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post #1 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

What do you think the toughest draw someone has ever had in a slam is (they have to have won the thing btw)?


My pick (although I bet there is probably a better one I dont remember) is Jimmy Connors in the 1976 US Open.

Keep in mind that in 1976, the US Open was played on clay.


Connors played:
4th Round: Vitas Gerulaitis
Quarterfinals: Jan Kodes
Semifinals: Guillermo Vilas
Finals: Bjorn Borg

-Gerulaitis wasn't quite at his prime yet, but he would later make the finals of the French Open in 1980 and he won 9 titles on clay; he was a very good clay player.
-Jan Kodes was a 2-time French Open champion playing on clay. He was perhaps past his prime, but was still winning titles.
-Vilas was playing in his prime, the year before he set the old clay win streak record. He won 2 Grand Slams on clay (1 RG and 1 US), and was runner up at Roland Garros 3 times.
-Borg obviously won the French Open 6 times.

In order to win this tournament, Connors had to go through players who ended up with a combined 9 Grand Slam titles and 5 more finals appearances on clay. Impressive.
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post #2 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 05:25 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Fed had a draw from hell at wimby...can't remember it all but early rounds included Berdych and Gasquet.
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post #3 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 05:28 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

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Originally Posted by turkjey5 View Post
Fed had a draw from hell at wimby...can't remember it all but early rounds included Berdych and Gasquet.
And Henman and Nadal if I'm not mistaken (if it's the same year you're talking about).

Everything looks easier in retrospect, though
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post #4 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 05:38 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Roger's, French Open draw this year, was brutal.
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post #5 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 05:54 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Not sure what you mean -- do you mean who they were seeded to play ex ante, or who they actually ended up playing?

I pick Safin's draw at the Australian in 2005, based on who he actually played:

Djokovic
Ulhirach (the weakest link)
Ancic
Rochus
Hrbaty
Federer
Hewitt

WHen you further take into account that this is SAFIN that we're talking about, winning this tournament with all those obstacles is even more impressive!
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post #6 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

I mean who they actually played, btw, just to clarify.
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post #7 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 06:27 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Nadal AO '08
Nadal US '08

Two of the toughest ever probably.

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post #8 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 07:16 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Guga's run to the FRench title in 1997 is certainly up there:

R128: Slava Dosedel - 3 sets
R64: Jonas Bjorkman - 4 sets
R32: Thomas Muster (1995 champion) - 5 sets
R16: Andrei Medvedev (future finalist (1999)) - 5 sets
QF: Yevgeny Kafelnikov (defending champion) - 5 sets
SF: Filip Dewulf - 4 sets
F: Sergi Bruguera (1993 and 1994 champion) - 3 sets

Guga beat the three former champions to become the new champion from out of nowhere. Not bad!

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post #9 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 08:09 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Easy.

Wilander winning RG 82, the first year coming out of the juniors, the last 4 matches.

Lendl - #2nd seed
Gerulaitis - # 5th seed
Clerc- # 4th seed
Vilas - #3 seed

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #10 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 08:24 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Maybe not the toughest, because I didn't remember every draw of every Slam-Winner , but a very, very tough Michael Stich had at his title win in Wimbledon '91.

R128 Dan Goldie (USA)
R64 Diego Nargiso (ITA)
R32 Omar Camporese (ITA)
R16 Alexander Volkov (RUS)
Q Jim Courier (USA)
S Stefan Edberg (SWE)
W Boris Becker (GER)

Goldie was a good grass court player, who reached the quaters two years before. Nargiso beat Mark Woodforde in 1st round anyway and Camporese was Top 30 at this time. So not that tough first rounds, but good adversaries to come into the tournament.

Volkov then was a very tough adversary. He was No. 25 in the world and reached for 2nd time in a row. He even served for the Match in fith set and was two points away from winnig against Stich, but the german came back.

And okay, grass was the weakest ground of Courier, but after all he should went to the final of Wimbledon two years later and had a very good run in Wimby '91 with beating Boetsch and Novacek in very straight sets in the rounds before losing to Stich. And of course he was No. 4 and won Roland Garros before.

Of course the draw was only that tough because of the last two opponents.

Edberg was Number One in the world and entered the final of Wimbledon in the last three years before. He was the defending champion and best grass court player at this time, winning all of his matches in straight sets like he did before when he won in Queen's until he lost no service game but the match against Stich.

And then the final, it was a huge national event in germany. Everybody sat in front of the television. It was the climax aof the german tennis elation. Boris, the national hero and everybody's darling, reached the final as expected. But not like in all of the three years before Edberg was the opponent of the three times Wimbledon champion there. It was his german compatriot Stich, he had to play in his "Wohnzimmer". Becker was the top favourite in this match, everybody expected him to win Wmby the fourth time. He was the emotional of both, Stich the highly reserved northern german, who reached his first GS-final. And from the beginning of the match it proceeded absolutely different than expected. Becker got more and more nervous, made a lot of errors and starts to swear more and more. Stich on the other hand played absolutely fine. It seemed so easy how he dominated Becker. Nobody couldn't believe. Even the umpire when he called after the last point: "Game, set, match Becker"...no, it was Stich...
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post #11 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 09:17 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

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Originally Posted by guga2120 View Post
Roger's, French Open draw this year, was brutal.
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post #12 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 09:18 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Federer's run at Wimbledon 2009:

R1 - Lu: playing with the spirit of his father aiding him, playing the best tennis of his life, very stern test for Fed, Fed had to come up with magical JesusFed shots to finally manage the win.

R2 - GGL: the Great Grass Lord on a hot grass form this year, need I say anything more? Fed had to play his best to overcome that ferocious forehand.

R3 - Kohlschreiber: the Giant Killa, in sizzling form upsetting the great Djokovic who was in the form of his life in the clay season this year, nightmare draw for any top player fo sho, Fed won in tight 4 sets.

R4 - Söderling: holy shit, the man who just made RG final and defeated Nadal in RG, surely no one wanted him in his section THIS early!? was unplayable on his service games and Fed narrowly edged it out in two TBs after a tight first set.

QF - Karlović: beating two top 10 players and reaching a GS QF both for the first time and in an unplayable serving form, Fed needed to summon some JesusFed return powers to break him and win the TB.

SF - Haas: the man who was 5 points away from beating him in RG, and comes to this match undefeated in the grass season, winning a title in Halle defeating Djokovic in the F and defeating him AGAIN in the QF of Wimbly to reach the semis, Fed had to play extremely solid to manage the win in three hard contested sets.

F - Roddick: the guy just beaten Murray, Clydey, British press and the whole (almost?) British nation, serving too good and playing in the form of his life, Fed could only lift the title after the longest fifth set in history of GS finals barely winning it 16-14!!!!

the toughest draw evah

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post #13 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 09:34 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

...
<<<>>>
FED @ AO 04 was pretty good...

Hewitt - 4th round
Nalbandian - QF
Ferrero - SF
Safin - Final

...Keep in mind that both Hewitt & Nalbandian led Fed in H2H at the time, and JCF had been #1 a few months earlier.
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post #14 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 09:36 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Federer View Post
Not sure what you mean -- do you mean who they were seeded to play ex ante, or who they actually ended up playing?

I pick Safin's draw at the Australian in 2005, based on who he actually played:

Djokovic
Ulhirach (the weakest link)
Ancic
Rochus
Hrbaty
Federer
Hewitt

WHen you further take into account that this is SAFIN that we're talking about, winning this tournament with all those obstacles is even more impressive!
Poor Lleyton had a killer draw that year.

R128 Clement
R64 Blake
R32 Chela
R16 Nadal
QF Nalbandian
SF Roddick
F Safin
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post #15 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 10:21 AM
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Re: Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Federer View Post
Not sure what you mean -- do you mean who they were seeded to play ex ante, or who they actually ended up playing?

I pick Safin's draw at the Australian in 2005, based on who he actually played:

Djokovic
Yes, a 17 year old kid, he beat for the loss of less than 5 games.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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