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  • Being a good tennis parent Tennis parents play a vital role in the development of their children as it relates to participation in sports,particularly in tennis.  
  • Being a good tennis coach… It’s a privilege to be a coach – to have an opportunity to guide young people in their tennis career. There are many factors which distinguish a good tennis coach from the others.  
  • Interview with Nikola Milojevic # 1 ITF junior player It is not often in the world of tennis that two players from the same country, at the same time are the best on the ATP and the ITF juniors list.  
  • Interview with Jelena Gencic Identifying a future champion in any sport is a multistage process. It is truly remarkable to be able to recognize special talent from a large group of beginners in a particular sport.  
  • Size Does(not) Matter In the era of modern tennis there is a noticeable presence of tall players in both men and women's divisions. One might theorize that the height of a player could quite possibly be a contributing factor in predicting the future success of the player.  
  • Interview with tennis coach Del Little It was once said that humility suits well only to those who would have a reason to be immodest. So such can be said for tennis coach Del Little and it will not be further from the truth.  
  • Consistent work brings success In working with young tennis players some issues often remain unanswered, and the main reason is mostly due to neglecting the effect of developmental characteristics of the youth in development.  
  • The transition from junior into professional tennis Anyone can say that "wants to become the best player in the world", but few of those are willing to sacrifice and "pay the price" and that is indeed true.  
  • Interview with Robert Lansdorp If you can value a coach by the achievements of his players than you can consider Mr. Robert Lansdorp as one of the most important and most influential tennis coaches from the beginning of Open era till today. He is unique because he coached four players from their earliest junior days up till their top rankings: Tracey Austin, Lindsey Davenport, Pete Sampras, and Maria Sharapova.  

Size Does(not) Matter

In the era of modern tennis there is a noticeable presence of tall players in both men and women's divisions. One might theorize that the height of a player could quite possibly be a contributing factor in predicting the future success of the player.

As we all know, tennis is a competitive game where there is no physical contact between players( like in football or soccer) and where the height related to reach for the ball  doesn't play an important role like it does in basketball. The advantage of the tall  tennis players is in one of the most important elements of the game- the serve. Players like Karlovic (6'10"), Isner (6'9") have a much better angle while serving  than Rochus (5'5") , which enables them to easily and successfully start  the point. At the same time the tallest players usually don’t have the best footwork and agility which is a factor in modern tennis especially in the defensive mode. It would be interesting to see if there is an ideal height for players in this sport, the height that would  allow the players to be successfulI during the service and offensive game, while allowing them to be fast and agile enough to play good defense.

 

connor and jake

 

A study of tennis players was done in 1997 at the Faculty of Sport in Belgrade, Serbia. The study concentrated on the top 15 ranked  players on the ATP and WTA  tour and the 15 best of  ITF junior boys and girls. The extensive project analyzed various characteristics of the most successful players at the time. We examined some characteristics of psycho-social, morphological, physical, technical and tactical aspects in order to explain the principles of modern tennis. Due to the extensiveness of the project we will refer only to the analysis of physical quality-height of the top 15 tennis players in the 2012. The results will be compared with the results from 1997. The period of 15 years (1997-2012) was long enough to notice some changes that occurred ​​in the physical development of players. This is the period where a complete player generation change  happened in the top 15. Due to the homogeneity of the results the players are divided into three categories: the first five, from sixth place to tenth and the eleventh to the fifteenth.   

Ranking

ATP

WTA

ITF boys

ITF girls

Year

1-5

6’1”

5’8”

5’9”

5’6”

1997

1-5

6’1”

5’11”

6’0”

5’6”

2012

6-10

6’1”

5’6”

5’8”

5’6”

1997

6-10

6’3”

5’8”

6’0”

5’5”

2012

11-15

6’0”

5’7”

6’0”

5’7”

1997

11-15

6’3”

5’9”

6’0”

5’7”

2012

 

Comparative analysis of the data shows that the average height of the top five ranked players (ATP) in the 1997-year was 6'1"and that the height of the world's best players today, remained the same-6'1". Differences are seen in the next five (6-10 rank) players, where in 1997 the average height was 6'1"and now is 6'3". And in the next five (11-15) shows that today's professional players are  three inches taller than players fifteen years ago.

In the WTA players we see growth, so that  today's top five are more than three inches taller (5'11") compared to players from 1997 (5'8"). The next  five were  5'6" tall, while the players today are 5'8", and with following five  (11 - 15) the difference is also two-inches in favor of today's players.

With young players - ITF juniors, we notice that today's boys, on average are slightly taller than their peers of 15 years ago. Today's top five have an average height of 6'​​, while the best five juniors in year 1997 were 5'9" tall,  today's (6-10 ranked) players  on average are 6' tall, and in 1997 the juniors were 5'8" tall. Players ranked 11-15 remained the same height – 6 feet.
At junior (girls) level we notice that the best five ranked players remained the same then and now-5'6",  today’s 6-10 ranked players are 5'5" tall, while in 1997 the average height was 5'6". With players from 11-15 ranking height is also unchanged-5'7".

Ranking

ATP

WTA

ITF boys

ITF girls

Year

1-15

6’1”

5’7”

5’10”

5’6”

1997

1-15

6’2”

5’9”

6’0”

5’6”

2012

 

In reaching a conclusion, we notice that the average height of the top fifteen players is still greater than fifteen years ago in all age categories except in the junior (girls) category where the average height of fifteen best players remained almost the same. An interesting fact is that the height of male professional tennis players (top five) remained unchanged (6'1") after 15 years, which may indicate the fact that this is perhaps the ideal players height, that we talked about at the beginning of this article. Is this just a coincidence or it will become a rule-we will know when we do a comparative analysis of new data -  in 2027.

cartoon(murray) 

Written by Sveto Matovic,February 2012,Los Angeles