his late 30s but he has not had the same success in the last decade that he had in his peak. Since 2011, he has won 4 of his 20 slams. So, he may have longevity but he is not playing to the standard he was in his mid 20s. I know he says he is playing better than ever at various times, but I saw him live in 2006 and 2015 and can tell you he still plays well, but there is not the zap he had then.
 

blablavla

Legend
Hmmm, let me think, one has uncontrollable rage bouts and the other abnormal sweating like he took a shower with his clothes on just five minutes into the match, and the thinning hair.
to be fair, the two pairs of twins is also not very common outcome, unless you decide to go for in vitro, which might hint at something as well.
 

EllieK

Hall of Fame
Fed was the first guy who made it a point to stay light. We are used to it now, but the first time I saw his little noodle of a left arm it looked so weird. No other player has been so asymmetrical and it goes to the heart of Fed's greatness, which was to only build as much muscle as was necessary to get the job done and not a pound more.
Obviously you never saw Rod Laver. The disparity in his arms was something else. Left arm was way bigger.
 

GhostOfNKDM

Rookie
Federer is the oldest man in the top 130 rankings.

Most of his competitors (currently 39 or younger) retired way before him:

Andy Roddick (2012)
Nalbandian (2013)
Davydenko (2014)
Hewitt (2016)
Berdych (2019)
Ferrer (2019)

Many of the above, were not particularly competitive in the later stages of their career (unlike Federer who has always been a threat), and they retired significantly before Federer.

Has sports medicine really played a role in cementing his position? If that's the case, it is in significant contrast to the physical decline of his peers. As mentioned above, no man in the top 130 ranks is older than him. Even assuming competition has "declined", it is nothing short of incredible. Similarly, in football, Ronaldo at age 35 still clocks incredible speeds, and competes at a high level. What factors do you reckon have enabled Federer to preserve his level in contrast to every man from his generation?
The unsaid assumption seems to be that they retired because they could not keep up physically just to compete

The truth is that there is always a cost v benefit calculus going on for any player to continue playing the sport.

The question for Fed's contemporaries could have been more like "is it worth continuing to expend huge amounts of effort staying in shape, bear the costs of travel, stay and coaches, physios etc for the results I'm getting with my game?". For many of them, getting more fitter even in their prime did not translate into commensurate results for a variety of reasons (talent, bad technique, mental strength) and its not like they did not try (Roddick)

Roger has advantages that make the hard work of staying in shape worthwhile -

1. He has immense talent that helps him win earlier rounds against lower ranked players with less effort than his contemporaries
2. The money he has already earned on and off court makes travel/coaches etc not as big an economic factor (I'm sure he too has break-even result expectations)
3. Due to his popularity the world over, crowd reactions, (and the appearance fees that lower tournaments give him) makes the travel with family a headache worth bearing
4. His family is happy to go along with the arrangement because of his popularity and results. No family want to go hike around watching their dad or spouse get mediocre results when there are other ways they can monetize their celebrity.

I'm sure these and other factors are more important to why these players retired than insinuating they cannot compete physically and since Fed is doing so, it must be because of illegal meds.

And then there is the obvious decline. The foot speed is obvious. Recovery takes longer as he has talked about many times. Longer matches in the earlier rounds deplete him when he does get further into a tournament. I'm sure there'll be a point in Roger's career too where this calculus won't work in his favor. It'll happen much later than his contemporaries for the reasons stated above.

Finally, this isn't a novel phenomenon either where Fed is eyebrow raisingly unique- Connors and Rosewall played into their 40s too back in the day. Rosewall has stated clear income was his motivation. These days even a moderately successful tennis player can earn millions and invest in other ventures... they don't have to play till they collapse.

If we do want to suspect PED use, there are player transformations that are far more eye raising which we have been told is slander to discuss.

But let that not deter the good folks from peddling more PED theories about Roger because he lives within a mile of a pharmacy :giggle:
 
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RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Hmmm, let me think, one has uncontrollable rage bouts and the other abnormal sweating like he took a shower with his clothes on just five minutes into the match, and the thinning hair.
Neither of them look like they’re on anabolics really. Too skinny
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
If we do want to suspect PED use, there are player transformations that are far more eye raising which we have been told is slander to discuss.

But let that not deter the good folks from peddling more PED theories about Roger because he lives within a mile of a pharmacy :giggle:
My baseline assumption is that most celebrities, many business moguls, and most top athletes are using PEDs. All those movie star transformations for example? There are very sophisticated ways to modify the human endocrine system these days, you don’t expect people to come out looking like Arnold or Ronnie Coleman
 

Daniel Andrade

Professional
I think a combination of both.

So far Nadal and Djokovic were also expected to retire early, however they are still going about it. Something special about them as well? Or just science?
 

GhostOfNKDM

Rookie
My baseline assumption is that most celebrities, many business moguls, and most top athletes are using PEDs. All those movie star transformations for example? There are very sophisticated ways to modify the human endocrine system these days, you don’t expect people to come out looking like Arnold or Ronnie Coleman

I wouldn't lump all these categories of people and forms of enhancement together.

For celebs and movie stars, obviously there is no 'testing' and the physical appearance is the primary focus. Moguls may be more interested in anti-aging and libido related treatments.

i would imagine that in sports with testing (as in tennis), the money advantage may go towards advanced injury treatment and recovery but outright PED use for enhancing Vo2 and strength via growth hormones/steroids wouldn't be without risk of getting caught and adverse side effects.

Donno, perhaps I'm not as cynical as I should be. Or just jaded from hearing about conspiracy theories in everything....
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't lump all these categories of people and forms of enhancement together.

For celebs and movie stars, obviously there is no 'testing' and the physical appearance is the primary focus. Moguls may be more interested in anti-aging and libido related treatments.

i would imagine that in sports with testing (as in tennis), the money advantage may go towards advanced injury treatment and recovery but outright PED use for enhancing Vo2 and strength via growth hormones/steroids wouldn't be without risk of getting caught and adverse side effects.

Donno, perhaps I'm not as cynical as I should be. Or just jaded from hearing about conspiracy theories in everything....
Yes of course, different performance enhancing strategies for different groups. Pros with something to lose would never talk about it publicly but my cynicism about the pros is based on insight from friends who were college athletes who didn’t make it pro
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
Ever consider that maybe it's the ginormous amount of money that they've made? Federer was probably the first in the history of the tour who could afford a personal 747 with a full training team, medical staff and chef etc. He can literally fly from city to city with an entire crew, a hyperbaric tank and his family. Winning all that slam money is what's kept those 3 on top.
 
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