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View Poll Results: Are players peaking at older ages in tennis now than in the past?

Yes 72 71.29%
No 22 21.78%
Don't know / don't care 7 6.93%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #256
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

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bla bla bla...we all want to see the youngsters break through. I'm as impatient as anyone else but just because they haven't won a grand slam or major title yet doesn't mean that they won't or that they are a weak crop of talent.

The GOAT didn't win his first grand slam until 23 years old. Not every young player can be like Boris Becker or Nadal and win tournaments and slams as a teenager. I think that's the exception to the rule.

It is a good point that times have changes the surfaces have gotten dramatically slower, points have gotten longer and players can't just serve their way through tournaments anymore like they used to. Thus, the older more mature, fitter, stronger guys can outlast a 19/20 year old who isn't fit enough to make it through a best of 5 set match.
Who do you consider GOAT? Not many candidates who won their first slam at 23. In fact. I can't remember any multi-slam winners, just once-offs like Noah, Ferrero and Gerulaitis.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #257
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

Well, first and foremost, there's just a lack of serious Grand Slam potential at the moment. The game is much more physical now than it's ever been before due to tournament organizers slowing courts to create more rallies between players. In order to compete, you need to be physically strong and it's not simply enough to get by on talent alone anymore. There has to be some serious hard-graft behind the scenes. Individually, bodies develop at different rates, but as the younger players haven't fully matured physically, they find it difficult to win more matches and break through against the top ranked players.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #258
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

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Originally Posted by Fumus View Post
bla bla bla...we all want to see the youngsters break through. I'm as impatient as anyone else but just because they haven't won a grand slam or major title yet doesn't mean that they won't or that they are a weak crop of talent.

The GOAT didn't win his first grand slam until 23 years old. Not every young player can be like Boris Becker or Nadal and win tournaments and slams as a teenager. I think that's the exception to the rule.

It is a good point that times have changes the surfaces have gotten dramatically slower, points have gotten longer and players can't just serve their way through tournaments anymore like they used to. Thus, the older more mature, fitter, stronger guys can outlast a 19/20 year old who isn't fit enough to make it through a best of 5 set match.
Federer was 21 and 11 months when he won his first slam.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #259
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

1) Game is more physical, so younger guys need more time to physically develop to the fitness levels required to cope with the ATP tour

2) Prize money has stagnated below ATP level which means they are struggling in key years to play the most suitable schedule for them, hire coaches, physios, and the things like that which could start to give them an edge

3) Points distribution was altered a couple of years ago which favoured later rounds over earlier rounds even more, and favoured ATP events even more over Challengers and Futures - hence, to get enough rankings to get into ATP qualifying they need to win more matches and titles than they used to have to.

All of these things are leading to 18-23 year olds getting stuck grinding down in challenger land, some may stay there, some may find some way to claw their way in and compete at the ATP level, others will give up because the reward financially makes their career unsustainable, so they drop out and go into coaching or some other line of work.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #260
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

Game has become a lot more physical and mental. Raw talent and bursting onto the scene is a lot less common. Homogenization of surfaces leads to a lot less diversity. To do well on the surface you must be better than the already instated top players who are physically stronger and mentally more experienced. Just look at the average age of top ten I'm sure it's higher than ever.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:08 PM   #261
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

As the game becomes more physical, you have to remember a guy in his late twenties/early thirties is usually far more physically complete than any man in his early twenties. Yes there are always exceptions, and different men peak physically at different ages but usually men in their late twenties early thirties are far more powerful and more experienced, and thus know how best to use their physicallity.

Talent helps. And the youngsters thus far lack both talent and physicallity. but if you look at the top 6 under 21s this year - lets sum them up:
(I'm sure someone else can do a much much better job than I am doing here, based on a couple of views of them!).
1. Raonic. Servebot. return game really lacking. Currently ranked 13th, but feel unless his return improves, he's already reached his potential.

2. Janowicz. Ranked 26th. Great server, great dropshots. Showed some real creativity and power in Paris last week. A bright future perhaps. And don't forget - he couldn't afford to compete in the AO in 2012 as he couldn't afford to get there....

3. David Goffin. Ranked 48th. Shows a nice game overall. Some decent results this year. Physically very below par. Technically good though. Could rise a lot further in time.

4. Dimitrov. Ranked 49th. Great first serve. Good forehand. Struggles with movement and backhand susceptible to break down. Not in Federer's class at the same age. But his game, out of all the youngsters, is closest. Could improve in time as his physicallity improves.

5. Bernard Tomic. Ranked 50 something. No titles. Big hype. Good defence. Loves slicing the ball. I've never been overly impressed with him when I've seen him. Nowhere near top 20 material at the moment. But big potential.

6. Ryan Harrison. Ranked perpetually 60 - 80. Good first serve. Tenacious. Strong forehand. Athletic. I think this guy, with a bit more work physcially, and a bit more patience on court, could be a serious contender in a couple of years time. But he is a work in progress.

All the guys ranked lower I've never seen play, but others might have. Names include: Kuznetsov, Kudla, Elais, Sock, Schwartzman, Velotti, Andreozzi, Wu, Marti, and Arguello. A lot of them are from Argentina.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:38 PM   #262
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

I've calculated the stat about the average age of the top-100 in 2012 comparing to 2011, and it still has increased by 1/2 year : 27.8 years old comparing to 27.3 (was 26.1 in 2007)

For those interested in the top-players as usual, the average age of the top-20 is the same as last year (26.9), as some oldies did drop out of the top-20 (Roddick, Fish, Lopez) and some youngsters arrived (Raonic, Nishikori, and Cilic came back).

If you look in detail, the main change of these last 5 years has rather been a lack of emergence of youngsters, rather than old players lasting longer (which is partly true but far less).

My opinion is that the main reason is that the game is more demanding physically and mentally. And the context reason which makes it worse for youngsters is that the level of the competition in challengers and futures has improved, which makes it even more demanding to make consistent results at this level.

There are also generational effects, especially for the top-players, but not only : it always strikes me how some calendar generations are so much better than others, even in-depth, not only for the top-players, for instance 1989 and 1993 generations are very poor, 1987 and 1981 were very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobs View Post
2) Prize money has stagnated below ATP level which means they are struggling in key years to play the most suitable schedule for them, hire coaches, physios, and the things like that which could start to give them an edge
in the old times they didn't even need physios and that sort of things

But well, yes, probably older players now have better methods to take care of their body ... and I would not be surprised at all if doping was one of them, and that older players know better about it than younger ones.

May be a matter of prize money but more a matter of experience imo, including the knowledge of one's own body.

Recently I've been surprised by how many youngsters get seriously injured and stay out for a long time (for instance Krajinovic and Carreno-Busta, even Christian Harrison when he was very young).

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobs View Post

3) Points distribution was altered a couple of years ago which favoured later rounds over earlier rounds even more, and favoured ATP events even more over Challengers and Futures - hence, to get enough rankings to get into ATP qualifying they need to win more matches and titles than they used to have to.
if anything the part in bold should be better for young players, as comparing to older ones, they are less consistent and then indeed have difficulty to cumulate many tournament good results which their older colleagues are more able to do, that's their main problem at the challengers and futures level,

but when they're in a good period, they can make one great result.

It has always been the main difference between young and old players, and the way many great young players have emerged : by an isolated great result (Janowicz in Paris was another example of that).

I don't know which change of points distribution you speak about, the one from 2009 didn't have the impact you speak about, I don't know about one earlier

And if anything, if you want to help youngsters to emerge, you'd rather have to favour making a few very good results comparing to making many less good results.

Quote:
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All of these things are leading to 18-23 year olds getting stuck grinding down in challenger land, some may stay there, some may find some way to claw their way in and compete at the ATP level, others will give up because the reward financially makes their career unsustainable, so they drop out and go into coaching or some other line of work.
I agree that's the very big and worrying problem at the moment ... which the ATP should prioritarily try to address (and the 2-year ranking system was the worst imaginable system for youngsters !) because it's very worrying for the future.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:53 PM   #263
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

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I don't know which change of points distribution you speak about, the one from 2009 didn't have the impact you speak about, I don't know about one earlier
Losing in the final used to be worth 70% of a win, now 60%. Losing SF used to be worth 45%, now 36%. Losing in QF gave 25%, now 18%. Losing in R16 gave 15%, now 9%. Losing in R32 gave 7%, now 4,5%. Losing in R64 (after playing R128) gave 3,5%, now 2,25% (slam) or 2,5% (masters)

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #264
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Default Re: What is the cause for a lack of youngsters coming through the game?

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Losing in the final used to be worth 70% of a win, now 60%. Losing SF used to be worth 45%, now 36%. Losing in QF gave 25%, now 18%. Losing in R16 gave 15%, now 9%. Losing in R32 gave 7%, now 4,5%. Losing in R64 (after playing R128) gave 3,5%, now 2,25% (slam) or 2,5% (masters)
I know that (you maybe did not read this forum in that time but God knows I made a lot of studies and simulations about that reform which are visible in past threads ), I was more sceptical about the comparison between ATP world tour and challengers ,

but most of all I didn't understand what could have been bad for youngsters' rankings in that 2009 reform,

then I actually genuinely wondered if Scoobs spoke of an older reform.

If Scoobs really spoke of that reform from 2009, I explained why imo, it's better for youngsters if points for final rounds have a bigger weight.

It's better for youngsters if challenger points have a bigger weight, and the reform had a small impact on that.

But anyway the impact of that ranking system reform is much much overrated as my studies/simulations in that time did prove to me, and I think it's not an explanation for the problem we were talking about.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #265
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

What about the base of the pyramid being way larger?

I'm personally sure for myself that the number of players at young age has risen considerably (possibly 3-4 times) in comparison to the 90s for example.

Someone to correct me if i'm wrong, but my feelling is that Futures events have multiplied big time in the last 20 years.

Hence, it has been much easier to grow faster from a poll of 100 players, but would be much more difficult to do that from a poll of 10.000 players (just an extreme example to make it clear).

Nowadays if you make the quarters of a Furtures tournament, there are a few dozens of other players who do that at the same time. Another few dozens of players doing it next week and the week after, etc., etc.

And here is a fact, that could be taken as a proof of the claim - 23.11.1992 the 100 players from top 500 to top 600 had from 17 to 28 points.

Today's 500 to 600 have from 41 to 65 points.

With 65 points today you're 500th and in 1992 - 331st (380th in 2002).

Today with 8 points you're out of the top 1000. In 1992 - 738th.


So it's easy - the lower levels of tennis are much, much more competitive and most probably because of more players and more tournaments.

Until proven wrong i believe the mystery is solved.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:57 PM   #266
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

Futures torunaments have been created in 1998 replacing 2/3s of the Satellite circuits.

1998 - 212 tourneys
2002 - 300
2003 - 333
2004 - 356


2012 - 577 (318 Europe, 97 Asia, 85 SA, 59 NA, 18 Africa)
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #267
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

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And here is a fact, that could be taken as a proof of the claim - 23.11.1992 the 100 players from top 500 to top 600 had from 17 to 28 points.

Today's 500 to 600 have from 41 to 65 points.

With 65 points today you're 500th and in 1992 - 331st (380th in 2002).

Today with 8 points you're out of the top 1000. In 1992 - 738th.
You forget there are more points for everything now. Average point score in the top 100 in 1992 was 916 points, in 2012 average was 1509 points.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:58 PM   #268
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

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You forget there are more points for everything now. Average point score in the top 100 in 1992 was 916 points, in 2012 average was 1509 points.
Exactly what i mean.

If now they distribute 100K points coz of massive number of tournaments and players, there's been 10K points 20 years ago coz of much less players and events.

That's why a 17yo was able to win a GS back then and it's absolutely impossible nowadays.

Chang would need 2 more years to even enter the qualies of today's RG and when it doesn't happen fast enough you sometimes lose confidence and stagnate for a couple more years, so it's a butterfly effect.

Today the worth of points is much lower simply because there are much more. Just like diamonds - the more, the cheaper.

To jump over the Futures level nowadays it takes several years, coz of this.

Lazov from Bulgaria has this year in Futures -

1 tittle
1 runner up
3 semi finals
6 QFs

from 21 Futures tournaments and he's #495 in the World, so he's far away from even tasting challengers. He will need at least one more year of solid F1 results to start playing some rounds of challengers.

So whatever his age, from the point a player starts playing for points and ranking, he needs to be a huge talent to even get a distant glance on the top 200 in his first 3 years.
And he'd be already at least 19.


So that's pretty much why. Huge competition, many players, many tournaments. A few of these guys have the chance to get WCs at high profile tournaments and if lucky just once they make huge ranking and financial leaps, but not many have these chances.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #269
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

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Exactly what i mean.

If now they distribute 100K points coz of massive number of tournaments and players, there's been 10K points 20 years ago coz of much less players and events.
No, they just give more points for the same things. Courier got 518 points for winning the AO in 1992, Djokovic got 2000 this year. Courier got 362 points for winning Rome, Nadal got 1000 this year. The differences are smaller for those losing in early rounds, but there's more points every step of the way nowadays.

More interesting would be to look at the number of players with points at all. That was ca. 1200 in 1992, and 1937 in 2012.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #270
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Default Re: Age and Ranking Discussion Thread - Why is the top 100 getting older?

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No, they just give more points for the same things. Courier got 518 points for winning the AO in 1992, Djokovic got 2000 this year. Courier got 362 points for winning Rome, Nadal got 1000 this year. The differences are smaller for those losing in early rounds, but there's more points every step of the way nowadays.

More interesting would be to look at the number of players with points at all. That was ca. 1200 in 1992, and 1937 in 2012.
Just a note (maybe not fully precise) - if you distribute more points (overall) in the lower echelons, you naturally need to raise the points for the higher ones.

If they didn't raise the points in Masters f.e., it would take a couple challengers tittles to make the same points as a Master.

That's why they raised Masters. And they raised Challengers' points coz it would be the same otherwise by winning a couple Futures.

Points had their inflation just like money have - you print more, they cost less.

The players with points is also an interesting stat revealing the situation if looked closer at.

60% more guys with points, this is a lot.

If we take Chang again as an example, he would have 737 more guys doing the same he's been doing. And leaping ahead in the ranking would be impossible at the rate it has been before, just because there are much more guys winning the same points you do, at the same time in another part of the World.

So with 3rd and 4th rounds all year long you might not even progress at all in the rankings, while before you'd storm a hundred places up.

But yeah, this must be a major reason for the fewer younger guys in top positions, which should have us appreciate more the talent of the ones who are in the top 100-200, coz it ain't a piece of cake anymore.
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