Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Toughest Draw Ever in a Slam?

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 05:22 AM
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.

turkjey5
07-18-2009, 05:25 AM
Fed had a draw from hell at wimby...can't remember it all but early rounds included Berdych and Gasquet.

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 05:28 AM
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 :cool:

guga2120
07-18-2009, 05:38 AM
Roger's, French Open draw this year, was brutal.

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 05:54 AM
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! :worship:

lessthanjake
07-18-2009, 06:11 AM
I mean who they actually played, btw, just to clarify.

Fiberlight1
07-18-2009, 06:27 AM
Nadal AO '08
Nadal US '08

Two of the toughest ever probably.

BlueSwan
07-18-2009, 07:16 AM
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!

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 08:09 AM
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

AndiMD
07-18-2009, 08:24 AM
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...

dijus
07-18-2009, 09:17 AM
Roger's, French Open draw this year, was brutal.

:lol:

habibko
07-18-2009, 09:18 AM
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 :worship:

CmonAussie
07-18-2009, 09:34 AM
...
<<<>>>
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.

kloppy
07-18-2009, 09:36 AM
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! :worship:

Poor Lleyton had a killer draw that year.

R128 Clement
R64 Blake
R32 Chela
R16 Nadal
QF Nalbandian
SF Roddick
F Safin

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 10:21 AM
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.

ballbasher101
07-18-2009, 10:25 AM
Nadal AO '08
Nadal US '08

Two of the toughest ever probably.


I know you are joking, please tell me you are not serious. The only decent player Nadal faced at the OZ open was Tsonga and at the US open was Murray.

HKz
07-18-2009, 12:29 PM
Nadal AO '08
Nadal US '08

Two of the toughest ever probably.

I hope you are joking...

Nadal's AO 08 -

Troicki
Serra
Simon (before he was even good, wait who am I kidding, he was a fluke)
Mathieu
Nieminen
Tsonga

This isn't even a whole tournament to the final. The point of a tough draw is to play players that are considered good in the first place. The fact that Tsonga played amazing in the semis doesn't make it a tough draw. In fact, playing Tsonga was a plus for Nadal because he hadn't ever lost to him before that match... And not to mention, the highest damn seed he played WAS 23! Matheiu, Nieminen and Simon were all 20ish seeds, Troicki was a qualifier, and Serra and Tsonga were unseeded.. That is a joke run.

His US Open run, was not anything better. Not to mention, he again loses in the semis.

Phau
DeHeart (WHO DA HELL?)
Troicki (zzz again)
Querrey
Fish
Murray

Again pretty similar matchup to the Aussie Open draw.. Have one or two SOLID, not amazing at all, players before the semifinals. Not to mention, he didn't draw even ONE seeded player till Murray. They were all unseeded or qualifiers before Murray... That is embaressing.. And just like in Australia, he has never lost to Murray yet loses anyways.

Both were JOKE draws.

I know you are joking, please tell me you are not serious. The only decent player Nadal faced at the OZ open was Tsonga and at the US open was Murray.

I thought he was joking so I wasn't going to originally say something. But his sig apparently states that he is a NadullTsongaMurraytard combination, so honestly I wouldn't understand what he would be trying to gain by making fun of his most beloved player, unless he is trying to boast Tsonga and Murray's performances for beating his most FOAT player.

jonas
07-18-2009, 12:53 PM
Edberg's win in US Open 1992 was a tough one

R16 Richard Krajicek (NED) 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Q Ivan Lendl (USA) 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6(3)
S Michael Chang (USA) 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4
W Pete Sampras (USA) W 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-2

:worship:

oranges
07-18-2009, 12:56 PM
Edberg USO 1992 is definitely worth a mention. It' also the one when he won three 5-setters in a row before the final

R1 Mattar
R2 Hlasek
R3 Svensson
R4 Krajicek
QF Lendl
SF Chang
F Sampras

FairWeatherFan
07-18-2009, 01:32 PM
Both RG 82 and 97 are IMO the best pick and have been mentioned, though I don't have great memory of pre-1980. I'd also throw out Agassi in Wimby 1992 - beat Becker in QF, then McEnroe (though past his prime in semis) and then Ivanisevic in finals.

I know the thread-started limited to GS champions, but out of interest Ivanisevic's draw in that tournament was even more brutal.

2r - his best friend Woodforde, an excellent grasscourter
3r - Rosset
4r - Lendl
QF - Edberg
SF - Sampras
F - Agassi, whom he only lost to narrowly in 5...

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 01:48 PM
Sampras's first USO is another one. In totality, seeing that he was 19 (even though he was pretty well ranked already)

Goldie
Lundgren
Hlasek
Muster
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi

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

Safin, first round, first tournament of the year, after undoubtedly partying away New Year's, yeah, even a ball machine would be tough competition!

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 01:55 PM
Poor Lleyton had a killer draw that year.

R128 Clement
R64 Blake
R32 Chela
R16 Nadal
QF Nalbandian
SF Roddick
F Safin

Yeah it was just destiny that he was not going to win this. Many of those matches took a lot out of him (although if I am not mistaken Chela's spit was in a previous year?)

Burrow
07-18-2009, 01:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0fM3mka_9U

Safin vs Djokvic. Fantastic.

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 02:25 PM
Safin, first round, first tournament of the year, after undoubtedly partying away New Year's, yeah, even a ball machine would be tough competition!

Change Djokovic for Santoro, then maybe, otherwise it's rubbish to suggest that Djokovic was a tough draw as a 17yo qualifier, especially since he handled him very easily.

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 02:29 PM
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!

This and Wilander's in 82 are the hardest ones, but that is expected giving their rankings at the time.

Gaudio RG draw wasn't the toughest, but not the easiest.

Cańas
Jiri Novak
Enqvist
Andreev
Hewitt
Nalbandian
Coria

oranges
07-18-2009, 02:49 PM
Change Djokovic for Santoro, then maybe, otherwise it's rubbish to suggest that Djokovic was a tough draw as a 17yo qualifier, especially since he handled him very easily.

Obviously, it wasn't very tough, but given the likely opponents in the first round, it's not a good one either. I'd imagine he preferred it to Santoro, though :lol:

BodyServe
07-18-2009, 02:56 PM
Any draw given to Bye feels like the toughest ever.

MacTheKnife
07-18-2009, 03:23 PM
He ended up losing the final to Hewitt, but I've always thought Sampras' 01 USO draw was pretty tough.

Hewitt
Safin
Agassi
Rafter
Youzhny
Sa
Bouter

simplet
07-18-2009, 04:27 PM
There's something to be said about Soderling's draw this year in RG. Of course he didn't win, but had he beaten Federer in the final it would have been up there with the worst draws in this thread.

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 04:47 PM
He ended up losing the final to Hewitt, but I've always thought Sampras' 01 USO draw was pretty tough.

Hewitt
Safin
Agassi
Rafter
Youzhny
Sa
Bouter

I thought of that too, but because of the criteria of the OP excluded it and instead included at his first USO.

Caralimon
07-18-2009, 04:54 PM
Ivanisevic's run in Wimbledon 2001

Johnson (forget this)
Moya
Roddick
Rusedski
Safin
Henman
Rafter

oranges
07-18-2009, 04:56 PM
Ivanisevic's run in Wimbledon 2001

Johnson (forget this)
Moya
Roddick
Rusedski
Safin
Henman
Rafter

That one was a miracle any way you look at it, it was meant to be :inlove:

MacTheKnife
07-18-2009, 05:00 PM
I thought of that too, but because of the criteria of the OP excluded it and instead included at his first USO.

Thanks, guess I should have read the "entire" OP..

Fiberlight1
07-18-2009, 07:59 PM
I thought he was joking so I wasn't going to originally say something. But his sig apparently states that he is a NadullTsongaMurraytard combination, so honestly I wouldn't understand what he would be trying to gain by making fun of his most beloved player, unless he is trying to boast Tsonga and Murray's performances for beating his most FOAT player.


Oh, it was a joke.. I'm secure enough in my favorite's abilities to admit that both of those draws were among the easiest ever produced..

What's more astonishing is that you would actually assume that I was serious. :confused:

DrJules
07-18-2009, 09:21 PM
Edberg's win in US Open 1992 was a tough one

R16 Richard Krajicek (NED) 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Q Ivan Lendl (USA) 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6(3)
S Michael Chang (USA) 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4
W Pete Sampras (USA) W 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-2

:worship:

Betweem them winners of 24 grand slams. At that time only Krajicek had not already won a grand slam.

Har-Tru
07-18-2009, 09:38 PM
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.

Har-Tru and red clay play very differently. Connors was excellent on Har-Tru but mediocre on red clay.

Har-Tru
07-18-2009, 10:33 PM
Ivanisevic's run in Wimbledon 2001

Johnson (forget this)
Moya
Roddick
Rusedski
Safin
Henman
Rafter

you win.

Stich Wimby 1991 was also a tough one. He picked an interesting time to win his only GS.

JediFed
07-18-2009, 10:45 PM
If you look top to bottom, Federer's hardest draw was this last one at Wimbledon. His lowest-ranked opponent was Lu at 65.

I'm checking, and I still haven't found a tougher draw.

Roddick drew Malisse as 67 in USO 2003.

Had he won Wimbly, he would have had the new record at 41, with Chardy as his lowest ranked player.

NYCtennisfan
07-18-2009, 10:47 PM
Har-Tru and red clay play very differently. Connors was excellent on Har-Tru but mediocre on red clay.

Connors was never the best on red clay, but he wasn't 'mediocre' either. He made 4 semis and 4 quarters at RG, and this is with him being absent from RG during his prime period of 1974-1978. If he had played in those years, there is a good chance he gets to a final or two. Even at the ages of 38 and 39, he held two sets to one leads on Chang and Stich on the red clay. He was far from 'mediocre' on red clay.

R.Federer
07-18-2009, 10:57 PM
If you look top to bottom, Federer's hardest draw was this last one at Wimbledon. His lowest-ranked opponent was Lu at 65.

I'm checking, and I still haven't found a tougher draw.

I'm not convinced that rankings/seedings are necessarily the best indication of toughest draws. I'm sure they matter of course. But if Federer was to meet someone who he has a very strong record against and are in the Top 10, say Gonzo, Robredo, Roddick, then seedings and rankings are not really irrelevant.

Sampras found Wayne a tough matchup, but Wayne was mostly not high ranked. A Wimbledon draw with Wayne may have been harder for Pete than say one with Moya, when Moya was relatively high ranked, for most of Pete's career.

thrust
07-18-2009, 11:01 PM
He ended up losing the final to Hewitt, but I've always thought Sampras' 01 USO draw was pretty tough.

Hewitt
Safin
Agassi
Rafter
Youzhny
Sa
Bouter

It sure was! He was probably exhausted by the final as he was no kid that year.

NYCtennisfan
07-18-2009, 11:01 PM
If you look top to bottom, Federer's hardest draw was this last one at Wimbledon. His lowest-ranked opponent was Lu at 65.

I'm checking, and I still haven't found a tougher draw.

Yes, but a draw is more than just the rankings involved. You have to take in consideration form, past history at the event, recent activity on that surface, play during the tournament, and so on.

I thought Federer's toughest run was at the 2004 AO. The first three rounds were easy, but in the 4th round he played Hewitt and this was before Federer's dominant run against him had started AND right after Federer's 2 sets up collapse in Davis Cup. Hewitt had also won Sydney the week before.

Then you had Nalbandian who was playing some of his best tennis at that AO. he had won his first four matches in straight sets, something I don't think he's done ever since in any slam, with the best being 2 straight straight set victories at the beginning of Wimby and the USO.

Then you had the match against JCF which was for the #1 spot, and then the final against Safin, although Safin had less than his best left after his exhausting run to the final.

thrust
07-18-2009, 11:05 PM
Connors was never the best on red clay, but he wasn't 'mediocre' either. He made 4 semis and 3 quarters at RG, and this is with him being absent from RG during his prime period of 1974-1978. If he had played in those years, there is a good chance he gets to a final or two. Even at the ages of 38 and 39, he held two sets to one leads on Chang and Stich on the red clay. He was far from 'mediocre' on red clay.

Connors, though I never was a fan of his, was a great player and much underrated by today's younger fans. Only Rosewall had better results in his mid to late 30"s.

NYCtennisfan
07-18-2009, 11:11 PM
Connors, though I never was a fan of his, was a great player and much underrated by today's younger fans. Only Rosewall had better results in his mid to late 30"s.

He pulled off some amazing wins well past his prime. I was never a fan, but I remember sitting in the stands at the Open when he ripped the #3 player in the world, Stefan Edberg, to shreds. Connors was 37 years old at the time.

JediFed
07-18-2009, 11:15 PM
Yes, but a draw is more than just the rankings involved. You have to take in consideration form, past history at the event, recent activity on that surface, play during the tournament, and so on.


That's all true. There is never a perfect measure given matchup issues, and this particular measure doesn't take into consideration the remaining 6 people in the draw.

Roddick on the other hand had a chance to set the record. Chardy at 41 was better then the theoretical maximum he had in 2003, if Kuerton and Spadea had not been upset.

He would have had

Henman
Ljubicic (ranked 42)
Spadea
Kuerton
Schalken
Nalbandian
Ferrero.

Action Jackson
07-18-2009, 11:17 PM
Anyone who thinks Fed has a harder draw in any GS title compared to Guga in 97, Goran 2001 or Wilander at RG at 82, believes the Pope is Saudi.

brent-o
07-18-2009, 11:24 PM
Poor Lleyton had a killer draw that year.

R128 Clement
R64 Blake
R32 Chela
R16 Nadal
QF Nalbandian
SF Roddick
F Safin

DAMN! That's my vote for the worst ever!

Har-Tru
07-18-2009, 11:25 PM
Connors was never the best on red clay, but he wasn't 'mediocre' either. He made 4 semis and 4 quarters at RG, and this is with him being absent from RG during his prime period of 1974-1978. If he had played in those years, there is a good chance he gets to a final or two. Even at the ages of 38 and 39, he held two sets to one leads on Chang and Stich on the red clay. He was far from 'mediocre' on red clay.

By his standards, he was mediocre.

chenx15
07-19-2009, 01:58 AM
Soderling 2009 FO.

Corey Feldman
07-19-2009, 02:42 AM
Fed 04 AO

Hewitt, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Safin last 4 rounds

04 Wimbledon was a tough one

last 5 rounds: T.Johansson, Karlovic, Hewitt, Grosjean, Roddick

06 Wimbledon: Gasquet, Henman (1st two rounds) Mahut, Berdych, Ancic, Bjorkman, Nadal

Albert Costa 02 RG: Gasquet, Gaudenzi (who beat Sampras), Davydenko, Guga, Canas, Corretja, Ferrero

lessthanjake
07-19-2009, 03:34 AM
My second choice for hardest draw was Wilander's 1982 French Open draw.

I hadn't looked at Guga in 1997 or Goran in 2001. Those are good ones too.

I think Guga's 1997 one is about equal to Connors' 1976 US. I would consider it even tougher, except that Guga didn't have to do anything of the same magnitude as beating Borg on clay. Those other players are great, but Borg is the best clay court player ever (or at worst second to Nadal).

ChinoRios4Ever
07-19-2009, 03:36 AM
Guga RG97 and Goran W01 were amazing :worship:

MacTheKnife
07-19-2009, 03:44 AM
Good thread.. nice work.

NYCtennisfan
07-19-2009, 07:33 AM
By his standards, he was mediocre.

Even by his standards he was good on red clay. He hardly played on the stuff and he was never going to beat Borg on it. He got the best possible results he could based on what his game was like. You can't compare that with what he did on grass, carpet, and hard.

GlennMirnyi
07-19-2009, 07:49 AM
Roger's, French Open draw this year, was brutal.

:lol:

It's quite unbelievable you made an intelligent remark in the midst of all the bullshit you usually write - the Agassi fanboying, the Nadull asslicking, etc.

Har-Tru
07-19-2009, 02:18 PM
Even by his standards he was good on red clay. He hardly played on the stuff and he was never going to beat Borg on it. He got the best possible results he could based on what his game was like. You can't compare that with what he did on grass, carpet, and hard.

Why not? That's exactly what I'm doing. He never won a title on red clay, out of the gazillion he won. And besides, I said it in the first place to highlight the difference between the so-called green clay and red clay.

Costa 2002 is a good one.

Radalek
07-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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! :worship:

Djokovic was 17 then and it was his first ever slam appearance.

dam0dred
07-19-2009, 02:32 PM
Kuerten '97 was the first thing that comes to my mind. Very impressive.

eskinol
07-19-2009, 10:20 PM
I thought Agassi at the 94 US Open was pretty hard. He was unseeded, having gone on one of his periodic excursions outside the top 100...

"Eriksson" 6-3 6-2 6-0
Guy Forget 6-3 7-5 6-7 6-2
Wayne Ferreira 7-5 6-1 7-5
Michael Chang 6-1 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-1
Thomas Muster 7-6 6-3 6-0
Todd Martin 6-3 4-6 6-2 6-3
Michael Stich 6-1 7-6 7-5

n8
12-03-2009, 06:59 AM
I was just gathering some stats and (I know it has already been mentioned) but Costa really did have a tough draw in Roland Garros 2002. For one of the biggest Grand Slam surprises ever, he certainly had to work for it.

R128 Richard Gasquet (FRA) W 3-6, 6-0, 6-4, 6-3
R64 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) W 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-2
R32 Andrea Gaudenzi (ITA) W 7-6(2), 6-1, 7-5
R16 Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) W 6-4, 7-5, 6-4
Q Guillermo Canas (ARG) W 7-5, 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-0
S Alex Corretja (ESP) W 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
W Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) W 6-1, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3

leng jai
12-03-2009, 07:11 AM
Australian Open 2002 would make any Haastard angry:

R128 Haas def. Storialov 6-1 6-3 6-1
R64 Haas def. Bachelot 6-1 6-2 6-3
R32 Haas def. Martin 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-1
R16 Haas def. Federer 7-6 4-6 3-6 6-4 8-6
Q Haas def. Rios 7-6 6-4 6-7 7-6
S Safin def. Haas 7-6 6-7 6-3 0-6 2-6

n8
12-03-2009, 07:33 AM
Australian Open 2002 would make any Haastard angry:

R128 Haas def. Storialov 6-1 6-3 6-1
R64 Haas def. Bachelot 6-1 6-2 6-3
R32 Haas def. Martin 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-1
R16 Haas def. Federer 7-6 4-6 3-6 6-4 8-6
Q Haas def. Rios 7-6 6-4 6-7 7-6
S Safin def. Haas 7-6 6-7 6-3 0-6 2-6

Speaking of Haas, Hewitt's first Grand Slam title was no walk in the park draw wise:
R128 Magnus Gustafsson (SWE) W 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
R64 James Blake (USA) W 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
R32 Albert Portas (ESP) W 6-1, 6-3, 6-4
R16 Tommy Haas (GER) W 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2
Q Andy Roddick (USA) W 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
S Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) W 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
W Pete Sampras (USA) W 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1

Action Jackson
12-03-2009, 08:36 AM
I was just gathering some stats and (I know it has already been mentioned) but Costa really did have a tough draw in Roland Garros 2002. For one of the biggest Grand Slam surprises ever, he certainly had to work for it.

R128 Richard Gasquet (FRA) W 3-6, 6-0, 6-4, 6-3
R64 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) W 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-2
R32 Andrea Gaudenzi (ITA) W 7-6(2), 6-1, 7-5
R16 Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) W 6-4, 7-5, 6-4
Q Guillermo Canas (ARG) W 7-5, 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-0
S Alex Corretja (ESP) W 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
W Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) W 6-1, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3

It wasn't that tough when looked in context. Gasquet was still a kid. Davydenko was not as aggressive as he is now. Kuerten was struggling and Corretja out of form at the time.

This comes from a Costa fan.

His 2003 run was a lot tougher than this, given the calibre of the opponents and his own very poor form coming into the event.

Him winning RG was not a surprise at all, just the timing of it.

LeChuck
12-03-2009, 09:06 AM
Maybe not quite the toughest, but Jim Courier's title defence at RG 92 was impressive:

R128 def Nicolas Kroon (SWE) 7-6(2) 6-4 6-2
R64 def Thomas Muster (AUT) 6-1 6-4 6-4
R32 def Alberto Mancini (ARG) 6-4 6-2 6-0
R16 def Andrei Medvedev (UKR) 6-1 6-4 6-2
QF def Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) 6-2 6-1 2-6 7-5
SF def Andre Agassi (USA) 6-3 6-2 6-2
W def Petr Korda (CZE) 7-5 6-2 6-1

Muster was the Monte-Carlo champion that year, so for Courier to face him in R2 was a brutal draw. Mancini didn't win any titles in 92 and had a poor build-up to RG, but he had reached the Miami final, and was ranked at no. 18 at the time. Medvedev was only 17 years old at the time but he won 3 clay court titles that year.
A lot of people subscribe to the myth that Goran was one-trick pony big server. However in the early 90s especially, he was a tough opponent on clay, and could return (a hugely underratded part of his game) and rally from the baseline very well. He won 4 consecutive 5 setters on his way to picking up a well earned bronze model at the olympics on clay later that year.
Agassi was playing better tennis on clay in the early 90s than he did in 99 when he won the RG title. Sure Korda wasn't the most daunting opponent for Courier face in the final, but he did finish the year ranked at world no. 7 and was a semi-finalist at Rome.

leng jai
12-03-2009, 09:21 AM
Impressive scorelines from Courier there.

Action Jackson
12-03-2009, 09:23 AM
Impressive scorelines from Courier there.

Courier was in the zone that fortnight, then later when we went to Barcelona, he got chopped up like stir fry against Rosset.

Ad Wim
12-03-2009, 09:33 AM
Roger's 2006 Wimbledon title: Gasquet-Henman-Mahut-Berdych-Ancic-Bjorkman-Nadal.

Especially in the first few rounds, he got about all the good unseeded grass courters. Gasquet had just won Nottingham and was probably the best unseeded player. Henman and Mahut are obvious, Berdych is a bit easier but had just beaten Haas. Then a very strong Ancic who was top 10 back then and even higher on grass, Bjorkman on fire and Nadal on fire. All in all one of the toughest draws Fed had in his 15 titles, although one might wonder what is tough for Fed on grass...

madmax
12-03-2009, 11:12 AM
My vote goes to Guga's run in 1997 French as well:bowdown: He beat some tricky world class opposition along the way...

maxxo
12-03-2009, 11:24 AM
Both RG 82 and 97 are IMO the best pick and have been mentioned, though I don't have great memory of pre-1980. I'd also throw out Agassi in Wimby 1992 - beat Becker in QF, then McEnroe (though past his prime in semis) and then Ivanisevic in finals.

I know the thread-started limited to GS champions, but out of interest Ivanisevic's draw in that tournament was even more brutal.

2r - his best friend Woodforde, an excellent grasscourter
3r - Rosset
4r - Lendl
QF - Edberg
SF - Sampras
F - Agassi, whom he only lost to narrowly in 5...

god damn, now that was a GS :worship:
both goran's and andre's draws were brutal.

DrJules
12-03-2009, 01:19 PM
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

Not necessarily.

At the time of the 4 players only Vilas was a grand slam winner with 4 GS. Gerulaitis and Clerc never won Grand Slams. On ranking maybe.

I feel a toughest draw probably involves winning against 3 or 4 players who have won a GS.

Action Jackson
12-03-2009, 01:23 PM
Not necessarily.

At the time of the 4 players only Vilas was a grand slam winner with 4 GS. Gerulaitis and Clerc never won Grand Slams. On ranking maybe.

I feel a toughest draw probably involves winning against 3 or 4 players who have won a GS.

How old was Wilander? Fact his first RG coming up from juniors playing seniors. Lendl was still one of the best players at the time and one of the best on clay at the time along with Vilas.

Clerc and Gerulaitis weren't monkeys on that surface, but as usual any Wilander achievement tends to get overlooked.

Borg won all of the RGs before that, Panatta was past it and Vilas was the only other winner since 74. So don't forget the surface specifics.

Har-Tru
12-03-2009, 01:31 PM
Costa RG 02.

DrJules
12-03-2009, 01:39 PM
How old was Wilander? Fact his first RG coming up from juniors playing seniors. Lendl was still one of the best players at the time and one of the best on clay at the time along with Vilas.

Clerc and Gerulaitis weren't monkeys on that surface, but as usual any Wilander achievement tends to get overlooked.

Borg won all of the RGs before that, Panatta was past it and Vilas was the only other winner since 74. So don't forget the surface specifics.

The question was about draw difficult not the age and inexperience of the person.

In terms of player calibre the Edberg 1992 run seems the most difficult:

R16 Richard Krajicek (NED) - would be a GS winner
Q Ivan Lendl (USA) - 8 GS including 3 US Opens last in 1987.
S Michael Chang (USA)- would be US Open finalist
W Pete Sampras (USA) - 14 GS including 5 US Opens and had won in 1990.

But agree there are several with similar merit.

Action Jackson
12-03-2009, 01:45 PM
The question was about draw difficult not the age and inexperience of the person.

In terms of player calibre the Edberg 1992 run seems the most difficult:

R16 Richard Krajicek (NED) - would be a GS winner
Q Ivan Lendl (USA) - 8 GS including 3 US Opens last in 1987.
S Michael Chang (USA)- would be US Open finalist
W Pete Sampras (USA) - 14 GS including 5 US Opens and had won in 1990.

They have to be taken into the account, if they aren't, then it's baseless. So who were better on clay than Vilas, Clerc and Lendl in 1982 that was playing at RG? For a guy ranked in the 60s and inexperience, then of course it's going to be tough, that is commonsense.

The fact Lendl and Clerc hadn't won Slams is not relevant actually, considering who was dominating on clay at that time and Gerulaitis and Lendl RG finals losing to Borg, so they weren't monkeys.

Wilander, Kuerten 97, Ivanisevic at Wimbledon of course are going to stand out the most, they weren't flukes, they didn't have draws open up for them to take advantage, especially the first two, they did the job themselves.

jonathancrane
12-03-2009, 01:57 PM
Not necessarily.

At the time of the 4 players only Vilas was a grand slam winner with 4 GS. Gerulaitis and Clerc never won Grand Slams. On ranking maybe.

I feel a toughest draw probably involves winning against 3 or 4 players who have won a GS.

Gerulaitis won the AOpen in 1977

Everko
12-03-2009, 02:18 PM
Nadal had a tough draw in FO 2008. Almagro and Verdasco back to back are good clay challenges. It's just Nadal beat them to the earth

Action Jackson
12-03-2009, 02:19 PM
Nadal had a tough draw in FO 2008. Almagro and Verdasco back to back are good clay challenges. It's just Nadal beat them to the earth

http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07/HorseKick_450x287.jpg

Everko
12-03-2009, 02:36 PM
http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07/HorseKick_450x287.jpg

yeah that's about what it was like when Nadal beat those 2

n8
09-06-2013, 02:07 AM
Poor Lleyton had a killer draw that year.

R128 Clement
R64 Blake
R32 Chela
R16 Nadal
QF Nalbandian
SF Roddick
F Safin

It's very rare that someone plays 'name' players all the way to the final. All these were current or former top 20 except for Nadal who obviously became top 20 very soon afterwards.

Stan's draw so far has been similar:
R128 Stepanek (former #8)
R64 Karlovic (former #14)
R32 Baghdatis (former former #8)
R16 Berdych (current #5)
QF Murray (current #3)
SF Djokovic/Youzhny
F Nadal/Gasquet

(Easiest Grand Slam draw thread: http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?p=9649461)

ProdigyEng
09-06-2013, 12:50 PM
Enough of these easy draw threads already.

If Stan the man somehow manages to pull off a massive shock, and win the USO, will it be one of the toughest slam draws won, EVER, Espescially if Nadal makes the Final ?

1st Round: Radek Stepanek.
2nd Round: Ivo Karlovic
3rd Round: Marcos Baghdatis
4th Round: Tomas Berdych [5]
Quarter Final: Andy Murray [3]
Semi Final: Novak Djokovic [1]
Final: Rafael Nadal ???? [2]

His 1st three round opponents are all decent players, Berdych is dangerous on hardcourts... Murray was the defending Champion, and Novak and Nadal have both won titles at the USO. If Stan somehow manages to win this thing, will it be one of the most impressive slam wins in recent history, provided how difficult his road was?

Jamvol
09-06-2013, 12:51 PM
Yes - especially since the final would be against someone whom he had never taken a set off previously.

Rychu
09-06-2013, 12:51 PM
yes one of the hardest draws ever

TigerTim
09-06-2013, 12:57 PM
SO we go on about the easiest.. but what about the hardest?

Respect for Courier at the 1992 French Open; Muster (R2), Medvedev (R4), Ivanisevic (QF), Agassi (SF) and Korda (F), all slam winners or French Open finalists. Plus he only dropped one set, to Goran, in a tie break

Who else?

n8
09-06-2013, 12:58 PM
I mentioned this in another thread (now all merged). I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more difficult run in all the Open Era! All of the top 5 except Ferrer, the three most recent champions, the first three opponents all former top 15...

buzz
09-06-2013, 01:00 PM
Yes, 1,2,3,5 seeds pretty sick. But how is a swiss guy with a one handed backhand going to beat Nadal in the final...

ProdigyEng
09-06-2013, 01:02 PM
Yes, 1,2,3,5 seeds pretty sick. But how is a swiss guy with a one handed backhand going to beat Nadal in the final...

Yes, very unlikely Stan can pull this off, will probably lose to Novak, but even if he does, this has certainly been one of Stan's best tournaments of his career.

ProdigyEng
09-06-2013, 01:04 PM
Why was my thread merged, yet the easy draw threads remain ?

n8
09-06-2013, 01:10 PM
Why was my thread merged, yet the easy draw threads remain ?

Good point. Fixed.

zjtennis
09-06-2013, 01:10 PM
I remembered that Warwinka could to face the Big 4 straight if they held their seedings. Add to that facing Hewitt in Round 1 then seeing who he faced (4 of which have an all-time ranking high of #1 and 1 of which is #2), it would've been a tougher path. But we know happened in Wimbledon...

ProdigyEng
09-06-2013, 01:14 PM
Good point. Fixed.

Thanks :yeah:

BroTree456
09-06-2013, 03:45 PM
Hardest is probably when federer won his french open in 2009

Kyle_Johansen
09-06-2013, 04:11 PM
It truly has been amazing what Stan has been doing this week.

Also, Fed's USO 2007 draw was pretty difficult.

R3 Isner
R4 Lopez
QF Roddick
SF Davydenko
F Djokovic

Burrow
09-06-2013, 04:29 PM
It truly has been amazing what Stan has been doing this week.

Also, Fed's USO 2007 draw was pretty difficult.

R3 Isner
R4 Lopez
QF Roddick
SF Davydenko
F Djokovic

Isner was nowhere near the player he is now. Lopez is well, Lopez. Roddick was never beating Federer at this point and I think Dayvdenko was scarred from what happened at Roland Garros.

Djokovic was in good form though Stepanek balls that match up.

Kyle_Johansen
09-06-2013, 04:34 PM
Isner was nowhere near the player he is now. Lopez is well, Lopez. Roddick was never beating Federer at this point and I think Dayvdenko was scarred from what happened at Roland Garros.

Djokovic was in good form though Stepanek balls that match up.

Isner wasn't the player he is now but he still had his serve and the unknown factor. Lopez was playing excellent for two sets and forced Fed to produce magic. Roddick played one of his best matches vs Roger ever in those first two sets but Fed was super clutch. Davy was playing great, and of course Djokovic had just beaten Fed in Montreal.

Stepanek?

BackhandDTL
09-06-2013, 04:38 PM
I still don't understand the use of QF-onward in determining a tough draw. The nature of seeds alone means it's bound to be pretty tough. Ranked at 10, you'd expect this to be possible should Stan make it as far.

Tsonga dealt with a similar outlook in Wimbledon 2011 when, after Dimitrov and Fernando Gonzalez, he played #7 Ferrer, #3 Federer, and the #2 Djokovic. Had he won that match, he'd have gone on to play then-#1 Nadal in the finals.

Sauletekis
09-06-2013, 04:41 PM
This would be the best slam win of all time, for me. Would be unbeliveble specially if he beats Rafa in the final. Won't happen, though. He has a 10% chance of beating Nole, so I doubt he will even reach the spaniard, but nontheless this was a great tournament for Stan the Man, proving to the world he is the Switzerland number one today. :worship:

GSMnadal
09-06-2013, 05:02 PM
Hardest is probably when federer won his french open in 2009

This

.

.

.

:spit:

Burrow
09-06-2013, 05:10 PM
Isner wasn't the player he is now but he still had his serve and the unknown factor. Lopez was playing excellent for two sets and forced Fed to produce magic. Roddick played one of his best matches vs Roger ever in those first two sets but Fed was super clutch. Davy was playing great, and of course Djokovic had just beaten Fed in Montreal.

Stepanek?

Isner was never beating Federer with only a serve.

Lopez I remember was good for a set but then fall apart.

Roddick was nowhere near the player he was 3 years prior, the match was never in doubt.

Davydenko was as predictable as ever against Federer.

You're overrating the draw because you like Federer :lol: It was pretty damn predictable. Only Djokovic looked convincing and even he choked the first two sets unbelievably.

Yes, Stepanek against Djokovic. I'm saying that Stepanek had a massive chance to put him out.

Roy Emerson
09-06-2013, 05:12 PM
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

This.

LoveFifteen
09-06-2013, 09:42 PM
It's Wilander winning the 1982 Roland Garros title. Good call, Action Jackson! :worship:

Le Master
09-06-2013, 10:00 PM
I wish these types of threads wouldn't have the word "ever" in them. It's hard to believe that even one person in this thread is familiar with every single draw of every single grand slam. I bet there were some draws that were just pure satanic for some players in the 1890s or 1920s. These threads should be specify a time interval. [/rant]

TigerTim
09-06-2013, 10:15 PM
refering to OP, Connors vs. Borg result interested me so much I saw a replay of that game

Connors was fantastic, probably his best match.

oc2004
09-06-2013, 10:23 PM
It's Wilander winning the 1982 Roland Garros title. Good call, Action Jackson! :worship:

Just wondering... has anyone ever beaten the top 3 seeds at a slam?

LeChuck
09-07-2013, 01:07 AM
McEnroe beat Lendl, Connors in 5 sets and Borg in 5 sets in succession to defend his US Open title in 1980 is up there. In his last 4 days of that event, he had a 5 set doubles final sandwiched in-between those 3 singles matches.

Lendl's prime probably began a year later in 1981, but he still made huge strides in 1980, racking up a lot of titles, winning the Davis Cup with Czechoslovakia, beating Borg in the Basel final, reaching the Masters final at MSG etc. Connors was clearly a formidable opponent for anyone at the US Open, with his 5 titles and 12 consecutive semi-finals there from 1974-1985. Borg hadn't lost a 5 set match for over 4 years before that final with a long winning streak in 5th sets, plus was trying to complete the third leg of the grand slam.