What is the peak age for tennis fitness?

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Deleted member 716271

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A lot of people here are saying that it suits the older players like Djokovic and Nadal and Murray that the courts are slow and long, grinding rallies have become the norm. And that the younger players haven't built up fitness yet.

It's interesting because you might think that a more athletic, fitness oriented game would suit younger players more, but I guess that is more reaction time and reflexes. Also ironically, the faster surfaces suit players who are older too and past their athletic and movement prime (see Federer)

Are Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray (to a smaller extent) just so good that they are still better than the field even in their late 20's

Or is the more fitness oriented nature of tennis making the peak age the same as the peak athletic age in other sports (let's say 26-29)? What will be the trend going forward?
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
I would take Nadal out of the group used as example of physical maturity. He was an outstanding athlete at a very early age. Most probably due to his genes. He's an exception rather than the rule.

I think it would be safe to say that 26-28 seems to be the peak physical age of today's tennis players.
 
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Deleted member 716271

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yeah my point is the peak age for most sports seems to be in the mid to late 20s...26-28 is a good range for overall athletic ability as Russell noted...and I was wondering if tennis was moving in that direction from a lower peak age due to the increased need for built up fitness due to slow court, grinding tennis. This would be somewhat ironic as we typically think of younger guys as being more athletic.
 

kOaMaster

Hall of Fame
Hard to say. Overall I don't think this is the case, because tennis has a lot of variety, this has not changed.
Technology changes made the game faster with more power (would speak for lower peak ages) but also longer in terms of longer rallies (more endurance). Plus: Tennis needs quite a lot of technical (and strategical) skills which also moves the peak age a little bit back.

What do you mean with more athletic? Younger guys (20-25) are of course more powerful.
 
depends on health. usually I would say between 22 and 28 or so but with injuries decline can come earlier.

if you stay very healthy like fed or ferrer you might maintain Close to Peak health till Age 30 but then it usually goes downhill.

I think injuries are really the biggest factor. if you are able to stay healthy and Train well you will be very fit for a Long time (like fed or Agassi who both of course lost a bit but not as much as others).
 

HipRotation

Hall of Fame
The way that Tennis is evolving I feel that players really need the endurance to play consistently over long periods. 5 set matches used to average 2 hours, now that's the average of a 3 set match and the rallies are longer meaning more tiring points. Given these factors it's more and more likely that the peak age of a Tennis player is becoming the late 20s.

The evidence is there with young players just not being able to hack it and the older players being way more dominate, Roanic and Dimitrov only breaking through coming into their mid 20s. It's doubtful if either one will really start winning big titles before 26
 
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Deleted member 307496

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22? Really? Have a look at the 22 year olds in the top 100.
Dimitrov was on the upswing when he was 22 and he hasn't looked back. I was saying that's when most (not all) players start hitting their physical prime.
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
Dimitrov was on the upswing when he was 22 and he hasn't looked back. I was saying that's when most (not all) players start hitting their physical prime.

But it's very far from the truth and one player struggling to win matches precisely because he was not fit enough is a bad example to begin with.
 
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Deleted member 307496

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But it's very far from the truth and one player struggling to win matches precisely because he was not fit enough is a bad example to begin with.
But since then he's been far from struggling to win matches - in fact, he's beaten a top 10 player (Murray) in a GS. I'd say he's hitting his physical fitness and he's between the ages of 22 and 26 - within the bracket.
 

Mr.Lob

G.O.A.T.
I'd say the peak physical age in tennis is 22-23 and maintains. Players experience and practice allows them to improve. At About the age of 27 the body starts to decline physically. More practice and training is needed to maintain fifitness level.
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
And a personal fitness problem a player has might have nothing to do with age - there's plenty of people who have been overly successful at the same age.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
A lot of people here are saying that it suits the older players like Djokovic and Nadal and Murray that the courts are slow and long, grinding rallies have become the norm. And that the younger players haven't built up fitness yet.

It's interesting because you might think that a more athletic, fitness oriented game would suit younger players more, but I guess that is more reaction time and reflexes. Also ironically, the faster surfaces suit players who are older too and past their athletic and movement prime (see Federer)

Are Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray (to a smaller extent) just so good that they are still better than the field even in their late 20's

Or is the more fitness oriented nature of tennis making the peak age the same as the peak athletic age in other sports (let's say 26-29)? What will be the trend going forward?

That's a good question. I guess it's not so simple. Contrary to this fitness talk, tennis is still not 100% about fitness. It still has to do with tennis skills. Just the ratio changed, you need more fitness less skills. But that doesn't mean it's 100%. If before it was 30-70 ratio, maybe it's 70-30 today.

So, why they are so good is still skill and experience and mentality. Fitness is only a part of it.

Also best fitness age is probably 23-33. So, younger guys don't have the edge here, developed grown up guys do.

I think one important aspect is reflexes. Fed's game was based more on reflexes. Staying inside the baseline and returning from closer. That means that in his prime, he was able to be react to the ball and be there on time, now he is late. I think it's not fitness, but his reaction time that hurts him.

Rafa and other guys solve this by staying far away, and they don't rely on reflexes that much.

Another thing, those guys are special examples. In their primes they were so above the rest in skills, that now even with decline, they are still at the top.Look at Fed. I mean he was light years ahead of his peers like Hewitt, Roddick. So, there is no surprise that even with his limited abilities he can compete with greats of the next generation. Not just next generation, but the greats of next generation.

Usually greats of next generation start to own older greats. But Fed is a special example being so above the rest that he still can hold his own with Nole, Murray, Rafa. This is incredible.

I mean, Rafa and company are lucky they don't need to compete with greats of the next generation. There are none yet. So, we can't really appreciate how amazing Fed is. Too bad, we will never know. I would love to see how Nole and Rafa past their primes would do to vs peak Raonic if Raonic was a potential double digit slam winner.

But, lucky for them and unlucky for us, we can't test that. I would love to see how Rafa now would handle a surface goat entering his peak. Or how old Nole would do vs AO goat entering his peak.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Peak age for tennis fitness is probably 21-25.

Peak age for tennis PERFORMANCE is probably 24-28.

Both vary by player physical, technical, and mental maturity. Performance peak includes fitness/physical being in peak zone in conjunction with technical and mental aspects of the player's game being in peak zone.
 

ibbi

G.O.A.T.
The average age of mens champions at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the Open era is 24, the average age of Australian and US Open champions in the Open era is 25. So... 24 and a half?
 
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Deleted member 307496

Guest
I think you lost your way in this discussion. Federer was not in his physical peak at 22. And none of the others were at their physical peak on slower courts with longer rallies.
All of them were in their physical peak and at the pinnacle of their careers at this point. If the courts were slower when Hewitt/Sampras/Federer/Roddick were peaking/priming, they'd be doing excellent still (mainly because all of these players got to their physical peak from 22-26, like I said). You can even throw Djokovic and Murray in there (both peaked from the ages of 22-26).
 

reaper

Legend
It takes about 3 months to get fit. So you establish your tennis playing level by about age 20 years and 8 months. By 20 years 11 months your playing level and fitness are established. No? Did fitness only start in tennis in 2008?
 

Razer

G.O.A.T.
23-25 is the age when you are at your peak gamewise and fitnesswise...... after 25 your fitness starts to take a beating ..... after 28 your game itself takes a beating ..... after 30-31 your prime years also end and you go downhill consistently.
 

heavyD

Semi-Pro
It's a bit of a balancing act as peak power, speed, and flexibility usually occurs at or before 25 years old but peak endurance isn't hit until late 20's (it's why you never see teenage or early 20's Olympic marathon runners) and endurance does play a role especially in 3 and 5 set matches as it affects the athlete's ability to maintain peak performance over a duration. I'm thinking around 24-26 which seems to correlate with some other sports as it's probably where the player has fully matured physically while hitting close to peak endurance.
 
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