THE RETURN OF THE VOLLEY – Allen Fox Tennis

As any player or coach will tell you, one of the greatest fears of any player is advancing age. With it come symptoms like slower reaction, increased susceptibility to injuries, slower speed and weaker mental and physical capabilities. It’s no wonder that younger players always seem to be the top. This situation is no different in tennis as we can clearly observe. However, if the latest standings and performances are anything to by, then the tide seems to be changing. The older players seem to be outperforming the younger players. In fact, most are regaining their form after a poor show in the previous years.
Currently, Roger Federer is the top-ranked player in the ATP standings. The 36-year-old champions have won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and are in very good shape. Before his amazing return, his performance had dipped and many a person couldn’t picture him being in the top 5 leave alone being the best-ranked player. This observation has many people concluding that the return of the aged players is currently happening and defying the old thinking that an aged player stood no chance against the younger and more versatile player.
This scenario also applies to Raphael Nadal (Rafa), who currently trails Rogers Federer. And if he continues his great form and Roger drops a few points, he may surpass the world number one. Rafa, just like Roger, has made a comeback and is doing pretty well. He is also not young but performs like a well-oiled machine. The Grand Slam champion has had some rough years dealing with injuries, which are usually the career ender for most players including tennis players. However, he seems to have regained his earlier form and is giving younger players a run for their money.
Aging players performing well doesn’t just apply to men but to women also. Serena Williams, before giving birth, was at her peak. She topped the rankings and currently holds the record of having won the most Grand Slam titles (23 in total). Like her male counterparts, she isn’t young either, as she is 36 years old and seems to be slowly making a return after a hiatus to give birth. Before her amazing performance, many people believed that she couldn’t really perform as she did in her 20s as age was a hindrance. However, many were left wagging their tongues as she demolished the competition.
Ken Rosewall from Australia went down the history books as the oldest player to win a Grand Slam. At 37 years old, he beat his rival, Malcolm Anderson during the Australian Open finals in 1972. The same year, Andres Gimeno from Spain, aged 34 years, won the French Open while Andre Agassi won the US Open aged 32 years. Other great players who enjoyed success at an advanced age include United States Jimmy Connors (31 years), Pete Sampras also from the US (31 years), and Rod Laver (31 years) Arthur Ashe from the US (31 years) and John Newcombe (30 years). Clearly, we can say that the return of aged tennis players is happening.

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