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Since 1978, the first year with Grand Slam events being held on 3 surfaces, we have had 23 multiple Major champions. Analyzing overall results we can divide them into following groups:

1. Good on 2 surfaces, not that good on 1

1.1 Good on grass and HC, not that good on clay: Connors, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Rafter, Hewitt, Federer, Djokovic, Murray (10)

1.2 Good on clay and HC, not that good on grass: Lendl, Wilander, Courier, Safin, Kafelnikov, Wawrinka (6)

1.3 Good on clay and grass, not that good on HC: Borg (1)

2. Good on 1 surface, not that good on 2:

2.1 Good on clay, not that good on HC and grass: Vilas, Bruguera, Kuerten, Nadal (4)

2.2 Good on HC, not that good on clay and grass: Agassi (1)

2.3 Good on grass, not that good on clay and HC: 0

*Didn't take Kriek into consideration because of inability to put him on any group.

The amount of players whose special surface (in a good or bad sense) was:

Clay: 14 (63.6%)
Grass: 6 (27.3%)
HC: 2 (9.1%)

The idea of using different surfaces is varying court speed and, hence, favouring different skills. Assuming that the balance across 3 surfaces is an indicator of player's versatility you mean the difference between the fastest surface and surface #3 is the same as the difference between the slowest surface and surface #3. In that case, you would expect the percentage of players whose special surface is clay or grass or HC to be 33.3 or close to it. The reality, however, is completely different, as you can see. I think the data above proves that clay-HC-grass ratio is an incorrect way to determine a more well-rounded player out of 2 and we should use clay - non clay thing instead.
 

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In short, grass is closer to hard than clay is. Thanks chief.

Clay has always been the most peculiar surface on tour, from the days when grass was king along with the assortment of synthetic surfaces (hard, carpet, wood, canvas, asphalt etc). Despite grass gradually becoming niche during early Open era as hard/carpet grew ubiquitous while clay maintained its footing, the greatest peculiarity still rested with clay, as grass-style attacking net-heavy game generally translated better to HC than clay-style attrition spin-heavy game. The trend seems to have been changing in the new century though, as modern equipment favours spin more, leading to youngsters whose strokes developed during the poly era (born from like 1992 onwards so they weren't yet teen when poly took over) generally exhibiting bigger windups, which hurts them on a fastish low-bouncing surface that is grass. I don't think anyone younger than Dimitrov has even made Wimbledon QF yet except Tomic once as a teenage qualifier and Kyrgios once as a teenage wildcard, both of which proved to be flukes. Of the current rising crop, Medvedev is the only one who seems predisposed to do better on grass than clay. Note that both Medvedev and Tomic have an unorthodox hitting style, in different ways but both are similar in hitting unusually flat, which hurts them on clay in particular, while Kyrgios is a servebotty type lacking rally tolerance who was on the verge of losing in 2R. Looks like most players are going to prefer clay to grass from now on, so grass shall usurp the 'most peculiar' perk from clay.
 

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In short, grass is closer to hard than clay is. Thanks chief.

Clay has always been the most peculiar surface on tour, from the days when grass was king along with the assortment of synthetic surfaces (hard, carpet, wood, canvas, asphalt etc). Despite grass gradually becoming niche during early Open era as hard/carpet grew ubiquitous while clay maintained its footing, the greatest peculiarity still rested with clay, as grass-style attacking net-heavy game generally translated better to HC than clay-style attrition spin-heavy game. The trend seems to have been changing in the new century though, as modern equipment favours spin more, leading to youngsters whose strokes developed during the poly era (born from like 1992 onwards so they weren't yet teen when poly took over) generally exhibiting bigger windups, which hurts them on a fastish low-bouncing surface that is grass. I don't think anyone younger than Dimitrov has even made Wimbledon QF yet except Tomic once as a teenage qualifier and Kyrgios once as a teenage wildcard, both of which proved to be flukes. Of the current rising crop, Medvedev is the only one who seems predisposed to do better on grass than clay. Note that both Medvedev and Tomic have an unorthodox hitting style, in different ways but both are similar in hitting unusually flat, which hurts them on clay in particular, while Kyrgios is a servebotty type lacking rally tolerance who was on the verge of losing in 2R. Looks like most players are going to prefer clay to grass from now on, so grass shall usurp the 'most peculiar' perk from clay.
Good post. I think if we compare the winning percentages of the top 10 highest ranked players born in 1992+ it becomes even clearer.
1. Dominic Thiem............clay 74.9%.............grass 50.0%
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas.......clay 68.6%.............grass 53.3%
3. Danill Medvedev..........clay 35.7%.............grass 60.0%
4. Alexander Zverev........clay 70.0%.............grass 64.2%
5. Diego Schwartzman....clay 57.2%.............grass 33.3%
6. Matteo Berrettini..........clay 66.7%.............grass 72.2%
7. Andrey Rublev.............clay 58.1%.............grass 57.1%
8. Denis Shapovalov........clay 54.8%.............grass 25.0%
9. Karen Khachanov........clay 57.1%.............grass 66.7%
10. Cristian Garin.............clay 67.2%............grass 28.6%

7 out of 10 players have better match winning percentage on clay.
Denis Shapovalov has lower winning percentage on grass than a heavy clay court specialist Cristian Garin.... 25% (3 - 9) - 28.6% (2 - 5). LMAO
 

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Are these Slam results, or results in general? If the former, then I thought Borg's problem with the USO was said to be the night sessions and the atmosphere, rather than the surface?
 

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List of players who won slams on 3 surfaces, only 15

Laver- grass, clay, wood
Federer- grass, clay, hard
Rosewall- grass, clay, wood
Nadal- grass, clay, hard
Djokovic- grass, clay, wood
Gonzales- grass, clay, hard
Cochet- grass, clay, wood
Connors- grass, Har-Tru, hard
Agassi- grass, clay, hard
Wilander- grass, clay hard
Budge- grass, clay, wood
Segura- grass, hard, clay
Perry- grass, clay, wood
Wilding- grass, clay, wood

List of players who won slams on 4 surfaces

Ellsworth Vines- grass, clay, wood, hard
 

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Are these Slam results, or results in general? If the former, then I thought Borg's problem with the USO was said to be the night sessions and the atmosphere, rather than the surface?
I would say that too, hard started to spread towards the 2nd part and end of Borg's career, who was good on grass and indoors (carpet at the time).

Without going into the evolution of the on-grass game, the surface itself and the material, I think Lendl would be as good on grass today as… Djokovic, at least he would win Wimbledon today.
Lendl made 1 final on grass AO and 2 at Wimbledon, but beaten by 3 totally different players (Wilander AO, Becker and Cash Wimbleon)

Wilander was not bad on grass, he won 2 AOs (beating grass players like McEnroe, Kriek or Curren) and 1 final, but did nothing at Wimbledon.

Australian grass was not that of Wimbledon but enough for grass players to impose themselves there like Edberg, to make a final there like Cash (wins Wimb), or Curren, finalist in Melbourne as in Wimbledon.

These brief examples to show that all these data are difficult to extrapolate ...
 

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Since 1978, the first year with Grand Slam events being held on 3 surfaces, we have had 23 multiple Major champions. Analyzing overall results we can divide them into following groups:

1. Good on 2 surfaces, not that good on 1

1.1 Good on grass and HC, not that good on clay: Connors, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Rafter, Hewitt, Federer, Djokovic, Murray (10)

1.2 Good on clay and HC, not that good on grass: Lendl, Wilander, Courier, Safin, Kafelnikov, Wawrinka (6)

1.3 Good on clay and grass, not that good on HC: Borg (1)

2. Good on 1 surface, not that good on 2:

2.1 Good on clay, not that good on HC and grass: Vilas, Bruguera, Kuerten, Nadal (4)

2.2 Good on HC, not that good on clay and grass: Agassi (1)

2.3 Good on grass, not that good on clay and HC: 0

*Didn't take Kriek into consideration because of inability to put him on any group.

The amount of players whose special surface (in a good or bad sense) was:

Clay: 14 (63.6%)
Grass: 6 (27.3%)
HC: 2 (9.1%)

The idea of using different surfaces is varying court speed and, hence, favouring different skills. Assuming that the balance across 3 surfaces is an indicator of player's versatility you mean the difference between the fastest surface and surface #3 is the same as the difference between the slowest surface and surface #3. In that case, you would expect the percentage of players whose special surface is clay or grass or HC to be 33.3 or close to it. The reality, however, is completely different, as you can see. I think the data above proves that clay-HC-grass ratio is an incorrect way to determine a more well-rounded player out of 2 and we should use clay - non clay thing instead.
This has to be the most dumb thread in history. We have Lendl and Becker good on Hard, Nadal not that good, yet Nadal has more HC Majors. Brilliant lmao
 

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Since 1978, the first year with Grand Slam events being held on 3 surfaces, we have had 23 multiple Major champions. Analyzing overall results we can divide them into following groups:

1. Good on 2 surfaces, not that good on 1

1.1 Good on grass and HC, not that good on clay: Connors, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Rafter, Hewitt, Federer, Djokovic, Murray (10)

1.2 Good on clay and HC, not that good on grass: Lendl, Wilander, Courier, Safin, Kafelnikov, Wawrinka (6)

1.3 Good on clay and grass, not that good on HC: Borg (1)

2. Good on 1 surface, not that good on 2:

2.1 Good on clay, not that good on HC and grass: Vilas, Bruguera, Kuerten, Nadal (4)

2.2 Good on HC, not that good on clay and grass: Agassi (1)

2.3 Good on grass, not that good on clay and HC: 0

*Didn't take Kriek into consideration because of inability to put him on any group.

The amount of players whose special surface (in a good or bad sense) was:

Clay: 14 (63.6%)
Grass: 6 (27.3%)
HC: 2 (9.1%)

The idea of using different surfaces is varying court speed and, hence, favouring different skills. Assuming that the balance across 3 surfaces is an indicator of player's versatility you mean the difference between the fastest surface and surface #3 is the same as the difference between the slowest surface and surface #3. In that case, you would expect the percentage of players whose special surface is clay or grass or HC to be 33.3 or close to it. The reality, however, is completely different, as you can see. I think the data above proves that clay-HC-grass ratio is an incorrect way to determine a more well-rounded player out of 2 and we should use clay - non clay thing instead.
Just seen the clown OP thinks Murray is better on Hard than Nadal hahahahahaha
 

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OP’s list contains so many flaws. Nadal is heavily underrated on hc here (has five HC Slams while Murray for example has exactly 1) and Safin is apparently better on clay than Federer and Djokovic with his best result at RG being a SF in 2002 (while the other two won it already).

Quite an arbitrary list
 

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OP’s list contains so many flaws. Nadal is heavily underrated on hc here (has five HC Slams while Murray for example has exactly 1) and Safin is apparently better on clay than Federer and Djokovic with his best result at RG being a SF in 2002 (while the other two won it already).

Quite an arbitrary list
OP stuck in 2006 i think
 

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2.1 Good on clay, not that good on HC and grass: Vilas, Bruguera, Kuerten, Nadal (4)

Here's the total amount of players with more Hard Court + Grass Court Slams than Rafa in Open Era history.

1 - Roger Federer
2 - Novak Djokovic
3 - Pete Sampras

That's it, really that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here's the total amount of players with more Hard Court + Grass Court Slams than Rafa in Open Era history.

1 - Roger Federer
2 - Novak Djokovic
3 - Pete Sampras

That's it, really that's it.
Some of you guys clearly missed the point.

Putting Nadal on "not that good on HC and grass" group I compared it only to his own success on clay. The idea of the thread is to figure out a special surface of each multiple Grand Slam winner to make some conclusions about versatility issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In short, grass is closer to hard than clay is. Thanks chief.

Clay has always been the most peculiar surface on tour, from the days when grass was king along with the assortment of synthetic surfaces (hard, carpet, wood, canvas, asphalt etc). Despite grass gradually becoming niche during early Open era as hard/carpet grew ubiquitous while clay maintained its footing, the greatest peculiarity still rested with clay, as grass-style attacking net-heavy game generally translated better to HC than clay-style attrition spin-heavy game. The trend seems to have been changing in the new century though, as modern equipment favours spin more, leading to youngsters whose strokes developed during the poly era (born from like 1992 onwards so they weren't yet teen when poly took over) generally exhibiting bigger windups, which hurts them on a fastish low-bouncing surface that is grass. I don't think anyone younger than Dimitrov has even made Wimbledon QF yet except Tomic once as a teenage qualifier and Kyrgios once as a teenage wildcard, both of which proved to be flukes. Of the current rising crop, Medvedev is the only one who seems predisposed to do better on grass than clay. Note that both Medvedev and Tomic have an unorthodox hitting style, in different ways but both are similar in hitting unusually flat, which hurts them on clay in particular, while Kyrgios is a servebotty type lacking rally tolerance who was on the verge of losing in 2R. Looks like most players are going to prefer clay to grass from now on, so grass shall usurp the 'most peculiar' perk from clay.
So, you have confirmed that players have never had to possess 3 equally different skills to perform well on 3 different surfaces and speed ratio on clay, grass and HC always favoured one gamestyle more than other. Hence, you do agree that being more successful on 2 out of 3 surfaces doesn't automatically make one player more well-rounded than other, right? That's the main point of the topic.
 

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I wouldn't agree with Nadal being "not that good" on grass and HC as well as Djokovic and Federer being "not that good" on clay. Nadal of course has been blocked by arguably the greatest grass player and the greatest HC player of all time at slams. Just like Djokovic and Federer have been blocked many times on clay by the clay goat. I understand saying "not that good on clay" for someone like Sampras as he did next to nothing on the surface his whole career, but Djokovic and Federer?
 

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OP, I completely understand the point of your thread, and I had the exact same impression.... until I actually looked at the data directly and realized that I'm wrong!

I was surprised by the results, but here's the truth: there really are three distinct surfaces that are of equal distance from each other. Grass, contrary to my own prior beliefs, is not really closer to Hard than it is to clay.

How do I know this?
Well, I gathered data on all players in the Open Era who have played at least 30 Grand Slam matches on hard, clay, and grass. There are 38 such players. I restricted the sample to those who have played at least 30 matches because otherwise the sample size is too small and the results aren't very accurate.

Then, I measured the correlation between performance on grass, hard, and clay. Performance is simply measured using the win percentage. Here are the results:

Correlation between grass and clay: +0.44
Correlation between grass and hard: +0.71
Correlation between hard and clay: +0.71

This is pretty fascinating. It shows that players who do well on hard are just as likely to do well on clay as they are to do well on grass.

And something fun I did was to create an index that measures a player's preference for faster surfaces: it's based on how well they do on grass relative to clay. It doesn't tell you anything about how good the players are, but just how much they prefer grass over clay. So the people topping the list are those who prefer grass the most while those at the bottom have a preference for clay over grass:

357635
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
OP, I completely understand the point of your thread, and I had the exact same impression.... until I actually looked at the data directly and realized that I'm wrong!

I was surprised by the results, but here's the truth: there really are three distinct surfaces that are of equal distance from each other. Grass, contrary to my own prior beliefs, is not really closer to Hard than it is to clay.

How do I know this?
Well, I gathered data on all players in the Open Era who have played at least 30 Grand Slam matches on hard, clay, and grass. There are 38 such players. I restricted the sample to those who have played at least 30 matches because otherwise the sample size is too small and the results aren't very accurate.

Then, I measured the correlation between performance on grass, hard, and clay. Performance is simply measured using the win percentage. Here are the results:

Correlation between grass and clay: +0.44
Correlation between grass and hard: +0.71
Correlation between hard and clay: +0.71

This is pretty fascinating. It shows that players who do well on hard are just as likely to do well on clay as they are to do well on grass.]
That's interesting, but more details are needed. How exactly did you get these numbers? You gathered 38 percentages on all 3 surfaces. What have you done next? Counting correlation for each of 38 players and then taking average number? If so, you should use median value instead.

UPD. I would like to know how many of these 38 players had better grass-hard colleration than clay-hard one and how many had it other way round.
 

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That said, regarding Nadal/Lendl on hard, I understand the position of the OP.
For me there is no doubt that Lendl or Becker are much better than Nadal on hard against the competition of their time.
vs top 10 in hard
Nadal Grand Slam 48.3% (14-15)
Lendl Grand Slam 60.6% (20-13)

It doesn't matter whether Nadal has more hard slam than them or not, it's always the overall distribution of titles and the ratio that matters.
Even so, Lendl has the same, by the way. (5/8 Lendl, 5/20 Nadal) and Lendl could not play hard OA until after his peak at the end of his career, for 2 titles (89-90). Becker 3/6 Hard.
And it would be the same for the total ratio.
Lendl Hard 31 /Carpet 33 / Clay 28/ Grass 2 :94
Nadal Hard 22/ Clay 64/ Grass 4 :86


Again, this is another example, but it speaks volumes.
This is not the only one.
 

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Fedjokodal

Interesting data.
"all players in the Open Era who have played at least 30 Grand Slam matches on hard, clay, and grass. There are 38 such players. I restricted the sample to those who have played at least 30 matches because otherwise the sample size is too small and the results aren't very accurate. "

I understand, but, Björn Borg excluded for only 4 matches on hard slam

 

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As for majors, Murray & Nadal have H2H split 2-2 each w/ USO latest for Nadal & AO for Murray. It’s safe to say Nadal probably had upper hand at USO while AO for Murray. Also, I have a hard time accepting that Grass/Clay chart w/ Warwinka leaning to the extreme on Clay while he is holder of 2 HC majors.
 
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