Rate your all time Top 10 Clutch / Top Players under pressure.

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
I define clutch as winning matches against equal or better players; especially late in tourneys. Thus, the guy that gets my vote is Wawrinka. Stan reeled off a streak of 11 consecutive wins in championship matches. This was done by a guy that has a rather pedestrian .635 winning percentage for his career. Sure, it makes sense for a player with a .800 career winning percentage to pull this off. I'd almost expect that to happen. During that amazing streak of 11 consecutive finals won, 3 of those wins were in slam finals against the world #1 across 3 different slam events(AO, FO, USO). That is truly clutch.

Here's the list of players with 11+ consecutive finals victories:

#FinalsYears
24 Roger Federer2003–05
19 Rod Laver1969–70
15 Björn Borg1979–80
14 Rafael Nadal2005–06
12 Rod Laver1973–75
John McEnroe1980–81
John McEnroe1984–85
11 John Newcombe1971–73
Björn Borg1977
José Luis Clerc1980–81
Thomas Muster1994–95
Stan Wawrinka2014–16
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
I don’t agree about Del Potro, he often pushed these guys to the brink but he lost most of his epics. Wawrinka is a clear winner here. Pete was definitely up there. Nadal and Djokovic switched. The first half of Nadal’s career where he could rely on his fitness, he was a mental giant, and once he couldn’t he became a mental midget. Djokovic used to be a headcase but in his later years has been a mental giant
 

Wander

Professional
Graf, and some others
Jeff Sackman recently wrote this article that sort of answers this question in the women's game statistically:
 

Graf1stClass

Semi-Pro
Jeff Sackman recently wrote this article that sort of answers this question in the women's game statistically:
That's hilarious and tells you two things: the first being that your rating will inevitably slip the more matches you play. Someone who gets lucky when expected to lose 1/1 matches will have the best rating possible, but you can't win the slots forever. Moreover, this is why I don't trust machines and cold statistics on their own. They simply cannot account for the human factor in these matches.
 

serve

Rookie
1. Sampras (by far in the lead)
2. Borg
3. Djokovic
4. Nadal
5. Mac
6. Wilander
7. Becker
8. Edberg
9. Connors
10. Newcombe
Reading this, Fed should really have retired 2012 after WIM ... he'd top this list then! Sampras very rarely displayed his fabled mental strength in conditions/against opponents that did not suit him, see FO. Take that one out and Fed is 16:3 in Slam finals until 2012 (retirement age of Sampras, 14:4 in Slam finals himself)
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Sampras very rarely displayed his fabled mental strength in conditions/against opponents that did not suit him, see FO.
Sampras almost single-handedly won the Davis Cup for the US in Russia on clay, winning both his singles and his doubles rubbers. He defeated a FO champion and #1 player in the process, and none of those opponents in Russia suited him. After winning one of his singles rubbers, Pete collapsed on the court from cramping and exhaustion:

 

serve

Rookie
Sampras almost single-handedly won the Davis Cup for the US in Russia on clay, winning both his singles and his doubles rubbers. He defeated a FO champion and #1 player in the process, and none of those opponents in Russia suited him. After winning one of his singles rubbers, Pete collapsed on the court from cramping and exhaustion:

that was a phenomenal display, all credit for that! But it says more about his skill level and class as a player, not so much about his clutchness. He was almost the underdog going into that tie. What did he have to lose? No expectations, no pressure ...
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
what is Boris doing on the list? He lost 2 finals in his "living room" against Edberg, who he usually owned and 1 against Stich who he despised ... succumbed to pressure each time ...
Numerous reasons. Won Wimbledon when he just was 17 and 18 years old, has one of the best win rates in 5 sets and deciding sets, some of the best win rates against top 10, top 5 and against #1 ranked players and went 3-0 in AO and USO finals. He also shouldn't have won 91 Wimbledon. Stich was the better player and took down Edberg, Courier and Becker to win. Becker had a cakewalk draw.
 

serve

Rookie
Numerous reasons. Won Wimbledon when he just was 17 and 18 years old, has one of the best win rates in 5 sets and deciding sets, some of the best win rates against top 10, top 5 and against #1 ranked players and went 3-0 in AO and USO finals. He also shouldn't have won 91 Wimbledon. Stich was the better player and took down Edberg, Courier and Becker to win. Becker had a cakewalk draw.
makes sense, I put a bit too much focus on his Wimbledon outings :)
 

The Guru

Hall of Fame
Nadal is more clutch than Djokovic. Djokovic has had more outlier holy **** that was so clutch moments but Nadal was at least until recently pretty much always clutch all the time. Djokovic had some pretty unclutch performances pre-2015.
 

PETEhammer

Professional
that was a phenomenal display, all credit for that! But it says more about his skill level and class as a player, not so much about his clutchness. He was almost the underdog going into that tie. What did he have to lose? No expectations, no pressure ...
Pete was playing with the pressure of singlehandedly winning the event for his country. Add to that that he, Agassi and Courier set that as their collective mission at the start of the year and when they failed in their matches (injury in Andre's case) it ALL fell to Pete to do. On his worst surface. That was especially slowed down by the Russians. Against a French Open champion.

Pressure was huge and Pete delivered even at the cost of his health.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Does anyone else find it weird that someone who is considered the GOAT by the majority of the tennis world with 20 Slams and 310 weeks at #1 is not even mentioned in this thread. Is this evidence that even his fans think he could play well and win only when he was not feeling pressure meaning that the competition needed to be weak for him to thrive?

I personally think Federer was pretty clutch against everyone not named Djokovic (or Nadal on clay) and deserves mention on this top 10 clutch player thread. He has won 32 five-setters, 10 matches down 0-2 in sets, fifth set Slam finals against Roddick/Nadal (twice), saved 7 MPs to win a Slam match, beat Sampras in a fifth set at Wimbledon etc. His record consecutive streak of quarterfinals/semifinals reached in Slams is because he was always good at beating everyone he was supposed to beat however well they played.

If Federer had retired in his early thirties like Sampras or in his twenties like Borg, would he be in the top 10 clutch player list? Is he being penalized for playing against younger ATGs till he is almost 40 years old?
 

mwym

Rookie
To avoid eye test bias, we can compare MPs ratios.
Opponent's MPs - saved/not saved.
Own MPs - won/not won?

Any comparable career stats for top contenders? Even without correction for a rank of an opponent and without correction for 1st round / finals or Challenger / Slam?
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Does anyone else find it weird that someone who is considered the GOAT by the majority of the tennis world with 20 Slams and 310 weeks at #1 is not even mentioned in this thread. Is this evidence that even his fans think he could play well and win only when he was not feeling pressure meaning that the competition needed to be weak for him to thrive?

I personally think Federer was pretty clutch against everyone not named Djokovic (or Nadal on clay) and deserves mention on this top 10 clutch player thread. He has won 32 five-setters, 10 matches down 0-2 in sets, fifth set Slam finals against Roddick/Nadal (twice), saved 7 MPs to win a Slam match, beat Sampras in a fifth set at Wimbledon etc. His record consecutive streak of quarterfinals/semifinals reached in Slams is because he was always good at beating everyone he was supposed to beat however well they played.

If Federer had retired in his early thirties like Sampras or in his twenties like Borg, would he be in the top 10 clutch player list? Is he being penalized for playing against younger ATGs till he is almost 40 years old?
Obviously he is penalized for that, see the continuous 0-3 in Wimbledon finals used against him.
 

PETEhammer

Professional
Reading this, Fed should really have retired 2012 after WIM ... he'd top this list then! Sampras very rarely displayed his fabled mental strength in conditions/against opponents that did not suit him, see FO. Take that one out and Fed is 16:3 in Slam finals until 2012 (retirement age of Sampras, 14:4 in Slam finals himself)
See AO '95, Davis Cup '95, French open '96, Open '96
 

Sunny014

Professional
AMEN

You either die (retire) a hero like Sampras or live long enough to become the villain like Federer.

Nasty trolls are concerned about why he lost 3 wimbledon finals aged 33 and above in 5 close sets, according to those haters Federer isn't GOAT on Grass because he would have been the goat if he went out in 2rd or 3rd round and still would look clutch to these people.
 

BGod

Legend
1. Djokovic
2. Borg

Although it's tough because Novak was more a choker in his earlier days but has the higher clutch points overall. Meanwhile Borg's entire career was clutch but it was much shorter. I am going with quantity here though.

3. Sampras

It's almost impossible to objectively go beyond these top 3. I mean, guys like Kuerten and Wawrinka seemed to have been locked in when they got to the mountain top but the sample size isn't very heavy. Then you got a guy like Becker who absolutely had clutch moments but some blunders as well and then you ask the big matches he lost was he just not good enough? Given Nadal's overall stats with SF/F losses he seems to be a candidate but a massive skew on clay where he's honestly been immensely favoured and winning matches you're suppose to win isn't being clutch. Now I'm only looking at OE.
 

BGod

Legend
You either die (retire) a hero like Sampras or live long enough to become the villain like Federer.

Nasty trolls are concerned about why he lost 3 wimbledon finals aged 33 and above in 5 close sets, according to those haters Federer isn't GOAT on Grass because he would have been the goat if he went out in 2rd or 3rd round and still would look clutch to these people.
Okay but in fairness it's not Federer losing 2015 Wimbledon & USO when Novak had arguably GOAT season. It's his 2011 USO and 2019 WMB where he literally had zero excuse to not close the deal in both matches. And those are two massive matches that may mean he's at 22 Slams and Novak is at 16.
 
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