Why are streaks important?

I should begin the thread by stating outright that I’m a Nadal fan and hence biased towards appreciating his achievements over Federer and Djokovic. Recently, we have threads emphasising a player’s winning streaks over a particular surface/tournament/group of opponents. What confuses me is why this is understood to be a desirable record in the resume of your favourite tennis player. After all, if the total number of wins is kept constant then domination and consistency become two sides of the same coin. You can either have the victories concentrated together that we call domination (Federer and Djokovic having better multi slam seasons than Nadal) or spread out that we call consistency (Nadal’s record of winning at least one slam each year for many consecutive years). Since these two “qualities” can only come at the cost of the other, why not just focus on total accomplishments and not whether they were attained one after another or at consistent intervals?
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I think there tends to be a bias towards concentrated dominance e.g. a very fruitful peak, over consistent long term winning. Probably because more concentrated winning is one argument for a higher peak. IMO both are important, longevity + peak. There's different ways to judge consistency and peak, for peak Nadal fans will point to slam h2h, Fed and Djok fans will point to their most dominant years etc...
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
What confuses me is why this is understood to be a desirable record in the resume of your favourite tennis player.
You can't grasp that Sampras achieving the streak of six straight YE #1's is a huge deal? Nobody has done this since. So yes, certain streaks are very desirable for players. Borg/Fed winning 5 straight Wimbledons, Fed winning 5 straight USO's, etc.
 

beard

Legend
I should begin the thread by stating outright that I’m a Nadal fan and hence biased towards appreciating his achievements over Federer and Djokovic. Recently, we have threads emphasising a player’s winning streaks over a particular surface/tournament/group of opponents. What confuses me is why this is understood to be a desirable record in the resume of your favourite tennis player. After all, if the total number of wins is kept constant then domination and consistency become two sides of the same coin. You can either have the victories concentrated together that we call domination (Federer and Djokovic having better multi slam seasons than Nadal) or spread out that we call consistency (Nadal’s record of winning at least one slam each year for many consecutive years). Since these two “qualities” can only come at the cost of the other, why not just focus on total accomplishments and not whether they were attained one after another or at consistent intervals?
As Novak's fan, who had some incredible streaks, I agree with you... I wrote few times about that...
For me longevity is more important, because it shows that you are real thing. In few years you can have big success because there is bigger chance good things can align right for you (lack of good competition, non injuries...), but to show that you are the man in longer period... it's a prof you are a real dead...
I would always chose 5 Wimbledons (or any other tournament) in 15 years span, than 5 in 5 years...
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Lew, its bad example, you should compare players with similar success, not 3 vs 0...
Ferrer won more matches than Wawrinka at all levels:

Total 734-515
Big Tournaments 345-304
Slam 145-144

Ferrer was more consistent, Wawrinka had a higher peak.
 

Azure

G.O.A.T.
I should begin the thread by stating outright that I’m a Nadal fan and hence biased towards appreciating his achievements over Federer and Djokovic. Recently, we have threads emphasising a player’s winning streaks over a particular surface/tournament/group of opponents. What confuses me is why this is understood to be a desirable record in the resume of your favourite tennis player. After all, if the total number of wins is kept constant then domination and consistency become two sides of the same coin. You can either have the victories concentrated together that we call domination (Federer and Djokovic having better multi slam seasons than Nadal) or spread out that we call consistency (Nadal’s record of winning at least one slam each year for many consecutive years). Since these two “qualities” can only come at the cost of the other, why not just focus on total accomplishments and not whether they were attained one after another or at consistent intervals?
A very interesting post. I am of course assuming that you aren't comparing here, a red hot Gonzalez of one tournament vs a more consistent player like Murray.

Like you, Rafa is my preferred player but trying to be objective here. Rafa's elevated levels of best play rarely has lasted a full calendar year. Infact I am even more in awe of his consistency in recent years. One could argue that the man has put in 'too much' of effort into dominating for a few months before his body breaks down. With given recuperating time, he comes back to his winning ways again. Nothing right or wrong about it, but that is how his body works. I can argue of course the other way too, in that, there has rarely been a season when Rafa has fallen out of the top few positions of the rankings which again is testimony to his remarkable consistency.

Personally to me it doesn't make much of a difference but to the public's memory, longer periods of dominance being associated with one person's name is quite crucial for legacy.
 
Ferrer won more matches than Wawrinka at all levels:

Total 734-515
Big Tournaments 345-304
Slam 145-144

Ferrer was more consistent, Wawrinka had a higher peak.
Methodology fail. Wawrinka is still playing; he's obviously overtaking Ferrer's number of Slam matches won (needs only 2), and probably overtaking the top tournie total too (needs 42, two more years at a top 20 level would do it). Ferrer will remain much more successful in sub-1000 tournaments of course, but that's low level consistency often crudely termed 'vulturing'.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Hall of Fame
For me peak > longevity.

Who do you rate higher, Wawrinka or Ferrer?
Well Wawrinka has three more slams so it is a no brainer even if his peak wasn’t higher than Ferrers. Generally however I agree with you, if two players have similar success, with one having the higher peak (let’s say he beat ATG for his slams) and the other has longevity I would always pick the player with the higher peak. An example would be Nalbandian > Ferrer.
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Well Wawrinka has three more slams so it is a no brainer even if his peak wasn’t higher than Ferrers. Generally however I agree with you, if two players have similar success, with one having the higher peak (let’s say he beat ATG for his slams) and the other has longevity I would always pick the player with the higher peak. An example would be Nalbandian > Ferrer.
His peak was higher than Ferrer for me, this is what I meant.

2013-17 Wawrinka in Slams > any result of Ferrer, even if Ferrer was more consistent overall.

Top5 seasons: Ferrer 4, Wawrinka 3
Top10 seasons: Ferrer 7, Wawrinka 5
Top15 seasons: Ferrer 10, Wawrinka 6
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
I think there tends to be a bias towards concentrated dominance e.g. a very fruitful peak, over consistent long term winning. Probably because more concentrated winning is one argument for a higher peak. IMO both are important, longevity + peak. There's different ways to judge consistency and peak, for peak Nadal fans will point to slam h2h, Fed and Djok fans will point to their most dominant years etc...
I fully agree. And that’s why it’s always about total numbers. There is no other stat that covers both better than total numbers, it’s really that simple here.

No matter if you win 15 Slams in 5 years and then you are mentally or physically out of it or if you win 1 Slam in 15 consecutive years and therefore have great longevity. In the end it’s the same, and rightly so.
 
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zuluzazu

Professional
His peak was higher than Ferrer for me, this is what I meant.

2013-17 Wawrinka in Slams > any result of Ferrer, even if Ferrer was more consistent overall.

Top5 seasons: Ferrer 4, Wawrinka 3
Top10 seasons: Ferrer 7, Wawrinka 5
Top15 seasons: Ferrer 10, Wawrinka 6
Whatever stat you try to cherrypick it cannot change the fact that any player with 3 more slams is better. Whether be it nadal and djoko, stan and ferrer or nadal and fed in 2014. If and when djoko equalizes number of slams with nadal we can talk about these nonsense stats as tiebreakers.
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
Whatever stat you try to cherrypick it cannot change the fact that any player with 3 more slams is better. Whether be it nadal and djoko, stan and ferrer or nadal and fed in 2014. If and when djoko equalizes number of slams with nadal we can talk about these nonsense stats as tiebreakers.
When talking about GOAT contenders other factors come into discussion.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Domination matters, not simply streaks.

Answer to the question in post #21, please.
It depends about the matches and the form your rivals were in. Rafa was down and injured when Novak dominated big time, Fed was not his best too.
All in all it is the slam count that matter.
 

zuluzazu

Professional
@zuluzazu

Which is better

> 10 titles at one event (AO/RG/WI/UO)
> 8 titles in two consecutive calendar year grand slam
According to me once you achieve the career grand slam the thing that matters the most after that is the slam count. I value consistency more personally and lets agree to disagree.
 

tudwell

Legend
Methodology fail. Wawrinka is still playing; he's obviously overtaking Ferrer's number of Slam matches won (needs only 2), and probably overtaking the top tournie total too (needs 42, two more years at a top 20 level would do it). Ferrer will remain much more successful in sub-1000 tournaments of course, but that's low level consistency often crudely termed 'vulturing'.
I think these days the preferred term is “Fedring”.
 
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