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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Nadal's Early Years

Nadal turned pro in 2001. It seems like many of the players who go on to become stars on the ATP tour climb through the rankings relatively quickly in the early years, while average players toil in the lower echelon of the rankings for quite a long time. It would be interesting to do a comparative study of how top-ranked players such as Federer, Djokovic, and Murray did in their early years and their path out of the lower rankings. Here is a brief summary of Nadal's first five years.

2001 - attained no ranking and played only two tournaments

2002 - climbed from 762 to 238. (How did Nadal get out of the 1000's rankings? I can see no record of how he did this.) Went 42-6 in challengers. His losses were to Portas (rank 96), Balcells (123), Fornell-Mestres (441), Peppas (421), el Aarej (516), and Rochus (70). It is a pretty good accomplishment in second year on tour to make it into the 200s.

2003 - started making some money on the tour, $221,563. Went 14-11 in ATP events. Improved rank from 203 to 47.

2004 - Earned $347,212. Went 30-17 in ATP events. Finished year ranked 51.

2005 - this was obviously the breakthrough year for Nadal. Went 79-10 on the ATP tour, earned $3,794,327, won 11 titles including the French Open, attaining number 2 world ranking.

So it looks like the best shoot through the rankings pretty quickly and become elite players within about five years. This is likely a typical trajectory and timetable for the elite players in the game.

Last edited by jjc225; 03-05-2013 at 04:01 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:01 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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Originally Posted by jjc225 View Post
Nadal turned pro in 2001. It seems like many of the players who go on to become stars on the ATP tour climb through the rankings relatively quickly in the early years, while average players toil in the lower echelon of the rankings for quite a long time. It would be interesting to do a comparative study of how top-ranked players such as Federer, Djokovic, and Murray did in their early years and their path out of the lower rankings. Here is a brief summary of Nadal's first five years.

2001 - attained no ranking and played only two tournaments

2002 - climbed from 762 to 238. (How did Nadal get out of the 1000's rankings? I can see no record of how he did this.) Went 42-6 in challengers. His losses were to Portas (rank 96), Balcells (123), Fornell-Mestres (441), Peppas (421), el Aarej (516), and Rochus (70). It is a pretty good accomplishment in second year on tour to make it into the 200s.

2003 - started making some money on the tour, $221,563. Went 14-11 in ATP events. Improved rank from 203 to 47.

2004 - Earned $347,212. Went 30-17 in ATP events. Finished year ranked 51.

2005 - this was obviously the breakthrough year for Nadal. Went 79-10 on the ATP tour, earned $3,794,327, won 11 titles including the French Open.

So it looks like the best shoot through the rankings pretty quickly and become elite players within about five years. This is likely a typical trajectory and timetable for the elite players in the game.
Based on what you've presented, it looks like Nadal does that. You haven't presented any other cases from which to make such a generalisation.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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Based on what you've presented, it looks like Nadal does that. You haven't presented any other cases from which to make such a generalisation.
I am in the process of analyzing other players and their trajectories into the top rankings. I imagine it is pretty close to what Nadal accomplished.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:46 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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2002 - climbed from 762 to 238. (How did Nadal get out of the 1000's rankings? I can see no record of how he did this.) Went 42-6 in challengers. His losses were to Portas (rank 96), Balcells (123), Fornell-Mestres (441), Peppas (421), el Aarej (516), and Rochus (70). It is a pretty good accomplishment in second year on tour to make it into the 200s.
There is no record on the ATP page, what is certain is that he was credited as playing something the week beginning 5/11-01 and got 6 points for it, elevating him to 826th spot.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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There is no record on the ATP page, what is certain is that he was credited as playing something the week beginning 5/11-01 and got 6 points for it, elevating him to 826th spot.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 05:29 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

so was he better in 2005-2008 or 2010-2012?
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 05:46 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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I am in the process of analyzing other players and their trajectories into the top rankings. I imagine it is pretty close to what Nadal accomplished.
I think age begun on the pro circuit has to be factored in. It seems to my memory that roddick came thru futures and challengers more quickly. But he was older when he started. Also isner had a different trajectory because of college play
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 05:49 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

I don't know what it means by "turned pro" on the ATP website. For example, it says Djokovic turned pro in 2003, where he was ranked around 800. I wouldn't exactly call that "pro". Yes, he may be training full time, but so were a lot of youngsters who hadn't even cracked the top 1000.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 06:03 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 07:05 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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I don't know what it means by "turned pro" on the ATP website. For example, it says Djokovic turned pro in 2003, where he was ranked around 800. I wouldn't exactly call that "pro". Yes, he may be training full time, but so were a lot of youngsters who hadn't even cracked the top 1000.
You turn pro when you get your first ATP points.

Djokovic's rise through the rankings was also meteoric.

2003 #767
2004 #186
2005 #78
2006 #16
2007 #3
2008 #3
2009 #3
2010 #3
2011-present #1

Here is Fed's.

1997 #718
1998 #302
1999 #64
2000 #29
2001 #13
2002 #6
2003 #2
2004-2007 #1
2008 #2
2009 #1
2010 #2
2011 #3
2012 #2

Here is Murray's. Funnily enough he had more ranking points at the beginning of his ATP career than Novak but he needed more time to breakthrough. After that they were pretty even.

2003 #546
2004 #514
2005 #65
2006 #17
2007 #11
2008-2011 #4
2012 #3



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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:10 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

It seems that most of the great players took a few years to settle in at the top. Pete won his first Slam in 1990 but he didn't win another one for 3 years, like Novak.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:16 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:16 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

I believe you turn pro when you accept your first paycheck.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:21 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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It seems that most of the great players took a few years to settle in at the top. Pete won his first Slam in 1990 but he didn't win another one for 3 years, like Novak.
Those two are so far the only ones to do that, of those winning a lot of slams.

For Connors, 2nd slam was same year as 1st
For Borg, 2nd was the year after the 1st. Same for Wilander, Lendl, Becker, McEnroe, Federer, Nadal
For Agassi, 2nd was 2 years after the 1st. Same for Edberg.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:27 PM
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Re: Nadal's Early Years

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I believe you turn pro when you accept your first paycheck.
True, and nole girl is wrong(nothing new)

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