The Sunshine Double as an achievement

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
How tough is the Sunshine Double as an achievement compared to winning a slam?
IW and Miami have 96 player draws, which means unseeded players have to run the full gamut of 7 matches at each tournament to win, while even the unseeded ones have to win 12 matches. These are the only tournaments outside slams to feature a full 7 round draw- although Rome and Madrid will also have 96 player draws from 2019 onwards.

That's 14 (or 12) matches over 3 weeks, in extremely hot, tough conditions, on the slowest hardcourts on tour which makes grinding a necessity and precludes first-strike tennis, with the extreme humidity in Miami making things even tougher.

Among men, only the following guys have done it: Courier, Chang, Sampras, Rios, Agassi, Federer(x 3), Djokovic (x 4).

Take a look at the list of guys who couldn't do it or haven't done it yet: Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Hewitt, Nadal, Murray, and a whole bunch of other excellent players.

Discuss.
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
Realistically it's 12 Bo3 matches. It's big, but not Grand Slam big imo.
12 or 14 BO3 matches in 3 weeks still means a minimum of 24 or 28 sets in 3 weeks (8 or 9.33 sets a week). Winning a slam would mean a minimum of 21 sets over 2 weeks (10.5 sets a week). Not too much of a difference, especially when you consider the oppressive conditions in IW and Miami, plus the fact that Masters finals used to be BO5.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
12 or 14 BO3 matches in 3 weeks still means a minimum of 24 or 28 sets in 3 weeks (8 or 9.33 sets a week). Winning a slam would mean a minimum of 21 sets over 2 weeks (10.5 sets a week). Not too much of a difference, especially when you consider the oppressive conditions in IW and Miami, plus the fact that Masters finals used to be BO5.
Sets per week aren't any indication of anything. Quantity of sets doesn't equal importance. Back to back masters is great anyway. 12 matches in 3.5 weeks isn't really all that much
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
Sets per week aren't any indication of anything. Quantity of sets doesn't equal importance. Back to back masters is great anyway. 12 matches in 3.5 weeks isn't really all that much
What do you mean sets per time played aren't an indication of anything? Of course they are.

'Quantity of sets doesn't equal importance' literally doesn't mean anything non-trivial, unless of course you can qualify that statement better.
Are you saying Masters aren't as important as slams? Thanks, but we knew that anyway. Sets are sets and professional tennis is professional tennis.
 

ibbi

Legend
The way you describe it makes it sound very difficult, for sure :D but consider for a moment that in the 21 year period since Canada and Cincy have been played back to back it's a double that has only been accomplished 3 times (Rafter, Roddick, Nadal), over the same time span the formerly Rome/Hamburg now Rome/Madrid double has been done only twice (Djokovic, Nadal), and in that same period the Sunshine Double has been done 9 times. Granted there are all kinds of factors that come into play that makes this the case (Hamburg always being lower down the order of importance than Monte Carlo, the Canada/Cincy double coming later in the year when players are far less fresh, etc.) but the toughness that you describe regarding the sunshine duo can also be offset by the players freshness in the season.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
How tough is the Sunshine Double as an achievement compared to winning a slam?
IW and Miami have 96 player draws, which means unseeded players have to run the full gamut of 7 matches at each tournament to win, while even the unseeded ones have to win 12 matches. These are the only tournaments outside slams to feature a full 7 round draw- although Rome and Madrid will also have 96 player draws from 2019 onwards.

That's 14 (or 12) matches over 3 weeks, in extremely hot, tough conditions, on the slowest hardcourts on tour which makes grinding a necessity and precludes first-strike tennis, with the extreme humidity in Miami making things even tougher.

Among men, only the following guys have done it: Courier, Chang, Sampras, Rios, Agassi, Federer(x 3), Djokovic (x 4).

Take a look at the list of guys who couldn't do it or haven't done it yet: Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Hewitt, Nadal, Murray, and a whole bunch of other excellent players.

Discuss.
A few observations:

1. Like Federer, Rios and Agassi won the Sunshine Double when both events were B05 in the final;

2. Miami (The Lipton) was B05 the whole way from 1987-1989, which probably made the Sunshine Double nearly impossible those years. Becker won Indian Wells in 1987 and 1988 and then didn't play Miami while Mecir won Indian Wells in 1989 and withdrew before his second round match in Miami;

3. Miami (The Lipton) didn't start until 1985, so we don't know whether someone like Connors, who won Indian Wells in 1976, 1981, and 1984, would have won the Sunshine Double;

4. McEnroe played Indian Wells only once, in 1991, and he played Miami only once, in 1992;

5. Edberg was 1 match away in 1990, beating Agassi in the Indian Wells final and then losing to him in the Miami final. So was Murray, who lost to Nadal in the 2009 Indian Wells final and beat Djokovic in the 2009 Miami final; and

6. Wilander only played Indian Wells and Miami once in the same season (1987) until 1994. In his best year of 1988, when Miami was B05 the whole way, he skipped Indian Wells and won Miami;​
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
The way you describe it makes it sound very difficult, for sure :D but consider for a moment that in the 21 year period since Canada and Cincy have been played back to back it's a double that has only been accomplished 3 times (Rafter, Roddick, Nadal), over the same time span the formerly Rome/Hamburg now Rome/Madrid double has been done only twice (Djokovic, Nadal), and in that same period the Sunshine Double has been done 9 times. Granted there are all kinds of factors that come into play that makes this the case (Hamburg always being lower down the order of importance than Monte Carlo, the Canada/Cincy double coming later in the year when players are far less fresh, etc.) but the toughness that you describe regarding the sunshine duo can also be offset by the players freshness in the season.
It's interesting that nobody has won both the Sunshine Double and the Summer Double (Canada/Cincinnati).
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
What do you mean sets per time played aren't an indication of anything? Of course they are.

'Quantity of sets doesn't equal importance' literally doesn't mean anything non-trivial, unless of course you can qualify that statement better.
Are you saying Masters aren't as important as slams? Thanks, but we knew that anyway. Sets are sets and professional tennis is professional tennis.
I'll word it differently for you. 96 man draws are ****ing overrated. One more journeyman between a player and the title. 12 matches in 3 and a half weeks is nothing. It's not harder than winning Madrid-Rome or Montreal-Cincy back to back. 10 matches in 13 days is harder than 12 matches in 25 days.

Back to back masters is great, it's 2 masters, but it has no significant value beyond that
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
How tough is the Sunshine Double as an achievement compared to winning a slam?
IW and Miami have 96 player draws, which means unseeded players have to run the full gamut of 7 matches at each tournament to win, while even the unseeded ones have to win 12 matches. These are the only tournaments outside slams to feature a full 7 round draw- although Rome and Madrid will also have 96 player draws from 2019 onwards.

That's 14 (or 12) matches over 3 weeks, in extremely hot, tough conditions, on the slowest hardcourts on tour which makes grinding a necessity and precludes first-strike tennis, with the extreme humidity in Miami making things even tougher.

Among men, only the following guys have done it: Courier, Chang, Sampras, Rios, Agassi, Federer(x 3), Djokovic (x 4).

Take a look at the list of guys who couldn't do it or haven't done it yet: Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Hewitt, Nadal, Murray, and a whole bunch of other excellent players.

Discuss.
In the list of those who couldn't or haven't, Edberg and Murray and also Roddick are the only ones who at least made back to back finals and won 1 of them ( Edberg 1990, Murray 2009, Roddick 2010).
 

BGod

Legend
12 Matches with 4 going 3 equals 28 sets.

A somewhat contentious Grand Slam run would be early round sweeps until R16 and then a split of two 4 set contests and two going 5. That would mean 27 sets played.

So yes it's probably the only time 2 Masters really do equal a Slam in points.

Novak achieving 3 times following Aussie victories is just pure insanity along with Fed doing that twice.
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
It's not harder than winning Madrid-Rome or Montreal-Cincy back to back. 10 matches in 13 days is harder than 12 matches in 25 days.
This is a good point. Although I'd say the conditions for Canada-Cincy are a lot less taxing for players (weather, court speed etc.)
 

Drob

Professional
The way you describe it makes it sound very difficult, for sure :D but consider for a moment that in the 21 year period since Canada and Cincy have been played back to back it's a double that has only been accomplished 3 times (Rafter, Roddick, Nadal), over the same time span the formerly Rome/Hamburg now Rome/Madrid double has been done only twice (Djokovic, Nadal), and in that same period the Sunshine Double has been done 9 times. Granted there are all kinds of factors that come into play that makes this the case (Hamburg always being lower down the order of importance than Monte Carlo, the Canada/Cincy double coming later in the year when players are far less fresh, etc.) but the toughness that you describe regarding the sunshine duo can also be offset by the players freshness in the season.

Nice points. Small correction on the Rogers Cup/Cincy Masters double: Agassi did it in 1995 and both tourneys were M1000s at time. You may be thinking of the incredible "summer slam" which is Rogers, Cincinnati and USO and it is right that only Patrick, Andy and Rafa have done that since the setup was in place in the early '90s. (Roddick interestingly, in 2010, came w/in a tiebreak of having a Sunshine Double and the Summer Slam).
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Small correction on the Rogers Cup/Cincy Masters double: Agassi did it in 1995 and both tourneys were M1000s at time.
Good catch. It looks like Agassi is the only player to win both

(1) the Sunshine Double: winning Indian Wells and Miami in 2001; and

(2) the Summer Double: winning the Canadian Open and Cincinnati in 1995​
 

Drob

Professional
The way you describe it makes it sound very difficult, for sure :D but consider for a moment that in the 21 year period since Canada and Cincy have been played back to back it's a double that has only been accomplished 3 times (Rafter, Roddick, Nadal), over the same time span the formerly Rome/Hamburg now Rome/Madrid double has been done only twice (Djokovic, Nadal), and in that same period the Sunshine Double has been done 9 times. Granted there are all kinds of factors that come into play that makes this the case (Hamburg always being lower down the order of importance than Monte Carlo, the Canada/Cincy double coming later in the year when players are far less fresh, etc.) but the toughness that you describe regarding the sunshine duo can also be offset by the players freshness in the season.
I had not heard of a Hamburg/Rome or Madrid/Rome double. The Classic and much respected clay double is, of course, the Continental Double of Winnng the Italian and French championships in same season (usually back-to-back, a week break notwithstanding and certain years there was no break). The players who have done this are:

Drobny 1951
Hoad 1956
Laver 1962
Roche 1966
Nastase 1973
Panatta 1976
Lendl 1986
Courier 1992
Muster 1995

Borg twice
Nadal six times

Of course, Sunshine Double has not been around that long, we should give credit to Courier for accomplishing both.
 

ibbi

Legend
Nice points. Small correction on the Rogers Cup/Cincy Masters double: Agassi did it in 1995 and both tourneys were M1000s at time. You may be thinking of the incredible "summer slam" which is Rogers, Cincinnati and USO and it is right that only Patrick, Andy and Rafa have done that since the setup was in place in the early '90s. (Roddick interestingly, in 2010, came w/in a tiebreak of having a Sunshine Double and the Summer Slam).
A few other guys have won Canada and Cincy in the same year, but they were not played back to back at the time which is unless I'm missing something what constitutes considering something a double :p ditto the clay one. Rome and Roland Garros might be the two crown jewels of the season, but it's Rome and Hamburg/Madrid that certainly in the last couple of decades at least are the ones played back to back.
 
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BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
This brings up an interesting question:
Is it easier to win the Sunshine Double than to win the Canada-Cincy double? The former has certainly been done more often. Then again, I'd guess less big players skip IW and Miami than they do Canada/Cincy.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Take a look at the list of guys who couldn't do it or haven't done it yet: Connors, McEnroe, Wilander, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Hewitt, Nadal, Murray, and a whole bunch of other excellent players.
In its first few years, Miami/The Lipton was held in February after the U.S. Pro Indoor. So, in 1986, Lendl won the U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia and then won the Lipton, which was B05 for the QF/SF/F (beating Nystrom/Connors/Wilander).
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
In its first few years, Miami/The Lipton was held in February after the U.S. Pro Indoor. So, in 1986, Lendl won the U.S. Pro Indoor in Philadelphia and then won the Lipton, which was B05 for the QF/SF/F (beating Nystrom/Connors/Wilander).
Ah. Great info. Was the US Pro Indoor as big as a Masters 1000 equivalent event then?
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Ah. Great info. Was the US Pro Indoor as big as a Masters 1000 equivalent event then?
Yes. It was part of the Grand Prix Super Series. In 1986, that Series consisted of (1) U.S. Pro Indoor; (2) Miami/The Lipton; (3) Monte Carlo; (4) Rome/Italian Open; (5) Toronto; (6) Cincinnati; (7) Hamburg; (8) Tokyo; and (9) Stockholm.
 

underground

G.O.A.T.
This brings up an interesting question:
Is it easier to win the Sunshine Double than to win the Canada-Cincy double? The former has certainly been done more often. Then again, I'd guess less big players skip IW and Miami than they do Canada/Cincy.
Problem with Canada Cinci is that the USO is coming right after whereas there’s a gap before the clay season starts after the sunshine double
 

Drob

Professional
A few other guys have won Canada and Cincy in the same year, but they were not played back to back at the time which is unless I'm missing something what constitutes considering something a double :p ditto the clay one. Rome and Roland Garros might be the two crown jewels of the season, but it's Rome and Hamburg/Madrid that certainly in the last couple of decades at least are the ones played back to back.

The Continental Double, as I explained, is the original double, the most venerable double of any double. They are played back-to-back albeit w a week rest nowadays. I think you are missing something about what constitutes a double. without time to look up other references, see the below the address to the official ATP website, it's bio of Hall of Fame player Tony Roche, mentioning he won " the difficult Continental Double."


http://www.atpchampionstour.com/tennis/players/ro/t/tony-d-roche.aspx
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
Wikipedia says that there was a week's gap between the 1995 Canada(July 24 to 31) and Cincy (Aug 7 to 14) tournaments.

I guess doing it in the same year is still a 'double', but the week's gap makes things a lot easier probably.
 

Drob

Professional
Wikipedia says that there was a week's gap between the 1995 Canada(July 24 to 31) and Cincy (Aug 7 to 14) tournaments.

I guess doing it in the same year is still a 'double', but the week's gap makes things a lot easier probably.
Yes, could be. I guess the IW champ has three full days rest, or probably four days, before his first Key Biscayne match.

I personally don't look at the Rogers/Cincy as a double anyway. I do recognize the "Summer Slam" for sure as one of the more impressive achievements in the game. I even found an imperfect analogy 1927-70, which I call the "Old Summer Slam": Newport Casino, a prestige title in those days and the immediate preceding event before US Championships, then the United States champs, of course, then you get on a cross country train to L.A to compete at the premiere cement-based-court tournament in the world, the Pacific Southwest. Players who accomplished this trifecta:

Vines 1931
Budge 1937
Gonzalez 1949
Sedgman 1951
Emerson 1964

So almost as difficult as our current Summer Slam.
 
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