Old Guard Djokovic, Federer and Nadal finish the year at top
Another year of tennis, and another year where we see the old guard remain at the top of the rankings. It is pretty incredible when you look at the top 10 men and see that seven out of ten players are in their thirties. It was not long ago where being over 30 in tennis was considered a time to hang it up. Not anymore.
Because of nutrition and fitness, these players are at their prime in their early thirties from a physical standpoint. Then add experience to the fitness, and it has become very difficult for the younger sets to have any sort of chance. You have to be disciplined and talented. You have to be a as good as Zverev or a Thiem, 21 and 25 respectively. Other than that, the rest of the top 10 are familiar names that we’ve been following for the last 10 years.
Here’s the final 2018 standings and their age:
1. Novak Djokovic, 31
2. Rafa Nadal, 32
3. Roger Federer, 37
4. Alex Zverev, 21
5. Juan Martin del Potro, 30
6. Kevin Anderson, 32
7. Marin Cilic, 30
8. Dominic Thiem, 25
9. Kei Nishikori, 28
10. John Isner, 33
Having players over thirty years old winning major tournaments and slams has been the norm in the last 10 years. Consider this year, John Isner’s finish in the top 10 is the first time he’s finished the year ranked this high. He’s 33 years old. He also won his biggest tournament this year; Indian Wells. Stan Wawrinka is another example of a player that truly became a contender in his late twenties and early thirties, winning three Grand Slams after 29 years of age.
I believe this trend will continue, and although people keep talking about Federer’s decline, I doubt he’s going to go from third in the world and fall off the face of the earth. Federer will be in the top ten of tennis for the next three years. He’s probably going to become the first 40-year-old to finish in the top ten. 2019 will be an interesting year.