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.
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.