Monday, October 12, 2015

What's Up? Topic #17; entries 10/15 - 01/16



Anything can be posted here! Talk politics, sports (ftball, Fig; Skt., & Tennis), Movies, TV! Posts framed w/ "***" are others!  (- Closed -)





100 comments:

  1. ***Before the 2000's, there were only 2 seasons w/ 3 slam wins: Connors '74 & '88 Wilander.

    - Since the beginning of the 2000's there have been 6 such seasons: Federer '04, '06, '07; Nadal '10, & Djokovic '11, '15.

    - So in just 16 years, there have been 3 X's as many 3 slam seasons as in 32 years before the 2000's.
    ---

    After Connors and Wilander, there have also been Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi. None of these managed a single 3 slam season. And these guys played and won titles at the AO.
    ---

    Sampras was not able to have that level of consistency. If he pushed himself real hard like he did in '96 to win the FO it had a knock on effect and he lost Wimbledon. He didn't push himself all the X and so was underwhelming at X's in Slams and Masters all over the place. Agassi was intermittent at the AO, didn't play it every year and Agassi started to win there a lot more after 2000. Becker and Edberg weren't even that good to win 2 slams in the same year. Lendl only won it when it switched to hard courts near the end of his career. There's a bit of a coincidence btw when the "Grand Slams" were made mandatory in 2000 and people winning 3 a year.
    ===

    My fave rivalries in chronological order:

    1. Nadal vs Djokovic

    - When these 2 get together, the rallies are truly out of this world. It doesn't matter if the score is 6-0, 6-0, this matchup is the closest thing you'll ever see to war on the tennis court. It's like Mixed Martial Arts combined w/ Chess. Like Boris Becker recently implied, it s/b about "Man vs Man", or better stated "Mano A Mano" :D

    2. Federer vs Nadal

    - You kind of know the outcome of this matchup, but who cares. This is "Style vs Style", and this is the closest thing to a Pianist vs a Drummer that you'll see on a tennis court. Contrast will always be intriguing no matter what the situation is. ;)

    3. Djokovic vs Federer

    - The fact that these 2 didn't like each other that much brings much needed drama to a gentleman's sport. Their matches are often X's unpredictable and sometimes 5 set thrillers. But watching Ultron go against Batman is not exactly my cup of tea.
    ---

    1. Djokodal
    2. Fedovic
    3. Murrovic
    4. Fedal
    ---

    1) Federer - Djokovic: the best rivalry.

    2) Nadal - Federer: 2006-12. After '12 their matches were never close again. In the early days, even though Nadal would win, their matches were still close.

    3) Djokovic - Nadal: intense, but does not have the variety as Fedovic.

    4) Murray - Djokovic: boring, like watching paint drying.***

    Nice Data!

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  2. ***There are quite a few milestones for Novak to achieve which should keep him motivated in the next few years:

    - Win Cincy to complete the ATP 1000 Slam.
    - Win FO to complete his Career Grand Slam.
    - Win Olympic gold medal to complete his Career GS.
    - Catch up w/ Borg @ 11 GS titles.
    - Win 6+ WTF.
    - Catch up w/ Sampras @ 14 GS titles.
    - Catch up w/ Nadal @ 14+ GS titles.
    - Reach 6+ YE #1.
    - Stay 302+ weeks @ #1.
    - Catch up w/ Federer @ 17+ GS titles.***

    I think Nole will achieve a few of these goals w/i the next 2 yrs; w/o a sweat! He's not even playing well these days, but is still so far above the rest of the tour, it's beginning to get ugly! Those matches in China, including the routes of Ferrer and Nadal were little more than a continuation of an exh. match from a few days before! Nadal played well in the final, but Djokovic was relentless and didn't give him hope; even w/ those late breaks of his serve! I can't be happier! Federer's still the GOAT for the X being, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nole wipes out many of Roger's records! ;-)

    ***Frankly, he needs some good luck to achieve some of these milestones. I think reaching 6+ YE #1 and 302+ weeks at #1 are perhaps most likely to happen, after catching up w/ Borg. Three more yrs at the top of the pack, w/ or w/o great success at GS, seems very achievable given Novak's consistency. Only Murray has a conceivable chance of challenging him in this dept., i.e., reaching SF's or better in every tourney.
    ---

    By reaching '15 Shanghai SF's, Novak Djokovic has completed 1 amazing circle. Since his loss to Federer at this tourney in '14, the world #1 was the closest thing to perfection ever seen in this sport, winning 80 out of 85 matches, winning 10 out of 15 tournaments he participated in and reaching 14 finals. One fun fact stands out though - for full 12 months, Djokovic did not drop any of his points at any individual tourneys, only bettering some of his 2014 results and defending all titles he had to. Add to the fact that he was at the top of the list at this very moment last year as well, it is official now - Djokovic is the 1st ever #1 who only raised his points tally for an entire year.

    Novak has assured that he will stay at 16k pts, the level nobody else reached ever in tennis history. Having already broken the record for highest amount of money earned in 1 season too, and we are still only in Oct.***

    Very impressive indeed! I like his game, his humor, and of course his overall persona! Nole always says the right thing, doesn't gratuitously insult his opponents like another so called GOAT that will remain nameless IMO, and will soon overtake all his rivals in the H2H stat! I marvel at his name slowly erasing Roger's in so many ways and about to set them at a # that will be hard to beat in the future! He will own the MASTERS 1000 RB w/i the next yr or so!

    ***Djokovic has $87M, Federer $94. Should Djoko better Federer in next 2 tourneys and also win AO, I believe he will be in the driver's seat for eclipsing $100M before Roger.***

    It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things; Roger still the king in endorsements! Even when he fell down to #6, you would have thought he was still on top w/ TV, magazines, and commentary! Nole is still just a footnote when it comes to Roger and Rafa; both elevated to GAWD-like status that Djokovic may never attain! It was the same w/ Lendl way back when; #1 in the world, but all people referenced Connors, McEnroe, and Becker before him!

    ***Luckily, Djokovic does not mind that. I am sure Lendl didn't either.***

    All athletes care about that sort of thing underneath it all! I remember Barry Bonds who was obviously 1 of the most gifted of baseball players, but was visibly incensed at the accolades that both McGuire and Sosa were getting due to their homerun race back in '98! It led him to his own self-destruction whether he actually used PED's or not!

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  3. ***2015 Shanghai Masters 1000 SF: Djokovic v. Murray***

    Nole's played about the minimum in comparison to other seasons of his and his rivals! He's cut back on his schedule and it makes sense since he makes the finals just about every tourney!

    ***If Nadal doesn't win YEC, the tourney's a glorified exh. If he wins it, it's the most significant tennis event of the year.***

    Of course; to be expected! Even though Nadal's playing better; wouldn't be surprised if this YEC is a repeat of '09 where he lost all 3 of his RR matches! Just depends on how the draw is pulled I guess! If his usual punching bags like Ferrer and Berdych in his division, he'll do better, but if it's the others like Nole & Stan, he's in trouble making the semi! He has a better chance if he's dropped into Roger's div.; at least we'll see them! It's been so long since 1 or both have been able to make it to their appointed Rd to battle; if there is 1! ;-)

    ***Stan? Hasn't Nadal just hammered him?***

    That was yesterday; "Hyde/Jeckle" Stan is unpredictable! You never know who'll show up!

    ***I like Stan. He has charisma, but since the FO he has done nothing of note. Fedrer though at O2 will hammer Rafa. He has beat him when Rafa playing well there and w/ his new attacking game will cause him major issues. - From USA Today. "Here are the scores of each set Djokovic has played since losing the 2nd set to Federer in last month’s USO final: 6-4, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-1." + 6-1, 6-3 + 6-2, 6-4 (F w/ Tsonga today in Shanghai) - Djokovic Is not losing his #1 spot before 2017 IMO.***

    Who's supposed to take it away; Kei, Raonic, Dimitrov? They all have the talent, but while waiting for them to get things to click, they're breaking down like they have calcium deficiencies! Nole's superior conditioning excels even Ivan Lendl's IMO! He's like Gumby out there contorting his body into positions to keep a point going! All I could do was laugh watching him dissect Andy in the 1st set today in Shanghai! It was clinical, but you never know; I already asked how hard he'd work since DC coming up! People say it's a month away, but it's going to be draining in London w/ the YEC and DC back to back! ;-)

    ***Nole most titles in Shanghai Masters (3), check. The 1st player to beat Murray 20 X's, check.
    ---

    So Djokovic wins his 57th career title in Shanghai, 25th Masters and 9th title of '15. His record since the USO is simply amazing. - If Nole wins the WTF or both he will have the best season on record; going back to Rod Laver in '69. Best seasons by Title Shares, Open Era ('69-present):

    68 Laver, '69
    66 Federer, '06
    62 DJOKOVIC, '15
    62 Djokovic, '11
    62 Federer, '04
    58 Federer, '07
    54 Nadal, '10
    52 McEnroe, '84
    52 Borg, '79
    50 Wilander, '88
    50 Connors, '74
    48 Nadal, '13
    48 Sampras, '94
    48 Lendl, '86
    48 Borg, '80
    44 Federer, '05
    44 Sampras, '97
    44 Lendl, '87
    40 Nadal, '08

    As you can see, the list is dominated by current players w/ Sampras only squeezing in 2 yrs and Agassi just off the map.
    ---

    Nole stands alone w/ most GS/1000 Masters Finals in a season (11? w/ 1 more 1000 Masters event in his schedule). Most Masters 1000 finals in season (7 w/ 1 more Masters 1000 to go). If he win Paris, he'll stand-alone w/ 6 1000 Masters titles in 1 year... After his win in Shanghai, he's currently holding the WTF, 3/4 of the Slams, and 6/9 of the masters! That's 71% of the big tournaments. Might be a while until that record is broken. For reference, Federer held 57% in '06, & Nadal held 50% in '13.***

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  4. ***Djokovic is dominating not b/c he's amazing, but b/c he's merely consistent and everyone else is garbage right now. Weakest era of all X. There's absolutely nothing special about Djokovic's game, nor is he doing anything better than 2012-2014. It's just that everyone else is worse.***

    Nole's confidence has soared even though I don't think he's necessarily playing as well as 2011! He's been bludgeoning the ball, taking swipes @ the ball even in defensive positions! He attacked the net effectively and won most of those points w/ deft touch and 'stick!' Djokovic has been very impressive since winning the USO! This is "his X of the year!" Couple more seasons like this and we can legitimately start talking GOAT-dom possibilities!

    ***But so much of that comes from opponents playing very poor tennis. The competition in '11 was 100x stronger. - ...Can't compare that stuff. In Sampras' era it was much harder to dominate b/c the surfaces were totally different from each other. Same w/ Federer but to a lesser extent.***

    You can only play against and on what's being offered at the time you're playing! There are positives and negatives with each era; none any better than the other at the X! We saw the age of Sampras, Agassi, & Courier as a Golden Age; esp. for the USA, but it changed all too soon w/ the intro of the new bloods in Federer, Nadal, & now Djokovic! I still give all due credit to past greats like Tilden, Perry, Gonzales, Rosewall, & Laver, w/ the pro game taking off on the legend of Borg, Connors, & McEnroe! Did I cover it all? ;-)

    ***ATP Masters 1000 Records, "YEC" - Nole:

    2012–'14 3 cons. titles w/ Nastase & Lendl
    2012–'14 14 cons. match wins w/ Lendl & Federer
    2014 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tournament

    ATP Masters 1000 records:

    2007–'13 8 different titles
    2007–'12 9 different Finals w/ Federer & Nadal
    2007–'15 18 HC titles w/ Federer
    2011, '15 5 titles in a single season w/ Nadal
    2015 7 finals in a single season
    2011-'12, '15 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals
    2011-'12 2 cons. yrs reaching 6 Finals
    2012–'15 12 cons. Finals Victories
    2011 31 cons. match wins
    2011, '15 2 yrs winning 5 titles
    2011, '14-'15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles
    2013–'15 2 streaks of 4 cons. titles
    2014–'15 2 cons. yrs winning 4+ titles w/ Federer
    2011–'15 5 cons. yrs winning 3+ titles
    2007–'13 3 streaks of 3 cons. titles
    2011–'15 Retaining titles at 6 different tournaments
    2014–'15 3 cons. title defences
    2015 Winning the 1st 3 events of a season
    2011, '14 - '15 Winning IW – Miami title sweep 3 X's
    2008–'15 4 IW Masters titles overall w/ Federer
    2012–'13 3 Shanghai Masters titles overall
    2012–'13 3 cons. Shanghai Masters titles
    2009, '13–'14 3 Paris Masters titles overall w/ Becker & Safin
    2013–'14 2 cons. Paris Masters titles
    2013-'14 2 yrs winning Paris Masters & YEC back to back

    Other records:

    2015 13 str. finals in a season.
    2015 20+ wins over each of the Big 4
    2012, '13, '15 24 match wins vs. top 10 opponents in a single season w/ Nadal
    2012, '13, '15 3 yrs winning 24 matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011–'13, '15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011–'13 3 cons. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 opps
    2011 5 cons. match wins against world #1 player in Finals (Nadal)
    2007 Youngest player to defeat the top 3 players in succession
    2009-'10, '12-'15 6 China Open titles
    2012-'15 4 cons. China Open titles
    2007–'10 4 yrs ended at #3 w/ Connors
    2007–'10 4 cons. years ended @ #3
    2009 Longest best-of-3 TB sets singles match (by duration) vs. Nadal
    2003–'15 83.8% (440–85) HC match winning %
    2003–'15 95.6% (593-27) match winning % after winning 1st set
    2003–'15 74.5% (143–49) deciding set winning %***

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  5. ***“I think in terms of the 2 tournaments in b2b wks, this has been the best 2 weeks of my life, my career,” asserted Djokovic, who has now won 17 str. matches and 22 cons. sets. “I think I've played the best tennis ever in these 2 wks in terms of back‑to‑back. Honestly, that's how I felt."
    ---

    What is most important in determining who is GOAT? I would say:

    1)GS Titles
    2)H2H against biggest rivals at GS
    3)Wks at #1
    4)H2H against biggest rivals
    4)YE Masters Titles
    5)Masters Titles
    ---

    The serve and ROS is probably the most important shots in tennis, and here we have a breakdown on the #'s.

    Djokovic in '11

    Service Records:

    •Aces: 343
    •Double faults: 143
    •1st serves in: 65%
    •1st serve pts won: 74%
    •2nd serve pts won: 56%
    •Break pts faced: 351
    •Break pts saved: 65%
    •Service games played: 899
    •Service games won: 86%
    •Service pts won: 68%

    Return Records:

    •1st serve return pts won: 36%
    •2nd serve return pts won: 58%
    •Break pt opportunities: 692
    •Break pts converted: 48%
    •Return games played: 860
    •Return games won: 39%
    •Return pts won: 45%
    •Total pts won: 56%

    Djokovic '15

    Service Records:

    •Aces: 439
    •Double faults: 126
    •1st serves in: 66%
    •1st serve pts won: 75%
    •2nd serve pts won: 60%
    •Break pts faced: 325
    •Break pts saved: 70%
    •Service games played: 981
    •Service games won: 90%
    •Service pts won: 70%

    Return records:

    •1st serve return pts won: 33%
    •2nd serve return pts won: 57%
    •Break pt opportunities: 747
    •Break pts converted: 44%
    •Return games played: 958
    •Return games won: 34%
    •Return pts won: 43%
    •Total pts won: 56%

    Summary: Reason why this season will go down as Djokovic's best ever in his career (and maybe in the Open era); he improved his serving #'s even more to absolute elite level of serving. If we take a look at Federer's service stats in his best season and also 1 of the best seasons ever, we can see similar things. He also had 90% hold game, he won 70% of all pts played on his serve just like Djokovic. He saved 70% of the BPs opponents had on Fed's serve, same # for Djoko. Djokovic's improved serve (both 1st and 2nd) along w/ how he can back it up w/ his ground game is why he has been this unbeatable this year and is going for the 2nd best season ever.***

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  6. ***Djokovic: "I am not worrying now about 2016 nor downgrading soon." Novak Djokovic has 16.785 points and hasn't dropped a single point for a yr, but is not thinking about how much will he have to defend next year. "I am not worried about the next year, there is no room for that, I am enjoying in the current one more. In fact, I am trying to use this best period of my life so my team and I could have only positive emotions. We are all proud of what we have done, it was not only done by me", said Nole. "When the next year arrives, I will think about it, but X's when I was worried about how will I defend the points are long gone. I always try to approach the tournament as any other player - to win the trophy, not to defend it", added the Serbian tennis player. After triumphing in Shanghai, his 9th title this season, Djokovic has 2 wks rest, and then Paris Masters and WTF in London. "I am not thinking about being unbeaten until the end of this year, but it is a possibility. However, I will try to hold onto my philosophy that every next match is the most important", said Novak. Djokovic is currently on a run of 13 cons. finals. X he was stopped before that phase was at the start of this year in Doha. Novak confirmed that he will start the 2016 season in Qatar.***

    Thanks!

    ***The same older players are gradually declining and the next generation are unable to push them out. This has produced a comfortable paradigm for the very best players who aren't being forced to adapt and change their games to hold off the young guns. We have the same top players playing the same losing game against the elites of the game - they simply hope for a very good day from themselves.

    To his credit Djokovic has not stood still, he's plugging holes in his game while maintaining his strengths. The only guy who has truly reinvented his game is Federer, but he shd this 5 yrs ago. Murray has done some good things like bringing in Bjorkman, but despite being very consistent, his game has not evolved tactically. He played the right way in Montreal aided by an off day from Djokovic, but he still tries to counter punch too much.***

    I've been saying the same thing for years; feel like I'm beating my head against a wall year after year!

    ***Tomic and Thiem s/b part of Dimitrov's generation IMO. They aren't really 'young guns' anymore at 22-23. Tomic will be 23 tomorrow so he is definetely not a young gun anymore.***

    Funny, the same conversation is going about so called "young guns" on Tennis Frontier! Hilarious, but true! These young guns are in their prime and s/b doing so much better; result-wise! It's 1 thing to lose to the 'Big 4,' but they end up being vulnerable to just about anyone! The talent is there, just not the consistency!

    ***Yes indeed. The lost generation just keeps on losing to anybody, even to the 2nd tier players of old generation. So I don't buy the argument that 'Big 4' is too strong for the youngsters.
    ---

    So true. They basically lose to the grandpa versions of the players that defined the well known "weak eras" that lasted from July 6th of 2003 to January 31st of 2010, and from June 25th to July 8th of 2012. It's either really sad, or just simply hilarious. Either way, it's not particularly impressive.
    ---

    ...both (Novak and Serena) do to their supposed rivals, i.e., crush them, in the last couple of Rds.***

    Even though Serena's won a lot, it was a wonder she even made it to finals; stumbling, bumbling, and dropping sets to kids I'd never heard of before! Nole's a machine, totally professional, and flies under the radar! You can't say that about Serena who has universal acceptance and affection no matter how she behaves on court! She has high profile relationships and has had running feuds w/ rivals!

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  7. ***Djokovic is 66-2 post USO since 2012 (losses to Fed in '14 Shanghai and Querrey in '12 Paris), w/ 12 titles, and 34 of those wins were against the Top 10.***

    Also guaranteed to hold it longer than Nadal and will pass both Rafa and Roger in Masters 1000 titles! Two yrs isn't that long w/ his current dominance! ;-)

    ***As good as Djokovc had been, this is a poor and weak era. Lost generation of Dimitrov, Raonic & Tomic were disappointing. Kyrgios, Thiem, Coric & Kokkinakis have still not made the big breakthrough into the elite. Nadal has had his worst season ever, Murray's level is not as high as it was when Lendl was his coach, Federer does not have the mental strength and stamina to compete w/ Djokovic on slow courts and all GS's, and Wawrinka is so hot and cold. Delpo has been out for nearly the whole season again and the lack of the strength of the field this year can be illustrated by Nadal in a strong position to finish the year ranked #5. So there have only been 4 players w/ better years.

    The standard of tennis was disappointing too. AO Djokovic-Wawrinka III ended in a 5th set bagel, a strange topsy-turvy match that was not the epic we were hoping. RG Nadal-Djokovic had a lot of hype... And it ended in a whimper. Wimbledon final was disappointing as Federer could not bring his level from his previous match. The USO final also lacked quality despite being quite dramatic.

    So now if we're talking for best matches of the year, that leaves us w/ RG final Wawrinka-Djokovic and Wimbledob semi Federer-Murray. The former b/c Wawrinka played superbly and the latter b/c Federer played the best he has ever played in years. Neither of them though went to 5 and for them to be the 2 best matches of the year is... Not a great look.

    Djokovic has had an excellent year, but the massive gap btw him and the rest of the field has not been fun to watch. We had maybe 2-3 really great matches, but every slam this year has been a boring non-event w/ very few upsets or deep runs by young players. In 2014 we at least had some younger players stepping up and giving us hope that it's finally X but nope. They've gone back into obscurity again.

    Murray and Federer might get a few wins here or there, but we need at least 5 contenders for tournements. We need upsets. We need someone new winning or challanging the top players. Also if we're going to have a decline, we need a huge decline. Nadal has had his worst season for years and he's still comfortably sitting in the top 8. So is Ferrer! Still clinching that 8th spot and he's had a terrible season + Injurys.***

    I couldn't agree more!

    ***Rating 2.5 only b/c Federer made it to a few finals at GS and Masters level. Too monotonous, it's 1 man versus the rest. At least in '06 Fed had Nadal to deal w/ on 2 surfaces w/ some classic matches including 1 of the all X best matches in the Rome final. Even Wimby '06 was good w/ 2 tight TB's. '2015 Djoker' had no rival to match the Fedal rivalry of '06. '2016' I'm hoping for Kyrgios and Tomic to break through (at least top 10), but will be hard pressed to topple Djoker who should continue his dominance and finish yet again as YE #1.
    ---

    I think this has to be considered Nole best year. It's been consistently great across all surfaces all year long. But someone pointed out, he basically ran out of gas after winning the USO in '11. Furthermore, he made all 4 GS finals. That alone makes this year greater than '11. Majors are the main determinative factor, so losing 1 match that would've given him the CYGS makes this the best year ever for him. Nadal never did what he has done, neither has Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, McEnroe or Borg or Connors!! Only Federer and Rocket Rod have done this, but only Roger across all three surfaces. He has won more and more Masters Shields this year, so only Federer in '06 really is up there w/ Novak this year (Laver of course as well).***

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  8. ***Fed has never been that great when really pushed. Let's look at his 5-set record compared to other all X greats:

    Borg: 82%
    Djokovic: 76%
    Laver: 75%
    Nadal: 74%
    Sampras: 69%
    Becker: 68%
    Wilander: 65%
    Connors: 64%
    McEnroe: 64%
    Newcombe: 64%
    Lendl: 61%
    Edberg: 58%
    Agassi: 56%
    Federer: 55%

    Every single player w/ 5 or more slams (Open Era) is on this list and Fed is literally at the bottom of the list. Before the age excuse kicks in, Fed's 5-set record has always been like this:

    Fed at Djokovic's current age: 16-13 (55%)
    Fed at Nadal's current age: 17-14 (55%)

    Fed now: 23-19 (55%)

    Federer on Nadal: "He's quite 1-dimensional w/ his game. The more I play him, the better it is for me."

    Federer on Djokovic: "He says nothing outrageous in his game. Always pretty predictable, which is a good thing."
    ---

    Nadal beat #1 Federer:

    '08 FO
    '08 Wimbledon
    '08 MC
    '08 Hamburg

    Nadal also won the '08 Olympic Gold medal and 2 other ATP titles.
    ---

    The tour has had YEARS though now to deal, understand and counter the monster who arrived in 2011, and yet, despite being armed w/ such knowledge and experience, '15 Djokovic has totally obliterated the field - partly why I take '15 Djokovic over '11 even if he was more relatively dominant in his best stretch. Djokovic '11 was an explosion and a tidal wave that destroyed Fedalopolis and 2015 is the newly complete new capital city of tennis, the finally fully constructed Djokopolis - bustling, complete and in control (and w/ no employees rebelling except for some of those working over at Stan Incorporated).***

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  9. ***Undisputed Emperor: Djokovic has more points than 2nd and 3rd player combined! Today the bigger news are that Djokovic has tied McEnroe in 5th pos. w/ his 170 wks @ the #1 spot. In 7 days he will surpass the American and start chasing Connors. The difference btw Djokovic and 2nd placed Murray is now a record 8.535 points. The fact that Novak didn't participate in any events btw Shanghai & Paris Masters has assured that he will stay on his record 16.785 points, which is now 605 more than the 16.180 points which his "closest" followers Andy & Roger combined.
    ---

    If you think the way you described tennis is the only strategy of the players then you are very ignorant.***

    Mary C. and Paul A. were commenting on Roger's match and waxed about this subject of compelling matches and they harked back to true diversity in play like Agassi/Sampras, Borg./McEnroe, and Martina/Chris being more entertaining! You can see great matches, but the homogenized style doesn't draw people in the way it did back 10-20 years ago!

    ***So true. And those are paid experts who have been following/playing/coaching tennis for well over 40 years commentating on the subject.
    ---

    Why do male players usually hate Nadal, but WTA players seem to love him? - I dont think ATP players hate him, but some do complain about excessive X btw points, MTO's, and on court coaching.***

    You can say all the men can do w/o Rafa while the ladies wouldn't mind strolling through a park w/ him! Nadal's whole act has offended me since he was a kid; the gamesmanship w/ toweling off, challenging calls that are way out, calling a trainer when in trouble, and taking on coaching from uncle Tony during a match! If you noticed, Nole even picked up those traits to annoy Rafa and give it back to him! When he plays other players these days, Nole barely makes a sound, but get him in a match w/ Rafa, both are barking like seals! You can't tell me more of the men can't stand Rafa; not for his play, but for his whole act on court which is so ridiculous w/ the towels, water bottles, etc.!

    ***Kyrgios def. by Daniel Brands (ranked #170)?***

    Brands' no slouch! I seem to remember he gave Nadal all he wanted and more in the 1st Rd of the FO 2 years ago! He got the 1st set and took Rafa to the limit in a 2nd set TB before closing Brands out in 4! I haven't seen him since, but he has game! Most top players are burned out by the end of the season! That's why I'm so shocked that Nole appears to be stronger this X of year than the others! If you look at past eras, it wasn't unusual for Sampras, Agassi, Courier, and others to be knocked out of Paris and have "no-names" winning the YEC! If Nole keeps this up, he'll own all the records except the major 1; already the Masters series will be his alone and he'll set #'s hard to surpass in this homogenized group of players now and in the future!

    ***Kyrgios has absolutely no reason to be burnt out, he has played only 42 matches all year long and he is the youngest of the top 30. - The reason he's losing is that he's not really focusing enough and that's why I do think he will never be living up to his talent. His head is not where it s/b.
    ---

    I wonder if it w/b mathematically possible for Venus to get into the Top 8 before Melbourne?***

    Gawd I hope not! What would that say about the WTA when Sharapova and Williams can come and go as they please and still manage to stay in the top echelon? It ain't looking too good to have this go on year after year!

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  10. ***Obama May Bypass Congress, Impose 'Order' For Gun Background Checks***

    Well if Congress doesn't legislate, it's beholden of the President to do what he can to get things done on his own! Doesn't bother me if McConnell and Boehner won't even offer something for him to sign! That's all on them; not him being "Imperialistic!" The Senate passed a comprehensive and bi-partisan bill dealing w/ "immigration!" Same thing; stalled in the HOUSE! You can't have it both ways "geniuses!"

    ***Why would Carson try to get a dangerous criminal gunman to point the gun at an innocent human being at Popeye's? Wouldn't it have made more sense to say: if you holster that weapon, lunch is on me. - It's actualaly funny to see all these leftists at MSNBC, Salon, and others attacking the Black guy.***

    You can be a con. Black person and have common sense! I have no problem w/ them; just don't exaggerate situations, be hypocritical, then play the RACE card when busted like Carson has on so many occasions! How do people forget his stupid comments about Obama, convicts turning GAY, ???'ing other people's faith, and other asinine memorable missteps? He's a fool being supported by other fools! When he drops out, few will care and he'll become the footnote he's destined t/b in this election cycle!

    ***I gather Chafee got high marks for hammering issues more than the other candidates in the Democratic debate last night. ...but the comments I've heard about it afterward indicate Hillary won. I consider that very bad news. I don't want Hillary or JEB!, for the same reason (bush!). Reports I've heard indicate Sanders has gotten over a $Million$ in campaign contributions in the 24 hours following his appearance.
    ---

    Chafee came off like an idiot and Webb was grumpy and mhb trying for the 'blue dogs'...it didn't work. Hillary was polished and Bernie was Bernie. O'Mally surprised me as I knew very little about him.***

    It was the best debate and showed who's ready and who isn't ready for "prime X!" The Reps have "debate envy" after what they saw; even from FNC commentators! Most on the con. side are still deluding themselves though musing about Biden or Sanders doing better than Clinton! They are talking indictment among other things; truly desperate! Why not worry about themselves and quit trying to stir up shit w/ the Dems? They sound like idiots at X's attacking her; esp. after the gift they've given w/ McCarthy and their inability to even name a "Speaker-in-waiting!" ;-)

    ***Really, are people buying all groceries, clothes, etc. from Walmart now?***

    Walmart thrives on bad X's b/c when we go through semi-depressions, their profits soar! As X's get better, sales go down! Their stock's down 30% last I heard! The Walt family profits down $9 B this year!

    ***Clinton cool as a cucumber at Benghazi hearing***

    She handled those cons. twits trying to bait her with idiotic, stupid, and juvenile questions! It was an appalling display from the Rep. who were pretty much put on notice that everyone already saw it as a political football and they were all too happy to confirm it w/ their behavior today assaulting the Secretary and the senses of the American people!

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  11. ***Concerning Nole's 60-1 record in '11 through the USO, the lone loss came against Federer in that FO semi. It probably had as much to do w/ Djokovic going into the match on a 41-0 winning streak (and feeling the pressure) as it did w/ Federer’s fine play. In 2011 Djokovic was 64-2 after the USO and this year he has been 63-5. He surely doesn’t now regret his early season losses in '15 – when he was sick to Ivo Karlovic in Doha in Jan. and to Fed in the Dubai final at his 1st tournament after winning his 5th AO a few weeks earlier. That likely defused much of the winning streak pressure he may have felt 4 years ago going into the meat of the European spring season.

    What’s probably most puzzling about the Djokovic record is how he could win 3 of 4 Slams in 2011 and again in 2015, but only manage one a year in '12, '13 & '14, esp. b/c there were no significant injuries that we know of that affected his performance. There has been an element of bad luck in some of the 3 GS defeats he suffered in each of those years. Here’s a quick resume:

    2012- FO: Rain interrupted the final at 2-1 for Djokovic in the 4th set w/ the Serb on a good run, but Nadal dominated the resumption the following day winning 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

    Wimbledon: He lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the SF's to Federer on a day he played almost incomprehensibly poor tennis.

    USO: He had to finish off David Ferrer in a rain-interrupted match on Sunday while Andy Murray rested. He then wound up losing in 5 sets – 7-6(11), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 – the following day, giving the Scot his 1st GS title.

    2013- FO: He lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7 to Nadal in a SF when he famously touched the net in a rally he had won in a service game that would have put him a point from a 5-3 lead in the final set.

    Wimbledon: After playing 4 hours and 43 mins to defeat Juan Martin del Potro in the SF's, he looked uninspired (gassed?) 2 days later in losing a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 final to Murray in the final.

    USO: A Monday night final w/ a Davis Cup SF against Canada in Belgrade looming a few days later, Djokovic couldn’t take advantage of a love-40 lead on the Nadal serve late in the 3rd set and ultimately went down 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

    2014- AO: Djokovic lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 to Wawrinka in the 1/4's as the Swiss finally turned the tables after monster 5-set losses to him at the Aussie & USO the previous year.

    FO: A temperate Roland Garros turned hot and humid – not Djokovic weather – for the final and he gradually wilted in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to Nadal.

    USO: Hot, humid weather hit just in X for the Sat. SF against an in-form Kei Nishikori who outplayed Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.

    There were certainly other X's when Djokovic won GS's when the breaks went his way – most obviously in '11 when he saved 2 MP's to beat Federer in the USO SF's before winning the final against Nadal. But there was more misfortune – principally at the FO this year when he had to finish off an exhausting 5-set SF against Murray and was vulnerable against eventual winner, the well-rested Wawrinka in the final. “Even Novak needs X to recuperate,” Djokovic’s coach Boris Becker would remark after the 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 loss.

    Djokovic, currently on a 17-match winning streak, said after winning the recent ATP events in Beijing and Shanghai in cons. wks “I think in terms of 2 tournaments in back‑to‑back wks, this has been the best 2 wks of my career. I think I’ve played the best tennis ever in these 2 weeks in terms of back‑to‑back.” There’s no question Djokovic’s level of play is now superior to '11. But his mano a mano accomplishments that year remain truly exceptional and may never be equaled.***

    Thanks; nice post!

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  12. ***...Well Rafa's ranked way higher than Dimitrov so I'd say that answers that. Nadal's serve might not have much power, but his first serve % is probably still way better. Haven't checked, but I'd say given he goes more for placement than power/speed, that has to be the case w/ the stats.***

    Well at least we all know that placement/higher % won't work against the best returner in the history of the game! He hasn't even been able to wrangle a set off Nole of late; even at his beloved RG in Paris!

    ***True. Every player out there needs to serve their best to beat Novak. - ...Rafa and Grigor can't both lose right?***

    Sure they can; "both are losers!"

    ***Calling a 14-X GS Champ. a "loser" sorta, kinda, mighta put a dent in the credibility of your posts. Just saying.***

    How the mighty have fallen! I've seen it too many X's! McEnroe, Connors, and so many others only had a handful of good showings going years w/o a sniff of another major title! Rafa's in that category IMO! It shb the start of the "end" a couple years ago! He's losing multiple X's to players like F3; the last being a come from ahead to lose in 5 set in Flushing just recently! Anyone who believes Rafa will return to GLORY days of '10 and '13 are deluding themselves; it's over!

    ***When will Nadal beat Djokovic again? - Novak isn't invincible; Fed and Stan has proven this.***

    Hilarious! You're very hard to please; 3 majors, 5 or 6 Masters 1000 wins, and retaining of ranking #1 in the world for well over 170 wks! What does Nole have to do?

    ***Let's be clear about this, if Novak didn't win all those things, we'd be looking sideways at him. Who was going to stop him? Murray goes away when he s/b comin' on, Fed is still defying X and tide through the miracle of - err - miracles, and Rafa has been 3rd or 4th rate since his return in Jan. So, who else? Nishi? Raonic? As for the title of the thread, actually, it's coming closer. If Rafa ever gets back to near his best, then that's the day he beats Novak. But he ain't there just yet.
    ---

    Rafa did it before in '10 and '13. It can be done. - Ralf turns 30 in '16. He will need to find the Captain America formula for him to do what he did in '13. - Or a gluten-free pack of hard-boiled eggs should do it. 30 is old, but he s/b okay for at least another year; if he manages his health okay.***

    Thank you! It's like people aren't watching Rafa struggle from day 1 of an event! He's spraying the ball all over the place and if it wasn't for the gutless play of other pros in the lower echelons, he wouldn't even be in the top 10! He's done IMO!

    ***IDK if he's "done" per se, but the heights he was able to attain in the past aren't there for him anymore. He is certainly benefitting from the 'gutless' play of those in the lower echelons. Dimitrov s/b beating him and giving Roger and Novak a run for their money too.***

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  13. ***How do Connors' '74 and McEnroe's '84 compare to Fed's 2006 & Djokovic in 2011 in best years - It is pretty much accepted Laver's '69 is the best year in the Open Era due to the Grand Slam, but Djokovic '15 could maybe have a small case if he ends the year undefeated w/ 6 Masters, 3 Slams, and the WTF title. However as it seems now it is a ??? of who's 2nd-5th btw Federer's '06, Djokovic's '15, Connor's '74, & McEnroe's '84. Djokovic likely slots over Federer if he wins the WTF title, due to matching him in slams, and already passing him in Masters.

    Didnt Connors win 99 matches that year though, 1 short of 100? He also didnt lose any important event he was eligible to play that year. McEnroe in '84 is an interesting case since I tend to look at the AO as a non-major that period and don't hold him not playing/winning that against him, and if you do that he could easily be rated 2nd or 3rd best year as he has the best W-L of the Open Era, and only narrowly lost that FO final. However that is an iffy area. It is the same as I how I regard Borg a 13/14 slam winner due to the AO situation then.
    ---

    In fairness, during Connors 1974 year, his competition wasn't that stellar. He faced a 39 year old in one of the his slam finals that year (Rosewall). But it's absolutely true that throughout their respective careers. both Mac and Jimbo faced a MUCH tougher field than what Fed or Djoker have ever faced. The depth in the game then was substantial.
    ---

    McEnroe's '84 is #1. He lost just 3 matches during the year, including just 1 on surfaces other than clay. Against the other top players, he was almost totally dominant: Lendl, 6-1, Connors, 6-0 and Wilander, 3-0, including 1 on clay. It's going to be almost impossible to have a better year than this in men's tennis.***

    You're right! There was a true changing of the guard when Connors evolved into a champion in '74; proving what a joke it is when he lost each final trying to defend in '75, losing to older veterans in Newcombe (AO), Ashe (Wimb.), and Orantes (surviving a latenight 5 setter vs Vilas)! When McEnroe excelled, his only competition was Lendl who beat him at the FO w/ John returning the favor at the USO! Djokovic and Roger had plenty of competition, but they just weren't good enough to supplant them from their perch of superiority!

    ***Fed is still ahead. # of titles on HC:
    Fed: 59 (40 outdoor + 19 indoor). Fed also has 2 titles on carpet.
    Djoko: 43 (33 outdoor + 10 indoor)

    # of different events won on HC:
    Fed: 21 ( 6 250, 5 500, 7 Masters, 2 Slams + WTF)
    Djoko: 14 (2 250, 4 500, 5 Masters, 2 Slams + WTF)

    Most titles at 1 event on HC:
    Fed: 7 Dubai, 7 Cincy, 6 WTF, 5 USO, 5 Basel (+ 1 on carpet), 4 AO, 4 IW
    Djoko: 6 Beijing, 5 AO, 5 Miami, 4 WTF, 4 IW, 4 Dubai

    Tier 1 titles on HC:
    Fed: 33 (18 Masters, 6 WTF, 9 Slams)
    Djoko: 29 (18 Masters, 4 WTF, 7 Slams)

    Bear in mind though that Djoko is 6 yrs younger than Fed. Plenty for Djoko to stay motivated for if he wants to catch up! Only 4 tier 1 away, ajde.
    ---

    Btw, at the end of his 28th yr (Djoko's age), that is at the end of 2009:
    - Fed had won only 11 Masters on HC (vs 18 for Djoko)
    He had won 5 different Masters on HC just like Djoko, but unlike Nole, he had never won 1 more than 3 X's (Djoko is at 4 in IW and 5 in Miami)

    - Fed had won 10 500 (vs 12 for Djoko)
    - He had won 39 titles on HC (vs 43 for Djoko)
    - He had won 4 WTF (just like Djoko)
    The only categories where Fed was ahead of Djoko:
    - 250: 6 titles (vs 2)
    - Slams: 8 titles (vs 7 for Djoko)

    Note that Fed won only 1 more Slam title on HC after his 28th year. Wonder if Djoko can beat that?***

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  14. ***So you're saying Rafa is "done" for good, Fed's gonna stay at #2 or #3, but no real threat to Novak? Is that it?***

    Rafa might have a spurt of past greatness; maybe at the FO, but overall his play is pretty bad! His shots are short, his serve unreliable, and like most people already know, "his confidence" has to be shaken! Tennis is all about confidence! All players have talent, but if you can't execute in the crunch, that talent is useless; look at Dimitrov! Like his mentor Fed, he has all the shots, but he can't finish when it really counts!

    ***Agreed. It's all about confidence. That's why I reference '10 & '13; coming back from his injuries or etc. Rafa was able to retool his game and get back to the top. He needs new strategies and tactics to counter Djoker's adjustments that he has made to the tour and esp. to Rafa's style of play; w/ this new plan, victories which builds his confidence.
    ---

    That's why Rafa needs to retool his game to defuse what Djoker is doing so well. Rafa's game has to be aggressive and attacking (eg. Fed, Stan and Kei N). It's probably the only antidote to defeat Djoker. Trying to beat him from the baseline using Rafa's grinding strokes is only gonna produce the same results. I think Nole in '11 had to play much better b/c he had an all-X great to defuse. He hit eye-bulging levels. Sometimes I looked at his eyes and there were sparks coming out of them. The man was so superhuman in his physical energies, he seemed hypnotised. He hasn't had to go to such extremes this year.
    ---

    Novak doesn't look invincible. And j/b he beat your boy so badly doesn't mean he was playing better in '11. You compare the videos of some of his matches where he put a beatdown on Ralf and the ones he's played this year... again - in '15, his depth of shot is consistently better, as is the serve and of course the approach and volleys.

    Yeah, he finally beat the worst version of Rafa imagineable, so for that we throw the dog a bone. He joins a select few, including FFS. Trust me, brother, he was better in '11 b/c he had to be. He's made heavy weather of the Deathless One in 2 Slam finals this year, and the 1 X he needed to be at '11 levels, he failed to rise to the occasion against Stan. It's still a stellar year, 1 of the best. I've applauded him. He deserves it; the best man right now, hands down. Out of interest, what makes you think everyone else can't play better than they currently are too? There are more than 2 guys in the top 100.***

    That's really questionable! I've been railing on here for years about the gutless play of the rest of the tour! It used to be the "Big 4," then Big 3, now it virtually is just the "Big 2" w/ Murray allowing himself to be schooled by an old man; nary picking up a set against Federer in Majors and Masters 1000 events! This shouldn't be happening b/c I don't think Roger's necessary playing that well! He's effective, but I think his success is fueled by inadequate play of the other pros; frequently forgetting how to play the game in the crunch! What happened to Murray who practically owned Roger a few years ago? Federer's winning, but this is getting embarrassing for everyone below him allowing this to go on! The final test will be if Rafa and Roger can make the final to see if what I've been saying is true! Can Rafa continue his dominance over the GOAT or is he just as bad as the rest of the tour?

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  15. ***Murray never practically owned Federer, ever. I must have missed that.***

    OTTH, Andy had a significant lead over Roger; by at least 8 matches, but it's turned around since Murray's better days of majors and medaling in the Olympics!

    ***Roger won all the Slam encounters bar 1 in '13 when he was already well over the hill (and it still took 5 sets to beat him). Andy's other victories, frankly, won't really go down in history. Credit to him for the Olympic victory, but he beat an old fart who only won his last match prior to that 19-17 in the 3rd set so it was expected really. Even a young guy w/b a wreck after that, let alone a veteran pro on tour for years.
    ---

    What the bloody heck? Federer's even further over that hill now, my friend, and he hammered Murray at Wimbledon! Fiero's correct! Murray was ahead in the H2H and now he barely wins a set. Over the hill? Then how the heck is he doing it?
    ---

    Rafa was in his prime in 2011--just as good as he was in his best year, 2010--and Novak still surpassed him. That's hard to refute. Then Novak coasted a bit, Roger made a charge and Andy improved, so '12 truly was the Year of the Big 4. Novak was the 1st among near-equals, but just a hair above his rivals.

    '13 was the Return of Rafa, which was just enough to surpass Novak, although the 2012-'13 version of Novak who was the same player skill-wise as in '11, but w/o the manic desire to rise to the top. Novak continued to coast in '14 as Rafa began to crumble. Roger rose back up to his late-career plateau level, just a bit below peak Rafa and Novak, and Andy floundered. So Novak's reign wasn't hugely challenged.

    Now we come to '15, which on paper looks like Novak's best year. Is he a better player than he was in 2012-'14? As good or better than 2011? Well I think he's been pretty similar the last 5 years, but '11 just had extra drive. '15 is a combo of a bit more drive again--Novak being unsatisfied w/ his "great-but-not-GOAT" 2012-14 level--combined w/ Rafa fading even more and no one else stepping up.

    Actually, in a way Novak's '15 reminds me a bit of Roger in 2004-'07. Both were as good or a bit better than everyone @ almost every aspect of the game which, taken as a whole, led to dominance. I'd even say that Novak, as a player, isn't as good at his very best as some other players are at their very best. Roger at his best can beat just about anyone, except now on clay and slow HC's. But the problem is that he can't get to his very best as often as he used to. But what makes Novak so amazing, IMO, is that he can get to his almost best, his "B game" if you will, pretty much at will.

    Something like this - 2015 versions:

    Novak's A game: 30%
    Novak's B game: 65%
    Novak's C game: 5%

    Roger's A game: 20%
    Roger's B game: 50%
    Roger's C game: 30%

    This is Roger's problem. He has to play his A game to beat Novak. His A game will beat Novak in most cases. But his B game will only beat Novak's C game, which almost never happens.
    ---

    Rafa wasn't as good in '11 as he was in 2010, but I put that down to Novak rattling him. He wasn't rattled in '10. He was brimming w/ confidence and he swept everybody aside. I think the only man in the Open era to win 3 Slams on 3 different surfaces in the 1 season? And consecutively? Whatever, Rafa was definitely more sure and confident in '10 than '11.

    Rafa was similar skill-wise in '11, but w/o "the calm", which is the ingredient that makes him indestructible. Now before the Nole fans spit the dummy, I give Novak credit for that b/c he's the only player Rafa has faced who ever got under his skin.***

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  16. ***"Novak's definitely the man to beat at the moment,” Federer told ESPN. “He's had an unreal season again. He's not only doing it at the Slams, but he's also doing it on the tour week in, week out. It's tough to break that for any player right now." The 34-yo Swiss beat Djokovic twice this season in the Dubai and Cinci. finals. However, “The Fed” failed to triumph in bigger tourneys, having lost twice against Djokovic in Wimbledon and the USO finals.

    Murray, Federer, Nadal and everyone else know that they need to step up to try and topple Djokovic. The World #1 has a huge target on his back, and will need to maintain this dizzying level of play in '16; Fed confirming he'll play through that season.
    ---

    1. In '12 Nole faced a situation where he found himself as the hunted 1 and not the hunter, coupled w/ his own personal issues and high expectations from everyone he was not able to handle it well enough. Fast forward 4 years and he experiences a deja vu moment, but now he's wiser and his experience will guide him to deal w/ this situation in a more profound way. Hence I think his domination will continue.

    2. Roger has faced him in 3 Slam finals in the past 2 years, and has had good success overall. It will be intriguing to see what changes he will bring to the table. In BO3, it will be an even affair, both trading wins. In BO5, Novak will have upper hand.

    3. Andy after 8 frustrating losses, got the much needed win against Novak in an impressive fashion(clutch serving in final

    set), so I reckon when they meet again, irrespective of the Shanghai loss he will play w/ renewed confidence, and w/ his new goal of #1 for '16, Murray-Djokovic rivalry might be the most talked about.

    4. Rafa has got the fight back, which in his own admission was lacking. I reckon other parts of his game will follow. It w/b imprudent to consider he can't challenge top players, but it will be a very arduous journey for him, but on positive side he knows how to trudge his way up.

    5. Stan w/b giving knockout punches, but will be his usual inconsistent self. Krygios needs to work like a horse. Coric, Koki, Thiem all w/b making some news, but I somehow doubt they'll cause serious ripples. I hope these young guys win some tourneys to get the much needed confidence to challenge top players in bigger tourneys.
    ---

    Give the players today wood racquets? It is already all but impossible to get the ball past a guy like Djokovic even w/ modern powerful racquets. I'm not sure wood racquets will be a good idea.
    ---

    Yeah, but Djokovic wouldn't be able to play the same way he does now if he used a wood racquet. His defense and returns wouldn't be nearly as good, thus you will be able to win points from him, esp. if you attacked the net and/or have a good serve.***

    You can say the same about a lot of players; esp. Nadal! He needs today's rackets to get away w/ the way he squash-shot defends all day long!

    ***True. Nadal would pretty much suck w/ a wood racquet. A few years ago he tried playing w/ a wood racquet, but after only 10 mins he gave it back saying - "No mas". - OTOH, Federer would probably play pretty well w/ a wood racquet. If all of today's pros had played w/ wood racquets during their entire careers, Federer would likely have 40 Slams and neither Nadal nor Djokovic would have any.***

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  17. ***Explains why Agassi never gets mentioned in ATG discussions when his stats suggest he s/b? - What stats? 8 Majors aren't even double digits.***

    A 20 yr career w/ 8 Majors is nothing to brag about concerning the ATG's! That's a real joke considering players above him got that in less than 1/2 the X! Agassi was touted t/b so good at 15, but failed miserably until Goren Ivanisovic choked away that Wimbledon in '92! Lucky for him he got another chance as a WC years later taking out Rafter who eliminated Agassi in the semi's! No player yo-yo'd as much as Agassi w/ head, physical, and social problems; coming back from Challenger events to achieve a #1 ranking! He was never a fave of mines; thank Gawd! I felt for his fans!

    ***Spoken by someone who almost certainly never saw Andre play, either in person or even on fuzzy Youtube clips. 8 majors certainly IS something to brag about. 99.9% of pro tennis players in the top 100 would give anything just to reach a Slam QF, let alone win 8.***

    That may have been true 10 years ago, but w/ the current stars, there's a new normal! Winning 3 majors has become routine when it almost never happened w/ the exceptions of Laver's GS of '69, Connors' '74, and Wilander's '88! I saw Agassi from the beginning and no 1 underachieved as much as he did; will freely admit it himself! No matter how much they touted his accomplishments, he shd so much more! Even his so called rivalry w/ Sampras was a sham w/ Pete starting and finishing his assent to greatness through Andre at the USO in '90 and 2002!

    ***Just feels like an anti-climactic way for a season to end... Two players who didn't even make a Slam final and went 1-3 against the top 8 in RR play for the title; Radwanska over Kvitova in 3 sets.***

    That's likely to happen when the top players don't show up! I wonder how much Serena's being chastised, fined, and punished for her lack of participation in their YEC? So far I haven't heard anything!

    ***The main problem facing the men now I think is that the 4 #1 "strong man era" was too strong. They are like hyper predators who reached the apex of development and didn't let any other competitors climb the evolutionary ladder. ...I can't imagine the next FedNadDjokMurray lot. The years after that 4 will be tough.
    ---

    The Big 3 have cornered so many Slams and titles. In earlier X's there was 1 weak link that players could target to at least occasionally get the champ's #. It's very rare for Fed or Nole, and Rafa before late '14 to play a bad match. The good/great double handed BH guys of the 90's never used to slice so much as Nole or Rafa. W/ exceptions like Rosset, baseliners c/b attacked on their serve. Much harder in the case of Nole/Rafa. ...When Fed and Rafa call 'X' on their careers, the game will suffer for want of guys to challenge Nole. When Nole is done, the quality could go down even more. We have to hope that just the way the Big 3 broke through w/ an amazing level of play, some other late teen/early 20's guy will do so as well.
    ---

    Fed's wins in his fave tourneys:

    Halle ----8
    Wimbedon -7
    Cincy ----7
    Dubai ----7
    Basel ----7
    WTF ------6
    USOpen ---5

    That accounts for 47 of 88 titles.

    I believe Fed is the only player to have won 5 tourneys at least 6 X's and also 6 toruneys at least 6 X's. Isn't this the case w/ all the great players though? They play the same tourneys over and over again, so they're bound to have 4-5 wins for each tourney. You can do the same accounting of Nadal and the clay court tourneys he's won. 9 FO's account for 64.3% of his Slam total of 14.

    FO - 9
    MC - 8
    Barcelona - 8
    Rome - 7
    Madrid - 4

    That's 36 of his 67 titles. The scary thing is that Nadal is arguably considered the 2nd greatest player ever (I'd vote for Pete) - and he's only won 20 non-clay tourneys in his entire career and has never won the YEC.***

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  18. ***Bush has been lackluster in all 3 debates and should seriously consider dropping out of the race for the GOP nom. He seems unsure of himself and projects meekness instead of strength. - Jeb's rejection proves what we already know: GOP voters are ready for real, positive change while the DNC is doing everything they can to cling to the old status quo...that pays them.
    ---

    Heck no. I think he's floundering, but there's plenty of X to turn it around. He has enough money to stay in and watch others drop out. When the field narrows, his chances go up.
    ---

    Rubio just nabbed the biggest Repub donor out there...Jeb's on suicide watch and in a death spiral. - ...That's the problem, to win the primary, the candidates have to out cons. each other which will hurt them in the general election. They still have to appeal to moderates and independents. - McCain and Romney were moderates and that didn't help them.***

    The constant whining and kvetchin' about the MSM is getting so old! It's pathetic listening to Reps play the "victim" after they've been on their own relentless attacks on Dems! All of them are idiots, liars, and hypocrites who can't see how stupid they look acting like this; ready to trash their own country to gain power!

    ***If you cannot tolerate "certain" types of questions from the media, you have no business running for President. Look at what Hillary has gone through. Deserved or not, the media has been ruthless w/ her.
    ---

    LOL... The media has treated Hillary w/ kid gloves as was evident during the Dem. debate. She was allowed to avoid answering direct ??'s and spin her answers in any direction she wanted. The ??'s directed at the Reps during the GOP debate were snarky and accusatory. Of course a Liberal like you w/b blind to this.***

    You are so full of shit! No woman has been under more scrutiny and been made to explain herself more than Hillary Clinton! Spare me! You people need to find a new record to play! This 1 is old, scratched, and overused! Fuck all Rep.! Assholes!

    ***Rubio's as big of a lying hack as the rest of the Reps and Dems runing for office. He seems like he's better at it and a good speaker overall and since that's all that matters these days. He's probably the fave at this point. I know Trump and Carson are leading him, but I don't think they're going to get the nomination. Only person so far that has some of my trust is Paul, but he already looks dead in the water.***

    All of these losers are "dead in the water;" Hillary's our next President! Get used to calling her "Madam President" assholes!

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  19. ***The currently best player in the world was dominant throughout the entire season and will finish the year convincingly on top of the ATP list. He won 73 matches and had only 5 defeats. He was asked why does he think that '15 was better than '11, when he had similar results, and he said that he's more complete as a player and emotionally more stable since founding a family.

    "If you look purely through #'s and results, I'm better at GS's than in '11. Then I got injured after USO. This year I only lost 5 matches, my private and pro life are in balance. I became a father and a husband, it gives a different perspective and meaning. I feel more filled, as a player more complete, physically and emotionally more stable and I can handle different things better. IDK if I will be able to repeat the run w/o defeats, but I managed to do it once and so there is a motive for me to repeat it," said Djokovic.
    ---

    Rafa says: "It's unfair that I played ATP Finals always on HC indoor, but the results got on all the surfaces allows us to have a chance to qualify. Playing indoor doesn't concern me, but we could have played on different surfaces than hard. ATP never gave me a good chance to win the Masters."

    He won the USO & Wimbledon twice. He won in Oz, but he's grumbling that the WTF has never been played on clay? "Get over it."***

    Rafa's no "brain surgeon!" His sense of entitled has infuriated me since he was a kid and he still hasn't matured after all these years! What's so amazing, normally it's "punks" from my own country that get me riled, but Nadal rivals my animus for Roddick, Chang, Agassi, & Courier! Never cared for any of them who's whole act has offended me since their beginnings! The Masters hasn't moved around the world since the 70's so Nadal has no idea what that's like w/ the event being played on other surfaces! Vilas was a clay courter, but still won it in '74 in Australia on grass! Rafa really needs to get over it!

    ***I have to agree w/ Fiero. Rafa's so successful that these kind of complaints make him seem a little ungrateful, petty, & spoiled; even if there might be something reasonable underlying it.
    ---

    For 45 yrs, the chp has been played indoors; either on carpet or cement, w/ the exceptions of '74 (grass) and '03-04 (outdoor HC's). Rafa turned pro in '01; so 31 yrs before he turned pro, the ATP set this all up to work against him.***

    Yeah, that must be it! The tour has been conspiring since he turned pro to guarantee he doesn't own a YEC chp!

    ***42 yrs indoors either on carpet or HC's... 1 yr on grass and 2 on outdoor HC's. I would say its heritage as an indoor event is pretty solid.***

    To me it only made sense b/c the event has always been in the winter; Nov-Jan.! Weather is HELLISH everywhere in the world around then! They don't want interruptions and I thoroughly endorsed it being indoors! I never considered it a 5th Slam since only 8 players were invited; 12 a few X's back when it was single elim.! I've always considered either IW or Miami Masters as the 5th Major, but it lost that distinction when players like Roger and Nadal would only play 1 of them to save themselves of late! Nole's killing it early in the season anyway and has proved he owns the 1st 1/2 of the season! Back to back Masters is tough on the other old guys I guess! They shb around when both events were best of 5 set finals!

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  20. ***Back when you and I were younger, Rome was considered the 5th Slam. Then, in the 90's, "the Liptons..."***

    Rome was an old respectable event, but many people skipped it! The Lipton was the 1st event people considered a 5th major when created back in '85! Everyone played it except Connors and McEnroe who objected to = prize money of all things! Martina N. was able to win 3 of the 5 events since they had MXD's! She accomplished it twice; the 2nd X at '87 USO!

    ***ATP Chp. records: - **possible add. by yr's end

    Most titles: [9]

    1. Federer, 6 ('03, '04, '06, '07, '10, '11)
    2. Lendl, 5 ('81, '82, 1985, '86, '87)
    2. Sampras, 5 ('91, '94, '96, '97, '99)
    4. Djokovic, 4 ('08, '12,'13, '14) - 5('15)?**
    4. Năstase, 4 ('71, '72, '73, '75)

    Most cons. titles: (tied)

    1. Djokovic, 3 ('12–'14) - 4('15)?**
    1. Lendl, 3 ('85–'87)
    1. Năstase, 3 ('71–'73)

    Most finals:

    1. Federer, 9 ('03–'07, '10–'12, '14)
    1. Lendl, 9 ('80–'88)
    3. Becker, 8 ('85–'86, '88–'89, '92, '94–'96)
    4. Sampras, 6 ('91, '93–'94, '96–'97, '99)

    Most cons. finals:

    1. Lendl, 9 ('80–'88)
    2. Federer, 5 ('03–'07)
    2. Năstase, 5 ('71–'75)
    4. Djokovic, 3 ('12–'14) - 4('15)?**
    5. Becker, 3 ('94–'96)
    5. Federer, 3 ('10–'12)
    5. Smith, 3 ('70–'72)

    Most Appearances:

    1. Agassi, 13 ('88–'91, '94, '96, '98–'03, '05)
    1. Federer, 13 ('02–'14)
    3. Lendl, 12 ('80–'91)
    4. Becker, 11 ('85–'92, '94–'96)
    4. Connors, 11 ('72–'73, '77–'84, '87)
    4. Sampras, 11 ('90–'00)
    ---

    Rivalries: ALL Meetings - GS Events - GS Finals - All Finals

    Djokovic–Nadal '06– 45 22–23 13 4–9 7 3–4 23 13–10
    Djokovic–Federer '06– 43* 21–21 14 8–6 4 3–1 17 10–6*
    Lendl–McEnroe ** '80–'92 37 21–15 10 7–3 3 2–1 18 7–10
    Connors–Lendl '79–'92 36* 13–22 7 3–4 2 2–0 7 4–2*
    Becker–Edberg '84–'96 35 25–10 4 1–3 3 1–2 16 11–5
    Connors–McEnroe '77–'91 35* 14–20 9 3–6 2 1–1 15 7–7*
    Agassi–Sampras '89–'02 34 14–20 9 3–6 5 1–4 16 7–9
    Federer–Nadal '04– 34 11–23 11 2–9 8 2–6 21 7–14
    Djokovic–Murray '06– 29 20–9 8 6–2 5 3–2 12 6–6
    Edberg–Lendl '84–'92 27 14–13 9 5–4 1 0–1 7 3–4
    Federer–Murray '05– 25 14–11 6 5–1 3 3–0 8 5–3
    Federer–Roddick '01–'12 24 21–3 8 8–0 4 4–0 7 7–0
    Borg–Connors '73–'81 23 15–8 8 5–3 4 2–2 13 8–5

    * - walkovers includ. || ** - World Team Cup***

    I've been finding these rivalries more incredible and fascinating all the X! In the old days, there were more upsets so we were lucky to get 14 matches btw Borg & McEnroe! Again, this proves my point that today's players have all kinds of ability, but are still gutless and can't finish off top players to break up "the party!" The Big 4 aren't even done and they have more matches btw them than in any other era; including Rosewall & Laver which was touted as "The RIVALRY" for years! After all is said and done, no rivalry will ever come close to Navratilova & Evert; 80 matches in favor of Martina @ 43-37!

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  21. ***First of all, this is a great day for Federer and his fans - it has been over 3 1/2 yrs (!)--since the '12 IW that Roger has defeated Rafa. So that's the good. The bad? ...Rafa seems 90% back. In fact, he now seems relative to his peak 2008-13 form somewhat similar to what 2014-15 Roger is to his peak form. It remains to be seen whether he can go even higher, but the last month has been a huge improvement for the Spanish Bull.

    What I saw in Basel is what I see every X Roger faces Novak & Rafa, and pretty much only those 2: he's less confident, gets more easily flustered, makes stupid mistakes, and looks like an overall inferior player than he does against lesser opponents. Look at Roger in the Wimbledon and UO SF's vs. how he played against Novak in the finals. Now of course this has everything to do w/ the other guy across the net, but here's the thing: Both Rafa and Novak tend to play their best against other top opponents (esp. each other). In other words, they rise to the challenge while Roger seems to wilt a bit.

    Why is this? My theory - as I think I have shared before - is that Roger attained greatness when he was the only big dog. He utterly dominated the tour from 2004-07, except for a little gnat named Rafa, and the occasional lapse against another opponent. But the crucial bit is this: When he was coming into his own in the early 00s, there were no truly great players to vie against. Yes, there was some excellent players - Agassi was in his 2nd prime, Safin was at his best, Roddick, Ferrero & Nalbandian were all rising stars, and of course Hewitt was the best game in town for awhile. There were 6 stars, but no true superstar out there.

    Rafa and Novak, OTOH, grew up in the shadow of Roger. For them there was always an all-time great player at the peak of his powers. For Novak it was 2-fold, the perennial #3 behind Roger & Rafa. Can you imagine how disheartening it mhb for him until his breakthough in '11?

    But the thing is, while Rafa and Novak haven't had the continuous dominance that Roger had for 4 years, they became better players for it. B/c they grew up in the shadow of a great(s), they had something to shoot for. They knew how to fight from behind and became better and better. Not so for Roger, who developed in a field in which talent was more evenly distr'd. He never had to develop that immense strength of will and determination that we saw from Novak in '11, or Rafa at various points of his career.

    This is NOT a variation on "weak era" mind you. Actually, the 1st 1/2 of the 00s had a ton of talent, more so than the late 90s imo; it was just more widely distributed. I've said before that while Roger's generation doesn't have the top tier talent of Rafa, Novak, and Andy, the 2nd tier was--IMO--stronger than the Rafa/Novak generation.

    The bottom line is that I rarely see Roger play his absolute best against Rafa and Novak, while I often see them play their best against him and each other. As I said above, I think this has a lot to do w/ the context in which they came into the game and worked towards their peak. This is also not a way of making excuses for Roger. If anything it points to a weakness in his mental game, a way in which both Novak and Rafa are greater players. But yeah, a great victory though!***

    Great read! Thanks!

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  22. ***Djokovic is w/o a doubt the better grass court player.***

    Well, besides Nole having an extra title, he's done something that Nadal has never been able to do in his entire career IIRC; "defend his Wimbledon or any other title off his beloved clay!" What GOAT has that kind of record in any era? I still SMH in total disbelief! Nadal hasn't even made a Wimbledon final in 4 yrs! How can anyone give him any credit for his play on grass now? That Mercedes Cup from this year won't balance out the rest of his failures!

    ***When you have 1 escape or it's only down to your opponent making a mess out of the situation, you are lucky. But when you repeat the escape over dozens of X's throughout your career, then you have the amazing power to come back. Rafa's a clutch player. I'll give you that.....but Rosol choked in Shanghai; it was very obvious.***

    I think people are giving Rafa entirely too much credit! Some say players are choking, I say it's the same "gutless" play that Nadal has been counting on and lucky to come across for years w/ his play deteriorating before our very eyes; the short FH's, the weak serving, and shanking shots yards out of court! The real killer is, his idiosyncrasies aren't helping him; the tugging of his shorts, toweling off incessantly, standing his water bottles just so, the stalling, calling of a trainer when in trouble, and of course challenging calls that make no sense! He really should just give it up!

    ***He has definitely improved form earlier this season, regardless of his opponents mentality or play though. The amount of short balls and crap FH's he was hitting was astronomical 9 months ago. He has always shanked balls from X to X, so that's that. I somewhat agree about his serve. Needs to improve it somewhat if he wants to keep on improving. He used to be the best only behind Fed at defending the 2nd serve for so long, and is at #9 in that regard (55%). May not seem like a big difference, but he was around low 60s for a lot of his career.

    He won't stop w/ the habits. He tugs his shorts b/c he gets puck, he towels off incessantly b/c he sweats like a dog, stands his water bottles b/c it's always been apart of his match ritual, etc... Everyone challenges calls that make no sense at X's. Yeah, to stall some X to compose themselves and also just to be sure and take it off their mind.
    ---

    5-set Slams:

    -Roger: 21-13 (61.8%)
    -Rafa: 14-5 (73.7%)
    -Novak: 24-7 (77.4%)

    Here's an amazing stat: Since '11, Novak is 14-3 in 5-set Slam matches; an 82.4%.
    ---

    From Wiki: Nole's 1 of only 2 players to have at least 10 match wins against Nadal (Federer) and the only person to defeat him 7 cons. X's and 2 X's cons. on clay. ...They have also played in a record 12 Masters Series finals. In the '11 Wimbledon final, Djokovic won in 4 sets for his 1st Slam final over Nadal. Djokovic also defeated Nadal in the '11 USO Final. In '12, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the AO final for a 3rd cons. Slam final win. This was the longest GS tourney final in Open era history at 5 hrs, 53 mins. ...In '13, Djokovic defeated Nadal in straight sets in the final at MC, ending Nadal's record 8 cons. titles there, but Nadal got revenge at the FO in an epic 5-setter 9–7 in the 5th....***

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  23. ***...Nadal in '11 (just 25) was "way past his prime?" Do you realize how dumb this "declined field" argument is? ...If it were so easy to beat this field, how come Nadal didn't win more Wimbledon titles against it?***

    Funny how some give Federer a break when losing last 2 Wimbledon finals, but in my day Connors was given all due credit for winning both W. and USO in '74 as an 18 y.o.over octogenarian Ken Rosewall in straight sets! It w/b nice if there was just an iota of consistency in our arguments! I know I do my best and call myself out when opinions justifiably change for the better! I take responsibility for anointing Sampras as the GOAT back in '02 after winning his last major at the USO over his major (so called) rival in Andre Agassi! He hadn't even gotten to a FO final, but I fell in line w/ the rest of the public looking for something historic to be achieved in our era! I still think Sampras was better than all of our perceived 'greatest ever' due to his serve alone! He pulled himself out of many a hole w/ something as unforeseeable as a 2nd serve ACE on BP! Most players today wind up DF; sorta like Nadal of late! Right now the #'s will rule the day and 100 yrs down the line if Fed's major count isn't surpassed, he will still be thought of as "The GOAT!"

    Roger will have several asterisks by his name due to a rival "owning him," lock, stock, and barrel on all surfaces and another owning Masters 1000 records after all is said and done! I agree, the comp. chb better, so he was well rested in those handful of occasions he survived Nadal at Wimbledon and a few Masters! I'm no fan of Rafa's, but he fought wars to get to most of his finals due to his ridiculous style of play; counter-punching from the backstop of the court, someX's dodging linesmen! Friends still say Roger won 2 games before coming on court! Players were in awe of him and star-struck by his shot-making; helping w/ his legend to this day! I think Pete would have found a way to win most of their contests if of the same era against Roger except at the FO! If not for Nadal, Roger might have owned the FO as much as he has at Wimbledon and the USO! He still played more FO finals than most winners of the title; even Courier!

    ***...Some people cannot be objective when their fave gets surpassed in a category and will invent excuses.***

    I initially wondered if Nole waited too long to make his move assaulting the record-books! There's no doubt he'll end up being the Masters 1000 KING, have a winning record over all his rivals after all is said and done, and w/ a very good chance of surpassing Federer's record as #1! I can't think of anyone w/ the consistent ability to take him even back to '12 level! I'm watching Kei's repeat now trying to hold onto 2nd rd match vs Chardy in Paris! OCO; all the shots in the world w/ a great serve and he's in a battle against Chardy! Raonic may never get it together; his game revolving around an inconsistent serve and wild FH! The rest of the high guard are all headcases who're still fending off seasoned VETs like Ferrer, Berdych, Lopez, Tsonga, Murray, & Wawrinka! When will there be a real changing of the guard after Roger finally hangs up his racket? This has been a lot like Connors, having a 2nd act at 30, but it can only last so long! Will Roger hang on barely holding a top 10 ranking at 39?

    ***Yea, this next gen. has been a bit disappointing. Wawrinka GOATS in Slams, Murray and Federer are playing well, Berdych is still in the way, Nadal is hanging on, and Ferrer, Tsonga and Lopez are still there. I think ...By not being injury prone, Fed added yrs to being at the top of the game. I think he will play until around 37 or 38.***

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  24. ***It's not just b/c of the comp. Novak's added extra elements to his game this year (better serve/return combo, better slice, venturing to the net more) which have contributed to his incredible season.***

    I give Nole all due credit just staying mentally on a good path after battling Rafa and Roger for so many years! He slipped a little after '11, but I think his advantage will hold for a while! He's so ready for all comers and plays just well enough to win and stay on top w/ little effort exerted these days!

    ***Yep, his mentality in big matches this year is another element I should've included in my post. - ...Djokovic's the best tennis player at the moment, but his competition is also pretty dismal w/ Federer 6 years older and Nadal not being competitive for the past year and 1/2. Any true tennis fan should hope Nadal comes back to good form or that some younger players will wake up and give the Big 4 some competition, otherwise it's boring.
    ---

    It's sad that Isner gets all fired up and redlines against Fed. Meanwhile Novak got Simon in R3 who struggles to win pts in his own service games. Or Murray and Goffin...***

    I felt the same about Nole in the early days when he was banging heads w/ tougher competition and rewarded w/ opportunity to get pummeled by Rafa or Roger while those 2 got fat on WC's, qualifiers, & has-beens!

    ***But in "the early days", Fed and Rafa were #1 & 2 -- Novak was just trying to make his way to Top 5. You expected him to get WCs and qualifiers then w/o paying any dues?***

    Not at all and don't begrudge the perks of being at the top of the rankings; just the hypocrisy when Nole's excoriated for having matches they deem easy! It's hardly his fault if he has so many pigeons he has little trouble w/ like Cilic, Ferrer, & Berdych!

    ***I have no problem at all w/ his having "no problems w/ his many pigeons;" I do have a problem however w/ Fed being excoriated for a "weak era" b/c he too had so many pigeons.
    ---

    Nadal's still hitting the ball short. Any guy who has a bit of an offensive mind will put Nadal on defense quickly. ...He can't leave all these balls in the middle of the court and expect to win against better players.***

    I screamed throughout the match; "short ball Stan!" He won't whack the ball and get into the net enough IMO! He allows Rafa to float shots back that s/b knocked off for winners! This match shb over a lot sooner than 2 TB's again! Short FH's, DF's on BP's, and butchering 2 lob sitters; "Kieran, a 1000 X's more positive?" Well he hasn't lost another match after being up 2 sets to love; it's all uphill from there I guess!

    ***You have to allow a bit of grace for mild exaggeration, but who wouldn't subscribe to the fact that Rafa's now in a good place to launch from for next year?***

    I certainly understand where you're coming from, but doubts Rafa will spring-board back to greatness! As has been pointed out by me and others, "his confidence" is shot, he sprays both FH's & BH's, DF's at the worst possible of X's, and most of all gives his opponents hope that they can jump on him early in a match each X they play! He's almost guaranteed to go 3 sets whether he wins or loses; at his age that isn't promising in the least!

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  25. ***Djokpvic Records:

    -YEC recs-
    '11: Qualified the earliest – 18 wks, 6 days
    '12–'14: 3 cons titles w/ Năstase 8 Lendl
    '12–'14: 14 cons match wins w/ Lendl & Federer
    '14 76.1% (51–16) games winning % in 1 tourney

    -ATP Masters 1000 recs-
    '07–'13 8 different titles
    '07–'12 Reached all 9 Masters 1000 finals w/ Federer & Nadal
    '07–'15 18 HC titles w/ Federer
    '11, '15 5 titles in a single season w/ Nadal
    '15 8 finals in a single season
    '15 5 HC finals in a single season
    '15 8 SF's in a single season w/ Nadal
    '11, '12, '15 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals
    '11, '12 2 con. yrs reaching 6 finals
    '12–'15 12 con. wins in Masters 1000 finals
    '11 31 con. match wins
    '11, '15 5 Masters 1000 titles in 2 seasons
    '11–'15 2 streaks of 5 con. titles
    '11, '14–'15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles
    '13–'15 3 streaks of 4 con. titles
    '14–'15 2 con. yrs winning 4+ titles w/ Federer
    '11–'15 5 con. yrs winning 3+ titles
    '07–'15 3+ titles at 6 different tourneys
    '11–'15 Retaining titles at 6 different tourneys
    '15 3 con. title defenses
    '15 Won the 1st 3 Masters in a season (IW, Miami, & MC)
    '11–'15 Won IW – Miami title double 3 X's
    '07 Youngest men's singles player to win Miami (19 yrs, 316 days old)
    '08–'15 4 IW Masters titles overall w/ Federer
    '12–'15 3 Shanghai Masters titles overall
    '12–'13 2 con. Shanghai Masters titles w/ Murray
    '09–'14 3 Paris Masters titles overall w/ Becker & Safin
    '13–'14 2 con. Paris Masters titles
    '13, '14 2 yrs winning Paris Masters and YEC back to back

    -Other sig. recs-
    '15 Highest # of points accrued in ATP rankings (16,785)
    '15 13 str. finals in a season
    '15 20+ wins over each other member of the Big 4 (Federer, Nadal & Murray)
    '15 25 match wins vs. top 10 ops in a single season
    '12, '13, '15 24 match wins vs. top 10 ops in a single season w/ Nadal
    '12, '13, '15 3 yrs winning 24 matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11–'13, '15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11–'13 3 con. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops
    '11 5 con. match wins against world #1 player in finals w/ Nadal
    '07 Youngest player to defeat the top 3 players in succession (Roddick, Nadal & Fed)
    '15 Most prize money won in a season ($16,041,009)
    '09–'15 6 China Open titles
    '12–'15 4 con. China Open titles
    '07–'10 4 yrs ended @ #3 w/ Connors
    '07–'10 4 con. yrs ended at #3
    '09 Longest best-of-3 singles match w/ sets TB's (by duration) vs Nadal
    '03–'15 83.8% (440–85) HC match winning %
    '03–2015 95.6% (593–27) Match winning % after winning 1st set
    '03–'15 74.5% (143–49) Deciding set winning %

    -GS Year(s) Rec. Accomp. Players-

    '15 All 4 Major finals in a season w/ Laver, Federer '10–'13
    7 con. HC finals
    FO — AO '07–'08 Youngest player to reach the SF's of all 4 Majors (20 yrs, 250 days)
    FO — AO 2007–'08 Youngest player to reach all 4 Majors SF's con.
    -AO - Wimbledon
    '08–'15 3+ titles @ AO & Wimbledon w/ Fed
    -USO - FO
    '07–'15 3+ r-up finishes @ 2 Majors w/ Fed
    AO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Nadal
    AO — USO '05–'15 87.70% (107–15) HC match winning %

    -GS Year(s) Rec. Accomp. Players-

    AO '08–'15 5 titles overall
    AO '11–'13 3 con. titles
    AO '08–'15 5 finals overall w/ Edberg & Fed
    AO '11–'13 3 con. finals w/ Wilander & Lendl
    FO '11–'15 5 con. SF's w/ Fed & Nadal
    USO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Murray
    USO '12 Longest TB (by pts – 22) vs Murray***

    Thanks for the stats! Nice data!

    ReplyDelete
  26. ***But that's a different opponent. Besides, hopefully he learnt from that experience. - If Roger keeps repeating the form he showed at Wimbledon '14-'15 and USO '15, he'll eventually win another major. I still sincerely believe he will win the 18th.***

    He'll need a little help; maybe a few upsets of Nole, Rafa, & Murray along the way!

    ***At Wimbledon, he can still beat anyone w/ a big serving day. Of course it'll definitely require a few things falling into place, but I don't think Federer's as discouraged by these last 2 slam finals as some of his fans are.***

    It's a true "no win" situation at this X for Nole; only history and the recordbooks will do it justice! I see so many parallels w/ Nole and Lendl; Lendl ruling his era after fan and press faves like Connors and McEnroe "slowed down" and Borg already retired! He was the Darth Vadar character on court who's best remembered for wearing black and est. a new norm for pro players w/ diet, fitness, and resolve! He had to put up w/ a lot trying to get his due; sorta like Nole now who has to contend w/ the glorification of the Nadal and Federer as tennis deities! I have no dog in this hunt and give Fed all the adulation w/ a great career and huge "#'s" to back it up; regardless of his level of competition! I heard the same thing during Martina and Chris' era, but again, decades later, their #'s will still count the same and hold up well IMO! Nole should get the same consideration on his climb to the top and not disparage his competition; esp. since they were considered GOATs just 2 yrs ago! A lot can change in that length of X, but a little consistency s/b observed someX's!

    ***It's just a transitional/in-btw era, that's all. They happen every 10-15 yrs. To Djokovic's credit, he has managed to stay freakishly healthy and he's reaping the benefits by winning slams and majors while the rest of the tour figures out where it's going next. Djokovic doesn't need to do anything ultra-special -- just stay healthy, have great fitness, and play extremely solid. I actually think Nole will have a good '16 and then in '17... a few guys will finally mature and Djokovic will decline at that point. Transitional eras usually only last 2 years. IMHO, Djokovic is enjoying year 1 of a 2 year transition.
    ---

    I have reduced the weighting points down by a factor of 1000 eg. Slams are worth 2 instead of their ATP 2000.

    Scale is: (SV x 2) + (SEFNL x 1.5) + (SEFOL x 1.3) + (SEFRUNL x 1) + (SRU x 1.2) + (TOP9 x 1) + (TOP9RU x 0.60) + (SEFRUOL x 0.80) + (OSG x 0.75) + (SSF x 0.72) + (SEFSFNL x 0.60) + (500S x 0.50)

    Nadal = (14 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (0 x 1.3) + (2 x 1) + (6 x 1.2) + (27 x 1) + (14 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (1 x 0.75) + (3 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (16 x 0.50) = 83.51

    Djokovic = (10 x 2) + (3 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + (0 x 1) + (8 x 1.2) + (26 x 1) + (12 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (10 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (12 x 0.50) = 81.8

    •Slam Victories (SV) 2000 ATP pts
    •Slam R-ups (SRU) 1200 ATP pts
    •Slam SF's (SSF) 720 ATP pts
    •Season end F victories w/ no loss b4 F (WTF, WCT F & GS Cup) (SEFNL) 1500 ATP pts
    •Season end F victories w/ 1 loss b4 F (WTF, WCT F & GS Cup) (SEFOL) 1300 ATP pts
    •Season end F R-ups w/ no loss b4 F (WTF, WCT F & GS Cup) (SEFRUNL) 1000 ATP pts
    •Season end F R-ups w/ 1 loss b4 F (WTF, WCT F & GS Cup) (SEFRUOL) 800 ATP pts
    •Season end F SF's w/ no loss b4 SF (WTF, WCT F & GS Cup) (SEFSFNL) ATP 600 pts
    •Masters 1000 = victories (call (Top 9)) ATP 1000 pts
    •Masters 1000 = R-ups (TOP9RU) ATP 600 pts
    •Olympic Gold Metal Singles (OSG) ATP 750 pts
    •500 Series ='s (500S) ATP 500 pts***

    ReplyDelete
  27. ***Simply hitting more winners clearly doesn’t work, as Murray hit 20 to the Serb’s 10 for their match in Bercy. Murray committed 34 UDE's to Djokovic’s 12. Age maybe his biggest rival IMO.***

    Nole more like an updated Safin! Everyone knows Nadal has some of the ugliest strokes in the history of the game; regardless if effective! Even Mary and Martina have commented on how awkward and ungainly his BH looks; esp. when on the defensive! Watching Safin now against Roger at '05 AO and he's taking those same full swipes at the ball on both sides that really take me to Nole's game at this X; serve, groundies, & serving exh.!

    ***So many fans are talking about Djokovic's achievements in '15. That's impressive and remarkable indeed, but even if a guy is as mighty as Achilles, his ankle is the weakness. If only taking into account the match results, Djokovic looks invincible. If you pay attention to the process of match, he's not as solid as he looks. Djokovic is the winner of most matchs, but I don't think his winning streak will continue.
    ---

    Novak will remain an easy #1, but a lot depends upon how much Rafa can get back. RG might be tougher this year as Rafa w/b just as hungry to win that title, perhaps even more so. Consider what's at stake for Rafa: assuming he doesn't win AO, if he can't win RG then he may never win another Slam. I think he'll have a strong clay season and that whatever round they meet in, the true final will be Rafa-Novak.

    I think Novak will win either 2 or 3 Slams and 3-5 Masters. We might see a similar slip as we saw from Roger in '06-'07 where his Slam and WTF results were the same, but everywhere else declined. Still, no matter how unassailable Novak's reign seems right now, it's hard to imagine that he'll win 3 Slams 2 years in a row. So much can happen. But I'd be surprised if he won less than 2 and didn't finish #1 again.
    ---

    The player of the year is Novak, and it's not even close. A career year again, and a new record: 6 MS titles. This record has crept up incrementally since the modern Era of Exceptions, where Roger, Rafa and Novak have each taken turns to set it. Novak hasn't even been pushed a lot of the X, which exposes the dearth of opposition, and this is 1 thing we need to improve next season. #2 player of the year for me is Federer. As 34 yo go, it was a miraculous season. 2 slam finals, and in neither of them was he convincingly defeated. He won Cinci too, and defeated Novak twice; the only man to do so.

    Disappointment of the year is Grigor's class: Raonic, Kei, Grigor, Milos etc. I know, some injuries, but these deadbeats are letting the sport down. There mhb something in the water the year these lads were born. From the youngsters, Coric showed a little, Nick flamed out, Kokk was in the news more than he was in the winners cicle, and Thiem made no impact.

    Murray would also be a big disappointment. He started the season strong, then inexplicably collapsed in the Oz final after taking control. This final set walkabout became a feature of his game this year, and in matches against Novak and - particularly - Roger, his inability to hang at the highest levels stands in condemning contrast w/ the way he played in 2012-2013.

    Rafa spent the season trying to find his form and confidence after missing the 2nd part of last year through injury and the appendicis. This year he played the full season, after 3 seasons blighted by a debilitating cycle of injury, recuperation & return. Stan had a great year, regardless of his inconsistency. He found a tentative Djoker at the FO and grabbed that match by the scruff of the neck to win it. He might possibly believe he can add to his slam tally next year, and why not? he certainly looks stronger to do it than Andy.***

    ReplyDelete
  28. ***Will Djokovic become greater than Nadal?***

    He already is better than Nadal! There's no doubt if you check the record! Nadal's major claim to fame is winning on clay; the FO in particular! Even though he owns "the GOAT" in H2H matchup, few pay that much attention; Roger's still the GOAT! Nadal has never defended a title off clay while Nole's defends all of his quite successfully on any surface! After all is said and done, he'll probably own most of the pertinent records including H2H matchups against his rivals, Masters 1000 events, and weeks at #1! He not only will attain these records, he'll probably set them so high no one will aspire to even come close to that level of play!

    ***Last I checked, Rafa still leads the h2h w/ Novak in matches that are of value.***

    For how long is the ?? you s/b asking! When was the last X Rafa beat anyone in the top echelon? He even lost on clay to Murray and Fabio this season; quite embarrassing! The only thing to stop this inevitable shift is injury or a plane crash! You hoping something happens to Nole so he doesn't pass Nadal? Now that w/b desperate thinking!

    ***Rafa leads the h2h 9-4. You think Novak will beat Rafa 6 X's from now? No chance. Novak can beat this Fed and Murray to win his majors, but Rafa has beaten better versions of all 3 to win his majors. Rafa's 14 majors are worth 20 majors of Djokovic.***

    Seek serious professional help dude! I know some Rafa-dites have blinders on, but someone must have gouged out your eyes and continued digging into your brain! ;-)

    ***If btw now and the end of next year Djokovic wins a 5th WTF, achieves a 5th YE #1, Takes 2 more slams including RG & gets the Masters 1000 record, I'd imagine only the most hardcore Nadal fans would claim they're not at least on = terms. - Djokovic defeated toughest possible final opponents Fed, Rafa and Murray 3 X's each to win 9 out of his 10 Majors. The only exception is Tsonga, but Djokovic was also a Slamless player prior to that encounter. If anyone has a claim of having tough Slam opponents it is Novak. Take care of your own garden before criticizing the other.***

    Thank you! I thought people were more rational here, but it was in doubt for a moment w/ comments about Novak not having any competition; what a joke! No one has had it harder among the BIG 3; waiting his turn to show what he could do and some people can't stand it! They are weak w/ excuses made for Fed and Rafa!

    ***...If Nadal doesn't improve some of his stats, then Djokovic will surpass Nadal even if he doesn't catch up to his 14th majors. You can't only judge majors and talk how much better Nadal was b/c he had Federer back then. Stat-wise Djokovic will become greater, IMO. The rest is subjective and everyone will find an argument to put his own hero on top. B/c I don't see a reason at the moment why he wouldn't win at least 1 slam the next 4 years.
    ---

    ... So glad Djokovic has done so well, my other fave all X players (Roddick & Rafter) probably underachieved.***

    Lucky for Roger he had "doorknobs" like Roddick to turn in winning a few of those Wimbledons! More than likely that '09 final is still weighing heavily on his mind; that missed high BH volley that flew! I'm glad Roger took it, but he didn't win it as much as Roddick gave it to him! "Thanks Andy!"

    ***In Roddick's defense, he's a tougher finals opponent than Tsonga or Wawrinka IMO. Roddick didn't lay over in those Wimbledon finals or in their USO final, he got a set in all but 1. You can talk about that missed BH volley in the 2nd set TB, but Roddick still fought tooth and nail and made that match Hell for Fed and still pushed it to the 5th. It was extremely disappointing as a fan to watch him lose that match, but I was also very proud to be a fan. A-Rod played amazing, Federer just Federered and he deserved the title. ***

    ReplyDelete
  29. ***Lack of FO and slam h2h is killing it for Djoker.***

    Nadal will be the CLAY GOAT and nothing else after having a "potential" losing record vs Nole w/i a year and his "inability" to defend ANY title off his beloved surface! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Even Rafter defended his USO title on HC! After all is said and done, Rafa won't even be in my TOP 5 of all X players due to that lone fact! He'll have more majors than Laver, Borg, Lendl, Connors, & McEnroe, but they have done things Nadal will never achieve; a GS and X titles on all surfaces in every event played! Nadal is still trying to acquire a Miami Open after all these years!

    ***Nadal is only guy other than Wilander to do SURFACE SLAM. 10 yrs winning a Slam. Slam H2H vs his rivals.***

    No one will care 100 yrs down the line! The #'s will be against Nadal in so many ways; being way back in race for #1 in the world, lack of wins on other surfaces aside clay, amd a losing record vs Nole soon!

    ***...And if you really think Djoker will beat Sampras or Fed's wks at #1, you are REALLY optimistic!***

    Who's supposed to knock him off his perch? He only has to hold on for a year and a 1/2; hardly something impossible for Nole unless he wrecks his knee skiing!

    ***Novak's verging from being "merely" a super good all-X great to becoming a top-tier legend in all of tennis history. Novak's 1 super-dominating year away from entering the GOAT conversation, IMO. If he can repeat his 2015 efforts, he w/b on the very border of GOAT-dom though not quite there. You'd imagine w/ the rest of his career still left he would eventually make it there (though of course you'd still have stronger arguments for Fed). If Novak can somehow pull a CYGS in '16, he'd solidly be in the GOAT conversation: 14 majors, 6 str. majors (only Don Budge pre-Open Era), a CYGS, & very likely another year at #1, w/ some other titles, Masters, & another year's worth of wks at #1.

    = Rafa:...14 Majors, 27 Masters, 0 WTF, 1 Olym Sin. Gold, 141 wks World #1 rank.
    = Djoko:..10 Majors, 26 Masters, 4 WTF, 1 Olym Sin. Brze, 172 wks World #1 rank.
    ---

    Nadal is MUCH better than Djoko on clay. Djoko is MUCH better than Nadal on HC. How that's not obvious?

    CLAY:
    -Nadal: 47 titles (5 250, 14 500, 19 Masters, 9 Slams)
    -Djoko: 11 titles (4 250, 7 Masters)

    HARD:
    -Djoko: 44 titles (2 250, 12 500, 19 Masters, 4 WTF, 7 Slams)
    -Nadal: 16 titles (2 250, 2 500, 8 Masters, 1 OG, 3 Slams)

    OVERALL:
    -Nadal: 67 titles > Djoko: 58 titles
    -Nadal: 14 slams > Djoko: 10 Slams
    -Djoko: 4 WTF > Nadal: 0 WTF
    -Nadal: 27 Masters > Djoko: 26 Masters
    -Nadal: 41 tier 1 + OG > Djoko: 40 tier 1
    -Djoko: 172 wks at #1 > Nadal: 141 wks

    But bear in mind that Djoko is a year younger. Personally, I find their overall records mighty close (bar WTF). Which means that we need the next few years to make a clear-cut decision about who's better than whom. Way too close to call it now while they're still active.***

    A year? You're going to make an issue of 'a year' after ignoring the aged seniority of Roger who's considerably older during the Fedal rivalry run!

    ***The split btw surfaces' even more striking if you draw a comparison: (* = HC, ^ = clay, ^^= grass)

    AO: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 1)*
    IW: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 3)*
    Miami: Djoko > Nadal (5 > 0)*
    M-C: Nadal > Djoko (8 > 2)^
    Rome: Nadal > Djoko (7 > 4)^
    3rd clay: Nadal > Djoko (4 > 1)^
    RG: Nadal > Djoko (9 > 0)^
    W: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 2)^^
    Canada: Djoko > Nadal (3 + 1F > 3)*
    Cincy: Nadal > Djoko (1 > 0)*
    USO: Djoko > Nadal (2 + 4F > 2 + 1F)*
    1st fall: Djoko > Nadal (3 > 1)*
    Paris: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)*
    WTF: Djoko > Nadal (4 > 0)*

    Nadal dominates the 4 clay events. Djoko dominates the rest (w/ the exception of Cincy. Djoko actually has 5 finals in Cincy. Talk about a curse...)***

    ReplyDelete
  30. ***Most GS Titles:
    1. Roger Federer 17 (career slam)
    2. Pete Sampras 14
    = Rafael Nadal 14 (career slam)
    4. Björn Borg 11
    5. Novak Djokovic 10
    6. Andre Agassi 8 (career slam)
    = Ivan Lendl 8
    = Jimmy Connors 8
    9. John McEnroe 7
    = Mats Wilander 7

    GS Finals:
    1. Roger Federer 27
    2. Rafael Nadal 20
    3. Ivan Lendl 19
    4. Pete Sampras 18
    = Novak Djokovic 18
    6. Björn Borg 16
    7. Jimmy Connors 15
    = Andre Agassi 15

    Cons. GS Finals:
    1. Roger Federer 10
    2. Roger Federer 8
    3. Rafael Nadal 5
    4. Andre Agassi 4
    = Rod Laver 4
    = Novak Djokovic 4*
    = Novak Djokovic 4
    8. Jimmy Connors 3
    = Andy Murray 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Björn Borg 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = John McEnroe 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = Ivan Lendl 3
    = Mats Wilander 3
    = Jim Courier 3
    = Jim Courier 3
    = Pete Sampras 3
    = Rafael Nadal 3

    GS SF's:
    1. Roger Federer 38
    2. Jimmy Connors 31
    3. Novak Djokovic 28
    = Ivan Lendl 28
    5. Andre Agassi 26
    6. Pete Sampras 23
    = Rafael Nadal 23
    8. John McEnroe 19
    = Stefan Edberg 19
    9. Boris Becker 18
    10. Björn Borg 17

    Cons. GS SF's:
    1. Roger Federer 23
    2. Novak Djokovic 14
    3. Ivan Lendl 10
    4. Novak Djokovic 7*
    5. Ivan Lendl 6
    = Nadal 6
    7. = Andy Murray 5
    = Boris Becker 5
    9. Roger Federer 4
    = Rod Laver 4
    = Tony Roche 4
    = John McEnroe 4
    = Andre Agassi 4
    = Jim Courier 4
    = Nadal 4

    GS QF's:
    1. Roger Federer 46
    2. Jimmy Connors 41
    3. Agassi 36
    4. Novak Djokovic 34
    = Ivan Lendl 34
    6. Pete Sampras 29
    = Rafael Nadal 29
    8. John McEnroe 26
    = Stefan Edberg 26
    10. Boris Becker 23
    11. Björn Borg 21

    Cons. GS QF's:
    1. Roger Federer 36
    2. Novak Djokovic 26*
    3. Ivan Lendl 14
    = Andy Murray 14
    5. Rafael Nadal 11
    6. Pete Sampras 10

    All 4 Slams in a Year:
    Rod Laver '69

    3 Slams in a Year:
    Jimmy Connors '74
    Mats Wilander '88
    Roger Federer '04
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Rafael Nadal '10
    Novak Djokovic '11
    Novak Djokovic '15

    All 4 Finals in a Year:
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Roger Federer '09
    Novak Djokovic '15
    Rod Laver '69

    All 4 SF's in a Year:
    Rod Laver '69
    Ivan Lendl '87
    Roger Federer '05
    Roger Federer '06
    Roger Federer '07
    Roger Federer '08
    Roger Federer '09
    Rafael Nadal '08
    Novak Djokovic '11
    Novak Djokovic '12
    Novak Djokovic '13
    Novak Djokovic '15
    Andy Murray '11

    Most cons. matches won at 1 GS event:
    1. Björn Borg (Wimbledon), 41
    2. Roger Federer (Wimbledon), 40 (not 41 b/c walkover of '07)
    = Roger Federer (USO), 40 (not 41 b/c of walkover)
    4. Rafael Nadal (FO), 35
    5. Pete Sampras (Wimbledon), 31

    Most GS match wins:
    1. Roger Federer 297
    2. Jimmy Connors 233
    3. Andre Agassi 224
    4. Ivan Lendl 222
    5. Pete Sampras 204

    YEC's:
    1. Roger Federer 6
    2. Ivan Lendl 5
    = Pete Sampras 5
    4. Novak Djokovic 4
    5. Ilie Nastase 3
    = John McEnroe 3
    = Boris Becker 3

    Most YEC Finals:
    1. Federer 9
    = Ivan Lendl 9
    2. Boris Becker 8
    3. Pete Sampras 6
    4. Ilie Năstase 5
    5. Bjorn Borg 4
    = John McEnroe 4
    = Andre Agassi 4
    = Novak Djokovic 4
    9. Lleyton Hewitt 3

    Most Wks at #1:
    1. Roger Federer 302
    2. Pete Sampras 286
    3. Ivan Lendl 270
    4. Jimmy Connors 268
    5. Novak Djokovic 171*
    6. John McEnroe 170
    7. Rafael Nadal 141
    8. Björn Borg 109

    Cons. Wks at #1:
    1. Roger Federer (1) 237
    2. Jimmy Connors (1) 160
    3. Ivan Lendl (1) 157
    4. Pete Sampras (1) 102
    5. Jimmy Connors (2) 84
    6. Pete Sampras (2) 82
    7. Ivan Lendl (2) 80
    8. Lleyton Hewitt (1) 75
    9. Novak Djokovic (1) 66*
    10. John McEnroe (1) 58

    Year End #1:
    1. Sampras 6
    2. Federer 5
    = Connors 5
    4. McEnroe 4
    = Lendl 4
    6. Nadal 3
    = Djokovic 4

    Most ATP Titles:
    1. Jimmy Connors 109
    2. Ivan Lendl 94
    3. Roger Federer 88
    4. John McEnroe 77
    5. Rafael Nadal 66
    6. Björn Borg 64
    = Pete Sampras 64
    8. Guillermo Vilas 62
    9. Andre Agassi 60
    10. Djokovic 55
    11. Boris Becker 49

    Most Master Series or equivalent win:
    1. Rafael Nadal 27
    2. Novak Djokovic 26
    3 Roger Federer 24
    4. Ivan Lendl 22
    5. John McEnroe 19
    6. Andre Agassi 17
    = Jimmny Connors 17
    8. Bjorn Borg 15
    9. Boris Becker 13
    10. Pete Sampras 11
    = Andy Murray 11***

    * - concurrently active

    ReplyDelete
  31. ***...that's why guys like Connors, Borg, & the like won across all surfaces--the Swede won a # of carpet events, as well as Jimbo, although McEnroe did more than anybody else (it was perfectly suited for his game).
    ---

    Poor Borg couldn't even do it when it was clay.***

    It was unfortunate for Borg, but every great champion has a title which has eluded him or her; more so w/ the men! Back in my day, there was a docu-program on Laver, "One More For The Rocket" I think it was called! It had to do w/ 1 of the most successful players in the history of the game being disappointed b/c he hadn't won a WCT Chp Final! At the X it was = to today's Masters: qualifying events w/ points given and the top 8 going for the title; single elim.! OTTH, he lost his 1st 2 chances to Rosewall in the finals of '71 & '72, then to Stan Smith early! The last X I can remember, he lost a 5 setter to Borg in the semi's of '75! He never qualified again IIRC!

    Borg's still great even w/o a USO title! Connors has the most titles (109) w/o a FO! Sampras considered the Grass King with 7 Wimbledon titles, but no FO final as well! The legend of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic will be talked about for years to come, all having a deficiency of some kind!

    ***Best player not to win each Slam (so far!) - Here are my choices.

    AO: Andy Murray
    -The only player in the Open era to be in 4 AO finals and not win it. The past 6 yrs, he's lost to either Federer, possibly the GOAT, or Djokovic, who's the greatest AO player of the Open era and looks like becoming the all-X greatest AO player. Murray has played some amazing tennis at the AO, including wins over both Rafa and Roger (still his only win over Federer at a slam and one of only 2 wins over Rafa at slams). His losses: '10 - Fed, '11- Novak, '12- Novak, '13 - Novak, '14 - Fed, '15 - Novak.

    FO - Novak Djokovic
    -By far the 2nd best clay court player of the last 5 yrs, he's lost to the greatest clay court player ever, Nadal, in '12, '13, & '14; twice in the final and once in a SF. In '15, he finally beats Nadal and reaches the final yet again only to lose to an inspired Wawrinka.

    WD - Andy Roddick
    -Lost to Federer, the greatest grass courter ever in 3 finals and a SF, in '03, '04, '05 & '09. That '09 final, Roddick was a set up, and had a bunch of set points in the 2nd set TB to go up 2 sets to love, missed one volley put-away, and Federer came roaring back and won it in 5.

    USO - Bjorn Borg
    -Borg made 4 USO finals in '76, '78, '80 & '81. He also lost in the SF to Connors in '75. He lost to all-X greats and home faves in all 4 finals, to Connors in the 1st 2 finals and McEnroe in the 1nd 2, including a classic 5 set final against McEnroe in '80 which Borg lost 4-6 in the 5th.
    ---

    Tim Henman also springs to mind. 6 slam SFs, losing 5 of them to the eventual champ. At WD esp., 4 SFs, losing each X to the eventual champion. Twice to all-X great Sampras, then to Ivanisevic - who wouldn't even have been in the draw were it not for the WD committee giving him a WC. Henman was in control of the match until it started raining and the match went on for about 5 years w/ them coming on and off the court and eventually Henman lost in 5 after being so close to winning in the 4th set TB. Then the next year Henman's serve-volley style plays into the hands of Lleyton Hewitt on the newly slowed-down grass courts.
    ---

    Another WD 'near misser' - Rafter. Those 2 fantastic SFs against Agassi in 2000 & '01, where he played amazingly to win both, followed by those 2 back to back WD finals, where he came very close both times. Won the 1st set and was closing in on the 2nd against an injury plagued Sampras, and then, by his own admission, choked in the 2nd set TB and ended up losing in 4. The following year, losing that absolute epic to Ivanisevic 7-9 in the 5th.***

    ReplyDelete
  32. ***...Yet there are plenty of people who've argued that Rafa's the GOAT and not Roger. Seems to me that you should have to be a little more consistent at all the Slams and not just 1. I get that the total # of GS"s goes a long way w/ some people, but Nadal's absence in so many of these categories is glaring.***

    IMO Nadal's been the weakest "GOAT" of all X! How many X's do I have to remind people of his HUGE deficiencies? He's the clay KING; done, but what about the other majors? He's never defended a title off his beloved surface as well! He has as complete a career as any 1, but when you look closely, you have to wonder and ??? the record! Roger and Nole have owned the #1 ranking btw them w/ minor periods held by Raga! It doesn't look like he has any chance of catching up unless lightning strikes; so I can't see his #'s improving! He's just 1 Masters 1000 ahead of Nole and their H2H will change hands soon as well if Rafa can make it to Qtr's, semi's, and finals to meet him!

    ***Murray is the 2nd best baseliner in the world now, but the gap btw Djokovic and the rest of the field only seems to be getting wider. In the opening set in Bercy, Djokovic completely controlled the back of the court, winning 69% (27/39) of baseline pts. Overall, the Serb won 67% (47/70) of baseline pts for the match, which is a massive advantage that allows the rest of his game to flow freely.

    ...Beating an in-form Djokovic is a complex jigsaw puzzle of playing more to his FH and getting to the net more than feels comfortable. Simply hitting more winners clearly doesn’t work, as Murray hit 20 winners to the Serb’s 10 for the match, while Murray committed 34 UFE's to Djokovic’s 12. Djokovic makes everyone on the planet bend to his rules of engagement, and unless you have got several plans of attack mixed at exactly the right X, the Serb’s reign as the world’s best player is only getting stronger.
    ---

    2015 YEC:

    Group Stan Smith has 27 GS, 51 Masters, 10 WTF's, 0 OG, 38 500's, 42 250's
    -Tier 1 Titles: 88

    Highest Ranking per player
    -Djokovic: 1st (current 1st)
    -Federer: 1st (current 3rd)
    -Berdych: 5th (current 6th)
    -Nishikori: 4th (current 8th)

    Group Ilie Nastase has 18 GS, 40 Masters, 0 WTF's, 2 OG, 33 500's, 46 250's
    -Tier 1 Titles: 60

    Highest Ranking per player
    -Murray: 2nd (current 2nd)
    -Wawrinka: 3rd (current 4th)
    -Nadal: 1st (current 5th)
    -Ferrer: 3rd (current 7th)

    Both the groups are quite decorated, but Smith group gets the cake.***
    ===

    That's been a bit of a joke going way back with Caroline Woz being #1! She set a trend while the Wms' were busy doing other things; the WTA being all at sea when Henin retired as well! You had a succession of players becoming #1 & #2 in the world barely getting to a major final; just consistency the term best identifying this hilarious period in women's tennis! Woz held the #1 ranking for well over a year w/ additions of Safina, Jankovic, and Azarenka all holding the top spot for a min. w/ no major at the X IIRC!

    ReplyDelete
  33. ***All X Tourney Recs - Djokovic:

    Tourney - Since - Rec. Accomp. - - Players Tied

    ATP Rankings '73 16,785 pts total at the top ('15) - SA
    ATP World Tour '70 14 str. finals reached in a sn ('15) - SA
    ATP World Tour M-1000 '70 6 titles won in a sn ('15) - SA
    '70 - 8 finals reached in a sn ('15) - SA
    '70 19 HC titles - - - - - - - SA
    '70 12 finals won in a row - - SA
    '70 2 years winning 5+ titles - SA
    '70 3 years reaching 6+ finals - SA
    '70 Holding 6 dif. tourneys titles - SA
    Paris Masters '68 4 men's singles titles - SA
    Shanghai '09 3 men's singles titles - SA
    China '93 6 men's singles titles - SA
    GS 1899 7 cons. HC finals - SA
    ---

    Aussie Open
    French Open - '15 All 4 Major finals in a sn Laver/Federer
    Wimbledon
    US Open

    AO / USO 2010–'13 7 cons. HC finals - Stands alone
    FO - AO '07–'08 Y'gest player to make SF's of all 4 Majors (20 yrs, 250 days)-SA
    FO - AO 2007–'08 Y'gest player to reach all 4 Majors SF's cons. - SA
    AO / Wimbledon 2008–'15 3+ titles @ AO & Wimbledon - Federer
    US Open / FO 2007–2015 3+ runner-up finishes at 2 Majors - Federer
    AO '12 Longest GS final (by duration) vs. Nadal
    AO / USO 2005–'15 87.70% (107–15) HC match winning % - SA
    ---

    AO 2008–'15 5 titles overall - SA
    AO 2011–'13 3 cons. titles - SA
    AO 2008–'15 5 finals overall - Edberg/Federer
    AO 2011–'13 3 cons. finals - Wilander/Lendl
    FO 2011–'15 5 cons. SF's Federer/Nadal
    USO '12 Longest final (by duration) vs Murray
    ---

    YEC rec:

    2011 Qualified the earliest – 18 wks, 6 days - SA
    2012–'14 3 cons. titles - - - - - - - Năstase/Lendl
    2012–'14 14 cons. match wins - - - - - Lendl/Federer


    ATP Masters 1000 rec:

    2007–'13 8 dif. titles - SA
    2007–'12 9/9 dif. finals - Federer/Nadal
    2007–'15 19 HC titles - - SA
    2015 6/6 HC finals in a sn - SA
    2015 6 titles in a single sn - SA
    2015 8/9 finals reached in a single sn - SA
    2011, '14–'15 Streak of 5 titles - SA
    2014–'15 Streak of 9 finals - SA
    2011, '12, '15 3 yrs reaching 6+ finals - SA
    2011, 212 2 cons. years reaching 6+ finals - SA
    2012–'15 12 finals victories in a row - SA
    2011 31 cons. match wins - - SA
    2015 39 match wins in a single sn - SA
    2013–'15 4 cons. tourneys titles - Nadal
    2015 5 cons. tourneys finals - Nadal
    2011, '15 2 yrs winning 5+ titles - SA
    2011, '14–'15 2 streaks of 5 titles - SA
    2011, '14–'15 3 yrs winning 4+ titles - SA
    2011–'13 Winning all 3 clay tourneys (MC, Madrid & Rome) - Nadal
    2015 Winning the opening 3 events of season (IW, Miami, & MC - SA
    2011, '14-'15 Winning IW – Miami title double 3 X]s - SA
    2008–'15 4 IW Masters titles overall - Federer
    2009–'15 4 Paris Masters titles overall - SA
    2013–'15 3 cons. Paris Masters titles - SA
    2012–'15 3 Shanghai Masters titles overall - SA
    2012–'13 2 cons. Shanghai Masters titles - Murray
    2013, '14 2 yrs winning Paris Masters & YEC - SA
    ---

    2015 Highest # of pts accrued in ATP rankings (16,785) - SA
    2015 14 str. finals in a sn - SA
    2006–'15 20+ wins over each member of the Big 4 (Fed, Nadal & Murray) - SA
    2015 27 match wins vs. top 10 opponents in a single sn - SA
    2012, '13, '15 3 yrs winning 24+ matches vs. top 10 ops - SA
    2011–'13, '15 4 yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops - SA
    2011–'13 3 cons. yrs winning 20+ matches vs. top 10 ops - SA
    2011 5 cons. match wins against world #1 player in finals (Nadal)- SA
    '07 Youngest player to defeat top 3 players in suc. (Roddick, Nadal & Fed) - SA
    2015 Most prize money won in a sn - ($16,760,145) - SA
    2009–'15 6 China titles - Stands alone
    2012–'15 4 cons. China Open titles - SA
    2007–'10 4 yrs ended at #3 - Connors
    2007–'10 4 cons. yrs ended at #3 - SA
    2003–'15 83.7% (447–87) HC match winning % - StA
    2003–'15 95.7% (598–27) Match winning % after winning 1st set - SA
    2003–'15 74.6% (144–49) Deciding set winning % - SA***

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ferrer is a punching bag for the rest of the top echelon! He's breaking down as much as Kei so both will probably get "worked" this YEC! Someone invariably winds up being 0-3; happened to Nadal in '09! Nole's got it tough w/ nary a walkover for him even though Tomas is his personal pigeon! It's been a long season and I wouldn't be surprised if Nole starts "feeling it!" Who else has won all their events on a trot after the USO; Beijeng, Shanghai, and Paris? It's not supposed to happen, but he made it look routine w/o dropping more than a set!

    ***...in '11, Ferrer defeated at the WTF both Murray and Djokovic.***

    ...and? What's your point? You lose someX's; esp. after the season Nole had in '11! The YEC has been terribly overrated @ X's IMO since it's the culmination of an entire season! The winner has different expectations; Nole's favored and that makes sense, but I wouldn't be surprised if he "let it go!" I've been watching this event since the 70's w/ isolated "also-rans" taking the title due more to opposition being worn out than their great play; or lack thereof! I keep invoking Nadal's inability to do well here, but he has so much going against him; the court, the X of the year, and of course the top comp. from the start! Nalbandian, Davydenko, Corretja, & Kuerten aren't going into the HOF due to an isolated win @ the YEC! The true champions are the multiple winners like Nastase, Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe, Federer, & now Nole! The rest will have had to do a lot more substantive to achieve that!

    ***The WTF's 1 of my fave events and s/b considered a major title for different reasons. Only the top 8 players can get in. During the last 2 months of the year, we see players who have a shot at qualifying do everything they can to get in. Every match is tough and whoever wins the thing really earns it. It's a testament to physical strength and durability. ...Federer & Djokovic have amazing physical bodies that don't often break down. The fact that they were able to take this tourney so many X's while Nadal was sitting at home is 1 reason I scratch Nadal off my GOAT nominee list w/o a 2nd thought.

    The tourney's often the final stage to determine who's YE #1. There are yrs like '15 where 1 player just blows everybody out of the water, but thb some years when it came down to the last 2 matches. I remember 2000 when Kuerten overtook Safin by winning the WTF and taking the #1 spot. That was exciting. I'd be willing to bet that all the fans of Nadal w/b singing a different tune about the tourney if Nadal had won the thing a couple of X's. - It's very forgiving. You could actually lose 2 matches and still win the tourney.***

    You got it! The women's YEC had 2 of them in the final! That's why it's only impressive to me if you can win w/o the loss of a set or a match, w/ several titles under your name!

    ***It's not a 5th major. It satisfies none of the criteria the other Majors are based on.***

    Exactly! It would have t/b 1 of the bigger Masters like IW or Miami IMO! It has all the top players, some dark horses that can sneak up on you, and everyone has a chance unlike the YEC were only 8 guys are in the running!

    ***All the arguments & discussions haven't changed my mind. It's a 5th major in my book.***

    ReplyDelete
  35. ***YEC Titles - Player - Years Won - Years Runner-up

    6 Swit. - Federer '03, '04, '06, '07, '10, '11 - '05, '12, '14
    5 Czech. - Lendl '81, '82, '85, '86, '87 - '80, '83, '84, '88
    5 US - Sampras '91, '94, '96, '97, '99 - '93
    4 Rom. - Năstase '71, '72, '73, '75 - '74
    4 Serb. - Djokovic '08, '12, '13, '14
    3 Ger. - Becker '88, '92, '95 - '85, '86, '89, '94, '96
    3 US - McEnroe '78, '83, '84 - '82
    2 Swe. - Borg '79, '80 - '75, '77
    2 Aus.- Hewitt '01, '02 - '04

    1 US - Agassi '90 - '99, '00, '03
    1 US - Smith '70 - '71, 72
    1 Rus. - Davydenko '09 - '08
    1 Swe. - Edberg '89 - '90
    1 US - Connors '77
    Spain - Corretja '98
    Braz. - Kuerten '00
    Arg. - Nalbandian '05
    Spain - Orantes '76
    Ger. - Stich '93
    Arg. - Vilas '74

    0 US - Courier '91, '92
    US - Gerulaitis '79, '81
    Spain - Nadal '10, '13
    US - Ashe '78
    US - Blake '06
    US - Chang '95
    Arg. - Del Potro '09
    Spain - Ferrer '07
    Spain - Ferrero '02
    Poland - Fibak '76
    Fr. - Grosjean '01
    Rus. - Kafelnikov '97
    Aus. - Laver '70
    Spain - Moyá '98
    Neth. - Okker '73
    Fr. - Tsonga '11
    Swed. - Wilander '87***

    What's your earliest memory concerning The Masters? Mine's is of Vilas defeating Nastase on grass in Australia in '74! Ilie had t/b favored winning the USO 2 years before and Guillermo being more a clay-courter! All I can remember spec. was that Vilas was hitting the ball so hard directly at Nastase he couldn't put his volleys away and he lost inexplicably in 5 sets! The following year Ilie got revenge in the semi's and came through w/ a lot of controversy beating Borg in the final on an indoor court as fast as a pane of glass fairly handily "in straights!"

    ***I don't have many memories of this thing. For me tennis season used to end after the USO and it was on to college football. Nole's post Open runs the last few years have kept me watching.***

    It was more an event back then; it was new, moved around the world, and was held on different surfaces!

    ***1980! NYC, Borg dismantled the child, Lendl in straights. Ivan was learning fast and a few months later almost exposed Borg on clay. Took a while for the shrieking kid Lendl to mature, but he packed a wallop. Borg, in '80, was as great a player who ever lived.***

    ReplyDelete
  36. ***Unless Fed retires tomorrow, it's fairly certain that he'll become the 1st player in the Open era to score 200 wins against top 10 opponents. His victory against Nishikori was his win #196.***

    Impressive I'm sure, but it enforces what I've been saying for years, that the rest of the tour are gutless wonders! They have all the talent in the world, but it gets them nowhere allowing the big 4 or 5 to play 3 or 4 dozen X's! That shouldn't happen; i.e. Borg/McEnroe only played 14 X's, Connors / Lendl / Wilander / Becker / Edberg / Sampras / Agassi have nowhere near as many match-ups! There were more upsets and the finals w/ the stars were most memorable & meaningful when they occurred! It's "ho-hum; another Federer/Nole final" nowadays! What are they at now; 44 contests? Same w/ Nole/Rafa; just too many finals, now semis, w/ a qf this past summer!

    ***Djokovic has dismantled the best players in the world in what is strongly believed to be 1 of the strongest periods in recent tennis history. He has a 7-3 record vs Federer & Nadal - the 2 players he's about to surpass next year to become the GOAT - and has toyed around w/ Andy Murray.

    His repertoire of shots seems neverending. Serve? Check. ROS? Best ever. FH? All X great shot. BH? Best ever. Net play? Solid. Groundstrokes? Better than even peak Nadal's. Movement? Smooth as silk. This guy just never ceases to amaze. What he has done this year is amazing. I'd go as far as to call it the best year in the history of all sport.
    ---

    Prime Federer was probably better. The fact that this past it version of Fed is beating him and running him & comp. w/ him supports this IMO. Both fortunate enough to be playing in weak era though.
    ---

    ...Winning the 1st set and pushing the 2nd set to 7-5 (choking at the end to hand Djoker the set) is nearly beating him, you can't pick on Nole's form either ...your argument is flawed and you're mad Nadal is going to get hammered by Djoker at the WTF.
    ---

    If Novak wins WTF semis, he will win over $20M in a year from prize money alone ...$16,706,125 his current winnings this year:

    Plus $2,800,000 guaranteed for year end #1

    Plus $155,000 (Participation fee for WTF)

    Plus $310,000 (2 wins in RR at WTF)

    Plus $560,000 (WTF runners up) = $20,531,000
    ---

    Who's better outside their best Slam : Nadal or Novak?

    Nadal 1*AO, 2*W & 2*USO = 5 Slams
    Novak 0*FO, 3*W & 2*USO = 5 Slams

    Nadal won all 3 of the non-FO Slams for a total of 5. Nole won only 2 of the 3 non-AO Slams, but that includes 3 Wimbys, and everyone claims Wimby is the best. So pretty close. Of course, there's a lot more to tennis than Slams. Nole has 4 WTFs and Nadal none. Despite Nadal's greater Slam count, Nole has better record in the rankings (more YE 1's, more weeks at #1). And the difference grows every week. On Masters, they are pretty close, but that may change pretty soon. Nole has the edge.
    ---

    You have to pick Nadal for the sole reason he won all 3 of his non-fave Slams.

    Nadal:
    -AO 45-9 (83.3%) 1 Champion, 2 Finalist, 4 QF's
    -W 40-9 (81.6%) 2 Champion, 3 Finalist
    -US 43-9 (82.7%) 2 Champion, 1 Finalist, 2 SF's, 1 QF

    Djokovic:
    -RG 48-11 (81.4%) 3 Finalist, 4 SF's, 2 QF's
    -W 52-8 (86.7%) 3 Champion, 1 Finalist, 3 SF's, 1 QF
    -US 57-9 (86.3%) 2 Champion, 4 Finalist, 3 SF's***

    ReplyDelete
  37. ***The Olympics is a whole different set up w/ qualifying ...in how each country chooses their representatives. Maybe it w/b a better idea to have the Olympics stand alone w/ no points for the winners. But we might see players skipping out of it more now. And that could lead to the end of tennis in the Olympics.***

    Tennis should never have been included in the Olympics! Millionaires kvetchin' about money, points, & accommodations; been too hard to watch for years! I only saw the final 1 b/c it was on Wimbledon grass in '12! That was the last X I rooted for The GOAT!" This is Nole's X, regardless if you're a fan or not! I'm so over the glorification/deification of Roger and Rafa!

    ***...You do realize that on top of Nadal's wks at world #1, he has been world #2 for a record # of wks? That's yo-yoing? And when Nadal was world #2, he was usually a nemesis for the world #1.***

    Whatever dude! Ignore recent history; the unimaginable losses on clay to F3 and losing his 1st match at a major being up 2 sets to none! You keep up this defense, you might want to seek help! Nole was #3 for a long X; SO? He never dropped below it again! I guess I have to define yo-yoing; it's something that goes up and down! Nadal's been all over the place the last few years! Deal w/ it! ;-)

    ***People forget how Rafa responded after AO '12; very impressive. Full credit for that.***

    I don't understand the Nadal fans; no one's saying he isn't an all X great! He has huge #'s, but we're talking about now; the Nole era! This is 2015, not '13; some need to catch up! Today was a re-affirmation of Nole's dominance; kicking Nadal's arse but good! Nadal had his X; belongs to Nole now!

    ***Djokovic has clear advantage over Nadal when it comes to YEC and WTF and his 2011/2015 are better than any of Nadal's years. OTOH, Nadal is the most dominant player on a single surface; only player in history who won a single Major 9 X's. He's the only player in tennis history to win at least 1 Major for 10 cons. yrs and the only player who has won Majors on 3 different surfaces twice. It's an endless story.***

    Check the record books; same w/ Nole and Roger! After all is said and done, these 3 will own all the records, but they won't ever hold a candle to the mystique, skill, and resilience of past champions like Laver, Sampras, and Borg w/ 4 FO's leading into Wimbledon finals, USO won on 3 different surfaces by Connors, and Pete's 6 str. yrs of being #1! They did it w/ upsets galore around them, inferior equipment, and added stress of not being catered to by all concerned! Masters are easier to win today going best of 3! So much has changed to make it easier on today's players! That's all I'm saying since I've watched the evolution of the Open era almost from the beginning in '73!

    ReplyDelete
  38. ***I woudn't be surprised if Rafa never beat Djokovic again. Terrible matchup.
    ---

    Nope, the terrible matchup is Roger versus Nadal, and the misfortune of playing most of their matches on clay. Roger is clearly the most talented & > player than Nadal, but their H2H is dismal by Fed's perspective. Fed matches up perfectly well against Nole, but has a 6 yr age disadvantage.

    This age factor favored Fed in '06-'08, but ever since Nole has had the distinct advantage. Yet he still lost 3 X's to him this year, so far.
    ---

    Djokovic & Lendl: There seem to be a lot of similarities in their games. Both were rock solid, excellent fh+bh combo, solid serve, solid volleys, tough mentally, mechanical styles. Both had to wait for the other greats to falter to win their chunk of big titles (Borg, Connors, McEnroe for Lendl & Federer, Nadal for Djokovic), both had similar careers - did great in Masters, underachieved in the Slams (Lendl lost 11 Slam finals!); but it seems that Djokovic could easily add a few more.
    ---

    In which categories can Djokovic finish ahead of Nadal?

    1) Already ahead or tied:
    -a. Wks at #1: he's up 143-141
    -b. Yrs at #1: tied at 3-3, ...big lead for #4. YE #1: '15
    -c. WTFs: 5-0

    2) Can catch up:
    -a. Masters Series titles: Nadal leads 27-26, gap in finals now 41-38
    -b. Career H2H: w/ Nadal 23-23, Nole has won 13 of last 20
    -c. Career titles: Nadal leads... At the end of '15, Nole overtook Nastase leads 59-58. If Djokovic wins 6 titles, he will overtake Agassi, Vilas, Borg, & Sampras

    3) Not much chance:
    -a. GS titles: ...if he wins no further titles. 14-10
    -b. Career winning %: Djokovic finishing ahead no longer impossible. 82.74 - 82.45

    Other:
    -a. Wins over top 10 opps: Djokovic 151-133 - Nadal 158-136
    -b. Career match wins: Djokovic 686-767 Nadal
    -c. Slam match wins: Djokovic 207-198 Nadal
    -d. Slam finals: Djokovic 18-20 Nadal
    -e. Slam semi's: Djokovic 28-23 Nadal
    -f. Slam qf's: Djokovic 34-29 Nadal
    ---

    Djokovic Era - Who has he "hurt the most" - Federer, Murray, Nadal?

    Federer:
    -defeated him in 6 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals, 3 GS semi's
    -defeated him in 2 YEC Finals
    -defeated him in 4 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 2 YE #1s
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #2

    Murray:
    -defeated him in 6 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals, 2 GS semi's
    -defeated him in 5 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #1

    Nadal:
    -defeated him in 3 GS matches incl. 3 GS finals
    -defeated him in 1 YEC Finals
    -defeated him in 6 Masters 1000 finals
    -stood in the way of 1 YE #1***

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  39. ***I heard Anacone the other day saying that Djokovic is the best ever or something along these lines.***

    In a lot of respects he is; esp. on serves returns! Nole's dominating the tour like no other; including Federer's '06, who has that little bit of a deficiency by having a losing record against his closest rival! ;-) When do you think we'll see another year like this one; 6 Masters (8 finals), 3 majors (4 finals), Beijing, w/ a great record vs the other top 10's and well over 30 wins in a season?

    ***...but Fed has learned from it, saying as much in 1 of his recent post match interviews (Rafa being 1 of the greatest clay court players ever and that equipment [Fed's larger racquet] wouldn't have changed anything in proceedings as they happened on clay).***

    Call me partisan, but I believe Nadal stole a lot of those matches; esp. a couple FO's IMO! The whole act from Nadal is to play at his tempo, even if a match has to come to screeching halt due to excessive toweling off, challenging of balls a foot out, general stalling, and gamesmanship w/ coaching and strategic injury timeouts! He's pulled it so often on Nole, he adopted the practices; quite evident w/ 5:53 at '12 AO! I say 1/2 Nadal's titles are thefts and I can sight events w/ examples! That's no way for a GOAT to perform!

    ***Did you see Nadal play in late 2009 and early 2010? He couldn't beat a top 8 player. Nadal has peaks and nadirs during seasons. His peak would see him beat anybody in big matches, including Federer and Djokovic in their "eras." Nadal doesn't fit into a X frame era, but his best run of peak form was April-Aug. '08, when he won 53 out of 55 matches which included a 32 match winning streak, a 4-0 record against Federer and a 4-1 record against Djokovic. This period of 4 months saw Nadal win 8 tournaments.***

    That's been my biggest problem giving Nadal credit for being a GOAT or to even have an era; the swings in results were so startling! You had periods where he's unbeatable, then others where he can barely get out of the early rounds! Roger and Nole have had fairly even careers in rankings and results! Compared to them I don't think Nadal s/b in the conversation of GOAT having that kind of rollercoaster career; esp. on my list! To this day Rafa has never defended a title off clay surface; terribly limited it seems to me even w/ all his great #'s!

    ***I think it makes his career all the better personally. Lower lows sure, but amazing highs. When Nadal was in his bursts of form, he delivered more than anyone else in this era. He could beat Federer multiple X's at a X when Federer seemingly had nothing stopping him from being all conquering. He could beat Djokovic on the biggest stages after losing 7 X's in a row.***

    Well that definitely depends on how Rafa's era is defined! Heaven knows he only came close to what Nole's done in '11 and '15; 3 majors, X Masters, and the addition of the YEC where Rafa's traditionally come up short!

    ***Personally I think Djokovic's 7 X's in a row against Nadal showed more of an amazing high than Nadal's highs you're talking about.
    ---

    ...McEnroe, Connors & Lendl played much of their careers w/ an AO that didn't matter that much at the X. Sure the Aussie is a perfectly legit major today, but you have to figure that fact in to past greats lower Slam tallies.***

    Even though we've tried to give parity to all the MAJORS, esp. people from my generation will always put Wimbledon and The USO above The FO and AO! I agree we have the exact same fields, but I grew up when most didn't go "down under" for obvious reasons! I think like a lot of history, only X will cure that feeling, but it's helped that the #1 player not only attends every year, he wins; so that'll help in changing minds!

    ReplyDelete
  40. ***General Ruminations --- 2016 ATP Season. - As for predictions, here are some:

    *Novak wins 2 Slams. He has his overall 3rd best year, but drops noticeably from '15. 3-4 Masters, probably WTF & keeps the #1 ranking.

    *One of Rafa or Roger wins a Slam. Not Andy.
    *A new Slam champ! Hmm...maybe not.
    *A new Masters champ! That sounds better.
    *...Tomic, Sock and Goffin stabilize as fixtures in the 10-20 range, joined by Vesely. These guys start taking their share of 250s and 500s.

    *Grigor's back! Really. Hmm. Maybe. I think he is his typical self for much of the year then later, maybe by mid-year, something clicks and he surges up the rankings and finishes back near the top 10, preparing for a strong '17.

    *Overall we see the beginnings of a noticeable "tidal shift" towards younger players.
    ---

    Nadal might not have dominated entire years like Federer & Djokovic, but come the biggest matches, he delivered more often than any of his rivals by some distance. And talk about his record against the field is a laugh too, b/c there are very few people w/ winning H2H's against Nadal.***

    Tennis is all about confidence! The TOP 1000 players in the world are all good and can hold their own! The difference in #1000 to #1 is huge b/c a lot of it has to do w/ confidence in being able to perform at anyX! A lower ranked player needs advantages like surface, the country playing the match, or even the stimuli of the fans being on their side! Nole's had to deal w/ more than most champions waiting his turn to take over the sport completely! He still has to endure the deification of Rafa and Roger, had equally talented players like Murray, Wawrinka, and 'new bloods' nipping at his heels, then to sustain it over a season has t/b all about his confidence! No one's done it better since Federer a decade ago! He's taking care of any doubts by handling his business; esp. against his closest rivals! There won't be any of that disparity as w/ Rafa & Roger; terribly embarrassing for the GOAT!

    ***I don't think it even matters if Nadal skipped a major or was injured. His body is his responsibility. I was scared that Novak will miss FO '14 after MC. He took care of his hand and played final. He was having problems for long X. Novak now has 46 str. Slam appearances. He takes care of his body by someX's withdrawing Madrid, or some tournament here and there, while Nadal plays 6/7 clay events in a span of 2 months.***

    This is why I have had no sympathy for Nadal's plight when it comes to his health! He's been torturing his body and mind since a teenager! Don't forget he's a natural right-hander, but to get that little bit of an advantage, his Svengali, Uncle Tony talked him into playing left-handed! All that has to weight on a person and I didn't expect Rafa to last as long as he has so far! I figured this past season w/ unfathomable losses to obscure players would occur sooner and a lot more frequently! It's just not smart to get into 3 set battles w/ players no one knows when it c/b avoided through playing smarter and more effectively! It never made sense to dodge lines-men and ball kids b/c he's playing so far behind the baseline! What does he get out of that; same w/ Murray?

    ReplyDelete
  41. ***Even IF Nole can break Fed records in Slams and #1 weeks, his 1st 10 didn't have convincing dominance through the whole tournament; so different from Fedal.***

    I'm pretty sure Nole can catch up to Roger's tenure at #1, but I'm going to be a little withholding and just hope he can gain enough in the next few years of GS titles to at least surpass Nadal!

    ***Who do you think w/b the next new GS winner? - Fognini-reached the next level w/ that USO win over Nadal. Sock took a set from Nadal on clay and looks like his singles game is getting right.***

    It's fine to pick a player to be the next "1st X GS" winner, but the ?? should really be "when?!" What year down the line will we have anyone outside of this top 5 even get a sniff of a Major? It's been such an exclusive club for years, that it's been easier to identify a player to win 1 outside of Nole, Roger, Rafa, & Andy in the last 10 years! Same for the Masters w/ each owning the series in their era; esp. Nole setting a record winning 6 and appearing in 8 finals this season! Taking the YEC only capped it off in such a way, it'll be hard for anyone to tie or break short of a CYGS!

    ***Federer racked up 12 of those 17 GS's btw '03 & '07, when his chief competition was unusually raggedy. His generation's top stars, after Federer himself, were the middling champions Hewitt, Safin, Ferrero, Nalbandian, Haas, Davydenko,Roddick & Gonzales.

    Nadal, more than 4 years younger than Federer, kept the Swiss from winning everything in sight during those years by reaching a high level of play early in his career, scoring his 1st FO in '05 at 19. By '08, Nadal had reached his prime and taken Federer's Wimbledon title and his #1 ranking. Soon, Djokovic, nearly 6 years younger than Fed had also surpassed the Swiss, proving once again that HE wasn't all that the late David Foster Wallace had made him out t/b.

    ...Djokovic has won 8 of his 9 majors in the past 5 years -- which, quality-wise, has clearly been a fallow period on the tour, right? The Serb has faced Federer, a guy well past his 30th BD in the last 2 Wimbledon finals. His natural rival, Nadal, has struggled w/ chronic injury problems for years and has now fallen to 10th in the world rankings. His other natural rival, Murray, beat Nole in 2 major finals in '12-'13. The Scotsman then had his own injury issues that took him a year to shake off. In the past year-and-a-1/2, Djokovic has lost twice at majors to 30-year-old Stan Wawrinka, whose overall career highlights still fall comfortably short of Hewitt's. And finally, unlike Federer, Nole has had nothing to fear from the next gen., which so far has failed to deliver a breakthrough star.

    ...The fact is, in the early 2000s Hewitt was the most fearsome competitor since the young Connors, and Marat Safin was the most powerful groundstroker the sport had ever seen. These days, it's strange to see Wawrinka winning majors, but not b/c he isn't a great player. It's b/c for a long X Federer, Nadal and Djokovic -- as well as guys like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Almagro, who've both beaten him at majors -- managed to keep him down. And the next gen. -- from Grigor Dimitrov to Nick Kyrgios -- hasn't risen up yet; not b/c they lack the talent and ambition of the current kings. It's simply that it's very difficult to break through against determined elders, as Djokovic found out in '07-'10 -- and as Agassi, to name just 1 earlier champion, found out in '88-'91. ...Federer, Nadal & Djokovic have all earned GOAT status, joining Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg & McEnroe, among others who were declared the GOAT before them.***

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  42. ***In the Open era, there are 5 recs higher than Nole's: Connors in '74, 95.96 %, w/ a record of 95-4; Borg in '79, 84-6 = to 93.33 %; the great famous sn. of McEnroe in '84, balance of 82-3 for a % of 96.47 % & finally the imperial Federer sns in '05 & '06 w/ recs of 81-4 (95.29 %) & 92- 5 (94.85 %) resp.

    Other glorious sns were, Budge in '38, when he managed to complete the GS, Laver in '62 & '69, also achieving the GS in both; Gonzales & Rosewall wiped out on the pro circuit in '56 & '63 respectively and Djokovic in '11 made another year for framing.

    ATP ranking tells us that the sn. of Djok has beaten the rec. of pts & even that w/b above the marks of Federer in '05 & '06, but can't make comparisons w/ McEnroe, Connors, Borg & Lendl as systems score were very different.

    ...Federer in '06 w/ 18668 & Laver in '69 w/ 18603 points. Gonzales, in '56, won 11 tourneys in pro circuit, include. the World Pro Series, sweeping w/ a score of 74 victories to 27 to a Trabert who had won the previous year, RG, Wimbledon & the USO. Federer, in his great '06, won 12 tourneys, among them AO, Wimbledon & the USO, 4 Masters 1000 & the Masters Cup. He was only stopped by Nadal on clay, whom he lost in the finals in MC, Rome & Paris. As Laver, in '69 he achieved the GS and won other 14 titles btw ATP events and tournaments of the pro circuit that still survived.

    3 Slams, 6 Masters 1000, the ATP Finals and 31 victories against ATP TOP-10 represent an un= record to date and we will see if unique. ... Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Novak Djokovic, best season in the history of tennis. Congratulations, great champion.
    ---

    1st to win 5 AO titles
    3rd alongside Laver & Federer to reach all 4 Slam finals in 1 yr
    2nd alongside Federer to have X 3 Slam sns
    1st since Federer in '07 to defend the Wimbledon title
    1st to defeat Federer twice at Wimbledon
    1st to defeat Federer 3 X's at the USO
    2nd alongside Soderling to defeat Nadal at the FO
    1st to defeat Nadal in straight sets in best-of-5 match on clay
    1st to defeat both Federer and Nadal at all 4 GS
    1st to hold a neutral/positive H2H vs Federer at all 4 GS
    1st to KO all other defending Slam champions in a CY
    6th man w/ double digit GS titles
    1st to win 6 Masters in 1 yr
    1st to win 6 Masters at least 3 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Montreal, Shanghai, Bercy)
    1st to win 4 Masters at least 4 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Bercy)
    1st to win an IW-Miami double 3 X's
    1st to win an AO-IW-Miami triple 2 X's
    1st to win 1st 3 Masters of the year (IW-Miami-MC)
    Joint-most decorated player at IW, w/ 4 titles
    Most decorated player at Shanghai Masters, w/ 3 titles
    Most decorated player at Bercy, w/ 4 titles
    1st to win 3 Bercy titles in a row
    1st to participate in 8 Masters finals in a yr
    1st to win 5 Masters in 1 yr on 2 occasions
    1st to win 5 con. Masters in which he participated (done twice)
    Biggest # of Masters wins in a sn – 39
    Biggest # of HC Masters titles – 19
    2nd longest Masters winning streak (30, only bettered by his other streak – 31 )
    Biggest amount of points (16,785)
    Biggest lead over #2 (8,535)
    1st #1 not to drop ATP pts for entire 12 mos, from Shanghai '14 semi's - '15 WTF RR
    1st to beat Nadal at every big clay tournament
    1st to beat Federer 5 X's in one sn
    1st to beat Nadal, Federer & Murray at least 20 X's each
    1st since Federer in '07 to hold #1 ranking for an entire CY
    Longest run of final tourn. appearances in 1 sn – 15 finals in a row
    Joint 4th w/ Lendl & McEnroe w/ 4 YE #1 rankings
    5th all-X player on the list of # of wks spent at #1, about to enter a 174th wk
    Record # of top 10 wins in a sn - 31
    1st to have at least 20 wins over top 10 players in 4 sns
    1st to beat all top 10 players in a CY
    Longest winning run at WTF's – 15 wins in a row
    1st to win 4 WTF titles in a row
    Highest amount of prize $$ in 1 sn...$22 M***

    ReplyDelete
  43. ***...Rafa was also younger, fuzzier and more daring.***

    "That was then, this is now" as they say! Funny coming out of me since I hark back 40+ years all the X, but I feel like we're seeing something special; on par w/ Fed's dominance 10 yrs ago! Nole is a fine-tuned machine and won't ever get "the love" as Roger and Rafa get on a routine basis! I normally can do w/o human-backboards, but The Djoker is quite entertaining; right up there w/ Borg! Only X will tell if he can complete the deal and finish w/ most if not all the records!

    ***Whats so impressive about Novaks '11 is, not that he won 3 Slams + 5 Masters, but the fact he beat Nadal so many X's. And this was prime kick ass world #1 Nadal. Here's how great Novak was:

    AO def. Fed in SF & Murray in F
    IW def. Fed in SF & Nadal in F
    Miami def. Nadal in F
    Madrid def. Nadal in F
    Rome def. Murray in SF, Nadal in F
    Winbledon def. Nadal in F
    USO def. Federer in SF, Nadal in F

    Can anyone show me another player that had more dominating year, w/ such ridiculosly hard opponents.***

    True that Roger can only play who's in front of him at the X, but a # of these players will wind up "footnotes" rather than substantive challengers! I see it both ways & agree Nole's had to endure more w/ Fed & Nadal, but rationale will go in the direction of who's making the argument unfortunately! ;-)

    ***...Hewitt, Safin, Agassi, Ferrero, Roddick are all Slam champions. Nalbandian has a Masters Cup and a Slam final; known how high his top level is. Beating 34 yo Fed is not beating an ATG anymore than beating a '04 Roddick at Wimby is. ATG rarely clash in their primes anyways the last decade+. That's what made the 80's and early 90's the best era ever
    ---

    According to The Tennis Base; Top 10 Sns of all-X:

    1. Djokovic '15
    2. Gonzales '56
    3. Federer '06
    4. Laver '69
    5. Rosewall '63
    6. Laver '62
    7. Laver '67
    8. Djokovic '11
    9. McEnroe '84
    10. Federer '07
    ---

    Prize $$$ Leaders - Career Earning as of Nov. '15

    1. Swit. R. Federer $97,303,556 '15
    2. Serb. N. Djokovic $94,050,053 '15
    3. Spain R. Nadal $75,888,125 '15
    4. US P. Sampras $43,280,489 '03
    5. UK A. Murray $42,435,316 '15
    6. US A. Agassi $31,152,975 '06

    Per Single Sn.:

    1. Serb. Novak Djokovic $21,646,145 '15
    2. Spain R. Nadal $14,570,935 '13
    3. Serb. N. Djokovic $14,250,527 '14
    4. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,803,737 '12
    5. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,619,803 '11
    6. Serb. N. Djokovic $12,447,947 '13
    7. Spain R. Nadal $10,171,998 '10
    8. Swit. R. Federer $10,130,620 '07
    9. Swit. R. Federer $9,343,988 '14
    10. Swit. R. Federer $8,768,110 '09

    Today's $10 isn't the same as 1980's $10. ... Also, prize $$$ keeps on increasing and so newer stars will tend t/b at the top of these lists. That doesn't mean they're better players or had a better year than some of the older players. - The way prize $$$ has increased over the years, it's hard to get a good grasp of it all. Still, Nole's $21 M is so far out in front, it's nuts. Just more proof of his '15 sn. being maybe the best ever.***

    Just a few short yrs ago, Roger was heading all these lists! Now he's being pushed down; sorta like Martina N. by Graf!

    ReplyDelete
  44. ***How long have GS records hold in the Open era?

    Only 5 players have held this record:
    -Laver held the record for 9 yrs (from AO '69 - WB '78),
    -Borg for 22 yrs (WB '78 - WB '99),
    -Sampras for 10 yrs (WB '99 - WB '09), &
    -Fed has held the record for 6 yrs & counting (WB '09 -)

    Record, set by, set tour, life
    -1. Rosewall, FO '68, <1 yr
    -2. Laver, AO '69, <1 yr
    -3. Laver, FO '69, <1 yr
    -4. Laver, WB '69 <1 yr
    -5. Laver, USO '69 (w/ Newcombe @ AO '75), 9 yr
    -6. Borg, WB '78, <1 yr
    -7. Borg, FO '79, <1 yr
    -8. Borg, WB '79, <1 yr
    -9. Borg, FO '80, <1 yr
    10. Borg, WB '80, <1 yr
    11. Borg, FO '81, 18 yrs
    12. Sampras, WB '99, 1 yr
    13. Sampras, WB 2000, 2 yrs
    14. Sampras, USO '02, 7 yrs
    15. Federer, WB '09, <1 yr
    16. Federer, AO '10, 2 yrs
    17. Federer, WB '12, 3+ yrs
    18. ?
    ---

    Djokovic's 2011 was great, but he didn't make the final of all 4 Slams and made no final appearance in the fall season. He didn't even make it out of RR at the WTFs. I think those reasons remove '11 as a candidate for greatest-season-of-all-X.***

    What sets Nole's '11 apart from what's perceived as huge in '15 is the fact Nole beat a primed Nadal in 6 str. finals! The 'new bloods' can't stay on court more than 2 or 3 wks, the old guard while good are his personal pigeons, and Federer is well past it in '15! Even in Sampras' best years, he never owned the tour this extensively! He was upset and worn down by the fall, often unable to get out of the early Rds of Paris! That doesn't happen too often these days, allowing the 'Big 4' to own the Majors as well as Master's events!

    It's getting to be embarrassing for the rest of the tour to allow Nole to dominate like this from the baseline! It's 1 thing to have an easier X of it like McEnroe in the day, but Djokovic is grinding it out from the backcourt, and no one seems up to the challenge! I keep hearing about an incline on Rafa over the past season, but I don't see it! He was handled by Nole, w/o the loss of a set; even in Nadal's beloved 2nd home of RG! It's not like I'm a fan of his, but Djokovic's doing something I didn't think possible; even w/ some would call the weak era of Roger's 10 yrs ago! In comparison to Roger and Nole, Rafa's been all over the place in the rankings and seasonal success! He might have reigned for several years if not for Nole in '11, but that did happen and his tenure at the top was short-lived; by a lot!

    ***Dubai and Cincy are the only real fast HC's left. USO, Shanghai, Montreal, Beijing are closer to medium. Everything else is slow (Wimby is medium-fast now I'd say, was faster in 2012-'13). Court 1 is pretty fast, but Center Court has returned more to 2008-'11 levels. Pre '11 Masters Cup was medium-fast, but now it is more medium-slow. At Dubai, Cincy, and 2012-'13 Wimby grass, Murray is 5-0 vs Djoker w/o the loss of a set. That's what led me to believe that he chb a consistent threat to Djoker in the 2nd part of the year splitting titles at the very least...oh well. Fed in those same places is 7-1 against Djoker***

    At the X, after winning Madrid and was in the final of another plus AO final, I thought Murray was the legitimate #2; esp. w/ Roger languishing around #6, but going out so meekly in the Wimbledon semi to the old guy, I reserved judgment! Lucky I did since Roger finished strong w/ a USO final, his own Masters 1000 win in Cincy, and a nice run at YEC! Murray takes over as #2 in the world though, but just barely!

    ***It's not really about the ranking, but the aggressive game Andy brought against the top guys from 2012-'13 is not there. Not even against Djoker, against whom he has a mental block now, but against Fed too.***

    ReplyDelete
  45. ***For ease I have reduced the weighting pts down by a factor of 1000: eg; Slams are worth 2 instead of their ATP 2000.

    Scale is: (SV x 2) + (SEFNL x 1.5) + (SEFOL x 1.3) + (SEFRUNL x 1) + (SRU x 1.2) + (TOP 9 x 1) + (TOP 9RU x 0.60) + (SEFRUOL x 0.80) + (OSG x 0.75) + (SSF x 0.72) + (SEFSFNL x 0.60) + (500's x 0.50)

    •Slam Vict. (SV) 2000 ATP pts
    •Slam R-ups (SRU) 1200 ATP pts
    •Slam Semi's (SSF) 720 ATP pts
    •Season end final vict. w/ no loss b4 final (WTF, WCT F * & GS Cup*) (SEFNL) 1500 ATP pts

    •Season end final vict. w/ one loss b4 final (WTF, WCT F * & GS Cup*) (SEFOL) 1300 ATP pts

    •Season end final R-ups w/ no loss b4 final (WTF, WCT F * & GS Cup *) (SEFRUNL) 1000 ATP pts

    •Season end final R-ups w/ 1 loss b4 final (WTF, WCT F * & GS Cup*) (SEFRUOL) 800 ATP pts

    •Season end final semi's w/ no loss b4 semi's (WTF, WCT F * & GS Cup*) (SEFSFNL) ATP 600 pts

    •Masters 1000 = vict. (calling (Top 9)) ATP 1000 pts
    •Masters 1000 = R-ups (TOP9RU) ATP 600 pts
    •Olympic Gold Metal Singles (OSG) ATP 750 pts
    •500 Series ='s (500S) ATP 500 pts


    There is no agreed weighting of events. I have tried to get an agreed weightings, but opinions as to the weighting vary greatly. ...It represents an objective list of the achievements of Open era players weighted at current ATP weightings.
    ---

    Federer = (17 x 2) + (5 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + (2 x 1) + (10 x 1.2) + (24 x 1) + (18 x 0.60) + (1 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (11 x 0.72) + (1 x 0.60) + (16 x 0.50) = 108.92

    Lendl = (8 x 2) + ((5 + 2 - 1) x 1.5)) + (0 x 1.3) + (2 x 1) + (11 x 1.2) + (22 x 1) + (11 x 0.60) + (2 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (9 x 0.72) + ((5 -2) x 0.60) + (42 x 0.50) = 99.48

    Connors = (8 x 2) + (2 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + (1 x 1) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) + (9 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (16 x 0.72) + (4 x 0.60) + (49 x 0.50) = 90.52

    Nadal = (14 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (0 x 1.3) + (2 x 1) + (6 x 1.2) + (27 x 1) + (14 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (1 x 0.75) + (3 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (16 x 0.50) = 83.51

    Djokovic = (10 x 2) + (3 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + (0 x 1) + (8 x 1.2) + (25 x 1) + (12 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (10 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (12 x 0.50) = 80.8

    McEnroe = (7 x 2) + ((3 + (5 - 1)) x 1.5)) + (0 x 1.3) + ((1 + 3) x 1) + (4 x 1.2) + (19 x 1) + (7 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (8 x 0.72) + (0 x 0.60) + (23 x 0.50) = 73.76

    Sampras = (14 x 2) + (0 + (2 - 1) x 1.5) + (5 x 1.3) + ((2 - 1) x 1) + (4 x 1.2) + (11 x 1) + (8 x 0.60) + (0 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (5 x 0.72) + ((4 - 1) x 0.60) + (12 x 0.50) = 69.0

    Borg = (11 x 2) + ((1 + 1) x 1.5)) + (1 x 1.3) + ((1 + (3 - 1)) x 1) + (5 x 1.2) + (15 x 1) + (4 x 0.60) + (1 x 0.80) + (0 x 0.75) + (1 x 0.72) + (1 x 0.60) + (17 x 0.50) = 63.32

    Agassi = (8 x 2) + (0 x 1.5) + (1 x 1.3) + ((3 - 1) x 1) + (7 x 1.2) + (17 x 1) + (5 x 0.60) + (1 x 0.80) + (1 x 0.75) + (11 x 0.72) + (1 x 0.60) + (6 x 0.50) = 61.77
    ---

    Federer 187.714
    Nadal 117.754
    Sampras 96.6
    Borg1 88.648
    Djokovic 83.1
    Borg2* 82.316
    Lendl 79.584
    Connors 72.416
    Borg3** 69.652
    McEnroe 51.632
    Agassi 49.416
    Becker 34.416
    Edberg 27.516
    Wilander 26.572

    The only cloudy case is what X'r to use for Borg b/c of the disagreements about the value of his YEC as majors. Counting all 3 as majors you get Borg1. Only counting his WTF as majors gives you Borg2, and not counting any and going w/ 11 slams gives you value 3. As you can see this system allows for Lendl/Connors even w/ an 8 to 11 slam deficit to surpass Borg (if we went w/ that as his major count), but would punish the 8 to 14 deficit vs Sampras/Nadal.

    Using this system, Djokovic just passed Connors and Borg3 at USO, Lendl at Shanghai, and Borg2 at WTF. He will pass Borg1 w/ slam #11 & Sampras w/ slam #12. At slam #13 he w/b slightly below Nadal, but could easily make up the deficit through just 2 Masters.***

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  46. ***Roger desperately wants #18 and whenever he's been in a position to bag it, he chokes big X. The pressure's too much and he then he abandons his aggressive strategy and plays tentatively. Notice that Rafa has NEVER done this. He plays 'balls out' when he's down, a very admirable trait. But Fed has been unfortunate to have to face Djokovic in his last 3 slam finals, which is a very tall order when he's 6 yrs younger and the #1 player in the world.

    There's still no excuse for the greatest grass court player of all X to play the dismal strategy he has employed against Novak in the last 2 Wimbledon finals. He s/b serving/volleying and attacking the net consistently. The moment he gets passed a few X's or botches a volley, he retreats to the baseline (stupidly!) and has his ass handed to him by Nole. Same script everyX in best 3/5 matches.
    ---

    Federer plays balls out when he's down too. These days he just chokes trying to gain the lead from an even position; 3rd set at Wimby and USO...Easier to grind on big points as Nadal and Djokovic do than to hit a winner. In his prime Fed was as clutch as anyone, but these days he doesn't have the confidence to go for his shots on BP's. We'll see the same for Nadal and Djoker (already have for Nadal) which should debunk the myth that they are any mentally stronger than Federer.
    ---

    Borg...won the FO just after turning 18. Won Wimby at 20 and took the YEC and got to USO final. Borg and Nadal are very similar, but I put Borg ahead b/c he was more consistent on other surfaces even if he could never win USO and back then the surface spread was far greater; making all his FO/Wimby combos that much more ridiculous. Also if USO was as slow as it's now he likely wins it at least 2-3 X's and he had bad luck running into ATG who upped their game at the USO in Mac and Connors. Hhe didn't play Aussie, no fault of his own, and won YEC 3 different yrs.
    ---

    ...I think compared to Nadal and Djokovic Federer played in a weak era, but this doesn't change the fact that I believe Federer is both the best and greatest tennis player to ever play. I only end up in weak era debates b/c I think it's shocking that Federer fans of all people would suggest that the current era is weak, as if they weren't watching tennis a decade ago.***

    I still live w/ detractors of Martina N.; supposedly her best years only had Evert as her rival! She can only play who's in front of her as we say, but she had to deal w/ a lot more roadblocks than believed! OTTH she caught end of Court, Wade, and King, then had to deal w/ Goolagong, Evert, Mandlikova, and survive the new bloods of Graf, Sabatini, & Seles! Her career saw them come and go, but she sustained quite a bit of excellence over 20+ years! Like Hingis after her, she returned after a few years to continue adding to her trophy cabinet w/ doubles' MAJORS!

    ***Djoker's playing in an era that's weaker than anything Fed or Nadal have had to play through.***

    Nole has played over 40 matches against all his main rivals! Nothing like that has happened before; maybe 1 rival, but definitely not 40+ w/ 3 players! OTTH, it's probably only happened twice in a past era; Laver vs Rosewall and Navratilova vs Evert! Nole had to battle true GOAT's like Roger & Rafa and pushed to the max by Murray! I couldn't call this a weak era for the champions, but the rest of the tour has truly been an embarrassment! There used to be upsets so we'd have to endure a pathetic final like Sampras over Philippoussis or Pioline @ Wimbledon or USO, Wilander vs Leconte @ RG, or McEnroe vs Lewis at W.! The "Big 4" have really dominated so "weak" is relative in that respect!

    ReplyDelete
  47. People have traditionally felt that the FO was the tough major to get; esp. during the grass court eras! Americans were at sea on the surface from win of Trabert to '89's Chang victory! Many top US #1's never even played a final, much less won the title; including Sampras and Connors! Top players were vulnerable against anyone on the dirt w/ weather affecting tactics and effectiveness! It c/b an inferno; hot, humid w/ light/fast conditions and the next cold, dreary, w/ heavy conditions! It's why Borg and Nadal will be highly regarded decades from now due to their lock on the tournament during their early and prime yrs! IMO, it's the USO that's the toughy w/ weather just as severe, rough crowds, and a play schedule that's finally making sense giving a day off after the semis! As good as Martina was, she only won 4 btw the grass, clay, & HC she had to endure during her tenure! Evonne Goolagong played several finals on grass and clay at Forest Hills, but never got to hold the Cup! I don't need to go down the horrible luck w/ Borg's futility trying to take the title; even when on clay! The AO or Wimbledon titles are a lot more attainable; 'cept tell that to Lendl!

    ***...I still am stunned McEnroe's '84 doesnt have a lot more votes on this poll.***

    We're spoiled and jaded these days due to the cons. successes of the current "Big 3!" I give all due credit to McEnroe having one of the great seasons w/ Lendl and Connors nipping at his heels! He won both Wimbledon and The USO in str. set finals over each and was 2 games from taking the FO! Some may have reservations due to Connors' aging and Lendl pretty much shot after coming all the way back at that FO final to beat McEnroe in 5 sets! At the USO, both had to play after "The Longest Day;" wiped out no doubt about it, but John's style got him through the match Sunday against Ivan!

    ***Murray isn't a better player than these guys; Rafter, Roddick, & Safin.***

    ITA that Murray's nowhere near as good as these other players, but the problem is they all got to #1 ranking, accomplishing less; if briefly! Even at his best, Andy's never came close and is woefully behind Nole right now; like 1/2 his points! Murray's a victim of his own era w/ Nole and Rafa owning him for the most part and still having trouble w/ the old guy nearing AARP age! If Murray had played anyX other than now, he probably would have a few more majors! He's been the most solid #4 in the world for years; same said about Nole being #3, but I don't think we have to worry about Murray getting it to click any more than it has already for him to take over the tour!

    ***I do agree the 2 slam season is also what kills McEnroe to many people and I totally get that. I take into account the AO situation at the X. Similar to how people do when evaluating Borg.***

    McEnroe also gets a little discounted since he "vanished" after '84; merely a pigeon for Lendl to toy w/ in most instances after that period! I've always said, burning bright makes the fall all the more evident! I should create a thread w/ a poll concerning past champions like McEnroe, Wilander, Connors, & even Sampras; who's fall was the worst?

    ***That w/b a good one. Definitely not Connors. He won slams even past his prime and his fall was always gradual; never a severe or unexpected fall at all, and he aged quite gracefully. I would probably pick Wilander who was never a real contender ever again after '88. At least McEnroe and Sampras were contenders a while after winning their last slams (or in Sampras's what seemed to be his last which wasn't and he won another after a 25 tourney-less drought).***

    Didn't remember the # of tourneys Sampras went w/o a win, but what did stick w/ me was his Wimbledon in 2000 wasn't followed by another win of any kind until 2002 USO where his personal pigeon awaited him in the final! Pete dropped to #22 in the world and was seeded @ #17 for the USO; his curtain call!

    ReplyDelete
  48. ***People have been speaking of a current "Big 4" for a # of yrs. What about the past?

    1970's Newcombe, Nastase, Connors, Borg (Hon. mention of Smith)
    1980's Lendl, McEnroe, Becker, Wilander (Hon. mention of Edberg)
    1990's Sampras, Agassi, Courier, ??
    2000's Federer, Nadal, Hewitt, Kuerten
    2010's Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray
    ---

    When the lead player won more than twice the # of tier 1 as 2nd best, I gave the season to that 1 player.

    '15: Djokovic
    '14: Djokovic
    '13: Nadal/Djokovic
    '12: Djokovic/Federer/Nadal
    '11: Djokovic
    '10: Nadal/Federer
    '09: Federer/Nadal
    '08: Nadal/Djokovic
    '07: Federer/Nadal
    '06: Federer
    '05: Federer/Nadal
    '04: Federer
    '03: Ferrero/Roddick/Federer
    '02: Hewitt/Agassi
    '01: Kuerten/Agassi/Hewitt
    '00: Kuerten/Safin
    '99: Agassi/Sampras
    '98: Rafter/Rios
    '97: Sampras
    '96: Sampras
    '95: Sampras/Agassi/Muster
    '94: Sampras/Agassi
    '93: Sampras/Courier/Stich
    '92: Courier
    '91: Courier
    '90: Edberg
    '89: Lendl/Becker
    '88: Wilander/Becker/Lendl
    '87: Lendl/Edberg
    '86: Lendl/Becker
    '85: Lendl/McEnroe
    '84: McEnroe
    '83: McEnroe/Wilander
    '82: Lendl/McEnroe/Connors
    '81: McEnroe/Lendl
    '80: Borg
    '79: Borg
    '78: Borg/McEnroe
    '77: Vilas/Borg
    '76: Connors
    '75: Orantes
    '74: Connors/Borg
    '73: Nastase/Newcombe/Connors
    '72: Nastase/Smith
    '69 & '70: Laver***

    Thanks!

    ***Stan Smith in the early 1970s looked like a possible heir to Laver. He won Wimbledon and USO, dominated the WCT Tour and took WCT Chp, but after '74 he was never the same.***

    I keep saying, to be a top player and consistent over a "period" of X, you need a weapon! Smith was a solid enough player, but never had more of a weapon than his 1st serve! He played out of his mind at Wimbledon against Connors in '77, took it to 5 sets, but he couldn't close it out b/c he was already "past it!" Patrick Rafter is another one who was solid, but wasn't going to electrify the tour and own it like Fed or Nole! It can be done w/ simplicity; Edberg comes to mind, but he could only sustain that kind of excellence for a limited period of X!

    ***...To start, let's say BORG took a breather from the '81 USO to '82 FO, but then came back refreshed and ready to play.

    Chances are the 17-yo Wilander wouldn't have been able to beat Borg at FO, so there's 1 off Maty's record. I'm then wondering if McEnroe whb more focused & w/ Borg there, I'm guessing Connors wouldn't have won Wimbledon and the USO - there's 2 off of his record. Let's say Borg takes the FO and he & McEnroe split Wimbledon and the USO. This changes total Slam tallies to: Borg 13, McEnroe 8, Connors 6, Wilander 6 (career totals, but through '82 changes).

    Moving to '83, I think we would have seen more of the Borg-McEnroe rivalry, w/ McEnroe taking back (and probably keeping) the edge. But I still think Borg takes the FO, so Yannick Noah loses his 1 Slam. Then maybe Borg and McEnroe split Wimbledon and USO again. So the tallies go to Borg 15, McEnroe 8, Connors 5, Noah 0.

    In '84, we probably start seeing some slippage from Borg - he's turning 28. Maybe he finally loses the FO, which goes to Lendl. We'll let Johnny Mac keep his 2, so Borg goes slamless for the 1st X since '73. No change in tally from above.

    In '85, Borg wins 1 more - defeating Boris Becker at Wimbledon. But McEnroe wins the USO, so Lendl loses a Slam. Borg 16, McEnroe 9, Lendl 7.

    In '86 Borg goes slamless again and retires. Mac also goes slamless, but comes back and wins 1 more in '87 - maybe taking Cash's lone Slam @ Wimbledon.

    So imaginary scenario w/b Borg 16, McEnroe 10, Lendl 7, Wilander 6, Connors 5, Noah 0, Cash 0.

    Later on Sampras isn't able to pass Borg, so Federer's #17 is all the more meaningful.***

    It makes total sense to me; but of course I'm a Borg sycophant from "way back!"

    ReplyDelete
  49. ***I often think on the fact that Navratilova struggled at the USO and lost a heartbreaking final in '81. I thought at the X that she and Borg were doomed to never win it. Borg retired, but Martina committed herself even more, and in '82 we saw Martina 2.0, which transformed her career, & the women's game.

    ...Borg was fortunate to one extent in his career: his Wimbledon victories were sandwiched btw the dying of the great Aussie grass court game, and the coming of the great resurgent in serve-volley tennis in the 80's. To an extent, Borg and Connors success from the baseline were signs of a crisis in natural grass court play until McEnroe arrived. I wouldn't see Borg winning 5 in a row against the great S&V'rs of the mid-80's. But your hypothesis isn't about that, it's 1 of the great "what-if's" of the game: "what if Borg hasn't gone all Greta Garbo on us?"

    The big ?? w/b: does Borg win in NY? I'm like brother Fiero, I'm a Borg baby from way back, but an underestimated part of his Norse myth is the fact that he chucked it in. In tennis terms, he died young, and stayed young. If he'd played on, even fell in love w/ the game once more, I think the legend whb tarnished by success at Flushing. I think he would have retired on 13 slams, maybe 14 if he went to Oz again in '83.
    ---

    I, for 1, do not believe that '15 was weak. I do, however, think Federer in his prime faced weaker competition than Djokovic has, having faced mainly 2nd tier players. However, I've said repeatedly that this doesn't change the bottom line for me: Federer's both the greatest player that has ever played.
    ---

    Couldn't agree w/ you more. - I do think Nole '11 & Fed's '06 having almost all the votes and McEnroe '84 & Connors' '74 having none is a reflection of recent-cy bias. It's clear Laver '69 & Djokovic '15 are by far the 2 best yrs of the Open Era, but after that Fed '06/Djokovic '11/McEnroe '84/Connors '74 are all very close together and a case c/b made for any of them t/b anywhere from 3rd - 6th best.
    ---

    Djokovic is a player w/o cracks or weaknesses. He, unlike Achilles, has been completely immersed into his particular Stygian lake.

    Murray closed the circle of the inheritance of Perry delivering the long-awaited DC to Britain. #2 in the world, Murray has managed to win the Masters 1000 tourn. in Madrid & Canada. It's 2 yrs now w/o winning a Slam, X passes and the British run the risk of staying w/ a smaller track record than his talent promised.

    In the semi's of Wimbledon against Murray, Federer perhaps the most brilliant match of the season, elevated tennis to an exalted category of perfection, beauty and harmony. A true work of art executed w/ a racket. With matches like this, Federer has reached a category that goes beyond victory and defeat. A status reserved for a select few in the history of sport, as Ali, Jordan or Pelé, freed from the tyranny of the result by virtue of their exceptional talent.

    Much has been said about the strange season of Nadal. Everyone is agreed that '16 will be very different for him and this '15 will be remained as a bad year. But there's also a general expectation to know if that notorious recovery shown in the last wks of the yr will be enough to aspire to obtain the big titles and the world #1. A ?? that only X will answer.

    ...The gen. that has raised more expectation has been the "teens." A large group which has shone this year and it's been predicted a great future. Kyrgios, the natural leader of this gen., already achieved great results in '14 and certainly started better this season that ended. ...One thing's virtually certain, when they reach maturity, the "Big-4" there won't be an impassable wall, and it's even likely that a 40 yo Federer's retired.***

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  50. ***Tennis Recs That Will Likely Never Be Broken:

    Federer:
    56 cons. HC wins
    24 str. final won
    24 cons. victories vs. top 10
    237 cons. wks @ #1
    302 wks as the world #1
    14 appearances @ WTF (cons. too)
    10 cons. GS finals
    5 cons. titles @ 2 dif. majors
    5 cons. titles @ a HC slams

    Nadal:
    81 cons. clay court wins
    9 FO Titles
    8 MC titles (cons. too)
    -Winning a GS event in all of your 1st 4 attempts

    Sampras:
    6 cons. yrs #1

    Laver:
    1 CYGS

    Lendl:
    5 seasons w/ @ least 90 win-loss %
    8 cons. USO finals

    Djokovic:
    5 AO Titles
    4 cons. WTF titles
    31 top 10 wins in 1 sn
    15 cons. final aps. in 1 sn
    -Masters sextuple

    Bjorn Borg:
    3 cons. Channel Slams (4 cons. finals)
    ---

    Djokovic has a chance for CYGS in '16...I give him 20% chance of making it.***

    It w/b nice, but I'm not going to wish for such a thing; 2 of the 4 majors and I'll be thrilled! His '12 was so lackluster in comparison to '11; hoping for 2 majors and 4 Masters w/ a limited '16 schedule! That w/b good enough to continue his roll into GOAT history!

    ***I'm surprised no one's mentioned Isner winning a 11 hr. match against Mahut. Maybe it's not an achievement like winning X slams, but for sure it's a record that will remain for centuries. IMO this is the only record in tennis that will remains forever.***

    After '12 AO semi & final, I just can't bring myself to say never when it comes to the length of a boring, long ass match! Little Isner does s/b considered an accomplishment! His lame play c/b even more distressing than Nadal's! He's at the top of the list as "underachiever" of all X; ahead of Murray, Berdych, Ferrer, Safin, & Nadal believe it or not! His limited way of playing wasn't conducive to defending titles off the clay surface! That's "some" record for someone considered a GOAT! Even Borg was able to defend Masters & Wimbledon titles on X surfaces!

    ***Borg, Connors, Mac, Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Wilander all squeezed into a 10-15 year period immediately followed by Courier/Pete/Andre et. all. Late 70's to around '96 is the true Golden Age of "men's tennis," not the over-hyped "Big 4" which was really only around for 1-2 years.
    ---

    Many of these players don't really belong in the same era:

    •Borg played 0 matches against Becker & Edberg, and only once against Wilander.
    •Connors was 32 by the X he played his 1st match against Edberg & Wilander; and 34 by the X he played his 1st match against Becker, which is ancient if Federer fans are to believed.

    •Courier, Pete, & Agassi belong to an entirely different gen.; born 18+ yrs after Connors & 14+ yrs after Borg.
    ---

    In this case, the stacking works b/c it went Borg, Connors, Mac, then Connors, Mac, Lendl, then Lendl, Becker, Edberg w/ Connors & Mac still around before moving to Pete/Andre w/ Lendl still around and Becker/Edberg still serious threats. There was a seamless transition w/ holdovers and new players, obviously I didn't put them all into 1 gen.

    ...I put all those guys in a 10-15 yr period followed by Pete/Agassi/Courier and then summarized the whole thing from late 70's to '96.***

    ReplyDelete
  51. ***Federer's level was > in '06 than Novak's in '15. Novak '11 w/b closer.

    Achievements-wise, Novak's '15 is > than either, so he does win this 1. Credit to him.

    As far as I'm concerned, Nole's '15 was >, but Fed's '06 was better. He only lost to prime Nadal all year if we forget his Cincy tank.

    In '15 Novak has lost to Federer 3 X's in important matches (the = of Nadal to Fed in '06), but also Murray & Wawrinka in important matches, & Karlovic too at a 250.

    Greatest yrs, from obj. stats:
    Laver '69
    Djokovic '15
    Federer '06
    Federer '07
    Djokovic '11

    Best yrs, IMO (Laver '69 not considered):
    Federer '06
    McEnroe '84
    Federer '05
    Djokovic '11
    Djokovic '15***

    I say: Laver's '69 since he did it twice; '62
    - Djokovic '15
    - Federer '06
    - Djokovic '11
    - McEnroe '84
    - Federer '07
    - Borg '79
    - Connors '74
    - Nadal '10

    ***Who remembers the AO "back in the day?"***

    The top women started going back to OZ earlier in '80 w/ Martina, Evert, & Mandlikova winning titles! For a while, it was the usual Martina/Chris show YI & YO from '81-88 w/ @ least 1 of them in the final, if not both! Poor Lendl started going by the mid 80's, but just couldn't get past Cash & Edberg on grass! He finally got a couple HC titles as we well know in '89 & '90! He went "down under" for 10 str. yrs and his results after that got worse; along w/ his seeding by '94!

    ***Federer's 17 majors is an impressive mark, but in no way is it unapproachable like some other marks seem to be. Heck it is unlikely it would even be the slam record today had Open tennis been in place sooner. Nadal looked on his way to breaking it at 1 point, now no longer. Some are speculating on Djokovic, right not it's probably unlikely, but there are still some who think he can. This alone shows at some point someone will break that mark. Whether it's 5 yrs, 20 yrs, or 50 yrs, it is almost 100% for sure going down at some point, esp. w/ the homogenized playing conditions. 8 Wimbledons if Federer can somehow get there would be a far harder mark than 18 slams.
    ---

    Players like Fed and Nadal will not come every decade. Even if they did, they are not going to get to 13-14 mark , which is a 8 yr peak career. Sports will see constant improvement and my prediction is it's going to be harder to even win double digit majors in future. - ...Your window for winning majors is at max 12/13 yrs so to win a slam 9 X's out of them is pretty astonishing. Even in WTA where parity at the top is distorted, we have Navaratilova record lasting for past 20 yrs and no one is even close to beating it. Certianly not Serena.***

    Like Federer, she has some records that will never be touched due to her 20+ year singles career; adding to it w/ a return to doubles, winning majors after 6 yrs off the tour! At the X, it didn't say much for the tour, but you have to give all due credit to Martina for a # of unattainable records in longevity, streaks at X tourneys, & an iconic rivalry w/ Evert! I'm no fan of Connors, but his records will endure as well; for excellence and hanging around longer than he should'of! His 109 titles, winning 3 USO's on 3 diff. surfaces, and his rivalries w/ Borg & McEnroe!

    ***For me she's "The GOAT," some records are against her, like GS's & CYGS, etc. She had not easy start to her career, w/ playing under Czech Nat'l team, defection and just not being motivated. She had 1 slam at age of 25 and Graf had 9 atm, but when she decided to get in shape, there's no one more dominant than her, except recently Serena. Graf won 5 FO's; 5. She was not able to beat Seles monster at FO and in the 4 yrs since Seles got injured, she won 3. ...I don't respect Graf as GOAT.***

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  52. ***The ITF may award the title of World Champion, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, are the most outstanding players in any 1-yr.***

    ...was created and run to rival the WTF; "The GS Cup!" IIRC, the 8th man didn't make it due to a FO winner, Guadio falling down to #9! Agassi was knocked out!

    ***Federer wasn't close to being in his prime in '11, but Nadal most certainly was and he had the finals to show for it. He beat more top 10 players in '11 than '10, was better against the field (69-9 v 69-10 the year before against players other than Djokovic) and had tougher draws en route to reaching the slam finals that he did, beating Federer, Murray thrice, Delpo, Roddick, Isner, Soderling, Fish, Nalby, and Ljubicic. Only once was he taken to 5 sets in any of those matches. He was better at Wimbledon pre-final, and was destroying the competition at the USO, breaking Roddick 8 X's, while also taking Murray to the cleaners (2nd str. fast court slam he did that). Rafa had a superb spring HC season, routined Federer and nearly won both IW & Miami, taking a zoning Djokovic to a final set TB in the latter tourney. Of course, in '10 he showed much better form on clay against the available competition. ...I'm interested to know how it's reasonable to think that Djokovic had to wait for Nadal to run out of steam to usurp him? Nadal might not have been as great in '11 as he was the year prior, but Hell, he wasn't THAT far off. Once Djokovic hit his stride it was clear that he was a better player than Peakdal could hope t/b on HC's or indoors, which comprises 60+% of the tour, and was at least a formidable enough foe on grass to warrant a comparison btw the 2. If you concede that Nole's simply better on HC's, indoors and possibly grass, it would make sense that, even given Nadals clay court dominance, that Djokovic at his best could overtake a peak Nadal in rankings.
    ---

    ...Djokovic is the so called origami-man who finds positional holes in opponent’s game, exploits them, and strikes the ball in those holes. ...It’s like in most cases no matter what Djoko’s rivals try to do against him on the court, he has the answer to most ??'s. ...Nole wasn’t balanced enough before taking on Becker. Basically he was just wasting his talent until Becker revealed him the blueprint and increased Nole’s tennis IQ to 1 of the highest levels in tennis history.
    ---

    BTW Nole & Roger in Finals:

    '07 Can. Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    USO GS HC - Federer
    '09 Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    Swiss Indoors 500 HC (i) - Djokovic
    '10 Swiss Indoors 500 Hard (i) - Federer
    '11 Dubai Chps 500 HC - Djokovic
    '12 Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    ATP World Tour Finals YEC HC (i) - Djokovic
    '14 IW Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    Wimbledon GS Grass - Djokovic
    ATP WTF YEC Hard (i) - Djokovic
    '15 Dubai Chps 500 HC - Federer
    IW Masters 1000 HC - Djokovic
    Italian 1000 Clay - Djokovic
    Wimbledon GS Grass - Djokovic
    Cinci. Masters 1000 HC - Federer
    USO GS HC - Djokovic
    ATP WTF YEC HC (i) - Djokovic

    Overall: 11 - 6 Djokovic
    Since '14: 9 -2 Djokovic
    ---

    Djokovic defeated Federer in the USO final, clinching his 10th GS and becoming the 8th man to win double digit titles. It was his 3rd major of the year and pulled him ever closer to the mark set by Federer – 17. He's showing no signs of slowing down, in fact, he's playing the best tennis of his career – maybe of all-X.
    ---

    Djokovic’s peak, which happened following his SF win at the '15 FO's the highest of all-X – just ahead of Federer’s and Borg’s. His current level of play is unmatched, & if he sustains it, will be the most impressive display of men’s tennis EVER.

    Federer played (and dominated) some great players in his prime, i.e. Andre Agassi, a young Nole. Arguably, Novak has had it much more difficult.; can see that Nole has had to compete w/ Nadal & Murray in their primes, as well as a resurgent Federer.

    There was truly a “Big 4” and Novak has come out on top.***

    ReplyDelete
  53. ***Nole-can he become > than Fed on 3 surfaces? Djokovic's 2 slams behind & 1 WTF behind, but 1 MASTERS ahead. The Masters, being 1/2 the worth of slams, make up for 1 slam. So Djovak merely has to win 1 more HC slam and 1 more WTF. If he gets to the 2nd wk of 2 more HC slams they will add up to 1 HC slam so he's done. Same with WTF.

    Clay: Obviously Djokvak has all the Masters titles X X's except Madrid. Fed not even close. B/c of that, the lack of FO is easily glossed over. Novak will have to win the FO, which he can. Now the tricky part: Grass-There are no Masters on this surface, therefore the importance of this surface s/b 1/2'd. Roger has 3.5 W (rd down to 3) & Nole has 1.5 (rd ^ to 2). ...Therefore Novak's true # of Wimbs is 47/17 * 2 = 5.53 Wimbs (rd ^ to 6). We have already est. that the true value of Fed's Wimbs is 3; so by some measures that Nole's already ahead.
    ---

    Roger won 15 thru Novak's age & 2 after, but he had to contend w/ Rafa, Novak, & Andy. Who does Novak have to contend w/ going forward? Who are the best players of the next gen? According to my 5-yr gen system, the top 5 players of each of the last few gens are:

    '79-83: Federer, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Ferrero
    '84-88: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Del Potro (maybe Berdych/Tsonga)
    '89-93: Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Thiem, Sock
    '94-98: Kyrgios, Coric, Zverev, Chung, Kokkinakis

    So compare the gen of players younger than Roger's to the gen younger than Novak. It isn't even close. At best, the players of the '89-93 group are about as good as the 4th to 8th best players of the '84-88 gen....and they're not even at that point yet. The field is wide open right now and looks t/b for at least another year or 2.

    But that's just it: Novak may not age like Roger. Novak won't get better than he's now, and will probably start sliding a bit over the next 2 yrs, w/ steeper decline someX after. So his window's really '16-18 for tallying up the Slams. After that, all bets are off. In '19, he'll be 31-32 and we just don't know what the scene w/b like - maybe (hopefully) we'll have seen the emergence of the next group of stars.***

    All we can do is let the future unfold to become the new history when it comes to the play and results of upcoming stars! We're always hopeful, but I'm still waiting for the new crop to even stay "on court" more than a 2 months! We all know about the grind of travel, comp, etc., but these players are "doing it to themselves!" The sport tried to protect children from coming "on board" a lit'l early; Austin, Jaeger, Basset, and so many others who "broke down!" But greedy "fame HO's" can't be made to see reason and petition to get their brats on the circuit ASAP; "those endorsement deals won't happen practicing and waiting our turn!"

    It's not that the players are brittle or injury prone as much as them pushing the limits when the tour tried to slow things down w/ the weight of balls, racket restrictions, & courts homogenized! Reminds me of players like Arias & Krickstein who's whole game revolved around their forehands; why be surprised they wound up w/ arm problems? If you don't have a balanced attack "you" lose 1 way or the other; either deficient play or body betrayal! I have lit'l sympathy for any of them since $$'s so out of whack! There isn't a need for "money grabs" like the IPTL in the off season! Nole made over $20 M and told them "forget it!" Fed will shorten his sched. since match vs Nole impossible! If the rest of the tour plays, more power to them, but for Roger, Serena, and several other "old X'rs" to whine about being tired or hurt, I'm going to laugh in their faces!

    ReplyDelete
  54. ***Career: All Clay

    Nadal: 85/43 128
    Djokovic: 81/36 117
    Muster: 79/37 116
    Coria: 74/40 114
    Agassi: 78/35 113
    Courier: 82/31 113
    Federer: 84/28 112
    Ferrer: 76/36 112
    Bruguera: 76/36 112
    Ferrero: 78/34 112
    Edberg: 79/32 111

    Those are all the player around 50% or >. Above 20% (120 or >) is a rare thing for any season, so anyone who has a career avg getting close to 120 is VERY dangerous. ...Ferrer had the awful bad luck to run into Fed 1st, then Nadal, finally Novak.

    Nadal: 85/43 128 - Then you think, Holy shit, this guy AVG'd around 64% for his career on clay. Nadal last yr was: 81/40 121

    That's only about 1% below Novak (Clay: 91/33 124). In '11 Nole (88/37 125) had 1 of the best yrs on clay you will ever see. But he ran into Nadal (83/44 127), not even 1 of his really best yrs; who was again 1-1.5% >.
    ---

    '11 was 1 yr where Djokovic dominated Nadal, but Nadal came back in '12-13 and Djokovic was not able to continue that domination. '15 Nadal was a whole different specimen. If only prime Federer had the luxury of dealing w/ '15 form Nadal! In '11 Djokovic dominated everyone, which is why I said '15 wasn't a year where stars just aligned for him.

    Djokovic has dealt better w/ Nadal than Fed ever will. The 23-23 was built for 10 yrs of their rivalry. He didn't amass these wins in '11 & '15 alone. Federer OTOH melted like a snowman under the sun during the majority of his meetings w/ the Spaniard, prime and non-prime. He would have had a better shot at winning clay titles in '06 w/ this Nadal around, but it wouldn't be mission imp. for Djokovic if '06 Nadal was present this year, b/c he's Nadal's hardest opp; always was and always w/b.
    ---

    ...The '14-15 Nadal we've seen is a whole different ball game. Of course Djokovic could dominate that Nadal; Fognini could dominate that Nadal! - J/b Federer wasn't able to do anything against Nadal in '06 doesn't mean nobody else could. As I said, Nadal has always been in his head. Not in Nole's though, who has a + H2H against him on clay in the last 5 yrs, not just the last 2 which you are attempting to erase. There are things that Federer can't do, but someone else can.
    ---

    Forget HC and clay, there is NO CHANCE that Djokovic will be > than Federer on grass.***

    At least he has more than 1 Wimbledon title! After '14, it's all been gravy IMO! To have a '15 like this, he'll be immortal; even though commentators and historians seem to forget there was another "GOAT" in this era besides Fedal! I thought Borg and Sampras' records would last forever; at least a couple more decades! They weren't just surpassed, they were obliterated in so many ways! Sampras went from "The GOAT" w/o a FO to maybe 6th or 7th behind Fed, Nadal, Nole, Laver, Rosewall, & Borg! I still think his game beats Roger's in his prime, but that doesn't matter now! We've seen unprecedented changes in records in just 10 yrs! It's not exactly what I'd call a "Golden Age" for tennis, but it's historic regardless!

    ***Sampras is the only man in history who could consistently play w/ Roger on fast courts IMO. I still might give Roger a slight edge there. He's top 2 of all X on fast HC and grass and possible the greatest on carpet as we have not seen Roger play there much. His health condition shut him out of the slow court slams most years and precluded him from GOAT discussion.

    In any case, Pistol is still 4th on my list and some days I switch him w/ Borg for 3-4. I was a Sampras fan growing up and I still remember his awesomeness. 7 Wimbledons in 8 years will never be approached.***

    We'll see! ;-)

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  55. ***Laver:
    Most tourneys won 1 yr -22
    Most tourneys won 2 yrs-38
    Most tourneys won 3 yrs-52
    Most tourneys won 4 yrs-65
    Most tourneys won 5 yrs-83***

    ...Like most GOAT's, as well as he was overall in both eras, he had his troubles; OTTH Rosewall & Hoad probably prevented further greatness on his part! IIRC, Hoad started out 8-0 over Laver; even though he didn't take the game seriously and went off to war for a while! He was 1 match from his own GS in '56 to give it some perspective! He owned the 50's and won quite a few Pro Slams then and in 60's! By the X I started watching tennis on TV, Rosewall pretty much had Laver's #; defeating him in 2 long WCT Chp Finals! Who does that sound like today? Hmmmm!

    ***...There should be some kind of balance at least btw the Masters. IW, Miami, Bercy, and even Shanghai this year were so slow it was painful to watch. - Yes, it was particularly noticeable at Shanghai, which used to be one of the faster courts.***

    I don't understand all the caterwauling! It's not like Nole is out there telling them to lay down slow courts everywhere! It's also ridiculous to say you can't hit winners on these courts; sure it can be done! Nole hit enough against Nadal and Murray over in Asia! You just have to be more thoughtful in placements; not necessarily to hit THRU him, but to hit behind more often and put it away at the net! Come on GUYS! ;-)

    ***I was not criticising Novak at all - as I said in my posts, he is one of the greatest ever. I also never said he was asking anybody to lay down slow courts. I was just observing that faster courts give Roger and Andy a better chance in their specific matchups w/ Novak, as the H2H's show. It would also be nice to see some more variety in court speed on HC's. I know there are others out there who would also like to see some more faster surfaces. You are right that you can hit winners on slower courts - but my point is that no one is able to do that consistently enough against Novak on slower courts except Stan really, on a good day. B/c Novak is so good at getting balls back. It's a compliment to Novak!***

    My confusion comes in due to Nadal fans who weren't exactly complaining about how slow clay is and how Rafa owned the surface for so long during his great run! Maybe you aren't whining about how unfair the courts are tofay in favor of Novak, but I felt that way years ago w/ Nadal and all those clay court victories!

    ***H2H - Fed vs No1e

    22 – 22 (+WO)

    GS: 6 - 8
    WTF: 2 – 3 (+WO)
    M: 9 – 9
    Atp 500: 4 – 2
    DC: 1 – 0
    (Big matches on No1es side, Fed takes adv. @ ATP 500's)

    Finals: 6 – 11 (+WO)
    GS: 1 – 3
    WTF: 0 – 2 (+WO)
    M: 3 – 4
    Atp 500: 2 – 2
    (All level finals on No1e's side, except for the lowest 1 =)


    Clay: 4 – 4
    HC: 17 – 16 (+WO)
    Grass: 1 – 2


    Fact:
    Sets: 68 – 60
    Deciding sets: 5 - 12
    Winning the match after losing 1st set: 1 - 7***

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  56. ***...He wasn't the most exiting player to watch. But Rafa was very effective, esp. on clay. And nevertheless, he would put away Fed...***

    True enough, but from the beginning, even as a kid, I didn't apprec. the tennis of Nadal! To me it was just so ugly; his whole act of gamesmanship just put me off! Strange, like most, I'm all for the underdog and new "up and comers," but Nadal was one of those guys that offended my sensibilities very early on! I guess there was this air of arrogance and self-entitlement that made me actually dislike the guy! Agassi and Chang were a lot like that! I loved Sampras and could appreciate the beauty of his game; even taking out a current fave at the X in Lendl at the USO in '90! I still remember back then; the final was coming on that afternoon, but I was to actually play myself! I figured I'd easily catch the 2nd or 3rd set! I never saw it until a classic telecast on ESPN a few years ago! Pete annihilated Andre in about an hour 1/2! That's just a set w/ Nole and Rafa at X's! So sorry to have missed it for 20+ years! ;-)

    ***...It wasn't until the following season when Federer would go 8 cons. years w/ losses at RG to no one other than the RG winner or finalist. There are few (if any) Djokovic fans who claim Nole was prime on HC in '08. He likewise had the tools, but not the consistency. - Nole collected 11 titles and reached the final in 15 of 16 events -- all except his 1st of the season. Among the highlights, Djokovic won 3 GS titles and reached the final at RG. He also captured 6 of the 9 Masters titles and won the ATP Tour Finals trophy; thanks partly to large prize-$$ increases at these events. He collected a record $21 M in winnings. Djokovic not only finished the year ranked #1 but nearly lapped #2 Murray in rankings pts. Just about the only thing Novak didn't accomplish this season was to complete the CS by winning the FO, where he fell to Wawrinka in the chp. match.
    ---

    ...Do you really think Djokovic would have managed to win 6 Masters if they had best of 5 finals?
    ---

    You do know that Djokovic is harder to beat bo5 than bo3, right? That's b/c when Djokovic is down 2 Sets to Love, turning off the TV is never a good Idea since the match is far from over. He usually wins his matches when up 1:0. When he's 2:0 up, Hell freezes over before he lets someone back into the Match. And even in such a very unlikely case (RG 2015/SF), he usually wins the 5th.
    ---

    It's more likely that Djokovic would have won either Montreal and/or Cinci ...It took Murray 3 hrs in Montreal to defeat Novak.***

    Funny, I don't remember Canada or Cincy being best of 5; ever! Maybe in old days when CO was on clay, but I definitely don't recall these events doing anything but best of 3 on HC! OTTH, finals @ IW, Miami, Rome, MC, and back in the day Hamburg were best of 5! It was tough to win 1, much less 6 back then! ;-)

    ***You're right, I forgot about Canada/Cinci both being bo3 back then. It was tough :) .. Well, I guess it's always tough to win 1. But bo5 in a final only can't be that much more of a difference, I believe. Djokovic likely played more matches/sets than most other players on tour b/c of all the tournaments he played and all the cons. Finals he reached. Yet, he still managed to win all 4 tourneys after the USO w/o signs of exhaustion. Bo5 Finals really doesn't sound like much of an Argument to me.***

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  57. Serena was going for the CYGS and was 2 matches from it; acquiring #22 to tie Graf @ '15 USO! Whenever there's an upset like this, it usually happens this way; the champion up a set and cruising and then the winds change and it all goes SOUTH! She had no reason to be so moody in this semi against Vinci unless her nerves finally got the best of her! She swore all was in check arriving in NY, but I guess she was deluding herself! If you're obnoxious about it, I don't even care about the achievement! I guess I'm greedy wanting the whole package for a so called GOAT! - She was up 2-0 in the 3rd w/ a point for 3-0 and it all went in the crapper! Like Nadal of late, Serena DF'd to give back her serve and advantage giving Vinci chances and confidence to pull off this HUGE upset; one for the ages!

    ***Rafa has simply taken things to another level in his matches.***

    You mean in ancient history? Been watching the past year? 3 Loss to F3; 2 on clay and a HC/USO match where Rafa was leading 2 sets to love, no Masters or Majors! Sounds like the past to me! The person that's taken tennis to a NEW level of late is Djokovic; cemented in '15!

    ***McEnroe thought Nadal would overtake Fed, but it din't happen. That's why he went back to the Federer bandwagon as the GOAT.***

    Not to mention Rafa has owned Roger on most occasions! I didn't realize how bad it was initially since I skipped waking to watch those FO finals, but after Roger went down at '08 Wimbledon and The AO the following year, it only made sense for some experts; even John to think Rafa in line for GOAT'dom! Unfortunately it all came to a screeching halt w/ the ascension of Nole; 1st in 2011, then the final nail in his coffin in '15!

    ***Novak is more consistent than Federer at the same age:

    Fed at AO - 47 matches won 2009/15
    Nole at AO - 50 matches won @ same age.

    Fed at FO - 39 matches won 2009/15
    Nole at FO - 48 matches won @ same age.

    Fed @ Wimbledon - 52 matches won 2009/15
    Nole @ Wimbledon - 52 matches won @ same age.

    Fed at USO - 52 matches won 2009/15
    Nole at USO. - 57 matches won at same age.
    ---

    I heard Roger will be playing Mixed doubles w/ Hingis at Rio '16.***

    It's been proposed and talked about for a year or 2; even Hingis mentioning it publicly, but I'll believe it when it happens! I feel Roger will balk at the last min. and concentrate in his last chance for Single's Gold in Rio!

    ***I don't think so. Roger will definitely be playing in both singles and MD's. Mixed doubles is not that taxing w/ No-ad scoring and STB instead of a full 3rd set. Most Probably Roger will drop out of Men's Doubles in which he already has a gold. Finally, Roger and Martina are almost sure to get some medal or other and have a very good chance of winning GOLD. He would not want to miss that chance.***

    Well I hope you're right! I still have a vivid memory of Graf promising "a legend" that she would play doubles twice and welched both X's; shutting it down 1/2-way through Wimbledon to save herself for singles and cancelling the following season at the USO, the eve of the tourney! Navratilova will never get those chances back and today's stars do things like this routinely to other people! IIRC, she did take on a MxD partner on the fly and won that event so "it's all good" now I guess! ;-)

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  58. ***...In contrast to No1e racking up titles in the weakest era in 15 years.***

    Now you've lost me! We've been fortunate enough to watch records dropping like flies b/c Roger, Rafa, & Nole are so far and away better! The competition isn't as weak as that; mentally maybe, but they have the tools to do more! It's a bit embarrassing to have just these 3 players pretty much owning the tour for 10 years; Majors, Masters, DC, Olympics, and YEC! In the old days, the also-rans at least had an opportunity at the AO, but it's a full draw now and Nole's owned it more or less since '08! Federer owns Wimbledon and Nadal The FO! I have to hope someone breaks through soon or I'll have to start agreeing w/ that ridiculous comment of "weak era!" ;-)

    ***Nobody thought the tour was weak in '12 when 4 different players split the majors. That's b/c all of the "Big 4" were close to or at their best. Difference btw now and then is Djoker is winning on surfaces against players he probably wouldn't be a few years back.***

    You're not giving Nole enough credit! Federer is still killing it; even Murray who used to test him! You're just being like most who can't see past Fedal when X's have to change sooner or later!

    ***Does it seem premature to call Rafa > Roger before he does it? Maybe, but both are from similar era. ...At the end of the day, if Rafa somehow reaches 16 slam and Roger stays at 17, statistically Roger w/b better, but not by much. So, if its subjective, the GOAT concept, people's feelings do change.***

    It's hard for me to anoint Rafa anywhere near GOAT'dom! The guy's career and results have been the spottiest of so call greats like no other player I can think of; and I go back a long way! He owns the FO; no doubt about it, but after he leaves the dirt, you have to scratch your head! To this day, he's NEVER defended a title off the clay surface, he's injury prone, and his game, w/o a doubt is the ugliest of the top echelon! He works too hard to beat even the most menial of players outside the top 100 and it's always been that way! Why go 3 sets w/ a qualifier or WC in early Rds, then be surprised he's worn down and doesn't have enough to finish off the top players today! Roger's the same way really; all too often thinking "I can rally w/ these kids!" No you can't old man! Rafa could have already passed Roger in the majors' count and I'd still have reservations about him! What player other than Agassi has had such a rollercoaster of a tenure in the ATP?

    ***Every player has had a period of dominance after which they seem not dominant. For Rafa it was weird case of dominance on HC coming from '09-'13, but on grass coming from '06-'11; 5 yrs of real dominance on both surfaces. He has a 10 yr dominance on clay from '05-'14 which is ridiculous. His game there is awe inspiring. Is he best on every court and condition there is on the tour? NO, but he adapted and had some success anyway. So he's a problem solver. Fed on the other hand has been best on every court and condition there is.***

    All the more to ?? Rafa being > than Roger who has 2 major runs of 5 years at the top 2 majors; Wimbledon and the USO! Rafa barely has 2 of each, most of the X falling off the map in the 2nd 1/2 of a season! He's yet to even take 1 YEC which truly measures greatness for some people since everyone's there gunning for you! There are just too many holes for me to even consider Rafa "The GOAT;" even w/ a winning edge over Roger!

    ***Hmm, and that's your opinion and as much as Mc, is entitled to his opinion.***

    Not as much an opinion, but makes sense! Collectively we've all been hypocrites or delusional when it comes to naming the greatest ever! It wasn't that long ago, Sampras was proclaimed the GOAT; even w/o playing a FO final! If Roger hadn't come along, then maybe we could give Rafa more props, but he has to do more than excel on clay IMO!

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  59. ***Tennis Greatness Index (12/10/15, / Wiki, the month Djokovic surpassed Borg)

    1. Federer 464 (out of 500 pts)
    2. Sampras 392
    3. Nadal 360
    4. Lendl 355
    5. Connors 349
    6. Djokovic 313
    7. Borg 310
    ---

    GS titles (The pts are doubled for GS category. Players winning CGS get 1 bonus GS count.):

    1. Federer 17+1=18 (200 pts)
    2. Nadal 14+1=15 (167)
    2. Sampras 14 (156)
    4. Borg 11 (122)
    5. Agassi 8+1=9 (100)
    __________

    Wks @ #1:

    1. Federer 302 (100 pts)
    2. Sampras 286 (95)
    3. Lendl 270 (89)
    4. Connors 268 (89)
    5. McEnroe 170 (56)
    6. Nadal/Djokovic 141 (47)
    8. Borg 109 (36)
    __________

    Winning % against Top 10 ops:

    1. Borg 70.00% (100 pts)
    2. Nadal 67.54% (96)
    3. Federer 65.49% (94)
    4. Becker 65.05% (93)
    5. Lendl 64.32% (92)
    6. Djokovic 63.98% (91)
    7. Sampras 63.59% (91)
    8. McEnroe 57.24% (82)
    ---

    Was 2015 the greatest year ever in men’s tennis? McEnroe had an incredible year in '84, losing only 3 X's and winning 96% of his matches. But he avoided clay, his weakest surface, playing only 2 matches on the dirt and losing the FO, devastatingly, after going up 2 sets against his arch-rival, Lendl. Connors went 99-4 in '74, but was barred from playing the FO b/c of his involvement w/ WTT. Federer reached all 4 GS finals in '06, won 12 titles overall, and lost only 5 matches. Four of those losses were on clay to Nadal (the other was in Cinci. to 18 yo Murray). A remarkable season, and most observers consider it the 2nd-greatest in the modern history of the men’s game—2nd only to Laver’s accomplishing the GS in '69; something that no other Open-era men’s player has done.

    But neither Federer 9 yrs ago nor Laver at the beginning of the Open era faced the competition or had to play the kind of grueling tennis Djokovic did to accomplish what he did this year. Of the Top 10 players in '06 that Federer faced, only 2 had GS wins: Nadal, who dominated him, and Roddick who had won 1 Slam. Others who finished in the Top 10 that year included Ljubičić, González, & Ančić. The Golden Age had yet to arrive. And while Fed had some year, he accumulated only about half the A.T.P. point total Djokovic just amassed. To say that Laver also had an easier X of it in '69 is, of course, to get more speculative. True, Laver played doubles as well as singles back then, and, b/c the TB to settle a set tied at 6–6 was not yet part of most tournaments, he occ. found himself grinding out sets 12–10 or 22–20. But men’s tennis then was serve and volley, w/ points usually over in 3 or 4 shots; if that. The game was not as physical and fast—as athletic—as today’s game. And the draws were not talent-deep: tennis was dominated by the Australians and the Americans and was not yet a truly global sport. This year, against much tougher competition, Djokovic—the son of a Serbian pizza-parlor owner—went 30–5 against Top 10 players, including 6–1 against the world #2 (Murray), and ended the season in London at the A.T.P. WTF's by beating Nadal in the semis and Fed in the finals; each in straight sets—something no player had ever done.***

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  60. ...When Rafa defends a title off the dirt, I'll give him all due credit; until then forget it! He's not even in my legitimate top 4 even w/ all his majors and Masters! His winning said more about the lame competition and lack of heart than his ability! Too often he's struggling w/ WC's, qualifiers, and never weres! That's embarrassing if you look at the record closely! His game is so offensive to me; the strokes, his act on court, and entitlement to make a player wait until he's ready! Only IPTL makes him speed it up it seems to me!

    ***I can't say I'd go that far though. I don't think he's the legit GOAT, and neither is Sampras IMO, but they're still absolutely top-flight Tier 1 players. Rafa shows extreme heart in many of his wins; slam match records vs. Fedovic are nuts. He's earned his 14. As for playing style, that's a matter of opinion I think. Some people are going to love it (and that's great), and some will hate it (and that's fine too). So long as we can respect the players.
    ---

    Djokovic against tougher competition? Seriously? All we get is GD comparisons to who had the better season on this site. They all had great seasons. Can't it just be left at that?***

    The #'s don't lie; Nole had to deal w/ players who were a lot better than the riff-raff Roger contended against almost 10 yrs ago; PLEASE! There's no contest; those are facts! I have no dog in this hunt, retaining my belief that Sampras would beat them all at the height of his powers! He can't be the GOAT only b/c he wasn't able to make a FO final; even though we gave him honors above all others at the X! Now he won't even hang in there w/ the top 4 after all is said and done! This has truly been a Golden AGE w/ these current stars that are setting records unlikely to be bested in our lifetime! The rules were changed to make it a little easier with B03 Masters, 1st class accommodations, and promoters coddling them, but they still had to perform; and they did admirably! Roger's ahead in most minds w/ 17 majors and tons of ATP records set, followed closely by Nadal who owns him, and a fast approaching Djokovic that's still amazing the experts even though a FEDAL obsession prevails! I think Nole will wind up #2 after all's said and done, followed by Nadal, Laver, Borg, then Sampras; SORRY! It seems the longer X goes on, the further Pete drops! His FO performance and deficiencies in the Masters is dragging him down due to Agassi setting the record in his era!

    ***I think Novak will get to 15 slams, but it will be quite hard.***

    I think it's damned likely; regardless of what most believe! The rest of the tour needs to grow a pair to stop him! Why in the world would anyone think the current crop can do anything to prevent this inevitability? They are all colossal losers who can't finish off any of the top echelon in the clutch!

    ***There seems to be a lot of record inflation and devaluation going on the last while. Too many 10+ GS winners etc.***

    What has become of our sport to allow this to happen so routinely? Everyone's more athletic today, but only a select few seem to take the most advantage of it, taking all the big titles, accumulating such ridiculous #'s and records! Laver's been the only person to hold onto his CYGS feat since '69, but many now have career slams along w/ entirely too many zipping past Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, and even Borg's 11 to dwarf their records that held up for decades! IDK what to say about it!

    ***All the surfaces play the same? Everyone is using 150" solid plastic Babolats? Those are my 1st thoughts.***

    ...You say injury, I say "surreptitious" suspensions! Guess why! ...From his act on court to possible use of PED's which makes him bulk up 1 season, then musculature disappearing the next! That would explain the injuries; that's for sure!

    ***I put injuries in quotations b/c I believe the same lol...***

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  61. ***...but Rafa's celebration? Sheesh! Talk about an over-reaction...lol***

    I'm from the "old school" and you just don't show up your opponent like that! Murray and Nadal are insufferable w/ the constant fist-pumping and gesticulation even if there's something like an UFE or DF's! It's juvenile and moronic and shows so much disrespect for them and their opponents! I'd barely smile when shaking hands; guy feels bad enough losing to me, I diidn't need to rub it in!

    ***Nadal is a narcissistic clown. It's obvious from watching him that he actually believes everybody's in love w/ him. Those soft porn ads he's putting out are ridiculous.***

    Nadal proved it years ago when Rosol gave it all back to him in his upset at Wimbledon! Rafa did not like it and was written all over his face! I loved it; "how'd you like them apples Rafa?" He didn't learn his lesson so IMO, it's all coming back to him in spades w/ some horrendous losses over the last several years! 3 huge upsets by F3 this season is all you need to hear about, but others occurred against players he's previously owned! He's had MP's only to fall in humiliating style! I don't even need the defeats by qualifiers, WC's, & never-weres! Does that sound bitter? lol!

    ***Winning 1 slam, 4 Masters and the WTF is never avg., no matter who the player is.***

    Wasn't that the season Nadal was #1, but the ITF still gave Nole "Player Of The Year" honors?

    ***Djoko actually won 3 Masters that year.***

    That's a big deal IMO! Back in the day "The AO" was not highly regarded until the last couple decades and few top players went "down under" at select X's, but never consistently until the '80's! Connors started his run of 3 majors of '74, but then the event had a succession of nobodies and never-weres taking the title starting w/ Aussie Mark Edmondson in '76! I think Wilander, Lendl, and Edberg brought respectability back when they started going every season! You still didn't see Borg, McEnroe or Connors until the end of their careers! So The AO has really come a long way; almost = to the others; at least on par w/ the FO! That tourney still garners more props from me due to it's history; esp. w/ naming after RG, and reigns of Lenglen and the 4 Musketeers! Congrats to Nole for setting the bar so high, his record might last for decades!

    ***Roger said recently, “...Once you’ve been world #1 like myself or Rafa or others, you can go in wrong direction in the year if you start chasing rankings.”***

    Oh SNAP; Was that a diss? How does he dismiss the current #1, grouping Nole w/ "OTHERS?" How RUDE! lol! Djokovic has held onto the ranking many more weeks than Nadal; going back to past #1's who had it for more brief periods like Edberg, Becker, Rios, Muster, Rafter, Wilander, and Safin! Those are just a few OTTH!

    ***He already paid his dues to Novak. ...So, "others" here does not include Novak.***

    Just stirring the pot; so deadly dull in the off season! All we can do is blather about what should, could, or can be in the upcoming season!

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  62. ***McEnroe was a strange 1: 1984 was a season of excellence that only promised that Mac's wobbles of the previous 2 years were gone, and he was set fire to dominate the sport for years to come. He reached only 1 more Slam final, going down in straights against Lendl at the USO in '85. Wilander was another bloke, stellar season aged 23 in '88; gone w/ the wind in '89. It can be a brutal game. - Wouldn't it be fun if Novak reaches only 1 more Slam final.
    ---

    Wouldn't it be even more fun if Fedalovic reach only 1 more Slam final BTW them...***

    ...and more likely! Nole more centered and won't fall off the map like past champions! His '12 was a little lackluster after such dominance in '11, but he'll continue to be #1; I'm sure!

    ***If Murray can complete this thing tomorrow, he'd have a really successful career if not for the brilliance and consistency of the "Big 3;" Nole, Rafa, & Roger! After winning an OG, a USO, and then a Wimbledon after decades of British futility, to take a DC w/b really something but for the greatness of his contemporaries! His record will barely register; more in reference to Nole and Rafa probably! Few will care outside GB!
    ---

    Do you think that Sampras is out of the GOAT conversation b/c he never got a FO? ...Or what about Roger before '09? He didn't have a FO title, but no 1 would have said he wasn't a GOAT candidate.
    ---

    Roger and Novak, unlike Sampras, played against the best clay-court player of all-X. The FO was ripe for the taking in the 90s - 8 different players won it! - but Pete could just never do it. But consider that if Rafa had become a fisherman, Roger would probably have 3-4 more FO titles and Novak probably a couple.***

    True enough, all you say is correct, but even w/o a FO, I give Sampras all due credit and easily put him near the TOP for "all X!" Both Pete and Roger should have an asterisk next to their names for different reasons unfortunately, but I still have them neck and neck for "The GOAT!" - I'm just glad Nole "came on" to stop the Nadal era from extended years of '08-'13! If not for Djokovic's '11, Nadal may have owned the season after a great 2010! The Spaniard lost 7 str. to the Serb from that season going thru 2012's AO victory! Rafa may have successfully defended some titles off the dirt and had several great seasons in a row rather than broken success due to injury and losing dominance over Nole!

    ***I can only imagine Fed's stats had Nadal not stepped in from 2005-'13. Let's see... 25 majors, 30 Masters 1000's and 400+ weeks as #1.***

    There you go; always someone in the wings to put a screeching halt to the success of the current #1! If not for Nadal, Roger may have set records unattainable; same for Nole overtaking Nadal! Rafa c/b the 1 re-writing history if Nole remained a perennial #3 in '11! What Rafa chd but for the consistent and relentless play of Nole; amazing change in history in quick succession! The thing is, who "has enough" to STOP Djokovic?

    ***Nicely written. - So true! Each great champion had a rival to slow them down. Fed had Nadal and Nadal has Djokovic, but who can stop him? As long as there is no rival, Novak will continue to attain greatness.
    ---

    That's so true and Djokovic needs to ride this wave as long as he can. Federer did it and milked the cow for everything it was worth. You can't take anything for granted b/c nothing is promised, so he must stay focused and determined for the next 3 years if he wants to maximize his legacy. Someone we may not notice yet could actually be his next serious challenger.***

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  63. ***The 1st player using spin as a significant weapon I watched was Borg and he's nowhere near to guys playing today.***

    Players a lot more gifted back "in the day!" They had to overcome so much; inferior equipment, etc! The ball didn't travel as fast back then, but tennis was a HELL of a lot more entertaining! The great points we see today going 20-30 strokes is routine in the men's game, but players like Sampras and Agassi only had a handful of points like that for the crowd to cheer & feel fortunate t/b in attendance! It's mundane & boring now no matter who wins IMO; at X's unwatchable!

    It was the same w/ the women; King & Goolagong in '74 USO final i.e.! Most of the points were quick, but periodically you'd have some great rallies where both were @ the net scrambling back to keep the point alive! I was entertained a lot more back then than I am today! There are some FO finals btw Roger & Rafa I didn't even wake up to see!
    ---

    ***Borg is Borg. He peaked way too early and was relatively far better athlete than Novak is relative to field today; ...similar to Nadal btw his peak. Even if Novak slips and slides, he's still best we have to offer at this moment on grass; that good.
    ---

    Lendl was awesome, but Andre has all 4 Slams. Mac is just loud.***

    Not everyone can depend on others to toot their horns for them; Borg & Laver are w/o peer in that respect, but now we have the sycophants of Nadal & Federer who are drowning out all else! Nole needs to win the CYGS to get anywhere near "the love" they get on a routine basis, no matter how far they fall from the top! Roger was struggling 2 yrs ago w/ arm trouble, racket vacillation, & "Father X" creeping up on him! His ranking dropped to #6 for a bit, but the news & advertising still featured him! Same w/ Nadal who fell out of the top 10, but he's still assoc. w/ "The Big 4" regardless! Lendl was the consummate pro. of his X and created a revolution dealing w/ nutrition & fitness! Most acknowledged that McEnroe & Connors were still leading the sport even though they were dropping precipitously in the rankings after the mid 80's! Nole's in the same boat and he'll have to do some thing monumental to pull the fans off the jocks of Nadal & Federer!

    ***Very true. I personally think it's unfair that Novak is not more loved, but it is what it is. I think he'll get some more fans when Fedal retire. Right now everyone's still on the Fedal train as you say. - Overall still think Federer has had more great matches than Nadal, we'll see how things lie when Nadal is 34 ;)***

    If Nadal has any respect for his legacy, he'll be out of tennis long before he turns 34! If this past season is any indication of his future, it's best to leave the game within a year or 2! With all this money being offered, he probably won't and he'll really be embarrassed by his results! His fans will sound more and more delusional trying to justify his continuing to struggle playing!

    ***Don't think so. If he's this bad for 2 years, he will retire for sure. - I think it's good for the game for legends to stay in and battle the youngsters. I assume Nadal will be better next year, his play at the end of this year was encouraging - he will surely be dangerous on clay until he retires and esp. next season. He's still a top 5 player and no youngsters on the horizon; he s/b top 10 at least for a while.
    ---

    ...And Wimbledon conditions were faster in '12 too when Roger won. I feel like '09's the only year he won where Centre Court was as slow as it is today.***

    That was in anticipation of a run by Rafa; winner of the AO, defending champion of Wimbledon, and at the time 4 time FO winner! They had no way of knowing Nadal w/b upset by Soderling at RG, then shut it until Roger's Cup! ;-(

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  64. ***Only 6 players made Masters final in '15, w/ 14 diff. names in semis. ...as Top 10 players dominated the series from IW until Paris. In '09 same # of players reached at least 1 last 8 appearance like in '15 (24) w/ just 13 diff. names in semis stage, but in the end 5 players shared titles, much better than only 3 from this season.

    It's easy to spot very interesting period btw '96-'04, w/ at least 6 diff. champs every sn and lots of new names in latter stages on a reg. basis.

    * 1st 4 sns were very chaotic, w/ at least 7 diff. champs in every of them. Btw 39 & 42 players reached at least 1 1/4 every yr (compare that w/ 24 in '15), w/ 20 or more in semis (last X we had that # was back in '07). Except from 1st sn, lowest # of 13 players made final (not reached since '03) as this was golden period for those who didn't have a fave player, but just wanted to enjoy good tennis and new faces in every tourney.

    * After that climax came '95, the most 1-sided Masters sn before mentioned '05. Only 30 players made last 8 app. that yr, and that stayed as a neg. record til '09 (...w/ only 24). In add., there were 19 diff. players in semis, repeated for the 1st X in '05 (17). Agassi, Sampras, Muster & Medvedev were the only winners in '95, as we waited until '05 to see less than 5 players holding trophy.

    * In 9 sns, btw '96-'04, we witnessed amazing battles in a well-balanced field when everyone was able to beat everybody. # of various players w/ titles never went below 6, also w/ at least 11 finalists (15 in '96 & '03, coming close to perfect # of 18). Any kind of domination was just not possible, as only 6 players managed to win B2B titles (never 3 in a row). Out of 81 tourneys played in this period, Agassi had clear lead w/ 10 titles, but behind him a set of amazing players disposed others on = terms (Rios, Kuerten & Safin w/ 5, Sampras, Ferrero & Federer w/ 4, Roddick, Muster, Enqvist & Moya w/ 3 trophies). # of players in semis was never lower than 20, mark unreachable since 2007, and also huge diversity in last 8 spots, as at least 37 diff. players reached 1 or more 1/4's over those seasons.

    * 2005 was real anti-climax, when Nadal joined Federer in dom. over the rest of the Tour. They won 11 ATP titles each (almost every 3rd of the season) and 8 Masters events, leaving Paris to Tomas Berdych b/c they both skipped it. Sampras, Rios & Agassi (2 X's) were the only players w/ 3 Masters titles in a season since '90, and now 2 players were winning 4 each, something probably not even possible to be repeated in the future.

    * In 2007 Djokovic rose to world #3 spot, playing very consistently in Masters series after reaching 6 1/4's & 3 finals, winning 2 titles. Along him and of course Nadal and Federer, David Nalbandian was on amazing level in 2 Indoor tourneys, storming to his lone Masters titles in Madrid & Paris back to back. Only 7 players reached finals in that season, which was the lowest # until '15. Total # of 24 players found their way to a Masters 1/4 that season, being never lower than 30 in all previous ones.

    * ...we were witnessing a complete domination of 4 players (if Federer, Nadal or Djokovic failed to win something Murray was there to grab it). Since the start of '11 "Big 4" lost only 3 Masters 1000 titles, w/ Djokovic as new force to be reckoned after winning 21 of those 45 tourneys! In what was not even imaginable 11 or 12 yrs ago, we mostly had 3 or 4 players taking all Masters in the season (same names over and over every year) and less than 10 various players in the finals. In addition, since '07 there were no more than 17 players in semis and # of those who made at least 1 1/4 is critically low in '14 & '15. It's just sad to see 24 players able to grab all last 8 spots (72 in theory) this season, as there have been 44 of them just 12 years ago.***

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  65. ***The only "weakness" Djokovic has displayed in the last 5 yrs is mental. He occas. underestimates his opponent. After destroying Nadal @ the FO, he became the overwhelming fave to take the title. ...It's the same scenario when he sometimes faces Federer. Djokovic again came into the WTF as the overwhelming fave, ...He then lost the RR match against Fed in str. sets! After that stunner, he got his shit together, realized that Federer was a major threat, played like it, and then defeated him in str. sets in the final.***

    Nole has no glaring weaknesses that c/b exploited for long, but he's still just a man! Like anyone else, he can be serving for a match and complicate his life by giving players another life! We've seen it enough X's; 4th set of '12 AO, 3rd set of '11 USO, & 4th set of '14 Wimbledon! He was lucky to win each after allowing Nadal and Federer to tie and take a set they shouldn't have had! ;-)

    ***Novak won '12 AO after beating Ferrer (5th) in 1/4's, Murray (4th) in semis & Nadal (2nd) in finals, as well as at '13 AO beating Berdych (5th), Ferrer (4th) & Murray (3rd). At '11 AO he was close, beating 6th, 3rd & 5th.***

    IMO no one's had it as tough as Nole; making it to #1 and staying there! No one else seems to do him any favors so he'll have an easier X of it in the semi and final of tourneys like past champions! He seems to have to fight for his life at every turn!

    ***He seems to be doing quite well with this fight for his life so far. - If the ATP pros, namely the ones at the top, let this catastrophe happen of Nole acquiring his own non-C.Y. "slam," I'm sure I will take a good long break from tennis for a few years. ...I think I should tune out as the AO starts.***

    I understand how you feel! I've been calling the "also-rans" of the tour "GUTLESS" for years allowing 3 or 4 players to own the tour for a decade or more! Many have the athletic ability and game to win anything and everywhere, but something between the ears doesn't allow it! It's been like this longer than that, maybe 20 when you see and hear of players like Agassi w/ extended careers, Hewitt owning the #1 ranking, and real head cases acquiring the highest ranking for even a moment like Rios and Safin; I FEEL YOUR PAIN! This should not be happening; esp. w/ "the old man" holding onto #2 ranking w/ just appearances in majors in '14, finally falling to #3, but we'll see what happens in '16! Maybe there will be a changing of the guard around Nole, but so far I'm not sure there's any hope! Players continue to get close, sometimes with MP's serving for it, but end up "choking" like dogs; it's even started happening to Nadal! I think they need to start hiring "shrinks" for the players so they can have their heads "shrunk" while getting a massage after matches!

    ***I'd say Serena reaching the penultimate leg of the CYGS was the luckiest run in '15. She didn't have to beat much to get there compared to Djokovic on the men's side if we go by seeding.***

    Probably the most unimpressive run of wins in the history of women's tennis! Serena was losing sets all through each tournament; really struggling! If it weren't for the charity of her lame competition, she wouldn't have come close! Justice prevailed because history wouldn't have recognized her deficiencies otherwise! ;-)

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  66. ***Based on the title, it seemed as if Fed really wanted that 2nd RG to complete the double CGS.***

    If it was a goal, it's terribly unrealistic! If he wants another Wimbledon to set himself apart from all others, he has to concentrate on grass and other surfaces that are a bit faster than clay! Even though the rest of the tour has been gutless allowing the old man to "hang" for quite a few yrs longer than expected, sooner or later it'll start getting embarrassing! I've said for years he needed to drop the clay tour like all other greats in the past; even Lendl stopped going to Paris in later yrs!

    ***Winning RG a 2nd X to complete a double CGS is HUGER than winning an 8th Wimbledon or OGM in singles. Maybe there's a method to his madness.***

    I disagree wholeheartedly! It's only bragging rights for the player; no one else will care years down the line! He will own Wimbledon like no other w/ 1 more title; sorta like Nadal at the FO and Nole at the Aussie! I give him both ownership of Wimbledon & the USO, but the longer he plays, the less I feel that way about his USO accomplishment of 5 str.! Sooner or later it's all gonna catch up w/ him; no spring chicken here any longer!

    ***Disagree. 2 CGS's w/b IMMORTAL along w/ the overall GS record. I think people these days care more about quality/distribution of the slams rather than bulking up at 1 like Rafa has (9 RG titles).***

    It's only something contrived by TV commentators trying to bolster Agassi's cred after he so underachieved! It's ridiculous; a CGS? That term didn't even exist until 10 yrs ago! Graf has 4 of them and no one brings that up; more into '88 when it really meant something!

    ***Agreed. In mid 90's, nobody really cared. But in 2015/2016, "career slam" is considered most important by the players and fans. Winning all 4 is meaningful. Winning all 4 2x is even bigger.
    ---

    ...what are the odds on Novak winning no slams in '16? Must be quite long? - In general, I'm fine w/ your post, but not convinced Novak found a way to lose. Stan played out of his mind.
    ---

    No, that's true too, Stan played like a man possessed, from maybe the middle of the 2nd set onwards. Nole won the 1st and had BP's early in the 2nd, but didn't maintain his level. It's a great win for Stan, but still, I'm sure Novak often thinks about that 2nd set and how much more aggressive he chb when Stan was looking vulnerable.***

    ...and? You can say the same about Roger in the finals he's lost to Nole over the last 2 yrs! He's had advantages, but that's why we wait until the end of the match! It's called shifting advantages and the tide can turn anyX! I watched that FO final and said to myself Nole didn't look right even after winning the 1st set! I wasn't surprised in the least he lost it! I've seen this happen a lot over 40+ yrs of watching tennis; MP's mean nothing if you can't complete the deal and Nole didn't! Stan got on a roll and deservedly won his 1st FO title; 2nd major! I was disappointed, but Nole's had his share of comebacks when others had the advantage; including Roger, Rafa, & Andy! Happens all the X! No one's immune to changing fortunes!

    ***Oh I agree, and I'm not criticising Novak. I'm just saying he'd have bitten your hand off last Jan. if you told him he'd knock Rafa out, and lead Stan by a set and have BP early in the 2nd. Of course, over 5 sets fortunes can fluctuate. I watched Connors go up 2 sets against Borg in '81, playing out of his skin, and Borg looked punch drunk, but came back to win in 5. Put it this way: I never bought the idea that the 2014 Oz final was over soon as Stan broke in the second set, regardless of Rafa's back. The beauty of 5 set matches is, they're long and fortunes can change.***

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  67. It's Nole's confidence in not overplaying to beat Rafa! Even when he hit winners, it wasn't anything that looked like he "took chances!" They were measured, controlled points that made Rafa look like he was "totally at sea!" He was as helpless as a rookie in the WTF match I just re-watched! It was great!

    ***Well said. 2010-14 battles were more like clashes of Titans. But '15 was indeed a pure dominance. - Nobody can walk through slams like Fed & Murray. They are just too good for the rest of the tour.***

    This never happened "back in the day!" Even Connors, Borg, & McEnroe couldn't avoid upsets someX! I've been saying this current crop are gutless for 10 yrs; unable to finish, even w/ MP's in hand! Disgusting! It's not like I want upsets, but for the same players to win all the majors and Masters, what else can you say about the "also-rans, qualifiers, wildcards, & never-weres?" Only Rafa has been vulnerable and Murray to some extent of late get all kind empathy sighting injuries, surgery, etc! They're still way ahead of the rest and I just can't believe this persists year after year!

    ***Youngsters have been ruined looking at "Big 4" and what needs t/b done in order to win slam. When "Big 4" start to slow down, youngsters will start to bite.***

    I said that too a few yrs ago; esp. after Roger won his last Wimbledon in '12! Now 3-4 yrs older and he's still allowed to make final after final! ...Rafa's been allowed to leave the tour for extended periods and come back as if nothing's changed! That was something else that didn't happen much in the past; but now all too common to see! Today's stars all have the strokes and athletic ability, but they're twisted in the head and don't take advantage of "time" passing on the "Big 4!"

    ***...The way Nole is playing now, he's on pace to break all kinds of records. But whether or not he can maintain the form for the X he would need to do that is unlikely; injuries, age, other players making adjustments etc. These things come into play no matter what any dominant player does to avoid them.***

    When Nole has serving problems, he just begins to spin them in and back it up w/ an aggressive groundie! At the WTF a few wks ago, he missed all his 1st serves w/ new balls; still won routinely running Nadal back and forth, drop-shotting him, then lobbing over his bead for winners!

    ***...Novak had a lone win til Fed officially declined and he was thrashed like a 'step child' repeatedly by both Fed & Rafa.***

    ...I was a big fan of Roger's; found little fault w/ his whole act! The longer he hangs on though; disappoints me on par w/ Michelle Kwan in "figure skating!" After '01, she was pretty much done, but hanging on for another 4 yrs, she stunted the development of the next tier of stars! She skated well enough to hold on marginally, but didn't do much else beside take "Nat'ls;" a lot of the X more charity than her actually winning it! The same can be said about Roger now, playing well enough t/b more of an annoyance than actually threatening to do something substantive! I'm sorry, but his last real run was 3 yrs ago! He's always had trouble w/ Rafa and Murray having his # at the beginning of his career; 8-3 before a total reversal of late! That told me it was more the mental side of the game weighing on Murray and he's being stunted like the rest of these gutless wonders by Roger and Nole now! It's not like I'm looking for upsets, but it's getting frustrating seeing "The Big 4" owning the tour; even w/ extended absences from the game due to injury or "under the table" suspensions b/c of PED usage! ...Will Kei, Milos, Dimitrov, and all the rest step up this next season and finally put that final nail in Fed's coffin?

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  68. ***I think we have seen enough Murray-Nole for a lifetime. Possibly the most boring matchup on tour.***

    It takes me back 30 yrs to matchup of Lendl vs Mecir; Ivan among others saying their matches were just plain "ugly!" It had to be like that since Mecir was the Big Cat who got to everything as smooth and effortlessly as you please w/ tons of touch and finesse! In the '86 USO, he had upset Becker the night before in 5 set semi! Lendl decided the best way to handle it is to bludgeon the guy to death; hence a horrible USO final where Ivan won "in strts" over his ex-countryman! It's starting t/b like that here w/ Nole and Andy; in this case both trying to take the cover off the ball! Djokovic just does it and everything else a lot better and their matches aren't 1/2 as competitive as they used t/b! Nole just thrown off w/ rain delay in their last big match in Paris this past year! I'm not greedy; if Nole goes down, I won't be depressed! As long as he 1/2 defends this past season I'll be happy enough! He doesn't need to even defend B2B Masters like IW & Miami! He should start being more judicious in his playing like Roger to sustain this level of excellence!

    ***Aside from Novak's AO-'11 straight set SF victory vs Fed, Djokovic's 2011 version lost 1 Slam match to Fed at RG-11 and escaped from MP's in another 1 at USO-'11. OTOH Djokovic '15 never allowed Fed to win more than a set in their Slam matches. ...Statistics show Roger was great and I personally thought that Federer was closer to peak form at Wimbledon-'15 than USO-'15, but my friend who follows Fed's career for a long X said that Roger actually was in a life-X form at USO-'15.
    ---

    Federer is hurting himself and his legacy by not retiring.***

    I've been saying that for a while! Unfortunately the 2nd tier of the tour have been gutless and been unable to force the old man into retirement! They give him comfort that he can hang on for a few more years! Players like Raonic and Nishikori can't stay on the court more than a few wks before breaking down again! It's so sad to see true athletes w/ talent, but they're so frail, it's been a colossal waste of their X and ours cheering them on! Sooner or later Fed will hang it up, but being #2 or #3 gives him no reason to even think about it now! He's picking up at least 1 Masters and a few 500's to sustain him and making it worth his while to be fodder for Nole and Rafa when they meet in majors!

    ***It's only Novak who's stopping him at the moment. Imagine what might happen if Novak's level drops - Federer senses that no young person is rising up and taking responsibility, so he's waiting for Novak to fall now.***

    Nole's fall reflects something like '12 w/ 1 major, but still holding onto #1 ranking! No one's been this consistent; even Rafa in his ownership of the tour was fleeting and most of the X had him falling off the map in the fall and winter! Djokovic starts off well each season winning AO as a routine, has been hogging the early Masters in IW & Miami, and has owned the winter for the last few years w/ his personal event in China, winning it 6 X's IIRC! He's not the GOAT as of yet, but he's writing chapters in the record book that'll probably be acknowledged for decades to come! ;-)

    ***Exactly why Roger still staying in the game, the growth among young players is hindering. Tom Brady can still stay in the game cause NFL's healthy w/ young talent. Tennis though needs new stars to make the game healthy and cyclic. They'll become a complacent gen. & by the X Roger'll be in retirment, most of these guys probably w/b past their prime.***

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  69. Borg's 1 of the most ICONIC players of all X! Even w/ just 11 majors, his accomplishments are legendary and he's given more credit due to conditions, using a wood racket, and playing from the baseline when all around him were serve/volley specialists! He had to survive a lot to have won the "Old World Triple" of Rome, Paris, and Wimbledon in '78, taking B2B majors at FO/Wimbledon 3 X's w/ one week break and no practice tournaments on grass, and of course winning 5 str. Wimbledons, and holding onto a level of play seldom seen until recently w/ "The Big 4!"

    ***Borg is the bridge btw the old world traditional sport of tennis and the modern pro game we have today. ...He introduced a whole new audience to the sport. No player had done that previously (except perhaps Tilden), and no player has done it since. I can't understand the lack of love here for the importance of clay court tennis and in particular, the FO title. ...That is Borg's eternal legacy to the game of tennis. For me, that is the true measure of "Greatness."***

    He asked for a couple months off and the ATP gave him the cold shoulder! He's the reason the rules have changed for tenured stars! After 600 wins or 10 years on tour, you can be a little more selective and not make all the Super 9 tourneys! That's all it would have taken back then and THEY BLEW IT! Borg would have won another FO or 2 w/o a sweat and maybe of gotten that elusive USO in '82 or '83 over Connors who he owned! ;-)

    ***...Even Federer & Hewitt started making Sampras' retirement preps by beating him in the early 2000s. ...I wouldn't mind if someone like Dimitrov didn't win a Slam next year, but I'd want to see them making at least 3 Slam Semifinals to prove to everyone that they can constantly give themselves chances to make an impact and to potentially win.
    ---

    Roddick probably would've gotten 300% more slams or something. Not to mention the mental effect as well due to Fed's ownership in matches.***

    It's a shame Roger had his #, but Roddick's game was so limited, it didn't bother me he was held to just 1 major! It didn't win titles back then and I didn't want it to win now! Players like Krickstein, Arias, and so many more never even played a major final; feel more for them who didn't get 1/2 as much out of their game due to players just "that much better" like Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, and so many others! Roddick's rich & in demand on and off the court! Last I heard, Krickstein doing something w/ "marine biology!"

    ***...anyX 1 retires, it creates opportunity and forces the underdogs to become better and understand on how to win. When Serena went through her slump in '14, it created opportunity for young stars to break through and rise through the rankings.***

    The same thing is going on w/ the ladies' tour! Serena's not playing that well, but the other women have problems finishing her off! Bencic in Canada the most impressive winning from behind! The rest of the stars have wimped out, esp. Sharapova & Aza who have failed so miserably against the old lady; even against Venus! It's so sad to see go on yr after yr; Serena being gifted matches when down for the count! Vinci finally did what the others shb doing long before this past USO! ;-)

    ***In this case, Novak's in his prime and clearly above everybody. Serena Wms, even though she had an amazing year, did not play great or awesome tennis this year. I wonder if that's an indicator on the depth and skill of women's tennis is getting better or if Serena's starting to show the wear and tear of a 34 yr vet.?***

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  70. ***Novak w/b celebrated when he hangs up his racket. ...Glory-hunting tennis fans don't want him to win b/c they were fed the Federer/Nadal love affair for so long and believed it. It's Federer fans who are quite pompous and ignorant at the same X, and who can't stand to see this guy dominating the game. They fear Novak, not hate him. The media will also play sides and the whole ball boy situation was over the top and they started the same thing at Wimbledon to throw Djokovic off his stride. It didn't work. Sampras was regarded as boring and Agassi the cool guy w/ a great personality. Now that they are retired, Agassi's on the back burner and Sampras is celebrated more since he was indeed a better champion. Sampras' regarded as a King now even though he wasn't then. The same thing will happen w/ Novak. The next gen. will want to know who this guy is b/c he did something that was almost impossible and did it pretty damn well. - Connors > than Borg, Sampras, Nadal & Djokovic?***

    I can only guess some people never saw these players at the height of their powers! Clips will never do justice to the skill and confidence of Laver, Borg, and Sampras and how they ruled their eras! Some comedy personalities joke about kids don't think history is important if it happened before they were born! So sad!

    ***Yes basically. I've never seen Laver play, but have seen re-runs of Borg, who was amazing. I've seen Sampras win at least 1/2 of his Slams. Just deadly. I wish I had seen Laver, but even w/o seeing him, I know he's the last guy to win a CYGS. Some people don't really know these players or what they contributed and only talk nonsense. - In terms of greatness, Borg is a peer of Sampras & Nadal. Djokovic's not there yet, though he's getting closer.***

    2016 will change all of that! I watch his play from this past fall and just can't believe how in control he was when competing against Nole, Roger, & Andy! It was almost embarrassing him jerking them around the court, running down all their best shots, then putting them on the defensive from the baseline and net! The serve has definitely improved, but even when he falters w/ it, the groundies are deadly; Rafa standing there pretty much helpless and not knowing where to go! ;-)

    ***If Djokovic has another '15, he will be neck and neck w/ the 3 I mentioned in my own rankings. But change can happen quickly. His serve this year has been a major weapon. It will be the key shot for him as he ages. - He didn't slow down in the fall of '15, that's for sure. If anything, he tightened his grip. The serve has improved, but what I noticed is that he won the USO Final w/ no serve. He wasn't hitting or placing it well and IDK if that was nerves/crowd, but he still won in 4 sets. - Djokovic is primed to pass Borg w/ 1 more Slam. I know the Legend of Borg is huge, but as far as accomplishments, he's already > than Borg in every category except Slams.***

    It's not like I'm this huge fan of his game, but Nole doesn't offend me the way other baseliners can; esp. Rafa w/ his whole act of "entitlement!" Murray, Rafa, Ferrer, and Berdych are players that s/b doing more to win rather than hoping their opponent has a heart attack and drops! They're boring and won't win much against Nole playing as they do! ;-)

    ***I just always liked the way Nole struck the ball on both sides. I was a fan of his ball striking and shot making. I remember when it was around '09 and he was taking sets from Rafa on clay and I said then, "this guy is no 1 Slam wonder." I think Murray is good but is too defensive, Berdych has talent but implodes, and Ferrer is not equipped to handle the top guys. Rafa is a clay monster, but can be exposed on other surfaces, esp. when he's content on long rallies.***

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  71. ***I see Novak as largely an upgraded Lendl.***

    True enough, but he's surpassed Ivan in so many ways; the least of it being he owns 3 Wimbledons to Lendl's 0! Ivan does have his 3 FO's, but I think he'd trade them all in for 1 Wimbledon; his obsession knowing he had to work extra hard to achieve that goal! It's easier for Nole now w/ the tech, fitness programs, and of course "homogenized courts," history won't care! Djovovic so far ahead, it's all gravy now; sorta like Roger's Wimbledon in '12! I think Nole will add a lot more to his record in his "waning" years b/c the rest of the tour is so gutless and weak in comparison! They have the ability, but something inside isn't translating to more wins over the top echelon! We can only hope the "new bloods" step up this coming year and make it hard for Rafa & Roger to hold their positions at the top of the rankings!

    ***Mmm, let's not go overboard mate. - How's it all gravy for Stretch from here on out?***

    Dispute what; my chiding of the current situation on the tour or the fact Nole's already ahead of Ivan? Who predicted Nole would even make double digits in majors w/ the love-fest of Fedal was rampant? The main stream media glorified their rivalry; which wasn't a rivalry really since Rafa had pretty much owned Roger, "lock, stock, & barrel!" The last several yrs it's been real ugly w/ Roger maybe snagging 1 match! Nole had not only gotten to 10 w/ ease, he's about to OWN records outside of majors like his dominance in the Masters! What record won't be his by next season?

    ***...Djokovic quite easily grabbed AO-'08 trophy by taking out peak Fed & peak Stronga, but then he saw Rafa started peaking and becoming all-surfaces beast, so foxy Djoker decided that until peak Nadal was schooling the tour in 2008-'10 seasons, it w/b rational to take it easy in terms of his tennis efforts in order to save his mileage and mental resources. He's 27 and we're about the enter the Djokovic era, so much X left, you can't even imagine how much X it actually is. Michael Jordan won his 1st chp at the age of 28.
    ---

    I think Djokovic had it tough for most of his career. His '11 is what sets him apart from the other players mentioned; even Borg. That year he absolutely destroyed an ATG in his prime, w/ Fed still playing at a very high level; Murray being very tough. I remember watching those wins against Rafa, and the guy was crushed, he was playing his best and was consistantly losing. Their matches during that 2 to 3 yr stint I think were the highest level I have seen. Rafa & Fed wasnt really a rivalry as everyone knew Rafa wins more often than not; esp. Fed.***

    ...To this day, Nadal still hasn't won a WTF, a couple Masters events, & worst of all "has never defended a title off the dirt!" Even Borg w/ all those aggressive S & V play won 5 straight Wimbledons, owns a couple Masters YE Chps, & defended a # of titles indoors, on HC, & grass! Rafa can't say that and it doesn't look like it'll change before all is said and done!

    ***The ITF announced today that Novak Djokovic of Serbia is the '15 ITF World Champions. ...Hingis & Mirza become Women’s Doubles WC; Hingis is an ITF WC 15 yrs after last being named WC in singles in 2000. Djokovic won a career-best 11 titles in '15, ending at #1 in the YE rankings for the 4th X. He won 3 major titles at the AO, Wimbledon & USO, and was runner-up at RG. He was in commanding form on all surfaces, boasting a career-best 82-6 win-loss record during the year. Djokovic said: “It is an honor to be named ITF World Champion for the 5th X. My season was the best of my career w/ many highlights. It inspires me even more to keep on going, and I hope to continue to play at this level in '16.***

    ReplyDelete
  72. ***2012 recapitulation:

    YE rankings:
    1 SRB Djokovic 12,920
    2 SUI Federer 10,265 (-2655, No1e had 26% > pts than Fed)
    3 GBR Murray 8,000 (-4920, No1e had 62% > pts than Muzza)
    4 ESP Nadal 6,690 (-6230, No1e had 93% > pts than Rafa)

    No1e:
    AO (HC)
    Barclays WTF's (Indr/HC)
    Masters 1000 Shanghai (Outdr/HC)
    Masters 1000 Canada (Outdr/HC)
    Masters 1000 Miami (Outdr/HC)
    Beijing 500 (Outdr/HC)

    Finals:
    USO (HC)
    RG (Clay)
    Masters 1000 Cinci. (HC)
    Masters 1000 Rome (Clay)
    Masters 1000 MC (Clay)
    -

    Fed:
    Wimbledon (Grass)
    Masters 1000 Cinci. (HC)
    Masters 1000 Madrid (Clay)
    Masters 1000 IW (HC)
    Dubai 500 (HC)
    Rotterdam 500 (Indr/HC)

    Finals:
    Barclays WTF's (Indr/HC)
    London Olympics (Grass)
    Basel 500 (Indr/HC)
    Halle 250 (Grass)
    -

    Muzza:
    USO (HC)
    London Olympics (Grass)
    Brisbane 250 (HC)

    Finals:
    Wimbledon (Grass)
    Masters 1000 Shanghai (HC)
    Masters 1000 Miami (HC)
    Dubai 500 (HC)

    Rafa:
    RG (Clay)
    Masters 1000 Rome (Clay)
    Masters 1000 MC (Clay)
    Barcelona 500 (Clay)

    Finals:
    AO (HC)
    ---

    Nole's era: '11 - '15:

    Nole vs Fed + Rafa
    GS: 9 vs 1+5=6
    WTF: 4 vs 1+0=1
    Masters: 21 vs 7+9=16
    YE #1: 4 vs 0+1=1
    Wks: 180 vs 17+63=80
    ITF Champ: 5 vs 0

    Nole vs Fed + Rafa + Muzza
    GS: 9 vs 1+5+2=8
    WTF: 4 vs 1+0+0=1
    OG: 0 vs 0+0+1=1
    Masters: 21 vs 7+9+5=21
    YE #1: 4 vs 0+1+0=1
    Wks: 180 vs 17+63+0=80
    ITF Champ: 5 vs 0

    H2H
    No1e vs Fed: 16-9 (+WO)
    GS: 6-2
    WTF: 3-1 (+WTF)
    Masters: 6-4
    ATP500: 1-2
    Finals: 9-3 (+WO)
    ...

    No1e vs Rafa: 16-7
    GS: 4-4
    WTF: 2-0
    Masters: 8-3
    ATP500: 2-0
    Finals: 14-5
    ...

    No1e vs Muzza: 17-6
    GS: 6-2
    WTF: 1-0
    OG: 0-1
    Masters: 9-2
    ATP500: 1-1
    Finals: 7-4
    ...

    Nole vs Big 4: 49-22 (+WO)
    GS: 16-8
    WTF: 6-1 (+WO)
    OG: 0-1
    Masters: 23-9
    ATP500: 4-3
    Finals: 29-12 (+WO)


    - 3 Slams & a final + WTF.
    - Most pts in 1 seasons by some margin (more than 1000 pts over Fed's 2006), all-X records.

    - Most Masters titles in a season (6), all-X records as well.
    - Most T1 titles in a season (10), record.
    - Most T1 finals in a season (13), record.
    - Most cons. finals in a season (15), record.
    - Most Masters finals in a season (8), record.
    - Most top 10 wins, 31 (record) and 1 of the best top 10 W-L (31-5) ratio of all X's for sure (if not the best).

    - Big titles on all surfaces (something Fed missed in '06).
    - + H2H vs all main rivals (unlike Fed in '06).

    Fed had no all X records in any category, ...anyone of them No1e has in this year! Even his W-L records is not best, & it’s slightly better than No1e's due to smallest tourneys (250). His record in T1 tournaments was worst. He had losing H2H to his main rival (2-4) and that can’t be dominance over whole tour. No clay titles talks for it self about dominance over all surfaces!
    ---

    Points:
    No1e 66755
    Fed 40740 (Nole 64% >; avg + 5203 pts / yr)
    Rafa 41425 (Nole 61% >; avg + 5066 pts / yr)
    Muzza 34375 (Nole 94% >; avg + 6475 pts / yr)
    ---

    That’s dominance for 1 season; this (2015) is THE most dominant season in the ATP era by any player! But if you take a periods of cons. dominance than is No1es era '11 - Have you got the pts total for Fed from '04-09, how many ranking pts he achieved from that period? He achieved 77k pts. Novak from 11-15 has archived 66.8k pts.***

    ReplyDelete
  73. ***Can Fed, Nadal, Murray, or anyone else pose a real threat to Djokovic's #1 dominance? He has dominated the tour over the last 5 yrs, winning more Slams, Finals & Masters than anyone. In '15 he scarily increased his dom. to win 10 Tour 1 titles, 6 M-1000, WTF & 3 GS's; no other has ever accomplished this.

    -Best seasons since 2000 rankings standardization (% pts of total 4GS+WTF+9 M-1000 possible 100% pts):

    1 Djokovic 90.7% 2015 >>> NOLE's best season - 1st place overall...

    -Best seasons in Open Era, according to broad top ATP & ITF titles (only 9 M-1000, 1 WTF, 4 GS):

    10 Titles - Djokovic-'15
    8 Titles - Fed-'06, Djoker-'11
    7 Titles - Nadal-'13
    6 Titles - Djokovic-'14, 2xFederer-'07-'005, Sampras-'94, 2xLendl-'87-'86, McEnroe-'84, Borg-'79, 2xConnors-'76-'74.
    ---

    I guess 30-35 are the new young ages in the men's game? Haven't seen a collection of crappy 20-somethings like this ever?***

    This era makes me reminisce about the 70's! Connors & Borg were the 'young guns,' but the rest of the tour had senior citizens in comparison; Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Nastase, Ashe, and so many others around 30+! After the youth movement of the 90's, we didn't think it would happen again, but here we are; "30-somethings" hoarding the rankings!

    ***Perfect analysis, 80's w/ Becker, Wilander, Edberg & then Chang, Agassi, Sampras. The 80's dropped the avg. age of top 10s to something around ~27. If we compare '75-'85-'95-'05-'15, we would get a U skewed like graph. I think 7/10 were under 25 in '95 & only Agassi was above 30s in '05. W/ Hewitt, then Nadal, & subsequently Djokovic and Murray (both around 19-21 when they broke into Top 4); really thought the 'young guns' had it all. Even Federer was like 20-21 when he entered Top 10. Now, '15 finishes w/ Top 10 being on average ~30 yo... incredible how X's & trends change.***

    ...and repeat! ;-)

    ***Djoker has not dominated the tour for the "last 5 yrs." He dominated '11 & '15. He didn't dominate '12, '13 or '14. Sustained dominance was Fed from '04-'09. Who's most likely to challenge Djoker in '16? The default answer is Murray, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for him. Lots of people are thinking his DC win will suddenly transform him like it did Nole, but Djoker is by far the superior player; mentally and tactically. I see Novak declining in '16 and winning 1 slam, possibly 2.***

    Wishful thinking, but I think Nole will take that kind of decline; retaining his #1 ranking!

    ***It's quite possible Roger & Nole will never play in a slam again. ...I think '15 will be Roger's swan song in majors.***

    My thoughts exactly! ...Stefan won't be around for support and the only direction Roger can possible go is down! Nole will maintain and take at least 2 majors and retain his #1 ranking and status! The ADS will continue to feature the 'old guard' in Roger and Rafa, but the record books will tell a whole different story IMO!

    ***The advantage Djokovic has in this position comparing to what Federer and Nadal had in the past is that all of his main rivals are older. Rafa's 1 year older, Fed's 6, Stan's 2; Murray's 1 week older (...not a big diff.). ...Nole a Slam champion back in '10, a WTF winner, a X Masters' winner and a #2 already. None of the youngsters of today have achieved any of this. ...Less dom. than in '15, but still strong. Rafa c/b his biggest threat, but he's not going to transform back to '13 version. ...Whoever says w/ confidence that Federer, Nadal, Murray or Stan will dethrone Novak for whatever reason, then their claims that he'll decline b/c he's approaching 29, "the holy year of declining" makes no sense. All other mentioned players are already there.***

    ReplyDelete
  74. ***Tennis is the mentally hardest sport...why?***

    Back in the day, TENNIS was very difficult to learn and play; not like today where someone c/b tourney ready in 6 months! The rackets were little more than STICKS! It took years to get anywhere near battle testing w/ wood in the 70's! Even w/ the tech of today, fitness programs, & sports psychologists, TENNIS is like no other sport IMO! Your brain has t/b like a computer judging wind, pace of shot, and confidence! This is why so many crack serving for a match; even NOLE! He was up 2 breaks in the 4th on Roger @ '14 Wimbledon and ...Rafa's feeling a lot of the latter pressure; actually giving a match to Fabio @ the USO when up 2 sets to 0! It's happening a lot more frequently; MP's in hand and he has begun letting matches get away from him! I figured it would happen a lot sooner! ;-)

    ***No 1 younger to Novak has beaten him since Time Immemorial. The last X someone younger to Novak has beaten him was Nishikori in '14. ...Show some respect.***

    Respect what; injury prone mental cases that can't seem to finish no matter the lead? In Cinci a few months ago, Dimitrov was up a 2 breaks on Murray in the 2nd set and MP's in the 3rd, but found a way to lose it! All these guys do it to some extent; hence the limited winners of Masters and majors for the last 10 years! It's almost as embarrassing as the old days w/ the women when Martina & Chris divvied up the spoils! You expect a little of that w/ most of the new bloods, but what's going on w/ the veterans that can't seem to finish when they're up as well? Nadal, Federer, and of course Djokovic own so many of the other top players like Ferrer, Berdych, Tsonga, Gasquet, & Cilic! Another 2 years of this and the MEN will official be an embarrassment if someone doesn't break through and take some Masters and at least 1 Slam!

    ***Besides, the youngest player to win a GS, a WTF, & a Master1000 tournament (the 14 most important ITF and ATP trophies) was: Novak Djokovic. He was 19-21. - Since '07, 'The Big 4" won 110/126 of those Tour14 titles. The only players other then these 4 to have won such tourneys were: Nalbandian, Davydenko, Tsonga, Del Potro, Roddick, Soderling, Ljubicic, Ferrer, Cilic & of course, Wawrinka. Only Delpo and Cilic are younger than Novak, and just by 1 year...
    ---

    Maybe current era is more competitive then ever, a reason why Young Guns (20-26) and other Veterans (27-33) can't excel to the point of reaching finals in big events or vertically climb rankings. This theory is backed by how big tennis has become. Inflation adjusted prize $$, # of pro athletes relative world population and # of countries w/ representation in Top 200 and quantity of cities hosting official ATP/ITF/WTA events. Problem is the Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Murray are so good and distant from the rest, that any increase in competitiveness may pass unnoticed.
    ---

    Federer should just skip the FO and concentrate on Wimbledon. I think this represents his only chance of winning a slam next year.***

    I've been saying that for years! It's his ego and extending the record of major appearances! He'll say it doesn't matter, but why go to Paris at all unless he's planning on tanking it? It's not like he's going to win! Remember, the Olympics are soon after Wimbledon! Why go through all that abuse on clay?

    ***Yes ITA! This will damage his chances at Wimbledon & Olympics. This s/b his goal for '16; clay suit players w/ grinding styles and Roger as he's got older relies mostly on his serve which doesn't suit clay at all. He's probably 5th or 6th fave for RG so why go through that when he's probably going to have a good chance at Wimbledon if he's fresh?***

    ReplyDelete
  75. ***ITA that Djokovic definitely has Nadal beat in terms of skill and overall ability, but Nadal at his best is arguably as good or even better from the baseline. He may not return as well or be as flexible, but he's still faster than Djokovic and can retrieve more balls than anyone I've seen. This obviously allows him to stay in rallies longer and gives him more X to outlast or punish his opponent from the baseline. His FH when "it's on" is also 1 of the heaviest and most lethal shots in the game, and he is able to utilize it both defensively and offensively. This combo, while simple, has dismantled the best players, even Djokovic. So while Djokovic's game is more complete, that doesn't necessarily mean it's better. Nadal does have more weaknesses and areas where he's lacking, but he still makes up for it by focusing on and enhancing his strengths. - Good analysis, but while Nadal is the best defender of all X he's still only a tick better than Djoker at it.
    ---

    Borg popularized it, Nadal brought a new physicality, but Novak perfected it. - If Federer is the GOAT, then it has to be him. He's an offensive baseliner, not an all court player as some people make him out t/b. Sampras was the greatest exponent of an all court game.
    ---

    Nadal for my money is the greatest baseliner of all X. He's by far the most dominate clay courter in the history of the game. And clay is all about the baseline. He has also proven himself on all surfaces.***

    ...except in his inability to defend a title off the dirt! That's why I can never anoint Rafa the GOAT! That's just too bizarre! It's 1 thing to have a player's # like he has over a peer like Federer, but these absences from the tour and rankings yo-yoing around isn't a representation of someone totally "GREAT!"

    ***Are you suggesting Nadal is faster than Borg then? I think both have better footspeed than Djoker, but it's made up for quite substantially through Nole's flexibility and efficiency of movement (less small steps and often more seamless lateral transitions). When thinking of how players use their footwork, I think of Djokovic differently to Borg, Fed or Nadal; in that he's slightly < explosive, but makes up for it w/ his various movement idiosyncrasies, w/ the net result being approximately = quickness; in the tennis sense.***

    Supposedly Borg had the "heart" of a BEAR and it only beat somewhere in the 30's, maybe 38 BPMs! That reportedly made his stamina the best @ the X; maybe ever! Rafa trying to play that game of "stall and wait" wouldn't work; Borg could stay out there all day while Rafa would inevitably melt into the court! The guy starts sweating like a pig after 2 games! Borg barely used his wristbands!

    ***I have to say straight up, when thinking about it, that it's really hard to argue for Djoker being a better baseliner than Nadal, when he hasn't won a single FO - not even 1. That's actually a big deal. So the ?? is: is Djokovic's baseline game already up to standard, and future RG titles are inevitable??***

    Well I'm definitely 1 of those people who in the past anointed Sampras "THE GOAT" even w/o playing a FO final! At least Fed played a # of amazing finals before finally taking a title of his very own in '09 w/ an assist by Robin Soderling! To this day, I hope Roger was appreciative enough to send the guy a nice gift for Xmas; a car or house whb fitting!

    ***Yeah; seems the standard of the current era has punished Sampras, and we now expect things like CS's and genuine surface versatility, and such.***

    Punished isn't the 1/2 of it; he dropped several places, including behind the man recognized as a bonafide GOAT w/ 2 CYGS! Laver won 1 as an amateur in '62 and his other at the dawn of the Open era in '69! After all's said and done, Pete might drop below Emerson on the GOAT list!

    ReplyDelete
  76. ***If you asked any European, they would always say the FO's more prestigious than the USO. If you asked any American they say the USO. ...almost never watch any of the FO (then again I'm biased as I live in US). USO is mentally tougher, but the FO's more physically demanding.***

    The days of me waking up at 8 am to start watching the FO has been over for years! Nadal did the tourney no favors since I've never cared for the way he plays the game; or his act on court w/ stalling, toweling off, challenging every call, blah, blah, blah! I'm looking forward to Nole completing his CGS, but it's doubtful I'll get up early to see it; more like the replay later "if he wins!" Even though Borg was my fave player, I still wouldn't watch those boring long 5 setters he had w/ Vilas and Orantes back in the mid '70's; went out to play myself! The women's matches were on tape delay when Martina was competing so I didn't bother w/ the losses to Chris in '85 & '86; too painful! '84 I can watch over and over; Martina murdered Chris in "strt's!" If I were guaranteed a pummeling of Nadal like what was done to him in the 1/4's this past tourney, I'd consider setting my alarm!

    ***I thought Nadal played a role in making people care about the FO again. Overall FO has lost it's appeal, cause of lack of infrastructure and lack of challenge system. ...I still think Graf has the #'s.***

    People neglect to think of how dominant Navratilova was in doubles which gives her 59 majors in the OPEN era; no one else can say that! She's the female Federer w/ tons of records that will NEVER be broken! No matter how many Serena adds, she'll never come close to 59 so forget her, Graf, and anyone who comes along later IMO!

    ***Another good point I must concede. Nobody thinks about doubles achievements, but many of the recent tennis champions don't have many doubles achievements compared to the champs of previous eras. Laver, Mac, etc. were awesome in doubles too, so surely that gives them a leg up over modern champs.***

    Nole truly has taken tennis to another level, just like Lendl 30 yrs ago!

    ***Exactly! Lendl revolutionised the game back in the 80s w/ his power baseline game. He absorbed the early beatdowns from Mac & Connors, before turning the tables on both of them and carving out his own legacy. In the same way Djoker spent 4 yrs at #3 in Fedal's shadow, before doing the same thing. It's this resilience and fortitude that makes them both so admired.
    ---

    Arguing for Novak '15:
    Unprecedented 6 ATP masters 1000 titles in a season.
    Unprecedented, perfect 13 finals at GS, WTF & ATP 1000 level.
    Unprecedented 15 cons. finals in a season.
    Unprecedented 31 wins vs Top 10 players.
    2 ATP 1000 titles beat 3 ATP 250 titles.
    More YE ATP points (converted to today's pt. system).
    Won titles on all surfaces (clay, grass, indoor & outdoor HC. Fed missed a clay title. Madrid 'was' indoor HC.)

    Arguing for Federer '06:
    More total # of titles (12 to 11). BTW, Laver '69 had 18, Vilas '77 had 16.
    Better W-L ratio (92-5 to 82-6). BTW, McEnroe '84 had 82-3, Connors '74 had 93-4.
    ---

    Highest Season Winning % (90%+)
    1. John McEnroe ('84) .965 82–3
    2. Jimmy Connors ('74) .959 93–4
    3. Roger Federer ('05) .953 81–4
    4. Roger Federer ('06) .948 92–5
    5. Björn Borg ('79) .933 84–6
    6. Novak Djokovic ('15) .932 82-6
    7. Roger Federer ('04) .925 74–6
    = Ivan Lendl ('86) .925 74–6
    9. Ivan Lendl ('85) .923 84–7
    10. Ivan Lendl ('982) .922 106–9
    11. Björn Borg ('80) .921 70–6
    = Novak Djokovic ('11) .921 70-6
    13. Ivan Lendl ('89) .919 79-7
    = Jimmy Connors ('75) .919 79-7
    15. Jimmy Connors ('76) .918 90-8
    16. Jimmy Connors ('78) .917 66-6
    17. Björn Borg ('77) .916 76-7
    18. Rafael Nadal ('13) .915 75-7
    19. Ivan Lendl ('87) .914 74-7***

    ReplyDelete
  77. ***The last yrs that the Big 3 won 3 slams, they reached 3 finals the following year and lost 2.

    Fed '07 - wins 3
    Fed '08 - 3 slam finals, loses 2

    Nadal '10 - wins 3
    Nadal '11 - 3 slam finals, loses 2

    Djokovic '11 - wins 3
    Djokovic '12 - 3 slam finals, loses 2

    Djokovic '15 - wins 3
    Djokovic '16 - (???)
    ---

    Djokovic's more likely to do a Federer-esque '07.***

    Let's just say it wouldn't be a big surprise if Nole's '16 is like Fed's '07 instead of '08 or Nadal's '11! It wasn't like it was close w/ any of his rivals; esp. Nadal who he appears to own now! Why people keep giving Nadal credit and a real chance to win another FO anyX soon still escapes me! He might not even make it to a later round to see if Nole might choke another final against him! Nole proved his mettle in that 1/4-final in June w/ little effort!

    ***Nadal was poor in '15 and probably will not be at such a level this year. I'm not one of those thinking about Rafa forging another amazing comeback, but when looking at how poorly Djokovic plays when getting to latter stages of the FO, nothing would surprise me.
    ---

    Of course Nadal'll unlikely ever be the odds on raging fave he once was in the French capital, but he should sit very comfortably on 2nd or at worst 3rd line of betting. No doubt if Djokovic continues his rampage into '16 then things for the rest of the tour are going to be difficult & things like a favorable draw &/or banking on Djokovic having a rare off day might be required if others, including Nadal at FO, are going to make a serious claim at the title.***

    The "bad sport award" should go to the Willaims'! Both are self-entitled and barely give credit to their opponents; BEGRUDGINGLY! I can still hear a young Venus saying on more than 1 occasion to the media, "she didn't beat me, I beat myself!" Just watched Serena going out at '15 USO semi against Vinci; pulled a Graf (shook hands briefly then pulled away quickly so victory slap on the back was a miss)! Martina shrugged it off in '86 semi when Graf did the same thinking she had the old lady! ;-) - No obvious jerks like Nastase, Connors, or McEnroe OK? That w/b too easy! Come up w/ someone not believed to be a spoiled and rotten loser! People have seen Rafa's bad act out there, but no one seems to take it in! He's still so universally loved and admired; along w/ Roger! Nole doesn't do much out there, but like Lendl before him, they're "Darth Vader" villains on the court: such undeserved animus!

    ***... I understand that it was probably a devastating loss, but still. A response like that is just plain rude and unsportsman like.***

    This is why I like Nole as a person more than someone like Rafa! After a bad loss, he still smiles w/ the victor, hugs him, and speaks for a moment! No 1 does that as consistently as him! Some might say it perpetuates losing or makes him seem content w/ a loss! I say it takes a lot of character and strength to BS w/ someone that just beat you in front of 1000's live & millions on TV!

    ***True. Nole is very gracious in a loss, and always gives his opponents credit. That's 1 of things he has Roger and Rafa beat at. Although, some of his conduct on court isn't always the most sportsman-like.***

    ...I can't throw stones; BROKE MANY A RACKET myself! Over a 30 year career of playing, teaching, and being a tennis historian here and elsewhere, I went through at least 70 rackets! Not all broken, but mostly! Some were rather fragile to begin w/ since I was a devotee of Borg back in the mid 70's! In my Bancroft woody, I had the stringer put them in at 76 #'s of pressure! It held up better than other rackets with that same string job! I only did it for a year; I liked change and went to "chip and charge" style using Head Comp I & II! My last rackets used were gifts from my mom in '92; 2 Wilson Classics made famous by Edberg!

    ReplyDelete
  78. ***...At some pt in '01 the AEC changed the grass surface from 70% rye & 30% fescue to 100% rye grass w/ the goal of making the courts more durable; many contend they've played slower w/ a > bounce since. In gen., a lot of the faster courts on tour have disappeared; carpet going. The last X it was used at the Paris Masters was '06.

    Each surface they test is awarded a Court Pace Rating (CPR) which is a # from their formula as well as a classification; i.e. Category 1, Category 2... A higher CPR # means a court is generally perceived as playing faster.

    Masters 1000 Tourneys:

    IW / Cat. 1: Slow

    Miami / Cat. 3: Medium

    MC / Clay / Cat. 1: Slow?

    Madrid / Clay / Cat. 1: Slow?

    Rome / Clay / Cat. 1: Slow?

    Rogers Cup / DecoTurf / Cat. 3: Medium

    Cinci. / Pro DecoTurf II / Cat. 4: Med-Fast

    Shanghai / DecoTurf / Cat. 3: Medium

    Paris / Greenset GP / Cat. 3: Medium

    ATP WTF's / Greenset GP / Cat. 3: Medium
    -

    Grand Slams:

    AO / Plexicushion Prestige / Cat. 3: Medium
    FO / Clay / Cat. 1: Slow?
    Wimbledon / Grass / Cat. 4: Med-Fast?
    USO / Pro Decoturf II / Cat. 4: Med-Fast

    Something many people may not realize is that aside from Miami, Paris, & the WTF, all the main HC's are produced by the same company.
    -

    According to the ITF guideline which again goes back to 2000, there s/b 3 specific ball types:

    -Ball Type 1 (fast speed) is intended for play on slow pace court surfaces

    -Ball Type 2 (medium speed) is intended for play on med-slow, medium & med-fast pace court surfaces

    -Ball Type 3 (slow speed) is intended for play on fast pace court surfaces

    Another issue that concerns me is the 32 seed draws. It seems that the FO '01 was the last slam w/ draw of 16 seeds. Even shortening all Masters finals and the WTF to only 3 sets is another thing I wonder about. The 32 seed draw ensures the top players can't meet a hot top 20-30 type early and get upset. The 3 set Masters finals lessen the wear & tear on the players, and make it more realistic to play all the events.***

    I still call the rest of the tour gutless who aren't able to finish off an upset w/ MP's in their pockets and serving for it! It happens to all players at X's; even perennial winners like Nole! How many X's have we seen him in complete control, w/ a break or 2 up to finish off Rafa or Roger; next thing you know the match is being extended to a 4th & 5th set! W/ the "also-rans" of the tour, they often just give up, resulting in too many tourneys w/ 3 or 4 of the top seeds surviving! That shouldn't happen even w/ the rigged system; esp. the winning of the same players at the top at every major event! In an era long gone, someone ranked 200 could upset Sampras twice! It just doesn't happen any more and it's a bit lame and says a lot about the "HEART" of these very athletic and talented players!

    ***I wasn't aware that the guidelines demanded that balls which counteract the surface's intrinsic speed s/b used.***

    Being HUMAN, the old saying of "be certain of what you wish for" is so apt! I believe the idea was to slow things down to make the game more enjoyable for the fan! Most matches "way back when" were on grass, carpet, or med-fast HC! It was conducive to the "S & V" game of that era, but along came the great 2-handers of Borg and Connors which revolutionized the game! They spawned a new gen. of baseliners who could blunt the more aggressive players game, but they needed a little help; so over a long period of 20+ years, we have what is called homog. court surfaces which is supposed to be fair to everyone! Today though, most people are saying the courts are too slow, trying to take credit away from what Nole's accomplished of late! By Beijing you'd of thought Nole was out there swirling on another layer to make the court even slower! It was ok when Nadal dominated, but many just kvetch about the speed of court for some reason w/ the latest #1!

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  79. ***...A more relevant role is that of the tech, but modern frames and strings were already pretty developed btw '90's and the early 2000s, so, again, the variety didn't seem to suffer that much. ...The talk about "too slow" courts preceded Djokovic's successes, so it's hardly a knock on him. It has more to do w/ the fact that people started noticing how the game becomes less varied as a result of some decisions.***

    I don't think Borg, Connors, or any of the ATG needed help, but the genre did, that's for sure! You have to admit the sport, if not certain events try to accommodate them or a set of players! At the USO, they went from grass to clay to HC in just 4 years! The clay surface was killing US men's tennis; fine and dandy for Evert at the X! When we started losing our top players earlier and earlier to "dirters" like Vilas, Orantes, Barazutti, Ramirez, Nastase, & so many others, you have to admit they changed the surface for the US men alone to salvage its relevance! Players like Gottfried, Mayer, Stockton, Connors, and even our own clay specialist like Dibbs, Solomon, Gerulaitis, & later Arias & Krickstein were very vulnerable during the clay summer in No. Am.! Wholesale changes were made; even losing US Clay Champ. going/changing to HC.! Nothing was more self-serving than that sea-change of most, if not all clay history's been wiped out from shore to shining shore! I miss those small clay event ruled by Borg, Vilas, & Nastase!

    ***...move towards HC was due to a more general trend that was going on: the "Americanization" of the sport in North America w/ their HC & technology spreading everywhere.

    I read Forest Hills had problems maintaining the grass & that explains the move to Har-Tru. The subsequent move to HC at Flushing Meadows was IMO a logical solution in the vein of the above said about the "Americanization" (i.e. rationality, easy of use, concern for the developing US player, etc). To go as far as to say that the changes were made to accommodate Chrissy is a bit overreaching IMO. In the "chaotic" years of the change of venues some might have happened partly b/c of that, but I doubt it.***

    Just saying that w/ the clay, happenstance made it advantageous and coincidental since Evert was a great clay courter! I was merely referencing how the clay era disappeared as you say calling it the "Americanization" of North American tennis! Again, it may have just been happenstance, it was advantageous for the men to go to "pane" of glass HC speeds! I still remember how Vilas was upset early in '78 USO by 1 of our "no name" players; Butch Walts IIRC! The upset was occurring during their evening highlight show and it coincidently finished w/o them having to extend the coverage due to a 5th set, even though they were prepared to do so! That court was lightning quick and it was no wonder Borg got nowhere early on in '78 & '79; McEnroe personally thwarting him in the finals of '80 & '81!

    ***Fedal's a product of homogenized conditions and benefited more than anyone. This would never have happened in the 90's b/c Nadal would have found it almost impossible to handle a Sampras on Centre Court. If the conditions were resorted back, it will go back to the days of surface specialists dominating their preferred turf and most not really being a factor anywhere else. Unless you have phenom like Borg who can handle both extremes. ...Now you have a more physical sport w/ grueling battles whereas the old days was not as physical b/c the court and balls did most of the work.***

    This is why I HOLD back when people try to elevate Nadal to GOAT status! We all know Rafa w/b struggling all over the place if he were playing in the 90's! Besides the court speed being up, the comp was more aggressive w/ S & V specialist like Edberg, Becker, Stich, along w/ Sampras! Nadal may have wound up a "no factor" in the grand scheme of things!

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  80. ***This is the list of all 7 pros that managed to win 1 of the tennis Grails before turning 20:

    Chang's the youngest player who has ever won a GS, but every thing started w/ Bjorn Borg in '74 Roland Garros. The following yr he defended title in Paris and after that 7 yrs passed before another Swede did it @ RG, but this X at even younger age. That was Mats Wilander, who won at FO debut, lifting Coupe des Mousqu. as 17 yrs, 9 mo. Like Borg, he repeated this sucess, 18 months later in AO, unexpectedly winning on grass.

    Less than 2 yrs later German Boris Becker conquered Wimbledon, w/ 17 yrs, 7 mo! This remained 1 of the most beautiful tennis stories ever written, & Becker did it again 12 months later. Btw his Wimbledon victories, there's a 3rd Swede in this reminiscent to some different tennis X's, Stefan Edberg who won in Austr. 40 days before 20th BD.

    The best was yet to come ...by American Michael Chang who won '89 RG @ the mind blowing age of 17 yrs, 3 mo! We didn't wait too long for another teen to shine on biggest tennis stage as Pete Sampras won '90 USO, becoming youngest champ. of this old tourney. ...Modern gladiator Rafael Nadal used all of his skills and almost unreal phiyscal power at that age to win '05 RG @ his debut, just like Wilander did.

    Borg, Wilander & Becker won 2 GS titles as a teenagers, & Sweden's dominating the list w/ 3 names and 1/2 of the trophies taken. RG was the most fave ground for success of youngsters, w/ 1/2 of these titles being won there, & Sampras' the only player to be victorious outside "natural surfaces," winning on HC. Chang, Becker & Wilander are the only players who won GS before 18th BD.

    10 yrs later and the list is still intact, w/ slim chances for that to change any X soon. Game became more physical and it's very hard for young players to break through. Even those great talents born btw 1995-98 (Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, Chung, Coric, Rublev, Zverev, Tiafoe & others) didn't came close to think about winning Major (Kyrgios had 2 1/4's w/ no chance to go all the way). In fact, last ATP title won by teenager occurred way back in '08 (Marin Cilic, New Haven) and for the start mentioned players can repeat that, GS's aren't of their reach.

    '74 RG / Borg:

    He must be the perfect player to start just about any story considering greatest results of teenagers in Open era. His sumptuous talent was evident after only few mins of watching, w/ amazing ball control from both wings and perfect game plan. He was ready for big things even at very young age, scoring 1st ATP win in Madrid '72 @ the age of 15. Next yr he made MC final and came to RG for his GS debut, still at the age of 16. He presented himself on big tennis scene in great style, reaching last 16 before Adriano Panatta beat him in 4 close sets. Only 2 players after him made GS last 16 appearance before 17th BD, US's Krickstein & Chang. Bjorn was even more impressive few wks later in his 1st Wimbl., making 1/4's @ 17 yrs 27 days to probably forever stay youngest player in the last 8 of most prestigious tournaments.

    ...After lifting trophy in Rome, beating Orantes, Vilas & Nastase in suc., everybody knew he got a shot at RG, no matter he was still very young. In R16 & 1/4, the Swede was forced to play 5-setters, even trailing 2-1 in sets against Ramirez, but he endured all that to beat Solomon in semis 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1 for his 1st GS final and ultimate test against Orantes. ...From that moment until the end of the match Bjorn won 23 games & Orantes only 4. Bjorn became youngest RG champ. ever (18 yrs 10 days), passing Ken Rosewall's result from '53.

    '75 RG / Borg:

    Next yr Bjorn retained his Paris title, as he was an est. Top 5 player. Unlike the previous year, there was no drama in this final, as he toppled great rival Vilas 6-2 6-3 6-4 in 95 mins. ...***

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  81. ***Not a post of who is best or better. Just wanted to break the best from 1950's - 2015 in 3 Tiers of greatness. No rankings among the Tiers:

    Tier- 1

    Laver, Pancho Gonz, Rosewall, Borg, Sampras, Federer & Nadal

    Tier-2

    Connors, Lendl, Mac, Newcombe, Agassi, Djokovic, Emerson

    Tier- 3

    Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Smith, Ashe, Nastase, Courier


    Ok just seeing who I need to flip flop or add or subtract. I am sure I missing some obvious ones.***

    I preferred Lendl over McEnroe & Connors, but even though he accomplished more, the 2 Americans have the Wimbledon titles Ivan wasn't able to garner! No one cared about FO around that X so having a hole in your resume from Paris wasn't a big deal! The CGS was something created to "gloss" Agassi since he wasted so much of his X doing heaven knows what when he shb adding to his records! Idiot!

    I liked the 4 tiers and wanted to keep Borg up top, but he also has a glaring hole that can't be overlooked! I concur w/ KG:

    T-1 Laver, Gonzalez, Federer

    T-2 Rosewall, Connors, Borg (Bjorn w/o USO)

    T-3 Kramer, Sampras, Nadal (Rafa never defended title off "dirt")

    T-4 McEnroe, Lendl, Djokovic (w/ Nole having a chance t/b Tier 2)

    ***...You've got Federer who's the GOAT and is the same age as Lleyton; sort of this big shadow and the standard that he's setting is inciting you know the most phenomenal tennis players the world's ever seen and so Lleyton has this changing atmosphere of several great young players. So he's fighting X, injuries - I wouldn't be putting $$ on him, but I wouldn't be counting him out. - ...Guys like Rios, Nastase and Safin fit this perfectly.***

    I've been the advocate of Nastase and Safin being the most talented ever; here & elsewhere! Federer's on the opposite side of the equation; getting the most out of his talent and being a more complete player! On another thread, the top champions were broken down into tiers where Roger's at the top w/ Laver and Gonzales, while Nadal dropped approp. and languishes in the 3rd! It's not that I don't like the guy, but his so called era of dominance didn't last very long; injury prone and woefully inconsistent and unable to defend a title off dirt! Nadal sits alongside notable champs like Sampras and Kramer! Connors and Borg who have somewhat of a gaping hole in their resumes still more legendary and are up there in the 2nd tier w/ Rosewall!

    ***Just doesn't make sense why Rafa has historically struggled w/ DBrown.***

    Every player has someone that gives them "fits" outside of raw ability! I never thought much about Rafa being considered the GOAT until it became more evident "the rivalry" was a sham! Nadal's owned Federer for years w/ only sporadic losses on a fast court late in the season! Laver was an old man, but still beat Ashe who was the newly minted Wimbledon champ in '75! Djokovic's obviously the best right now, but Roger & Stan still give him heartburn! Right now, we can't be sure if Rafa's problem is w/ match-up problems or some kind of "decline" that's only becoming more obvious & may signal "the end?" lol!

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  82. ***Laver seems Tier 1 to 100%:

    STYLE - Laver is ... modern, a perfect style for me.

    Laver & Ken although large did not have 1/2 of the historical importance of Borg & Connors or Federer & Nadal.

    Laver remain 1 and 2 but Rosewall ...IMO is the weak point; esp. Laver.
    ---

    It's generally accepted that Federer's peak began in '04. However, I don't think anyone really knows when his peak actually ended. The options:

    AO '08 - got crushed in str.t sets by a 20 yo Djokovic, the 1st X he lost before the semis of a slam in almost 3 yrs.

    FO '08 - Nadal obviously owned Federer's soul at RG, but this defeat was the most crushing of them all. Winning just 4 games in the entire match and bageled in the final set.

    Wimbledon '08 - widely regarded as the greatest tennis match of all-X, Federer finally lost his aura of invincibility at his fave slam, as he was defeated by Nadal in 5 sets and lost the #1 ranking in the process.

    AO '09 - Federer threw everything at Nadal and still came up short. Nadal had now owned him on all surfaces and it was clear that he wasn't going to beat Nadal in a slam ever again. He cried at the trophy ceremony b/c he couldn't accept he was no longer the best.

    USO '09 - a shock loss to del Potro from 2 sets to 1 up, ending his USO title streak and proving he was now very much beatable over 5 sets by someone other than Nadal.

    FO '10 - losing before the semis of a slam for the 1st time since the '04 FO.

    Wimbledon '10 - losing to Berdych in the 1/4's and the 1st X he hadn't reached the Wimbledon final since '02.

    USO '10 - lost to Djokovic, again from 2 sets to 1 up and bottling 2 MP's in the final set. Now Djokovic, as well as Nadal, had the measure of Federer.

    Wimbledon '11 - Federer loses from 2 sets up against Tsonga at Wimbledon when he looked in complete control of the match.

    USO '11 - Federer loses again from 2 sets up, this X against Djokovic. He was also 5-3, 40-15 in the final set and somehow crumbled under the pressure to lose 4 str. games.
    ---

    US '09. ...It was fine Nadal beating him in AO, as Nadal was on fire then. Beating Soderling at the French was as expected, although it was a struggle against Roddick at W. Pretty much the 2nd part of '09 he was probably past his peak, and although he beat Murray in '10 at the AO, he was never going to lose that either. So at least someX in '09 for me.***

    I agree; '09 was the beginning of the end! He won 2 more majors scattered over a 3 years and I thought he was done! He's been making final after final, but I say the players have just been gutless; esp. Murray allowing the old man to school him in str. sets again & again!

    ***Djokovic doesn't really have any match-up advantage over Nadal. I mean, to think that anyone can have a match-up advantage on a high bouncing court vs Nadal. Djokovic plays best tennis on medium bouncing courts, not high bouncing ones. The results speak for themselves. The only thing that he has, and Federer doesn't have is a much needed 2-handed BH, which can not be exploited as easily as a 1-hander. If we're talking about clay only, Nadal always has a match-up advantage against everyone, not just Federer (although advantage is bigger and much more obvious vs 1-handed BH players).
    ---

    This is probably the 1st X I heard from a Fedfan about Federer having a match-up advantage over Djokovic.
    ---

    I have to say I do agree w/ @torpantennis regarding the matchup advantage Federer has over Djokovic. There must be a reason why he still beats Novak so often even at 34 and it's not j/b he's such a great player. It's obviously not as big an advantage as Nadal has over him, but I do think it exists.***

    That so called advantage is getting smaller and shorter as X goes on! ;-)

    ***Agreed. It's probably a combination of Federer aging and Novak handling the short slice better since hooking up w/ Becker.***

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  83. ***...Laver's '69 GS's surely 1 of the all-X greatest feats, comparable w/ Federer's 17 majors & Nadal's 9 FO wins.***

    It's just 1 more match that wasn't achieved by 1/2 dozen other players; OTTH Hoad, Federer, & Nole!

    ***Pancho and Ken were not able to win at Wimbledon, which was a big set-back, for Rosewall esp...like the old monkey-on-the-back growing into an 800 pound gorilla.
    ---

    ...Hoad had great style of play, good wins, but in Pro Era Rosewall and Pancho >>.***

    Hoad didn't take the game as seriously and he went into the military for a stretch! He could have had some great statistics "if he cared!" All I can remember about the guy was that he owned Laver; winning their 1st 8 matches and was 1 match at the US Nat'l in '56 of completing a CYGS! Rosewall thwarted him IIRC!

    ***Yes, he owned Laver in early '63, according to Laver, Hoad won his 1st 14 matches against the Rocket, which was the entire Aussie tour in Jan. '63. Hoad also won a 2nd tour against Laver in '64. ...New Zealand tour against Laver & Rosewall. - ...Yes, Pancho & Ken had more success than Hoad in the Open era. BUT....which player defeated both Pancho and Ken @ Wimbledon, the only player to do so? Think hard...
    ---

    Brad Gilbert had good volleys and groundies. He won a Masters title! That is a huge accomplishment.***

    I think he got up to #4 in the world in '90; won a handful of events over top players, but was usually "wiped out" by the majors! He did upset Becker @ the USO early in the 2nd Rd, then promptly lost! He took Cincy beating Becker, Edberg, & Sampras IIRC! His winning was truly ugly, but it was quite entertaining to see Boris struggling and screaming/ranting when jerked around the court by Brad!

    ***Nadal > Federer (b/c he always beat him when it matters)
    Federer > Sampras (b/c he's much better on clay & about the same on grass + HC)
    Sampras > Nadal (b/c he'd beat him on HC + grass (except the Nadal of '08 maybe) + also indoor.
    - hence there's no GOAT until Djoks reaches 14 ...(he doesnt need 17 b/c he's had much tougher comp. than Feds circa '04-07, & has a much more balanced CV than Nadal, saying that he bores the arse off me)
    ---

    There's a GOAT & his name's Federer.

    Prior to him, it was Laver.
    Prior to him, it was Gonzales.
    Prior to him, it was Tilden.
    ---

    Rafa is not better than Fed.

    Rafa GS breakdown
    1 AO (1 final)
    9 FO
    2 Wimbledon (3 finals)
    2 USO (2 finals)

    *YE Tourney (2 finals)

    Federer GS Breakdown
    4 AO (1 final)
    1 FO (4 finals lost to Nadal)
    7 Wimbledon (3 finals '08, '14 - '15)
    5 USO (2 finals '09 & '15)

    *YE Tournies 6 (4 finals)

    Federer Has won more GS, as well as being more competitive in entered tournaments to reach the finals.***

    Some people think Rafa has to achieve "GOAT-dom" due to owning Roger! I blow it off since everyone has a pigeon where the match-up is bad, but even if Roger never beat Rafa I couldn't elevate him past #3 or 4 since he's never defended a title off the dirt! ;-)

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  84. ***IMO regarding Fed's choice of Ljubicic as coach is that maybe Fed realizes his once deadly FH has really gone downhill. Ivan had a pretty damn good FH and his DTL shots were formidable. Just watch the winning shot against Nadal at IW '10. There's not much Roger can do regarding the speed lost due to age as it's obvious he's slower esp. running to his FH side these days, but a good coach who could help him harness back some of the crucial timing he's lost on that shot could work wonders. Cut down on the FH shanks and Roger w/b a real menace to play against even at 35.***

    I think we're exaggerating what can be done for Roger at this stage in his career! They're replaying '09 AO where he's pulling every trick out of his bag just to stay in the match; went 5 and he was playing well! It just wasn't good enough to beat Nadal even though a semi w/ Verdasco had about "ended him!" Maybe that's why Roger was crying; thought it was a "slam dunk" win after Nadal's troubles getting to the final!

    ***Improving the FH's definitely not out of the ?? IMO for Roger. He's still hungry to improve. In this case, it's vital to improve what was once a deadly shot and even though it'll never be like it was in his prime, even a 3-5% improvement and < shanks w/b the difference btw winning & losing the most important matches. BP conversion too is a major weak point in his game for years and the return is mostly not good enough against the best, though he surprises w/ some crackers at X's.***

    I think his FH is still quite good! People need to realize who Federer's playing against! Roger's hitting good enough shots, but Nole's the best defender since Nadal in his prime! Donald Dell used a term quite apt when describing Navratilova; "stole a point!" Nole steals points all the X w/ great returns of serve! I played and "counted" on free points from aces! As a jr, I had little to worry about, but in the adult ranks, they're smarter and got the ball back when others were trying to do too much w/ the return! That's what this is about; the ability to hang in there and hope the op. makes a mistake! Roger can't do that; just hang back ripping over his groundstrokes for 20-30 strokes each pt! If you look at the matches of Roger and Nole objectively; wasn't that Roger wasn't playing well, Nole just blunted his attack and made him work extra hard! There's really nothing outside of changing the court surface to "panes of glass" to take X away from Rafa and Nole!

    ***Why is everyone starting the season injured? - B/c there's no real off season in tennis. No X to recover from injuries, no X to rest, no X to have any real semblance of a family life. It's a joke. The players have been complaining about this for decades and nothing has happened. The ATP & WTA use the players to keep 100's of smaller tournaments in business. It's actually quite ridiculous.***

    Oh there's an off season, but these money HO's can't take advantage of it and actually rest! So many of the top players bitch about the season's length, but in their off X, they're playing exhos and other events like IPTL! I stopped listening when it was obvious players like Roger & Nole were being smarter and avoiding injury like no other player since someone like Lendl; a true pro! The rest of these losers I have no sympathy for; esp. Nadal who works so hard in every match played! WHY play IPTL but for a "money grab?"

    ***Is the AO the most skipped slam? I know plenty of players use to skip it.***

    But it's been given equal weight now; actually keeping Nole as #1 w/ that lone major in '12! Those days of skipping the AO has been over for 30 odd yrs! Lendl, Wilander, & Edberg started going early 80's! The days of that major being won by also-rans and "never weres" became < & < frequent!

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  85. ***In '86, the Magazine Inside Tennis made a big poll (and after that a Computer Tourn. w/ the ATP computer) for a all X ranking. 37 people were asked in that poll, including Armitraj, Ashe, Bergelin, Bollettieri, Budge, Dell, Drysdale, Fox, Gardner, Gould, Kramer, Laver, Lutz, Noah, Orantes, Pasarell, Perry, Seixas, Stan Smith, Talbert, Teltscher, Tinling, & Trabert. The 1st 8 w/ #1 nom.: 1 Laver (9). 2 McEnroe (3), 3 Budge (4), 4 Kramer

    (5), 5 Borg (6), 6 Gonzalez (1), 7 Tilden (6), 8 Hoad (1).

    1) Most of those experts obviously refer to peak play, thus ranking Tilden rather low and McEnroe very high. They seem to neglect achievements, @ least partly.

    2) They are obviously influenced by current and recent performances, thus McEnroe and Borg are very high.

    ...

    6)) Hoad's ranked much too low if we talk about peak play (#1 IMO), also Gonzalez too low.

    7)) How subjective all these rankings and polls are, we can imagine when we see the significant discrepancy btw a player's # in the 8 men rankings & his # of been voted as #1 player. ...whereas McEnroe has got only 3 #1 places, but yet is ranked #2.

    I have read many all-time rankings and all were significantly different. The main problem is the fact that some experts rank regarding peak level while other experts rank regarding achievements while again other experts rank regarding a "genius factor" including skills and touch. This 3rd group has players like McEnroe in high esteem.

    My approach to rank the all-X greats is to look at their achievements and valuing them. There are at least 20 - 30 criteria (!)to value achievements, btw, but most fans only consider # of GS tourneys won or yrs of dominating. Of course I also consider playing strength including peak level for a rather short X (Hoad) and peak level for a long X (Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Laver & Federer). If we add the genius factor (brillance of the game, beauty, ...) we get a rather good picture of the all-X-greats.

    I believe that Laver, Rosewall, Gonzalez, Tilden, Federer, Borg, Sampras, Nadal & soon also Djokovic were the GOAT's; about in this order.
    ---

    Djokovic will obviously win some majors in '16, if not all. If the latter, I think it will depend on how well Murray, Federer & Wawrinka perform. I have a feeling we might even see a new face among the Slam champions this year!***

    It's hard to sustain perfection; usually comes w/ a cost! We can only hope Nole will continue this run of excellence! His '12 seemed lackluster in comparison to '11, but people have to take that AO final into consideration; killer 5:53 that has to stay w/ you! I remember Lendl saying how his 5 setter at the FO in '84 vs McEnroe almost did him in! It took a year to recover which Is why he went on that fitness kick IMO!

    ***Djokovic's in excellent health and that is a major factor in why he can keep up his form and continue to build on it and improve it. Most of his major rivals suffer fitness problems from X to X, but Djokovic has successfully avoided any physical problems. He really is the fittest guy I've ever seen play tennis!***

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  86. ***Nadal was awful today in Doho. I just give up on this guy. Getting extended by someone like Kuznetsov. He will get double-bageled and the #1 isn't even playing his best. OMG... He just loses intensity and it becomes a grind-fest at best. If the player is a big hitter, he gets completely blown off the court.***

    I've been saying this is nothing new! Rafa's style of play has always been mystifying to me of someone thought of as THE GOAT in the past! He's regressed IMO; serve ??-able w/ DF's at crucial X's, FH's dropping very short in the court and sprayed all over the place, and continues to drop sets to players outside the top echelon! Why people are surprised is also a head-scratcher! Haven't people seen his early losses @ Wimbledon the last sev. yrs alone? Why are people shakin' their heads? It's only getting more embarrassing & frequent!

    ***I w/b interested to see what Kieran feels about Rafa play this far b/c I agree, it has been very poor.
    ---

    ...since when is butt-picking & OCD habits against the rules? Who are you to say he can't do that w/i the X limit? And arranging hs bottles is when he sits at the change of ends or before a match. Has Nadal, or anyone, been penalised for X-wasting when they aren't on the court?***

    Everybody has faves and other players they can do w/o; my list being Rafa, Agassi, Roddick, & Murray! Might be totally irrational, but no fan of their games; all chd more, but don't for different reasons! They are the biggest underachievers in memory! Rafa has his FO, but is stuck at the other majors! I still invoke the biggest criticism being he's never defended a title off the dirt! That's mystifying, embarrassing, and weird since some wanted to bestow Goat-dom! I've always had reservations since Roger was a lot more consistent, having long runs at X majors, and of course held onto the #1 ranking for a record period! He got the most out of his game and more! The same can be said now of Nole who's ruling it like no other player over these last 5 years! What else does he have to do? Very little IMO to surpass Nadal and threaten many of Roger's records! Still a bigger fan of Bjorn Borg and toot his horn to this day, permanently ensconced in the best 6 of ALL TIME!

    ***ATP to Carlos B.: 'Have you learned to let Nadal do anything he wants including stalling, loitering, unnecessary MTOs, OCD cup stacking & infinite butt-picking?'***

    One of the biggest reasons I HATE his guts! This guy just makes the game unwatchable! I still have nightmares of trying to watch and tape AO in '12 going 5:53! That was criminal and Nole only gets involved in the tactic to get back at Rafa! When he plays other players he doesn't grunt or bark as much and gets on w/ it! To punish Rafa, he gives it all back and maybe that's why I'm such a fan of Nole's now! Heaven knows I prefer a much more aggressive style of play, but he doesn't offend me like some other human backboards; Berdych, Ferrer, Rafa, & Murray!

    ***I still remember that AO final vividly. Not necessarily the match itself, but exactly what I was doing in the background. Got up at 8 am, turned on the TV, had breakfast at 9 am, watched some more, went to the gym for an hour 1/2 later in the morning, came back, had lunch @ 1:30 & it was still going.***

    Unfortunately I live in the States! The match came on around 2 am or so! ...I watched it from start to finish, unable to get to bed until after 9 am! I was trashed and will never forgive Rafa and his lame gamesmanship just making the world wait for him to be ready to play! He would probably be held under 10 majors if umpires had resisted his BS and made him get his ass back in the service box in a X-ly fashion! He stole many a match from players over the years; esp. Roger @ FO!

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  87. ***...I don't see Nole repeating 11 titles like he did in '15. The only player to put together B2B seasons w/ 10 or more titles is Fed and he did it 3 X's.***

    I'm not greedy; perfectly happy w/ 2 majors & 4 Masters! The FO & Cincy to complete his resume w/b nice & knock Rafa out of the running of GOAT for all X! He'll never catch up to the records Nole will set in the next 3 yrs IMO!

    ***Novak is just cruising above the tour. He has become as routine and dominating as Roger was in the span of '04 to '07. Novak's playing that well.***

    "Better" since he OWNS Nadal now! Even on clay, Rafa looks helpless vs Nole! People should have realized, if he's losing sets to kids the way he has, he has no chance against the #1 player! This will soon become like Rafa over Roger; a "non-rivalry" after all is said and done!

    ***Gotta factor in that Roger was facing the ultimate juice warrior back then. ...shoulders, biceps & forearms like a bodybuilder? It's impossible to be that big naturally doing all the cardio tennis players do. So in that respect, it's clear why he had Roger's #.***

    I concur! Those absences from the tour weren't for injuries and surgery but "under the table" suspensions! Rafa's a steroid freak and it's obvious w/ no other top player "ripped" like that! I have little to no respect for Nadal's record!

    ***That's the gen. consensus alright. - Nadal still has the best H2H results in history due to his performance in slams.***

    ...and the longer he hangs in there, the worse it looks for him! Losing 3 matches to Fognini last year is all you need to know; esp. since 2 of them were on clay, 1 w/ MP's, & the last with a 2 sets to love lead! That's a decline even the most delusional of fan will have to recognize! ;-)

    ***...so you basically agree that neither '14 or '15 were "bad for his legacy." If he was following your advise, he should have hanged the racquet at the end of '13 & '14 or '15 would have never happened.***

    The perfect goodbye whb his last major win at Wimbledon in '12! Unfortunately he acquired #1 ranking during this great run and it made no sense to retire! He's been a little up and down, but for the most part, the tour has allowed him to hang in there in the top 3 when he shb escorted to "the home" by '13 at the latest! Truly '14 & '15 are amazing, but not for Roger; sorry! J/b the rest of the tour are gutless head-cases doesn't mean it'll eventually get Roger 1 more major!

    ***Another 6 more titles we are looking at Fed being just behind Connors in the MOST TITLES. That's making history and adding to his Legacy. - If anything, him reinventing himself as a more attacking and net player revealed another dim. of his skills & gift which adds to him. I would have hated to not see him play like this, now that I have and am certainly better for it.***

    I guess I see more talent in Kei, Grigor, Milos, and many others who have the ability, but have been stunted in their mental growth! I just wonder by Roger hanging on w/ his aura, these players haven't made the strides needed to start winning more titles; even majors! He's playing well, no doubt about it, but it isn't getting him anywhere IMO at this stage in his career! W/o the majors, what is he playing for? So far Nole's stopped him in his last 3 finals with not a lot of fuss! Even though Roger represents well in the top 3 it just makes the rest of the tour look bad showing them t/b mental midgets! ;-(

    ***How about the idea that he is just that good, that even the mental giants like Novak have problems dealing w/ him? I certainly haven't heard how exactly winning more matches/titles hurts his legacy. If he continues another 2-3 yrs like he has in the past 2, even Connors' records, achieved partly b/c of his exceptional long career are likely to be taken down FFS.***

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  88. ***Novak has won 9 out of the last 10 matches against Rafa and 10 of the last 11 against Andy. That's not even competitive anymore. And in terms of BO5, you can add Roger to the list of players who are not comp. w/ Novak anymore too. Roger hasn't beaten Novak at a GS for 3 and 1/2 years. He's currently the only 1 of those 3 who can beat Novak at all and the only 1 who has challenged him in any form at a slam recently, so while I agree to an extent, the reality is 34 yo Roger is Novak's toughest opponent at the moment. Besides Roger & Stan, Novak has no challengers right now. Despite his age, the old fart has won 4 of the last 10 vs Novak compared to 1 of 10 for Nadal and 1 of 11 for Murray. So he's still his main challenger along w/ Stan in "Stanimal" mode, not the more frequent disinterested and crap Stan who shows up more often.***
    ---

    Tech. Nole's been #1 for the last 5 yrs; 2011, '12, '14, 15, & even 2013 when the ITF went w/ him over Nadal w/ his 2 majors!

    ***Yes, I was just saying that '16 for Nole will be better than his super strong '12, '13, & '14.***

    Fedal's all that commentators talk about! The news magazines can't get enough of them either! One of these days Nole will get his due outside these threads!

    ***Roger automatically leap frogs ahead of Andy back to #2 where he belongs as he lost dismally in the AO 3rd Rd last year while Andy reached the final.***

    Well that'll be a little late as the seeding has already been solidified for AO! Even though I'm no fan of Murray's, I felt bad for him; performing well the 1st 1/2 of the season w/ a major final, a 500, & Masters win beating Nadal on clay along the way! I saw him winning that SF match @ Wimbledon, but after Roger dismantled him I fell off his bandwagon! Both need t/b consistent to hold onto that #2 for the rest of the season! That'll be the big contest all year along w/ Nadal trying to keep up!

    ***H2H is all that matters right Nadal fans?***

    Gotta hold on to something b/c it's all falling to dust in Nadaland! Roger proved he wouldn't crash and burn since his game was so effortless, but we all knew w/ how hard Rafa works to win the easiest 1st Rd match, it was going to take its toll; had to happen! Why anyone s/b shocked that it's collapsed so hard and fast is astonishing! I'm surprised it hadn't happened sooner!

    ***I couldn't really care less about H2Hs, but I'm not gonna lie, if you'd told me after the 2013 USO that Nole would win 9 of their next 10 meetings, it definitely would've alleviated my depression at the X. In fact looking back I think that final was pivotal in terms of Novak's mindset in their future encounters. It was really due to that defeat that he hired Becker in the 1st place and I imagine it really hurt him at the X, esp. after what had happened earlier in the year at RG. So much so that it seems he's made it his mission in life to never lose to Nadal ever again on HC's. And if he keeps playing the Spaniard like he did in the Doha final, I suspect he never will! - ...Talking about weak era 03-07?***

    Well his rival at the X was Roddick? Somehow Roger was able to withstand all that was thrown at him from our #1 ranked player! His major weapon was his serve and Federer was able to blunt that attack by just chipping the ball and getting it back into play! That was all it took; even when Roddick "had him" at Wimbledon in '09 final! IIRC Roddick had 4 set points to go up 2-0 and blew it w/ the 2nd worst choke in Wimbledon history; the 1st being Todd Martin allowing Mal Washington to come back from 1-5 in the 5th set semi!

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  89. ***And even if Nole doesn't quite to Fed's 17 majors, he could still be seen in some people's eyes as The GOAT.

    Say he gets 15 or 16 slams
    Career Slam
    Most Masters
    Most wks at #1
    Most World Tours
    Best h2h stats, w/ winning over Nadal & Fed
    Maybe Olympic Gold
    DC
    Record titles (60 cur.)

    So either way it gonna be close.
    ---

    Nole needs another multi-Slam year, 1st to pass Borg, then approach Sampras & Nadal. (°͜ʖ°)
    ---

    Nole remembers what that felt like, and how he never wants to feel that again vs Rafa. ...but put Rafa on court & he "turns it on." The concentration's rock solid. Even in that exho in Bangkok, he just destroyed Rafa. He wants to crush all belief that Rafa may have to turn this around. He is simply not blinking anymore. - Novak is merciless vs Nadal and I love it. W/b fool if he weren't. Rafa beat him in important matches so often.***

    I do think Nole goes out of his way to punish Nadal; > so than w/ Roger! Nadal has tried to control the pace of matches in the past w/ his stalling and gamesmanship! He's now getting a lot of "it" thrown back in his face! Don't cry for Rafa; how many X's has he run a player to death, maybe up 5-1 in a set, but still calls for a stupid challenge?

    ***Nadal will get no sympathy from me. He's getting beat by someone. It happens. And Fognini was not GOATing at USO. He was good, but probably most of the top 10 would have removed him in 3/5 sets that day.
    ---

    If Serena does get 5 more majors, she'll be = GOAT. However to be an undisputed GOAT is incredibly difficult, unless she is head and shoulders above all the other GOAT's. W/o the CYGS, Serena cannot say she had a > "peak" than Graf. Graf had won 5 slams in a row. Graf also had 5 dominant yrs (3 slams >) compared to Serena's 2. Graf also lost a few slams against Navratilova and Seles, both > players than any slam finalist Serena ever faced. Graf has an incredible 8 YE #1 compared to Serena's 5. Racking up slams over an ultra long career is >, but obviously Graf has won more slams in a < period of X, against stronger ATG players.
    ---

    Really? I'd rank Venus & Henin along w/ Seles. Graf faced Navratilova at the end of her prime. Venus & Henin at their peak is certainly > than Navratilova past her prime. The only case you have is Monica. And even then she was taken out of the game and the only reason she was stabbed was to propel Graf back to #1. W/o the stabbing, Graf's #'s whb <. Not to mention Graf retired in just the 2nd year Serena came on tour. At least Evert & Navratilova played in their 30's which allowed Graf to play them. Graf didn't allow that for Serena. So you can't fault Serena if the previous dominant player stopped playing before her 30's.
    ---

    Much like Serena in her 30s, Navratilova's fully capable of winning many more slams at old age. They met in 6 slam finals and Navratilova won 2 of them. If Martina wasn't playing, Graf could have got 2 extra slams. Again, Serena never had to face a player like that in her entire slam career. The presence of these two ATGs took 5 slams from Graf. There is no such argument for Serena as she never faced a double digit slammer in slam finals. It's quite obvious who's the more dominant player during their respective primes.***

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  90. ***Tenn. won the Nat'l Chp. the yr he left. He played in a dome vs the AFC South; (lol) then in no humidy Denver against the pathetic AFC West. Of coarse his #'s are going to be good; plays in the worst divs in FB. He's terrible in the playoffs against real teams w/ a losing record of (11-13).***

    ITA! He was lucky my pathetic Bears went up against him in his lone SB win playing that stupid "cover-2" defense w/ a lead! ...So he beat Rex Grossman 9 years ago! ;-)

    ***Peyton lags behind Brady in SB wins & aps yes, but that doesn't mean he was lucky to make 3 SB's and win 1, beating the Chiefs, Ravens, & putting up 38 on the Patriots along the way to your "pathetic" 13-3 Bears. Dan Marino never won a SB, but he's still one of the GOAT.***

    Peyton, Marino, Favre, and whoever else has QB records no one cares in the age of the Super Bowl can rest on those pathetic laurels while Brady, Staubach, Aikman, Bradshaw, Montana, & Roesthlisberger can rest their heads on multiple trophies! The list of nobodies w/ 1 SB are plentiful like P. Manning, Dilfer, McMahon, Williams; do I need to go on? Even his pathetic brother has 2; winning both his SB over the so called fave in the Patriots! After all is said and done, Peyton w/b a footnote on par w/ other losers like Tarkenton, Marino, and even Favre w/ his 2 appearances! Bret got 1 SB w/ all those completions, games played, and heaven-knows how many interceptions! ;-)

    ***Sure, but everybody that knows the 1st thing about football and is being objective will never put Manning in the same category as any of those guys that you just listed. Manning is actually better than his brother despite having 1 less SB, and he's better than someone like Roethlisberger as well. Whether that translates to having a better overall team in a sudden death scenario is another thing entirely. I do think Brady is the best QB of this gen., but I don't use only SB rings to determine that. It's way too simplistic.***

    Sure, they aren't in the same category, but 100 years from now, no one's gonna talk about Peyton's tight spiral, his completion rate, or his X MVP's; it's all about the ring after all is said and done! Rodgers' probably better, but it makes no difference if your teammates don't make plays; totally a TEAM SPORT! ;-)

    ***That's not specific to Manning though. In 100 years, nobody from this X will care about Brady, let alone Manning b/c we'll all be passed on; Brady & Manning included.***

    True, but the commentators just drool over "stat machines" like Manning, Favre, Marino, & others who've done nothing much in the post season! FCS, these guys have losing records when it really counts; that's all I'm saying! Peyton's great, has all the #'s, but having a losing record in the playoffs w/ 1 SB vs my lowly Bears, I wouldn't be salivating over watching him; esp. if I were a fan of the team he's playing on! ;-)

    ***You're still trying too hard to take the shine off that SB while ignoring my point about the Colts beating the Patriots (1st and foremost), Chiefs, and Ravens in a road game against a very good defense. Besides that, they drool over Brady too; just as much if not more in fact. They're not really selective. The only difference is that < people take notice or offence when they do it about Brady b/c him and his teams have won 4 SB's. I'm not saying that's wrong. I'm saying that's the way it is.***

    Well at least you understand why they talk about Brady; he's actually a winner, has 4 SB's, played 6, has the SM wife, actress baby momma, $$$, looks, & fame! Have I missed anything? lol!

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  91. ***Of the following movie series that have at least 3 or more movies, which installment do you find the worst/weakest overall? It doesn't have t/b a movie you dislike, just your least fave. Remakes, crossovers and prequels count in any series that has them. W/ so many new sequels & remakes/reboots out now and coming out, I thought this w/b fun to do.
    ---

    Star Wars
    Indiana Jones
    Lord Of The Rings
    Alien
    Predator
    Terminator
    RoboCop
    Star Trek
    James Bond
    Jurassic Park
    Batman
    Superman
    X-Men
    Spider-Man
    Marvel Cinematic Universe (overall)

    -Phase 1
    -Phase 2

    *Iron Man
    **Captain America
    *Hulk
    *Thor
    Transformers
    Rambo
    Rocky
    The Godfather
    Die Hard
    Lethal Weapon
    Back To The Future
    Planet Of The Apes
    The Fast And The Furious
    The Expendables
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Godzilla
    King Kong

    * Includes The Avengers along w/ their stand-alone films.
    ** - Includes the '90 Captain America film.
    ---

    My picks:

    Star Wars - The Phantom Menace
    Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade. This 1 & Crystal Skull tend to swap for me.
    Lord of The Rings - Haven't seen any so far.
    Alien - Alien Vs. Predator
    Predator - Alien Vs. Predator
    Terminator - Rise Of The Machines
    RoboCop - RoboCop 3
    Star Trek - I've only seen First Contact and liked it.
    James Bond - Abstain for now.
    Jurassic Park - Jurassic Park III
    Batman - Batman & Robin
    Superman - Only seen Man Of Steel, which I liked a lot.
    X-Men - The Last Stand
    Spider-Man - Spider-Man 3
    Marvel Cinematic Universe (overall) - Like them all a lot and have a hard X picking a least fave. I guess Iron Man 3, but I still enjoy it a lot.
    Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 - Tough choice. I suppose Thor, but I still like it.
    Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 - Probably Iron Man 3

    Iron Man - Probably 3, but I still like it a lot.
    Captain America - The '90 movie's the only real option. Both the MCU Cap films as well as The Avengers films are amazing.

    Hulk - Haven't seen the '03 movie, but saw the '08 reboot & The Avengers films; all are great.
    Thor - Liked them all. Probably the original the least, but it's still very good.
    Transformers - Original. At least the sequels were dumb fun in a way; original to me was just dumb and boring.

    Rambo - Rambo III (still love it).
    Rocky - Abstain
    The Godfather - Been so long I can't fairly say.
    Die Hard - A Good Day To Die Hard
    Lethal Weapon - Prob. Lethal Weapon 3, though it's good.
    Back To The Future - 3, but I still like it.
    Planet Of The Apes - Only seen Rise/Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and loved both.

    The Fast And The Furious - The original. Not bad, but forgettable IMO.
    The Expendables - The orig., honesty. Not bad, but doesn't fully utilize the concept IMO.
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Prob. the 3rd, though I don't think it's horrible.
    Godzilla - The recent '14 film is definitely not the worst.
    ---

    Forgot these:

    Jaws - Jaws 3
    The Mummy - Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor
    Men In Black - Men In Black II
    Tremors - Tremors 3
    Darkman - Darkman II
    Punisher - War Zone
    The Crow - Only seen the 1st.
    Highlander - Only seen the 1st.

    Also remembered Mission: Impossible, Harry Potter, The Matrix, the Bourne films & Dirty Harry.***

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  92. ***To me the biggest surprise is in both the nominal & adjusted values how > the gap's btw top 3 (Federer, Djokovic & Nadal) & Sampras. ...Just goes to show how much of an > in prize $$$ there's been over past 10 yrs, esp. in M1000's & tourneys outside of the Slams.

    Also highlights the absolute dominance shown by Fed, Nadal & Djokovic over the rest or the tour in the big $$$ tourneys. No doubt in my mind that Nole will finish ahead of Federer on both lists by close of their resp. careers!***

    It's even more ridiculous than that for the ladies! Nole won $22 M alone last season; that's Martina's 30 yr career w/ record 167 wins in singles, 177 in doubles; 59 majors, won "grand snap" bonuses, etc.! That's obscene in so many ways, but again, it's all in the timing! If Martina were playing now, she might be doing $20 M a yr!

    ***Which do you prefer?

    3 Slams: AO, Wimby & USO, just like '15
    2 Slams including FO
    1 Slam only: FO + Cincy***

    Any combo's cool w/ me! Having to defend so many pts has to weigh on a player; the obligations and being pulled in every other direction b/c of his #1 ranking! Sooner or later "the real hype" will start when he approaches Nadal's # in majors! So far, the so called experts think of Nole as a glorified 3rd banana behind Fedal! That's ok b/c the next 2 yrs can change it all; the record books, the way we think of ATG's, and who can still be regarded as "The GOAT" w/ the pages written under his name!

    *** - http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/01/federer-surprised-djokovic-smoked-nadal-doha-final/57200/#.VpSzenSFPIV -

    Roger noted Nole's dominance on HC's & called him the fave going into the AO. "These results happen like we've seen @ the [ATP] WTF's when we've seen blowouts btw the top guys as well," Fed says. "That's b/c these kind of courts someX's allows that to happen— whoever takes the upper hand from the baseline then destroys the other guy...
    ---

    The predictions of Novak dominating for another 3-5 yrs, likely to win 3/4 slams this yr, Golden CYGS, surpassing Roger in wks at #1, > GS's, some of these are big... Not just Djokovic fans actually, others as well. ...Won't change the fact that Novak fans are probably going to take the majority of the brunt of what's going to come when Novak starts losing, esp. in slams. People were predicting Nadal to challenge for the #1 spot a wk ago and how he's the only 1 who can beat Djokovic, and now that's suddenly quieted down. From what I see recently young players are already hitting harder than the current gen. and soon w/b quicker as well, so IMO 1 good day from Kei, Raonic or Dimitrov & Novak is out.***

    OIK it c/b bad, but I've tried to be more realistic and have meager expectations since I've been involved in tennis since '73! There are few sure things, but Nole's excellence comes close! I'll be perfectly happy w/ 2 majors; 1 FO & a USO to balance out the count! Anything above that is gravy! In poker vernacular, I used my "one X" to get Nole to 6 Masters last season so he w/b above everyone in that category at least! He may not get to 17 majors, but he certainly can set the Masters records for decades to come!

    ***Chasing the records adds spice to sport. The fact we have 3 ATG, and even now nobody truly knows for certain how the landscape will look once the dust has settled and they have all walked off into the sunset, certainly puts an X factor on every slam that is being played. ...Nole's already done more than I had ever imagined, so tbh, anything he does from now on is just a bonus. His legacy is set.***

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  93. ***...Fed should have won in max 4 even w/ the crap serve w/ a stable presence of mind. He was beating Nadal off the baseline, 12 more points won through the 1st 4 sets; that's a lot. Regardless, he didn't win and that's all that matters, but those mental demons are not present vs anyone else in history so that's still a match you can use to demonstrate his prowess at the event if you just look at level of play. If he had faced anyone beside Nadal in that field in the final, his QF-F performances at the '09 AO w/b legendary. He was unplayable vs JMDP & Roddick. like 90 winners to 25-26 UE in those 2 matches ;-) ***

    Unfortunately that was then; this is now! In a lot of ways, Fed's playing just as well, but he's cracked in the clutch against Nole due to "X;" had to happen! IMO, his holding onto his ranking says more about the rest of the "gutless" tour allowing this old man to make final after final! It's about X Raonic's come into his own taking a few matches from Roger & Rafa; saving MP's vs Nadal of all people last summer!

    ***Who are arguing Fed is better than Novak at AO?

    - Novak won more titles than anyone else at AO
    - Novak won more cons. titles than anyone else at AO
    - Novak never lost an AO final
    - Bar their very 1st encounter, when Novak was a teenager (and ranked only # 15), Fed has never even taken a set from Novak at AO (even though he did from his other nemesis Nadal or X finalist Murray)

    - Novak won AO w/ some of the toughest slam draws of Open era. For AO '15, he had to beat 3 top 8, AO '13: 3 top 6, AO '12: 3 top 5 (incl. Murray & Nadal B2B), AO '11: 3 top 6 (incl. previous yr finalists Fed & Murray B2B). While Fed won 1 of his AOs w/ 1 of the biggest joke draws ever seen ('06) where he played only 1 top 10 (Davydenko, notoriously subpar in BO5) and then semi vs #25 & final vs #54.
    ---

    If Novak wins 11 or 12 more titles this year, he can overtake Nadal in overall titles. Overtaking Fed's HC titles' not so important. He has played 6 yrs more, so will have to wait many more years in order to do justice w/ Novak. Novak already has 60 titles, 7 < than Nadal. Another season like '11 or '15 and he may catch Nadal by the end of the year.***

    I never tire of looking @ the record books seeing Nole's name take over some categories while "ing up the ladder of others only b/c of Roger's longevity & earlier success of Rafa! In 2 yrs it'll be all about Nole and Roger w/ Rafa way back; esp. being #1! ;-)

    ***Nadal will remain the gold standard on clay w/ a lead that Fed and Djoko could only dream of on any surface. The reason why Nadal lags behind for #1 is b/c clay is a minority surface. All #1 juggernauts were HC specialists (Fed, Sampras, Connors...)***

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  94. ***It's 5 yrs since the gluten cover-up, yet we hear the excuse of baby Novak for all the losses he had btw '08-'10.***

    We demand perfection from our ATG's so excuses abound; heaven knows Rafa had enough of them! One moment he's running like a deer, but hit a few winners and he's flexing his legs!

    ***In '13 Nadal won the most titles, was in the most finals, had the most pts and won the most $$$. For the ITF to come along and say, "no, we say someone else is #1" is pretty damned arrogant.***

    Used to happen in the early Open era all the X! Back in '77, Vilas won 2 majors, was a finalist in another, won over 130 matches, & beat Connors @ USO; still odd man out behind Borg & Connors!

    ***Was there watching matches during that X, so I remember it very well. But I think it's much more clear-cut now. 1 player might edge out another w/ pts and yet have a slightly worse record at slams, i.e. At the beginning of the Open era, there was so much confusion; competing tours & slams skipped. $$ was so different w/ WTC tourneys paying way more than slams. The way pts are set up, it's almost impossible for slam winners to get edged out for #1 by non-winners. Even someone like Stan is an anomaly b/c he only got to #4 w/ a slam win, coming in behind Fed & Murray who won none. His yr was otherwise so weak.
    ===

    Djokovic won WTF again, beating his 2 biggest rivals along the way. 9th X this yr the great Fedal were 2nd best to 1 man, 45th X overall. Milestones:

    1st man to win 5 AO titles
    3rd man w/ Laver & Federer to reach all 4 Slam finals in 1 yr
    2nd man w/ Fed to have X 3 Slam seasons
    1st man since Fed in '07 to defend the Wimbledon title
    1st man to defeat Fed twice @ Wimbledon
    1st man to defeat Fed 3 X's @ the USO
    2nd man w/ Soderling to defeat Nadal @ the FO
    1st man to defeat Nadal in str. sets in BO5 match on clay
    1st man to defeat both Federer and Nadal @ all 4 GS's
    1st man to hold a neutral/+ H2H vs Federer @ all 4 GS
    1st man to knock out all other defending Slam champions in a CY
    6th man w/ double digit GS titles
    1st man to win 6 Masters in 1 year
    1st man to win 6 Masters at least 3 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Montreal, Shanghai, Bercy)
    1st man to win 4 Masters at least 4 X's (IW, Miami, Rome, Bercy)
    1st man to win an IW-Miami double 3 X's
    1st man to win an AO-IW-Miami triple 2 X's
    1st man to win 1st 3 Masters of the yr (IW-Miami-MC)
    Joint-most decorated player @ IW w/ 4 titles
    Most dec. player at Shanghai Masters w/ 3 titles
    Most dec. player at Bercy w/ 4 titles
    1st man to win 3 cons. Bercy titles
    1st man to participate in 8 Masters finals in a yr
    1st man to win 5 Masters in 1 yr twice
    1st man to win 5 cons. Masters in which he participated (done twice)
    Biggest # of Masters wins in a season – 39
    Biggest # of HC Masters titles – 19
    2nd longest Masters winning streak (30, only bettered by his other streak – 31)
    Biggest amount of pts (16.785)
    Biggest lead over #2 (8.535)
    1st #1 not to drop any ATP pts for entire 12 mos, from Shang.'14 semis to '15 WTF RR
    1st man to beat Nadal @ every big clay tourney
    1st man to beat Fed 5 X's in 1 season
    1st man to beat Nadal, Fed & Murray @ least 20 X's each
    Biggest # of wins vs the rest of the Big 4 in 1 year - 15
    1st man since Fed in '07 to hold #1 ranking for an entire CY
    Longest run of final tourn. ap. in 1 season – 15 finals in a row
    Joint 4th w/ Lendl & McEnroe w/ 4 YE #1 rankings
    5th all-X player on the list of # of wks spent at #1, entering 174th wk
    Record # of top 10 wins in a season - 31
    1st man to have at least 20 wins over top 10 players in 4 seasons
    1st man to beat all top 10 players in a CY
    Longest winning run at WTF's – 15 in a row
    1st man to win 4 WTF titles in a row
    Highest amount of prize $$ in 1 season ($21,592,125)

    After so many painful yrs before '11, disappointments in '12-'14, Novak has responded in the best way; having the best season since Laver '69.***

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  95. ***W/ Djokovic's USO title last year, he became the 3rd player of this gen. to reach at least 10 GS victories, joining Federer (17) & Nadal (14). To put that in perspective, just 2 other men have won double-digit Slams, all of which have come since the start of the Open era (since '68): Borg (11) & Pete Sampras (14). And they didn't overlap.

    Borg started winning majors in '74 and was done by '81. Sampras won his 1st in '90 & culminated his career at the '02 USO w/ his 14th major trophy. It s/b noted that Laver won 11 majors, but 6 came before the Open era. Federer's 17 Slam wins are the most of all X. Nadal has won 2/3 of his H-to-H encounters w/ Federer (23-11). And now Djokovic, though w/ 7 < Slams than Federer, has dominated both his rivals, winning 9 of his past 10 matches vs Nadal and beating Federer in 2 major finals last season.

    Last season, Djokovic won 3 GS titles. Amazingly, it was the 2nd X in his career he has pulled off this feat ('11). So dominant was Djokovic that he nearly doubled #2 Murray in rankings pts. The Serb reached the final of the last 15 events he played in '15 and accum. an 82-6 record along the way. Perhaps more impressive, he went 31-5 versus top-10 players. His > victim was Federer, who lost in the finals of Wimbledon and the USO to Djokovic.

    For the 1st X in a decade, Nadal failed to advance to a major final. He has 14 GS titles, but there are ??s as to whether the Spaniard will add to his total. If he does, it'll most likely come at the FO, an event he has won 9 X's. No player in history has won more Slam titles at a single event than Nadal at RG.

    In the decade that started in '06, Nadal, Djokovic & Federer have combined to win 34 of 40 GS titles. This Big 3 has accounted for 58 of the 80 GS final berths since '06. Hard to believe, but in 10 years of tennis dominated by the Big 3, only del Potro, Murray, Wawrinka & Cilic have been able to overcome their dominance and win a major event. And in only 1 major since '06 has there been a final consisting of 2 players not named Nadal, Djokovic or Federer -- that was in '14 when Cilic beat Kei Nishikori at the USO.

    The Serb should enjoy the pinnacle of his career for at least another 2 years, but keep in mind, he turns 32 in 3 years, and only 3 players have won a Slam title in the Open era after that age. As for Fed, although he failed to win a major title, he did secure his spot as Nole's main rival, falling to the world #1 in the Wimbledon & USO finals. Fed handed Djokovic 3 of his 6 losses in '15. The ?? is: Can he finally take the next step and win a major, something he hasn't done since '12? He's 34 yo; no men's player has won a major @ that age since Andres Gimeno in the '72 FO. No matter what happens, the Big 3 has created an unmovable stranglehold in the game for a decade. The greatest era ever? Hard to argue against it.
    ---

    ...Why isn't a 34 yo dominating the ATP then? Seriously WTA's a joke. Old woman won 3 slams and so far ahead of any in prime player. As far as I'm concerned, 34 yo won 3 slams in WTA, 34 yo won 0 slams in ATP. lol. in the past 5 yrs, 30+ non-GOAT woman won 8 slams compared to 30+ ATP GOAT won 1.***

    Like Agassi, Serena didn't get serious w/ her training until later in her career! Believe it or not, I say she underachieved & the injuries were from just trying to play top flight tennis w/o really training! How many X's did she arrive at the AO overweight and "played herself" into the tournament as they would say? She really did miss out on a lot of tennis and probably could have set the record to heights unimaginable! Like Agassi, she blew it in a way! Both could and shd so much more IMO!

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  96. ***...You have to believe in yourself. And if your current game isn't good enough, take a step back and work on it. Tomic gushing about Djokovic as if he walks on water isn't the way to be thinking.***

    Happens on the men's and women's tours; an aura around some #1 players that some say gives them "2 or 3 games" before they come on court! It was like that w/ Martina, Evert, Graf, Seles, Venus, and Serena now! W/ the men, players like Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras, and even Federer walked in as if they owned the place! You have to have that mentality to sustain any kinds of consistency! I can't blame Tomic for what he said; just being honest! Don't you think everyone's thinking the exact same thing after Qatar? That was a "butt hurting" for the ages! Rafa was playing well enough; Nole just tracked down all his best stuff and spit it back at him! Very impressive; a lot better than his effort in '15!

    Heaven knows we just saw how merciless Nole is when he plays his old rival Rafa! I swear it appears he wants to inflict as much punishment on Nadal to pay him back for all his gamesmanship and stalling! InSp replayed Qatar match here in the States and I haven't been this amused by a total "beat down" in quite a while! Some deserve it and Nadal certainly deserves to be jerked around the court and actually toyed w/ @ X's btw pts of being overpowered! ;-)

    ***...Who else could beat Djokovic? Nadal's scraping through matches, Fed's old AND has a mental block vs the guy, Murray isn't near '12 level yet. Wawrinka maybe, but what are the odds of him playing like he did in the FO '15 final? This is if he even makes it to Djokovic.***

    The problem's and the main reason we haven't had a CYGS winner since Laver in '69 is b/c a tennis season's long & grueling; 365 days, 4 major events on 4 dif. surfaces! Obviously there aren't many players who have the consistency and ability to perform well enough to complete this task, but you also have to take into consideration the comp.; someone like Stan c/b "in the zone" and take him out unexpectedly! I was disappointed about RG, but I think it worked out well for Nole! W/ all the other winning in Masters' events, the press whb like rabid dogs talking about Nole & making suppositions that make no sense about a CYGS! W/ that FO loss, it was just the normal adoration of a CY in '15; even better than '11 w/ 6 Masters, 3 majors, & the YEC! That isn't including taking the 1st 3 Masters (a rec.), playing in all 8 finals skipping Madrid, defending 4 from '14, & had 30 str. wins going back to '14 (2nd behind Nole's 31; a rec.)! I just can't imagine any of the players being able to come close to these #'s!

    ***..the fact that no one else is winning slams besides the same guys every year. That's why weak era/strong era's always a circular argument.
    ---

    True. But the fact is that every expert on the topic agrees that we're witnessing 1 of the top tennis eras ever.

    - http://espn.go.com/tennis/aus16/sto...ander-novak-djokovic-win-all-four-majors-2016 -

    "The thing you have to apprec. about Djokovic is that he's doing it in 1 of the best eras in men's tennis," Wilander said. "It's harder today. When Roger did it, Djokovic & Murray were not yet in their prime.***

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  97. ***Hoping Rafa doesn't get surprised along the way and raises his level enough to face Djokovic "down under."***

    Does Rafa even have it in his heart to hang out there as long as it takes? You can't live on your laurels at this level! Nole seems t/b on a mission to not only win his matches, but to punish his detractors and rivals! I think he's releasing a lot of steam & frustration for not doing enough to really get his due! It's still all about Fedal even when no real rivalry exists! Unless Djokovic wins the Golden CYGS this year, it'll still be about Rafa and Roger even though Nole's name in the record-book is pushing theirs off the page!

    ***I think it's safe to say Fiero's having a hard X avoiding RAFA. Something about RAFA has really got inside of him. Nobody can save Fiero now.***

    Never cared for Rafa's entire act on court! I've ranted about it enough! Karma, justice, fate; whatever you want to call it has come to past and Rafa's not looking too "GOAT"-like! In fact, he's looked fairly horrible, throwing everything at Nole and getting it back in "spades!" It's been quite enjoyable seeing Nadal get some of his treatment thrown back at him! Other players felt helpless @ one X during Rafa's era; X's change!

    ***Not a Rafa fan either, but I think another Wimbledon would add more to his legacy. Think about him having at least 3 slams on each of the 3 surfaces. Nobody's done that; Open or pre-Open era.***

    Well that's not going to happen if he can't even make a 1/4 at Wimbledon!! It's not like Rafa's being handled by the top echelon! Since '11 final vs Nole, I've joked about the qualifiers, WC's, & "never-weres" who have knocked the "clay GOAT" out of the most prestigious tourney in our sport all too early for the last sev. yrs! Rosol c/b chalked up to the chaos of rain delays and turning into an "indoor" match late when they closed the roof! Fine, he had a gimpy leg against Darcy along w/ a dozen other players on both tours! The last 2 tourneys have seen him "blown off the court" by players not in the top 100 at the top! After a while this begins to look like a trend to me! I'd be very surprised if Rafa gets more than a sniff at any major outside of Paris! I'll give him credit for maybe having a good run on his best surface, but after last season, you never know! He hasn't even been competitive vs Nole the last year & 1/2!

    ***Is a double Career Slam really that big a deal...would be great if Nadal could get another Wimbledon to have 3 CGS.***

    ...It's an accomplishment; no doubt about it, but it's nothing like a CYGS w/ many chances of late; 3 for Fed, 2 w/ Nole, and even 1 X Rafa won 3 majors! No one's been closer than Djokovic w/ a dominance seldom seen in an era w/ plenty of talent, but just as many "head-cases" that can't seem to get their act together to finish off an upset; no matter how many opportunities the top players give them! Instances like '09 & '14 USO, '14 AO, & '15 FO are truly few and far btw w/ our current Big 4 owning the majors & Masters events for the last 10+ yrs!

    ***14 Slams + Double CS + Olympics Singles Gold + 23-11 H2H > 17 Slams + Single Career Slam + Oly. Doubles' Gold - W/ the Double CGS, even if RAFA didn't have the Gold Medal & H2H lead, I'd still put him ahead of Federer.***

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  98. ***I'm not saying it was a fluke @ '14 AO. However, Nadal was not @ 100% in that final.***

    No 1 really beats Rafa; injury's always the excuse! Was he gimpy in Beijing or Doha? I thought he was back! As for Nole at the FO, I wasn't surprised in the least he lost that match! Even when he took the 1st set, he just didn't look settled! Stan steamrolled as he's apt to do periodically; just not enough to get him > in the rankings! Strange phenomenon w/ him behind 2 players w/o a major in the last 3 yrs!

    ***When Nadal loses, he is always injured, no? - Those fatigue excuses are a load of BS. Djokovic luckily got away w/ playing passive, pusher tennis at the AO vs Stan and decided to use the same at RG. However this X Stan was on and didn't let him get away w/ it.
    ---

    Federer is desperate to win. In his whole career, there has not been such a long Slamless period.***

    Everyone wants the old guy to "close it out" w/ 1 major; in particular a Wimbledon to set himself on top of Sampras, Borg, & Laver!

    ***Exactly...Djoker isn't as well liked as Federer & never w/b, but his X to get the crowd support will come. Crowd was going nuts for him in the '08 USO (trust me, I was in it). By '07 he was always cheered for no matter the opp., but the heavy support came in '08 when he was declining & vulnerable.***

    His Wimbledon win in '12 shb his swan song, but the rest of the tour gives him little reason to retire; hanging onto #2 & #3 rankings of late! He still thinks he can win and I think he's playing as well as he ever has, but today's players should still be upsetting him more! If we have a couple more losses like that of Seppi, maybe he'll change his mind b/c only if Nole's upset will Roger even have a chance in the next few yrs at majors! There will have t/b a "Soderling"-type to help him out @ Wimbledon; maybe Anderson finishing Nole off instead of choking away his chance last season!

    ***Completely agree! - Djokovic was very passive in that final and let Wawrinka bully him around the court. He wasn't tired lol. ...Wawrinka was on fire for most of the match and Djokovic was just pushing the ball (and choked a bit as well).***

    Well all, THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW! Living in the past like me doesn't take away from the fact Nole's not pushing the ball these days! He's taking bludgeoning swipes at each ball hit his way; nothing really defensive even when pushed! Few take defense to offense like him and I'm just not sure who's gonna stop his march through this season and tour; close to '15 effort!

    ***...Becker rallied to win 7-5 6-7 2-6 6-4 6-3 vs Lendl @ Wimb. semi in '89. It was a long and tiring match, but he ended up on a high and he took that momentum into the final, winning the opening set 6-0 vs a very flat Edberg, 6-0 7-6 6-4. Becker would probably have won anyway - although it's worth noting that Edberg had beaten him in the previous year's final and would beat him again in the next year's final - but it's not likely he'd have been on fire at the beginning or that 1st set whb so 1-sided.***

    Edberg was pretty much "done" after his marathon loss to Chang in the FO just 2 wks before Wimbledon! People will never understand some matches take more out of you than a few wks rest will remedy! Lendl will tell you after all these years that his '84 FO 5 set win over McEnroe almost killed him! He was also done for the rest of the season; winning over players lower in the ranking, but definitely @ a disadvantage vs McEnroe having a career year in '84!

    ***Edberg dropped serve in his opening service game, it reminded him of the Chang match, b/c he'd lost the 1st set there 6-1, so I agree that there was a connection btw the 2.***

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  99. ***“If you're looking at [Nole’s] season, he was the most dominant player by far last yr,” Federer said. - So, Fed agrees that tier 1 = slams + Masters. ...Fed's so, so bad w/ words. If he meant that no player really dominates unless they win the 4 slams, then Fed himself never dominated either, lol.

    3 slams, 6 Masters + WTF
    Then Murray: 2 Master titles + 1 slam final + 2 Master finals
    Fed: 1 Master title + 2 slam finals + WTF final + 2 Master finals

    ...Either Fed was too high/drunk to think or he just stumbled on words (as he usually does) b/c I'm sure he's well aware of that fact.
    ---

    W/ Nadal's loss last night, he has not made a semi in the last 7 GS. From '05 FO to '15 FO, Nadal was always good enough to have at least reached 1 GS semi in the previous 4. A very solid 10 years. Sampras was also 10 yrs - '92 USO - '02 USO. Federer's streak's active - currently @ 13 yrs, from '03 Wimbledon to '16 Wimbledon. It'll be interesting to see how far Djokovic goes w/ this - currently at a little over 9 yrs - '07 FO to '16 Wimbledon. I know this "streak" seems really obscure, but it basically means being good enough in a given year, to at least reach 1 final weekend of a GS.
    ---

    Sampras' streak tech. lasted 11 yrs ('92 USO - '03 USO), as it was only after the latter tourn. that he hadn't reached a slam SF in the previous 12 months.- Federer's streak will last until at least the '16 USO, so 13 yrs & 2 months. Also interesting to note that Connors' streak was 12 yrs & 7 months, from the AO '74 to the USO '86. So Federer probably has the longest streak in the Open Era. Mind you, Rosewall went from the AO '53 to the FO '70, i.e. 17 years and 4 months, w/ at least 1 semi in either the traditional GS, or the Pro Slams, during his preceding 12 months of play.
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    Rafa is done and he and his team knows it. His style of play needs YOUTH. He used to be most diffcult player to hit winners against and approach the net b/c of his amazing passing shots and his ability to turn defence into offense. His decline started 1st on GRASS and now it is on all SURFACES. GAME OVER. - Rafa phisically & mentally not on a level that we're used to seeing from him; a shadow of himself. Verdasco played like he always does and today many shots made it thru.
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    The days are over where he can consistently use the FH to push opponents off the court. Rafa needs to add a new dimension to his game and I think it's a dimension that Uncle Toni cannot provide. - Nadal seemed to be constantly on the run and 10 feet behind the baseline. Nobody can win playing that way; ssp. at his age. IDK if he gets "pushed" far back by the opponents shots (and losing a step to age), or if he just reverts to that positioning out of habit/nerves/fear etc., but it is killing him. ...If he plays from 10 feet behind the line (and can't hit monster FH's from defensive positions) he's toast.
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    I don't care if your name's Nadal. Losing in the 2nd, 3rd and 1st rounds of the last 3 majors tells me a player w/ result like those doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the top 5; yet he still is. - ...We only have a top 3, maybe 4 and the rest of the players are so much weaker. In the 90's the top 10 or 20 was much closer. Everyone could win a slam. So that made a more comp. era IMO and much more difficult to win. That doesn't mean that I think, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer & even Murray are better players than in the 90's. But the era is not better. Everyone in the top 20 now could and w/b beaten by the top 20 of the 90's when we had Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Rusedski, Krajickek, Sampras, Agassi, Muster, & Stich.***

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  100. ***“Djokovic looking like 1980s-90s NBA: 1st there was Bird, Magic, Isiah, Jordan. Then there was just Jordan. ...esp. w/ Nole playing in the era of Fed & Nadal, 2 of the best players in tennis history.

    Nole has recorded some of the best ind. seasons ever in the sport the past few yrs, includ. last season when he went 82-6 & finished w/ 3 major titles. At this rate, w/ Nadal’s injury-prone body, the 34-yo Fed past his prime and no obvious contender from the next gen., it's conceivable that Djokovic, owner of 10 GS titles, can match or break Federer’s record of 17.

    ...“Even though Rafa’s got 4 more Slams than Nole, I think Djokovic has better a chance of getting 7 than Rafa has of getting 3.…” ...Djokovic would not win another major title until AO '11. ..."…Djokovic seems to be rising while the other 2 are falling back.”

    In a conference call w/ reporters last wk, ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert said that Djokovic's “as complete of a tennis player” as he has ever seen. While Federer still holds sev. records, includ. reaching 36 cons. GS 1/4's, Nole's gaining on or surpassing his 2 main rivals in some stats. Acc. to 538’s Carl Bialik & Benj.Morris, “Djokovic is playing @ a level virtually unseen in the sport, topping even Fed’s best yrs a decade ago.”

    Djokovic has a 22-22 H2H rec. vs Federer & a 24-23 H2H rec. vs Nadal. In 5 seasons that Federer has finished the year at #1, his win-loss record is 376-36 (91.3%). Djokovic has gone 288-32 (90%) in the 4 seasons he has ended as world #1 and Nadal is 228-28 (89.1%) in 3 seasons finishing at the top. Djokovic has a slight lead in career win % vs top 10 players at 66.7% compared to Federer’s 65.7% and Nadal’s 65.4%.

    ...“#1 players, there’s always improvement from the last decade,” Evert said. “I think Djokovic…if he has another 2 or 3 majestic years, he could very well be right up there w/ Federer. We keep saying the best that ever was. He’s certainly looking that way if he stays motivated.”

    Even the man whose rec. Djokovic's chasing doesn't doubt the Serbian’s chances. “Clearly he can win many of them,” Fed said after his 4-set loss to Djokovic at last yr’s USO. “He already has a ton, so obviously he’s got to stay healthy and all that stuff and hungry, but obviously you would think he will win more after tonite.”

    A health fanatic, Nole's a relatively young 28. He's known for a restr. diet & wrote in his autobio, “Serve To Win,” that he treated himself to just 1 small square of choc. after his nearly 6-hr victory over Nadal @ AO '12.
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    Who's the most consistent player of all X? Who keeps on producing good results, match after match, day after day in both big & small tourneys?

    Out of all stats on the ATP website, the match winning % is the best indicator of consistency across matches of all levels. At this moment, the COAT belongs to Novaaak DJoookovic, by a mile.

    All X, Rafa's leading atm, but Nole has gained a lot of ground this yr ...so I think Nole will come out on top in this stat when he retires. If he gets the COAT, he will be closer to the GOAT.

    '15 match winning %:

    1 Djokovic 0.940 - 78-5

    2 Federer 0.855 - 59-10

    3 Murray 0.850 - 68-12

    Career match winning %:

    1 Nadal 0.828 - 764-159

    2 Borg 0.827 64 609-127

    3 Djokovic 0.825 - 682-145

    4 Connors 0.819 109 1254-278

    5 Lendl 0.818 94 1071-239

    6 Federer 0.817 - 1055-237
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    According to Fedal fans logic, Novak waited for Fedal (hairs) to decline and now having a weak hair field.***

    ...Nadal's disappears w/ a little sweat these days & Verdasco looked like he could go to a photo-shoot right after the match! Borg's was great back "in the day," Agassi's was the best of his gen. until it came out he wore exten., & I really like Nadal's & Federer's back when they were kids, but my all X fave, having the entire package w/ the best hair, short or long has t/b Feliciano Lopez!

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