For the first time in the game’s modern era, the top five players in the world—and the top five seeds at Wimbledon—are over 30 years old
For the first time in the game’s modern era, the five best players in the world—and the five top seeds at Wimbledon—are all over 30 years old.
.. Half of the 32 seeds at Wimbledon, which starts Monday, are older than 30. Four others are 29.
.. According to Gilbert, tennis players began thinking they could play longer when Agassi made the U.S. Open final in 2005 at 35.
.. a variety of factors—including skyrocketing prize money, better knowledge of fitness and nutrition, and the shaky psyches and physical weaknesses of players who were supposed to bump off the aging greats—have made thirtysomething the new twentysomething in tennis.
.. Tennis experts say both players have recaptured their former glory with a similar strategy—improving their backhands and using the shot as a weapon rather than a defensive tool to set up a forehand.
.. Money, and the opportunities and comforts it provides, is driving the demographic change.
.. The money allows the top players to travel with entourages that include coaches, trainers, physiotherapists, masseuses and nutritionists.
.. Instead of banging balls on the court for four hours of practice, they may hit for 90 minutes but do 90 minutes of strength, agility, flexibility and fitness training.
.. serial beatdowns have likely caused chronic mental damage.
“Generally if you are going to be a multiple slam winner you will win when you are young,” he said. “When you don’t do that the mental game comes into play.