View Full Version : Want to win a grand slam? Make 3 finals

Back in the good old days when Andy Murray wasn't a slam champion, I used to point out various stats that seemed to act as determinants for slam winning success and therefore suggested that Murray would also win a slam. The one stat that really stuck out for me is that nobody in the open era who has made 3 slam finals has finished their career slamless - that stat is reinforced now Murray has won his 1st. It seems to be that if you give yourself enough chances, then eventually you'll win one and that 'enough' equates to 3 or more.

There are plenty of slamless players who made 1 final, a smaller group who have made 2, but nobody who made 3.

Could guys like Berdych and Tsonga eke out another few slam finals and 'give themselves enough chances'?

Does my theory that 3 finals is the 'critical mass' for slam winning seem reasonable or is it a load of old bollocks?

Hard against the top 4 players now. Yes if it was Fed-error but the other 3 are quite consistent in their level. To win a slam they would have to get past 2 of the top 4 in a best of 5 sets. Tall order.Not impossible but difficult.

Zildite

10-15-2012, 02:53 AM

The number should be 5, since no one has needed more than that many attempts before winning their first slam.

Look at the guys who made three finals only.

Stich won in his first final

Gerulaitis in his first

Brugera in his first

Kafelnikov in his first

Kuerten in his first

Ferrero in his second

Smith in his second

Cash in his second

None of the three final only players needed a third shot before they had already won a slam.

There are a few that needed three attempts to get their first but ended up with more than one (Ashe, Nastase are two).

*You could count Roche as a 0-3 open era player.

Russeljones

10-15-2012, 02:55 AM

I think when Federer fades away (completely) this dynamic might change. Murray had to do it in the most difficult era (probably) and still needed some good fortune to get the job done. I think you're factually correct but Murray and this era might be misleading us a little.

SoBad

10-15-2012, 03:43 AM

My stats prof said you need at least around 20 points to draw a regression line.

My stats prof said you need at least around 20 points to draw a regression line.

There are way more than 20 separate items in the set of 'people who have made 3 or more slam finals and won a slam'.

But there are zero items in the set of 'people who have made 3 or more slam finals who didn't win a slam'.

SoBad

10-15-2012, 03:56 AM

There are way more than 20 separate items in the set of 'people who have made 3 or more slam finals and won a slam'.

But there are zero items in the set of 'people who have made 3 or more slam finals who didn't win a slam'.

You didn't say "3 or more slam finals" initially - you said "3 slam finals".

You didn't say "3 or more slam finals" initially - you said "3 slam finals".

Fair point - I should've been clearer. My point isn't that once you've made three that you will win your next one. My point is more that if you've made three, you are likely to win a slam at some point in your career i.e. there is a correlation between making 3 finals and finishing your career as a slam winner.

I'm not sure if it's a proper, significant correlation as I didn't get beyond GCSE maths. Would value the views of people who do know about stuff like that.

SoBad

10-15-2012, 04:08 AM

Fair point - I should've been clearer. My point isn't that once you've made three that you will win your next one. My point is more that if you've made three, you are likely to win a slam at some point in your career.

I agree then - the more slam finals you make, the more likely you are to get the coin finally flip your way. Just like Raonic will never win a slam because he'll never make the final!

P.S. I don't think you need math to draw inferences and make predictions. Personal knowledge and intuition can go a long way. However, if you want to forecast based on numbers alone, you need to assemble a more reliable data set.

ledwix

10-15-2012, 04:08 AM

You didn't say "3 or more slam finals" initially - you said "3 slam finals".

3 slam finals is a subset of 3 or more slam finals, which is what the other poster was implying, that anyone so far who has made three or more finals has won at least one slam.

Not that it implies any real boundary or anything. It just happens to be the case right now. Just another fact, not necessarily a prescriptive principle.

Sentinel

10-15-2012, 04:08 AM

Does this mean that Federer can be expected to win slams indefinitely since he has 3, or is there some expiry period ?

:)

I think it's just a case of;

If you're good enough to keep reaching that stage of the tournament then you're good enough to actually win the damn thing. Just a case of finding your form. Guys like Tsonga and Berdych aren't particularly consistant atleast with reaching beyond the quarters.

I agree then - the more slam finals you make, the more likely you are to get the coin finally flip your way. Just like Raonic will never win a slam because he'll never make the final!

P.S. I don't think you need math to draw inferences and make predictions. Personal knowledge and intuition can go a long way. However, if you want to forecast based on numbers alone, you need to assemble a more reliable data set.

Thanks for your reasonable response and not taking the p1ss out of my limited maths/stats knowledge :)

The point I was clumsily trying to get at is that the 'tipping' point for winning looks like it's set at 3.

Does this mean that Federer can be expected to win slams indefinitely since he has 3, or is there some expiry period ?

:)

:) Trust you!

Yes, Sexi can wins slams for eva!

ark_28

10-15-2012, 04:43 AM

It is an excellent point and you have made it all along Batz, I think with the strength of the top 4 though that even if Berdych etc made a few more finals they may buck this trend and still end up on 0 but who knows.

Scud made 2 major finals, makes you think if he had stayed injury free and more focused he perhaps could have claimed one! I certainly believe he could have had one!

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