H2H against top players more important than weeks at #1?

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal is so great at the h2h against the top players. Yet he can never win a single WTF which is only played by the top 8.
Well said. h2h means nothing if one doesn't win the title. Weeks at #1 means you are the best and most consistent player on the tour.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
And Federer can't win a single Rome or Monte Carlo title, while Nadal has 15. I suggest you have a look at Nadal's record against all the top players. These people who say "it's about the record against the field" don't seem to realise that Nadal's record against the field is excellent.
But the difference is that all victories are against players from #1 to #8 at the WTF, whereas Rome/MC you play many low ranked players. As a matter of fact, Nadal won 2005 Rome, 2005 & 2010 MC in 2010 without having to face a single top 10 player.
 
I think h2h versus top players is far more subjective. If we call it h2h versus top 10 opponents we can be objective with the players we include.

These claims seem false to me. It would be nice if people on this board substantiated their claims about other fanbases instead of just pointing fingers.
Top 10 opponents meaning 10 most sunstantial H2H records, or top ranked opponents regardless of H2H?

Do you need me to substantiate the claim that weeks at #1 gained special weight after Federer beat that record? Anecdotally, I can say that Lendl has never been claimed to belong to Tier 1 greats based on his great Weeks at #1 record. In other words, Weeks at #1 has always been a rather ancillary measure of greatness compared to slams won. Incidentally, Weeks at #1 has gained increasing appreciation lately, which I see as a premature reaction to the possibility that Nadal may break the slam record.

But, as I say, I don't think this is strange or worth decrying. It's quite normal and expected, and not a phenomenon exclusive to the Federer fan base.
 
What good is it if you beat Federer and Murray, but keep losing to Davydenko, Rosol, Giles Muller , Darcis and Zeballos ?
H2H against top players and main rivals will always be more significant. Losses to lower ranked players are undesirable to the extent that any loss prevents a player to win a title or gain more ranking points. But assuming identical achievemnts, sporadic losses to lower ranked players are far more desirable than a decisive pattern of losses to a main rival. The latter shows a consistent pattern of inferiority against an important rival.
 
But the difference is that all victories are against players from #1 to #8 at the WTF, whereas Rome/MC you play many low ranked players. As a matter of fact, Nadal won 2005 Rome, 2005 & 2010 MC in 2010 without having to face a single top 10 player.
You contradict yourself. If the results of a tournament which only the Top 8 players enter are more valuable, the same should be said of the H2H, correct? But WTF is an aberrance in that, while being a very particular tournament unlike any other, it is always played on the same surface, which is not logical.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
Can you back up your claims that weeks at #1 is somehow being used against anyone? I've never seen it. Least of all by anyone who supports Federer, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Yeah well, you probably don't see the death threats or the wishing injury on players either.

I'm not surprised.

My post was real easy to understand.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
H2H against top players and main rivals will always be more significant. Losses to lower ranked players are undesirable to the extent that any loss prevents a player to win a title or gain more ranking points. But assuming identical achievemnts, sporadic losses to lower ranked players are far more desirable than a decisive pattern of losses to a main rival. The latter shows a consistent pattern of inferiority against an important rival.
We should then defer the conversation till such time. The thread is premature given the gulf.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
H2H against top players and main rivals will always be more significant. Losses to lower ranked players are undesirable to the extent that any loss prevents a player to win a title or gain more ranking points. But assuming identical achievemnts, sporadic losses to lower ranked players are far more desirable than a decisive pattern of losses to a main rival. The latter shows a consistent pattern of inferiority against an important rival.
But if you only had sporadic losses and always win against main rivals, then the achievements and records need to be better.

As of date that is not the case. So the logic is flawed.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Main rivals does NOT mean same age! Come on! Do I need to explain this :shock:

Yes you would include players 5 years younger/ older, if they have competed more than 10 times, played important SFs and Finals of Masters and Slams, fought for the biggest trophies!
If they are younger than Federer now, and he is at a disadvantage, then there was a time earlier, when Federer was in his prime and those players were teenagers, no? So it evens out!
Ok Someone make a list of the top 10 guys Federer has played MOST in his career.

THese would be the true main rivals. Lets see if he has a winning h2h with the majority.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Ok Someone make a list of the top 10 guys Federer has played MOST in his career.

THese would be the true main rivals. Lets see if he has a winning h2h with the majority.
You dont get an extra dollar in prize money or endorsement or anything for having positive h2h.

On the other hand, if you win tournaments and be number 1 for 302 weeks, you can earn 3 times your rivals , even when you are 32 and ranked outside top 5.
 

bullfan

Legend
You dont get an extra dollar in prize money or endorsement or anything for having positive h2h.

On the other hand, if you win tournaments and be number 1 for 302 weeks, you can earn 3 times your rivals , even when you are 32 and ranked outside top 5.
Considering he's never had a winning h2h with his chief rival, it ends there.
 
If h2h was so important wouldnt breaking them all down into surfaces/court speed give a better Indication of who is best. Personally I dont really care about either h2h or no1 I just want to watch good tennis where im not waiting half an hour to wait for nadal/djoker to serve or the constantly loud grunting thats getting worse.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
If they are younger than Federer now, and he is at a disadvantage, then there was a time earlier, when Federer was in his prime and those players were teenagers, no? So it evens out!
When Federer was in his prime and those players were teenagers, they were way too streaky and inconsistent to make the later stages on surfaces favoring Federer. Was it Federer's fault ?

The problem is, h2h won't really tell the entire story. Someone like Federer will have bad numbers against his younger rivals if he chooses to play way past his prime, compared to someone like Borg or even Sampras. If Sampras had carried on playing as much till he was Federer's present age, without a doubt he would have a losing h2h against Hewitt, Roddick and Safin. What conclusion would you derive from that ?
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Possibly.

I find Nadal's h2h vs. the top 30 in the world more impressive than Federer's weeks at #1 honestly.


As dominant as Fed was, he couldn't manage what Nadal does via the h2h
Yeah, Sampras would trade all his weeks at #1 to get a winning h2h vs the top 30 without a second thought. Too bad he never was that good. That alone should disqualify him from any future GOAT discussions.
 

bullfan

Legend
When Federer was in his prime and those players were teenagers, they were way too streaky and inconsistent to make the later stages on surfaces favoring Federer. Was it Federer's fault ?

The problem is, h2h won't really tell the entire story. Someone like Federer will have bad numbers against his younger rivals if he chooses to play way past his prime, compared to someone like Borg or even Sampras. If Sampras had carried on playing as much till he was Federer's present age, without a doubt he would have a losing h2h against Hewitt, Roddick and Safin. What conclusion would you derive from that ?
Feds never had a winning record against Nadal, who was a baby when he turned pro! Nadal is his chief rival.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Well, at least you will agree that the Number of weeks at #1 gained much more weight for some once Federer beat that record. Which is expected anyway, I'm not complaining about it.
Huh ? Any up and coming player past or present has always said that it is his dream to win a major/titles and/or be #1 in the world. It is the main goal of a tennis player.

Have you heard anyone say when they started out that their dream is to have a winning h2h vs all their rivals ?
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Feds never had a winning record against Nadal, who was a baby when he turned pro! Nadal is his chief rival.
Please read my post again. Nadal didn't meet him enough times on Fed's favorite surfaces when he was a baby, so it was always a win-win for Nadal because he got to choose where and when to meet Fed at what stage.
 

bullfan

Legend
Please read my post again. Nadal didn't meet him enough times on Fed's favorite surfaces when he was a baby, so it was always a win-win for Nadal because he got to choose where and when to meet Fed at what stage.
Nadal won the first h2h on Feds surface, and never looked back. Spin however you want, but you goat never had a winning h2h against Nadal. And Nadal beat him in all 3 GS surfaces.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
You contradict yourself. If the results of a tournament which only the Top 8 players enter are more valuable, the same should be said of the H2H, correct?
No. Beating multiple top players back to back throughout a tournament is tougher than beating 1-2 top players like you would normally do in a slam/masters. A winning h2h does not indicate your ability to beat multiple top players back to back in a tournament, does it ?

But WTF is an aberrance in that, while being a very particular tournament unlike any other, it is always played on the same surface, which is not logical.
All tournaments as I know are played on the same surface every year. Do you consider the entire tour illogical :confused:
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Nadal won the first h2h on Feds surface, and never looked back. Spin however you want, but you goat never had a winning h2h against Nadal. And Nadal beat him in all 3 GS surfaces.

By your logic, Rosol and Darcis may never look back either if they get to play Nadal again. I knew you would bring up the first match, that is why I said 'enough times'.

Federer bagelled Nadal on all 3 surfaces as well, right ?
 

bullfan

Legend
By your logic, Rosol and Darcis may never look back either if they get to play Nadal again. I knew you would bring up the first match, that is why I said 'enough times'.

Federer bagelled Nadal on all 3 surfaces as well, right ?
Nadal owns Fed in GS finals, where it's been on all surfaces, so the bagelling doesn't count as much as GS finals. There's no way to cut it, Nadal owns Fed. The number would be higher had Fed not lost to Novak 2x in the SF before he would have played Nadal.
 
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TheAnty-vic

Guest
When Federer was in his prime and those players were teenagers, they were way too streaky and inconsistent to make the later stages on surfaces favoring Federer. Was it Federer's fault ?

The problem is, h2h won't really tell the entire story. Someone like Federer will have bad numbers against his younger rivals if he chooses to play way past his prime, compared to someone like Borg or even Sampras. If Sampras had carried on playing as much till he was Federer's present age, without a doubt he would have a losing h2h against Hewitt, Roddick and Safin. What conclusion would you derive from that ?
If you're talking about Nadal, then he's 7-2 on hard courts against Federer.

If you're talking about others, then they weren't ranked no.2 and met Federer early on in the tournaments, rather than "they were way too streaky and inconsistent to make the later stages" as you've mentioned.

As long as a player plays, all his results ARE counted. If his wins are counted, then his losses should be too.
By playing longer than Sampras etc, Fed is giving himself chances to win more tournaments. If he loses to top players now, then it's a chance he has to take.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Nadal owns Fed in GS finals, where it's been on all surfaces, so the bagelling doesn't count as much as GS finals. There's no way to cut it, Nadal owns Fed. The number would be higher had Fed not lost to Novak 2x in the SF before he would have played Nadal.
Good for you, whatever helps you sleep at night. Federer can keep his records and trophies and Nadal can keep his H2H :D
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
If you're talking about Nadal, then he's 7-2 on hard courts against Federer.
My post was in the context of the 'baby Nadal' argument. What was their HC H2H up until 2007-2008 ?

As long as a player plays, all his results ARE counted. If his wins are counted, then his losses should be too.
By playing longer than Sampras etc, Fed is giving himself chances to win more tournaments. If he loses to top players now, then it's a chance he has to take.
I never said a players results should not be counted once he is past his prime, of course you are right. I was only arguing that H2H alone when viewed in isolation as a number doesn't tell the complete story of a player's abilities because of the reasons I stated. That is why it can't be compared to something like time spent as #1.
 
But if you only had sporadic losses and always win against main rivals, then the achievements and records need to be better.

As of date that is not the case. So the logic is flawed.
I'm not following your reasoning. I was assuming identical achievements in terms of slams won, for example.
 
You dont get an extra dollar in prize money or endorsement or anything for having positive h2h.

On the other hand, if you win tournaments and be number 1 for 302 weeks, you can earn 3 times your rivals , even when you are 32 and ranked outside top 5.
Actually, weeks at #1 doesn't affect prize money. Endorsements is another story, and I don't see how you can claim endorsements are affected by Weeks at #1 and not by H2H. Endorsements deal with marketability, and H2H should affect that as well.
 
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bullfan

Legend
I was talking about his overall h2h with every top 10 he has ever faced.
One would think that a winning h2h against your top opponent would count. Apparently, Nadals overall h2h is less than Feds! Can't be since Fed loses to his primary foe.
 
Huh ? Any up and coming player past or present has always said that it is his dream to win a major/titles and/or be #1 in the world. It is the main goal of a tennis player.

Have you heard anyone say when they started out that their dream is to have a winning h2h vs all their rivals ?
Normally, when you are #1 that follows from dominating all your main rivals. I'm not even claiming that the H2H against your main rivals is more important, just that it is played down as relatively unimportant when it really isn't.

Given 2 players with the same number of slams, a natural point of comparison then becomes the H2H. Although I do realize Weeks at #1 is also very important. And then other factors should also be considered, such as longevity.
 
No. Beating multiple top players back to back throughout a tournament is tougher than beating 1-2 top players like you would normally do in a slam/masters. A winning h2h does not indicate your ability to beat multiple top players back to back in a tournament, does it ?

All tournaments as I know are played on the same surface every year. Do you consider the entire tour illogical :confused:
The thing about the WTF is that it rewards the performance of players throughout the year. And that is based on tournaments played on all surfaces. Playing on a single surface year after year is not representative, and not logical. It is a very biased tournament for that reason. It should represent each surface the tour is played on by rotating surfaces in a proportion equal to that each surface has during the whole ATP tour.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Normally, when you are #1 that follows from dominating all your main rivals. I'm not even claiming that the H2H against your main rivals is more important, just that it is played down as relatively unimportant when it really isn't.

Given 2 players with the same number of slams, a natural point of comparison then becomes the H2H. Although I do realize Weeks at #1 is also very important. And then other factors should also be considered, such as longevity.
If two players are tied at the same number of slams, the H2H definitely counts as one of the tiebreakers, no question about that. Other achievements and records count as well. (Not sure how longevity will count as a metric, though, only records/titles and other accomplishments do)
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
The thing about the WTF is that it rewards the performance of players throughout the year. And that is based on tournaments played on all surfaces. Playing on a single surface year after year is not representative, and not logical. It is a very biased tournament for that reason. It should represent each surface the tour is played on by rotating surfaces in a proportion equal to that each surface has during the whole ATP tour.
All tournaments (except Wimbledon) base their seeding on the ranking, which is indicative of a player's performance on all surfaces in the past one year. Getting a higher seeding is definitely an advantage, so in effect, what you suggest is done at WTF is done at every tournament.

Demanding that WTF rotate it's surface makes as much sense as asking any other major to do the same.
 

bullfan

Legend
If two players are tied at the same number of slams, the H2H definitely counts as one of the tiebreakers, no question about that. Other achievements and records count as well. (Not sure how longevity will count as a metric, though, only records/titles and other accomplishments do)
Given the respective achievements, I think one can't factor in the H2h.
 
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TheAnty-vic

Guest
All tournaments (except Wimbledon) base their seeding on the ranking, which is indicative of a player's performance on all surfaces in the past one year. Getting a higher seeding is definitely an advantage, so in effect, what you suggest is done at WTF is done at every tournament.

Demanding that WTF rotate it's surface makes as much sense as asking any other major to do the same.
I think what Forehand of Doom means, is that for WTF, players are selected based on their performance throughout the year encompassing ALL surfaces and conditions. So it's only fair that WTF should represent that, and the only way to do it, is by playing WTF on different surfaces alternate years.

For eg., if toppers of a year in Physics, Chemistry, maths & Biology are selected and they are given one final exam which includes only Physics question, is it fair to others? I mean they got selected based on their performance throughout the year, but the final one suits one of them.


PS - you're a decent poster, and not a fanboy like many others here. I appreciate that man :)
 

Day Tripper

Semi-Pro
H2H was never considered to be an important criteria until the advent of Federer/Nadal.

It says a lot about Federer that so many Nadal fans on this forum believe that Nadal's greatest achievement is his H2H with Federer.
 

Day Tripper

Semi-Pro
Weeks at number one has always been considered to be the second most important achievement after Grand Slams. Anyone who seriously disputes this I suspect has a hidden agenda.

The problem with Forehand of Dooms argument is that H2H offers no context to those wins.

As i said following Nadals defeat of Federer at the WTF.

'Nadal beat Federer yesterday but in the end it didn't mean jack - Why? - they both walked away with nothing. Tennis is about winning tournaments.'

Weeks spent at number one is the best measure of dominating the field. No surprise then that it is dominated by Federer and Sampras.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
I think what Forehand of Doom means, is that for WTF, players are selected based on their performance throughout the year encompassing ALL surfaces and conditions. So it's only fair that WTF should represent that, and the only way to do it, is by playing WTF on different surfaces alternate years.

For eg., if toppers of a year in Physics, Chemistry, maths & Biology are selected and they are given one final exam which includes only Physics question, is it fair to others? I mean they got selected based on their performance throughout the year, but the final one suits one of them.
I completely understand what FOD was trying to say but I don't agree with the analogy because it is more apt for a situation where players are picked based on their performance round the year in chess, badminton and boxing and then asked to play tennis in the year end tournament :)

WTF restricts the number of players to top 8 (effectively, 8 players who played the most consistent tennis over the past year) so it can have a unique RR format. I also gave the seeding based on ranking example in my earlier post. At the end of the day , WTF is an indoor tournament and should be viewed as just that.

PS - you're a decent poster, and not a fanboy like many others here. I appreciate that man :)
Am I ? Thanks :)

(I sure am as guilty as anyone else of fangirling and trolling here , though you may not have noticed it)
 
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TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
In response to the OP:

Yes. I would take Serena's prowess against the field over Wozniacki's weeks at #1 in a heartbeat.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Nadal won the first h2h on Feds surface, and never looked back. Spin however you want, but you goat never had a winning h2h against Nadal. And Nadal beat him in all 3 GS surfaces.
Nadal beat Fed the first time on HC in 2004, when Nadal was losing left and right. Fed was ill and barely beat Davydenko 7-5 in the third the match before (whom he always beats). The fact that 17-year-old Nadal beat him there is a) because Fed was ill, b) because Nadal played very well and c) because Nadal will always be a difficult match-up for Fed with that lefty spinning forehand of his.
Nadal sprinted to a 6-1 h2h, 5 of those wins came on clay. Then Fed almost equaled him by the end of 2007, it was 6-8 and 5-2 off clay.

But yes, Nadal has always had his number. Match-up problem.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Nope, even this statistic claims Federer is better than Nadal. Check their winning pct. against the top rivals of about THEIR OWN AGE, the only fair way to compare it.
The Big 4 against top-10:
Fed: 165-92 = 64,2 % (66,3 % at the end of 2012)
Nadal: 123-56 = 68,7 % (66,0 % at the end of 2012)
Djokovic: 108-70 = 60,7 % (56,8 % at the end of 2012)
Murray: 66-53 = 55,5 % (56,0 % at the end of 2012)

I've included 2012 results to show how much a year can mean - Nadal and Djoko went 24-5 and 24-6 respectively, Murray went 5-5 and Fed 4-10 in 2013.
In Fed's best year vs. top ten (2004), he went 18-0 (on his way to beating 24 top ten players in a row as far as I recall).

Obviously, age matters a bit (Fed was up at 71,9 % at the end of 2007). It also matters how much of a prodigy you are.
Fed lost quite a lot early and then won a hell of all lot during 2004-2007 and has had up and down years ever since.
Nadal's winning percentage has been pretty stable throughout the years, probably partly because he mainly met top ten players on clay in his early years (and there, he could always beat anybody!). His best year by far coming in 2013 (82,8 vs. 68,8 in 2010 for example (2006 and 2008 were in both in the mid 70's)

See this article for details on the h2h for each year up until 2012 for the Big Four:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/943601-roger-federer-and-rafael-nadal-how-they-faired-against-top-10-through-the-years
 
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sbengte

G.O.A.T.
In response to the OP:

Yes. I would take Serena's prowess against the field over Wozniacki's weeks at #1 in a heartbeat.
Not a good comparison because I'd think Serena has way more weeks at #1 than Woz. Pick someone else who has fewer weeks at #1 than Woz and tell us if you would pick their prowess against the field.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Fair enough. Nadal's case is special because of his trajectory in the different surfaces. And I do see the surface skew as only marginal, because except indoor and grass, his H2H against Federer is favorable to Nadal. Against Djokovic I feel the surfaces are well represented, with Nadal having the overall edge but falling behind in hardcourt.

Perhaps the H2H against main rivals is not as significant as the Number of weeks at #1, but I still maintain it should be considered more important than what it is now.
Yeah, against Djokovic, it is only marginally skewed (16 out of 39, where it "should" be 13) - but Nadal won the first 9 of those, because he was just so superior on the surface in the beginning. So even in their case, it has been a major factor in their rivalry.
Against Fed, my view is that a lot of it simply has to do with Nadal being the worst possible match up. Hence why Nadal could almost beat Fed 3 out of 3 on hard in 2004-2006 at a period in time, where Fed was way ahead of anyone on hard. Nevertheless, Fed manages to get the h2h up to 6-8, 5-2 off clay at the end of 2007. Since then, it's been a dismal 4-14! (lol).

Anyhow, I completely agree that h2h against top rivals is an important metric. And I think very few people doubt that Nadal is great in these battles, not least because of his mental strength. One of the things that has impressed me the most about Nadal over the years is how he manages to come back and turn the rivalry against Novak around after the seven loses once they came back to clay in 2012, despite Novak beating him twice on clay in 2011.

p.s. as you said elsewhere, different fans will use different metrics. But the no. 1 is and probably always will be considered the second most important thing after the slams. But your man has many important leads: Highest winning percentage against the field, second highest against top ten (after Borg), and - I'm not sure - second highest percentage in the slams? (after Borg), most Masters won etc. etc.

And a very good opportunity to catch Fed in the slam number sooner or later.
 
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