Tennis Player’s Peak Age and Month Born

With the ATP and WTA seasons starting up again after their offseason, players are trying to start the new year well. While in junior tennis, two of the biggest tournaments just finished (Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl), and the top juniors are preparing for the Australian Open. One thing brings everyone together is improving until they are the best player they can be. This is when the player peaks.

The time when players peaks vary, but there still are trends in the age is their best self in the ATP and WTA. Obviously, in Junior tennis, the peak ages are almost guaranteed to be at the end of their junior career.  But on the professional side, it is not as straightforward.

For the women, peak age is much younger than the men. I did a study consisting of the top 100 players according to Tennis Abstract and averaged their peak age (12/26/16).  I came out with an average peak age at just 23 years old. This means that women have a much shorter time to improve to their best tennis. It also supports the fact that not as many women who play college tennis make it to the top 100 because they have so little time to focus on improving and maturing their game.

While for men, the peak age is in the mid-twenties at about 25.6 years old using data from the top 100 players according to Tennis Abstract, and the average of their peak age (12/26/16). This is almost a three-year difference when compared to the WTA. That shows that men peak much later than women proving why the ATP top ten is so old.

I also ventured in studying the months born for the ATP, WTA, and ITF top 100 players according to Tennis Abstract (12/26/16). Out of the 400 players, 53% of them were born between April and September (the warmer months). Though this may seem like a pretty large difference it is still within a 3% margin of error so I cannot make any assumptions about this data. Any real trend seen is when I combined the ITF Boys and Girls data together. In this graph below, there is a clear downtrend from August to December.

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-8-36-54-pm

But, when I added the ATP and WTA to this graph, it came out resembling nothing very interesting, showing no defining trends in the data.

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-8-36-24-pm

But, if you look closer you can see that April, May, and June has the most number of players born in any trio of months. All three of these months have some of nicest weather of the year meaning that maybe tennis players have a higher chance at success when born at this time of the year.

Unfortunately, overall I was unable to draw conclusive evidence showing a relationship between when someone is born and their success in tennis, but I was able to disprove any beliefs that being born in warmer months gives someone an advantage.

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