comparing the fields at the French over the years

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Moose Malloy, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Dec 27, 2005
    Looking at the results of the 4 big claycourt events(Hamburg, Monte Carlo, Rome, French Open) since 1990, there has never been a year in which the same 2 finalists contested more than 2 of those finals in one year(& only 3 times did they even do that-'97 Rome & Monte Carlo w/Rios & Corretja, '00 French/Rome w/Norman & Kuerten, '05 Monte Carlo/Rome w/Nadal & Coria)
    Now, for the 2nd straight year, Nadal & Fed contest 3 major claycourt finals? and they get to those finals relatively untested? 2 guys playing 6 out of the 8major clay finals in a 2 year period?

    compare some of the draws of past FO champs & tell me that the claycourt field is as deep as ever today. I put the best FO results of some of the players & their claycourt MS count next to their name.

    Nadal 2007
    R128 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
    R64 Cipolla, Flavio (ITA)
    R32 Montanes, Albert (ESP)
    R16 Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS)
    Q Moya, Carlos (ESP) 1 FO, 2 MS
    S Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
    W Federer, Roger (SUI) 2 FO RU

    Costa 2002
    R128 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
    R64 Davydenko, Nikolay (RUS) FO SF
    R32 Gaudenzi, Andrea (ITA)
    R16 Kuerten, Gustavo (BRA) 3 FO, 4 clay MS
    Q Canas, Guillermo (ARG)
    S Corretja, Alex (ESP) 2 FO RU, 1 MS
    W Ferrero, Juan Carlos (ESP) 1 FO, 3 clay MS

    1998 Moya
    R128 Grosjean, Sebastien (FRA) FO SF
    R64 Imaz-Ruiz, Jose (ESP)
    R32 Ilie, Andrew (AUS)
    R16 Knippschild, Jens (GER)
    Q Rios, Marcelo (CHI) 4 MS
    S Mantilla, Felix (ESP) 1 MS
    W Corretja, Alex (ESP) 2 FO RU, 1 MS

    Kuerten 1997
    R128 Dosedel, Slava (CZE)
    R64 Bjorkman, Jonas (SWE)
    R32 Muster, Thomas (AUT) 1 FO, 6 MS
    R16 Medvedev, Andrei (UKR) FO RU, 4 MS
    Q Kafelnikov, Yevgeny (RUS) 1 FO, 1 MS RU
    S Dewulf, Filip (BEL)
    W Bruguera, Sergi (ESP) 2 FO, 2 MS

    1995 Muster
    R128 Solves, Gerard (FRA)
    R64 Pioline, Cedric (FRA) FO SF, 1 MS
    R32 Costa, Carlos (ESP) MS RU
    R16 Medvedev, Andrei (UKR) FO RU, 4 clay MS
    Q Costa, Albert (ESP) 1 FO, I MS
    S Kafelnikov, Yevgeny (RUS) 1 FO, 1 MS RU
    W Chang, Michael (USA) 1 FO

    1993 Bruguera
    R128 Leconte, Henri (FRA)
    R64 Champion, Thierry (FRA)
    R32 Larsson, Magnus (SWE) FO SF
    R16 Meligeni, Fernando (BRA) FO SF
    Q Sampras, Pete (USA) FO SF, 1 MS
    S Medvedev, Andrei (UKR) FO RU, 4 MS
    W Courier, Jim (USA) 2 FOs

    1992 Courier
    R128 Kroon, Nicklas (SWE)
    R64 Muster, Thomas (AUT) 1 FO, 6 MS
    R32 Mancini, Alberto (ARG) 1 MS
    R16 Medvedev, Andrei (UKR) FO RU, 4 MS
    Q Ivanisevic, Goran (CRO) 2 MS RU
    S Agassi, Andre (USA) 1 FO, 1 MS
    W Korda, Petr (CZE)

    I had forgotten how tough Costa's draw was in '02. And Medvedev, a 4 time clay ms winner, lost to the eventual champ at the French 6 times from '92-'99! Some topnotch claycourters back then. Great as Nadal & Fed are, I don't think it would be as easy to dominate the field on clay not too long ago.

    Some other examples of the depth:
    -in '98 Rios won Rome, Costa won Hamburg, & Moya won Monte Carlo. and they were all in the same quarter of the draw in Paris! Rios beat Costa in the 4R & lost to Moya in the QF.

    -Kuerten won both Monte Carlo & Rome in '99, but loses to Medvedev in the French QF(who makes the final that year)

    -1992 Muster wins Monte Carlo, Courier wins Rome. They play in the 2nd Round of Paris! No 32 seeds back then.
  2. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

    Feb 22, 2007
    I think Nadal would be less dominant on clay then, then he is now. I think Federer would have been less dominant making all the finals on clay then, then he is now.

    However in Federer's case I think he would have had a much better chance to win the French Open then, without Nadal, then he does now, despite not as regularly making all the finals. In years like 1998 and 1996 and 1999 he would have had a great shot at it, especialy with the same draw as the eventual winners.

    So I think Nadal would have been worse off only since it couldnt get any better. Federer would be worse off as far as consistently making all the finals, but would have been better off in the more important sense as far as having a much better chance to winning the French Open without Nadal always waiting at the end.
  3. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Take 1997 as an example

    In 1997, Muster was pretty much washed up as a force on clay. From this chart [​IMG]

    We can all see how little muster played on clay in 1997, 8 losses and only 8 wins. 8 wins is paltry compared to any of his previous 7 years on clay. See the chart for how much he won the previous years.

    Also in 1997 Medvedev wasn't a FO runner-up, although he did reach that level of attainment the following year.

    To give an accurate analysis you need to list the players' achievements at the time of the match. By doing what you have done and listing their career achievements in total you sneakily and slyly give a some what inflated image of the competition.
  4. avmoghe

    avmoghe Semi-Pro

    Sep 5, 2005
    I'm not taking any position on the depth of the fields, but this seems to be an incredibly flawed way of comparing a "field".

    1.) You're comparing players who have just started with their careers to players who have still active. Muster should not have 1 FO listed next to him for 1992 FO since he won the thing only 3 years later. Who is to say how many slams and masters series players like Djokovic will win when they are done with their careers?

    2.) You've picked a grand total of seven matches to estimate the "depth" of the field. A grand slam has 2^7-1 = 127 matches. Picking the seven that the champion had to play is a gross misrepresentation of the 127 that are played (obviously each match is equally important in determining how "deep" the field is).
  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Apr 22, 2005
    Its difficult to rate players on records. Some were pre career prime, some past it. Nevertheless, the depth of very good clay courter went deeper in the 90s. People like Mantilla, Corretja, Mancini, Meligeni, even Costa, not the very top tier, were dangerous and could at least weaken a favorite on the long run. I remember, that the big tournament favorite Rios had a long, absorbing battle with Costa, before he lost to Moya in 1998. All winners had at least 2 or 3 very hard battles along the way. One year Safin had to beat Agassi and Kuerten in the first two rounds back to back.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007

Share This Page