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Has the age of players at the top of the men's game reduced over the last 10 years? What the tennis rankings say

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud at the Miami Masters final
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud at the Miami Masters final
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Abhishek Chhajlani

There might be a shift coming in the tennis world. With Carlos Alcaraz winning the Miami Masters and becoming the third youngest champion ever at the level (behind only Michael Chang and Rafael Nadal), it's evident that men's tennis has a young superstar knocking on the doors at the very top.

It is apparent, though, that the men's game is still being dictated by the likes of Nadal (35) and Novak Djokovic (34) given the success they have had in the last few years.

While the top draws in tournaments are still these household names, what do the ATP rankings suggest in terms of the rise of Next Gen stars in the world of professional tennis?

Here's a look at the distribution, by age and end-of-year rankings, across the last 10 years:

Top 100 (players under 23)

Top 100 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)
Top 100 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)

The above picture is a clear indicator of the fact that the number of players aged 23 or younger has increased. This trend is visible across age brackets, from players less than 21 and 22 years of age as well, with the likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner leading the charge.

Top 50 (players under 23)

Top-50 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)
Top-50 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)

To see if this trend was only representative of the top 100, we ran the same analysis for the top 50. The chart shows a clear increase in the young players' ranking in the top 50 across the last 10-year period.

Top 25 (players under 23)

Let's get a little wishful now and see if this trend can translate to the top 25 as well... The answer is an astounding yes!

Top 25 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)
Top 25 players ranking distribution by age (under 23)

With the likes of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas leading the charge a few years back, to Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner, and Carlos Alcaraz's emergence, the number of U-23 players in the top 25 has only increased in recent years.

This suggests that tennis will be in safe hands even after the inevitable retirement of the Big 3.

Top 10 (players under 23)

Top 10 players tennis ranking distribution by age (under 23)
Top 10 players tennis ranking distribution by age (under 23)

The top of the men's game may still belong to the holy trinity of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, but the pack that is chasing them is definitely getting younger.

This is exciting for tennis fans as it opens the door for more surprise champions and looming upsets at the business end of competitions.


Also Check Out: Charleston Open 2022 Results


live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Who do you see doing better on the European Clay?

Carlos-Alcaraz Garfia

Casper Ruud

16 votes so far

Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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