Ace news for tennis players: Longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests play is key to living longer

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Ace news for tennis players: Longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests play is key to living longer, study finds

  • Sports Legend Longevity Study Claims Male Athletes Live 13% Longer
  • The research, due to be launched on June 10, indicates a 96% survival rate of the 45 elite players who have played in the Wimbledon final since 1960
  • Study based on the analysis of the birth and death registers of 752 top athletes
  • Calculated from population lifespan, elite athletes born in the same year










The longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests the game is key to living longer, a new study has found.

The Longevity of Sporting Legends report, due to launch on June 10, reveals that elite male tennis players live 13% longer than the average person their age and gender.

The research highlights the astonishing 96% survival rate of the 45 sports stars who have played in the Wimbledon final since 1960 – just two have died.

If tennis players lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of that number would have already died.

Longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests play is key to living longer, new study finds

Among a group of 90-year-old former tennis players is Vic Seixas, 97, the oldest surviving Grand Slam champion, and Budge Patty, his junior by six months.

According to the study, elite tennis players are expected to live ten years longer than their lay counterparts.

It’s good news for Roger Federer, 39, who will be competing for a record ninth Grand Slam trophy this summer.

If tennis stars lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of that number, like 97-year-old Vic Seixas, would have already died.

It's good news for Roger Federer, 39, who will be competing for a record ninth Grand Slam trophy this summer.

If tennis stars lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of Wimbledon’s 45 surviving finalists, like 97-year-old Vic Seixas (left), would have already died. It’s good news for Roger Federer, 39 (right), who will be competing for a record ninth Grand Slam trophy this summer.

How long should elite athletes still live?

Tennis – 10 years old

Badminton – Six years

Football – Almost five years

Cycling – Almost four years

Swimmers, Joggers and Strength Trainers – Nearly Four Years

‘Health Club Activities’ – Under Two

Stars of several other sports – rugby, cricket, golf, horse racing, football – can also expect an extended lifespan compared to their contemporaries.

One exception, however, was boxing – a sport notorious for leading to head injuries.

The head of global research at the International Longevity Center UK, Les Mayhew, said the research was based on analysis of the birth and death records of 752 top athletes, The Sunday Times reported.

Records for Wimbledon singles finalists; football, rugby and cricket captains; Open Golf Championship Winners; heavyweight boxing champions; and Epsom Derby winning jockeys, were all reviewed in the report.

Neither female athletes nor sports such as billiards and darts were studied for the report due to partial records.

Mayhew made adjustments to account for the difference in medicine and science between the earliest records, from the Victorian era, and today.

He calculated the expected lifespan based on the life expectancy of the general population and elite athletes born in the same year.

Former elite athletes Brendan Foster, Alan Smith and Baroness Grey-Thompson will speak at the report launch on June 10.

It follows a Danish study that found similar differences between people who exercised and did not exercise regularly.

It follows a Danish study that found similar differences between people who did and didn't exercise regularly

It follows a Danish study that found similar differences between people who did and didn’t exercise regularly

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