Which men will win titles after their 35th birthday in 2018?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by helterskelter, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    From 1990 through 2012, inclusive, only two men aged 35+ won tour titles: Andre Agassi and Fabrice Santoro. But in the last five years, six men aged 35+ have done so: Tommy Haas (last title: Vienna 2013, when he was 35), Ivo Karlovic (last title: Los Cabos 2016, when he was 37; last final: s-Hertogenbosch 2017, when he was 38), Victor Estrella Burgos (last title: Quito 2017, when he was 36), Feliciano Lopez (last title: London Queen's 2017, when he was 35), David Ferrer (last title: Bastad 2017, when he was 35), and of course Roger Federer (last title: Basel 2017, when he was 36).

    [I list the players in chronological order of the last title that they won].

    Will this trend continue in 2018? Federer will most likely win further titles, but will any other men aged 35+ do so? Besides the ones who have already won titles aged 35+, the following men still active on tour either are 35 or turn 35 next year:

    Paolo Lorenzi, Julien Benneteau, Mikhail Youzhny, Gilles Muller (turns 35 in May), Philipp Kohlschreiber (turns 35 in October), Fernando Verdasco (turns 35 in November), Florian Mayer (turns 35 in October), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (turns 35 in June), Yen-Hsun Lu (turns 35 in August), Nicolas Mahut, Carlos Berlocq (turns 35 in February), and Tommy Robredo. Several lower-ranked players such as Paul-Henri Mathieu still regularly compete in qualifying, too.
     
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  2. TheMaestro1990

    TheMaestro1990 Hall of Fame

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    Would love for Benneteau to win one, even though it seems more unlikely than ever.
     
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  3. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    It's certainly not likely, but he is back up to #56 in the rankings, having been #130 at the end of 2016, and #527 at the end of 2015. If Estrella Burgos and Lorenzi can win titles deep into their 30s, he has a chance.
     
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  4. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    A player like Julien is too good not to have at least 2 or 3 titles to his name.
     
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  5. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    True, although at this point part of me thinks it would be a better legacy to depart the tour as the best player never to have won a tour title.
     
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  6. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    But it's annoying to think that a guy like Bernard Tomic has titles but Julien Benneteau doesn't. I don't know, it just irks me.

    I mean look at his top 10 wins. He absolutely crushed Ferrer in some matches and has beaten Federer twice.
     
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  7. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    Yeah. I mean just last month he beat Denis Shapovalov (who is admittedly extremely overrated, but is still a name player), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Goffin (who was just about to get to the final of the WTF beating both Nadal and Federer and win both rubbers in the Davis Cup final against top-20 opponents), and Marin Cilic to make the Paris semis. I would wager that about 30-50% of title winners in the history of the tour have never had a run as impressive as that in any tour tournament.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  8. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    Julien has shown he has the actual playing level to win big titles even - his mentality in big moments lets him down I gather.

    I think it is because most his career he's been just another guy on tour.
     
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  9. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    I think he would have had the ability to win a 500-level event, and that does indeed put him well beyond most 250-level winners in terms of talent. He has made the final of a 500 (Rotterdam 2013, where he lost to Del Potro). By the way, did you see the thread I started on this topic?
     
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  10. Max G.

    Max G. Legend

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    Muller has a shot - the grass season is after he turns 35.
     
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  11. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yep, already given a bit of insight - but will do some more research later to find players that are forgotten about that might be in this category. Good thread idea BTW.
     
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  12. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    @Sabratha Two things about Muller:

    1. Like Lorenzi and Burgos, he also won his first title deep into his 30s, in his case 33.
    2. Until he did so in Sydney this year, he might have been a rival for greatest player not to win a title. He was only 0-5 in finals, to Benneteau's 0-10, but in other respects has been pretty close. Both had made one GS quarter-final at the time (Muller since made the quarters at Wimbledon), and both had made one 500-level final (Muller's in Washington DC).
     
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  13. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    Possibly Mahut in the grass season, too? (Mahut was also past 30 when he won his first title, although only 31 in his case).

    Kohlschreiber and Verdasco are probably the most likely title winners from the group I listed, but neither will really have an opportunity to win at 35+ in 2018. Verdasco doesn't turn 35 until 15th November, which means he'd have to win the Tour Finals. Kohlschreiber turns 35 on 16th October, so he has to win one of Moscow, Antwerp, Stockholm, Vienna, Basel, Paris, or the Tour Finals. I guess it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could win one of the first three, but even for someone with eight past titles, his chances in any one 250 are pretty slim.

    But if they keep up their form, perhaps one or both has a decent shot in 2019.
     
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  14. Max G.

    Max G. Legend

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    Holy carp. I didn't realize Bennetteau was zero wins in freaking TEN finals. So crazy.

    And he wasn't losing them to all-time greats, either. Losses to Simon, Soderling, Garcia-Lopez, Llodra, Isner, Nieminen, Monaco, Del Potro, Sousa, Nishikori.

    Including three *consecutive* finals at the Malaysia Open.

    Seven of those 10 finals went to 3 sets.

    Wow. He really could have had one by now, but must have a heck of a mental block.
     
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  15. Max G.

    Max G. Legend

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    Delete
     
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  16. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict Talk Tennis Guru

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    Dr Ivo will retire end of 2018. Fed will win YEC at 37
     
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  17. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    Yeah, I listed his conquerors in another post. They are not all-time greats, but for regular opponents in finals, I think you'd have to say Soderling, Del Potro, Isner, and Nishikori are at a level you couldn't expect Benneteau to have much chance against, Simon and Monaco were pretty good at the time, so really the four most winnable ones were Llodra, Nieminen, Sousa, and Garcia-Lopez. The last two were the biggest lost opportunities.
     
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  18. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    Has Dr. Ivo confirmed that? And will he win a title during his farewell tour, if so? He actually won two in 2016, when he was 37. It'd be too bad if he retired at the end of 2018, because he'll be two months shy of 40 by then. It'd be cool to see a top-100 player aged 40 if he can keep his ranking up.
     
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  19. Gary Duane

    Gary Duane G.O.A.T.

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    Just thinking about Tomic annoys me.
     
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  20. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    I used to think of him as slightly overrated, but now he's clearly a wasted talent (even though his talent level may be lower than I thought it was, his accomplishments have headed so far downhill that he's underachieving compared to his talent even if he wasn't ever going to do as well as people thought). I mean, he reached a Slam quarter-final at 18, and won a set there against the eventual champion, who was en route to a three-Slam year. And he won his first tour title only a few months after he turned 20. Now he's 25 and barely in the top 150.
     
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  21. Gary Duane

    Gary Duane G.O.A.T.

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    Just for grins:

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/ken-rosewall/r075/rankings-history

    ATP started computer rankings in '73:

    1973.08.23

    He was 39 later that year, November.

    Ranked #2:

    1975.06.26
    1975.06.02
    1975.04.30

    He was 41.

    Last title, '77. Almost 43.

    Laver, #3:

    1975.04.08

    Laver was almost 37.

    Four titles in '75, almost age 37, depending on when the tournaments took place.

    There are parallels between what's happening now and the early OE.

    Emerson, born: 1936.11.03

    Ranked #12:

    1973.12.14
    1973.11.26

    Last title, '73

    Gimeno, won 4 titles 34-35 including RG at age 35.

    Old players winning titles is not new, just a return to something that once was. ;)
     
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  22. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    Yeah, as we've discussed many times before. Hence in the OP, I explicitly stated that there were two 35+ title winners from the start of 1990 (when the ATP Tour was formed) through the end of 2012. I could have said three winners from 1990 through the end of 2015, but I decided to include Tommy Haas in the current generation. Incidentally, there were NO 35+ winners between the start of 1990 and the end of 2004!

    Jimmy Connors (last title: Tel Aviv 1989, aged 37) and Jaime Fillol (last title: Bahia 1982, aged 36) were the only men to win at 36+ in the 1980s. I'm not sure whether anyone else won at 35 in that decade. Guillermo Vilas, one of the few players competing in the 80s in his 30s to get up there in open era longevity records (other than Connors), did not.

     
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  23. Gary Duane

    Gary Duane G.O.A.T.

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    Which brings up the question: Are we seeing something new, or seeing something cycle.

    The 80s was the decade of young players, for sure, and I believe for the most part the 90s started out that way.

    Agassi sort of showed a return to more of what we saw in the early OE, and of course the pros were older in the 50 and 60s, before the OE.
     
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  24. helterskelter

    helterskelter Legend

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    I think the major difference between the 80s and the 90s was that there was greater spread of ages in the 80s: both more young players and at least some older players. To give just a couple of examples, where Connors maintained a top ten year-end position through the year in which he turned 36, McEnroe retired shortly before his 34th birthday, and Lendl shortly before his 35th. And the latter two were pretty old by the standards of the 1990s. On the other hand, while in the 1980s, there were lots of teens winning Slams or in the top 10-20, after Sampras in 1990, no teen won a Slam or made a Slam final until Nadal. Basically, the 1990s were almost entirely dominated by men in their 20s to an extent that wasn't true of the 1980s and certainly not the 1970s or 2010s.
     
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