The ATP year-end top 100 rankings have been finalised, giving us an opportunity to see how the ageing trends of the men’s top 100 have evolved in 2015 compared to previous years.
The good news: the seemingly inexorable rise in the average age of top 100 players has stopped, falling slightly this year to 28.17 years of age. This is a fall of 0.11 years versus 2014, but is set against a background of the significant rise in average age of 2.5 years that took place in the 10 years before.
It remains as difficult as ever to break through into the year-end top 100 – only 13 players managed it this year*, the second lowest number since rankings began in 1973.
That said, there is good news too: the average age of those 13 was 23 years, a full 2 years younger than those breaking through last year. And there are 4 teenagers in the top 100, the most since 2007.
Whether this marks a temporary lull in the ageing trend or something more permanent will only be determined in future years. It is unlikely the average age of the top 100 will return to 24 years where it was in the early 1980s: the time taken to build fitness and conditioning make that a thing of the past.
But if the overall picture of ageing has barely moved, there are at least indications of a new younger generation.
Average age of year-end ATP top 50 and top 100 1973-2015
Number of new players in the year-end ATP top 100 and their average age 1974-2015
Teenagers in the year-end ATP top 100 1973-2015
* The 13 players who broke through to the year end top 100 this year were (with current age in brackets): Bhambri (23), Cecchinato (23), Cervantes (26), Chung (19), Coric (19), Taro Daniel (22), Dzumhur (23), Kokkinakis (19), Kudla (23), Millman (26), Munoz-De La Nava (33), Pouille (21) and Zverev (18). Borna Coric is the highest ranked of these at 44 (and the only one in the top 50).