Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

Sascha is 20 years old and has won 2 masters already. More than the whole generation useless put together. He's already a pretty good player and has developed his game. He'll still take few more years to mature and peak, but he's on the right track.

There was this comment roaming around this forum to justify generation useless failures few years back when they were saying players peak at a later period, but now with Denis at the age of 18 having a great run and Sascha already establishing himself as a top 8 player by winning 2 masters, it has shown that very young players can get great results. I know it's hard to prove a point with just one or 2 examples but I really believe players peaking later is a bit of a myth. Sure they are rare examples like Wawrinka but in general I feel that generation useless was simply not good enough to overthrow the older generation who admittedly was a pretty strong generation and that's why the current top 20 is pretty old. I do feel that modern medicine plays a big part in allowing the older players to play for a longer period of time, but it isn't an impediment for younger players to peak at a later period.

Kygrios for example got his best slam results at the age of 19/20 iirc and the reason why he hasn't made much strides since is because of his lack of motivation and injuries, not because he needs more time to peak.
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post #2 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 05:36 AM
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One player is not yet a proof, but yes, I am pretty convinced that in a few years from now, the average age of the top 10 will be back to about 25 years. The current situation is an anomaly.
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post #3 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 05:43 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

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Originally Posted by Martin12 View Post
One player is not yet a proof, but yes, I am pretty convinced that in a few years from now, the average age of the top 10 will be back to about 25 years. The current situation is an anomaly.
It'll be interesting to see in 10 years or so if this is true. If this current generation mix of great older players and subpar younger ones was an anomaly or the new normal in tennis. in 2027, Zverev will be 30. Will he, and others around his age still be a top player or will he already be fading while new 18-21 year olds (06-09 generation) are rising up or even surpassing the older stars in 2027?

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post #4 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 05:49 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

3 all time greats playing at the same time and what would have been an 8-10 slam winner in Murray if it wasn't for those 3. It has been one of the greatest eras of tennis ever and any excellent player can't rise too far in the rankings or win many titles if they're losing to one of those 4 95% of the time. Zverev has managed to make the most out of all of them playing at varying declined levels.
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post #5 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 06:32 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

He is another del potro. Gonna sneak a slam when young then not win a slam for years, but this time i think Zverev won't be so unlucky on injuries at 25.
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post #6 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 07:04 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

We all going to judge player based on where and how they end ....not how they start
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post #7 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 07:13 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

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3 all time greats playing at the same time and what would have been an 8-10 slam winner in Murray if it wasn't for those 3. It has been one of the greatest eras of tennis ever and any excellent player can't rise too far in the rankings or win many titles if they're losing to one of those 4 95% of the time. Zverev has managed to make the most out of all of them playing at varying declined levels.
Just this, all that generation useless is ridiculous labeling in my eyes. They're the generation following 4 of the best tennis players of all time playing at the same time. Talking about being in someone's shadow. Now for the first time in a long period, there maybe is a bit of wiggle room for other players. Zverev is the one taking all the chances , that's true, and he should get all the praise for it. But let's see what this generation still does until the retire. Still lots of time to win things.
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post #8 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 07:14 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

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Sascha is 20 years old and has won 2 masters already. More than the whole generation useless put together. He's already a pretty good player and has developed his game. He'll still take few more years to mature and peak, but he's on the right track.
It's all relative, if he had to deal with an in-form Djokovic, Murray and Fed instead of no Djokovic, no Murray and Fed with a shaky back, then he too likely would be lumped up as "generation useless" and expected to "peak later". Vice versa Raonic could've had three masters and a slam etc.

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post #9 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 07:16 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

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Originally Posted by pierricbross View Post
3 all time greats playing at the same time and what would have been an 8-10 slam winner in Murray if it wasn't for those 3. It has been one of the greatest eras of tennis ever and any excellent player can't rise too far in the rankings or win many titles if they're losing to one of those 4 95% of the time. Zverev has managed to make the most out of all of them playing at varying declined levels.
I still don't buy that the '89-'94 gen are just blocked by the Big Four. Nishikori has a decent record before with Fed for example, but even then you see more upsets from the older guys rather than the younger ones. As said here in the forum many times, there was a drought of young talent around 2011-2013, where the best teenager were only Tomic and Harrison I think. For the past year or so, we see more teenagers break through (3 currently) and much more players aged 21 and under to fill the gaps.

I will agree that Sascha may have broken a bit earlier than expected. He only faced one of the Bigs on his Masters runs, and I think they are the only Top 10 players on that path (like, he faced Shapovalov and Anderson on the QF and SF). In the previous years I think Gen Useless still has to get to maybe 1 more Top 10/2 of the Bigs to win it so I will say Sascha is fortunate for his runs. As usual, you only defeat what is in front of you, and I do think he has a game comparable to the Top 10 of the past, and his belief to win them was still impressive.

P.S. I mean yeah, if you like record breaking things in tennis then it is the greatest era ever. However, if you prefer some other players due to their style (as some of the Bigs don't exactly have the most fancy games out there) it could be a bit of a slog.
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post #10 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 08:08 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

nothing has magically changed about a realistic great players peak being at like 24/25.

Just because there's been a terribly poor batch of talent in the young generations in recent years has for some reason put this odd notion out there that players are just peaking later. Which is absolutely silly and has been proven completely wrong by the likes of Dimitrov and Nishikori (who were heralded as the next big thing and just needing time a few years back).

if a Nadal or Federer level player popped up at 18 now they would not magically need more time to peak based on some magical change in the tour. 24/25 will remain the peak level in health/accuracy for average great player, regardless of outliers

in the end I don't think anyone would argue that Nadal/Fed/Djok have played better at 30 than they did 25, so it sort of defeats the notion in itself there. Worse versions of themselves just were better than the mediocre batches of talent we have from post 1990 born players

anyway- it was just that, a myth. Anyone posting regularly that players aren't 'strong enough' at 20 and need years upon years to catch up with the 30 year olds in tennis has absolutely no idea what they're talking about. The reasons a Raonic or Dimitrov or whoever haven't won in the lats few years has nothing to do with necessary maturity, it has had to do with them literally missing facets of their game. And that's something you almost never can change, what you're fundamentally good at



in 20 years the best players will still be at their peak levels in their mid 20s, just like 20 years ago it was the case. Not sure how a bunch of shit youngsters magically makes people think it would be logical to assume otherwise. These kids who have failed from 18 to their early 20s aren't going to be winning when they're 30- the new batch of 20 years old will be (i.e. A Sharpalov or Zverev).

point is it falls less on a shift in age in the sport and rather on a lack of skill in a few generations. Both mental skill and talent. Virtually every single former great in the game has managed to play at nearly their best by the early 20s. There are few if any exceptions.

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post #11 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 08:29 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

all credits to young Zverev, but let´s not exaggerate, he had a great season but still didn´t even pass a GS R4 and even if he does win a GS this or next year, that´s still no proof

he will become the new Nadal or Federer or even half of them, we´ll see next year how the new young players develop and then we will be able to make conclusions

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post #12 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 08:35 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

Not really. His success only means that when the entire top of the tour is past or approaching 30's, the injuries will pile up, the voids will be created and eventually someone will take advantage of them. Like I said before, "ageing" is not exclusive to tennis. It's happening in many sports. It's happening in life in general, too. Unless proven otherwise in the next couple years, he's the new abnormality, not the norm.
BTW. that still wasn't Zverev, who snatched 3 GS this year. Guys over 30 did. In fact, in both AO and RG 3 semifinalists were over 30. In Wimbledon 2 were over 30, 1 was almost 30 and the last one almost 29.


Aug, 14 2000: 3 players over 30 in top 30. Including ATG Agassi on top. 14 players under 25. Average age: 25.06
Aug, 17 2009: 3 players over 30 in top 30. 15 players under 25. Average age: 25.5
Aug, 12 2013: 6 players over 30 in top 30. 8 players under 25. Average age: 27.17
Aug, 14 20017: 14 players over 30 in top 30. 5 players under 25. Average age: 28.53

Looking at 2013 is kinda funny. Not a single player in top 30 has retired yet. Tommy Haas sort of did, but then he came back for another round (and even kicking current world #3 left, right and center! ). But let's say he did. The rest 29 players, who were not spring chickens to begin with, if compared to previous generations, have not retired in last 4 years, and just a couple dropped in ranking significantly. It has nothing to do with Raonic/Dimitrov/Nishikori not living up to the premise. The old guard just refuses to retire and the newcomers are not strong enough to force it.
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post #13 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 09:05 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

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Not really. His success only means that when the entire top of the tour is past or approaching 30's, the injuries will pile up, the voids will be created and eventually someone will take advantage of them. Like I said before, "ageing" is not exclusive to tennis. It's happening in many sports. It's happening in life in general, too. Unless proven otherwise in the next couple years, he's the new abnormality, not the norm.
BTW. that still wasn't Zverev, who snatched 3 GS this year. Guys over 30 did. In fact, in both AO and RG 3 semifinalists were over 30. In Wimbledon 2 were over 30, 1 was almost 30 and the last one almost 29.


Aug, 14 2000: 3 players over 30 in top 30. Including ATG Agassi on top. 14 players under 25. Average age: 25.06
Aug, 17 2009: 3 players over 30 in top 30. 15 players under 25. Average age: 25.5
Aug, 12 2013: 6 players over 30 in top 30. 8 players under 25. Average age: 27.17
Aug, 14 20017: 14 players over 30 in top 30. 5 players under 25. Average age: 28.53

Looking at 2013 is kinda funny. Not a single player in top 30 has retired yet. Tommy Haas sort of did, but then he came back for another round (and even kicking current world #3 left, right and center! ). But let's say he did. The rest 29 players, who were not spring chickens to begin with, if compared to previous generations, have not retired in last 4 years, and just a couple dropped in ranking significantly. It has nothing to do with Raonic/Dimitrov/Nishikori not living up to the premise. The old guard just refuses to retire and the newcomers are not strong enough to force it.
Your data only support an argument that more and more players are able to stretch their tennis career beyond the age of 30, but not WHEN PLAYERS HIT THEIR PEAK/PRIME.

Your last two sentences are contradictory.
So, which one is it? The Raonic generation not good enough
or the old guards refuse to retire (even when they have obviously declined)?

If you agree with the myth that players peak later, this means you believe that 2017 Nishi/Raonic/Tomic/Dimi/Harrison/Goffin etc are stronger than 2014-2016 Nishi/Raonic/Tomic/Dimi/Harrison/Goffin etc, and that the 2017 versions of Nishi/Raonic/Tomic/Dimi/Harrison/Goffin etc have not yet reached their peak and prime, and we should expect multi slams winning from them in 2019 onwards?
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post #14 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 09:26 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

I've seen a lot of people justifying Gen Useless with the argument that they had it tougher, which is true. BUT! Where is Gen Useless now? Why is it Next Gen who took advantage of Big 4 downfall and not Gen Useless? They are not even good enough to reach final stages nowadays. We should finally accept the fact that Raonic and Nishikori aren't talented enough and Dimitrov doesn't have killer instinct.
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post #15 of 123 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 09:29 AM
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Re: Does Alexander Zverev recent success prove it is a myth that players peak later?

It's also lucky for him so many of these stronger players (including top ones) are really at the fragile points in their careers. Three of them are simply gone right now, Federer playing only selected tournaments to maintain the high level in the most important ones.

I think if Kyrgios found himself in such situation last year or two years ago, he'd also go for it to jump at the higher shelf. Meanwhile, he got some losses (like other generation useless before him), stagnated and got unmotivated. I don't think Zverev is some motivation king either, but he was here in the correct place at the correct time, so good for him.

Juniors are generally fearless, they go for it. Until they start bouncing from routined veterans. Then it makes them think or lose belief. It's even better seen on WTA, when with the limits for under 18 players a lot of the girls who were super juniors just stagnated between 100-300 having to play ITF tour for a few years.
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