I was bored and was wondering how often the Big 3 had to beat a top 5 opponent whenever they won a slam. Soooo.....
Slam titles: 4
Top 5 opponents faced: 7
Number of top 5 opponents per title: 1.75
Slam titles: 10
Top 5 opponents faced: 13
Number of top 5 opponents per title: 1.3
(NOTE: Nadal faced 6 top 5 opponents during his first 4 slam wins [vs. Djokovic's 7])
Slam titles: 16
Top 5 opponents he faced: 19
Number of top 5 opponents per title: 1.19
(NOTE: Federer faced 6 top 5 opponents during his first 4 slam wins [vs. Djokovic's 7 & Nadal's 6] and 12 top 5 opponents during his first 10 slam wins [vs. Nadal's 13]. Also, he didn't play a single top 5 seed in two of his slam titles: the 2007 Australian Open [10th slam] & Wimbledon 2009 [15th slam])
Interesting statistics and have several comments:
1) Each GS started with the top 5 seeds present so it is not Federer's fault that they lost. Federer does hold the longest winning streak against top 10 players of 26 from 2003 to 2005 so may have beaten a top 5 player:
2) Could indicate a marginal reduction in the depth of the field resulting in fewer upsets so top players progress more often to later stages to lose.
3) An advantage of being seeded 1/2 is you tend to face 7/8 in the quarter final while 3/4 face 5/6 in the quarter final. A higher ranking reduces you chance of facing number 5 in the quarter final.
4) In the end you can only beat the player in front of you.