First, let’s sweep apart the hasty conclusions and the worn-out certainties. Sure, tennis – and that is what makes it nice – will at all times supply an opportunity for all builds. The presence on the Masters of Diego Schwartzman (1.68 m), the smallest participant to ask himself to the masters desk because the American Harold Solomon who had certified a number of occasions between the 70s and the start of the 80s, has come to show it as soon as once more. Identical to the hatching at Roland Garros of Hugo Gaston (1.73 m), whose scrumptious contact of the ball and the standard of return reminded us that a couple of grams of finesse would at all times be welcome on this tough world.
However we should not cover the reality both: tennis, just like the human race, continues to develop. Particularly elite tennis. In 30 years, the typical peak of the boys’s prime 50 has grown to over 5 centimeters to face in the present day at simply over 1.88 meters. Which is barely above what many agreed till then to contemplate the perfect peak of the tennis participant (round 1.85 m), that of the best champions like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Pete Sampras .
However now, the arrival of a string of giants close to the summit shakes our certainties on this supposed “sweetspot” of the excessive ceilings. As a result of Daniil Medvedev, 1.98 m beneath the gauge, is much from being an remoted phenomenon. He landed within the wake of Alexander Zverev, who himself took the wheel of gamers like Marin Cilic or Juan Martin Del Potro (all at 1.98 m additionally), the latter having turn out to be on the US Open 2009 probably the most “nice” Grand Slam winner in historical past. In addition to that they’re all the identical measurement, these gamers have in frequent a solidity within the change and a psychomotor coordination far superior to the somewhat clumsy concept that we tended to have, wrongly, individuals. flirting with the double meter.
An concept additionally perpetuated by remark of the previous. Going again to Frenchman Yvon Petra (1.96m), winner of Wimbledon in 1946, to a participant like Richard Krajicek (additionally 1.96m), who succeeded him half a century later, all of the giants of the video games used to depend on the benefits conferred by their measurement, specifically energy and angular openness when hanging. So by shortening the business as a lot as attainable. Which in the end appeared that they weren’t capable of do something.
Marc Rosset: “The grown-ups have lastly discovered the parade”
One of many first to maneuver the strains was maybe the Swiss Marc Rosset (2.01 m), who first distinguished himself on clay, the place he gained the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and obtained his finest lead to Grand Slam, at Roland Garros, the place he reached the final 4 in 1996. If Rosset was definitely famend for his horrifying service, he didn’t disdain, him both, long-term exchanges.
“Nevertheless it’s additionally as a result of I had been skilled on clay. After that, issues modified and on the finish of my profession, I used to be extra environment friendly indoors”, remembers the Genevan, for whom tennis gamers are subjected to a pure Darwinism relying on the taking part in discipline provided to them. “The slowing of surfaces noticed then favored the emergence of pretty small gamers. The older ones suffered, however they ended up discovering the parade, additionally helped by the progress of bodily preparation. If tomorrow, the ATP decides to re – pace up the sport, you will notice that the profiles will modify once more. “
That is the apparent, even a pleonasm: the change in taking part in situations has led to a change within the methods of taking part in. Together with among the many large ones, even when the present champions the very best perched, Ivo Karlovic, Reilly Opelka (2.11 m) and to a lesser extent John Isner (2.08), stay on ultra-short strains. However with Medvedev, much more than with Alexander Zverev – definitely the participant who comes closest to it – the revolution has reached a milestone. By no means had we seen such a terrific participant utilizing the lengthy line at this level.
The figures largely affirm this. Within the statistical stories on the finish of the season, Daniil seems on the similar time within the main pack of the very best servers (sixth within the proportion of service video games gained, seventh within the variety of aces), not removed from all of the “large ones”, and within the main pack of the very best receivers (third for the proportion of factors scored on 2nd ball, eleventh for the proportion of profitable breaks), the place we discover all of the references from the baseline. It’s the just one to seem so effectively in these varied classes a priori “contradictory”. Which reveals the proper synthesis he was capable of make of his sport.
The place Medvedev took this idea of final compromise additional than a Del Potro or a Kevin Anderson (first double meter to achieve a significant remaining, on the 2017 US Open) is that he’s not solely able to holding lengthy exchanges: he likes them, the place the Argentinean and the South African, as profitable as they’re technically, stay gamers who search to strike as quickly as they will.
13.3% rally of greater than 10 racket strokes
We wish as proof this different statistic highlighted by the location Tennis Summary, whose database reveals that 13.3% of the rallies performed by the Russian are performed in 10 or extra racket strokes. It is large, barely larger than Nadal (13.2%), not removed from Djokovic (13.7%). Within the class of gamers over 1.95 m, present or previous, it’s in any case a world document (for instance: Karlovic 1.2%, Krajicek 2.3%, Philippoussis 2, 9%, Isner 3.5%, Raonic and Querrey 4.1%, Anderson 5.8%, Berrettini 6%, Cilic 7.5%, Rosset 7.6%, Khachanov 9.9%, Del Potro 10.4 % …). And amongst these long-term exchanges, the person of the Rolex Paris Masters / ATP Finals 2020 double wins greater than 52%. It won’t seem like that, but it surely’s constant.
It additionally requires appropriate qualities, mentally in fact, however above all bodily. “Daniil’s large power is his skill to maneuver exceptionally effectively for his measurement. The truth is, he is a tall one who runs like somewhat one”, sums up the previous French participant (now Monegasque) Jean-René Lisnard, founder in Cannes of the Elite Tennis Middle, the place Medvedev landed on the age of 17 (he’s now 24) and the place he met his coach Gilles Cervara, with whom he’ll now proceed to work independently.
A privatized construction wherein he may even preserve his bodily coach Eric Hernandez, who additionally performed, somewhat extra within the shadows, a vital position in his improvement. “When he arrived in Cannes, Daniil already had this pure skill to maneuver effectively however muscularly, it was actually not good, remembers the one who additionally took care of many footballers like Adil Rami or Rio Mavuba. With him, we insisted lots on the work of the decrease physique. It’s important in tennis to face up to the constraints of motion and discover fluidity within the help. It’s particularly so for Daniil along with his model of play. “
Zverev and discipline hockey
In essence, tennis requires qualities which are nearly contradictory. A lot of the exercise takes place at floor stage, with the legs always strained, in all instructions. However a variety of pictures, and never the least vital, are performed over the pinnacle. In brief, you must have a really low heart of gravity whereas with the ability to rise very excessive. Howdy the puzzle … Therefore the concept of an appropriate measurement within the type of compromise. And it’s this compromise that appears to be rising in the present day, within the wake of phenomena like Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev.
The latter, in an interview with the New York Occasions, defined how taking part in soccer and discipline hockey at a youthful age had helped him tremendously to remain exceptionally low on his legs for such a tall participant. It is a level in frequent that he shares with Daniil Medvedev, whose bodily coach has a philosophy of improvement targeted on multi-sports from an early age. “Nonetheless, he signifies, we frequently work with soccer balls and basketballs throughout our foot workout routines. “
Credit score: Getty Photographs
The work on the foot, we should not speak about it an excessive amount of to Marc Rosset, who has “meals” till indigestion when he was on the circuit. “In winter, it is easy, I did not contact the racket: I solely did bodily work, very targeted on explosiveness and the little footwork.” His then executioner? Pierre Paganini, maybe the world’s most famous bodily coach, the person who additionally formed the our bodies of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.
The ethical of the story is that the observe of a sport based mostly on motion is in the end no extra inevitable for the adults than offensive tennis is for the kids. It is all about understanding methods to spot your individual model, understanding each your strengths and weaknesses, after which doing the fitting job. And if Daniil Medvedev has a high quality unanimously acknowledged, even earlier than his racket, it’s his intelligence, which instinctively guided him on the fitting path. And which has thus enabled him to progress in leaps and bounds.