Being old and carefree works on grass

Our own Asad Raza in Tennis magazine:

Screenhunter_01_jul_04_0027It’s probably safe to say that no one in the world predicted the Arnaud Clement and Rainer Schuettler quarterfinal at Wimbledon.  The two veterans faced off yesterday in a match suspended, in a nice metaphor, by the lateness of the hour. 30-year-old Clement and 32-year-old Schuettler share the same career-best result: losing finalist, in both cases at the hands of Andre Agassi, at the Australian Open.  Schuettler achieved this in 2003, while Clement’s run occurred all the way back in 2001–he beat an 18 year-old Roger Federer on his way to the final.

The venerable duo who competed in what ESPN dubbed the “lost quarterfinal” were not the only older players to have success at this year’s tournament.  While Schuettler will have one semifinal spot, Marat Safin, at the advanced tennis age of 28, has already booked the other.  Meanwhile, Tamarine Tanasugarn, 31, made waves by advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to Venus Williams, 28.  29 year-old Natalie Dechy, ranked 97, held match points against world number one Ana Ivanovic.

Even more impressive, these elder statesmen and women are winning at the expense of young players and those in their mid-career primes: Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Jelena Jankovic, and David Nalbandian all lost early in the tournament, in many cases to their elders.

Why the sudden onslaught of older players doing so well at Wimbledon?

More here.