Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

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Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Wed 25 May 2016, 7:59 pm

Stats open era only.

Least Sets
So, the least sets you can win a tournament with (assuming no retirements or walkovers) is 21 (7 x 3). Federer, Nadal, Borg and Connors have all done it at least twice. Djokovic has never managed a 21-set slam, although he did play only 20 sets at AO 2011, but that was because someone retired after 1 set against him, he actually lost a TB to Dodig in that tournament.

The least sets played (while winning title) in an open era grand slam title is Ken Rosewall, with 15 at the Australian Open in 1971. There are only 6 rounds and he received a seeded player bye in the first of those.


Most Sets
The most would be 35 (7 x 5).

The most sets ever played by a grand slam winner was 29 (Kuerten French Open 1997, Becker Wimbledon 1985, Kodes Wimbledon 1973). I think these statistics are open era.

Gaudio 2004 (28 sets in total) offers good omens for Murray. He had to go to 5 sets in rounds 1 and 2 before winning the title.

Harold Solomon (76 FO) and Marat Safin (2004 AO) jointly hold the record for most sets played in a slam - 30 - but without winning the title. 29 is the most played and actually won the title.

Murray played 26 sets (US Open) and 24 sets (Wimbledon) in his previous triumphs.


5 Sets
If Murray could win three 5 setters (just one more) and win the title that would tie the record. No-one has ever won four 5 setters while winning the title.

There have been 12 instances of players playing 4 5-set matches at a single slam without winning the title (most recently Hrbarty AO 2006). Denton, Martin, Lapentti and Costa are the only ones that won all 4 (Costa FO 2003 most recently).

No-one has played five 5-set matches at a slam.

Sources:
http://www.tennis28.com/slams/sets_tournament.html (up to date until at least 2009)
http://www.menstennisforums.com/11-statistics/585521-sets-games-played-win-grand-slams-open-era.html (2015 thread)
http://www.tennis28.com/slams/five_sets_tournament.html (up to date until at least 2013)
As some sources may not be fully up to date, there could be some very recent cases missed out, although I cannot think of any.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Wed 25 May 2016, 8:59 pm

Interesting stats...but you could argue Murray is creating his own 5 setters here! I wonder who has best record against fellow say top 20 players?

Re: least sets, another good one to analyse is the least GAMES lost in a championship, ie best domination.
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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by socal1976 on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:24 pm

Great OP by HB. Interesting breakdown don't think I have seen these numbers before. Physically is one part of the grind of five setters but the added emotional ups and downs adds even more burned up energy, when match is close like that for that long. I know in my own match play experience how nerve racking it is when you can't shake a guy and the match is tight. This added stress has away of adding fatigue and burnout beyond just the extra running and hitting. When in a match you know you can't really win because the other guy is too good, or that the other guy can't beat you unless you really lay an egg, then you feel very little tension in a match. But the tight matches that stay close for too long, can have the effect of exponentially increasing fatigue.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:40 pm

This is an interesting couple of tables to analyse.
1) Top 25 least games lost in winning a slam (* denotes won the slam)
2) Top 20 most games lost in winning a slam

I.e. Most dominant slams and hardest won.

What is very interesting is that neither Sampras, Djokovic, Federer, Becker or Edberg feature in the least games lost table (!)
However, in the 2nd table we can see how hard Goran had to play to win 2001 Wimb, and Sampras, Lendl, Becker and Edberg feature quite a bit meaning they had to toil pretty hard for some of their slam wins...I.e. Not as dominant as their slam winners?

The other interesting feature of both tables, least & most games lost, is that most of the records feature many years ago...weird. Why?

Anyway, here's he tables...image captured...can't be bothered typing these up!


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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:48 pm

Oh and another nugget....sorted per least games won per slam too Smile




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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:56 pm

Edberg, iirc won the USO with 5-setters in the 1/4 final, semi-final and final - and being a break down in the 5th in all 3 (probably, not certain).

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:57 pm

Borg's 1978 French is mind blowing...just lost 32 games all slam...that average of 4.5 per match...or average of just over 61 61 62 per match! That's domination.
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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Danny_1982 on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:57 pm

Fascinating stats. I think it would be foolish to say that Murray's chances of winning the title haven't taken a hit by being taken to 5 sets consecutively. He is now in a position where he probably needs to win the next two matches efficiently, probably in straight sets, and also needs some luck with results.

The reason I say that is, his likely route for the title will be Nishikori, Stan, Novak / Rafa. Tough matches. All those are 4 set wins in the absolute best case scenario. He needs at least one of Nish or Stan to fall before he meets them in my opinion. He won't get through both of those efficiently, that's for sure. And he won't beat Novak or Rafa by going in more fatigued than them. Not a chance.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Wed 25 May 2016, 9:57 pm

Nice info JHM...that's toughness right there!
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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Wed 25 May 2016, 10:50 pm

Great stats Lydian. Borg - what a machine.

79.9% Borg's best vs 75.7% the next best (Rafa). Fully 4% more. That's really impressive.

Notable that many of the highest win % stats are at the FO, and very few at Wimbledon. On clay you can lose a set 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 even though it was competitive and several games went to 30-30 or deuce. On grass you often only won sets 6-3 or 6-4 even against blatantly inferior players due to serve dominance.

68% for McEnroe at Wimbledon (1984), about 2% better than Federer's best, is really impressive.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Wed 25 May 2016, 10:56 pm

lydian wrote:

What is very interesting is that neither Sampras, Djokovic, Federer, Becker or Edberg feature in the least games lost table (!)
However, in the 2nd table we can see how hard Goran had to play to win 2001 Wimb, and Sampras, Lendl, Becker and Edberg feature quite a bit meaning they had to toil pretty hard for some of their slam wins...I.e. Not as dominant as their slam winners?

The other interesting feature of both tables, least & most games lost, is that most of the records feature many years ago...weird. Why?


Excluding Djokovic, the guys not featuring in the games lost is because their best slams were the faster ones mostly where games were inevitably shared more as there were usually 0-3 breaks per set only. Another explanation is that you must be a great returner to win a high % of all games. These guys were more servers, volleyers, or power players. Or, to express it another way, these are players that just don't do well at the FO, where the games lost low records are usually set.

Records being more years ago could be less strength in depth.

Goran, yeah, only won 53% of games. Interesting.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by socal1976 on Thu 26 May 2016, 1:25 am

Danny_1982 wrote:Fascinating stats. I think it would be foolish to say that Murray's chances of winning the title haven't taken a hit by being taken to 5 sets consecutively. He is now in a position where he probably needs to win the next two matches efficiently, probably in straight sets, and also needs some luck with results.

The reason I say that is, his likely route for the title will be Nishikori, Stan, Novak / Rafa. Tough matches. All those are 4 set wins in the absolute best case scenario. He needs at least one of Nish or Stan to fall before he meets them in my opinion. He won't get through both of those efficiently, that's for sure. And he won't beat Novak or Rafa by going in more fatigued than them. Not a chance.
Great post Danny you and I see it the same. If Andy had won in six straight sets with a lot of 6-1, 6-2 tennis you can bet your bottom dollar that Murray fans would be high on his form. Still in his favor he is in good form, has the chops to win it, and most importantly he is still alive. Other than that it kind of seems like sputtering start to me.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by socal1976 on Thu 26 May 2016, 1:30 am

lydian wrote:This is an interesting couple of tables to analyse.
1) Top 25 least games lost in winning a slam (* denotes won the slam)
2) Top 20 most games lost in winning a slam

I.e. Most dominant slams and hardest won.

What is very interesting is that neither Sampras, Djokovic, Federer, Becker or Edberg feature in the least games lost table (!)
However, in the 2nd table we can see how hard Goran had to play to win 2001 Wimb, and Sampras, Lendl, Becker and Edberg feature quite a bit meaning they had to toil pretty hard for some of their slam wins...I.e. Not as dominant as their slam winners?

The other interesting feature of both tables, least & most games lost, is that most of the records feature many years ago...weird. Why?

Anyway, here's he tables...image captured...can't be bothered typing these up!


Good post interestingly , only two of the top 25 results in the games won happened in the last decade and both involved Rafa on clay. To me that speaks of the overall improvement in recent times and professionalism of the middle to lower ranked pros in modern times in comparison to the eighties and 90s.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by socal1976 on Thu 26 May 2016, 1:34 am

Yeah HB great analysis the slower surface speeds will lead to a lot of close sets compared to clay or The AO. Also explains why the 90s guys did well in terms of ranking high on list of sets won, but low in terms of games win loss percentage

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by summerblues on Thu 26 May 2016, 4:02 am

HB/Lydian: Very interesting stats; thanks.

I agree with HB/socal re surfaces.  Borg's numbers are impressive, but it is probably easier to do that on clay.  At Wimbledon, it is harder to break even if the opponent is inferior, so there will probably be fewer blowout sets.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by sirfredperry on Thu 26 May 2016, 7:29 am

Excellent work by all the above in getting the stats out. No doubt the UK politicians will be using the stats to show how Britain should/shouldn't stay in the EU!

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu 26 May 2016, 8:34 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:Edberg, iirc won the USO with 5-setters in the 1/4 final, semi-final and final - and being a break down in the 5th in all 3 (probably, not certain).

It was the 1992 USO and the 5-setters were in the 4th round (vs Krajicek), quarter-final (vs Lendl) and semi-final (vs Chang - 5 hours 26 minutes, then the longest open era match), followed by a 4-set victory over Sampras in the final, coming back from a set down.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Guest on Thu 26 May 2016, 9:16 am

There are sets.  And then there are sets.

"The impetus to use some kind of a tie-breaking procedure gained force after a monumental 1969 struggle at Wimbledon between Pancho Gonzales and Charlie Pasarell. This was a 5-set match that lasted five hours and 12 minutes and took 2 days to complete. In the fifth set the 41-year-old Gonzales won all seven match points that Pasarell had against him, twice coming back from 0–40 deficits. The final score was 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9." [Wikipedia].

"The Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships is the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. In the Men's Singles tournament first round, the American 23rd seed John Isner defeated the French qualifier Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 for a total of 183 games".  Incidently Isner next match was one of the shortest in the history of the sport losing 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.  Sad  [Wikipedia].

Then there are games.  And then there are games.

Then there are points.  And then there are points.

The longest point was a "9,678,890 stroke rally between Mike and Jack. Started in Easter ending at Christmas, lasting over 8 months. This was officially acknowledged by the LTA and the Guiness world records. This was an event of great solitude and devotion by both players. This was the first point of the game which then meant the game ended 3 years later.  Mike & Jack, cornwall UK"  [Not Wikipedia].

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 26 May 2016, 10:58 am

Given that they didn't bother sitting down at changes of end back then, that Gonzales match is probably equivalent to about 7 hours today. Worth noting that the 41 year old then cruised through his next two matches before losing to Ashe.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by bogbrush on Thu 26 May 2016, 2:18 pm

lydian wrote:Borg's 1978 French is mind blowing...just lost 32 games all slam...that average of 4.5 per match...or average of just over 61 61 62 per match! That's domination.
Yeah, that's insane.

The dominance stats are bound to be full of French Open because the serve & return games are less distinct. Not at all surprised to see Goran won Wimbledon and hardly won over 50% of the games! After all, 7-6 is 53.8%.
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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by lydian on Thu 26 May 2016, 9:57 pm

Yes I agree easier to dominate on a gruelling surface.

I also reckon Karlovic achieves a TB set approx. 53.8% of the time...he must practice TBs like a Trojan given he plays at least 1 or 2 per match. He's like the equivalent of a professional penalty taker.
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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 26 May 2016, 10:13 pm

lydian wrote:Yes I agree easier to dominate on a gruelling surface.

I also reckon Karlovic achieves a TB set approx. 53.8% of the time...he must practice TBs like a Trojan given he plays at least 1 or 2 per match. He's like the equivalent of a professional penalty taker.

He's shockingly bad at them, so he probably should practice!

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 04 Jun 2016, 2:36 pm

Djokovic lost 1 set so far, if he wins the final in straight sets that would be on a par with his most dominant previous slam.

Murray has lost 6 sets so far, and won 18, that is 24 played total. If the final goes to 5 sets that would be 29 total. Still one short of the open era record 30 sets played in a slam. However if he wins in 5 he will equal the record for the most sets ever played by a grand slam winner which was 29 (Kuerten French Open 1997, Becker Wimbledon 1985, Kodes Wimbledon 1973).

He is still in with a chance to emulate Gaston Gaudio, who managed to win the title after being taken to five sets in the opening 2 rounds.


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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sat 04 Jun 2016, 2:41 pm

Didn't Gaudio also play five sets in the final the year he won? against Coria IIRC, a match in which both players struggled with cramp and the fifth set saw drop shots played pretty much every point.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 04 Jun 2016, 2:47 pm

Gaston Gaudio – French Open, 2004

1R defeated Guillermo Canas 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
2R defeated Jiri Novak 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
3R defeated Thomas Enqvist 6-0, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4
4R defeated Igor Andreev 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
QF defeated Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
SF defeated David Nalbandian 6-3, 7-6, 6-0
F defeated Guillermo Coria 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 7:41 am

Coria had championship points (CP) in that 04 final and lost. Think it was the first time a man had had a GS CP and had lost since a Laver-Fraser match in the pre-Open era.
  Davenport had a CP against Venus at Wimbledon and lost. Don't think it has happened very often in the Open era. In 1948, at Wimbledon, John Bromwich had two CPs Bob Falkenburg and lost. It's very much a rarity.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 2:08 pm

It happened to Roger twice at the US Open against Djokovic, but they were both semis of course. I can't think of a recent final off the top of my head.

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Re: Set Records and Most 5 Set Matches

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