Are tennis players the "best" athletes in the world? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Are tennis players the "best" athletes in the world?

sawan66278
03-20-2007, 05:19 AM
I was listening to the local sports talk radio station in my area (yes, I am a loser;) ), and the age old discussion of who the best athletes in the world are. Towards the top of the list were basketball players and boxers. But interestingly enough, callers kept mentioning baseball players and golfers:rolleyes:

I called in and put in a vote for tennis players. Because of the skill, stamina, strength, mental fortitude, and individual nature of the sport (among other things), I really feel tennis players are at the top of the list. The host of the program, while acknowledging my valid points downplayed the sport by saying that tennis players are pampered, who often "tank" after the get their appearance fees.

Opinions anyone?

Bibberz
03-20-2007, 06:17 AM
I'd go with boxers. They face an immense amount of psychological and emotional pressure, to say nothing of the physical aspect. However, it's worth noting that boxers compete far less often than tennis players.

Marek.
03-20-2007, 06:21 AM
Well golfers do have all that walking to and from their carts not to mention those heavy clubs they have to carry. No wait, someone else carries those. :o

I doubt someone like Mickelson or Daly could last a set in tennis. Golf is not even a sport, it's a game, so it shouldn't even be in this discussion.

CmonAussie
03-20-2007, 06:22 AM
*Triathletes

**Marathon athletes

***Tour De France contestants

****Male tennis pros [with Serena winning AO it`s hard to put the women (& there lack of fitness) on the same level]


~~~>>> In a nutshell~ Yes, tennis pros have to be supreme in nearly every department, though the very tall ones can sometimes live off their serve & not required to run as much!

Stensland
03-20-2007, 06:32 AM
boxing? golf??

come on, boxers do like what? 3 fights a year? even if you include sparrings etc., they can't possibly top the list. golf is even more ridiculous.

tennis players are definitely in the top 3 of athletes, i'd add bikers (tour de france) and in some way swimmers because of their heavy practice.

tripb19
03-20-2007, 06:46 AM
Bikers (ie Tour de France etc)

Dougie
03-20-2007, 06:52 AM
boxing? golf??

come on, boxers do like what? 3 fights a year? even if you include sparrings etc., they can't possibly top the list. golf is even more ridiculous.

tennis players are definitely in the top 3 of athletes, i'd add bikers (tour de france) and in some way swimmers because of their heavy practice.

I we´re talking about the physical aspect only, then I wouldn´t say that tennis players are in the top three. There are a lot of sports that are physically more demanding.

Kolya
03-20-2007, 07:11 AM
Tennis players are not the fitness...

But probably one of the best all round athletes...

williaer
03-20-2007, 07:28 AM
Cyclists (especially TDF participants), AFL (Australian Football League) players, Distance swimmers/runners, Ironmen/women and Triathletes have my vote as the 'best' athletes in the world.

Stensland
03-20-2007, 07:35 AM
i wouldn't narrow it down to just distance swimmers, but also include the shorter distances. i remember watching a documentary about ian thorpe, he almost passed out in practice.

but so did henin-hardenne for example.

mashamaniac
03-20-2007, 07:47 AM
yes IMO tennis is the best sport in the world of sports! after tennis,i'd go with football players cuz i have myself experienced it and know what the crappy amount of pressure you must tolerate with for just going forward and getting back! no golf and no box and even nothing else!

Dougie
03-20-2007, 07:51 AM
Cyclists (especially TDF participants), AFL (Australian Football League) players, Distance swimmers/runners, Ironmen/women and Triathletes have my vote as the 'best' athletes in the world.

Don´t know anything about the AFL, otherwise I agree.

TheMightyFed
03-20-2007, 08:23 AM
I think the all package is interesting in tennis and places them right up there in terms of variety of capabilities: Their sport is very technically demanding and they must start early in order to have a chance to perform at the top(like gymnasts), physically this is a full spectrum of skills that are required in terms of explosiveness, flexibility, stamina, strength and balance, not even mentioning recuperation and jet lag issues... Mentally this is for me unparalleled, tactically we are closer to chess than any sport, and in terms of pressure and fortitude, they can have a huge lead and still lose, which is rare in other sports. Plus the necessity to say clever things to the press on a daily basis. No wonder why they are criticized for being too focused, with such an agenda...

Now it is a bit silly to compare top athletes, they are pushing to the limits of human capabilities in their respective fields and apart from a couple of exception like Bo Jackson or Scott Draper, it is almost impossible to master two sports at the top level (see Jordan), so being the best "athlete" is just one dimension of any sport and doesn't mean a lot. It's like when Sampras says that Federer may win more majors than Nicklaus, it doesn't mean anything...:rolleyes:

bokehlicious
03-20-2007, 08:31 AM
Poker is the toughest sport ! :o

almouchie
03-20-2007, 08:40 AM
triathlons & decathlons

as for the never ending serena win in AO, it was his lack of fitness
its her strength, no one ever said u have to be skinny & thin to be fast, fit & strong, & she sure proved. she run hard when he needed to

maqk
03-20-2007, 08:51 AM
tennis asks the most out of any one i think,

any one knows squash, of course not as running as required by tennis, but thats a tough game really

& footballer may also be included int he list!!!

maqk
03-20-2007, 08:55 AM
cricket can be tough if u play a 5 day match & u r a fast bowler

FluffyYellowBall
03-20-2007, 09:13 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

Here u can lookat the catagories and theres a key at the end of the page ;)

martine2
03-20-2007, 11:35 AM
I remember watching a television program as a kid. Don't remember the name.

It was a competition between world top athletes of all sports branches competing against each other in various all round endurance, speed and strength tests (heavy difficulty level).

There were several rounds in order to select a group of finalists.

Fact is that tennis players did VERY well in those tests. Bjorn Borg competed and was absolutely awesome.
Other athletes who did very good were skaters, pole vaulters and formula 1 pilots.

DDrago2
03-20-2007, 11:44 AM
For me there is alway one and single choice for biggest athletes on the world: 100 meter sprint. The most beautifull, pure athletic discipline there ever was and will ever be.
Just look at how those guys are built! Awesome, perfect. True sportsmans.

All_Slam_Andre
03-20-2007, 11:49 AM
The Tour de France is the most gruelling sporting event that I can think of. The cyclists who participate in this event (and don't take drugs) are the best athletes I would say. I would put swimmers and tennis players in the top 3.

Mateya
03-20-2007, 11:56 AM
All professional cyclists (there are much more difficult races beside TDF) and us, tennis players are the best in that department :yeah:
:)

Via
03-20-2007, 11:58 AM
I was listening to the local sports talk radio station in my area (yes, I am a loser;) ), and the age old discussion of who the best athletes in the world are. Towards the top of the list were basketball players and boxers. But interestingly enough, callers kept mentioning baseball players and golfers:rolleyes:

I called in and put in a vote for tennis players. Because of the skill, stamina, strength, mental fortitude, and individual nature of the sport (among other things), I really feel tennis players are at the top of the list. The host of the program, while acknowledging my valid points downplayed the sport by saying that tennis players are pampered, who often "tank" after the get their appearance fees.

Opinions anyone?

he's right, and it's sad that's what tennis's image is to some :rolleyes:

but that's how pro tennis is being run, it is not the sport itself.

Via
03-20-2007, 12:00 PM
I remember watching a television program as a kid. Don't remember the name.

It was a competition between world top athletes of all sports branches competing against each other in various all round endurance, speed and strength tests (heavy difficulty level).

There were several rounds in order to select a group of finalists.

Fact is that tennis players did VERY well in those tests. Bjorn Borg competed and was absolutely awesome.
Other athletes who did very good were skaters, pole vaulters and formula 1 pilots.

if that was a serious competition, then it was truly awesome!

Dancing Hero
03-20-2007, 12:52 PM
Tennis players are among the best athletes in the world, I would say. Cyclists and swimmers must be high up as well.

Poljud
03-20-2007, 01:26 PM
Formula One drivers. They have to withstand 4 and 5g forces for 90minutes at a time, whilst maintaining perfect concentration at speeds in excess of 300kmh.

Then theres the usual suspects, Triathletes, Cyclists...

TennisLurker
03-20-2007, 01:28 PM
Cyclists I would say

TheMightyFed
03-20-2007, 02:44 PM
there are much more difficult races beside TDF
:)

Which one ?

CmonAussie
03-20-2007, 03:16 PM
#@@#
~~
>>
Maybe we should ask Jack Black to write a song for tennis~ to get the message across "Tennis is the best sport in the World...this is just a tribute...this is not the greatest sport in the World...no it`s just a tribute..."!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R70V1Yz-dZ4

Merton
03-20-2007, 03:17 PM
Chess and Bridge.

Holly Hope
03-20-2007, 03:27 PM
You can make a case for it, but I think you can for any sport. Sports such as cycling, running, events really only require one thing, endurance capability. This is of course extremely impressive. Tennis requires many things like speed, power, co-ordination, endurance. It's one of the most all round sports, where players are required to be rounded athletes. Sports such as boxing are extremely demanding sports at the top level, but most top fighters maybe fight 2-3 fights a year (whilst tennis players have so many events, in hot and extended conditions). There really is no definitive “best” athletes, but something impressive with them all.

You can admire something in all sports, whether it's someone mental or physical ability. I know sportsmen feel the same, and appreciate each other, even if they have no experience with that sport.

Black Adam
03-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Boxers may have few fights per year but judging by the time and intensity of of their training, how messed their bodies are during a fight,I will have to go with Boxing. All of them have 5-7% of body fat, and a body builder or anorexic will know how hard it is to reach such a level of fitness. The average tennis bodyfat per player is 12%.

Notable mentions to Marathonians and footballers who run quite a lot during long periods.

Naide
03-20-2007, 03:42 PM
marathon & athletics in general, swimmers :worship:

jazar
03-20-2007, 03:59 PM
tennis players have to master many different aspects of fitness to reach the top of the game. but i would say road race cyclists are the best athletes in the world. here is why:

the longest tennis tournaments are the grand slams at two weeks long where you get every other day as a rest day. the longest bike races are the grand tours at three weeks, where every day they have to spend about 6 hours in the saddle travelling at about 45 k/ph over 200 kilometres. in those three weeks they get 3 rest days. and about 7 of the days involve riding over mountains.

cycling is a more dangerous sport than car racing and almost every professional rider has had a horrific injury. tennis is comparison is extremely safe.

the training professional cyclists do has to match that of a race, so they train by doing 200 kilometres per day.

on just one race day a cyclist has to consume about 25000 calories just to get to the end of the course

Margy
03-20-2007, 04:39 PM
So many sports are demanding in their own way that it is impossible to compare them. The system they used of rating multiple categories of fitness attempts to do that but doesn't really take into account the difference in exertion used in training vs competition. For example: swimming is probably one of the most grueling as far as training, but in actual competition the events are much shorter and have time between them and are therefore not as physically demanding as the training (which I guess accounts for why ESPN ranks it so low). Others, like tennis, are more demanding in competition when matches can go for hours under extreme temperatures than it is in training when people can stop for breaks whenever they want. It's impossible to include all those considerations in any rankings.

From personal experience as a multisport athlete who competed at the state level in four different sports, I can give my own insight into those differences(for whatever it's worth) and compare them to the ESPN rankings...

ESPN rankings:
tennis 7
gymnastics 8
pole vaulting 16
swimming (sprints) 45

My experience from most physically demanding to least physically demanding in training and in competition...

Training
Swimming - most
Gymnastics
Tennis
Pole vaulting - least

Competition
Tennis - most
Swimming
Gymnastics
Pole Vaulting - least

Though it's not one of my sports, I'd have to agree with those who have said cycling should be near the top of any list since both training and competition require grueling exertion along with balance, reflexes, etc.

GlennMirnyi
03-20-2007, 04:43 PM
Of course they are... Fish, Nalbandian and Baghdatis are examples. :rolleyes:

jazar
03-20-2007, 04:46 PM
triathletes as well, cos running, cycling and swimming all work different leg muscles. this makes them more injury prone.

FluffyYellowBall
03-20-2007, 05:11 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

Here u can lookat the catagories and theres a key at the end of the page ;)

Hate having to quote myself and rarely do it!! Its all in here

jazar
03-20-2007, 05:15 PM
those espn stats are complete bollocks

tenniswheels
03-20-2007, 05:34 PM
gymnastics most all around sport that requires men to compete in 6 different events. the combination of strength, flexibility, concentration, danger, etc.

swimming, along with track and field, cycling most stamina, endurance driven

Tennis, eh? It's so specialized. I don't see it as most athletic..

bokehlicious
03-20-2007, 06:05 PM
Boxers may have few fights per year but judging by the time and intensity of of their training, how messed their bodies are during a fight,I will have to go with Boxing. All of them have 5-7% of body fat, and a body builder or anorexic will know how hard it is to reach such a level of fitness. The average tennis bodyfat per player is 12%.

Body fat level is mainly related to specific diets (often hardcore diets). Workout sessions are needed to build muscles, not to lose fat. It's not specifically physically hard to remain at a low fat level, but surely mentally it is.

Btw most boxers are rather around 8-10% than 5-7% (5% is a bodybuilder average during competitions)

Black Adam
03-20-2007, 06:23 PM
Body fat level is mainly related to specific diets (often hardcore diets). Workout sessions are needed to build muscles, not to lose fat. It's not specifically physically hard to remain at a low fat level, but surely mentally it is.

Btw most boxers are rather around 8-10% than 5-7% (5% is a bodybuilder average during competitions)
Maintaining low body fat level is just among the other few difficulties of boxing. Try having a bodyfat % below 10% and tell it's more mental than physique. Few people can maintain levels below 10% without a lot of efort, unless they have a metabolism from heaven.

They need trim, muscled bodies for their fights. Boxing is more about having a well muscled body, Great technique, endurance, mental ability to take blows and keep going, and a high level of fitness (I used Bodyfat percentages to illustrate how important fitness is in this sport) I find this sport as demanding as cycling or triathlon.

IMO I consider a sport to have great athletes when the requirements are: high fitness, well toned muscles, lot of endurance, mastering the technique, agility, strength (mental and physique).

A person who tells me a golfer is an athlete, then he mustn't have understood the meaning of the word athlete.

BigAlbinoDonky
03-20-2007, 08:23 PM
Boxers are the best athletes, ever actually boxed a 5 round fight? Unless you're in really great shape, you're gonna be destroyed after even that. Imagine a 12 rounder.

knightsky
03-20-2007, 09:15 PM
I'd say it all depends on how you define the competencies that go into being athletic.

If its primarily physical endurance, there's cycling, long-distance swimming/running, rowing, cross-country skiing, typically those where you RACE against your opponents and against the clock.

But there are so many other factors such as strength, coordination/dexterity, intelligence, technique/skill, mental toughness, etc.

I go with tennis being one of the most all-rounded. And I'd add badminton to it too. I remember during the physical fitness tests in school, the badminton players were outperforming almost everybody else.

Henry Chinaski
03-20-2007, 09:57 PM
Decathletes, probably.

Day 1: 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m
Day 2: 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m.

It takes an incredible athlete to perform such a diverse range of disciplines.

R.Federer
03-20-2007, 10:02 PM
Every sport has their lazy out of shape athletes or maybe I should call them "athletes". Golf has an oversampling of rotund stomachs but Labadze is the standard bearer for tennis.

Kitty de Sade
03-20-2007, 10:17 PM
Every sport has their lazy out of shape athletes or maybe I should call them "athletes". Golf has an oversampling of rotund stomachs but Labadze is the standard bearer for tennis.

Labadze...the John Daly of tennis. :lick:

http://img382.imageshack.us/img382/2301/labadze4xh8.jpg

Snowwy
03-20-2007, 11:16 PM
Boxers

CmonAussie
03-20-2007, 11:48 PM
***Alain Robert `The French Spiderman`[rockclimber & legendary sky scraper scaler]~~ is in my opinion the most amazing athlete ever!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQQIia6R344

sawan66278
03-21-2007, 04:17 AM
In my opinion, the "mental" aspect can not be under-emphasized when talking about tennis. Let's face it: having to play one on one without teammates almost automatically adds more pressure (and without coaching...except in the women's game:rolleyes: ) and requires a stronger heart and guts.

Most NBA players, for example, would simply crumble if faced with a crowd of 15,000 cheering against them...for hours...without coaching...and all alone...

R.Federer
03-21-2007, 04:37 AM
Pure poetry in motion there, yummy.

Labadze...the John Daly of tennis. :lick:

http://img382.imageshack.us/img382/2301/labadze4xh8.jpg

maf
03-21-2007, 05:04 AM
Why hasn't anyone mentionned rugby? In rugby you never stop running around taking hits all the time ( and big ones) I'm sure anyone who has played rugby will agree.

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5209/dieuxdustade20073em2.jpg

:drool:


Boxing is very hard too but as it has been said not many fights a year.

Black Adam
03-21-2007, 01:27 PM
Why hasn't anyone mentionned rugby? In rugby you never stop running around taking hits all the time ( and big ones) I'm sure anyone who has played rugby will agree.

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5209/dieuxdustade20073em2.jpg

:drool:


Boxing is very hard too but as it has been said not many fights a year.
Rugby is also hard, but having played American football, I will also add it to the list.

Aphex
03-21-2007, 07:34 PM
I vote for wrestling, triathlon, cycling and boxing.