By Jane Voigt
Let’s blame Roger Federer. He’s the one who always gets the attention anyway. Seventeen grand slams, longest stint at number one, 36 consecutive quarterfinals at majors. Stats like that. He’s the one who has brought on all this talk about age, and aging tennis players.
The fact is, he is not the oldest, which we are all learning as broadcast journalists educate us about players’ ages.
Less than 2% of the players listed below rank outside the top 100.
36: M. Gicquel35: T. Haas, M. Russell
34: I. Karlovic, R. Stepanek
33: A. Montanes, M. Llodra, M. Berrer, S. Robert
32: R. Federer, J. Melzer, J. Nieminen, N. Davydenko, V. Hanescu, L. Hewitt, B. Becker, O. Rochus
31: D. Ferrer, T. Robredo, M. Youzhny, L. Kubot, F. Lopez, J. Benneteau, D. Tursunov
30: Y. Lu, A. Bogomolov Jr, C. Berlocq
43: K. Date-Krumm (will be 44 at end of September)
33: F. Schiavone, V. Williams
32: D. Lourdes
31: S. Williams (will be 32 at end of September), N. Li, F. Pennetta
30: N. Petrova, K. Zakapalova, D. Hantuchova, J. Zheng, V. Razzano, R. Vinci
40: D. Nestor (will be 41 next week), L. Paes
39: J. Knowle, M. Bhupathi
36: R. Lindstedt, P. Hanley, M. Mirnyi, J. Erlich
35: Mike and Bob Bryan, J. Blake
40: L. Raymond
39: J. Husarova
37: L. Huber, T. Tanasugarn
36: K. Peschke
34: C. Black
32: K. Srebotnik, M. Hingis
So there you have it. Just the facts.
Twenty-seven singles players, on the men’s side, are 30 years and older, which is approximately 25% of the top 100 players. In contrast, only 13 of the women are 30 years and older, or 13%.
Men’s and women’s doubles players are older, considering that Daniel Nestor of Canada will be 41 next week. Lisa Raymond, too, checks in at the ripe age of 40. Both should be congratulated for the length of time they have played on the ATP and WTA Tours respectively. Their names are not mentioned much through the media, but they have certainly made an impact on players coming up in the ranks, no matter if they are singles or doubles players.
Kimiko Date-Krumm, who turns 44 at the end of the month, is astonishing. She is extremely fit, plays with an old-school continental grip, and causes all sorts of trouble for women with expectations of power.
Mike and Bob Bryan are the only ones in this compilation that you would consider doubles experts from the career get-go. You will hear much more about them before this U. S. Open comes to a close. The Bryan twins are attempting a calendar-year Grand Slam — winning all four majors in one calendar year.
When they won Wimbledon in July, they marked their Career Golden Slam. They had won all four majors plus gold in the Olympics.
They have won 15 majors as a team. Todd Woodbridge earned 16; however, he did not play solely with one partner although Mark Woodforde was by his side throughout their careers. The ‘Woodies,’ as they became known, won 11 majors.
If Mike and Bob win the U. S. Open, they will become the first men’s doubles team to win an honest-to-goodness Grand Slam since the beginning of the Open Era, which was 1968. They begin their campaign today on Louis Armstrong Stadium, not before 5:30 p.m.