Why does the average tennis player retire so young?

Lawn Tennis

It does, but the difference is that football is a team sport, whereas tennis is an individual sport that is totally based on movement and eye hand coordination. That is why the retirement age is much younger in tennis; it's because a physical decline plays a much bigger role in tennis than it does in football.

It isn't TOO evident in boxing, but you can clearly tell once a guy hits his mid 30s in boxing he changes his game to a more power base striking game rather than finesse/footwork. He has to; there's no choice. That's why guys like Foreman, Tyson, and other punchers age better than guys that rely on finesse, technique, and strategy to win.

Tennis is never about pure raw strength like other sports; it's about skill, finesse, speed, agility, and eye hand coordination. The fastest thing that degrades in most athletes is your eye hand coordination and explosive first step, both which are vitally important to being a good tennis player. Federer and Roddick are probably just as fast as they were in their younger 20s. The issue is that they aren't as fast off the first step anymore, and that's the key difference.
Thanks for your feedback. I think this was an excellent explanation.


There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.
I doubt that, you have to have a ton of endurance to play tennis at a pro level. Tennis players have to work just as much off the court as they do on the court, and if they don't i doubt they're a top player.


Hall of Fame
Only the top players can play at 30 and be successful. A lot more 24 yr old or even younger are retiring because their level of play just won't cut it. You just don't hear about them.


Hardest in what respect, if you say developing skill I would agree, if you say physical training in terms of gaining athletic ability I disagree.
No one's going to argue that tennis is more physical then american football, wrestling, boxing, MMA, etc. but I do believe that it is the most physical non-contact sport by a mile.

(It's cool how men's tennis has a lot of room to grow and improve still since it hasn't been a very popular sport amongst African-Americans. If it ever catches on, that will be interesting)
I agree, the world's best athletes are yet to start playing tennis.
Also when you are a millionaire by the age of 30, it will be hard to find the determination to travel all over the world, year after year.
Do you think JMac could still compete in doubles? I have not seen him play in the last two years but he looked pretty good a few years ago. I cant remember the year he won the title with Bjorkman..
Jmac just made it to the US Open Doubles FINAL in 2016.
Guess who beat him? Pat Cash. All in their 50s.


Hall of Fame
As an example, last Monday, I played on a court right next to Eugenie Bouchard (top junior) and her coach. Two hours of drill after drill after drill with only a few short pauses. It was grueling stuff. And that was just the afternoon session... Add morning session, physical training in the gym, massage, physio plus the travelling, matches, etc... and it's a hell of a grind just to try and make it as a pro because the level of competition internationally has never been this high.
But I thought this was supposed to be a weak era, according to TTW experts :eek: