Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere fairly shingly
Thomas Enqvist - both the strongest and weakest winning run in a Masters Series?
In light of the thread about toughest Slam draws, I thought I'd list some examples of hard Masters Series draws.
But Enqvist seems to have gone through both extremes. Consider the opponents he beat to win his second Masters title in Stuttgart 1999:
ATP Masters Series Stuttgart, Germany; 25.10.1999; SU; Indoor: Hard; Draw: 48
R64 Bye N/A
R32 Michael Chang (USA) 73
W 6-4, 6-2
R16 Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 5
W 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
Q Marcelo Rios (CHI) 9
W 6-4, 6-2
S Andre Agassi (USA) 1
W 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
F Richard Krajicek (NED) 8
W 6-1, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
Even excluding the dangers posed by the always-tenacious Bye, that's still four Top 10 opponents, four Grand Slam champions and three former/future world no. 1s. But then less than a year later, his last Masters title in Cincinnati:
ATP Masters Series Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.; 07.08.2000; SU; Outdoor: Hard; Draw: 64
R64 Andrei Pavel (ROU) 35
W 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7)
R32 Harel Levy (ISR) 72
W 6-4, 6-1
R16 Max Mirnyi (BLR) 60
W 6-4, 6-3
Q Fernando Vicente (ESP) 51
W 7-5, 6-1
S Arnaud Clement (FRA) 50
W 6-2, 6-2
F Tim Henman (GBR) 16
W 7-6(5), 6-4
This raises the question of whether one should take into account what players did before or after the event in question, when assessing how strong an opponent they were. You have Levy, who had just made the final in Toronto the week before, plus Pavel and Mirnyi who would go on to have one big Masters Series tournament each the following year, not to mention what Clement achieved in 2001. However, Enqvist still only faced two players ranked below 50, one in the Top 20 and none in the Top 10.
The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.