What is gained with age?

abmk

Bionic Poster
I don’t believe Djokovic lost due to his age.

Of course not, but you will once he starts getting his a** kicked repeatedly by Alcaraz and others in slams.
Also maybe if you followed/watched tennis ATGs at their peak and actually getting older before like 2010.
 

jimmy8

Legend
I stopped being nervous. And I stopped thinking about the score. This helps so much because I play the same every point, doesn't matter of it's the first point or match point, I always play the same, I don't tighten up, or change to more conservative play.
 

Bambooman

Hall of Fame
Of course not, but you will once he starts getting his a** kicked repeatedly by Alcaraz and others in slams.
Also maybe if you followed/watched tennis ATGs at their peak and actually getting older before like 2010.
He wont play that long.
 

Bambooman

Hall of Fame
Yes you have to wonder just how long he will play.

Hypothetically speaking, would he still play if he knows for certain Nadal won’t?
Probably until he really feels he can't win another.

If Nadal retires without winning another Djokovic will probably call it a day sooner.
Worth considering that both are on a AO FO sequence right now.
 

Torben

Semi-Pro
If Nadal retires without winning another Djokovic will probably call it a day sooner.
Yes I would think along the same lines on that point.

Worth considering that both are on a AO FO sequence right now.
I think as it stands now, you’d have to think that Djokovic would be the likelier of the two to win their slam at this point. On the other hand, if Djokovic doesn’t win in Australia and Nadal somehow wins in France, then it’s all to play for. In the end, I don’t think it’s going to be that straightforward for either of them from here on in.

I have this warped vision of these two hobbling around trying to outdo each other.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Maybe so, but his loss at Wimbledon this year was not due to age.

I'm sure. Alcaraz would be beating 2015 djokovic as well at Wimbledon.
Djokovic's FH, BH, movement, return are all as spectacular and good now as they were in 2011-2016. no difference due to age.
 
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To answer the OP, there's only so many tactics and strategies in pro tennis and it's not anywhere near as large of a number for young players to be significantly disadvantaged against the older ones purely because they have less years of trial and error. Basically, while tactical acumen can improve with age, it's not a progression from 0 to 100, and as the available data shows, it's hardly enough to negate a physical gap between 20+ year-old and 30+ year-old tennis pros of comparable ability.

The one thing that comes with age and more practice is mastering technical aspects of the game that don't require explosive athleticism. So serving and skills at the net, touch in general. These are what I've noticed some players improve considerably as they get older. But then you see that it's also a function of the old players becoming overly reliant on these skills because the other areas of their game become less solid. And just from seeing careers of the best servebots in the game, you can get a hint of whether the serve can compensate for the rest of the skillset in playing tennis as a pro.
 

Devilito

Legend
Skill, power and tactics can be gained with age. What's lost with age is physicality and movement. Tennis, over the years has gone from a skill based sport to a physical contest. Advancements in tech such as light/stiff raquets and poly strings, make it almost impossible to miss a shot if you apply enough spin and repetitive technique. All you need to do is run around enough until your opponent makes an error. This wasn't a viable strategy in the 70s, 80s and 90s apart from clay.

Why did Fed fall off in his later years? Injury and needed surgery. Rafa and Novak were able to avoid this. I would argue that if Fed didn't have his problems with injury he would still be a top 3 player. Why did Stan win 3 slams in his 30s? He avoided injury, and his power game started paying off. I wouldn't be surprised if a player like Eubanks hit a similar peak in his late 20s and early 30s just due to his style. His game doesn't depend on grinding and being young.
 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
What 'knowledge of the game', are you talking about? at a certain level of abstraction that sounds plausible, but what does it mean exactly? Surely the 'strategies', employed by the big three were the same throughout their respective careers - win the point, game, match etc. Hitting to an opponents weaker side, or deficiencies hardly requires a Mensa level IQ, it's pretty straightforward, and in fact, IQ declines even in ones 20's.
I guess you don’t play tennis or don’t play at an advanced level. Read a couple of books on the strategic and mental aspects of tennis as it will help deepen your fan experience even if you don’t play.

Smart Tennis - by Dr. John Murray

Winning Tennis with the Tactical Point Control System – by John Ruder

 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
Improved strategic acumen, tactics, knowledge of how to pace yourself during a match/tournament and the aura of being 20-Slam champions with great finals records in favorite Slams (FO for Rafa, AO for Djokovic) goes a long way to make up for whatever explosiveness is lost physically. Both have also done a good job of acquiring new offensive skills to make points shorter as they got into their thirties. Djokovic in addition with his anti-inflammatory diet, flexibility regiment and experimental recovery methods seems to be doing better than others in terms of not losing too much physically.

Other players in their mid-thirties are not aging well. You have to be an exceptional player focused on acquiring new skills to keep winning into your middle age (in pro tennis terms).
 

messiahrobins

Hall of Fame
I think that’s a poor excuse tbh. Djokovic choking on the big points wasn’t due to his age. His iffy serve performance wasn’t due to his age.
Wind played a big role.
Novak perhaps regretted his tongue in cheek remark about it aint happening yet when carlos got going. Maybe he was thinking about it although he was actually just being light hearted. Wimbledon crowds however dont get humour.
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
We have to be specific here about physical performance, while more explosive sports like sprinting might peak in the early twenties, endurance sports like marathon running is a much later peak - late thirties early forties. Tennis - especially five set slams, might be seen as fitting somewhere between an impact sport and an endurance sport. This might well account for the recent longevity of players.

Tennis is still a very explosive sport and you can see how much faster and better moving guys like Federer and Nadal were in their early 20’s. They both still moved great as they aged but it’s night and day compared to their prime. Federer especially moving to the forehand side.
 
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