Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Or at least the fewest easy opponents!

Federer played 4 of his 31 finals against opponents who never won a slam.

1. 2003 WB - Mark Philippoussis
2. 2006 AO - Marcos Baghdatis
3. 2007 AO - Fernando Gonzales
4. 2009 FO - Robin Soderling

Nadal played 8 of his 27 finals against opponents who never won a slam. However that number might go to 5 finals if Thiem and Medvedev end up winning slams which is likely.

1. 2005 FO - Mariano Puarta
2. 2010 FO - Robin Soderling
3. 2010 WB - Tomas Berdych
4. 2013 FO - David Ferrer
5. 2017 USO - Kevin Anderson
6. 2018 FO - Dominic Thiem
7. 2019 FO - Dominic Thiem
8. 2019 USO - Daniil Medvedev

Djokovic played 3 of his 26 finals against opponents who never won a slam. However that number might go to 2 finals if Thiem ends up winning a slam which is likely.

1. 2008 AO - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2. 2018 WB - Kevin Anderson
3. 2010 AO - Dominic Thiem


If we break down their slam finals into three categories of opponents: big 3, other slam winners, non-winners.

Federer

14 finals against big 3 opponents (4-10 record)
13 finals against other slam winners (12-1 record)
4 finals against non-winners (4-0 record)

Nadal

17 finals against big 3 opponents (10-7 record)
2 finals against other slam winners (1-1 record)
8 finals against non-winners (8-0 record)

Djokovic

13 finals against big 3 opponents (8-5 record)
10 finals against other slam winners (6-4 record)
3 finals against non-winners (3-0 record)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mahut and emily101

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
No one can argue with facts and what the OP has posted is the truth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Meaningless statistic. Opponents before the finals matter as well. For example Nadal beat Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Cilic or del Potro in all but one of those tournaments.
2010 FO is the only slam he won without beating a (past or future) slam winner.
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
29,284 Posts
How often has Federer or Nadal taken a medical timeout in a GS final? Do either Federer or Nadal have the career retirement slam?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
so you consider 37 years old Federer (wimbledon 2019) tougher than 2009's soderling for example ?

going by the same logic 74 years old federer is a tougher opponent than a 20+ year old top ten player by this future time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Meaningless statistic. Opponents before the finals matter as well. For example Nadal beat Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Cilic or del Potro in all but one of those tournaments.
2010 FO is the only slam he won without beating a (past or future) slam winner.
It's not an end-all statistics by any means but finals matches are meaningful. Competition before the final is of course something that can be analyzed as well but the earlier the match-up occurs the more likely that the opponent in question could be out of form. Whereas when two players meet in a slam final, it's generally harder to claim that one of them is in particularly poor form.

I'm not pretending by any stretch that this is a complete analysis but Novak has had the most difficult paths to his slams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,230 Posts
It's not an end-all statistics by any means but finals matches are meaningful. Competition before the final is of course something that can be analyzed as well but the earlier the match-up occurs the more likely that the opponent in question could be out of form. Whereas when two players meet in a slam final, it's generally harder to claim that one of them is in particularly poor form.

I'm not pretending by any stretch that this is a complete analysis but Novak has had the most difficult paths to his slams.
Anderson GOAT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
It's not an end-all statistics by any means but finals matches are meaningful. Competition before the final is of course something that can be analyzed as well but the earlier the match-up occurs the more likely that the opponent in question could be out of form. Whereas when two players meet in a slam final, it's generally harder to claim that one of them is in particularly poor form.

I'm not pretending by any stretch that this is a complete analysis but Novak has had the most difficult paths to his slams.
It also has a lot to do with rankings and draws, unless you are just focusing on the #1 and #2 seeds. In fact half the matchups cannot occur in the final after the draw is made, no matter what form the players are in.

For example Nadal faced Puerta in the final because Nadal was not number 2 back then, otherwise he or Federer would have beaten him and they would have met in the final. Same for 2013 FO.

In any case your conclusion that Novak had the most difficult paths is wrong. Factoring the level of the opponents, Nadal has had it the toughest by far in his slam wins, having to compete with both peak Federer and peak Djokovic in most of them, whereas Djokovic has benefited from Nadal and Federer's decline (which helped him rack up 10 slams since 2014), and Federer was beating the likes of Philippoussis in his early years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,230 Posts
Too much focusing on names and career stats, too little on the actual tennis that transpired and the playing level that was achieved. At this point, each of B3 has 2 slams won playing less than convincing tennis, except Djokodal are likely to add more, struggling but routinely overcoming the mugs and chokers of our times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,118 Posts
Meaningless statistic. Opponents before the finals matter as well. For example Nadal beat Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Cilic or del Potro in all but one of those tournaments.
2010 FO is the only slam he won without beating a (past or future) slam winner.
2008-2011 peak Federer and younger Djokovic were always drawn in the same HC half at AO/USO for eight consecutive slams, Nadal was always in the other half hoping for Federer-Djokovic 5-setter..

Consequentialy, we've got six semifinal rubbers Federer-Djokovic in the period after their USO'07 final, 4:2 Djokovic (including USO'10 & '11 epic 5-setters), whereas zero Nadal-Federer and zero Nadal-Djokovic semis.

Similar is true for numerous Stanimal-Djokovic HC 5-setters since 2013 (including epic AO'13 & '14 virtual 6-setters), because Nadal was again in the other half from two best HC players at the time.

Considering that at the same time Djokovic was almost always drawn in Nadal's half at RG when they were not top-2 seeds, it is obvious that Djokovic has probably also got the hardest slam halfs and semis in history of the game because young Nadal was already considered as CC goat and peaking Federer as HC goat.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
9,511 Posts
Actually Murray has

But out of those 3 then yea Djok
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
It also has a lot to do with rankings and draws, unless you are just focusing on the #1 and #2 seeds. In fact half the matchups cannot occur in the final after the draw is made, no matter what form the players are in.

For example Nadal faced Puerta in the final because Nadal was not number 2 back then, otherwise he or Federer would have beaten him and they would have met in the final. Same for 2013 FO.

In any case your conclusion that Novak had the most difficult paths is wrong. Factoring the level of the opponents, Nadal has had it the toughest by far in his slam wins, having to compete with both peak Federer and peak Djokovic in most of them, whereas Djokovic has benefited from Nadal and Federer's decline (which helped him rack up 10 slams since 2014), and Federer was beating the likes of Philippoussis in his early years.
That's why I said "generally"... Sometimes the two best players end up on the same side of the draw, no doubt about it. But generally speaking, SF matches produce a greater discrepancy in form than F matches.

Anyways Nadal didn't have to complete with Fed and Novak in a lot of his slams wins. 2010 FO, 2010 WB, 2017 USO, 2018 FO, 2019 USO just off of the top of my head. If I'm not mistaken he didn't face either Fed or Djoker in 3 of his 7 slam wins off clay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,694 Posts
The worst player Djokovic has played was Anderson. Federer faced several players who were nobodies before the finals and nobodies shortly (and sometimes immediately) afterwards. As bad as Anderson is, he still was good enough to make the YEC. A player like Baghdatis? Never never even qualified.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
How often has Federer or Nadal taken a medical timeout in a GS final? Do either Federer or Nadal have the career retirement slam?
Federer used a tactical time out in his 2017 AO final. And all of Novak's retirements were legitimate either due to his elbow injury or pre diagnosis of his gluten intolerance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,818 Posts
That's why I said "generally"... Sometimes the two best players end up on the same side of the draw, no doubt about it. But generally speaking, SF matches produce a greater discrepancy in form than F matches.

Anyways Nadal didn't have to complete with Fed and Novak in a lot of his slams wins. 2010 FO, 2010 WB, 2017 USO, 2018 FO, 2019 USO just off of the top of my head. If I'm not mistaken he didn't face either Fed or Djoker in 3 of his 7 slam wins off clay.
In FO, it doesn't matter who Nadal faces. 2019 USO stop pretending Meddy was nobody; he was just as good or better than either Nole/Fed at that moment. 2010 WB and 2017 USO I'll give you a pass, Nadal had easy time but that's about it, rest of the slams he had to deal with tough opponents.

Nole had the hardest opponents at slam finals, I'll give you that, Fed had by far the easiest in big 3, not even close.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
693 Posts
Too much focusing on names and career stats, too little on the actual tennis that transpired and the playing level that was achieved. At this point, each of B3 has 2 slams won playing less than convincing tennis, except Djokodal are likely to add more, struggling but routinely overcoming the mugs and chokers of our times.
That's why I think that between the big 3 - the only statistic that REALLY matters is the H2H.
Tennis is an individual sport - who's better is decided on the court.
Novak had over 100 matches with Fed and Rafa - 50 with Fed and 55 with Rafa - and came on top against both of them. Clearly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,230 Posts
That's why I think that between the big 3 - the only statistic that REALLY matters is the H2H.
Tennis is an individual sport - who's better is decided on the court.
Novak had over 100 matches with Fed and Rafa - 50 with Fed and 55 with Rafa - and came on top against both of them. Clearly.
TIL Santoro is a much better player than Safin.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
693 Posts
TIL Santoro is a much better player than Safin.
Right, they played only 9 matches and Safin was a decade younger than Santoro, and just coming in :))))))
There's just no way to minimize importance of the fact that Novak DOMINATED Rafa and Fed in H2H... It's a futile effort.
27:23 vs federer and 29:26 vs Rafa.
That's 105 matches...
And it's getting better. I'm guessing there's a chance that before he retires, Novak will have 30-32 wins against Fed and 35-37 wins against Rafa, while they won't beat him ever again.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top