ATG grand slam losses to players ranked outside the top 10

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
To help my good friend Lew with his stats threads, here's another interesting one listing all the slam losses suffered by ATG's from the Open Era to players ranked outside the top 10 after they have won their first slam.

Connors: 14 (out of 48 slams played)
Borg: 2 (out of 23 slams played)
McEnroe: 16 (out of 39 slams played)
Lendl: 15 (out of 39 slams played)
Wilander: 24 (out of 42 slams played)
Becker: 20 (out of 42 slams played)
Edberg: 23 (out of 44 slams played)
Sampras: 22 (out of 45 slams played)
Agassi: 20 (out of 47 slams played)
Federer: 10 (out of 56 slams played)
Nadal: 15 (out of 47 slams played)
Djokovic: 11 (out of 41 slams played)

If we except Borg, who is clearly an outlier (as he stopped during his prime and was thus "immune" to the losses that should have come after that), the totals of McEnroe, Lendl, and especially Connors are particularly impressive, considering that they played well into their 30's (40 for Jimbo).

The totals of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic can only go up, of course. Still, 15 such losses at 32 (Nadal) is better than all the guys from Wilander to Agassi. Djokovic is even better with 11 losses at 31, and Federer with 10 such losses at almost 37 is in Connors' territory, but with more slams played (56 since his first Wimbledon win, vs 48 for Connors since his first AO).

Edit: added the number of grand slam tournaments played from their first win to their last GS played (between brackets)
 
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I think using ranking alone as a way to judge bad losses is a bit misleading. I remember cash beating Wilander at Wimbledon when he was ranked low due to injury, and Cash was a hell of a lot better on grass than some guys in the top 10 at the time. And Bruguera beat Edberg in the first round of Roland Garros, Is that a worse loss than losing to a top 10 player like Brad Gilbert on clay? I can come up with many more examples.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Great post. I would have imagined that Jimbo with that lenghtly career would have more defeats against guys outside top 10, but then you add he has less GS tournaments played than Fed so makes sense.
This Federer record is crazy. And Nadal record is not bad considering that a lot of those defeats are at Wimbledon, his worse GS in terms of surface
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
Ok, but is it fair to arbitrary count since the first slam? Nole and Pete won their "fluke" majors earlier, they still weren't in their primes, they didn't win another major for three years, they just had one good run.
Would it be fair to count from Djokovic's Wimbledon 2011?
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
I think using ranking alone as a way to judge bad losses is a bit misleading. I remember cash beating Wilander at Wimbledon when he was ranked low due to injury, and Cash was a hell of a lot better on grass than guys in the top 10 at the time. And Bruguera beat Edberg in the first round of Roland Garros, Is that a worse loss than losing to a top 10 player like Brad Gilbert on clay? I can come up with many more examples.
Good post. Maybe for past ATG's this can apply, but in the homogenized surfaces era, this is an interesting and telling thread
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I think using ranking alone as a way to judge bad losses is a bit misleading. I remember cash beating Wilander at Wimbledon when he was ranked low due to injury, and Cash was a hell of a lot better on grass than some guys in the top 10 at the time. And Bruguera beat Edberg in the first round of Roland Garros, Is that a worse loss than losing to a top 10 player like Brad Gilbert on clay? I can come up with many more examples.
Totally agree but this thread is a response to a stats cherry picker so take it with a grain of salt.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
Great post. I would have imagined that Jimbo with that lenghtly career would have more defeats against guys outside top 10, but then you add he has less GS tournaments played than Fed so makes sense.
This Federer record is crazy. And Nadal record is not bad considering that a lot of those defeats are at Wimbledon, his worse GS in terms of surface
I honestly thought Connors would have more, too. But even very late in his career, he mainly lost to top 10 players. :eek:

I've also added the number of slams played for better comparison. If you take out Borg (for obvious reasons), Federer currently has the least losses to players ranked outside the top 10, all the while having played more GS (sometimes many more) than any other ATG in the Open Era since his first GS win. Not too shabby.
 

Wander

Professional
Ok, but is it fair to arbitrary count since the first slam? Nole and Pete won their "fluke" majors earlier, they still weren't in their primes, they didn't win another major for three years, they just had one good run.
Would it be fair to count from Djokovic's Wimbledon 2011?
Any extraneous statistical count is arbitrary, starting from any point including the beginning of careers is arbitrary. Making the cut at rank 10 is arbitrary as well.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
True, I just think that for Nole starting from W11 would be more balanced and fair.
Having a "rule" and changing it for one player would be cherry-picking in the extreme. Why should Djokovic's count start at his 3rd slam? That would make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Yes...the stats skew to Federer in that he didn't win any slams before his prime. From Wimbledon 03 to AO 10 he won 16/27 slams.
Most ATG's don't win slams before their prime. Or rather, winning their first slam turns them into ATG's and they become winning machines. Federer is not alone in that respect, far from it. Check out Borg. Or Connors. Or McEnroe. Or Lendl. Or Nadal. Or Becker. Or Wilander. Or Edberg. These players are just the large majority, and you can't choose a "rule" basing it on an outlier, obviously.
 

reaper

Legend
Having a "rule" and changing it for one player would be cherry-picking in the extreme. Why should Djokovic's count start at his 3rd slam? That would make absolutely no sense whatsoever.



Most ATG's don't win slams before their prime. Or rather, winning their first slam turns them into ATG's and they become winning machines. Federer is not alone in that respect, far from it. Check out Borg. Or Connors. Or McEnroe. Or Lendl. Or Nadal. Or Becker. Or Wilander. Or Edberg. These players are just the large majority, and you can't choose a "rule" basing it on an outlier, obviously.
There are probably 5 players of the last 40 years on the top tier: Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Three of them didn't go on a winning spree after winning their first slam, while Borg and Federer did. That assists Borg and Federer on the methodology selected.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
There are probably 5 players of the last 40 years on the top tier: Borg, Sampras, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Three of them didn't go on a winning spree after winning their first slam, while Borg and Federer did. That assists Borg and Federer on the methodology selected.
Then choose another one, no problem. And stick to it. But having a different method for each player would be absurd. (Oh, and Nadal totally fits the mould, too. Show me when he had a couple of years to wait between his first and second slams.) That would be like counting slam matches between ATG's in the semis and finals, but not in previous rounds because it doesn't fit your agenda, for example. Oh wait. Sorry, Lew...
 

reaper

Legend
Then choose another one, no problem. And stick to it. But having a different method for each player would be absurd. (Oh, and Nadal totally fits the mould, too. Show me when he had a couple of years to wait between his first and second slams.) That would be like counting slam matches between ATG's in the semis and finals, but not in previous rounds because it doesn't fit your agenda, for example. Oh wait...
Lol...my agenda. Forensically examine my posting history and tell me what my bias is. Nadal's record clearly improved away from clay from 2008 on, 3 years after he won his first FO. Djokovic's record is clearly harmed by his outlier first win in 2008, as I suspect is Sampras.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
Lol...my agenda. Forensically examine my posting history and tell me what my bias is. Nadal's record clearly improved away from clay from 2008 on, 3 years after he won his first FO. Djokovic's record is clearly harmed by his outlier first win in 2008, as I suspect is Sampras.
I'm not talking about *your* agenda, actually, especially if you see which example I'm referring to. ;)

Counting from the third slam win on for everyone would be possible, too, of course (it sure would be silly, though; plus, for players like Edberg and Becker, this is virtually half of their slam-winning career). Or you could count from the beginning of their career, too. That would be perfectly valid (and the results would be wildly different, imho). I chose as starting point the moment when they became champions, but this is just *one* way of looking at it, obviously. Not sure the first tournaments in a career are very telling, though, but maybe that's just me.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
I honestly thought Connors would have more, too. But even very late in his career, he mainly lost to top 10 players. :eek:

I've also added the number of slams played for better comparison. If you take out Borg (for obvious reasons), Federer currently has the least losses to players ranked outside the top 10, all the while having played more GS (sometimes many more) than any other ATG in the Open Era since his first GS win. Not too shabby.
Yeah, I think people here underrate Jimbo a bit. You have to be a real monster to not lose against people outside top 10 when you are playing at 35+ years old, specially in an era when players after 30 decline really bad
 

buscemi

Professional
Okay, as with the thread on Slam finals and semifinals between ATGs, I started with Edberg to check the math. Edberg won his first Major at the Australian Open in December 1985. Her then played:

-3 Majors in 1986 (3);
-4 Majors from 1987-1996 (40)​

If my math is right, that's 43 Majors since Edberg won his first Major or 44 if we include the 1985 Australian Open. But you have him listed with 47.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Here's Fed, Nadal and Novak's losses to non-top 10 players at GS's since their first title.

Federer: First major- 2003 Wimbledon
2003 US Open- Lost to Nalbandian in the fourth round (ranked 13th)
2004 French Open- Lost to Kuerten in the third round (ranked 28th)
2010 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in quarterfinals (ranked 12th)
2011 Wimbledon- Lost to Tsonga in quarterfinals (ranked 12th)
2013 Wimbledon- Lost to Stakhovsky in second round (unranked)
2013 US Open- Lost to Robredo in fourth round (ranked 19th)
2014 French Open- Lost to Gulbis in fourth round (ranked 18th)
2014 US Open- Lost to Cilic in semifinals (ranked 14th)
2015 Australian open- Lost to Seppi in third round (unranked)
2017 US Open- Lost to Del Potro in quarterfinals (ranked 28th)

Nadal: First major- 2005 French Open
2005 Wimbledon- Lost to Muller in the second round (unranked)
2005 US Open- Lost to Blake in the third round (wild card)

2006 US Open- Lost to Youzhny in quarterfinals (unranked)
2007 US Open- Lost to Ferrer in fourth round (ranked 15th)
2008 Australian Open- Lost to Tsonga in semifinals (unranked)
2009 French Open- Lost to Soderling in fourth round (ranked 23rd)
2012 Wimbledon- Lost to Rosol in second round (unranked)
2013 Wimbledon- Lost to Darcis in first round (unranked)
2014 Wimbledon- Lost to Kygrios in fourth round (unranked)
2015 Wimbledon- Lost to Brown in second round (unranked)
2015 US Open- Lost to Fognini in third round (ranked 32nd)
2016 Australian Open- Lost to Verdasco in first round (unranked)
2016 US Open- Lost to Pouille in fourth round (ranked 24th)
2017 Australian Open- Lost to Federer in finals (ranked 17th) - should this one even count LOL
2017 Wimbledon- Lost to Muller (ranked 25th)

Djokovic: First major- 2008 Australian Open
2008 Wimbledon- Lost to Safin in the second round (ranked 13th)
2009 French Open- Lost to Kohlschreiber in the third round (ranked 29th)

2009 Wimbledon- Lost to Haas in quarterfinals (ranked 24th)

2010 French Open- Lost to Melzer in quarterfinals (ranked 22nd)
2010 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in semifinals (ranked 12th)

2014 US Open- Lost to Nishikori in semifinals (ranked 11th)
2016 Wimbledon- Lost to Querrey in third round (ranked 28th)
2017 Australian Open- Lost to Istomin in second round (unranked)
2017 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in quarterfinals (ranked 11th)
2018 Australian open- Lost to Chung in fourth round (unranked)
2018 French Open- Lost to Cecchinato in quarterfinals (unranked)
 
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tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Here's Fed, Nadal and Novak's losses to non-top 10 players at GS's since their first title.

Federer: First major- 2003 Wimbledon
2003 US Open- Lost to Nalbandian in the fourth round (ranked 13th)
2004 French Open- Lost to Kuerten in the third round (ranked 28th)
2010 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in quarterfinals (ranked 12th)
2011 Wimbledon- Lost to Tsonga in quarterfinals (ranked 12th)
2013 Wimbledon- Lost to Stakhovsky in second round (unranked)
2013 US Open- Lost to Robredo in fourth round (ranked 19th)
2014 French Open- Lost to Gulbis in fourth round (ranked 18th)
2014 US Open- Lost to Cilic in semifinals (ranked 14th)
2015 Australian open- Lost to Seppi in third round (unranked)
2017 US Open- Lost to Del Potro in quarterfinals (ranked 28th)

Nadal: First major- 2005 French Open
2005 Wimbledon- Lost to Muller in the second round (unranked)
2005 US Open- Lost to Blake in the third round (wild card)

2006 US Open- Lost to Youzhny in quarterfinals (unranked)
2007 US Open- Lost to Ferrer in fourth round (ranked 15th)
2008 Australian Open- Lost to Tsonga in semifinals (unranked)
2009 French Open- Lost to Soderling in fourth round (ranked 23rd)
2012 Wimbledon- Lost to Rosol in second round (unranked)
2013 Wimbledon- Lost to Darcis in first round (unranked)
2014 Wimbledon- Lost to Kygrios in fourth round (unranked)
2015 Wimbledon- Lost to Brown in second round (unranked)
2015 US Open- Lost to Fognini in third round (ranked 32nd)
2016 Australian Open- Lost to Verdasco in first round (unranked)
2016 US Open- Lost to Pouille in fourth round (ranked 24th)
2017 Australian Open- Lost to Federer in finals (ranked 17th)
2017 Wimbledon- Lost to Muller (ranked 25th)

Djokovic: First major- 2008 Australian Open
2008 Wimbledon- Lost to Safin in the second round (ranked 13th)
2009 French Open- Lost to Kohlschreiber in the third round (ranked 29th)

2009 Wimbledon- Lost to Haas in quarterfinals (ranked 24th)

2010 French Open- Lost to Melzer in quarterfinals (ranked 22nd)
2010 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in semifinals (ranked 12th)

2014 US Open- Lost to Nishikori in semifinals (ranked 11th)
2016 Wimbledon- Lost to Querrey in third round (ranked 28th)
2017 Australian Open- Lost to Istomin in second round (unranked)
2017 Wimbledon- Lost to Berdych in quarterfinals (ranked 11th)
2018 Australian open- Lost to Chung in fourth round (unranked)
2018 French Open- Lost to Cecchinato in quarterfinals (unranked)

All decent rivals Fed lost except those in 2013 (terrible year) and maybe the defeats against Gulbis and Seppi
Nadal has lost to a lot of journeymen, and Djokovic defeats are weird also
 

clout

Hall of Fame
All decent rivals Fed lost except those in 2013 (terrible year) and maybe the defeats against Gulbis and Seppi
Nadal has lost to a lot of journeymen, and Djokovic defeats are weird also
Most of their defeats to "lesser" players were during their slump period(s) as well. Federer only lost to two non-top 10 players during his best years between 2003 Wimbledon-2010 Australian Open; Nadal only lost to three non-top 10 players during his best years between 2008 French Open-2014 French Open; and Djokovic only lost to one non-top 10 player during his best years between 2011 Australian Open-2016 French Open.

Overall, most of Nadal's defeats either came before he won a non-clay slam pre 2008 or when he began declining post 2014; all but one of Djokovic's defeats either came pre 2011 or during his post Nole Slam decline; and most of Federer's defeats came post 2010 when he began to get significantly older.
 
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Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
All decent rivals Fed lost except those in 2013 (terrible year) and maybe the defeats against Gulbis and Seppi
Nadal has lost to a lot of journeymen, and Djokovic defeats are weird also
Rosol played insane against Nadal, as did Tsonga, Muller (twice beating Nadal, plus even when he lost to Nadal at 2011 Wimbledon) and Soderling. Only Soderling managed to win his next match. Tsonga carried on the insane form for the first set of the final against Djokovic, but then came back to Earth.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Rosol played insane against Nadal, as did Tsonga, Muller (twice beating Nadal, plus even when he lost to Nadal at 2011 Wimbledon) and Soderling. Only Soderling managed to win his next match. Tsonga carried on the insane form for the first set of the final against Djokovic, but then came back to Earth.
Yes, but they still are journeymen... at least Rosol and Mueller. Tsonga and Soderling were world class players without a single doubt and in a good day they could trash the rear of anyone in the tour
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
Okay, as with the thread on Slam finals and semifinals between ATGs, I started with Edberg to check the math. Edberg won his first Major at the Australian Open in December 1985. Her then played:

-3 Majors in 1986 (3);
-4 Majors from 1987-1996 (40)​

If my math is right, that's 43 Majors since Edberg won his first Major or 44 if we include the 1985 Australian Open. But you have him listed with 47.
My mistake. I counted these quickly and forget '85 AO was played at the end of the year, so added three to his total (his top 10 losses should be fine, though). I'll edit, thanks.

Panatta was seeded at #8 at both the 1973 and 1976 French Opens, the latter of which he won.
Great, thanks. So Borg is at 2 only (!), I'll edit the OP straightaway.
 
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falstaff78

Hall of Fame
Ok, but is it fair to arbitrary count since the first slam? Nole and Pete won their "fluke" majors earlier, they still weren't in their primes, they didn't win another major for three years, they just had one good run.
I propose a slightly modified method to fix the issue identified above. How about major losses to an opponent outside the top 10, while playing as a top 10 player?

1. This captures matches you are supposed to win.
2. It's not too arbitrary, because the definition for yourself and the opponent are based on the same number.

Connors 8 losses in 38 majors (21%)
Djokovic 9 losses in 42 majors (21%)
Borg 5 losses in 23 majors (22%)
Fedr 14 losses in 59 majors (24%)
Lendl 13 losses in 42 majors (31%)
Nadal 15 losses in 47 majors (32%)
Aggasi 17 losses in 42 majors (40%)
McEnroe 11 losses in 27 majors (41%)
Sampras 18 losses in 41 majors (44%)
Edberg 17 losses in 37 majors (46%)
Becker 22 losses in 40 majors (55%)
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
I propose a slightly modified method to fix the issue identified above. How about major losses to an opponent outside the top 10, while playing as a top 10 player?

1. This captures matches you are supposed to win.
2. It's not too arbitrary, because the definition for yourself and the opponent are based on the same number.

Connors 8 losses in 38 majors (21%)
Djokovic 9 losses in 42 majors (21%)
Borg 5 losses in 23 majors (22%)
Fedr 14 losses in 59 majors (24%)
Lendl 13 losses in 42 majors (31%)
Nadal 15 losses in 47 majors (32%)
Aggasi 17 losses in 42 majors (40%)
McEnroe 11 losses in 27 majors (41%)
Sampras 18 losses in 41 majors (44%)
Edberg 17 losses in 37 majors (46%)
Becker 22 losses in 40 majors (55%)
Yeah, that was my point. The OP didn't penalize Federer for being bad pre prime. Just saying "late bloomer" won't cut it. How is this excuse any better than saying Djokovic was past his prime and ignore his losses for the last 2 years?

Fed hasn't won a single major first 3 years of his career and also five years between 2012 and 17. That is almost 8 years of his pro career not winning a slam. That's the reason why he is only 3 ahead from Nadal.
Considering Fed's age and how dominant he was, he should be 10 years ahead of Nadal. So, Fed isn't as great as people think.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
This is quite interesting. One thing that I picked up on among the big three is that they started losing far more frequently to players outside the top 10 once they hit their age 29 seasons. Federer went 5 consecutive calendar years without losing to a 11+ ranked player at a slam. That is truly remarkable.

Now let’s look at losses against 11+ ranked players starting with their age 29+ seasons:

Federer:
2010(29)-1
2011(30)-1
2012(31)-0
2013(32)-2
2014(33)-2
2015(34)-1
2016(35)-0
2017(36)-1
2018(37)-0

Nadal
2015(29)-2
2016(30)-2
2017(31)-2
2018(32)-0

Djokovic
2016(29)-1
2017(30)-2
2018(31)-2

Federer has 8 losses in 30 tournaments
Nadal has 6 losses in 13 tournaments
Djokovic has 5 losses in 9 tournaments

Nadal and Djokovic have combined to lose 11 times in 22 tournaments(50.0%).

Federer has lost 8 in 20 tournaments, which is a remarkable 26.7%
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
This is quite interesting. One thing that I picked up on among the big three is that they started losing far more frequently to players outside the top 10 once they hit their age 29 seasons. Federer went 5 consecutive calendar years without losing to a 11+ ranked player at a slam. That is truly remarkable.

Now let’s look at losses against 11+ ranked players starting with their age 29+ seasons:

Federer:
2010(29)-1
2011(30)-1
2012(31)-0
2013(32)-2
2014(33)-2
2015(34)-1
2016(35)-0
2017(36)-1
2018(37)-0

Nadal
2015(29)-2
2016(30)-2
2017(31)-2
2018(32)-0

Djokovic
2016(29)-1
2017(30)-2
2018(31)-2

Federer has 8 losses in 30 tournaments
Nadal has 6 losses in 13 tournaments
Djokovic has 5 losses in 9 tournaments

Nadal and Djokovic have combined to lose 11 times in 22 tournaments(50.0%).

Federer has lost 8 in 20 tournaments, which is a remarkable 26.7%
Good point, who knew that players decline at age 29 after 10 years of gruelling tennis.
 

flanker2000fr

Professional
This is an interesting point.

Goes to show the amount of security both Fed and Borg had against lesser competition when they were dominating the game. Their stats are quite astonishing.

True, Borg retired early but, 2 out of 23 is still extraordinary.

As for Fed his stat is a function of the number of staggering number of consecutive quarter finals (36) he played in slams.
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
This is an interesting point.

Goes to show the amount of security both Fed and Borg had against lesser competition when they were dominating the game. Their stats are quite astonishing.

True, Borg retired early but, 2 out of 23 is still extraordinary.

As for Fed his stat is a function of the number of staggering number of consecutive quarter finals (36) he played in slams.
I guess, it's because they don't have any weaknesses in their games.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Good point, who knew that players decline at age 29 after 10 years of gruelling tennis.
I have been more than fair with you. So please stop with the condescending remarks. The OP listed some very interesting stats and I noticed something that hasn’t been quantified before.

Did you honestly know that Fed has only been knocked out of 26.7% of his slams by players ranked outside the top 10 since his age 29 season?

I will tell you who didn’t know about declining as one ages. The Fed-haters from earlier this decade didn’t know. They figured that Fed was simply a weak era mug because he couldn’t beat 2 ATG’a during their prime while he was 29+ years old. And now, we are seeing Nadal and Djoker getting knocked out of slams 50% of the time by players ranked outside the top 10 since their age 29 seasons. This a something that I hadn’t realized until the OP started this thread.
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
I have been more than fair with you. So please stop with the condescending remarks. The OP listed some very interesting stats and I noticed something that hasn’t been quantified before.

Did you honestly know that Fed has only been knocked out of 26.7% of his slams by players ranked outside the top 10 since his age 29 season?

I will tell you who didn’t know about declining as one ages. The Fed-haters from earlier this decade didn’t know. They figured that Fed was simply a weak era mug because he couldn’t beat 2 ATG’a during their prime while he was 29+ years old. And now, we are seeing Nadal and Djoker getting knocked out of slams 50% of the time by players ranked outside the top 10 since their age 29 seasons. This a something that I hadn’t realized until the OP started this thread.
I was just trying to be funny, wasn't a dig at you. Yes, Federer declined, but not because of the age. His body didn't break down, he declined mostly because he made some bad decisions and because the surface change.

But somehow if you decline with injuries, that can be used as an excuse, but if you just decline it can't. Double standards again. Doesn't really matter, because Fed still wasn't at his peak level.

They hold Federer at a higher standard, so they admit he is superior. At age 37 he is expected to beat 31 year old Novak. Game over.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
I was just trying to be funny, wasn't a dig at you. Yes, Federer declined, but not because of the age. His body didn't break down, he declined mostly because he made some bad decisions and because the surface change.

But somehow if you decline with injuries, that can be used as an excuse, but if you just decline it can't. Double standards again. Doesn't really matter, because Fed still wasn't at his peak level.

They hold Federer at a higher standard, so they admit he is superior. At age 37 he is expected to beat 31 year old Novak. Game over.
Gotcha. That makes sense. That seemed out of character for you. I misunderstood. That is on me.

And yes, Federer is held to a much higher standard. He is approaching his late 30’s and he is still expected to go the semis or even the finals of slam events. He is a big favorite to win Wimbledon. That in itself is unreal.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I'm not talking about *your* agenda, actually, especially if you see which example I'm referring to. ;)

Counting from the third slam win on for everyone would be possible, too, of course (it sure would be silly, though; plus, for players like Edberg and Becker, this is virtually half of their slam-winning career). Or you could count from the beginning of their career, too. That would be perfectly valid (and the results would be wildly different, imho). I chose as starting point the moment when they became champions, but this is just *one* way of looking at it, obviously. Not sure the first tournaments in a career are very telling, though, but maybe that's just me.
I sort of want to support using the whole career because it feels fairer to me. We can note all sorts of extenuating circumstances - think only of guys like Hewitt and his injuries, but he's not going to get on this list because he has not won enough majors.

I agree that looking at early careers before players are fully competitive may seem a problem, but I think we have to consider Fed's late start as fair game if we start counting Djokovic from his first major and then count his low period in between.
 

Boom-Boom

Hall of Fame
To help my good friend Lew with his stats threads, here's another interesting one listing all the slam losses suffered by ATG's from the Open Era to players ranked outside the top 10 after they have won their first slam.

Connors: 14 (out of 48 slams played)
Borg: 2 (out of 23 slams played)
McEnroe: 16 (out of 39 slams played)
Lendl: 15 (out of 39 slams played)
Wilander: 24 (out of 42 slams played)
Becker: 20 (out of 42 slams played)
Edberg: 23 (out of 44 slams played)
Sampras: 22 (out of 45 slams played)
Agassi: 20 (out of 47 slams played)
Federer: 10 (out of 56 slams played)
Nadal: 15 (out of 47 slams played)
Djokovic: 11 (out of 41 slams played)

If we except Borg, who is clearly an outlier (as he stopped during his prime and was thus "immune" to the losses that should have come after that), the totals of McEnroe, Lendl, and especially Connors are particularly impressive, considering that they played well into their 30's (40 for Jimbo).

The totals of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic can only go up, of course. Still, 15 such losses at 32 (Nadal) is better than all the guys from Wilander to Agassi. Djokovic is even better with 11 losses at 31, and Federer with 10 such losses at almost 37 is in Connors' territory, but with more slams played (56 since his first Wimbledon win, vs 48 for Connors since his first AO).

Edit: added the number of grand slam tournaments played from their first win to their last GS played (between brackets)

What you need to take into account is that before the 2000s there were only 16 seeds ... so you were much likely to face a good player in early rounds...that was much more interesting than those boring GS first weeks we have with the 32 seeds currently
 
What you need to take into account is that before the 2000s there were only 16 seeds ... so you were much likely to face a good player in early rounds...that was much more interesting than those boring GS first weeks we have with the 32 seeds currently
You could get easy draws with 16 seeds as well. See Sampras in Wimbledon 2000.
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
Gotcha. That makes sense. That seemed out of character for you. I misunderstood. That is on me.

And yes, Federer is held to a much higher standard. He is approaching his late 30’s and he is still expected to go the semis or even the finals of slam events. He is a big favorite to win Wimbledon. That in itself is unreal.
I also don't care that much about using top 10 only. A lot of times lower guys play better than the top guys and current form doesn't reflect the ranking. And that happens all the time. You don't know if a guy is ascending or descending in rankings. Maybe he lost because it's the beginning of a huge slump, so his rankings will go down very fast. Fed was 17 seed at the AO and won it. Happens all the time.

Not to mention that rankings don't reflect your ability on surfaces. Sampras was nr.1 seed at the French more times than Nadal.

If Gonzalez makes a GS final and owns Rafa in the process, how can you say that he is a weaker opponent?
And if he was a weak opponent, what does that make Nadal when he lost to him? That's why I use simple slam wins and slam finals and semis to see how great one player is.
 
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