Why are old players dominating?

Big 3 and other old players (Lopez, Ivo, Simon, etc) keep on winning because . . .

  • Juniors are on their phones too much, turning into physical weaklings and mental midgets

    Votes: 36 38.7%
  • New rackets and strings are too "easy," don't develop hitting accuracy

    Votes: 19 20.4%
  • Players hit with extreme forehand grips that don't generate enough power

    Votes: 10 10.8%
  • Academies teach one style, players don't get develop variety as juniors

    Votes: 32 34.4%
  • Older players are just in better shape than previous generations. Connors also played till he was 40

    Votes: 38 40.9%
  • Just a statistical fluke that Fed, Nadal and Djokovic happen to be really good. Chill out

    Votes: 40 43.0%
  • No technological changes in rackets so the nextgen has no tech advantage over the vets

    Votes: 18 19.4%
  • Something else, post in the comments

    Votes: 9 9.7%

  • Total voters
    93

bjk

Hall of Fame
What is going on? There are more players over thirty in the round of 16 at Wimbledon than under 30. What's the reason for the success not only of big 3 but other veteran players? You can make multiple choices in the poll.
 

augustobt

Legend
1 - Big 3 is that good
2 - Those youngsters plays the same brand of tennis
3 - This mentality of "pulling a great fight". Feels like they don't believe they can actually win or surpass them, but should wait until they're old and retire to thrive.
 

ibbi

Legend
I would say it's a combination of better fitness than ever before (this is not just happening in tennis - look at Ronaldo, Messi, Brady, Brees, multiple people in sports all over the place are succeeding at levels rarely/never seen for folks their age) and the racket and string technology giving more assistance than ever before meaning guys getting old aren't having to do as much work to get ahead as guys in days gone by did and age is less of an issue. I think the big 3 are less the ones to look at here, and all the random guys who are suddenly reaching the peaks of their powers in their late 20s or later because they've finally matured between the ears and their bodies are not letting them down as much as in the old days was happening to guys by the time they were closing in on 30.
 
Last edited:

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
1. Fedalovic being Fedalovic
2. Lack of variety. Tsitsipas and Shapo are the only ones with more than just mindless baseline bashing. The rest are just some version or another of a poor man's Lendl.
3. Lack of fight. Thiem is a big exception, but the rest just don't seem to have the grit of Nadal, Djokovic, Murray. De Minaur is another exception but he doesn't have the weapons to go along with it. This one I believe can change soon, unlike the other 2 problems.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I did an analysis of pro racquet specs about 12 years ago, and found a strong correlation between higher swingweights and better rankings.

12 years later, the higher swingweight guys (350 and above) are still dominating their same-age peers. but there are no younger guys playing with similar high-swingweight specs to challenge them.

This is reflected in the poor return numbers for the young guys, who still do ok on serve stats. You can serve well with a light racquet, but you cannot return as well.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
No players are good and consistent enough.

The excuse of them having to play in the same era as the big 3 doesn’t fly when Tsitsipas, Zverev, Thiem, Khachanov and Felix all lose to other players early in slams.

Then you’ve got players like Dimitrov and Kyrgios who were tipped to be multi slam champs and now are just barely in the top 50.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
1. Fedalovic being Fedalovic
2. Lack of variety. Tsitsipas and Shapo are the only ones with more than just mindless baseline bashing. The rest are just some version or another of a poor man's Lendl.
3. Lack of fight. Thiem is a big exception, but the rest just don't seem to have the grit of Nadal, Djokovic, Murray. De Minaur is another exception but he doesn't have the weapons to go along with it. This one I believe can change soon, unlike the other 2 problems.
Shapovalov is the biggest offender of mindless ball bashing among the younger generation.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I think it's a combination. True, the 3 best players in the open era are all still playing at high levels and all still difficult to beat. On the other hand, the Next Genners aren't even making it as far as the Big 3. Most went out in the 1st or 2nd round at Wimbledon to players ranked much lower than themselves so it's not just the immoveble wall of the old guys but the lack of form and focus of the younger guys. They need to quit with the excuses (I don't know what to do, I don't like grass, my ex-manager is suing me blah blah) and knuckle down. They may never be as good as the Big 3 but they should still be the ones giving them the stiffest opposition.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
What is going on? There are more players over thirty in the round of 16 at Wimbledon than under 30. What's the reason for the success not only of big 3 but other veteran players? You can make multiple choices in the poll.
Weak era.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
probably the perfect storm of different factors happening at once.

Fedalovic are just abnormally good. Hard to deny that. To some extent, this probably applies to the generation as a whole.
NextGenners (and especially LostGenenrs) are abnormally bad. By now, hard to deny that as well.

Then things like polyester and the shift toward baseline tennis has made tennis more into an endurance sport, with a more similar peak age to endurance sports (closer to 30). Increased professionalism and sports medicine have allowed the older guys to stick around instead of burning out physically like so many did before they even hit 30.
 
Last edited:

Atennisone

Hall of Fame
"Just a statistical fluke that Fed, Nadal and Djokovic happen to be really good. Chill out". This one wouldn't reason Fabbiano, Vesely, Darian, Herbert victories.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
Look at Feli Lopez. He was born in 1981. His physical peak was prior to 2011, his 30th birthday. He won 2 tournaments prior to 2013. He's won 5 since 2013, including Queens two weeks ago. How come he hit his peak after 32? That is unusual.
 

acintya

Legend
because the big3 are so good.
because talent and experience is equaly important as fitness preparation and they have both.
because they train so hard and are used to this demanding conditions.

but mostly I think its a mental thing and they just have that extra thing - they are not just players - they are champions
 

The Blond Blur

Hall of Fame
1. The Big 3 are too good.
2. Older players are in better shape than past generations thanks to advances in training,recovery,nutrition, and medical technology.
3. The new kids play the same brand of tennis as the top guys of this geeneration. And based on reason #1 can't break through if the best guys are better at what they are best at.
 

Ann

Hall of Fame
Fognini threatening younger kids with explosives, Federer intimidating them with long chest hairs, Djokovic roaring like a lion, Nadal 's smelly fingers, Murray scaring them with metal hip stories, Karlovic launching nukes.... these kids have a reason.
I hope others appreciate the brilliance that is this post.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
I think the best explanation is the rackets. The old rackets required more accuracy, and juniors learned to hit accurately because there was immediate feedback. The new rackets are the equivalent of widening the basketball rim by a foot. Would shooting accuracy decline if young basketball players learned to shoot on the new, wider basket rim? Yeah, of course. It's the same with the rackets. New rackets encourage less accurate strokes. Look at Coric's windmill forehand.

 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Shapovalov is the biggest offender of mindless ball bashing among the younger generation.
No way. At least Shapo comes to net once and a while and has some good touch.

If you want the brainless basher poster children look at Khachanov and Rublev. Paleolithic caveman tennis at its finest.
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Its mostly a combination of first top poll option and Fedalovic simply being too good, that makes it look like "old players play better than young..."! Also its true that technologies and conditions today help older player to maintain their highest level for much longer than in the past, but it mostly just applies to Fedalovic trio as other players in their age group aren't anywhere nearly as consistent as those three, which speaks volumes to their level of talent, hard work and enormous collective experience from playing well over a decade! (In Federer's case its two decades now...) Next Gen being overly lazy and wasting their time on taunting, trolling on social media and wasting their time doesn't help it either...
 

mbm0912

Hall of Fame
No way. At least Shapo comes to net once and a while and has some good touch.

If you want the brainless basher poster children look at Khachanov and Rublev. Paleolithic caveman tennis at its finest.
They're bashers...I like Karen's serve and forehand a lot. Pretty looking
 

stingstang

Semi-Pro
1. Sports science and general understanding of the body has evolved infinitely over the last few years. What was considered old isn't really that old anymore.

2. Huge $$$ is a massive incentive to hang around a few more years.

3. Usually the younger players offer something new or better over the previous generation. Speed, power, tactics or whatever. The current "next gen" expected to rock up and start counting trophies just because are younger. Zverev.

Racquet technology hasn't changed for decades.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Nadal was born in 86, ND in 1987, and Fed in 81. So each one of them would have developed their games before the new racket and string technologies were developed.
That is actually a very interesting point.

I think any one of the past great players could pick up a current 98 sq inch poly strung racquet and laugh at how easy it is.

Give a next gen a
They do have a certain sub set of tennis skills down pat, but the dumbing down of tennis means they are missing (or at best not proficient in) a whole host of skills of the generation before.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
The biggest weakness of the under-30 players is forehand. None of them have a Gonzalez/Delpo/Young Roddick forehand, and some, like Zverev and Coric, have trash forehands. The forehand is the stroke most affected by the new racquets. The form on the forehand has changed *for the worse,* whereas most backhands are hit the same. That's why I posted the video of Coric's forehand. There's no big forehands because they're not trained to hit the sweet spot in the racket, they're not trained for accuracy.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
The biggest weakness of the under-30 players is forehand. None of them have a Gonzalez/Delpo/Roddick forehand, and some, like Zverev and Coric, have trash forehands. The forehand is the stroke most affected by the new racquets. Most backhands are hit the same, but it's the form on the forehand that's changed *for the worse.* That's why I posted the video of Coric's forehand. There's no big forehands because they're not trained to hit the sweet spot in the racket, they're not trained for accuracy.
This! The ‘modern’ forehand is a joke - coaches should go back to teaching Lendl forehands.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
This! The ‘modern’ forehand is a joke - coaches should go back to teaching Lendl forehands.
So how come none of the new gen have better forehands than Delpo or Gonzo? Sport has moved on, right? Backhands are better, serve is better . . . so what happened to forehands? Where are the monster forehands?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
So how come none of the new gen have better forehands than Delpo or Gonzo? Sport has moved on, right? Backhands are better, serve is better . . . so what happened to forehands? Where are the monster forehands?
Evolution went in the wrong direction. Spin was emphasized over accuracy. The problem is that at the top of the rankings, accuracy matters more than anything else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bjk

bjk

Hall of Fame
Lansdorp knows as much about forehands as anybody and he's said that the player has to know how to hit the ball hard and flat right over the net, that's the core skill. Nobody does that any longer. Net clearance is now much greater than that. And if I sound like old man shouting at clouds, it's undeniable that the young players don't match up. They can't beat a 38 year old man! Thiem can't beat a Nadal who is a shell of what he once was. Imagine peak Nadal against Thiem, it would be no contest. Or peak Fed on clay against Thiem.
 
Last edited:

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Young players are all ball bashers who don’t know how hit a proper elite FH or close the net down with aggression like Federer, Djokovic do
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
Mind you, Nadal couldn't hit a flat forehand if his life depended on it .. and you could evacuate the the net and give him the keys, Djokovic is so clumsy there, he'd sooner knock it down than close it down.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
I think the best explanation is the rackets. The old rackets required more accuracy, and juniors learned to hit accurately because there was immediate feedback. The new rackets are the equivalent of widening the basketball rim by a foot. Would shooting accuracy decline if young basketball players learned to shoot on the new, wider basket rim? Yeah, of course. It's the same with the rackets. New rackets encourage less accurate strokes. Look at Coric's windmill forehand.

Never heard this theory, I like it.
 

Djokodalerer31

Hall of Fame
Medvedev, Khachanov, Zverev et al are Berdych, Cilic, Nishikori level players.

Any wonder why the same old are still doing the same old??
Yeah, but the difference here is that they don't have collective force of the Fedalovic to deal with in their respective primes, like Berdychs, Nishikoris and Cilics did!...Something to consider! Which is why it is curious to actually see how all those Berdych/Nishikori/Cilic level players will do, when Big-3 inevitably retires sooner, than the last member of big-3 calls it quits! I am going to bet all my belonging that if Berdych, Cilic or Nishikori were next-gen players now they would LOVE their position without Fedalovic to have to deal with on regular basis! Especially Berdych! He would be probably 10 times grand slam champion if it was the case! LOL
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
There's no culture of pushing yourself to past the breaking point amongst this younger generation. The quality of humanity has gone south fast since the advent of the internet.


I wish some insanely rich tycoon would host a new series of tennis tournaments, give the ATP some competition, create a breeding ground from which something new might spring.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Lansdorp knows as much about forehands as anybody and he's said that the player has to know how to hit the ball hard and flat right over the net, that's the core skill. Nobody does that any longer. Net clearance is now much greater than that. And if I sound like old man shouting at clouds, it's undeniable that the young players don't match up. They can't beat a 38 year old man! Thiem can't beat a Nadal who is a shell of what he once was. Imagine peak Nadal against Thiem, it would be no contest. Or peak Fed on clay against Thiem.
Exactly.
 
Top