Changing of the Guard…except for Federer, Djokovic & Nadal

Will these three ever stop? There have been lots of images on social media using the FaceApp showing Federer, Djokovic and Nadal as old men, still winning majors, and to be honest, it is a possibility. Aged at 37, 33 and 32, these three should be coming towards the latter stages of their playing careers, yet somehow they still manage to dominate the sport. Between them, they have won the last 11 Grand Slams, and currently sit on top of the ATP rankings, with Djokovic in first, Nadal second, and Federer third.

Now there is some concern in the tennis community, as to what are we going to do when these guys stop? The younger players, such as Zverev and Thiem, have struggled to beat them on the grand stage, and sadly that doesn’t look like changing. However, this post isn’t actually about the big three. It is about the other 7 guys that make up the ATP top 10.

For a few years now, it has seemed like the younger players have been unable to maintain the solid constant level Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic had by 25. Djokovic for example had won five majors by that age, Federer had eight, and Nadal had ten. The only other 4 players to have won a major and still on the tour were Murray winning his first aged 25, Wawrinka aged 29, Cilic aged 26, and del Potro aged 21 all the way back in 2009.

The young guns may not be winning majors, but there has certainly been a shift. Below we have the average age of the Top 10 for the last five years

2014 – 27
2015 – 29
2016 – 29
2017 – 29
2018 – 29
2019 – 28

So not a massive change over the last few years, however, when we consider that when these rankings stats were taken, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic were in the Top 10 every year, we do get a slightly skewed result, as they have each aged five years since the 2014 result. Therefore, if we work out the average again, removing the big three, we get a very different result.

2014 – 27 (0 year drop)
2015 – 28 (1 year drop)
2016 – 28 (1 year drop)
2017 – 27 (2 year drop)
2018 – 28 (1 year drop)
2019 – 25 (3 year drop)

It shows that the average age of the top 10 is getting younger, and when we consider that half of the top 10 is aged 25 and younger, you can certainly see that there is a shift in the age of the top players…except for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic of course


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