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View Full Version : Federer's chances of getting number 1 back & Hard court dominance


timnz
01-13-2011, 02:01 PM
I read this Wall Street Journal article with interest:

http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/01/13/federer-nadal-same-story-new-hemisphere/

Particularly: "On hard courts, the surface at play in Melbourne, Federer and Nadal rank one and two, in that order. Federerís lead on hard courts is almost as great as Nadalís overall; he has 7,915 points on hard courts, to 5,390 for Nadal, over the last year"

So even though Nadal has a dominant overall points lead over Federer (12,390 points to 9,245), Federer has 1.5 times as many points on hard courts. He clearly is the best hard court player.

In terms of catching up and overtaking Nadal:

"Nadalís edge over Federer last year between the Australian Open and the summer hard-court season was an astounding 6,255 points"

So after the Australian Open Nadal has a lot of points to defend and Federer doesn't.

Okay, so this all assumes - 1/ Federer can retain the Australian Open - no straight forward assumption

2/ Federer does really well after the Australian Open and significantly better than Nadal - again, no straight forward assumption at all.

meg0529
01-13-2011, 02:05 PM
According to my calculations, if Nadal loses the first round of every tournament he plays up till and including Miami. And Fed wins every tournament he plays including Miami, then in Fed will take the #1 ranking.

8PAQ
01-13-2011, 02:08 PM
Fed will be back at #1 after USO. Nadal's 2010 USO win was obviously a fluke. I dont think he will get #1 sooner than that thou. Unless of course they let me design draws for Nadal. Lol.
But seriously thou Fed will be really close to #1 after he wins Wimbledon this year.

Sid_Vicious
01-13-2011, 02:09 PM
Fed will be back at #1 after USO. Nadal's 2010 USO win was obviously a fluke. I dont think he will get #1 sooner than that thou. Unless of course they let me design draws for Nadal. Lol.
Summoning the *********s?

8PAQ
01-13-2011, 02:16 PM
Summoning the *********s?

Come on! Even the dumbest ********* knows that USO 2010 is not happening again. Nadal is most likely only going to win FO this year. Unless he gets injured or tired lol.

dh003i
01-13-2011, 02:21 PM
This was a stupid arguments when Nadal fans made it favoring Nadal, and it is a stupid argument the other away around.

Don't make things overly complicated. The player currently ranked #1 has done the best over the trailing 52 week period. The player ranked #1 at the end of the year will be the player who does the best over the year.

If Nadal does better than Federer in 2011, he will end the year #1. If Federer does better than Nadal in 2011, he will end the year at #1. End of story. By the end of 2011, who is ranked higher will have absolutely nothing at all to do with points in 2010.

I read this Wall Street Journal article with interest:

http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/01/13/federer-nadal-same-story-new-hemisphere/

Particularly: "On hard courts, the surface at play in Melbourne, Federer and Nadal rank one and two, in that order. Federerís lead on hard courts is almost as great as Nadalís overall; he has 7,915 points on hard courts, to 5,390 for Nadal, over the last year"

So even though Nadal has a dominant overall points lead over Federer (12,390 points to 9,245), Federer has 1.5 times as many points on hard courts. He clearly is the best hard court player.

In terms of catching up and overtaking Nadal:

"Nadalís edge over Federer last year between the Australian Open and the summer hard-court season was an astounding 6,255 points"

So after the Australian Open Nadal has a lot of points to defend and Federer doesn't.

Okay, so this all assumes - 1/ Federer can retain the Australian Open - no straight forward assumption

2/ Federer does really well after the Australian Open and significantly better than Nadal - again, no straight forward assumption at all.

8PAQ
01-13-2011, 02:30 PM
This was a stupid arguments when Nadal fans made it favoring Nadal, and it is a stupid argument the other away around.

Don't make things overly complicated. The player currently ranked #1 has done the best over the trailing 52 week period. The player ranked #1 at the end of the year will be the player who does the best over the year.

If Nadal does better than Federer in 2011, he will end the year #1. If Federer does better than Nadal in 2011, he will end the year at #1. End of story. By the end of 2011, who is ranked higher will have absolutely nothing at all to do with points in 2010.

I agree. I am just trying to figure out when Nadal will drop to #2. I am afraid it won't happen before his 2010 USO points drop off. To be honest I don't even expect Fed to win more than 1 slam this year (Wimbledon). However I do expect him to play much better than last year. So I expect he makes final at AO (maybe loses to Murray). Then does well in spring hard courts. Does much better on clay than last year. Wins Wimbledon. Does maybe a bit better on summer hard courts (maybe USO final and a Montreal win).

At the same time Nadal will lose points everywhere except for AO where he might make it to semis if he plays his Spanish puppets till then. I expect Nadal semi at AO, win FO, semi at Wimbl and semi or even quarter at USO. All depends at what point in each slam he stops playing Spanish puppets and plays Delpo or Murray or Sod or Denko or Fed of course. I think even a slam finals clown like Soderling can take out Nadal if he meets him in normal weather in USO quarter or semi.

Bartelby
01-13-2011, 02:33 PM
Unless Nadal gets injured (or suffers a major form reversal) like last time there is no way Federer is going to becme no. 1 again at 29.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 02:36 PM
I expect Federer will take back #1 at some point, even if only briefly. I think he regrets his meek and poor effort from March-July of last year when he should have easily broken Sampras's #1 record but let it slip away. It was strange since it seemed like he didnt even care. I think he now regrets this and will make a concerted effort to try and get back to #1 just to attain that particular record. He will probably get a bit of help from a Nadal injury at some point, even if only a short term one. Of course I hope not but history indicates this is likely at some point. I dont see him back at #1 long term though, just long enough to get the record. He might be able to end one final year #1 over Nadal but I wouldnt bet on it.

As for regaining hard court dominance, well he was the best hard court player this year overall. Nadal won the U.S Open but nothing else on the surface, and nobody else was even close. Each has a different definition of dominance, I think he could remain the best on hard courts as he was this year, but probably wont monopolize on hard courts as he did from 2004-2007.

timnz
01-13-2011, 02:37 PM
Unless Nadal gets injured (or suffers a major form reversal) like last time there is no way Federer is going to becme no. 1 again at 29.

29 is no reason why he can't get number 1 again. Agassi peaked at 29.

We have had a number of players at number 1 in their 30's eg

Newcombe - number 1 at 30

Connors - number 1 at 30

Lendl - number 1 at 30

Agassi - Number 1 at 33!

Ashe - Not official number 1 but everybody believed he was number 1 for the year 1975 at the age of 32

Laver - was number 1 probably until mid-1971 when he turned 33. He won the calendar year Grand Slam at 31.

8PAQ
01-13-2011, 02:42 PM
29 is no reason why he can't get number 1 again. Agassi peaked at 29.

We have had a number of players at number 1 in there 30's eg

Newcombe - number 1 at 30

Connors - number 1 at 30

Lendl - number 1 at 30

Agassi - Number 1 at 33!

Ashe - Not official number 1 but everybody believed he was number 1 for the year 1975 at the age of 32

Laver - was number 1 probably until mid-1971 when he turned 33. He won the calendar year Grand Slam at 31.

Absolutely. Fed is focused this year. He now knows what happens when he lets the foot of the gas like he did in 2010. I think this year he will play well not just in Slams but in other tournaments as well. He wants #1 back and he wants to stop any of this talk about Nadal being the next GOAT.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 02:42 PM
29 is no reason why he can't get number 1 again. Agassi peaked at 29.

We have had a number of players at number 1 in there 30's eg

Newcombe - number 1 at 30

Lendl - number 1 at 30

Agassi - Number 1 at 33!

Ashe - Not official number 1 but everybody believed he was number 1 for the year 1975 at the age of 32

Laver - was number 1 probably until mid-1971 when he turned 33. He won the calendar year Grand Slam at 31.

The game was totally different in the 60s and 70s. All players were succeeding at a much older age.

Lendl's dominance of the game was long over at age 30. He never had a multi slam year again after 87 (then age 27), and never would win another French or U.S Open, nor reach another Wimbledon final. He was still at #1 up to that point at certain times up until 30 since he didnt really face any dominant player like he used to with Borg, Connors, and McEnroe. The best guys by then he faced were Edberg and Becker who are great players but never really capable of dominance.

Agassi had extra energy in store from all the years he tanked in his 20s, and was lucky to have his career revival during a weak interim period where Hewitt and Kuerten where his toughest opponents.

Agassi and Lendl were not playing at the level by age 30 and beyond to be #1 over someone like Nadal. They were playing at the level to possibly be #1 over what they faced at the time which wasnt that great.


And btw Agassi's best ever tennis IMO was definitely in 1994 and 1995, 1995 especialy. Had it not been for Sampras being at his peak at the time and the tough overall competition complete with great surface specialists he would have won many slams those two years. As it was he still won a couple. I think 1990 was also some of his best tennis except for unfortunately his mental fragility for slam finals at the time. 1999-early 2000 at age 29 was amazing tennis from Agassi, but I still think 1994-1995, especialy 95, was his best ever tennis, even if the results were greater at the former.

timnz
01-13-2011, 02:46 PM
The game was totally different in the 60s and 70s. All players were succeeding at a much older age.

I wonder why that was the case. Contrary to current opinion, I feel that the players of that era were much fitter and tougher than current players - this may have helped their longevity. (They played best of 5 set tournaments continually throughout the year, no sit downs between change overs until mid-1970's, and played many more matches than current players, and transport was more exhausting then).

But Connors was number 1 at 30 in the 1980's, Lendl in the 1990's. I don't think you can discount that.

Bobby Jr
01-13-2011, 02:49 PM
All other details aside I think there is very little chance that Nadal will have a good a year in 2011 as he did in 2010 or that Federer will have as poor a year.

Nadal played great in 2010 but also benefited hugely from having a couple of his close peers misfiring at practically every significant event - either Federer's 6 months lull, or Djokovic/Muaary's results being all over the place etc. I just can't see him having as many opportunities this year, especially if Del Potro is also a potential unseeded 'thorn' at most tournaments.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 02:54 PM
I wonder why that was the case. Contrary to current opinion, I feel that the players of that era were much fitter and tougher than current players - this may have helped their longevity. (They played best of 5 set tournaments continually throughout the year, no sit downs between change overs until mid-1970's, and played many more matches than current players, and transport was more exhausting then).

But Connors was number 1 at 30 in the 1980's, Lendl in the 1990's. I don't think you can discount that.

I actually agree the players of the old days were incredibly fit and strong, and probably tougher mentally than the current era players which is kind of unusual. I think maybe it is players are just too pampered now, going to academies with special treatement from a young age often, get rich too fast, have too many demands which are always met.

I see what you are saying but the key is Federer would have to overcome Nadal now at the peak of his powers to be #1 at that age. I am not meaning to take away from these previous players feat of reaching #1 at those ages but they were not facing someone like how Nadal currently is.

Connors peak years were really 1974-1978. His returning to #1 at age 29/30 in 1982 was remarkable but lets face it, it never would have happened had Borg not retired (he hadnt beaten Borg in years at that point) and McEnroe not gone into a slumpage that year for some reason. And despite Connors surprising everyone by winning both Wimbledon and the US Open, McEnroe still ended the year as computer #1. By 1980 and 1981 Connors had been getting drubbed left and right by Borg and McEnroe, occasionally giving one or the other a good match, but always losing.

Lendl's dominance of the mens game had been stripped away completely in 1988 at age 28. He failed to win a slam, reached only 1 final, and Mats Wilander would win 3 of the 4 slams that year. He got back to #1 in 89 and 1990 for periods, but he was never the dominating force of 85-87 at that point. His only slams at that point were the 89 and 90 Aussie Opens which was still the weak slam back then, 1990 won almost certainly only due to Edberg's injury WD in the final. It was just kind of an open period as neither Becker or Edberg were consistent enough or able to dominate, even though both usually beat Lendl when they played him at that point, especialy in big matches.

timnz
01-13-2011, 03:35 PM
Connors peak years were really 1974-1978. His returning to #1 at age 29/30 in 1982 was remarkable but lets face it, it never would have happened had Borg not retired (he hadnt beaten Borg in years at that point) and McEnroe not gone into a slumpage that year for some reason. And despite Connors surprising everyone by winning both Wimbledon and the US Open, McEnroe still ended the year as computer #1. By 1980 and 1981 Connors had been getting drubbed left and right by Borg and McEnroe, occasionally giving one or the other a good match, but always losing.

Lendl's dominance of the mens game had been stripped away completely in 1988 at age 28. He failed to win a slam, reached only 1 final, and Mats Wilander would win 3 of the 4 slams that year. He got back to #1 in 89 and 1990 for periods, but he was never the dominating force of 85-87 at that point. His only slams at that point were the 89 and 90 Aussie Opens which was still the weak slam back then, 1990 won almost certainly only due to Edberg's injury WD in the final. It was just kind of an open period as neither Becker or Edberg were consistent enough or able to dominate, even though both usually beat Lendl when they played him at that point, especialy in big matches.

But the fact is - Connors did get to number 1. There may been outside factors (there always are aren't there?) but he still got there. Same with Lendl. He got to 3 Australian Open finals in a row - winning 2. Far from foregone conclusion that Edberg would have beaten him in 1990. A far less in form Lendl pushed Edberg to a 5th set final tiebreak at the US Open in 1992 when Edberg won the tournament.

Disagree completely about Australian Open being weaker in the late 80's and early 90's (certainly from '88 onwards) - look at the the draws - the top players were all there. This though it a hang-over of the fact that the Australian Open was indeed weak from 1972 through to the earlier 80's.

Blake0
01-13-2011, 04:00 PM
Fed will be back at #1 after USO. Nadal's 2010 USO win was obviously a fluke. I dont think he will get #1 sooner than that thou. Unless of course they let me design draws for Nadal. Lol.
But seriously thou Fed will be really close to #1 after he wins Wimbledon this year.

Ofcourse Nadal's 2010 USO win was a fluke, i mean who else can play amazing tennis for 2 weeks, winning the title (grand slam btw) and only losing 3 sets (i think).

veroniquem
01-13-2011, 04:03 PM
According to my calculations, if Nadal loses the first round of every tournament he plays up till and including Miami. And Fed wins every tournament he plays including Miami, then in Fed will take the #1 ranking.
Lol

10 chars

Rhino
01-13-2011, 04:04 PM
According to my calculations, if Nadal loses the first round of every tournament he plays up till and including Miami. And Fed wins every tournament he plays including Miami, then in Fed will take the #1 ranking.

According to my calculations, the odds of that exact scenario playing out are 98764564 to 1.

veroniquem
01-13-2011, 04:05 PM
Ofcourse Nadal's 2010 USO win was a fluke, i mean who else can play amazing tennis for 2 weeks, winning the title (grand slam btw) and only losing 3 sets (i think).
He only lost 1 set actually (in the final), only player with Lendl to do that on hard court at the USO.

dh003i
01-13-2011, 04:28 PM
He only lost 1 set actually (in the final), only player with Lendl to do that on hard court at the USO.

Nadal had the weakest competition at the USO that I've ever seen. Hewitt's USO win was far far more impressive, especially coming over Sampras.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 04:41 PM
So it is not like there was anyone at last years U.S Open who was going to beat Nadal. Murray is the only one who would have had a decent chance, but Murray couldnt even beat Nadal indoors in England at the end of the year. It is not one of those cases where a guy who wasnt going to win otherwise lucked out that the draw opened up. It is also not his fault the "tougher" opponents couldnt survive the so called weaker opponents Nadal ended up meeting.

Moose Malloy
01-13-2011, 04:48 PM
Disagree completely about Australian Open being weaker in the late 80's and early 90's (certainly from '88 onwards) - look at the the draws - the top players were all there.

what was the 1st year the AO offered equal ranking pts to the other slams? 1995?

Lendl got more pts for being RU at the 89 USO than for winning the 89 AO. Yeah they had great fields from 88 on, but apparently the ATP still decided it was still a lesser event. I wonder if that was still the situation today what the reaction of ranking pts obsessed fans here would be.

I wonder why that was the case.

well money of course. I seriously doubt Laver, Rosewall, etc would have played so long into their 30s if there wasn't so much money to be made after playing & winning slams in the 1960s for nothing. Laver obviously targeted big money events in the early 70s(even being banned from the FO & W just for playing the very lucrative WCT tour in 72! and those winner take all matches in '71 were probably more important to him than the slams that year. he got more money from those 13 matches than he would have gotten from winning every slam from '70-'75. hell, why do think 80 year old Pancho Gonzalez was killing himself to play in the early 70s? just for the love of the game? I doubt it. I know its seems uncouth to talk money, but they weren't playing for free from '68 on. And the reason they all stopped playing the amateur slams was for the money they could get elsewhere.

Now if Laver & Co grew up in an environment where one was set for life from endorsements by the age of 25, & where slams were million dollar events who knows how long they would have played, esp if one had 2 calendar slams, all the important records etc under their belt as well.

That's a major reason many star players have retired so young for so long, they have so much money, what's the point of killing yourself 11 months a year with a bum shoulder, knees, whatever? And many understandably want to start a family(the ratio of fathers in the ATP compared to all the team sports is incredibly low, probably since ATP players basically have no home, unlike team sports. It seems unfair to all parties to take your wife & kid on the road with you 11 months a year. Unless you have a ton of cash to make it as easy as possible, fly in private jets, multiple nannies, cooks, etc (see Fed)
Then playing for 'the love of the game' becomes a bit easier.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 05:12 PM
But the fact is - Connors did get to number 1. There may been outside factors (there always are aren't there?) but he still got there.

He wouldnt have gotten there at that point in his career facing someone like peak Nadal as Federer now is though. No way.

Same with Lendl. He got to 3 Australian Open finals in a row - winning 2. Far from foregone conclusion that Edberg would have beaten him in 1990. A far less in form Lendl pushed Edberg to a 5th set final tiebreak at the US Open in 1992 when Edberg won the tournament.

At the time the consensus was Edberg would have won the final for sure healthy based on his form at that tournament. Edberg went 5 sets with everyone at the 92 U.S Open.

Disagree completely about Australian Open being weaker in the late 80's and early 90's (certainly from '88 onwards) - look at the the draws - the top players were all there.

Not really the case.

1989 Australian Open:

Men- #3 Andre Agassi, #6 Kent Carlsson, #7 Jimmy Connors, #10 Tim Mayotte all absent

Women- #3 Chris Evert, #6 Manuela Maleeva Fragniere, #7 Natalia Zvereva, all absent


1990 Australian Open:

Men- #5 Michael Chang, #6 Brad Gilbert, #7 Andre Agassi, #9 Alberto Mancini,
#10 Jay Berger all absent

Women- #2 Martina Navratilova, #5 Aranxta Sanchez Vicario, #6 Monica Seles, #7 Conchita Martinez, #9 Manuela Maleeva Fragniere all absent


I dont remember if any of these players were injured but safe to say many of them werent. This is the only slam still that would have had this many absences in the top 10. Certainly the Australian Open was building its status at this point. Atleast alot of the top players did play. It was still the weak slam clearly though. Of course you could argue none of the men I listed were a real threat to Lendl. Possibly true but aside the point really.

kishnabe
01-13-2011, 07:04 PM
Federer can only get world number one if he can win the aussie, reach at least SF of IW and Miami....amd get enlarge his h2h deficet to Nadal at all the clay master finals and RG!

timnz
01-13-2011, 07:21 PM
what was the 1st year the AO offered equal ranking pts to the other slams? 1995?



I'd be interested in knowing that. I would be very surprised if it was as late as 1995 that it got parity. If it is the case, then it would be unjust because the Australian Open fields were just as deep as the other majors from at least 1988 (some would argue even earlier).

veroniquem
01-13-2011, 08:07 PM
Nadal had the weakest competition at the USO that I've ever seen. Hewitt's USO win was far far more impressive, especially coming over Sampras.
Don't care. I'm giving a stat, not an opinion. Most dominant perf at USO since Lendl.

timnz
01-13-2011, 08:11 PM
Don't care. I'm giving a stat, not an opinion. Most dominant perf at USO since Lendl.

I am a Federer fan. However, Nadal's win at the US Open was completely legit. He was in dominant form. I am not at all sure that Federer would have got past him if he had won one of those match points in the Semi's (he may have though - the semi's were Federer's only bad match at the US Open).

Nadal has always been a good Hard Court player (look at Indian Wells 2004 and Miami 2005), he is just not as good as Federer (even though he leads Federer in the outdoor hard court head to head).

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 08:11 PM
Don't care. I'm giving a stat, not an opinion. Most dominant perf at USO since Lendl.

Lendl was a beast at the U.S Open, yet it is a bit shocking he has a 3-5 finals record there. And he was favored to win atleast 3 of the 5 finals he lost too.

timnz
01-13-2011, 08:14 PM
Lendl was a beast at the U.S Open, yet it is a bit shocking he has a 3-5 finals record there. And he was favored to win atleast 3 of the 5 finals he lost too.

Lendl had some pretty good opposition in those US Open final losses. Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Becker.

I've said it before on these forums - a Grand Slam finals loss isn't a negative. If he had lost those 5 tournaments (US Open 1982, 1983, 1983, 1988, 1989) in the first round, would that constitute a greater peformance because his US Open Finals win percentage would then be 100% ? Of course not, because getting to a final is a great achievement in itself.

NadalAgassi
01-13-2011, 08:31 PM
Lendl had some pretty good opposition in those US Open final losses. Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Becker.

I've said it before on these forums - a Grand Slam finals loss isn't a negative. If he had lost those 5 tournaments (US Open 1982, 1983, 1983, 1988, 1989) in the first round, would that constitute a greater peformance because his US Open Finals win percentage would then be 100% ? Of course not, because getting to a final is a great achievement in itself.

None of his losses were bad losses but he was expected to beat Wilander, expected to beat Becker on hard courts, expected to beat the aging and ill Connors in 83 I am pretty sure.

dandelion_smiley
01-15-2011, 11:31 AM
According to my calculations, if Nadal loses the first round of every tournament he plays up till and including Miami. And Fed wins every tournament he plays including Miami, then in Fed will take the #1 ranking.

Ehmmm, be real

If Federer wins the Australian Open he's got an open door to no 1, even if Nadal defends most of his points on clay and grass (and Indian Wells/Miami), it will be enough for Federer to keep reaching at least the semis/finals to get back to no 1 after Wimbledon. So as I said a dozen times already, the Australian Open is crucial. If Federer wins, for me he's almost a lock to get back to no 1 at some stage in 2011, if Nadal wins, well then it's gonna be really hard to climb back (Nadal's advantage would be really big after the AO, something like 4000-4500 since Federer is defending 2000 points/would lose most and Nadal would gain 1600).

dandelion_smiley
01-15-2011, 11:34 AM
None of his losses were bad losses but he was expected to beat Wilander, expected to beat Becker on hard courts, expected to beat the aging and ill Connors in 83 I am pretty sure.

Lendl had it tough big time, the mid 80's are probably the most packed years with Slam champions, Ivan played the likes of Borg, McEnroe, Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Connors, later Agassi, Sampras, all 5+ Slam winners.

Gaudio2004
01-15-2011, 11:43 AM
For Federer to achieve #1, without it being on any others players term, he has to:

1. Win Australian Open 2011
2. Reach final in both Indian Well / Miami (really he should do this, he's the best hard-court player currently)
3. Play Monte Carlo and reach at least semi final there and also in Rome
3. Get a final in Madrid and beat Nadal (assuming he reaches the final) - Federer was better in Madrid 2009 and was better for most of the match in Madrid 2010, he just played a dreadful tie-breaker, of all the clay AMS, Federer plays the best in Madrid.
4. Reach both finals and win one of Roland Garros and Wimbledon

And that would be it - although I believe Federer has to maintain a surreal level of consistency to get back to #1 before the summer, a level of consistency only seen at his prime.