Height range to make it in Tennis [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Height range to make it in Tennis

Matchu
12-29-2010, 04:24 AM
I have found an interesting trend that has occurred among number 1 ranked tennis players. Look at the height of the number 1 tennis players in the open era:

Ilie Nastase - 5'11
John Newcombe - 6'0
Jimmy Connors - 5'9
Bjorn Borg - 5'11
John Mcenroe - 5'11

Ivan Lendl - 6'1
Mat Wilander - 5'11
Stefan Edberg - 6'2
Boris Becker - 6'3
Jim Courier - 6'1

Pete Sampras - 6'1
Andre Agassi - 5'11
Thomas Muster - 5'11
Marcelo Rios - 5'9
Carlos Moya - 6'3

Yevgeny Kafelnikov - 6'3
Patrick Rafter - 6'1
Marat Safin - 6'4
Gustavo Kuerten - 6'2
Lleyton Hewitt - 5'11

Juan Carlos Ferrero - 6'0
Andy Roddick - 6'2
Roger Federer - 6'1
Rafael Nadal - 6'1

So the ideal height would appear to be 6'1 and the range IMO would be from 5'10 - 6'3. I think 5'9 is too short these days but I think 5'10 (someone like Nishikori) is just enough to make it to the summit. Similarly I think 6'4 (someone like Bernard Tomic) is the absolute highest a tennis player can be to make it to the top. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are all in this height range and I think it could be a contributing factor is to why they are the best players on tour.

What do you guys think?

Action Jackson
12-29-2010, 04:25 AM
If you're good enough, you're tall enough.

mark73
12-29-2010, 04:29 AM
Under 3'2 is ideal. Can you imagine the speed at which each step occurs????

RedHotRafa
12-29-2010, 04:37 AM
Rod Laver- 2 CYGS, 11 Total GS, 1963-1967 1 French Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 4 Wembley Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 3 U.S. Pro(Grass Pro Major),

Height- 5' 7

P.S. Wood is the fastest surface

mark73
12-29-2010, 04:46 AM
Rod Laver- 2 CYGS, 11 Total GS, 1963-1967 1 French Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 4 Wembley Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 3 U.S. Pro(Grass Pro Major),

Height- 5' 7

P.S. Wood is the fastest surface

Actually ice is faster but the movement is rather tricky.

Topspindoctor
12-29-2010, 04:49 AM
Kinda hard for me in this thread because I am not too comfortable with feet/inches and am too lazy to convert all those heights, but I believe the perfect height is 185cm in modern tennis (6'1 I think), which is exact height of both Federer and Nadal. Higher than 195cm or so and your movement starts to suffer and you become more injury prone, while being below 180 is will have negative effect on your serve.

Matchu
12-29-2010, 04:50 AM
Rod Laver- 2 CYGS, 11 Total GS, 1963-1967 1 French Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 4 Wembley Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 3 U.S. Pro(Grass Pro Major),

Height- 5' 7

P.S. Wood is the fastest surface

You have to take into account the fact that the average height of males since the 60s has grown. I think I read the average height of males in the sixties was around 5'7, so Rod Laver was quite average. These days the average height is around 5'10 so Laver would be quite short if he played in this era.

Topspindoctor
12-29-2010, 04:51 AM
Rod Laver- 2 CYGS, 11 Total GS, 1963-1967 1 French Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 4 Wembley Pro(Indoor Wood Professional Major), 3 U.S. Pro(Grass Pro Major),

Height- 5' 7



Laver also didn't play on the modern tour dominated by spin friendly rackets, huge servers and hard courts. He wouldn't be top 50 player right now.

P.S. Wood is the fastest surface

Wood :spit:

Might as well rename it to "whose body falls apart first" surface :lol:

Audacity
12-29-2010, 04:54 AM
I think you will find alot taller players making it to the top in the future... look at del Potro for example.

RedHotRafa
12-29-2010, 04:58 AM
Laver also didn't play on the modern tour dominated by spin friendly rackets, huge servers and hard courts. He wouldn't be top 50 player right now.



Wood :spit:

Might as well rename it to "whose body falls apart first" surface :lol:

See we say this looking back and in retrospect. We weren't there we didn't live in that generation. Laver had the natural talent for sure. He just didn't have the training that the players do these days, or the muscles, fitness, eating habits, ANYTHING. But no one did. Tennis has evolved so much. Laver could well have been great in this era. In the form he was in he would get whipped by any top 100 player today but that is not because they have more talent. Same goes really for Borg or any of the 70's players too. The technology and bodies of rackets and players are so different.

Laver would do fine on hardcourts.

One day 40 years from now people will probably look back and say the same about Nadal and Federer and this generation.

RedHotRafa
12-29-2010, 05:00 AM
I think you will find alot taller players making it to the top in the future... look at del Potro for example.

He is injured, and his movement is bad. Ballbashers can cause an upset or even win a slam if someone really chokes like Fed in 2009 final but they can NEVER dominate. Soderling, Berdych, Del Po, etc. Will never dominate an era like a Sampras, Federer, Nadal, etc

Topspindoctor
12-29-2010, 05:07 AM
He is injured, and his movement is bad. Ballbashers can cause an upset or even win a slam if someone really chokes like Fed in 2009 final but they can NEVER dominate. Soderling, Berdych, Del Po, etc. Will never dominate an era like a Sampras, Federer, Nadal, etc

A very good point. And the main difference between ATP and WTA tour. Guys like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray can hit as hard as the ball bashers, but also possess vastly superior movement and defense, which enables them to force errors or retaliate with their own winners if the ball isn't struck very hard and very deep. Another negative thing about very tall player is their brittle joints, which require guys like Del Po to do a lot of strength training in order not to get injured.

RedHotRafa
12-29-2010, 05:27 AM
A very good point. And the main difference between ATP and WTA tour. Guys like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray can hit as hard as the ball bashers, but also possess vastly superior movement and defense, which enables them to force errors or retaliate with their own winners if the ball isn't struck very hard and very deep. Another negative thing about very tall player is their brittle joints, which require guys like Del Po to do a lot of strength training in order not to get injured.

Yup,

Btw Wtf is up with your profile pic, It's hilarious but wtf lol

networthy
12-29-2010, 05:49 AM
See we say this looking back and in retrospect. We weren't there we didn't live in that generation. Laver had the natural talent for sure. He just didn't have the training that the players do these days, or the muscles, fitness, eating habits, ANYTHING. But no one did. Tennis has evolved so much. Laver could well have been great in this era. In the form he was in he would get whipped by any top 100 player today but that is not because they have more talent. Same goes really for Borg or any of the 70's players too. The technology and bodies of rackets and players are so different.

One day 40 years from now people will probably look back and say the same about Nadal and Federer and this generation.

Not "probably" but "definitely." The intense, worldwide competition that drives tennis will keep racheting up the level of play. Forty years from now, today's Federer and Nadal probably wouldn't make the top 50.

hyperren
12-29-2010, 04:29 PM
Safin is 6ft 4in?!

Sapeod
12-29-2010, 04:46 PM
6'0-6'3 is the ideal height range.
Federer, Nadull, Djokovic and Murray are all within that range.
Only players that differ from that in the top rankings are Berdych and Soderling who are 6'5 and 6'4 respectively.

r2473
12-29-2010, 05:29 PM
I'd say somewhere between 5 and 7 foot tall.

Xristos
12-29-2010, 06:05 PM
If you're good enough, you're tall enough.

Thanks for the motivation!

Henry Chinaski
12-29-2010, 07:00 PM
There definitely is an ideal range but I think it's mainly to do with the serve. There are very few great servers in the 5 10 or under range. Even if someone of that height does have an excellent serve it's always going to be more liable to break down under pressure than the serve of a bigger guy because the margin for error is lower.

Benji Becker probably has the biggest first serve I can think of for guys of his size and even his is unreliable. Davydenko is an other example. He is capable of serving 135mph bombs but virtually never tries because it's such a low percentage shot partly due to his height.

I don't think height is much of an advantage in any other aspect of the game really.

r2473
12-29-2010, 07:04 PM
^^ Which speaks to the importance of the serve in the men's game.

VolandriFan
09-25-2011, 11:42 AM
Bit of a useless fact here, but I thought to myself that Bellucci has a very similar build to Djokovic. To check, I looked them up and their height and weight are virtually identical. Could be a good omen. ;)

MaxPower
09-25-2011, 12:05 PM
Safin was world number one at 6'4 which makes him the tallest world number 1 ever. The problem with height is that it usually goes hand in hand with weight. Safin was probably pushing 85-90kg and so is Soderling that got a similar build. It's a clear difference being 75-80kg or 85-90kg when it comes to stress on the knees and feet. On the other hand Delpo is 6'6 and probably about 80 so it's possible to be very tall but once you go Karlovic/Isner and push 100kg or more than you can probably never hope to match the movement of the 6'1 75-80kg guys.

Good case study is basketball where they sometimes throw in those smaller quick guys that look so swift in the turns compared to the 6'7+ guys. When it comes to strength and max speed the short dudes got no edge at all but for changing directions and alike the difference is big.

Tennis is a lot about changing directions if you want good defense

paseo
09-25-2011, 12:08 PM
There definitely is an ideal range but I think it's mainly to do with the serve. There are very few great servers in the 5 10 or under range. Even if someone of that height does have an excellent serve it's always going to be more liable to break down under pressure than the serve of a bigger guy because the margin for error is lower.

Benji Becker probably has the biggest first serve I can think of for guys of his size and even his is unreliable. Davydenko is an other example. He is capable of serving 135mph bombs but virtually never tries because it's such a low percentage shot partly due to his height.

I don't think height is much of an advantage in any other aspect of the game really.

I don't think so.

If you're taller, it's easier to hit the ball flat and on the rise. The extra height will give more margin for error and more time to hit the ball. It's only a fraction of a second, but still more time. And with today's topspins, It's tough to be aggressive cause you're gonna be hitting a lot of balls above your shoulders. Especially if you have a one handed BH.