A study confirms that players take longer to reach the elite and the average age increases
“Everyone tells me I’m in the final but, you know, I’m not 89, I’m still young.” The sentence pronounced in 2013, when many mans sensed the twilight of his career and the end of an era, is Roger Federer . Swiss, recognized then, he moved the stimulus measure to new generations of players to compete against these guys in the future should occupy that alleged gap in theory, by a natural, generational issue, he should have left the Basel . However, these young people do not come and the occupant of the gap remains the same, with 34 years and still hungrier than they have children they should have given long a firm step forward.
Federer’s longevity, even exalted in seniority, synthesizes the current reality of the circuit: tennis, in general, older; its protagonists, year after year, remain the same and promises it increasingly difficult to access the public area. Thus a study by five Spanish professors of the University Camilo Jose Cela (UCJC) , published in the journal International Journal of Performance and Analysis in Sport .
The average age for ‘top-100’ has risen in three years in boys and year and a half of them
The study, carried out according to fluctuations in the rankings over a period of 30 years in the case of the men ‘s draw (1984-2013), and another of 16, women (1998-2013) states that the average age of the best players in the world it has increased. Specifically, has risen in three years age of the players who manage to enter the top-100 (from 24.6 to 27.6) and the players almost a year and a half (from 23.5 to 24, 8). Furthermore, according to research, the list entry occurs at a later age: the men get to 22.8 and women at 21.6.
The report, based on the oscillation of 1,040 players (647 boys and 393 females) and 4,600 positions in the list (3,000 in the ATP and 1,600 in the WTA), adds that peak performance is usually two years achieved after entering in the top-100 , with 24.8 years and 23.6 respectively. “In sports purely force reach it at an early age, but features tennis make it superior, as well as the physical condition high levels of technical skill and decision – making are required”, personal notes associated with the study.
Regardless of the numbers, there are multiple factors behind aging in both circuits. The greater continuity of veterans responds, regardless of talent, improvement in physical preparation, based on new training programs that impact on injury prevention and nutritional diets as well as in the use of new materials. “Now the players are cared for much more,” slips Jordi Arrese, captain of the Spanish team that won the Davis in 2004; “And there’s something else. Now, the style of play does not burn that much. Rallies are less harsh and points are more direct, so wear is lower than before. “