At Tennis tournaments, physical and mental freshness decide between victory and defeat. This freshness seems to be the basis for top performance.Embed from Getty Images
Successful Players at the Grand Slams are Older
Because tennis has become so physically demanding, professionals pay more attention to their bodies than before. Viktoria Azarenka (26) believes: „You eat healthy and work a lot on your fitness because it can simply prolong your career.“
The oldies are „en vogue“ in New York. Including Roger Federer, four of the eight quarter-finalists were 30 years and older – in the women’s, a quartet in the round of the last eight was 32 years or older. „30 is the new 20“, Serena Williams (33) said some time ago.
Long-term Quality with Good Planning
Former professional player and psychologist Eva Pfaff sees mental freshness as one of the main reasons for the success of Williams & Co. „Sometimes they had breaks or injuries prolong their time on tour. They are happy to play again, because they were forced to take a break“.
Pfaff also believes that long-term quality can be achieved with good planning, not with quantity – that is, a high number of tournaments. „Individual pacing is important in all ages. Smart players regroup from time to time, to come back fresh and eager to play.“
According to a survey conducted by USA Today, the average age of the top ten men in 1992 was 23.2 years – currently it was 28.6 years. The last teenager to win a grand slam tournament was Rafael Nadal at the French Open in 2005. Coach Nick Bollettieri does not believe that a young player will climb a major summit again in the near future. „Experience has become too important“.