Poll: Are Fedal the only players who can have many 5 setters and still win a major?
Am I the only one that gets the feeling that the vast bulk of the players on the ATP tour, even most inside the top 20 these days, the only show they ever have of even challenging for the latter stages of the tournament is if they progress to the QF/SF having played mostly straight sets and maybe the one or two max 4 setters, and a 5 setter at the most.
Invariably, when watching a good floater prevail in an epic 5 setter in an early round, I get hesitant to celebrate too much because you just know that even with a days rest, they are going to be shot for their next match if it goes any further than 3 sets.
I think this is one of the huge advantages Federer and Nadal have had in their respective matches over the years.
Classic example is Petchner. I think at Wimbledon, he would have beaten Nadal had they played in the first round. These players play the doubles and singles, and whilst physically capable of beating one of the top seeds, by the time they play them they lose a tight match they may never have lost.
It just frustrates me a little bit because I think the way tennis is played now, players in the past who may have won majors don't because the sports become about who has the biggest ticker.
I think maybe Hewitt in his day as well could do it, but apart from Fedal I cant think of anyone else who have had more than two or three 5 setters in a grand slam and made the final and seriously challenged for it.
Its just frustrating watching players like Verdasco get stretched to 5 sets early. Or Tsongas/Soderlings and the like. Guys who can easily put Nadal away on hardcourt, but you know that by the time they reach in in the QF or Semi that Nadal will have the advantage the longer he makes the match go. The way the seedings work it gives huge advantages to the fitter players. Im not saying the players arent very fit. You just know that if they don't close a match vs Fed or Nad out in straights, or lose the first set, the job becomes almost impossible for them given all the milage they have done prior. I think this is especially true in Australia.
Can anyone think of other close significant matches where Fedal were in huge trouble against a floater in a grand slam, but they were able to escape more due to the opponents fatigue rather than their own great skill (although there may have been some of that)?
I wouldn't count Nalbandian in this though because I think he would run out of petrol in one match sometimes, even if he hadn't had many 4 setters up till that point.
"I did not play my best tennis, no? And..that is what enable him to win..to win this match no? "
- Rafael Nadal, ever so "humble", - press conference after shock 4 set loss to Robeen Soderling @ 2009 French Open 4th round.
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