Can shorter players win slams?

Today, instead of exploring the question myself I thought I would ask you guys first. See what insights you can bring. The point is to show how tennis is for everyone not just certain types of players.

Tennis is not just for tall players like John Isner 2.08m (6 ft 10 in), Ivo Karlovic also 2.08m and Sam Querrey  1.98m (6 ft 6 in). These guys have advantages but show no signs of reaching the very top. Smaller guys like Andy Murray 1.90m (6 ft 3 in), Novak Djokovic 1.88m (6 ft 2 in) , Roger Federer 1.85m (6 ft 1 in) and Rafael Nadal also 1.85m each have ways to neutralise the advantage of the taller foe and find a way to win. However these guys are all around 1.85m or 6 ft 1 in. Is that the “optimum height” for a male tennis player?  or could shorter guys like David Ferrer win given that he is 1.75m or 5 ft 9 in?

I believe he could, he made the French Open final didn’t he but, but not until he accepts the strengths and weaknesses of what he has and learns to use them as a weapon. That is where all champions shine. They use their gifts to win so this is about learning to see a lack of height as an advantage and having lots of ways to protect your weaknesses so that you enter each match knowing you can and should win it.

First I want to remind you that shorter players have triumphed at slams before. Michael Chang (at 1.75m the same height as David Ferrer) won the French Open defeating the 1.88m (6 ft 2 in) Stefan Edberg.
Even better than that Andre Agassi (1.80m or 5 ft 11 in) won an incredible 8 slams defeating many taller opponents in the final like Pete Sampras 1.85m (6 ft 1in), Yevgeny Kafelikov 1.90m (6 ft 3 in), Andrei Medvedev 1.93m (6 ft 4 in), Goran Ivanisevic 1.93 (6 ft 4 in), Michael Stich 1.93 (6 ft 4 in) and the tower that is Todd Martin 1.98m (6 ft 6 in). 
Recently the only mens slam winners have been taller, around the 1.88m mark but this isn’t just about men I see an even bigger problem in the womens game. Only the tall women win there. Henin used to do just fine against the taller players but recently none of the shorter competitors seem to have the answer?

So, “How can shorter players like Ferrer and errani use their height as an advantage and win at the top level?”

This can be like having a lower centre of gravity for better balance or finding it easier to handle low balls. 

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think. Particularly things you have used to win matches. I play taller guys and I have a lot of ways that work for me. I can also see how shorter guys could beat me. I just don’t tell them 🙂

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.