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2015 250-500 Tournaments Thread

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TheMessi
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Post by temporary21 Tue 06 Jan 2015, 2:46 pm

First topic message reminder :

A thread intended for discussion of the smaller tournaments of the year. First up, its Doha.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri 13 Feb 2015, 3:21 pm

oh dear Andy

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Fri 13 Feb 2015, 3:22 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Murray? Headscratch

Anyone watching?
No but seeing the stats he only won 28% of his 2nd serve, Simon won 60% 2nd serves chin

Good for him to finally earn a SF after plodding along for years thumbsup
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Post by Guest Fri 13 Feb 2015, 3:35 pm

Laugh 28%

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 13 Feb 2015, 4:42 pm

28%?!

Even for Andy, that is shocking. I don't recall ever seeing a lower percentage, from anyone.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 13 Feb 2015, 6:08 pm

Doesn't there come a point where he should just take two 1st serves?

At 60% 1st serve % and perhaps a 70% success rate he's at least getting 42% if he treated the 2nd as a sh1t-or-bust effort. Plus he wastes less time losing loads of them.
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Post by Calder106 Fri 13 Feb 2015, 6:21 pm

Was actually thinking the same after the AO final. Think he was 35% in that and Novak around 62%.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 13 Feb 2015, 6:27 pm

From the first 5 games I saw, Murray was just driving routine rallying shots into the middle of the net. Simon hit one big winner off a second serve but the rest of the time they were starting any points on Andy's second serve on an even keel before Murray would miss a routine ball. I always think a poor second serve % on Andy's second serve is usually reflective of his overall game being off. I suspect if he had been playing even adequately well off the ground then he would have been at least at 50%.

Bizarre display really. Didn't see his opening two matches but understand he had looked reasonably good. Today's display looked like he hadn't picked up a racquet for months. I am guessing it didn't get much better after the 5 games i saw!


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Post by Jahu Fri 13 Feb 2015, 9:56 pm

Milo wins in 3 sets against Stakhovski.

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Post by socal1976 Sat 14 Feb 2015, 7:29 am

The murray second serve is the weakest single important shot of any of the top 4 players. Not only do Rafa, Djoko, and Fed all have good second to great second serves I can't think of an important shot worse that any of them have that is worse than Murray's second serve. Fed's backhand returns can be exposed because he chips too many of them. Djokovic has a poor overhead although he hit it pretty well throughout the AO only flubbing it once the whole tournament. But none of those are as important as Murray's second serve weakness. There was an old announcer who himself was a top pro who used to say that on the men's tour you are only as good as your second serve. If that is the case then Murray is in trouble.

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Post by socal1976 Sat 14 Feb 2015, 7:31 am

Interestingly Novak, Nadal, and Fed all rank in the top 5 career wise in second serve points won, Murray ranks 55th at 52 percent. His second serve feels to me though to be more attackable than that.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 14 Feb 2015, 6:53 pm

Yes that Murray performance belonged in the dark period of last year. Watching it brought me back to my thoughts of my epitaph thread but also underlines why he has yet to reach No.1. Rotterdam was a golden opportunity to force himself up to No.3 in the rankings but it ended in him having a tame defeat at the hands of a player he has owned in the past. Not good.
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Post by summerblues Sat 14 Feb 2015, 11:13 pm

My theory has been that - even in current conditions - once players reach around age 28, they will find it harder to perform consistently at the top level. Hence, I am expecting some new faces winning slams this year. Of course, AO did not exactly go in line with my theory.

Nevertheless, I would expect more and more unexpected losses for Rafa, Nole and Andy.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 15 Feb 2015, 11:00 am

summerblues wrote:My theory has been that - even in current conditions - once players reach around age 28, they will find it harder to perform consistently at the top level.  Hence, I am expecting some new faces winning slams this year.  Of course, AO did not exactly go in line with my theory.

Nevertheless, I would expect more and more unexpected losses for Rafa, Nole and Andy.

Most definitely summerblues. And the longer in the tooth they become the more frequent those type defeats become.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Sun 15 Feb 2015, 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 15 Feb 2015, 2:19 pm

I can only assume that the omission of Roger in these notable losses are purely an error erhem!!!!!!?????

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Post by LuvSports! Sun 15 Feb 2015, 2:38 pm

SO Stan Berdych in Rotterdam.
Nishi Anderson in Memphis.
Cuevas Vanni (never heard of him until this week) in Brasil.

Allez Stan & Nishi!

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 2:56 pm

LOL H-n, you are ready to fight without even properly reading what is written.

Fed has been throwing in unexpected losses for years now, so he fits well with my assumption that after around 28 the consistency declines.

It is the other three that are now at the age where we will get to see if my thinkng is correct (if they start having more unexpected losses) or incorrect (if they will not).

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:03 pm

Good luck, Stan.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:08 pm

Heh!!!!who says I'm fighting???
Looking at his schedule for this season he has other plans
ALL Players irrespective of age can expect to have "unexpected"
losses no matter WHO they are

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:12 pm

summerblues wrote:LOL H-n, you are ready to fight without even properly reading what is written.

Fed has been throwing in unexpected losses for years now,  so he fits well with my assumption that after around 28 the consistency declines.

It is the other three that are now at the age where we will get to see if my thinkng is correct (if they start having more unexpected losses) or incorrect (if they will not).
Oh really ???
Let's see then if you say the same about Roger when he turns 28... oh I guess not ???!!!
One rule for king Roger, another for
the REST

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:22 pm

H-n, I am not sure what point you are making.

Yes, all players can - and do - have bad losses, but the frequency of such losses increases as players get older. What I am saying is that I suspect that around age 28 is where that frequency invariably increases and that the results of Nole, Rafa and Andy over the next year or so will shed some light on whether or not I am correct.

I am not sure what your counterpoint is, nor am I sure why you thought that the omission of Fed in that list would be in error (with added exclamation points and question marks no less).

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:25 pm

Amri: indeed Smile

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:29 pm

Btw, Amri, I am not watching the match, but it looks like Berdych is doing all right so far. Are you watching? Is it more a case of Berdych playing well, or Stan poorly?

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:37 pm

summerblues wrote:Btw, Amri, I am not watching the match, but it looks like Berdych is doing all right so far.  Are you watching?  Is it more a case of Berdych playing well, or Stan poorly?
Yep, I am indeed watching, it's been a great match.
Stan is not red-lining, but he is still playing very well. Berdych has been extremely aggressive so far and looked to attack when he can.

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:39 pm

When it gets to longer rallies, Stan seems to have the edge.
Berdych normally really struggles with Stan's sliced return, but he's dealt with it quite well so far.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:40 pm

summerblues wrote:My theory has been that - even in current conditions - once players reach around age 28, they will find it harder to perform consistently at the top level.  Hence, I am expecting some new faces winning slams this year.  Of course, AO did not exactly go in line with my theory.

Nevertheless, I would expect more and more unexpected losses for Rafa, Nole and Andy.

I don't think there is any physical reason why that would be the case. Its more, for the guys at the very top, their focus tends to switch almost entirely to the slams. Certainly with Fed, I thought in 07-08 that was definitely the case. He clearly wasn't physically declining at that age but he was suddenly losing to Volandri and Canas. However, we saw in 2011-12 that he was still capable when in with a shot of number 1 of putting together consistent performances. Likewise, Murray has been poor in non-slam events for about 4 years - which coincides with him having had incredible consistency in the slams.

I'm not sure why you think current conditions are relevant? Slow conditions should, in theory, make it harder for the older players as matches should be longer.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 15 Feb 2015, 3:41 pm

Sb I'm equally not sure the point you are making Of course there will be unexpected losses but the magic figure of 28Yrs did not come into your calculatons when you speak of the almighty Now you are turning what was a sardonic remark made by me into something quite different
let it go SB!!??

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Post by LuvSports! Sun 15 Feb 2015, 4:03 pm

1 set all.
ALLEZ STANNNN

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun 15 Feb 2015, 4:07 pm

When Berd can't rely on blasting most of his serves in he loses. Stan is gonna pick up the trophy Very Happy
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Post by LuvSports! Sun 15 Feb 2015, 4:21 pm

Stan with the double break Very Happy

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Post by LuvSports! Sun 15 Feb 2015, 4:43 pm

Stan the Man wins Rotterdam!
Over to you Nishi!

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun 15 Feb 2015, 5:28 pm

First time winning a 500 level tournament, he definitely has Berds number Cool

I can't see Nishikori losing to Anderson but funnier things have happened Whistle
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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 6:27 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I don't think there is any physical reason why that would be the case.
I do not really know either.  Not clear to me why players should drop off after 28, but circumstantial evidence does suggest they do decline around that time.  For example, here is the distribution of open era slam winners by age:

Age - No of slam wins
17 - 3
18 - 2
19 - 5
20 - 11
21 - 16
22 - 20
23 - 15
24 - 27
25 - 24
26 - 17
27 - 14
28 - 7
29 - 8
30 - 9
31 - 4
32 - 1
33 - 1
34 - 1
35 - 1
36 - 1
37 - 1

Most success has been from 20-21 to around 27.  It is not right off the cliff thereafter, but wins definitely dry up.

Born Slippy wrote:Its more, for the guys at the very top, their focus tends to switch almost entirely to the slams.
Definitely disagree here, as also evidenced by the table above.

Born Slippy wrote:Certainly with Fed, I thought in 07-08 that was definitely the case.
But 2007-08 are not the right years to look at.  Fed turned 28 in August 2009.  His four slams thereafter were:
USO09: F - loss to Delpo
AO10: W
FO10: QF - loss to Soderling
W10: QF - loss to Berdych

Certainly solid, but also clear signs of exactly what I am saying - unexpected defeats.

Born Slippy wrote:I'm not sure why you think current conditions are relevant?
I myself am actually not convinced that current conditions are all that relevant.  But I have seen it suggested on this forum quite often that the current aging of tennis (as witnessed eg by increasing age of top 100 players) is due to changing conditions and that players develop and peak later than they used to.  Hence my reference to "even in current conditions".

Born Slippy wrote:Slow conditions should, in theory, make it harder for the older players as matches should be longer.
This is somewhat off-topic, but I am not sure I agree.  I can see arguments either way.  On one hand, it does feel like longer matches should in some way make it harder for older players.  On the other hand, my (unscientific, admittedly) feel is that athletes tend to peak later in sports where stamina is required, as opposed to say sports where explosiveness matters.

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Post by summerblues Sun 15 Feb 2015, 6:29 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:the magic figure of 28Yrs did not come into your calculatons when you speak of the almighty
What do you mean?  It does come into my calculations in regards to Federer also.

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Post by laverfan Sun 15 Feb 2015, 6:53 pm

Good for Wawrinka to pick up another title. Berdych collapses from winning positions too often! Sad

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Post by laverfan Sun 15 Feb 2015, 7:03 pm

summerblues wrote:
I myself am actually not convinced that current conditions are all that relevant.  But I have seen it suggested on this forum quite often that the current aging of tennis (as witnessed eg by increasing age of top 100 players) is due to changing conditions and that players develop and peak later than they used to.  Hence my reference to "even in current conditions".

Medical technology has a lot to offer in prolonging aging careers as well.

Natural longevity, like Pancho, Rosewall, Connors (to some extent), Federer (someone definitely will disagree with this), is not in much evidence otherwise.

Mentioning Nadal will definitely get me beaten up in dark alleys of 606v2, even though, he is the perfect poster-child (IMVHO) of modern medicine and the business of sport.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 15 Feb 2015, 8:51 pm

I'm not about to beat you up LF but certainly challenge you Smile I notice it is only Fed that you mention from the modern era There are many of today's players that can give thanks for modern medicine Though agreed Nadal more than most. Certainly Leyton Hewitt Delpo Nalbandian. And indeed Murray are also enormously grateful I would suggest
However one of your favourites and certainly mine namely Ferrer is an example of reaching the ripe old age of 33yrs without surgical intervention and a player who imvho has improved since reaching 28yrs old

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 15 Feb 2015, 10:29 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:However one of your favourites and certainly mine namely Ferrer is an example of reaching the ripe old age of 33yrs without surgical intervention and a player who imvho has improved since reaching 28yrs old

Is that about when he gave up smoking? Wink

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 15 Feb 2015, 11:22 pm

Having quit smoking some many years ago I can emphatically tell you that it takes a lot longer than you might believe before you feel the benefits of quitting it takes 10yrs to remove all traces of tar from the lungs Ferrer's tennis has improved his athleticism has never been in question that I remember:-)

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Post by CAS Sun 15 Feb 2015, 11:23 pm

I think by the time they are 28 they have been on tour for over 10 years and there are players around 20-23 who are hungrier to win, I think thats what happens first then the legs can't quite keep up as the big 30 approaches

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 15 Feb 2015, 11:48 pm

But times have changed SB. I think I'm right that Novak remains the youngest player who has won a Masters and he is nearly 28. Tournament winners so far this year:

Burgos - 34
Roger - 33
Ferrer - 32
GGL -31
Stan - 29
Gasquet - 28
Troicki - 28
Novak - 27
Kei - 25
Vesely - 21

Average age: 28.8

The peak age for a tennis player does seem to have moved to 27-31. I don't see a reason why that shouldn't be the same for the top guys.

Of the 72 winners of slams aged 23 and under shown in your table (representing about 40% of the total), how many of them have been in the last 15 slams?

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Post by summerblues Mon 16 Feb 2015, 1:05 am

Born Slippy wrote:But times have changed SB....The peak age for a tennis player does seem to have moved to 27-31.
Well that is exactly what will be interesting to see. My hypothesis is that the times have not changed as much as is generally assumed. We will see this year and the next if I am wrong. If Rafa/Nole/Andy are still winning bulk of the slams over the next year or two, then I am wrong.

Also, did you not just question my wording where I said that I thought that "even in current conditions" players would start dropping off after 28? And now it turns out you yourself are among those who think that the times have changed - i.e. that "in current conditions" players will last longer than before.


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Post by Henman Bill Mon 16 Feb 2015, 2:27 am

on the age 28 theory.

it seems to be true for top/great players down the years that in the late 20s they decline.

but in recent years there is the case of Warwinka getting better around 28, and Ferrer getting better after 28. Robredo hasn't been declining.

if you look lower in the rankings there is this evidence then against the decline theory after 28.

or is just for top players for some reason, more matches under the belt, more millions in the bank, less still to prove?

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 16 Feb 2015, 2:31 am

Actually had not read some of the comments when I posted that, but my comment does seem to be similar to the Born Slippy one, although I hadn't read it when I posted, but sort of similar line of thinking.


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Post by Born Slippy Mon 16 Feb 2015, 7:49 am

summerblues wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:But times have changed SB....The peak age for a tennis player does seem to have moved to 27-31.
Well that is exactly what will be interesting to see.  My hypothesis is that the times have not changed as much as is generally assumed.  We will see this year and the next if I am wrong.  If Rafa/Nole/Andy are still winning bulk of the slams over the next year or two, then I am wrong.

Also, did you not just question my wording where I said that I thought that "even in current conditions" players would start dropping off after 28?  And now it turns out you yourself are among those who think that the times have changed - i.e. that "in current conditions" players will last longer than before.


It depends what you mean by conditions. I was assuming you were referring to court speed. My view is that the courts are unlikely to have anything to do with it. I suspect it is more medical and/or training/diet knowledge. It may also be that there is less need to "settle down" in this age where the top guys can have several bases and be in constant contact with their families.

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Post by summerblues Mon 16 Feb 2015, 3:38 pm

Born Slippy wrote:It depends what you mean by conditions. I was assuming you were referring to court speed.
No, I was not referring to anything specific - could be anything.

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Post by summerblues Mon 16 Feb 2015, 3:55 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I suspect it is more medical and/or training/diet knowledge.
Yes, this tends to be one of the more standard explanations across many sports.  Whenever a sport is aging, the argument goes "training, medical care etc improved".  Whenever a sport is getting younger, the argument is "the sport has become more demanding and it is more difficult to keep up at an older age".

I suppose they both could be correct in some cases but in the particular case of tennis I would be surprised if it were so.  The aging we have witnessed happened way too quickly for this to be the case.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 19 Feb 2015, 12:56 pm

I largely agree with summerblues on this - while I think playing conditions / diet / better medical care etc have had a slight effect on keeping player at or near the top of the game into their late 20s or early 30s, I think the bigger issue is that the cluster of players who are between about 28 and 30 are simply better than those in their early to mid 20s (allowing for Del Potro's injury difficulties).

My understanding was that the playing conditions and equipment changes really happened about a decade ago, coinciding with Federer's best period (aged about 23 to 25) and Nadal's initial emergence as a precocious teenager. Djokovic and Murray (both born May 1987) therefore came through in an era where conditions had already largely changed, and yet it was clear from their performances at 18/19 years old that they were going to be very good players.

Djokovic was top 10 in 2007 and won his first slam in Aus 2008, before his 21st birthday. Murray wasn't much later, winning his first MS title quite soon after turning 21(Cinci 2008) and reaching his first Slam final a month later. They, along with Nadal who is only a year older, have been established at the top of the sport since their early 20s. Suggests to me that the point is more that they are very good (Murray) or all-time great players (Rafa and Djoko + Federer) than that playing conditions are favouring older players.

My feeling is that if there was an outstanding player of about 21 years old they would already be making waves in the game, regardless of the apparent changes in condition. Oh, and look what we have - Nick Kyrgios at 19 and Jan Vesely at 21 pushing on rapidly.

Of course the counter argument is to point to the likes of Ferrer and Stan reaching career peaks relatively late and that the entire top 100 has been getting older. I think the latter point probably does at least in part reflect improvements in conditioning and ability o come back from injuries, and that this has a knock on effect of reducing the opportunities for younger players to play ATP level tournaments and so pick up the ranking points needed to move them up quickly.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 19 Feb 2015, 1:47 pm

dummy_half wrote:I think the bigger issue is that the cluster of players who are between about 28 and 30 are simply better than those in their early to mid 20s
I wholeheartedly agree.

All this talk of Raonic, Nishi and Dimi being a young generation breaking through is becoming laughable. These are their ages:

Nishikori - 25
Raonic - 24
Dimi - 23

Age for age, this equates roughly to Nadal, Djokovic and Murray's 2010 to 2012 seasons. The results of these players, at the same age, on the same conditions were so much better than the "young generation".

Even if we argue that the comparison with the likes of Nadal and Djokovic is tough, we must also note that the Raonic/Nishi/Dimitrov generation have only just started to threaten and replace the Wawrinka/Berdych/Ferrer group of players, when the latter group are all approaching 30 (and past 30 in Ferrer's case).

What's doubly depressing is that, while the Kyrgios/Vesely/Coric generation show some potential, it's really only flashes. Rafa and Novak were slam and Masters winners at the same age.

I don't think anybody currently in the top 100 looks like a future great.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 19 Feb 2015, 2:16 pm

The Kyrgios group is more fortunate IMO, in that when they are in their twenties, Rafa/Novak/Murray may not be there to stop them from winning slams (whilst Nishikori's group is more unfortunate when they are stopped by Rafa & Co now). I think it's more likely that Kyrgios group may produce an all time great, ie one who wins six or more slams, unless of course they are being challenged by another group of youngsters.

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Post by banbrotam Sat 21 Feb 2015, 8:31 pm

To me it's obvious that 24 is the new 21 and hence peaking at 29/30 is now commonplace

And I think that would've applied to Roger, i.e. if he was breaking through now. Lots of people at the time had wrongly written off, particularly after losing in R1 at RG in 2003

Rafa's a freak and would have been good in any era in his teams

Better conditioning means that the older guys can stay fit for longer and their experience means they can maintain their games for longer

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