30-Somethings Reap Success on ATP Tour in 2013

by John on December 27, 2013

T Haas

2013 was a great year for graybeards on the ATP Tour. Eleven players 30 and over won 16 tournaments during the year, the most since 1975 when that season’s geezer brigade won 19. Five of the 30-and-over gang won twice in 2013, and two were first-time winners at an age when most would consider players to be on the down side of their careers. “It’s been quite interesting,” No. 4-ranked Andy Murray said. “Guys are reaching their peak later in their careers. The average age of the Top 100 has increased by a few years since I first came on the tour.” What gives? Training, diet and fitness come to mind. Frequently not considered, but certainly in the mix, is style of play. Back in the day, the serve-and-volley game was much more prevalent than it is today. Sure, the points were shorter, but there was a lot more wear and tear on the body with the quick rushes to the net and the lateral lunges, left and right, when camped up close. “A lot of the guys that used to play serve and volley had a lot of problems with their backs and their knees and hips, and finished when they were 28 or 29 years old,” Murray said. “And now guys are probably training better. There are better training methods, and people probably understand how to recover from matches better and are learning new things all the time about how the body works.” David Ferrer won at Auckland and Buenos Aires. Tommy Robredo hoisted trophies at Casablanca and Umag. Tommy Haas (above), oldest of the year’s winners at 35, triumphed at Munich and Vienna. Albert Montanes won at Nice. Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez picked up grass-court titles at Halle and Eastbourne respectively. Nicolas Mahut won his maiden title on the lawns at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and followed that up with a trophy at Newport, also on grass. Carlos Berlocq captured title No. 1 at Bastad and Ivo Karlovic was victorious at Bogota. Mikhail Youzhny had two wins on the year, Gstaad and Valencia, and Jurgen Melzer posted a victory at Winston-Salem. “I think about it — Haas at 35,” American Sam Querrey said. “Hey, I’m 26. I really hope that I can go for nine good more years. It gives me more motivation and more hope that I can have a nice, long career like those guys.” Imagine that, some of the old-timers providing motivation to the youngsters.






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