"Quantifying Cakewalks, or The Time Rafa Finally Got Lucky"

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Rafa's had his fair share of easy draws.

2010 Wimbledon.

2010, 2013, 2017 USO

Most RG titles won vs hard court specialists.

Not to mention the plethora of absolute mugs and pigeons he's been destroyed by at slams.
 
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VolleyHelena

Semi-Pro
A slam is a slam at the end of the day and he looked good against a admittedly gassed Delpo but this is his 4th easy draw after 2010,2013 USO and Wimbledon 2010
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Interesting. For all those Wawa-detractors out there, here's the most difficult paths to a title, Wawa holds the 3 top spots...:
Year Slam Winner Path Difficulty
2014 Australian Open Stan Wawrinka 2.2%
2015 Roland Garros Stan Wawrinka 3.1%
2016 Us Open Stan Wawrinka 3.2%
Didn't go through the details of how the ELO and path difficulty are arrived at but I noticed that whoever beat Federer (Tsonga 2011 Wimby, Berdych 2012 USO) figures in the top toughest semifinal path list. I am guessing this has also made two of Nadal's RG titles appear in the list.

Not sure if the author has used the ELO ratings as on date for a particular slam or current ELO rating(which would not make sense)
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Nice article, it'd be good if we could see a list of all Fedal's individual major wins though instead of just their total average difficulty.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Also I cant say I totally agree with these numbers either. Like, it just doesnt show how well each individual opponent played during the match. For example Nadal's win over Verdasco in the AO 2009 semi should be rated as difficult as his win over Federer in the final.
 

Lukhas

Legend
Also I cant say I totally agree with these numbers either. Like, it just doesnt show how well each individual opponent played during the match. For example Nadal's win over Verdasco in the AO 2009 semi should be rated as difficult as his win over Federer in the final.
Well it rates how difficult it would be for the average player to win this, not specific instances of certain players finding great form within a tournament. For example, regardless of any ranking system (ELO, ATP, you name it), what would be considered brutal draws for the average player at Roland would be much more manageable for a player like Nadal who thrives on clay. Actually and according to the article, his three most difficult paths all have been at Roland-Garros (2012, 2013 and 2014). Context is appreciable in such instances. Likewise, Thiem's path at Roland this year is in the top 10 paths in terms of difficulty... even though for Thiem it's more manageable on clay than it would be anywhere else.

To make it short: this system considers how hard it would be for an average semi-finalist to get through, not how hard it would be for a specific player to get through.
 
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