An in interesting article in the NY Times from Christopher Clarey about the dominance of the elder players, Roger Federer’s fitness trainer Pierre Paganini says the Swiss star hasn’t lost a step compared to the days when Roger reigned.
“I’m convinced that he has not lost a step,” Paganini told the NY Times. “You also can’t forget that Roger has a quality of anticipation that is enormous. In tennis, you don’t only need to be fast. You need to run cleanly and use speed intelligently, and Roger is very intelligent in this department.”
Jarkko Nieminen, who lost to Andy Murray earlier today, also commented to the Times about Federer and the over 30 crowd. “I do think there will be some in this group who will be playing top 30 or 50 when they are 35. If Roger stays healthy, for sure he will be top something when he’s 35.”
Federer, who now ranks third after a long stay at No. 1 in his heyday, plays tomorrow in the French Open third round against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
According to the Times, in 2002 there were 11 men 30+ in age playing the French Open. This year there are 37. The reason, the story suggests, is that older players are benefiting from the technology and having taken better, more knowledgeable care of their bodies.
Players are also in better shape and with the physical demands of the sport, there are fewer teens breaking through. Today, the lone teen in the men’s field, Bernard Tomic, was defeated.
The full article is here.
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