Why are we pretending that Novak never won 4 in a row?

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
That’s the theory. But the actual data over several decades shows they are equally difficult.
Well the data we can only use is looking at players than done it which shows it is as hard to do but CYGS will always be considered better
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
I’m just pointing out that the actual data shows they are equally difficult.
I’m not disagreeing but CYGS will be considered better due to it’s the same season. When people think Fed’s or Djokovic’s best seasons they say 04 or 11 etc not from half way through one too somewhere in the next.
 

Whisper

Rookie
I’m just pointing out that the actual data shows they are equally difficult.
It‘s not about difficulty. Winning a tournament winning every match 60 60 is harder than any calendar slam. It’s about winning all 4 slams in 1 tennis season. That’s what makes it ‘Grand’. Emerson won AO/FO in 1963 and Wim/USO in 1964 and gets zero recognition for winning all 4 slams in 2 tennis seasons. Novak is not unique in this regard.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
I’m not disagreeing but CYGS will be considered better due to it’s the same season. When people think Fed’s or Djokovic’s best seasons they say 04 or 11 etc not from half way through one too somewhere in the next.
Agree as well

But it does raise the question why some think weeks at #1 is better than YE1 then. Same logic applies
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
Agree as well

But it does raise the question why some think weeks at #1 is better than YE1 then. Same logic applies
Yeah I get your point I presume because if you get #1 in November and lose it in January every season you will end us with not so much but I do get the point
 

Whisper

Rookie
But it does raise the question why some think weeks at #1 is better than YE1 then. Same logic applies
When we look at who was no.1 in any year we always look at year end data. That’s the player that gets credit as No.1 for that year, not the guy who may have been No.1 in April or Sept of that year. The winner of the marathon is the guy who crosses line 1st, even if he didn’t lead at any point until the last minute.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
Yeah I get your point I presume because if you get #1 in November and lose it in January every season you will end us with not so much but I do get the point
I think both are important measures even if YE1 should be the more relevant (applying to a single season). Similarly winning 4 slams in a row is an incredible achievement but doing so within a single season more so.
 

DjokoLand

Hall of Fame
I think both are important measures even if YE1 should be the more relevant (applying to a single season). Similarly winning 4 slams in a row is an incredible achievement but doing so within a single season more so.
No I get the point you make because if you end YE1 regardless if you were number 2 till November it shows that you were the best for the season in the end.
 

skip1969

G.O.A.T.
It’s not arbitrary at all. Holding all 4 slams at the same time doesn’t mean you won them all in 1 tennis season. You won them over 2 seasons.
The notion of "seasons" was a lot less relevant for the 1970's-80's . . . and even into the 90's when there wasn't really a proper "off-season" for tennis. Players played into December, there were the year-end championships, which sometimes happened in January. And the Australian floated around the end-of-year/start-of-year.

AO was the last slam of the year most of that time. Borg always said he would travel to Australia to go for the calendar slam if he had a chance - he kept losing at USO so never had the opportunity.
Again, the AO was the first leg of the Grand Slam for most of it's history. It was the first leg when Borg played there in 1974. The only time he ever played there. He won Roland Garros that year and in '75. But he didn't play the Australian. By the time he ruled tennis, yes it was the last leg of the GS. The fact that he didn't bother to go there, gives you an idea of where the Australian ranked in the minds of the players. And how even the very top players weren't trying to rack up Slam titles at every opportunity (like today) as if automatic Slam titles equaled automatic greatness.

There were boycotts and lawsuits and all sorts of chaos in the 20 years of Open tennis before the ATP formed the ATP tour. Things were in constant flux, and there wasn't just ONE tour, but competing tours filled with players under contracts and with different goals than the players of today.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
The notion of "seasons" was a lot less relevant for the 1970's-80's . . . and even into the 90's when there wasn't really a proper "off-season" for tennis. Players played into December, there were the year-end championships, which sometimes happened in January. And the Australian floated around the end-of-year/start-of-year.


Again, the AO was the first leg of the Grand Slam for most of it's history. It was the first leg when Borg played there in 1974. The only time he ever played there. He won Roland Garros that year and in '75. But he didn't play the Australian. By the time he ruled tennis, yes it was the last leg of the GS. The fact that he didn't bother to go there, gives you an idea of where the Australian ranked in the minds of the players. And how even the very top players weren't trying to rack up Slam titles at every opportunity (like today) as if automatic Slam titles equaled automatic greatness.

There were boycotts and lawsuits and all sorts of chaos in the 20 years of Open tennis before the ATP formed the ATP tour. Things were in constant flux, and there wasn't just ONE tour, but competing tours filled with players under contracts and with different goals than the players of today.
This is why I will never understand the idea that we can use slams to measure goatness across time
 
By the time he ruled tennis, yes it was the last leg of the GS. The fact that he didn't bother to go there, gives you an idea of where the Australian ranked in the minds of the players. It's And how even the very top players weren't trying to rack up Slam titles at every opportunity (like today) as if automatic Slam titles equaled automatic greatness.
Borg idolised Laver and wanted to emulate his GRAND SLAM feat.

The reason Borg never returned to the AO is because he never won the USO. If Borg had won RG, Wimb and the USO in the same year, it was virutally guaranteed that he would have played the AO. And if that had happened he would have dragged quite a few other players down here to stop him. Connors said he would follow Borg to the ends of the Earth to stop Borg winning the GRAND SLAM.

Imho, Borg revered Wimbledon and Roland Garros and focused most of his energies winning both of those event. Five out of Six at Wimbledon and Six Roland Garros Titles places him at the pinnacle of the traditional sport. A feat unequalled by any other male player in the history of Tennis.
 
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SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is going for 4 straight, for the 2nd time in 6 years. Meanwhile, the last time someone else won consecutive slams was 2010, when Nadal won the last 3 slams.
 

Whisper

Rookie
Imho, Borg revered Wimbledon and Roland Garros and focused most of his energies winning both of those event. Five out of Six at Wimbledon and Six Roland Garros Titles places him at the pinnacle of the traditional sport. A feat unequalled by any other male player in the history of Tennis.
Borg was truly great yes, reaching 6 Wimbledon and 6 FO finals by the age of 25, only losing 1 of those finals, at a time when there was a huge difference between grass and clay (much more than today). Today we have Djoker and Nadal still going 10 yrs older than Borg at retirement, & Federer 15 yrs older than Borg still going lol : )

But as great as Borg was, Laver was even greater. It's a shame he skipped 5 of his peakest yrs to the pros. Mind boggles how many slams & calendar slams he would have won. He had a winning h2h over everybody, won 200 singles tournaments overall etc
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
It matters because the fans and the powers that be have determined that it matters. Of course it's arbitrary. What isn't?

Caring about the CYGS is arbitrary, to begin with. During most of the Open Era, most players didn't care enough about it to travel to Australia for it. They didn't care enough to not skip Slams every year. It's rarity has made it more important in modern times, that's about it.
That’s not true. The Aussie used to be the last slam of the year. No one made it through the first three, so no attempts to win it down under. Had Borg won one of those US Opens, he’d have been in Australia.
 

skip1969

G.O.A.T.
This is why I will never understand the idea that we can use slams to measure goatness across time
(y)

Racking up Slams was not the priority back then that it is today. So, yeah, it's something to keep in mind. One of the myriad of reasons why comparing eras is silly.
 

skip1969

G.O.A.T.
Borg idolised Laver and wanted to emulate his GRAND SLAM feat.

The reason Borg never returned to the AO is because he never won the USO. If Borg had won RG, Wimb and the USO in the same year, it was virutally guaranteed that he would have played the AO. And if that had happened he would have dragged quite a few other players down here to stop him. Connors said he would follow Borg to the ends of the Earth to stop Borg winning the GRAND SLAM.

Imho, Borg revered Wimbledon and Roland Garros and focused most of his energies winning both of those event. Five out of Six at Wimbledon and Six Roland Garros Titles places him at the pinnacle of the traditional sport. A feat unequalled by any other male player in the history of Tennis.
Losing at the USO might have been his excuse for skipping the Australian in 1978-81 . . . because he couldn't win the Grand Slam. But again, he skipped it in his early years when it was the first leg. And though he could have won it in his peak years (since he was #1, the best on grass, and it had an inferior 64-man field) he didn't even take the trip. It shows the different mindset that even the top players had towards the Slams, and racking up titles. Can you imagine a player today, holding two of the first three Slams and just not bothering to attend the last Slam of the year because the Grand Slam was not attainable?
 

Devtennis01

G.O.A.T.
Nole holding all four slams at once twice is a major coup for him in the goat debate. Of course he still has to win six more matches.
 

skip1969

G.O.A.T.
That’s not true. The Aussie used to be the last slam of the year. No one made it through the first three, so no attempts to win it down under. Had Borg won one of those US Opens, he’d have been in Australia.
Nope. Read the whole thread, cos its already been mentioned. The Aussie was the FIRST Slam of the year for all but 8 years of the Open Era. That's not saying it's timing was great for a lot of that time. It's saying that there were plenty more reasons why players skipped it besides when it fell on the calendar.

Heck, technically it wasn't even a part of the same TOUR as the other three Slams. It was part of the World Championship Tennis Tour and not the Grand Prix Tour (which had Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the USO).
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Nope. Read the whole thread, cos its already been mentioned. The Aussie was the FIRST Slam of the year for all but 8 years of the Open Era. That's not saying it's timing was great for a lot of that time. It's saying that there were plenty more reasons why players skipped it besides when it fell on the calendar.

Heck, technically it wasn't even a part of the same TOUR as the other three Slams. It was part of the World Championship Tennis Tour and not the Grand Prix Tour (which had Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the USO).
...years when the only person to win the channel slam, Borg - three times, would have completed the slam in Australia had he won the US Open. That's why it's relevant. Given that no one in the Open Era from 1969 to 2008 won the channel slam other than Borg, I hardly see how your point is relevant. Guys capable of winning the first three slams of the year would have played in all four to equal Laver's feat. Only Borg was even close... and he never made it over the third hurdle.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Losing at the USO might have been his excuse for skipping the Australian in 1978-81 . . . because he couldn't win the Grand Slam. But again, he skipped it in his early years when it was the first leg. And though he could have won it in his peak years (since he was #1, the best on grass, and it had an inferior 64-man field) he didn't even take the trip. It shows the different mindset that even the top players had towards the Slams, and racking up titles. Can you imagine a player today, holding two of the first three Slams and just not bothering to attend the last Slam of the year because the Grand Slam was not attainable?
Borg didn't win the channel slam in a single year in which the Australian was the first tournament, so there's no way he'd have won all four.
 

skip1969

G.O.A.T.
...years when the only person to win the channel slam, Borg - three times, would have completed the slam in Australia had he won the US Open. That's why it's relevant. Given that no one in the Open Era from 1969 to 2008 won the channel slam other than Borg, I hardly see how your point is relevant. Guys capable of winning the first three slams of the year would have played in all four to equal Laver's feat. Only Borg was even close... and he never made it over the third hurdle.
The discussion isn't about Borg. The discussion is about the CYGS, and how it wasn't relevant to most players in the first 20 years of the Open Era. The discussion is about how important the CYGS is viewed now as opposed to then. And about how the Australian was not (apart from the Australian players) the sought after prize that it is today.
 
That’s the theory. But the actual data over several decades shows they are equally difficult.
It's not a "theory" - it's mathematical probability. Your response is the equivalent of saying, "Well, in theory we should get 50% heads and 50% tails from a coin toss. But I've tossed the coin 100 times and data shows that heads happens 70% of the time and tails 30%."
 
But again, he skipped it in his early years when it was the first leg. And though he could have won it in his peak years (since he was #1, the best on grass, and it had an inferior 64-man field) he didn't even take the trip.
Borg wasn't a "natural" grass court tennis player. He was primarily a clay courter and also played a lot of tennis on (indood) hard courts as a junior. Borg did a significant amount of his junior development under Bergelen's tutelage at Salk


It is testament to Borg's work ethic and natural abilities that he was so successful at Wimbledon. His build up to play Wimbledon was the stuff of legend, often training up to 12 hours a day on grass courts to transition his game from clay to natural grass.

To me, it makes sense that he never bothered to play the AO when it was the first Major of the year. He would have been coming out of the European winter, would have to adjust to the hot climate here and spend several weeks training in our Aussie heat in December to adjust his game. THEN, once the tournament was complete, he would be heading back to Europe to do the Red Clay swing. THEN readjust back to Grass again for Wimbledon. Tough ask for any player to be successful in that situation.

Perhaps if the AO of Borg's era was played on Hard Court or Clay it might have been a different story. But it wasn't

Imho, as great as Borg was, playing and winning the AO would probaly have cost him one or two Roland Garros Titles. Not worth it for him.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Connors said he would follow Borg to the ends of the Earth to stop Borg winning the GRAND SLAM.
I'm not doubting the statement, but that's strange. Why should a title that had no value for a player suddenly get that value only because it stops a certain other player from winning it? I cannot understand that kind of thinking. As if it's not about winning for oneself, but about losing for another one. Where is the special gain, the special joy about it?
 

Devtennis01

G.O.A.T.
I still don't get who is pretending it never happened. The reason this is being made a big deal of is because it hardly ever happens and it's in one season.
But who is pretending the NCYGS never happened?
 
I'm not doubting the statement, but that's strange. Why should a title that had no value for a player suddenly get that value only because it stops a certain other player from winning it? I cannot understand that kind of thinking. As if it's not about winning for oneself, but about losing for another one. Where is the special gain, the special joy about it?
Remember, Connors came to Australia and played the AO in 74 and 75. He won the Title in 74. Lost to Newcombe in the Final in 75.

In 1974, Connors won the AO, Wimb and the USO. In 1975, he made the Final of the AO, Wimb and USO but didn't win any of the Titles.
He didn't play RG in 1974 and 1975 because the President of the FTF banned him from playing there. Imho, Imo, Connors would have had a decent shot at winning RG in 1974 so the GRAND SLAM was certainly well within reach for him. (Borg won the 1974 RG Title. But Connors beat Borg at the 1976 US Open which was played on Har-Tru!)

So I imagine, in his own mind, Connors would have done everything he could to stop Borg from winning more than 3 Majors in the same year. As it ended up, Borg never won more than two Majors in any single year, so Connors trumps Borg in that regard.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
It's not a "theory" - it's mathematical probability. Your response is the equivalent of saying, "Well, in theory we should get 50% heads and 50% tails from a coin toss. But I've tossed the coin 100 times and data shows that heads happens 70% of the time and tails 30%."
For the examples of coin toss or rolling of dice the key assumption is that the coin or the dice be perfectly symmetrical. that’s not an assumption you can make here

if I pick up a die in the street and roll it and get more 6s than expected it may be pure random noise or it may be the die is loaded.That’s why in math examples they always clarify by saying rolling a true die or something like that.

In the case of tennis the “theory” is that winning 4 slams in a row is equally easy no matter what slam you start with. That’s the assumption. If that’s true then a CYGS will be much less likely than a NCYGS.

But we don’t know for a fact that that assumption holds true. It may well be that there are large differences on likelihood depending on which slam you start with, for all kinds of reasons. We just don’t know. So we look at the actual empirical data as a first step. And that data doesn’t support the premise that a CYGS is 4x more difficult than a NCYGS.


It’s a little like the debate about the Channel Slam. A lot of posters here have convinced themselves that the Channel Slam is the most difficult dual slam to win and also are convinced that this is self evident. But the data doesn’t support that view.
 
It’s a little like the debate about the Channel Slam. A lot of posters here have convinced themselves that the Channel Slam is the most difficult dual slam to win and also are convinced that this is self evident. But the data doesn’t support that view.
In the Men's Singles ...

From 1930 onwards ...

Crawford 1933
Perry 1935
Budge 1938 (GRAND SLAM)
Patty 1950
Trabert 1955
Laver 1962 (GRAND SLAM)

In the 53 years of the Open Era ...

Laver 1969 (GRAND SLAM)
Borg 1978, 1979,1980
Nadal 2008, 2010
Federer 2009
Djokovic 2021

So in 88 seasons, the Channel Slam has only been achieved 14 times.

The Channel Slam was difficult to win prior to 2000 because the playing conditions at RG and Wimbledon were so different and the tournaments were spaced only 2 to 4 weeks apart. Imho, this makes Borg's achievement incredibly significant.

Post 2000 it became very difficult because Federer basically dominated on Grass and Nadal dominated on Clay. Those two would cancel each other out and it was extrremely unlikely that nay other player would beat both of them on their favoured surface. It should be noted that Federer achieved his Channel Slam without beating Nadal at RG wheres Nadal did beat Federer at Wimbledon to achieve his rist one in 2008.

Of course four Major Titles in a row is always going to be more difficult but that achievement encompasses a Channel Slam anyway.

And I still maintain that the easiest way to achieve 4 in a row has always been by winning Wimbledon first, then USO, then AO, then RG.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
In the Men's Singles ...

From 1930 onwards ...

Crawford 1933
Perry 1935
Budge 1938 (GRAND SLAM)
Patty 1950
Trabert 1955
Laver 1962 (GRAND SLAM)

In the 53 years of the Open Era ...

Laver 1969 (GRAND SLAM)
Borg 1978, 1979,1980
Nadal 2008, 2010
Federer 2009
Djokovic 2021

So in 88 seasons, the Channel Slam has only been achieved 14 times.

The Channel Slam was difficult to win prior to 2000 because the playing conditions at RG and Wimbledon were so different and the tournaments were spaced only 2 to 4 weeks apart. Imho, this makes Borg's achievement incredibly significant.

Post 2000 it became very difficult because Federer basically dominated on Grass and Nadal dominated on Clay. Those two would cancel each other out and it was extrremely unlikely that nay other player would beat both of them on their favoured surface. It should be noted that Federer achieved his Channel Slam without beating Nadal at RG wheres Nadal did beat Federer at Wimbledon to achieve his rist one in 2008.

Of course four Major Titles in a row is always going to be more difficult but that achievement encompasses a Channel Slam anyway.

And I still maintain that the easiest way to achieve 4 in a row has always been by winning Wimbledon first, then USO, then AO, then RG.
It’s not enough to know how many times the Channel Slam was won. You need to compare with all the other two slam win options. Others did the calculations in the past here, at least for the Open Era, and the Channel Slam was not the most difficult.

same applies to “the easiest way to win 4 in a row”. The data doesn’t support your view
 
Others did the calculations in the past here, at least for the Open Era, and the Channel Slam was not the most difficult.

same applies to “the easiest way to win 4 in a row”. The data doesn’t support your view
The data is skewed. Since the mid 1980s - 35 odd years ago now! - the differences between the playing conditions is nowhere near as great as it was prior to that. And since the late 1990s, the tennis equipment used by Pros has levelled the playing field.

So, if you basically end up with four tournaments that are much the same and players whose natural talent and abilities are somewhat leveled by using modern equipment, then the data will reflect that.

Connors was a dominant player of his era ... couldn't win Roland Garros but won the other three.
McEnroe ... couldn't win Roland Garros but won the other three.
Lendl ... couldn't win Wimbledon but won the other three.
Becker ... couldn't win Roland Garros but won the other three.
Sampras .. couldn't win Roland Garros but won the other three.
Federer ... ONE Channel Slam
Nadal ... TWO Channel Slams
Djokovic ... ONE Channel Slam

All these ATG won plenty of other Major Title pairs.

And in an era, post 1995 when you would expect to see it achieved a lot more times ... we have only seen it happen FOUR times. Only three players have done it. And one of them (Federer) might be considered fortunate to have achieved it.

(BTW, should be noted that NO AMERICAN male player has achieved it in the Open Era. Further highlighting how difficult it is to win the Roland Garros Title.)
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Winning 4 in a row in your prime when you are a BOATing GOAT is to be expected. Winning 4 in a row when you are 34 years old to wrest away the all-time Slam titles record from your two biggest rivals (after being defaulted and bageled/straight-setted in your previous two Slams) is priceless!
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
Djokovic never won Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open in succession, and that is the ultimate test of manhood.
That's why Nadal did it in 2010.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
One word: pressure!
If you win in Australia at the beginning of the year, the dream continues, otherwise, a door closes and you have to start again the following season.
There's no margin of error.
On the other hand, although in practice, you still have to win four consecutive Majors, you can start over with much greater ease, in a period superior than winning the GS in just over seven months.
:D
 
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