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View Poll Results: At the age 28, are Roger Federer and Serena Williams in their prime or past?
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In their prime
Past their prime
Tennis and Age
We all just finished watching the Australian Open. Serena found a way against Justine. Roger pretty much owned Andy. After the match, I heard one of the commentators saying stuff like "they still have it at the age of 28". Why are they surprised that the "senior" Roger Federer and Serena Williams won? Do they really think they are too old to win? The reason I write this - I'm 28 myself. I'm faster and stronger than I have ever been. I can dunk a softball on a ten foot rim, something I only dreamed of at a younger age. Yeah, I know they are playing tennis for many years, but it's not like tennis is physically demanding like football or basketball. Also, I've had my fair share of hard labor by working many years in a warehouse, and I play all kinds of sports recreationally. What I'm really asking is this. Are Serena Williams and Roger Federer in their prime or past their prime as many commentators suggest despite their continual success.
I think they are in their prime. They are in the perfect balance of mental as well as physical prowess. The reason they say this is the severe pounding their joints take from the practice and play. You don't get hit in tennis like in football or have to bump bodies like in basketball, but the constant sprints and direction changes on hard courts take their toll. Plus, the mental stress is ten times that of team sports because you are the only one out there besides your opponent and when you don't perform, the spotlight is on you. You only have yourself to blame and that can be mentally taxing. Justine Henin is not fully prepared to win a Grand Slam yet. She has played less tennis than even Clisters did before she won the U.S. Open. Give a a couple of months and I assure you, she will straight set Serena. Serena was lucky to have won that match, but Justine was exhausted both mentally and physically. I have an issue with Serena because she is obviously on steriods or some other performance enhancing substance and I can't stand her attitude. She is not close to being the greatest female player. There were much more gracious champions out there who were way better than her. Steffi Graf was a class act and acknowledged her opponent as well as the game. Serena and her ever growing mustache are hopefully past their prime. As for Federer, I hope he continues to do well. He is the consumate gentleman.......
Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis
I think they're in their prime. They're playing just as well if not better than ever and there's no sign of stopping. I think it's all about the level of play you can maintain. Hewitt is 28 but he's definitely past his prime. Not because he's 28 but because he can no longer play like he could 8 years ago.
It seems to me that Serena is not moving very well, but the other players are not taking full advantage of it. She seemed to be off balance so many times when she was pulled wide. Of course, she makes up with her great serve and powerful shots - I don't take anything away from that aspect of her.
Hewitt said that he has been playing the best tennis of his life recently and that the competition bar has been raised since the early 2000s. I agree with you though - that Hewitt just doesn't play like he used to.
Originally Posted by clock-
lol, tell me about it. With all her strapping and injuries, Serena is like slow zombie that somehow always catches up to you. Like you, I have to give it to her too. And to play how many days of grand slam tennis in a row!...
Originally Posted by tennisplayer
I guess it has something to do with the individual as well. Take a look at Brett Favre. He's arguably playing the best football of his life.
Originally Posted by tennisking1
I bet Serena is going to start taking tennis a lot more seriously now that there's some real competition again. That's a scary thought for her opponents. As for Roger, I just don't know if the pressure is really off for him. He's made such unimaginable milestones but still could go further. For instance, now he could concentrate on a career grand slam.
TV commentators.... real experts talking to the general american armchair sports enthusiast, be in football, baseball, wrestling, soccer, NASCAR, snowboarding, or any sport involving bikinis. Experts have to tone down their knowledge, because Coors, Bud, and Pabst tends to diminish the spectator's intelligence.
YOU know.... some people mature early, some late.
some people get injured, some never.
your mental ability to learn keeps going right though 55.
your physical abilities might be great up to 45, then start a slow decline, but at what rate? Depends on your genes.
When you drink a 12pack Coors, Bud, or Pabst, you tend to lose concentration and stop at the second paragraph.
I have to disagree and say that Federer, at least, has played better. Yes, he is playing incredibly well at the moment, but what would you expect from the most gifted man ever to pick up a racket? If you compare the form that he's experiencing at the moment with that of 2005-7, there's no comparison. During those years he was unfathomably good, even better than he is now.
However, it doesn't quite seem right to say that he's "past his prime". He's still on top of the world.
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."
"Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."
While I agree with TK1, I still think your view a fair analysis. He doesn't strike the same fear into his opponents as he once did (short of maybe the slams). Though that could just mean that a lot of the top players are tired of playing on his terms after 5 years.
Originally Posted by AlexLogan
Well, they are used to playing Federer now. When you play against someone over and over, you get to know their game. His skill hasn't decreased. He still gets to all the balls. 28 is pretty darn young in reality......
Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis
Exactly, he's not the new kid on the block anymore; nobody comes into a match thinking 'what's his game?' And in regards to his quickness - how about his first round match against Igor Andreev! Some of those balls Fed was getting to was Nadal like or dare I say better.
Originally Posted by tennisking1
You know what TK. It's amazing how short life is. The age distance between a newborn baby and their grandparent is not all that much. Our life here zooms by stopping for nobody almost like this is just a small segment of our travels.
You come into a game with a whole new set of weapons. You blow everybody off the court.
Just after that match, everyone else is reloading and changing their practice to adapt to your game.
They get closer.
You now have to adapt to their adapted game, to stay ahead.
Always, when you're at the top, there's a whole slew of young'uns waiting to pounce on you to take your place. They practice a bit too.
You nailed it. Evolution of the game. It's funny because as everyone evolved to hit the big ball, one Roger Federer went with the old school style and he is now the only one with that style. It has worked great because it has thrown so many of his opponents' games off. That is one of the reasons I think Henin has a chance to take the game over on the women's side. She has a slice backhand and can actually volley! Something different from the rest of the players on the ladies tour. And LT, you are right about the age thing. Time seems to fly by nowadays. Life seemed to be alot slower back in the day to me. New technology and such has really sped things up in my opinion. We are always on the go more so than ever before. Or, maybe I am just getting older and it seems that way. Lol! (not so Lol!)
Originally Posted by LeeD
And when Federer does lose, he's just not playing his game. Like at the USO against Del Potro. By the fourth and fifth set, he was just trying to hit harder than Del Potro rather than playing his typical tactical match. While Roger is no where near as good as Patrick Rafter at the net, he's good enough that he can take the leverage from them to end the point.
As for evolution. History repeats itself in everything. This is why access of variety is incredibly important to tennis.
Yeah, there's tons of "sheep" talk about groundstrokes taking over tennis because of the new harder hitting rackets and livelier strings. A volleyer just can't keep up with the technology of fast swings and powerful groundies. That, coupled with the trend towards slower courts, makes S/V obsolete.
Guess what? The volley also gets to use the new technology! Hard to believe, but true.
Now the players just have to practice volleying as much as groundstrokes, and the balance is achieved.
And aggressive mindset compared to pusher mentality, of course.