At their best, who would win?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Graphiteking, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Hey, nice to see someone taking an interest in match stats.

    You can find match stats from past years at Web Archive: http://archive.org/web/web.php. For example, you can run a search there for the official U.S. Open site in past years, by searching for the address "www.usopen.org."

    I'd agree that Nadal, playing well, wins a great deal of points on the unforced errors of his opponents. But I've seen some matches of his in which his high level of play is reflected in the differentials, too, even when he's playing someone who makes many more winners, and errors, than he does.

    When he beat Verdasco at the 2009 AO, in a match praised for its quality, he made 52 winners and 25 unforced errors compared to Verdasco's 95 winners and 76 unforced errors. Verdasco's a perfect example of someone whose game is much more based on hitting winners, when compared to Nadal. Verdasco had almost twice as many winners as Nadal. But his differential is not larger than Rafa's. Nadal had a winner/error differential of +27, Verdasco +19.

    I follow your logic and what you're saying may be true, it's just that Nadal, though he may "provoke" a lot of unforced errors in his opponents, also keeps his own unforced errors very low, which allows him to have better differentials than his defeated opponents.

    Nadal's case is a little tricky, because he generally makes few winners and few errors, compared to some high-risk players out there; but there are some matches in which he does totally unexpected things.

    For example he lost the 2006 Wimbledon final to Federer in four sets. But his differential (+16) was better than Federer's (+11). That's because he made fewer unforced errors than Federer, as usual, but he almost equaled Federer in winners (42-43) -- something you would not normally expect him to do.

    The differentials give the wrong picture of the match because they are built on official stats which only report UNFORCED errors. The forced errors are almost never reported in official stats. In this match, Federer actually won a lot more points, overall, than Nadal did. But he made more unforced errors than Nadal; and in winners he had no real edge. That tells you that in the category of FORCED errors, Federer must have been doing most of the forcing.

    Sometimes the dynamics of a match -- or even a rivalry -- just fall "outside the box," so to speak. Or problems could arise from the way that statisticians at a particular tournament are judging their unforced errors.

    The other Nadal/Federer finals at Wimbledon, in 2007 and 2008, also have problems if you go by the differentials.

    There is one method that does count the forced errors. It's called the Aggressive Margin, maybe you've heard of it.

    You can read about it here: http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_24691_original.PDF

    Basically, in tennis you want to be as aggressive as possible while making as few errors as possible. That's what the Aggressive Margin measures. It measures the points that you win aggressively -- either by striking clean winners or by forcing your opponent into errors -- and compares that with how many points you gave away by making unforced errors.

    To have a high Aggressive Margin does not mean that you have to be what we normally think of as "an aggressive player." The guy who makes few winners and few errors, like Nadal, can have just as high an Aggressive Margin as a guy who makes a ton of winners and errors. What matters is whether you can win points but not pay too high a cost in errors. Whoever does better at that balancing act has the higher Aggressive Margin and is almost always the winner of the match.

    When you calculate Aggressive Margins for the Federer/Nadal finals at Wimbledon, those matches start making sense.

    Federer’s Aggressive Margins against Nadal at Wimbledon:

    30.5% (2006)
    33.1% (2007)
    30.3% (2008 )

    Nadal’s Aggressive Margins against Federer at Wimbledon:

    22.4% (2006)
    31.0% (2007)
    31.5% (2008 )

    These matches are tightly bound up; there's not a lot separating them. Except for Nadal's performance in 2006, all the performances were pretty much of the same quality. In fact they are so similar that you could argue that Nadal performed better in 2007 than Federer did in 2008: but only by a slight margin.

    The similarity of the 2007 and 2008 finals in quality is also borne out through other methods -- like calculating the percentage of total points that ended with a winner.

    And I think if you just watch those matches, you feel that the 2007 and 2008 are very similar; and that the 2006 match was a solid win for Federer unlike the struggles of the other two years.

    Federer has higher Aggressive Margins than either Nadal or Djokovic -- and I will post those, I have several dozen spanning their careers -- but I just wanted to say in passing that the highest Aggressive Margin I've ever calculated belongs to John McEnroe in the 1984 Wimbledon final: 52.8%.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    BobbyOne, as far as playing level goes, what do you make of the fact that Nadal and Djokovic could not dominate old Roddick and old Hewitt as much as Federer dominated the peak versions of those men?

    I'm referring to what I laid out here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=7091660#post7091660

    I hope you've been feeling better in the last few days.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Adjusted for inflation, Gonzales made millions. He didn't know how to save.
     
  4. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    abmk, You seem to be happy only when contradicting me in EVERY point.

    Murray reached his peak not at the AO or Wimbledon but a bit later.
     
  5. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    The message you want to convey is just this. Murray reached his PEAK at Wimbledon for Olympics thats when he beat Federer. Till then he was baby. According to you, he was a baby when he beat Rafa twice in hard court slams but lost pathetically to Roger in finals. Of course, Murray is a baby when he beats Rafa, whom you consider stronger than Roger and loses in the final badly to Roger, a weak era champion.

    And Roger Federer is a machine, so he is at his peak ever since he won his first Wimbledon in 2003. He will be in peak play even if he plays till 2016 and loses to 100th ranked player in the world. And then we would have gems like, had this 100th ranked guy been around earlier, Roger wouldn't have won slams at all..

    Lemme quote Zagor once

    Roger Federer will not allow a 31 year old man to win Wimbledon and become world number one when he was in his peak.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  6. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    krosero, Thanks for your empathy. My ear pain has gone, my cold partly.

    Yes, Federer has done better against these two players but, as told, fact remains that Federer did better against Nadal and Djokovic as long as these two were prior to their peak. I think we can see this at the 2007 and 2008 Wimbledon finals.
     
  7. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    French Open - Rafael Nadal
    Wimbledon - Roger Federer
    US Open - Roger Federer
    Australian Open - Roger Federer
     
  8. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    I have a question for you.

    You are the one who is always harping about the head to head between Rafa and Roger Federer. What do you say about the fact that Hewitt, Roddick and Safin have a positive balance against Pete Sampras?
     
  9. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    It's interesting: If I contradict one of your Federer fans, immediately another of the Federer Armada fights back to "disprove" me...

    Did you ever hear about the secrets of special match ups?.

    F.i.: There were four top amateur players in the early 1950s: Rosewall owned Seixas, Seixas dominated Hoad, Hoad dominated Trabert and Trabert did well against Rosewall...
     
  10. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    I think that thre three played Sampras mostly when Pete was at his decline.
     
  11. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    I know it sounds absurd. I have a feeling that Roger Federer will win this AO. I know the slow hard court tournament at Australia is Novak's to lose.

    If Roger Federer can beat Novak Djokovic in FO 2011 when Novak was playing in the form of his life on a highly physically demanding surface like clay, I don't think it's too much for a die hard Roger Federer fan like me to expect him to do something like that this month end :wink:

    Lastly, it's just an intuitive feeling, not based on any reasoning :)
     
  12. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Post 2010, Roger is also declining and his opponents Novak and Rafa are in his peak. That explains why he was not doing well in slams.

    When you say that Murray achieved his peak only after Wimbledon it sounds fishy. You are merely downplaying Roger's Wimbledon win

    I know about the match ups. Since you know about the match ups, you would also know that Rafa is a tough match up for Roger Federer. 14 of the 28 matches between them took place on clay. Rafa leads 2-12.

    Now if we take surfaces, Roger leads Rafa on hard courts and grass. Rafa leads on clay. So why do you bother this much about head to head ?
     
  13. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, Fed and Agassi have 4 so Novak will likely have to win 5 to be considered the best. I do think there's a good chance Novak will win 5 or more AOs, the only player I could see him preventing Novak from doing that is Murray who's a pretty bad match-up for Novak (more so on faster surfaces but still) and has improved under Lendl.

    Funny thing about Agassi is that as much as I feel that plexicushion is tailor made for Novak's game so was rebound ace for Agassi's yet he didn't even participate there until he was 25, the guy really had a weird career.

    Yeah, it's had to gauge how would Novak and Agassi match-up at AO, Novak is an excellent ballstriker but Agassi is the best ever in that department (he has the best FH-BH combo ever IMO), that said Novak is a much better mover and I feel when he's dialed in, mentally tougher as well.
     
  14. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's not much of an argument to be honest going by what you previously said, I mean Fed's results (focusing on slams which is what he cares about the most) from say 2010-2012 were much worse than even his 2008-2009 let alone his glory years in 2004-2007 yet it's questionable/debatable whether he was/is past his best.

    Also, Nadal's results in 2008 have not radically improved in any way:

    -In 2007 AO he got smashed by Gonzo in QF, in 2008 AO he got smashed by Tsonga in SF.

    -He won 2007 FO and he won 2008 FO as well.

    -He lost a close 5 setter in 2007 Wimbledon final, he won a close 5 setter in 2008 Wimbledon final.

    -He won IW, MC and Rome in 2007, he won Canada, MC and Hamburg in 2008.

    The only result that was significantly better in 2008 was reaching USO SF compared to losing in the 4th round in 2007 but then again in 2007 he reached SF in YEC while in 2008 he skipped that tourney so overall balance is hardly that different.

    Now disregarding the results and just subjectively evaluating Nadal's level of play, I personally think he played his career best tennis on natural surfaces (clay and grass) in 2008 but then again in same way I find the notion that Fed may not be past his best at this point in his career very suspect (not to say downright laughable), his 2 biggest assets, movement and FH are atleast a level bellow to what they were.


    Not an argument in itself, Fed was taken to 5 sets against Falla in 2010 Wimbledon (was closer to losing than Pete was to Cowan) and against Benneteau in 2012 Wimbledon.

    That's very generous.

    I wouldn't (not by much anyway), one sample size is not enough for me, if Fed and Sampras were the same age who knows how many Wimbledon meetings they would have had?

    That's one way of looking at things, another one is taking into account Sampras' "slams only matter" policy (his winning % even in his best years were not that special and his masters count is low considering everything) which only got more pronounced as he got older and instead compare the number of slam finals Fed and Sampras made in 2010-2012 and 2000-2002 respectively (Pete is 10 years older than Fed so the comparison is easy), in that regard Sampras comes on top with 4 slam finals compared to Fed's 3.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  15. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Safin and Fed for example beat Sampras (in Wimbledon 4th round and USO final respectively) when he was 29, surely that was a young age if we use Rosewall and Pancho as a comparison? Hewitt beat Sampras on grass 6-4 6-4 (in Queens Club final) when Sampras was 28.
     
  16. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Pete Sampras made three US finals and one Wimbledon final. Roger Federer made final in all three slams (AO, FO, W) but US Open

    Interestingly there is a huge disparity at their performances in US Open. Two finals and a win for Pete while two SF and a QF for Roger. On either of those two SFs Roger was on match points against Novak. Pete had the luxury of a fast US Open court. Roger had to play on a slower court that aids his opponents a lot as both Rafa and Djokovic are excellent defenders. I am not trying to discredit Pete as he is certainly one of my fave players. Pete did but have the luxury of a court that suited his style more..
     
  17. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Feather, as far as I know Nadal leads in outdoor hardcourts.
     
  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Match stats are interesting, but somehow tricky to use. I think you use them wisely, by taking into account the quality of the data and by controlling the context of the matches. I couldn't find what I was looking for on the link you provided (very good to know by the way), but I research in the future. Could be interesting to do some stats during the AO, where I would be able to add precise qualitative analysis to the numbers analysis.
     
  19. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    So you are splitting into outdoor and indoor. Still it's 2-2 surfaces for both.

    Rafa didn't meet Federer when he was in his prime on US Open.
     
  20. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Clay: Nadal
    Not clay: Federer

    Sure, he wouldn't win 100% of his matches, but overall in his peak he strongly believe he is the better player by a good margin on both Djokovic and Murray. He is fat better than Nadal on hard as well (against the field), but in direct confrontation, peak Nadal would give more trouble to peak Federer than peak Djokovic would.
     
  21. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    grass Roger Federer & Steffi Graf
    Clay Rafael Nadal & Monica Seles
    hardcourt Pete Sampras & Serena Williams
    Indoor Roger Federer & Steffi Graf
     
  22. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    and that is based on what exactly ?

    even before that he took djoker to 5 sets at the AO having BPs late in the set, but lost on only 4 sets to federer ..... how did that happen when super-duper djoker has a much higher peak than federer ? :lol:

    how did murray beat nadal at HC slams twice before and not win a single set vs federer in their 2 HC slam meetings ?

    how did 30+ year old federer beat djoker @ the FO taking 3 sets off him on clay, while prime nadal couldn't get one set off him in 2 matches on clay in 2011 ...

    how did 30+ year old federer nearly beat djoker @ the USO when nadal got pumelled in the final and had to scramble to win a set ...

    how did 31 year old federer beat djoker @ wimbledon in 4 sets in 2012 whereas rafa lost to him in 4 in 2011 wimbledon ?

    how is this possible if super-duper rafa and djoker have much higher peaks than federer ? :)

    and , I'm just having fun at your plainly dumb, and I repeat dumb thinking .... even die-hard *******s and djokotards wouldn't say their nadal's/djoker's peak level is much higher than federer's .....

    I just want to see how far you can push this .......:)

    that includes thinking that the likes of kramer, laver, connors, borg , sampras , agassi etc ( from all generations of tennis players ) who speak so highly of federer's level of play are stupid enough to do so ....
     
  23. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    not really ... it isn't necessary that most of the sets b/w top pros be close ...

    see USO 2011 final for example : djoker was in complete control in sets 1,2 and 4 ..

    in wimbledon 2011 for example : djoker won sets 2 and 4 convincingly whereas nadal won set 3 convincingly

    federer tried to go toe-to-toe with djoker from the baseline and was having trouble with djoker's shotmaking in 2008/11 ...... but he had an easier time vs safin in AO 2004 & 2005 and even agassi in AO 2005... this even though safin /agassi's groundstrokes are more powerful than djoker's ....... just tells me quite a bit of it has to do with fed's below par performances/age in those matches .....

    given federer was nowhere close to his best in either of those matches and djoker was and the sets were that close , I'd expect federer to edge him out at it his best with him able to control the baseline quite a bit better than he did on those 2 occasions ....just my 2 cents .


    yeah, agreed ....just saying only insane defense didn't trouble federer as hewitt in particular found out ....


    well, I don't know exactly why , but its just the impression I've got from watching their matches ...

    djoker does better in CC exchanges than you'd expect given the strength of their respective FHs and less better against fed's I/O and DTL FHs while defending on his BH side ( given the strength of his BH in general ) .... while the former is atleast in part due to federer's movement to the right declining since 2008 , I'm not sure what exactly to pin-point to for the later part .....

    yeah, only novak won both sets in TBs and fed won a set 6-2 ... fed's BO3 performances had declined by then though he was darn good in all the 4 slams in 2007 ....I wouldn't say the one at montreal is slow, but rather medium in speed ...
     
  24. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    The reason he said Murray reached peak after Wimbledon is to discredit Federer's win at Wimbledon 2012. Federer beat a baby Murray :)

    Some of the arguments here are comedy gold. Pete Sampras has a losing head to head against Roddick, Hewitt, Safin because he was declining. Roger won only two slams out of his last twelve is a knock on Federer as Roger Federer is a machine and he is in his peak. Coincidentally Pete also won only two of his last twelve slams

    Seriously people who say or imply that Roger Federer is still in his peak have either haven't seen him play during his peak or are here to push their own agenda
     
  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    that winner to UE ratio in that match is an interesting one ...... that along with the below mentioned stats back up my impression that while plexi was still decent pace in 2008-09 .... its slowed down quite a bit in 2010,11 and 12

    in the AO 2009 finals, federer was +7 and nadal was +9 ( federer was +7 inspite of a series of unforced errors from 2 all in the final set )

    contrast this to the 2010 AO final where federer inspite of playing by some distance better was only +4 vs murray

    in the AO 2011 semi-final, where djoker played arguably his finest match , he was -5 or -6 ( I can't get the exact stat now , this is just from my memory )

    in the AO 2011 final , where djoker played very well , he was -7 vs murray , who was nowhere near playing good tennis ...

    and of course in AO 2012 finals, both djoker and nadal were well into the negative (-12 for djoker and -27 for nadal )


    not surprised at that ... what are federer's, sampras', nadal's and agassi's highest in the matches you have the stats of ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  26. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Well I can tell you, about the UE to winners ratio (and you probably already know this) that it is because those matches that are in the negatives are a byproduct of two great defenders as well as what you mentioned that the court is slow. In a match between two great defenders you will see more UE than winners, hence the negative ratio.
     
  27. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    again, both fed and nadal were defending very well in the AO 2009 final, but ended up with a clear positive differential ....

    djoker was playing his very best tennis against federer in the 2011 semi ,where federer was moving and defending much worse than he did in the 2009 final, yet djoker ends up in the negative !?

    verdasco was in contrast +19 vs nadal in the AO 2009 semi and we all know how insanely well nadal defended in that one .......

    federer playing by some distance better vs murray in the AO 2010 final in comparison to the 2009 final (this with nadal playing by some distance better than murray and fed's flurry of UEs towards the end of the 2009 match ), yet ends up with a worse winner/UE differential in the 2010 final ?

    doesn't add up if the speed of the courts stayed the same, does it ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  28. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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  29. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    You put it very succinctly there: "controlling the context of the matches." That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Match stats can become very confusing when the variables change, which is why I like to group together matches like Fed/Djoker 5 years in a row at USO, or Fed/Nadal 3 years in a row at Wimbledon.

    If there's something you can't find don't hesitate to ask, I may have it.

    And I'd look forward to any analysis you do at AO.

    That contrast between the '09 and '10 finals does stand out. Federer faced far better opposition from Rafa than he got from Andy. As you mentioned, Nadal's defense in that '09 match was insane. Yet Federer managed a higher winner/error ratio when facing Nadal. Against Murray's inferior performance Fed didn't have such a high ratio.

    So you could be right about the surface slowing down.

    One thing to keep in mind, though, is that long matches produce larger differentials (both negative and positive). That's because long matches result in large numbers of winners and errors. Nadal and Federer played five sets and hit many more winners than Murray and Federer did in their 3 sets. So when you subtract the errors from the winners in a long match, the differentials end up higher.

    Fed, for example, had 71 winners and 64 ue in the '09 match. If that match had been half as long, he'd have 35 winners and 32 errors: differential of +3, rather than +7.

    Check out Federer's gargantuan numbers in the '09 Wimbledon final and you'll see an even better example of what marathon length can do to differentials.

    Same with negative differentials. That AO final last year was one of the longest of all time, so Djokovic and Nadal falling to -12 and -27 is a bit deceptive. In a match of half that length those numbers might be -6 and -13.

    I think your point still stands, but it's something to keep in mind....

    I'll put those figures in a separate thread. Quick summary: highest I have for Federer is 50.0%; for Sampras, 40.0%; for Djokovic, 39.1%; for Nadal, 34.7%; for Agassi, 34.1%.

    I think we could find significantly higher ones for Sampras, but I can't find official Unforced Errors for some of his best performances (ie, 1995 and '99 Wimbledon finals).
     
  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    fair enough, but that's applicable assuming the quality of the match stays more or less the same throughout ...

    in the case of the AO final in 2009, we do know that from 2 all in the final set, federer's level dipped rapidly amidst a flurry of UEs, before that he might have been something like +15 .... just a guess ...

    do you have the UE stats for the federer-djokovic AO 2008 SF ?

    I'm pretty sure djoker would be well into the positive there unlike in the AO 2011 SF where he was in the negative ....

    would be also very interested to have the winner/UE stats for nadal/tsonga SF ... to calculate the aggressive margin of tsonga :)

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=204257

    cool, thanks .... Please do ... even I'll put the aggressive ratio for some of the match stats I have .....
     
  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    That's true; Nadal and Djokovic did better against Federer when they moved into their peak. It's also a fact, however, that they started doing better against Federer when Roger's numbers against the whole field started dropping. Note how Federer's win/loss records took a significant drop from '06 to '07; and how Federer had strange losses starting in early '08 to men he had previously owned (Mardy Fish at Indian Wells, Roddick in Miami).

    Federer got off to a terrible start in '08, before even meeting Nadal. In fact he closed out '07 winning his last two matches with Nadal; but then in '08 he failed to win any tournament between the AO and the beginning of the claycourt season, when he started meeting Nadal. The last time he had entered the claycourt season without a title under his belt was 2002.

    In a post upthread I also showed that the drops in Federer's win/loss records from '06 onward could only be partly attributed to extra losses he was taking to Nadal and Djokovic. In some cases the drop could not be attributed to that at all. He had more losses in '07 than in '06, but that was not due at all to Nadal, because in '07 he actually cut down on his losses to Rafa.

    One thing I'd like ask you concerns win/loss records (and this question is for PC1, too, since he has done a lot of work with yearly win/loss records). We know when young players like Nadal and Djokovic reach their peak, because we are guided by their win/loss records. Those records improve as the players mature, until a peak year when the player has his best win/loss record: that is presumed to be his peak; or near his peak.

    So if win/loss records guide us in telling us when Nadal and Djokovic hit their peaks, shouldn't win/loss records guide us in telling us when Federer started declining?

    About Roddick and Hewitt: if you are right that Nadal and Djokovic have higher playing levels than Federer, then they should have gone through old Roddick and old Hewitt like a knife through butter. They should have dispatched those men at least as easily as Federer did. But the opposite is true: they did not have the same dominating scores over Hewitt and Roddick that Federer did over the peak versions of those men.

    What I'm curious about -- I don't want to have a heated debate about it, just curious what you think -- is what you attribute all that to? Why do you think it went that way with Hewitt and Roddick, if Nadal and Djokovic really are better players than Federer?
     
  32. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    In the fifth set of the '09 final, Federer had 14ue, Nadal 2. Don't know what the numbers would have been from 2-all to the end.

    2008 SF: Fed 38w, 32 ue. Djok 50w, 32 ue.
    (These are all official stats from tournament websites; I did take my own stats on that match, and on others, but in order to control the context I'm sticking to the figures of the official statisticians.)

    Novak's Aggressive Margin was 24.3%, Federer's 14.0%.

    In the other semi Tsonga had 49w, 27ue. Nadal 13w, 12ue.

    Tsonga's Aggressive Margin was 34.3%, Nadal's 12.3%.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  33. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I was able to access the stats using archive.org ( was having trouble accessing many of the entries in the AO site from archive.org till now )

    in the final set, federer had 6 winners to 14 UEs

    which makes it 65 winners to 50 UEs in 4 sets, a +15 .....

    from sets 1 to 3, federer had 50 winners to 40 UEs (+10)

    this is out of a total of 243 points from sets one to 3

    in the AO 2010 final vs murray, he had 46 winners to 42 UEs

    this is out of a total of 216 points ...

    just showing that in this particular comparison, the length of the respective matches wasn't that big a factor , if at all !

    thanks .... from what you wrote in that thread, there are only minor discrepancies ..... so essentially both federer and djoker were clearly in the positive, djoker much more so .... in stark contrast to the AO 2011 SF ......

    you have the aggressive margins wrong here !!

    for instance,

    tsonga won 89 points out of 146, out of which 12 were UEs from nadal, therefore aggressive margin = (89-12)/146 = 77/146=52.73%

    surely one of the highest !?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I see your argument, but I would be wary of cutting off any single part of a match in order to imagine what it would be like if it were shorter. You're leaving out the last part of the match, in which Federer had his worst patch ... and leaving in the parts where he hit the most winners. That supports your argument better -- and you may in fact be right in attributing those winners to surface changes -- but it's a less convincing argument, because you're using the parts of the match with the most winners.

    Of course we all break down match statistics by set, for various purposes, and that's fine. But for measuring court speed I think it's best to think of a match as a whole, with a beginning, middle and conclusion. Every match, before it concludes, has highs and lows from each player. You're taking the 2010 match as a whole, with all its highs and lows, but comparing only against the highs of the 2009 match.

    As a matter of method, why take out the fifth set? Why not leave out the opening set? Or take the middle three sets? Or take the last three sets?

    None of those procedures are more valid than the others. They would produce different numbers, of course, which is why I think it's best just to use percentages. If you want to imagine a long match as one half of its actual length (50%), then just cut the winners and errors in half.

    Now, the two Federer/Djokovic semis, in '08 and '11 -- that's a much more convincing argument, because you're not leaving out any part of the matches. And the matches are of equal length.

    And definitely there's a dramatic difference in the winner/error differentials. I'd say, as long as some other factor is not at play (like different statisticians counting UE's differently), it does look like something is going on there with court speed.

    Yes, the winners in the official stats are generally a little higher than mine, because I only count clean winners.

    Yup, it's gotten easier to pull up old sites and stats from web archive. There are many stats I couldn't pull up a couple of years that I found just recently.

    You're forgetting the last step of calculating an Aggressive Margin. A player's unforced errors have to be subtracted from his aggressive points.

    It's laid out here: http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_24691_original.PDF

    That number you have for Tsonga (52.739%), is a correct tally of how many points he won by hitting winners and forcing errors. Of all the points played in the match, he won more than half with aggressive plays. That is genuinely astounding and it shows how aggressive he can be.

    But his aggressive margin is how aggressive he was, minus the errors that he made. That's the measure: how aggressive can you be while still keeping your errors down.

    He made 27 unforced errors; or to put it another way, he made errors on 18.49% of all the points played. So his Aggressive Margin is 52.74% - 18.49% = 34.25%.
     
  35. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I see what you are saying about cutting of sets and it is valid of course. But we do know in this specific case about federer's flurry of UEs in the 5th set ...... the 5th set was nothing like the first 4 sets which were of high quality ......

    Till 4 sets, when he was playing well , he had 65 winners to 50 UEs

    in 3 sets, when he was playing even better vs murray, he had only 46 winners to 42 UEs

    just doesn't add up .....


    I'm not saying these stats along are proof enough of what I was trying to say, just an indication that the length of the respective matches , I don't think has a bearing on this particular comparison at the very least ...

    fair enough, even leaving that aside ......

    I think the federer/murray and federer/nadal matches are just as convincing a case, if not more, in comparison to the 2 federer-novak semis, given we do know that nadal played quite a bit better than murray did and that federer did play better in the AO 2010 final (in particular serving ) .....

    it doesn't just add up if the factors affecting the speed of the surface hadn't changed ...


    yeah, I think the stats @ the AO are fine, not off by significant margins in any case ....

    just my impression from having watched those matches ...

    do you have your count of UEs from fed-novak in the 2008 semi ?

    yeah, that's right .... my bad ... I missed the UEs, part of it ... you are right ....

    total forcing points won out of the total points of course is only a good measure of how agressive the player was , doesn't take into consideration the UEs made ....
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    No, I just don't find the 2009-10 comparison to be as persuasive as the Fed/Djoker semifinal pairings in 2008 and 2011. Not only is the dropoff in winners larger in the 2008/2011 comparison: but comparisons that do not cut off any part of the matches in question are always more persuasive; and comparisons that use just two players are always more persuasive. A three-player comparison (Nadal/Federer/Murray) just complicates the picture.

    It's getting really abstract now what we're talking about, but the main reason I balk at cutting out the fifth set of the Nadal-Federer match is that what happened in that set may well be connected to the surface speed. For example, Federer's level of play collapsed in the fifth set; on a faster surface that might not have happened. It could be that on the slow Plexicushion surface he found it difficult, for four sets, to hit winners (difficult to play his game); and that this was a factor in his collapse in the fifth. In other words he may have exceeded his level for four sets. On a faster surface Federer might have found it less draining, for the first four sets, to hit winners; and in the fifth, when he wanted to hit a winner, he would have found it easier to pull one off, if the surface was more to his advantage.

    You see what I'm getting at, about why it's suspect to leave out any part of a match? Just because the part you're leaving out is uncharacteristic of the player in question does not render that set meaningless. It may be uncharacteristic, but it still happened; and one of its causes may have been tied in to the surface.

    In the 2010 final you can do the same thing. You could say that Murray's level in the first two sets was not his best, so you're not going to count those sets; you'll just go with the third set, which went to a tiebreak. Why not, after all?

    Well I think that's equally problematic. And Murray's highs and lows might be connected to the surface, too. I'm not saying this was the case with Murray in particular, but maybe a player gets off to a bad start in the first two sets -- cannot play his best until the third set -- partly because the surface speed is not to his liking. Maybe on a faster, or slower, surface his performance would have looked different.

    Anyway this is very abstract now; we're just talking about method. I don't think we disagree on any essential aspects of the matches we're talking about; and we agree that the Fed/Djok semis are a strong case.

    I didn't count UEs in that match.

    Do you have the official UE counts for the 2006 Fed-nadal SF at the Masters Cup? I have the official stats for all their other YEC meetings.
     
  37. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    fair enough ...

    no, I don't. Will post if I do get it.
     
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I watched Moya beat Corretja in the 98 final.Corretja choked.Moya was pretty good, anyway.
     
  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    This is a honest post on Kodes.I never said he was a megatalent but he certainly has one of the best ration talent/major wins and he was a very complete all round player, with no big weapon ( still his backhand return was just a notch belwo Connors or Rosewall, but an excellent shot).He was extremely fit and had the heart of a true lion.ABMK´s ignorance putting guys like Roddick and even ¡ Henman¡ who had just one fifteenth part of Kodes champion menthality is just amazing but he´s clearly never seen tennis before current era.

    As for Newcombe, he was extraordinary at increasing his level when he needed that.few posters talk about him but he was a true true champion.I´ll say more, he is the only guy in the 70´s that i´d bet my money on him if he had to play Bjorn Borg at the Wimbledon final.a Borg-newcombe Wimbledon final would have certainly been the best grass court match of the decade.
     
  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ABMK has found the right equation for champion heart and balls:
    Murray,Roddick and Henman x 15= Kodes
     
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    truth.In his 1970´s book, Connors aknowledged that.He always admired Kodes fighting spirit and that is a great great thing coming from such a fighter like Jimmy.
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never questioned that Henman was a very good S&V player.he was sort of a modern Dick Stockton.
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Not possible.The Olimpics is a secondary event for the pro sports such as soccer, tennis and, maybe excepting basketball.
     
  44. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, wut ? fact is you are near clueless about tennis and only keep on boosting up your fav, laver, kodes and hingis ...

    I never ever said henman was better than kodes .... show one post where I said or implied that ..

    I only said henman > taylor ( and by some distance ) , i,e. the toughest opponent hewitt faced in wimbledon 2002 was by some distance better than the toughest opponent kodes faced in wimbledon 1973 ......

    and the field was a full one in 2002 compared to the one in 73 ....

    roddick has just as much champion/fighting mentality as kodes, if not more ... and is a superior player on any surface bar clay ... overall a superior player, deal with it ...
     
  45. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    kodes = 0 majors in full fields ....

    fact !....

    murray and roddick both have one major in full fields and are clearly superior players ... deal with it ...
     
  46. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    But Henman was beaten by the very good and talented Dan Lobb.
     
  47. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    Even if it was partially depleted, RG 1971 was a pretty good tournament, I consider it a Major without any kind of doubt. On the other hand, RG '70 and Wimbledon '73 were really weak.
    We also have to give credit to Kodes for his two US Open finals: in '71 he defeated Ashe and Newcombe, in '73 he defeated Smith.
    He was surely a great player, reaching three "real" Majors finals (but I have to admit that he has a bad record on overall finals: 18 losses, 8 wins).

    Anyway, I agree that Roddick and Murray are superior: they both reached five Majors finals (and Murray is still at the top of his game). Moreover, they won some other great tournaments (five and eight Masters 1000 respectively, while Kodes didn't win any Championship Series at the time).

    I also give a full credit to Murray's Olympic Gold Medal: it is not a Major, that's sure, but I think it's superior to a Masters 1000 victory (Murray himself after the match said that it was his greatest achievement). Del Potro & Federer's reactions after their epic match also make me believe it.
     
  48. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Really, Dan? When and where?
     
  49. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Federic, I don't see much difference between French 70 and French 71: In both tournaments the two best claycourters, Laver and Rosewall were absent.

    Yes, The Olympic tournament is an important event.
     
  50. FedericRoma83

    FedericRoma83 Rookie

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    RG '70 had only one top-10 player, RG '71 had five of them. I think there's a difference. I also don't think that Rosewall and Laver were the best on clay in 1971.
     

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