Most Grand Slam Titles Adjusted by Difficulty

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Djokovic having the toughest is debatable.

The head start Federer had is kinda rendered useless considering he was hardly winning majors at 30-35 (only won 1 slam in 6 years), while Djokovic in particular never had that kind of major drought.
Just to be clear, the measure is how difficult the opposition was that you faced only among the majors you actually won, not majors in general.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Just to be clear, the measure is how difficult the opposition was that you faced only among the majors you actually won, not majors in general.
Yes, still debatable.

Roger had it slightly easier at the start, Novak has had it slightly easier after age 27.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Yes, still debatable.

Roger had it slightly easier at the start, Novak has had it slightly easier after age 27.
If that's the case, that also means Roger's had it easier after age 33 to win his last 3 majors. I'll grant that Djokovic won his last 6 majors in an era of less competition, but Federer won roughly his first 10 in an era of less competition.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
If that's the case, that also means Roger's had it easier after age 33 to win his last 3 majors. I'll grant that Djokovic won his last 6 majors in an era of less competition, but Federer won roughly his first 10 in an era of less competition.
Ummm, sorry, but Novak has won his last 11 in an era of less competition.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Man you jokers badly need a funny-bone transplant, or at least a thicker skin. I'll give it one more shot, cuz there's an addendum I wanted to attach to my deleted post (lightly edited here, again save for the last part) anyway:

Dunno about the whole OE cuz older stats ain't available (or very hard to come by at any rate), but I can tell y'all that '93 Bruguera is the only RG champ since '91 who had to down not one but two members of the 60% Club (Sampras and Courier - this was when Pete actually had serious CC ambitions), including the previous year's champ in a brutal 5-set final who won a higher % of games for the CC season* (63.8%) than either Fedovic or indeed any post-'90 FO finalist not named Nadal ever did. (And even that was something of a drop-off from Jim's '92 CC season where he won a whopping 66.1%, almost certainly the most by anyone but Rafa in the last three decades.) That Jim would've been a buzz saw of an opponent vs. any dirtballer in history, and so he proved to be... except alas for him that Sergi was on an even more dominant run than his '92 campaign or indeed that of anyone else in the OE save Borg (3 times), Nadal (ditto - last year's numbers have yet to be listed), Lendl (once) and Vilas ('77 though that was half a major at best).

So it's very possible that Bruguera's '93 win was the toughest by any FO champ at least in the last 30 years despite his spectacular GW%, and yet the geniuses at UTS place that run all the way down in 73th place - far below Stan's in '15 (LOL) and Rafa's in '13 and '14 (FYI neither was even Novak's statistically best RG outing), just to take 3 of the first 5 "hardest" RG titles per this seemingly objective formula. And if you're at least somewhat familiar with '90s tennis you know that rankings back then were hardly representative of actual playing level, even more so on the natural surfaces, but as always this fine point escapes our "analytics" du jour which only serves to make bean counters feel more knowledgeable than they really are.

All of which is a somewhat protracted way of saying, those UTS rankings are about as useful as Elo ratings in tennis - in other words, worse than useless. I'll leave y'all with this infallible rule of thumb that applies to every sports stat: if it requires anything more than a simple arithmetic operation - including the so-called UFE forcefulness index which has inexplicably become a thing even to some of you who should know better - it's bunk.

*In case you're wondering both Pete's and Jim's %s did take a hit at RG, falling down to 60.3% (from 60.8% - curiously enough Pete's seasonal % remains at 60.3% if you count Atlanta) and 61.2% respectively, but then they had to deal with that GOATing Sergi. And to give you a better idea of just what a formidable dirtballer 1992-93 Courier was, he actually would've topped his career-best 67.5% of GW at '92 RG with 67.9% at the next year's edition if he'd dished out the same thrashing in the latter final as he did to Korda. Either way he'd still be ahead of anyone in the OE but the four dirt devils mentioned above (add one more run each for Borg and Vilas, though this time the Argie didn't win) plus of course Bruguera.

In fact the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that '93 remains the very greatest FO final of the OE, and certainly the most underappreciated. The only other candidate I see between two CC heavyweights is the '81 final, but as we all know Lendl had yet to hit his stride by then, which shows in his lackluster 53.0% of GW during that grueling fortnight. And while '84 Mac could beat anyone on any surface there's no getting around the fact that clay due to its high margin for error is most conducive to a grinding game a la Lendl's, and that much-discussed final once again proved this time-honored rule, giving Ivan his long-awaited Slam despite winning 1 fewer game than Mac (25 vs. 26). (Don't tell this to Mac if you want him to stay sharp on TV, LOL.)

Suffice it to say we haven't had a final showdown like this on Philippe Chatrier at least since '93, and quite possibly since '68. Don't let the usual suspects tell you otherwise:

 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Including 2015 as "weak competition" is a weak argument unless you consider facing Federer, Nadal, Murray, and peak Wawrinka 7 times across those majors weak.
Including 2004-2006 as "weak competition" is a weak argument unless you consider facing Agassi, Nadal, Hewitt, Roddick and Safin 16 times across those majors weak.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Yes, old Agassi, baby Nadal on anything but clay, inconsistent Hewitt, inconsistent Roddick, and inconsistent Safin are weaker than 33-year old Federer, Nadal, Murray, and peak Stan.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yes, old Agassi, baby Nadal on anything but clay, inconsistent Hewitt, inconsistent Roddick, and inconsistent Safin are weaker than 33-year old Federer, Nadal, Murray, and peak Stan.
Inconsistent Hewitt? You mean the same Hewitt who lost to the eventual winner at every GS he played in 2004 and 2005? And would have faced Fed in literally every non clay slam had Safin not beaten Fed?

Inconsistent Roddick? You mean the guy who only lost to Roger on grass in 2003-2005?

I mean, I like how you consider these 2 inconsistent, but not Stan....

Murray was consistent, but he was getting beaten comfortably in pretty much every big match. What's the use of being consistent if you don't do any damage?

Baby Nadal > 2015 Nadal, so not sure why you even consider Nadal as valid competition in 2015.

So Agassi was old, but Federer wasn't....Ok, sure, double standards at its finest (y)
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Man you jokers badly need a funny-bone transplant, or at least a thicker skin. I'll give it one more shot, cuz there's an addendum I wanted to attach to my deleted post (lightly edited here, again save for the last part) anyway:

Dunno about the whole OE cuz older stats ain't available (or very hard to come by at any rate), but I can tell y'all that '93 Bruguera is the only RG champ since '91 who had to down not one but two members of the 60% Club (Sampras and Courier - this was when Pete actually had serious CC ambitions), including the previous year's champ in a brutal 5-set final who won a higher % of games for the CC season* (63.8%) than either Fedovic or indeed any post-'90 FO finalist not named Nadal ever did. (And even that was something of a drop-off from Jim's '92 CC season where he won a whopping 66.1%, almost certainly the most by anyone but Rafa in the last three decades.) That Jim would've been a buzz saw of an opponent vs. any dirtballer in history, and so he proved to be... except alas for him that Sergi was on an even more dominant run than his '92 campaign or indeed that of anyone else in the OE save Borg (3 times), Nadal (ditto - last year's numbers have yet to be listed), Lendl (once) and Vilas ('77 though that was half a major at best).

So it's very possible that Bruguera's '93 win was the toughest by any FO champ at least in the last 30 years despite his spectacular GW%, and yet the geniuses at UTS place that run all the way down in 73th place - far below Stan's in '15 (LOL) and Rafa's in '13 and '14 (FYI neither was even Novak's statistically best RG outing), just to take 3 of the first 5 "hardest" RG titles per this seemingly objective formula. And if you're at least somewhat familiar with '90s tennis you know that rankings back then were hardly representative of actual playing level, even more so on the natural surfaces, but as always this fine point escapes our "analytics" du jour which only serves to make bean counters feel more knowledgeable than they really are.

All of which is a somewhat protracted way of saying, those UTS rankings are about as useful as Elo ratings in tennis - in other words, worse than useless. I'll leave y'all with this infallible rule of thumb that applies to every sports stat: if it requires anything more than a simple arithmetic operation - including the so-called UFE forcefulness index which has inexplicably become a thing even to some of you who should know better - it's bunk.

*In case you're wondering both Pete's and Jim's %s did take a hit at RG, falling down to 60.3% (from 60.8% - curiously enough Pete's seasonal % remains at 60.3% if you count Atlanta) and 61.2% respectively, but then they had to deal with that GOATing Sergi. And to give you a better idea of just what a formidable dirtballer 1992-93 Courier was, he actually would've topped his career-best 67.5% of GW at '92 RG with 67.9% at the next year's edition if he'd dished out the same thrashing in the latter final as he did to Korda. Either way he'd still be ahead of anyone in the OE but the four dirt devils mentioned above (add one more run each for Borg and Vilas, though this time the Argie didn't win) plus of course Bruguera.

In fact the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that '93 remains the very greatest FO final of the OE, and certainly the most underappreciated. The only other candidate I see between two CC heavyweights is the '81 final, but as we all know Lendl had yet to hit his stride by then, which shows in his lackluster 53.0% of GW during that grueling fortnight. And while '84 Mac could beat anyone on any surface there's no getting around the fact that clay due to its high margin for error is most conducive to a grinding game a la Lendl's, and that much-discussed final once again proved this time-honored rule, giving Ivan his long-awaited Slam despite winning 1 fewer game than Mac (25 vs. 26). (Don't tell this to Mac if you want him to stay sharp on TV, LOL.)

Suffice it to say we haven't had a final showdown like this on Philippe Chatrier at least since '93, and quite possibly since '68. Don't let the usual suspects tell you otherwise:


You're savage but I always appreciate your wisdom. Shame your other post was deleted but you did ether the forum. Keep on keeping on with your swag of superiority, though be a smidge kinder to us. ;)
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
One thing I forgot to add to my latest dissertation: Lendl and Mac won 64.1% and 61.2% of their games respectively at '84 RG, and given how long and hard they jousted with each other that really is a stellar outing by both. Shame the historic W had to come at the expense of the other guy.

Back to the peanut gallery:

Inconsistent Hewitt? You mean the same Hewitt who lost to the eventual winner at every GS he played in 2004 and 2005? And would have faced Fed in literally every non clay slam had Safin not beaten Fed?

Inconsistent Roddick? You mean the guy who only lost to Roger on grass in 2003-2005?

I mean, I like how you consider these 2 inconsistent, but not Stan....

Murray was consistent, but he was getting beaten comfortably in pretty much every big match. What's the use of being consistent if you don't do any damage?

Baby Nadal > 2015 Nadal, so not sure why you even consider Nadal as valid competition in 2015.

So Agassi was old, but Federer wasn't....Ok, sure, double standards at its finest (y)
It really is comical for anyone to tout Nadal's '15 CC campaign as a plus, 'cause anyone who paid even scant attention during that time knows full well that Rafa was badly out of sorts that season. In fact that was the only time in his career when he almost failed to crack the 60% ceiling in GW on clay - yes, what counts as a career highlight for nearly everyone else is basically an annual ritual for him - and he probably would've fallen short had he not played a bunch of third-rate CC events outside the regular season (Rio, Buenos Aires, Hamburg). Hell, I'll go one step further and say peak Mac, Boris, Stefan or Pistol would've beaten him at RG that year.

Yet more reason why it's highly unwise to rely on name recognition only.

You're savage but I always appreciate your wisdom. Shame your other post was deleted but you did ether the forum. Keep on keeping on with your swag of superiority, though be a smidge kinder to us. ;)
Hey there's no point in bloviating on a message board if you can't blow off steam! And some of you would be surprised at how easygoing I am IRL. :cool:

Anyhoo glad at least someone here gets my grumpy humor... and my bottomless wisdom! Appreciate the thumbs-up! (y)
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Inconsistent Hewitt? You mean the same Hewitt who lost to the eventual winner at every GS he played in 2004 and 2005? And would have faced Fed in literally every non clay slam had Safin not beaten Fed?
The inconsistency comes from Hewitt not being able to hold up his ranking outside of slams so he wouldn't have to face top players so early in the draw and lose to them, usually in the QF.

Inconsistent Roddick? You mean the guy who only lost to Roger on grass in 2003-2005?
That's some cherry-picking. Let's look at the whole picture of Roddick's performance at majors from 2004-2006: QF, 2R, F, QF, SF, 2R, F, 1R, 4R, 1R, 3R, F – yeah, very inconsistent like I said.

I mean, I like how you consider these 2 inconsistent, but not Stan....
As per your saying 2015 was weak, we are only looking at 2015 Stan, and no, that Stan was not inconsistent as he went SF, W, QF, QF at the majors. Much more consistent than Roddick's 2004-2006.

Murray was consistent, but he was getting beaten comfortably in pretty much every big match. What's the use of being consistent if you don't do any damage?
As per your Hewitt comparison, Murray lost to the eventual winner in 3 of the 4 majors, except he got further than Hewitt on average: F, SF, SF, 4R in 2015.

Baby Nadal > 2015 Nadal, so not sure why you even consider Nadal as valid competition in 2015.
2004-2006 Nadal at majors: 3R, 2R, 4R, W, 2R, 3R, W, F, QF – like I said, pretty poor outside of those French Open wins. 2004-2005 Nadal is comparable to 2015 Nadal, but I'll concede that 2006 Nadal was better.

So Agassi was old, but Federer wasn't....Ok, sure, double standards at its finest (y)
Comparing old Agassi to 2015 Federer is laughable. 2004-2006 Agassi at majors: SF, 1R, QF, QF, 1R, F, 3R, 3R. 2015 Federer at majors: 3R, QF, F, F.

So 2004-2006 Hewitt is your only real example of strong competition, and he's still surpassed by Murray (Hewitt doesn't even finish 2006 in the top 10; Murray finished 2015 at #2). 2004-2006 Nadal is weak outside of clay except for one deep run at Wimbledon in 2006. He's a little superior to 2015 Nadal. 2015 Stan is definitely superior to 2004-2006 Roddick at majors. 2015 Federer is definitely superior to 2004-2006 Agassi.
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Inconsistent Hewitt? You mean the same Hewitt who lost to the eventual winner at every GS he played in 2004 and 2005? And would have faced Fed in literally every non clay slam had Safin not beaten Fed?

Inconsistent Roddick? You mean the guy who only lost to Roger on grass in 2003-2005?

I mean, I like how you consider these 2 inconsistent, but not Stan....

Murray was consistent, but he was getting beaten comfortably in pretty much every big match. What's the use of being consistent if you don't do any damage?

Baby Nadal > 2015 Nadal, so not sure why you even consider Nadal as valid competition in 2015.

So Agassi was old, but Federer wasn't....Ok, sure, double standards at its finest (y)
Players with 18+ wins at majors:

2004 - 1 (Federer)
2005 - 1 (Federer)
2006 - 1 (Federer)

2015 - 4 (Djokovic, Wawrinka, Murray, Federer)
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Most players with 18+ wins in Grand Slams since 2003:

2011, 2012, 2015 --> 4

Least players with 18+ wins in Grand Slams since 2003:

2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 --> 1

Slams won in the best years --> Djokovic 7, Nadal 2, Federer 1
Slams won in the worst years --> Federer 10, Nadal 3, Djokovic 0

Numbers don't lie: Djokovic dominated consistent opponents, Federer dominated inconsistent opponents.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
Dear Lew II, I think that anyone who knows anything about tennis and is mentally healthy knows that Federer played a weaker field prior to arrival of Nadal and Djokovic than after their arrival. The question is to quantify the difference. That is not easy. For me, UTS statistics on slams adjusted by difficulty is generous to Federer, but I accept it as it is based on as good statistics as possible.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
The inconsistency comes from Hewitt not being able to hold up his ranking outside of slams so he wouldn't have to face top players so early in the draw and lose to them, usually in the QF.
Hewitt had a poor 2003 season which saw him drop outside the top 10. Obviously in 2004 it took time for him to come back into the top 10 and he managed to do just that when he was no.10 at the start of Wimb. He was still consistent in spite of that.

That's some cherry-picking. Let's look at the whole picture of Roddick's performance at majors from 2004-2006: QF, 2R, F, QF, SF, 2R, F, 1R, 4R, 1R, 3R, F – yeah, very inconsistent like I said.
I mean, sure, you're right. He wasn't always consistent and lost some winnable matches too. But at the 2004 AO he lost to an in form Safin in the QF, so pretty much lost to a top player. And in 2006 until the American HC season, he was in a major slump. And at RG he was never good anyway, so don't expect any sort of consistency there.

However, in 2003-2005, he was playing Federer only at Wimb, so him being consistent on grass is very relevant here, much more relevant than outside grass consistency.

As per your Hewitt comparison, Murray lost to the eventual winner in 3 of the 4 majors, except he got further than Hewitt on average: F, SF, SF, 4R in 2015.
Of course he got further than 2004 Hewitt since he didn't begin 2015 outside the top 10 and then trying to climb back up. In 2005, however, Hewitt was just as consistent as Murray.

But consistency doesn't equate field strength. So this is where you're wrong.

2004-2006 Nadal at majors: 3R, 2R, 4R, W, 2R, 3R, W, F, QF – like I said, pretty poor outside of those French Open wins. 2004-2005 Nadal is comparable to 2015 Nadal, but I'll concede that 2006 Nadal was better.
What is the point of mentioning 2004 Nadal since he was not a top player? 2005 Nadal is miles better than 2015 Nadal so there's no point debating this any further.

Comparing old Agassi to 2015 Federer is laughable. 2004-2006 Agassi at majors: SF, 1R, QF, QF, 1R, F, 3R, 3R. 2015 Federer at majors: 3R, QF, F, F.
It's not laughable at all. What's laughable is you even mentioning 2006 Agassi, who we all know was done that year. 2004-2005 Agassi is who you should focus on. And old Fed was only better on grass. On HC, old Agassi > old Fed and it's not particularly close.

So 2004-2006 Hewitt is your only real example of strong competition, and he's still surpassed by Murray (Hewitt doesn't even finish 2006 in the top 10; Murray finished 2015 at #2).
Again, you're equating consistency with strength. That's incredibly erroneous.

2004-2006 Nadal is weak outside of clay except for one deep run at Wimbledon in 2006. He's a little superior to 2015 Nadal.
He's not a little superior, LOL. 2005-2006 Nadal blows 2015 Nadal out of the water. Cannot believe you're even comparing the 2. Can't really take you seriously here.

2015 Federer is definitely superior to 2004-2006 Agassi.
On HC, he sure as heck is not. 2004 Agassi > 2015 Fed on HC for example.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
ha it's good to see Jerzy Janowicz get some meme action from his brief moment near the top. (Just read his wiki, looks like foot and knee injuries ended his momentum.)
Jano was a package. A real shame with all the injuries. Very fine player to watch.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Basically, all I've got is you here admitting that Federer didn't really have great competition in 2004-2006 despite the names you listed because you just admitted that several of the players you mentioned were pretty awful some of 2004-2006 or only good on one surface during that time.

It's not laughable at all. What's laughable is you even mentioning 2006 Agassi, who we all know was done that year. 2004-2005 Agassi is who you should focus on. And old Fed was only better on grass. On HC, old Agassi > old Fed and it's not particularly close.
Let's focus on that Agassi. Agassi on hard court in 2004-2005 went 69-17 (80%) and reached 5 hard court finals, winning 2 of them, Cincinnati over Hewitt and Los Angeles over that great Gilles Muller. This Agassi’s losses were to Thomas Johansson, Nadal, and Federer.

Federer on hard court in 2015 went 39-6 (87%) and reached 7 hard court finals, winning 4 of them. Federer beat Djokovic in 2 of those wins, at Cincinnati and Dubai, and beat Nadal and Raonic in the other 2. In EVERY hard court final he lost in 2015, Federer lost to Djokovic. Federer beat every top 8 player in the world he faced at the WTF including Djokovic until he lost to Djokovic in the final in a rematch.

So 2015 Federer had a 7% higher hard court win percentage than 2004-2005 Agassi, reached more hard court finals in 1 year than Agassi did in 2, won double the number of hard court tournaments in 1 year that Agassi won in 2, and only ever lost in hard court finals to Djokovic, arguably the best hard court player ever, near his peak while beating that Djokovic 3 times in 2015.

So no, old Agassi is nowhere near superior to old Fed on hard court.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Basically, all I've got is you here admitting that Federer didn't really have great competition in 2004-2006 despite the names you listed because you just admitted that several of the players you mentioned were pretty awful some of 2004-2006 or only good on one surface during that time.
Well, doesn't the level you display in that particular tournament matter more than how consistent you are overall? Ferrer was also pretty consistent at one time, is he also better competition than Hewitt/Roddick/Safin?


Let's focus on that Agassi. Agassi on hard court in 2004-2005 went 69-17 (80%) and reached 5 hard court finals, winning 2 of them, Cincinnati over Hewitt and Los Angeles over that great Gilles Muller. This Agassi’s losses were to Thomas Johansson, Nadal, and Federer.

Federer on hard court in 2015 went 39-6 (87%) and reached 7 hard court finals, winning 4 of them. Federer beat Djokovic in 2 of those wins, at Cincinnati and Dubai, and beat Nadal and Raonic in the other 2. In EVERY hard court final he lost in 2015, Federer lost to Djokovic. Federer beat every top 8 player in the world he faced at the WTF including Djokovic until he lost to Djokovic in the final in a rematch.

So 2015 Federer had a 7% higher hard court win percentage than 2004-2005 Agassi, reached more hard court finals in 1 year than Agassi did in 2, won double the number of hard court tournaments in 1 year that Agassi won in 2, and only ever lost in hard court finals to Djokovic, arguably the best hard court player ever, near his peak while beating that Djokovic 3 times in 2015.

So no, old Agassi is nowhere near superior to old Fed on hard court.
Sure, let's ignore that Federer lost in the 3R at the AO, where Agassi reached the semis in 2004 and that Agassi performed as good or even better than 2015 Federer in the big HC events. And also pushed peak Fed to 5 sets at the USO, while Federer couldn't push 2015 Djokovic to 5.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
Well, doesn't the level you display in that particular tournament matter more than how consistent you are overall? Ferrer was also pretty consistent at one time, is he also better competition than Hewitt/Roddick/Safin?
Let’s just say it’s easy to pick and choose players and say they weren’t playing that well in general but in this one tournament here or there, they were completely awesome according to your subjective eye test opinion. That is dubious evidence compared to looking at players who were playing awesome across most of the year with stats clearly indicating such, and then you deciding that they are weak competition for Djokovic compared to your cherry-picked players who just happened to rise to the occasion for that one tournament so that suddenly 2004-2006 Federer had great competition.

Sure, let's ignore that Federer lost in the 3R at the AO, where Agassi reached the semis in 2004 and that Agassi performed as good or even better than 2015 Federer in the big HC events. And also pushed peak Fed to 5 sets at the USO, while Federer couldn't push 2015 Djokovic to 5.
I'll take my more comprehensive view of what happened with 2004-2005 Agassi and 2015 Federer over cherry picking what happened at one specific tournament or two specific matches based on how many sets were won in the final.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Kids, remember that I'm part of the Djokovic Fan Club myself and not all of us are as clueless as the bean peddlers here.

One more thing:

Well, doesn't the level you display in that particular tournament matter more than how consistent you are overall? Ferrer was also pretty consistent at one time, is he also better competition than Hewitt/Roddick/Safin?
Quite true. Neither Ivanisevic nor Krajicek was hardly a paragon of consistency (though the latter's stumbles can largely be attributed to seemingly nonstop injuries), but no pro who's seen 'em at their best would rather face them on grass than anyone else from the last 20-ish years save the Big 3 (and even Novak and Rafa would be hard-pressed to survive a no-holds-barred onslaught by these two).

Clay is really the only surface where consistency trumps (reasonably) spotty brilliance more often than not, but even so there are overriding/complicating factors, as one can see from Fed's H2H vs. Ferru and of course his big W over Novak in the '11 FO final.

And....

Sure, let's ignore that Federer lost in the 3R at the AO, where Agassi reached the semis in 2004 and that Agassi performed as good or even better than 2015 Federer in the big HC events. And also pushed peak Fed to 5 sets at the USO, while Federer couldn't push 2015 Djokovic to 5.
What the circular (reasoning) squad fails to grok is this:

A has to play against top 10-20 guys with an average level of say 85, while B's draw is about 80 on average. And since the numbers don't lie (to quote our resident bean counter) A's competition > B's, right?

Of course reality ain't that simple. Turns out B's field has this top dog whose level fluctuates wildly but who can reach well up to 95 or higher on given days, while A's is mostly Ferrer-type players who bring it day in and day out but could only dream of reaching 90, let alone 95. And let's say both A and B are about 90 each on average. Which of these two would you pick if you had to bet your life savings on your guy winning that big tourney?

Or let's make this even more fun and say B is now staring that enfant terrible across the net in the final. Does that somehow make his competition tougher, even though the names of both A's and B's opponents remain exactly the same?

Now prime Fed and Novak aren't quite in the same boat, of course, but you get the point. This facile name peddling masquerading as analysis convinces no one but the already converted, because it's quasi-objective nonsense designed to fit a predetermined "conclusion." Numbers/names do lie and the old-fashioned eye test will always have a say in any assessment of playing level, and it's silly and disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
NonP, your entire argument boils down to please don’t look at stats that contradict my purely subjective arguments (that just happen to always be better than your subjective arguments), just believe me, please, please believe me, and if you don’t, then you’re an idiot because look at my supreme arrogance.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
NonP, your entire argument boils down to please don’t look at stats that contradict my purely subjective arguments (that just happen to always be better than your subjective arguments), just believe me, please, please believe me, and if you don’t, then you’re an idiot because look at my supreme arrogance.
LOL, so the sass is all you got from my diss? Calling your nonanswer a straw man would be too charitable, really.

And you can ignore @mike danny's criticism all you want but he was quite right to point out that consistency don't mean jack crap if you can't bring your best game when it counts the most aka the latter rounds of Slams. The fact of the matter is that Fed did fall in the 3rd round Down Under in '15 while Dre made the QF there in '05 and pushed prime Fed harder than older Fed did prime Novak in the respective USO finals. Or is that now a purely "subjective" call, too?

I'll give you that 2004-05 Dre or even '05 Roddick doesn't hold a candle to '15 Fed on grass, but that is more than offset by younger Rafa's supremacy by far at RG. As I've already explained (with cold hard STATS, mind you) '15 Rafa was nothing special even by other elite dirtballers' standards, let alone his own. And Stan that year didn't even come close to cracking the 60% mark in games won on clay which historically has been a harbinger of seasonal excellence, posting instead a mediocre 55.8% which may well be the lowest I've seen among FO champs since '91. He still was able to bully Djoko in the final thanks to that DTL BH of his which has been something of a kryptonite for Novak, but put that Stan against prime Lendl, Courier, Bruguera or Kuerten and he likely gets slaughtered a la in the '17 final, or dispatched in 4 breezy sets at best.

You really don't seem to know when to rely on stats, what stats to look for and, more importantly, how to interpret them. Consistency or win % matters less as the courts get faster, because the less margin for error makes it more likely for a big hitter/server to catch fire and play well above his average level. And yet you fail to even acknowledge the steep drop-off in Rafa's form from '05 to '15 on clay, the one surface where those numbers take on greater significance than usual. How come? One might call that selective reading a "subjective argument," too.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
LOL, so the sass is all you got from my diss? Calling your nonanswer a straw man would be too charitable, really.

And you can ignore @mike danny's criticism all you want but he was quite right to point out that consistency don't mean jack crap if you can't bring your best game when it counts the most aka the latter rounds of Slams. The fact of the matter is that Fed did fall in the 3rd round Down Under in '15 while Dre made the QF there in '05 and pushed prime Fed harder than past-prime Fed did prime Novak at the USO. Is that now a purely "subjective" call, too?

I'll give you that 2004-05 Dre or even '05 Roddick doesn't hold a candle to '15 Fed on grass, but that is more than offset by younger Rafa's supremacy by far at RG. As I've already explained (with cold hard STATS, mind you) '15 Rafa was nothing special even by other elite dirtballers' standards, let alone his own. And Stan that year didn't even come close to cracking the 60% mark in games won on clay which historically has been a harbinger of seasonal excellence, posting instead a mediocre 55.8% which may well be the lowest I've seen among FO champs since '91. He still was able to bully Djoko in the final thanks to that DTL BH of his which has been something of a kryptonite for Novak, but put that Stan against prime Lendl, Courier, Bruguera or Kuerten and he likely gets slaughtered a la in the '17 final, or dispatched in 4 breezy sets at best.

You really don't seem to know when to rely on numbers, what numbers to look for and, more importantly, how to interpret them. Consistency or win % matters less as the courts get faster, because the less margin for error means a big hitter/server is more likely to catch fire and play well above his average level. And yet you fail to even acknowledge the steep drop-off in Rafa's form from '05 to '15 on clay, the one surface where those numbers take on greater significance than usual. How come? One might call that selective reading a "subjective argument," too.
I agree with the point in general, but to be fair, Stan's level at RG was definitely a step up from his level in the other clay events of the season. It's the same deal with all Slams, so he'd be an excellent example of an inconsistent player with a high peak. You rarely see players with such a disparity between their levels at Slams and other tournaments.
 

zvelf

Hall of Fame
LOL, so the sass is all you got from my diss? Calling your nonanswer a straw man would be too charitable, really.
What's really funny is that it got you to respond by mostly using numbers so it must have got you right in the gut.

And you can ignore @mike danny's criticism all you want but he was quite right to point out that consistency don't mean jack crap if you can't bring your best game when it counts the most aka the latter rounds of Slams. The fact of the matter is that Fed did fall in the 3rd round Down Under in '15 while Dre made the QF there in '05 and pushed prime Fed harder than older Fed did prime Novak in the respective USO finals. Or is that now a purely "subjective" call, too?
Yes, Agassi performed better at one Australian Open than Federer did, which is just one data point in trying to evaluate whether 2004-2005 Agassi was better than 2015 Federer on hard courts, one data point that is not nearly as significant as my considering every hard court match they played and considering every hard court final both reached in the years we're discussing and who those opponents were, which clearly showed Federer as superior. So you can conveniently ignore those, but you'd be wrong.

I'll give you that 2004-05 Dre or even '05 Roddick doesn't hold a candle to '15 Fed on grass, but that is more than offset by younger Rafa's supremacy by far at RG. As I've already explained (with cold hard STATS, mind you) '15 Rafa was nothing special even by other elite dirtballers' standards, let alone his own. And Stan that year didn't even come close to cracking the 60% mark in games won on clay which historically has been a harbinger of seasonal excellence, posting instead a mediocre 55.8% which may well be the lowest I've seen among FO champs since '91. He still was able to bully Djoko in the final thanks to that DTL BH of his which has been something of a kryptonite for Novak, but put that Stan against prime Lendl, Courier, Bruguera or Kuerten and he likely gets slaughtered a la in the '17 final, or dispatched in 4 breezy sets at best.
First, I noted repeatedly that 2004-2006 Nadal wasn't especially great OFF of clay. I didn't say he wasn't great on clay because obviously he was. Second, numbers can lie, but they lie less than people, and so is the case with your using silly game wins as if it were a meaningful metric. Match wins are what matters. It doesn't matter how many games your opponent wins as long as you win the match. You were bragging about 1993 Bruguera elsewhere. His win percentage was 83% on clay in 1993. Rafa won 81% of his matches on clay in 2015. 2015 Rafa on clay is closer to 1993 Bruguera than 2004-2005 Agassi is to 2015 Federer on hard courts. As for 2015 Stanimal in the final, I doubt he gets slaughtered as per your untestable subjective opinion, but even if he did lose against some of the very best clay courters at their peak, that's not shameful and that's not saying anything about whether he was "weak competition," which is the point of contention. Do you think 2015 French Open Stan is weak competition?
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Let’s just say it’s easy to pick and choose players and say they weren’t playing that well in general but in this one tournament here or there, they were completely awesome according to your subjective eye test opinion. That is dubious evidence compared to looking at players who were playing awesome across most of the year with stats clearly indicating such, and then you deciding that they are weak competition for Djokovic compared to your cherry-picked players who just happened to rise to the occasion for that one tournament so that suddenly 2004-2006 Federer had great competition.
So who was better? 2005 AO Safin or 2015 more consistent Murray? 2004 Wimb F Roddick or 2015 more consistent Murray? Be honest.


I'll take my more comprehensive view of what happened with 2004-2005 Agassi and 2015 Federer over cherry picking what happened at one specific tournament or two specific matches based on how many sets were won in the final.
Yeah, except I took all big HC tournaments into account, not just a match here and there. And 2004 Agassi > 2015 Fed on HC as a result.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yes, Agassi performed better at one Australian Open than Federer did, which is just one data point in trying to evaluate whether 2004-2005 Agassi was better than 2015 Federer on hard courts, one data point that is not nearly as significant as my considering every hard court match they played and considering every hard court final both reached in the years we're discussing and who those opponents were, which clearly showed Federer as superior. So you can conveniently ignore those, but you'd be wrong.
Yeah, let's ignore one of the biggest HC events on the planet because "muh, winning percentage". Let's also ignore Agassi's own performance at the USO over a peak opponent because "muh, winning percentage".

First, I noted repeatedly that 2004-2006 Nadal wasn't especially great OFF of clay.
But 2015 Nadal was, right? 2005-2006 Nadal reached a Wimb final and won 2 HC masters, but apparently those achievements don't mean anything.

2015 Rafa on clay is closer to 1993 Bruguera than 2004-2005 Agassi is to 2015 Federer on hard courts.
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
Please check their respective rankings at the beginning of the tournament before posting this:
Moya (22), Roddick (33), Rusedski (40), Henman (11), Safin (3) and Rafter (10).

Top 10 on 25.06.2001 (Weak Era at its finest :)):
1 CH1BRAGustavo Kuerten--4150
21USAAndre Agassi--3795
31RUSMarat Safin--3590
41ESPJuan Carlos Ferrero--2830
51AUSLleyton Hewitt+1+1002815
61USAPete Sampras-1-2790
71RUSYevgeny Kafelnikov--2605
84FRASebastien Grosjean--1252280
92ESPAlex Corretja--2275
101AUSPatrick Rafter--1502120
Rafter was arguably a Top 3 player in 2001 only behind Agassi & Hewitt and maybe also Kuerten but not on grass.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
The inconsistency comes from Hewitt not being able to hold up his ranking outside of slams so he wouldn't have to face top players so early in the draw and lose to them, usually in the QF.



That's some cherry-picking. Let's look at the whole picture of Roddick's performance at majors from 2004-2006: QF, 2R, F, QF, SF, 2R, F, 1R, 4R, 1R, 3R, F – yeah, very inconsistent like I said.



As per your saying 2015 was weak, we are only looking at 2015 Stan, and no, that Stan was not inconsistent as he went SF, W, QF, QF at the majors. Much more consistent than Roddick's 2004-2006.



As per your Hewitt comparison, Murray lost to the eventual winner in 3 of the 4 majors, except he got further than Hewitt on average: F, SF, SF, 4R in 2015.



2004-2006 Nadal at majors: 3R, 2R, 4R, W, 2R, 3R, W, F, QF – like I said, pretty poor outside of those French Open wins. 2004-2005 Nadal is comparable to 2015 Nadal, but I'll concede that 2006 Nadal was better.



Comparing old Agassi to 2015 Federer is laughable. 2004-2006 Agassi at majors: SF, 1R, QF, QF, 1R, F, 3R, 3R. 2015 Federer at majors: 3R, QF, F, F.

So 2004-2006 Hewitt is your only real example of strong competition, and he's still surpassed by Murray (Hewitt doesn't even finish 2006 in the top 10; Murray finished 2015 at #2). 2004-2006 Nadal is weak outside of clay except for one deep run at Wimbledon in 2006. He's a little superior to 2015 Nadal. 2015 Stan is definitely superior to 2004-2006 Roddick at majors. 2015 Federer is definitely superior to 2004-2006 Agassi.
Yes, Nadal winning 11 titles in 2005 is comparable to the worst season of his career. :-D :-D :-D :-D
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I agree with the point in general, but to be fair, Stan's level at RG was definitely a step up from his level in the other clay events of the season. It's the same deal with all Slams, so he'd be an excellent example of an inconsistent player with a high peak. You rarely see players with such a disparity between their levels at Slams and other tournaments.
Of course, but even after taking that into account I don't see Stanimal pushing those guys very hard at RG if they're all playing their best. FYI '15 Stan did improve his GW% from his seasonal 55.8% to 61.1% at RG, which is very good, but that's about what Moya managed in '98 and well under '95 Muster's and '96 Kafelnikov's, let alone the career highs of those multi-FOers.

And I can tell you that during the '17 FO an e-pal of mine was going gaga about Stan possibly upsetting Rafa and I'd respond there was about zero chance of that happening. How come? 'Cause Rafa was averaging close to 60% of RGW which is out of this world even for him and he'd end up with a career-high 76.8% overall*, which is the 3rd highest of the OE below only Borg's 79.9% and 76.8% at '78 and '80 RG (the latter % is fractionally higher than Rafa's). Now compare that to Stan's... 57.9%, which isn't as mediocre as it looks cuz he had to deal with that bulldozing Rafa in the final but still well below the best %s of the CC greats. (Given such a small sample size one match can change these %s rather dramatically. For example swap Nadal's stats in the '17 final with '93 Bruguera's vs. Courier and Rafa would end up with "only" 70.8% while Sergi's would shoot way all the way up to 73.7%, good enough for 5th place in the OE rankings.)

More importantly, though, since Novak's groundies are rather flattish he doesn't quite have the same weight behind his shots as Ivan, Jim, Sergi and Guga, so Stan would find it harder to dictate rallies against them as he could vs. Novak. And save Guga these guys were dirtballers in every sense of the term, with loads of patience and shot tolerance which Stan with his HC style would not be comfortable with. Guga is the one exception here both tennistically (I'll keep using that until it becomes a thing around here) and statistically, but then if you've seen him demolish Ferrero in the Spaniard's best season (in GW%) you know why many old-timers call him perhaps the most dangerous CCer ever.

That said even I wasn't expecting Rafa to inflict such a thorough beatdown on Stan and doubt the scoreline would be that lopsided between that Stan (who admittedly didn't play that bad) and any of these four. More like 3 fairly tight sets, or possibly one of 'em squandered to be followed by a furious revenge set. Doubt it goes to 5.

*I just noticed that the formula in my Excel DB for Rafa's 17 campaign had been linked to the row above, which is why I haven't caught this error till now. So Rafa has had 4 rather than 3 more dominant runs than '93 Bruguera, putting him above Borg's threesome though the Swede still can claim those two highest %s.

What's really funny is that it got you to respond by mostly using numbers so it must have got you right in the gut.
Kid, I'm not making an idle boast when I say I've got more obscure stats in my collection than all of you bean counters combined. And my OP in this very thread included at least a dozen stats that you can't just pull from Wiki or the ATP site. You just overlooked 'em cuz my "supreme arrogance" p!ssed you off.

Yes, Agassi performed better at one Australian Open than Federer did, which is just one data point in trying to evaluate whether 2004-2005 Agassi was better than 2015 Federer on hard courts, one data point that is not nearly as significant as my considering every hard court match they played and considering every hard court final both reached in the years we're discussing and who those opponents were, which clearly showed Federer as superior. So you can conveniently ignore those, but you'd be wrong.
Ah but you see, valuing majors over 2nd/3rd-tier events is not "ignoring" them. Rather it's called having the right set of priorities. You can win all the Masters you want but your season is still a failure if you don't go far at the Slams, and I guarantee you most pro players themselves hold the same view even if they may not admit it in public (especially the Ferrer/Safina types who don't have enough game to win a major in the first place).

First, I noted repeatedly that 2004-2006 Nadal wasn't especially great OFF of clay. I didn't say he wasn't great on clay because obviously he was.
You do realize that Nadal never got past the QF at any of the majors in '15, right? So that Rafa was marginally better than '05 off clay. BFD. What's the point of even bringing this up if he wasn't even a serious Slam contender to begin with?

Second, numbers can lie, but they lie less than people, and so is the case with your using silly game wins as if it were a meaningful metric. Match wins are what matters. It doesn't matter how many games your opponent wins as long as you win the match.
A couple things. One, numbers lie when misinterpreted by people, which you should be familiar with. Two, GW% has been eerily predictive of success at the majors AND win %, neither of which has occurred to you bean counters who are too lazy dig deeper into the readily available ATP stats. And third, GW% becomes even more prescient on clay where, again, consistency does matter more than usual... and yet you focus on Rafa's negligible records outside RG in the years in question.

Like I said, priorities.

You were bragging about 1993 Bruguera elsewhere. His win percentage was 83% on clay in 1993. Rafa won 81% of his matches on clay in 2015. 2015 Rafa on clay is closer to 1993 Bruguera than 2004-2005 Agassi is to 2015 Federer on hard courts.
You seem to be literally a kid compared to me so I'll cut you some slack here, but FYI Bruguera was not unlike Wawrinka himself in that he'd half-ass smaller events only to fire himself up for the big ones. And Stan with his mediocre 72% in '15 is not exactly the guy you wanna put forward while insisting on the all-encompassing importance of win %.

That's the part you can be forgiven for being in the dark about. But I've already pointed out that at '93 RG Sergi went on to post a historic 68.8% in GW, falling only short of Borg, Nadal and Lendl (plus Vilas vs. a depleted field) but with peak Courier in the final. According to your rigid formula, though, that Bruguera was closer to '15 Nadal than 2004-05 Agassi to '15 Fed, even though the latter two were at the very least comparable at the HC majors.

You see, Emerson once warned against "foolish consistency" as "the hobgoblin of little minds" and you're acting like a walking caricature of that famous (if oft-misquoted) aphorism. Maybe you should take a step back and consider the possibility that tennis IRL is more complicated than simply counting how many matches each guy/gal won.

As for 2015 Stanimal in the final, I doubt he gets slaughtered as per your untestable subjective opinion, but even if he did lose against some of the very best clay courters at their peak, that's not shameful and that's not saying anything about whether he was "weak competition," which is the point of contention. Do you think 2015 French Open Stan is weak competition?
This might surprise you but no, Stan losing in straights to any of those guys at their absolute peak wouldn't be shameful at all, just like I don't fault Fed for falling to Guga who somehow turned back the clock for that one final masterclass.

And I wouldn't call any player with Stan's firepower "weak." In fact just about every Slam finalist deserves credit in my book, and it's only the perennially underwhelming Next Gen that I've been truly dismissive of.

But that's not the real issue, is it? The comparison here is between Fed's and Novak's toughest opponents in their best years and there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that '05 Rafa was light years ahead of '15 Stan. And Novak sure ain't beating young Rafa at RG, while I'd favor '05 Fed (that was his best year in terms of GW%, with 60.8% sans DC) against '15 Stan. With few exceptions (Stan being one of 'em, yes) players' best CC results tend to come early, which applies to not only to natural dirtballers like Borg, Wilander, Bruguera and Nadal but also to fast(er)-courters like Becker, Ivanisevic, Sampras and Fed.

One could say all of that changes the equation considerably, but apparently not in your world where win % takes precedence over everything else.

You might find this hard to believe but Novak is actually one of my all-time faves and I've been rooting for him since at least early '07. And I've been a fierce supporter of his PTPA initiative and wish him, Pop and their comrades all the success though they've got the deck stacked against 'em. I just refuse to let him off the hook for his irresponsible behavior in the middle of a devastating pandemic, or his fans for boosting him at the expense of previous tennis legends. Go easy on the latter and you're likely to find me less hostile to your argument, though I still wouldn't let it pass on that basis alone.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Of course, but even after taking that into account I don't see Stanimal pushing those guys very hard at RG if they're all playing their best. FYI '15 Stan did improve his GW% from his seasonal 55.8% to 61.1% at RG, which is very good, but that's about what Moya managed in '98 and well under '95 Muster's and '96 Kafelnikov's, let alone the career highs of those multi-FOers.

And I can tell you that during the '17 FO an e-pal of mine was going gaga about Stan possibly upsetting Rafa and I'd respond there was about zero chance of that happening. How come? 'Cause Rafa was averaging close to 60% of RGW which is out of this world even for him and he'd end up with a career-high 76.8% overall*, which is the 3rd highest of the OE below only Borg's 79.9% and 76.8% at '78 and '80 RG (the latter % is fractionally higher than Rafa's). Now compare that to Stan's... 57.9%, which isn't as mediocre as it looks cuz he had to deal with that bulldozing Rafa in the final but still well below the best %s of the CC greats. (Given such a small sample size one match can change these %s rather dramatically. For example swap Nadal's stats in the '17 final with '93 Bruguera's vs. Courier and Rafa would end up with "only" 70.8% while Sergi's would shoot way all the way up to 73.7%, good enough for 5th place in the OE rankings.)

More importantly, though, since Novak's groundies are rather flattish he doesn't quite have the same weight behind his shots as Ivan, Jim, Sergi and Guga, so Stan would find it harder to dictate rallies against them as he could vs. Novak. And save Guga these guys were dirtballers in every sense of the term, with loads of patience and shot tolerance which Stan with his HC style would not be comfortable with. Guga is the one exception here both tennistically (I'll keep using that until it becomes a thing around here) and statistically, but then if you've seen him demolish Ferrero in the Spaniard's best season (in GW%) you know why many old-timers call him perhaps the most dangerous CCer ever.

That said even I wasn't expecting Rafa to inflict such a thorough beatdown on Stan and doubt the scoreline would be that lopsided between that Stan (who admittedly didn't play that bad) and any of these four. More like 3 fairly tight sets, or possibly one of 'em squandered to be followed by a furious revenge set. Doubt it goes to 5.

*I just noticed that the formula in my Excel DB for Rafa's 17 campaign had been linked to the row above, which is why I haven't caught this error till now. So Rafa has had 4 rather than 3 more dominant runs than '93 Bruguera, putting him above Borg's threesome though the Swede still can claim those two highest %s.



Kid, I'm not making an idle boast when I say I've got more obscure stats in my collection than all of you bean counters combined. And my OP in this very thread included at least a dozen stats that you can't just pull from Wiki or the ATP site. You just overlooked 'em cuz my "supreme arrogance" p!ssed you off.



Ah but you see, valuing majors over 2nd/3rd-tier events is not "ignoring" them. Rather it's called having the right set of priorities. You can win all the Masters you want but your season is still a failure if you don't go far at the Slams, and I guarantee you most pro players themselves hold the same view even if they may not admit it in public (especially the Ferrer/Safina types who don't have enough game to win a major in the first place).



You do realize that Nadal never got past the QF at any of the majors in '15, right? So that Rafa was marginally better than '05 off clay. BFD. What's the point of even bringing this up if he wasn't even a serious Slam contender to begin with?



A couple things. One, numbers lie when misinterpreted by people, which you should be familiar with. Two, GW% has been eerily predictive of success at the majors AND win %, neither of which has occurred to you bean counters who are too lazy dig deeper into the readily available ATP stats. And third, GW% becomes even more prescient on clay where, again, consistency does matter more than usual... and yet you focus on Rafa's negligible records outside RG in the years in question.

Like I said, priorities.



You seem to be literally a kid compared to me so I'll cut you some slack here, but FYI Bruguera was not unlike Wawrinka himself in that he'd half-ass smaller events only to fire himself up for the big ones. And Stan with his mediocre 72% in '15 is not exactly the guy you wanna put forward while insisting on the all-encompassing importance of win %.

That's the part you can be forgiven for being in the dark about. But I've already pointed out that at '93 RG Sergi went on to post a historic 68.8% in GW, falling only short of Borg, Nadal and Lendl (plus Vilas vs. a depleted field) but with peak Courier in the final. According to your rigid formula, though, that Bruguera was closer to '15 Nadal than 2004-05 Agassi to '15 Fed, even though the latter two were at the very least comparable at the HC majors.

You see, Emerson once warned against "foolish consistency" as "the hobgoblin of little minds" and you're acting like a walking caricature of that famous (if oft-misquoted) aphorism. Maybe you should take a step back and consider the possibility that tennis IRL is more complicated than simply counting how many matches each guy/gal won.



This might surprise you but no, Stan losing in straights to any of those guys at their absolute peak wouldn't be shameful at all, just like I don't fault Fed for falling to Guga who somehow turned back the clock for that one final masterclass.

And I wouldn't call any player with Stan's firepower "weak." In fact just about every Slam finalist deserves credit in my book, and it's only the perennially underwhelming Next Gen that I've been truly dismissive of.

But that's not the real issue, is it? The comparison here is between Fed's and Novak's toughest opponents in their best years and there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that '05 Rafa was light years ahead of '15 Stan. And Novak sure ain't beating young Rafa at RG, while I'd favor '05 Fed (that was his best year in terms of GW%, with 60.8% sans DC) against '15 Stan. With few exceptions (Stan being one of 'em, yes) players' best CC results tend to come early, which applies to not only to natural dirtballers like Borg, Wilander, Bruguera and Nadal but also to fast(er)-courters like Becker, Ivanisevic, Sampras and Fed.

One could say all of that changes the equation considerably, but apparently not in your world where win % takes precedence over everything else.

You might find this hard to believe but Novak is actually one of my all-time faves and I've been rooting for him since at least early '07. And I've been a fierce supporter of his PTPA initiative and wish him, Pop and their comrades all the success though they've got the deck stacked against 'em. I just refuse to let him off the hook for his irresponsible behavior in the middle of a devastating pandemic, or his fans for boosting him at the expense of previous tennis legends. Go easy on the latter and you're likely to find me less hostile to your argument, though I still wouldn't let it pass on that basis alone.
2005 Nadal was still better than 2015 Nadal off clay though. His losses in the non clay slams were better for starters and he also won 2 HC masters. Nearly won a 3rd against Fed too.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Dunno about the whole OE cuz older stats ain't available (or very hard to come by at any rate), but I can tell y'all that '93 Bruguera is the only RG champ since '91 who had to down not one but two members of the 60% Club (Sampras and Courier - this was when Pete actually had serious CC ambitions)

So it's very possible that Bruguera's '93 win was the toughest by any FO champ at least in the last 30 years despite his spectacular GW%, and yet the geniuses at UTS place that run all the way down in 73th place - far below Stan's in '15 (LOL) and Rafa's in '13 and '14 (FYI neither was even Novak's statistically best RG outing), just to take 3 of the first 5 "hardest" RG titles per this seemingly objective formula. And if you're at least somewhat familiar with '90s tennis you know that rankings back then were hardly representative of actual playing level, even more so on the natural surfaces, but as always this fine point escapes our "analytics" du jour which only serves to make bean counters feel more knowledgeable than they really are.
No, that would be Wilander in 82 RG (Lendl, Vilas, Clerc, Gerulaitis) or Kuerten in 97 RG (Muster, Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Bruguera)

Sorry, but you over-rate Sampras on clay in 93. What exactly did he do that was so impressive?

Lost to Eltingh at Atlanta, Goran at Rome and got dominated by bruguera at Dusseldorf.
What was his best win? Stich at Dusseldorf? Svensson at RG who was clearly past it?

His clay court winning% in 93 was 58.8%. Not sure why you are putting him in the 60% club for CC season.
I checked on both Tennis Abstract and Ultimate Tennis Statistics.

Yeah, he had 60% GW at RG - but A sample size of 5 matches with GW% of 60% doesn't impress me that much.
For instance, Federer had 60% GW in 2010 at RG in 5 matches - last of which he lost to a red-hot Soderling.

In 94, Sampras atleast won Rome and beat young Costa+young Rios at RG.
93 doesn't really shine that much.
 
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NonP

Hall of Fame
No, that would be Wilander in 82 RG (Lendl, Vilas, Clerc, Gerulaitis) or Kuerten in 97 RG (Muster, Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Bruguera)

Sorry, but you over-rate Sampras on clay in 93. What exactly did he do that was so impressive?

Lost to Eltingh at Atlanta, Goran at Rome and got dominated by bruguera at Dusseldorf.
What was his best win? Stich at Dusseldorf? Svensson at RG who was clearly past it?

His clay court winning% in 93 was 58.8%. Not sure why you are putting him in the 60% club for CC season.
I checked on both Tennis Abstract and Ultimate Tennis Statistics.

Yeah, he had 60% GW at RG - but A sample size of 5 matches with GW% of 60% doesn't impress me that much.
For instance, Federer had 60% GW in 2010 at RG in 5 matches - last of which he lost to a red-hot Soderling.

In 94, Sampras atleast won Rome and beat young Costa+young Rios at RG.
93 doesn't really shine that much.
Got no problem if you or anyone else wants to put '82 Wilander's or '97 Kuerten's draw ahead, but that wasn't peak-ish Lendl/Vilas or Muster/Kafelnikov/Bruguera while '93 Courier certainly was. Jim might have won "only" 63.8% that season (still probably higher than Ivan or Willy, and definitely more than Thomas or Yevgeny), but that's really due to that grueling war vs. GOATing Sergi. As I said in the OP (well not quite OP - cuz a certain humorless lemming got it nuked the 1st time around) give him the same overall % from his '92 self vs. Korda and he actually tops his RG career high of 67.5% by 0.4%.

And you should ignore Dusseldorf cuz as @slice serve ace (among others) has pointed out the WTC at least in the '90s was clearly an exo. Both TA and UTS both get their stats from the ATP, hence the misleading 58.8%. His "true" % in '93 is 60.3%, but that also includes 58.8% from Atlanta on green clay. Take out Atlanta and you get 60.8% for Pistol, which means he actually did better on red clay proper. That's what every player would prefer, no? (Also the ATP is missing stats for Pete's 1st-rounder vs. Costa at '94 RG, but I was able to reconstruct them with some detective work which gives him 60.1% for the season.)

Speaking of which that loss to Eltingh on the green stuff really means nothing. The L vs. Goran at Rome is somewhat more meaningful, but what really matters is RG, especially more so in the '90s, and '93 Bruguera was definitely a tougher opponent than '94 Courier. The fact that Pistol made it competitive vs. that uber-dominant Sergi (yes I know he did eat a breadstick) is more impressive to me that his W at Rome the following year, and while I could go either way myself '94 Pete would have a stronger case had he pushed Jim to 5.
 

MadariKatu

Hall of Fame
This thread seems nonsensical to me. The fact that Djokovic had his one of his best seasons in 2015 and Nadal his worse don't mean it was one because of the other. It just happened at the same time, that's it. Saying that Nadal was playing good in 2015 is like saying Djokovic was in 2017. If you trully think that, your eye test is broken.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
What even is this garbage? Yes we can understand what a weak draw is but having a metric for it? Like what? Seeded players you beat? What about their form or ability on the surface? Again, the hell is this?
This is just another Big Three puff piece.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Got no problem if you or anyone else wants to put '82 Wilander's or '97 Kuerten's draw ahead, but that wasn't peak-ish Lendl/Vilas or Muster/Kafelnikov/Bruguera while '93 Courier certainly was. Jim might have won "only" 63.8% that season (still probably higher than Ivan or Willy, and definitely more than Thomas or Yevgeny), but that's really due to that grueling war vs. GOATing Sergi. As I said in the OP (well not quite OP - cuz a certain humorless lemming got it nuked the 1st time around) give him the same overall % from his '92 self vs. Korda and he actually tops his RG career high of 67.5% by 0.4%.

And you should ignore Dusseldorf cuz as @slice serve ace (among others) has pointed out the WTC at least in the '90s was clearly an exo. Both TA and UTS both get their stats from the ATP, hence the misleading 58.8%. His "true" % in '93 is 60.3%, but that also includes 58.8% from Atlanta on green clay. Take out Atlanta and you get 60.8% for Pistol, which means he actually did better on red clay proper. That's what every player would prefer, no? (Also the ATP is missing stats for Pete's 1st-rounder vs. Costa at '94 RG, but I was able to reconstruct them with some detective work which gives him 60.1% for the season.)

Speaking of which that loss to Eltingh on the green stuff really means nothing. The L vs. Goran at Rome is somewhat more meaningful, but what really matters is RG, especially more so in the '90s, and '93 Bruguera was definitely a tougher opponent than '94 Courier. The fact that Pistol made it competitive vs. that uber-dominant Sergi (yes I know he did eat a breadstick) is more impressive to me that his W at Rome the following year, and while I could go either way myself '94 Pete would have a stronger case had he pushed Jim to 5.
Courier in 93 RG final was definitely the toughest opponent among the 3 runs - 82,93 and 97, but not by such a big margin to overcome 3 other CCers in 82 and 97 respectively overall, IMO.

Not sure about WTC being an exho in the 90s. Was it unofficial that time and ATP added it retroactively or what?

I've seen ATP h2h b/w Sampras-Stich 4-5 with 3 WTC matches since many years.

In any case, if you are lessening the number of tournaments for Sampras in 93, that % means less and less.
Given 93 bruguera and 94 Courier respectively, perf, in 93 QF was a little better from Sampras but not by a margin that matters highly.
 
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D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
This would win Gold in the mental gymnastics competition.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Courier in 93 RG final was definitely the toughest opponent among the 3 runs - 82,93 and 97, but not by such a big margin to overcome 3 other CCers in 82 and 97 respectively overall, IMO.

Not sure about WTC being an exho in the 90s. Was it unofficial that time and ATP added it retroactively or what?

I've seen ATP h2h b/w Sampras-Stich 4-5 with 3 WTC matches since many years.

In any case, if you are lessening the number of tournaments for Sampras in 93, that % means less and less.
Given 93 bruguera and 94 Courier respectively, perf, in 93 QF was a little better from Sampras but not by a margin that matters highly.
Of course much of that comparison hinges on whether you think '93 Pete was indeed a tough customer on clay. Sergi's '93 RG draw is the only one since '91 (that I know of) where the champ had to face not one but two members of the 60% Club. I find that factoid pretty significant, you don't - hence our disagreement. One thing I'll add is that it was hardly unusual for a non-CC specialist to focus on Rome and RG only back then - including Courier in '92 and '93, also '91 if you don't count his early exit from Hamburg - so Pete wasn't exactly an outlier here.

The WTC was very much like the Laver Cup now: no ranking points, team format, and clearly meant to be a crowd-pleaser. Check out this vid from 1:34:25:


The crowd clapping Kucera along, Pete examining his racquet in good humor and wagging his fingers at Karol in mock disapproval after a sweet pass, and an equally good-natured exchange between the two at the end of the match - you don't expect to see that at the majors. And this hails from '99, when Pete would be rather dour about his performance on clay.

That's why I say we should remove WCT and LC stats when comparing players/seasons (again I've to catch the ATP Cup so can't comment on that one). Now @slice serve ace did add the one caveat that Germans seemed to take the WTC somewhat more seriously out of national pride, which I'd like to believe holds some weight cuz that would mean Boris did win a semi-singles event on clay (he beat Perez=Roldan and then Frana and Luza with Steeb in the '89 finals), but that's not much of a ringing endorsement.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Of course much of that comparison hinges on whether you think '93 Pete was indeed a tough customer on clay. Sergi's '93 RG draw is the only one since '91 (that I know of) where the champ had to face not one but two members of the 60% Club. I find that factoid pretty significant, you don't - hence our disagreement. One thing I'll add is that it was hardly unusual for a non-CC specialist to focus on Rome and RG only back then - including Courier in '92 and '93, also '91 if you don't count his early exit from Hamburg - so Pete wasn't exactly an outlier here.
Firstly Sampras didn't do/show anything to be considered tough. decent to slightly above that in 93 on clay IMO.
If the point is about focus on Rome&RG, Pete's 93 takes a significant hit with loss to Goran at Rome.
The 60% has to be considering all CC events and must be mean something with doing something impressive enough.

The WTC was very much like the Laver Cup now: no ranking points, team format, and clearly meant to be a crowd-pleaser.
Since ATP declared Laver Cup as official from 19, I'd consider it so.
Don't agree with retrospective tagging of 17 and 18 as official since there are no other factors to elevate its importance (i.e. ATP wasn't supressing it in 17/18 for some reasons like say Grand Slam Cup)

Check out this vid from 1:34:25:


The crowd clapping Kucera along, Pete examining his racquet in good humor and wagging his fingers at Karol in mock disapproval after a sweet pass, and an equally good-natured exchange between the two at the end of the match - you don't expect to see that at the majors. And this hails from '99, when Pete would be rather dour about his performance on clay.

That's why I say we should remove WCT and LC stats when comparing players/seasons (again I've to catch the ATP Cup so can't comment on that one). Now @slice serve ace did add the one caveat that Germans seemed to take the WTC somewhat more seriously out of national pride, which I'd like to believe holds some weight cuz that would mean Boris did win a semi-singles event on clay (he beat Perez=Roldan and then Frana and Luza with Steeb in the '89 finals), but that's not much of a ringing endorsement.
That point/gestures are not much relevant. Sampras was up 2 MPs, serving for the match at 5-2. Pretty sure he couldn't care less about losing one point.
There is no reason to compare with a major. Just think of it as a tour level event.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Firstly Sampras didn't do/show anything to be considered tough. decent to slightly above that in 93 on clay IMO.
If the point is about focus on Rome&RG, Pete's 93 takes a significant hit with loss to Goran at Rome.
The 60% has to be considering all CC events and must be mean something with doing something impressive enough.
We're just regurgitating the same points now so let's disagree. I'll just add that Pete had a different mentality towards clay in his early prime which along with a strong return game made him most dangerous, though I still consider '96 his best run at RG (after all beating two of his nemeses trumps taking a set from each, no matter how dominant/superior their early versions were). Put another way, replace '96 with '93 or '94 Pete but with the same motivation and he likely wins RG that year.

Since ATP declared Laver Cup as official from 19, I'd consider it so.
Don't agree with retrospective tagging of 17 and 18 as official since there are no other factors to elevate its importance (i.e. ATP wasn't supressing it in 17/18 for some reasons like say Grand Slam Cup)



That point/gestures are not much relevant. Sampras was up 2 MPs, serving for the match at 5-2. Pretty sure he couldn't care less about losing one point.
There is no reason to compare with a major. Just think of it as a tour level event.
There are dozens of other WTC matches on YT that show players laughing and clowning around. It really was an exo in all but name, and frankly it's revisionist to insist that it was a tour-level event when it offered no ranking points or none of DC's prestige and the ATP's own website doesn't provide match stats for any of its editions including the very last one in '12.

Ditto the LC which is clearly meant to be fun. To me it's a distraction from the rest of the tour and critics were/are right to point out that it was shortsighted to hand over the historic slot following the USO to a virtual exo when it should've been used as part of the DC revamp instead.

The GSC OTOH was supposed to be the ITF's answer to the YEC, which is why it was suppressed by the ATP for years. Throw in the obscene prize money (still almost as high as a Slam champ's check, and that's without inflation) and you can see why it was several degrees above the WTC/LC.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Except slams like Thiem's USO 2020 or the Aus opens of the 70s and 80s every other slam is definetly worthy in its own right, there is no way to decide which was easy and tough for armchair critics
 
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