A thought on this men and women are the same idea

Tennis. Not that I know much about the game. And three are confounders to this idea – the Williams, Boris winning Wimbledon etc.

So this is a question, not a statement. Do female tennis players peak at younger ages than male? From my very limited knowledge we seem to get teenagers winning in the female section in a manner that we just don’t – regularly – in hte male.

Is this, maybe, something to do with earlier maturity? Men aren’t, usually, at their physically strongest until early 20s at earliest.

Anyone actually know on this?

15 thoughts on “A thought on this men and women are the same idea”

  1. ‘Men aren’t, usually, at their physically strongest until early 20s at earliest.’

    I recall competing in a cross-country race in my mid to late 20s, thinking “Dammit, I’m not the man I was at 18.” When 30, bits began to drop off. All downhill from then on.

  2. Alternative explanation – More teenage (or at least younger than the men) get entered, ‘cos they’re better looking than the older birds. Don’t actually have to win that much to get the piccies in the paper and the moolah from the sponsorship deals.

    Additionally, the Williams sisters have completely dominated nearly all competitions for how long? There’s been a dirty great block on just how much many players could reasonably expect to achieve for some time, so there’s a bloody great logjam just got released.

  3. Martina Navratilova is another example of being able to perform at older ages.

    This piece claims ” The coefficient estimates indicate the slope of the rank function with respect to
    age is 2.1 and 4.1 at age 25 for men and women pros, respectively, and 13.7 and 11.2 at age 30″. This means the tennis pro ranking = age x coefficient, so older is bad at 25 for women, but less bad (relatively) at 30.


  4. Agree with Steve Bunce. The answer isn’t really in doubt, but the difference is even more pronounced in swimming and gymnastics.

  5. The game has changed. It isn’t just the artillery duels of the days of Wade, King, Court etc. I think Navratilova ushered in the era of the “real” athlete followed by the likes of Graf, Cluisters and Seles. The modern girls have to be a lot faster and agile and hit the ball a lot harder. Modern training techniques accelerate their development. The same goes for swimmers ( Rebecca Adlington was past it at 22) even lady weightlifters are all young gels, which seems counterintuitive.

  6. females start puberty before males on average. everyone knows this. you only have to look at any random group of 10-12 year olds. the girls tower over the boys. most of the girls will clearly, demonstrably have entered puberty. most of the boys will clearly, demonstrably not have entered puberty.

  7. I can’t see it has anything to do with maturity. Women simply stop getting stronger before men do. Same thing with us old geezers. You can work out all you like but you’ll never be as strong as the younger guys, less go juice, you see?

  8. London girl,
    Not as simple as it looks. It benefits females to appear mature early to get the protection of the big males, and it benefits males to appear to mature later to avoid getting mashed by the big males. From a purely biological point of view, maturity equals ability to reproduce, the difference, if any, is not that great.

  9. Wot I say is Yvonne Goolagong. Such an improvement over the thump-a-ball women. Or so my parents told me – they were interested in tennis and I was not.

  10. Roger F 19 beat sampras 29 at wimbledon 2001 – year later sampras retired. Andy murray was in the top 10 when he was 19, neither outhouse builds.

  11. Men & women tennis players play a different game, don’t they? Young woman are at their peak of strength/weight ratio. Hence gymnastics, acrobatics etc Agility. Men’s game is more power than agility.

  12. There’s also the factor by which improvements from experience and technique can offset the slow down in reactions as you age, in team sports it can lead to different average ages for different positions. You can have a situation that good defenders take longer to develop than forwards and goalies even more so.

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