The Curse Of 26
Inevitably, the discussion on the decline and fall of Roger Federer will be in full swing here in the coming days and months. Posts will come about how Roger isn't winning as much now due to increased competition, etc. On the other hand the Fedtards will declare that Roger isn't on the decline and that this was just one loss.
Regardless of your thoughts, if you want a glimpse into the future, we should look to the past. What can history teach us about what the coming months and years hold for Fed and the men's game? It seems a lot. The age of 26 seems to be a tipping point in the careers of many. What history do the greats of the game have in their first full calendar year after turning 26? (i.e - if a player turned 26 in September of 1997 these numbers figure from 1998 until career end) It would seem that tennis truly is a young man's game, even for the most talented players in history.
Below I've compiled a list of the greats of the game. To the right I list three stats which show how successful each player was from their first full calendar year after turning 26 to the end of their career. First, the total number of slams won after 26; then the most they won in a calendar year after 26; and finally how many year end #1's after the age of 26. The results are bleak for most...
A. Agassi - 5 GS, 2 per/yr., 1 #1
P. Sampras - 4 GS, 1 per/yr., 1 #1
I. Lendl - 4 GS, 2 per/yr., 1 #1
J. Connors - 3 GS, 2 per/yr., 0 #1
B. Becker - 1 GS, 1 per/yr., 0 #1
S. Edberg - 1 GS, 1 per/yr., 0 #1
G. Vilas - 1 GS, 1 per/yr., 0 #1
B. Borg - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
J. McEnroe - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
M. Wilander - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
J. Courier - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
P. Rafter - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
G. Kuerten - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
Y. Kafelnikov - 0 GS, 0 per/yr., 0 #1
Only four of the game's greats have won more than one grand slam beyond their first calendar year after turning 26. Even the great Sampras never won multiple slams in the same year again. And also see that only three players have finished the year #1 after 26.
No matter if you want Fed to continue dominating or if you're ready for a changing of the guard... the numbers show this year is likely the beginning of an era where Fed is much less a factor.
What do you guys think?
A fair and objective voice amidst the chaos of MTF.