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I've been having a look at the draws for the last 25 grand slam winners on the occasion where they won their first grand slam. Basically i'm a Murray fan and I was keen to find out whether he really does have a tougher time of it due to the presence of the big three or whether previous slam winners have faced similar obstacles. Read into it what you will, i'm not saying this proves anything one way or the other.

I found that:

14/25 of the first time slam winners faced someone in the final who had not previously won a grand slam (GOMEZ, SAMPRAS, COURIER, AGASSI, KRAJICEK, RAFTER, KORDA, MOYA, COSTA, FERRERO, FEDERER, GAUDIO, NADAL, DJOKOVIC)

4/25 of the first time slam winners did not face a previous grand slam champion at all on their way to winning the title (GOMEZ, KORDA, MOYA, FEDERER)

10/25 of the first time slam winners beat one previous grand slam champion on the way to winning the title (COURIER, BRUGUERA, MUSTER, SAFIN, JOHANSSON, COSTA, FERRERO, RODDICK, GAUDIO, NADAL)

7/25 of the first time slam winners beat two previous grand slam champions on the way to winning the title (SAMPRAS, AGASSI, KAFELNIKOV, KRAJICEK, RAFTER, HEWITT, DJOKOVIC)

4/25 of the first time slam winners beat three previous grand slam champions on the way to winning the title (STICH, KUERTEN, IVANISEVIC, DEL POTRO)

4/25 of the first time slam winners consecutively beat a previous grand slam champion in both the semi-final and final of the tournament (STICH, KAFELNIKOV, HEWITT, DEL POTRO)


I guess what this perhaps shows is that, while it's not impossible for Murray to win a slam by beating two or more of the big three en route to doing so, the stats are against him being able to do so. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all won their first slam playing someone in the final who hadn't won one before.

Any comments or feedback welcome :)

p.s. Please note, the stats are based on whether their opponents had won a grand slam previously at the time of playing them - thus matches against players who later went on to win a slam are not counted.
 

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Cool stats! It really puts the achievements of Ivanisevic and del Potro into perspective.

Mind you, something stirred in the cosmos for Ivanisevic to win that Wimbledon and del Potro had to play absolutely out of his skin to win the 2009 US Open.

Stich and Kuerten's first wins came before I followed tennis in a big way so I can;t really comment but I'm guessing one of the above statements comes true.

As for Murray, we know he'll have a much better chance if he avoids the top 3 in the semis and final and these stats back it up. It's not that he can;t beat those players, it's just the mental and physical pressure of being in a 7th 5-set match on the biggest stage of all, so any help he can get with other results going his way if a massive bonus to his chances! :wavey:
 

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Very good. I was thinking of compiling the same stats for a while but never got round to it. Nice work. If Murray had faced Philippoussis (Federer), Puerta (Nadal) or Tsonga (Djokovic) in a Grand Slam final he would've had a great chance to win it.

Respect to Hewitt, Roddick and del Potro who all beat Grand Slam champions in their first finals.
 

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Nice work.

And yes, it is likely that for Murray to win a slam, he would have to put in a Herculean performance a la del Potro because he'll probably face one or more of the"big 3". And beating them in succession doesn't happen often.

Even among the "big 3" it's hard for them to beat EACH OTHER in succession.
 

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delpo beating rafa and fed to win his maiden slam is one of the most legendary accomplishments in tennis :worship:
 
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tis a good indicator of draw strength

however

it doesn't take into account form

take, for instance,

federer's 2003 wimby

he beat roddick and scud- both at that time were in excellent form

comapre this to kafelnikov's first slam 1996 RG
he beat stitch (never a consistent guy anyway)
sampras (wasn't a clay courter)

his slam was much easier than federer's however the stats dont reflect this
 
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delpo beating rafa and fed to win his maiden slam is one of the most legendary accomplishments in tennis :worship:
to be fair, excellent- though it may be

it isn't impossible on a fast hard court when federer was well past his prime

nadal cant play on the surface, and federer was long past his 2007 best

having said that- its still an amazing accomplishment
 

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Interesting list. Have to admit it was my suspicion about the quality of opponent in the later stages.

Most fascinating thing is the number who have racked up the GS titles all faced fellow non-Grand Slam winners for their first: Sampras, Courier, Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic.
 
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