Andy and Novak

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Andy and Novak

Post by summerblues on Sun 30 Apr 2017, 7:59 pm

We have all been surprised by their poor results this year.  I was wondering - are those results as poor as they look, or are they more along the lines of what used to happen in the past, and we just got used to dominant performances by top guys over the last few years?

I wanted to get some stats for this, so to keep it manageable I only looked at the first four "big" tournaments - AO, IW, Miami and MC.  Andy and Novak have managed a lone QF (Novak in MC) between them in these four tournaments.

I looked over the years and checked how the YE top two players fared in AO and first three Masters 1000 over the years.  I started with 1987 (prior to that, AO was played in December, so it is harder to make meaningful comparisons).

So how bad have Novak and Andy have been?

The answer:  Very, very bad.

In fact, none of the last 30 years were as bad as this year.  Almost every year, the YE top two guys would have by now won at least one of the four big tourneys, often more than one.

There were only two years where the top two failed to win any of the four tournaments:

1999:  '98 top two were Sampras and Rios, but they still easily bested this year's Novak and Andy and at least had one Final performance between them (Rios in MC).

1998: (Sampras/Rafter):  This is the only year which is at least comparably as dreadful as what Novak and Andy have been doing.  Sampras and Rafter's results were:

Sampras. AO:QF, IW: R16, Miami: R32, MC: R16
Rafter: AO: R32, IW: R16, Miami: R64, MC: DNP

This is quite similar to this year (one QF and three R16s) but is still a touch better (some R32 results instead of R64 this year and, also, the QF came in AO instead of Novak's MC).

What an abysmal start by Novak and Andy.

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by Jermaine2015 on Sun 30 Apr 2017, 10:18 pm

Djokovic results are surprising. Murray is rubbish and a con artist so it shouldn't been expected

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 30 Apr 2017, 10:20 pm

Yeah you wouldn't expect the top 2 to be ranked 10 and 20 in the race rankings by this stage. I'd still expect both to be top 5 by the end of the year (unless Andy's elbow is a lot worse than currently appears) but it will need something exceptional for either to catch Fedal. I'd still make them second and third favourites for all three remaining slams though!

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by summerblues on Mon 01 May 2017, 1:59 am

Born Slippy wrote:I'd still expect both to be top 5 by the end of the year (unless Andy's elbow is a lot worse than currently appears) but it will need something exceptional for either to catch Fedal.
Oh yes, plenty of time to recover.  In spite of that disastrous start in 1998, Sampras still finished the year at #1.  If this were 2006, I would agree that Fed and Rafa would be very difficult to catch, but Fed will be 36 and Rafa 31, and who is to tell how long they can stretch their current form?  And outside Fed and Rafa, everyone else is still easily catchable by Novak and Andy - if they can get their acts together.  So they could still finish the year at 1/2 again, though that does look somewhat unlikely now.

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by summerblues on Mon 01 May 2017, 2:14 am

As a follow-up to my OP, a collapse by the old guard can quickly be followed by the new stars rising.  And indeed, the unprecedented disaster that the year has been for Andy and Novak did not leave us without worthy successors.  While their names have been long known to tennis aficionados, it looks like they are ready for the prime time - welcome to Fed and Rafa show!

Just as the first four big tourneys have been a disaster to the top two, they have been a bonanza for Fed and Rafa.  Not only did they win all four of them, but neither of them has been beaten by anyone else.  Fed won all three tournaments he played, and Rafa won MC, and only lost to Fed in the other three.

So, my next question was:  How rare is it for the top two performers in the early season to accomplish just that - to win the first four tournaments and remain unbeaten by anyone outside the two of them?

Once again, I looked back all the way to 1987.  This feat is not entirely unprecedented, but it is very rare indeed.  It only happened once (well, twice) before over the last 30 years:

2015:  Nole won all four of the tournaments (the only time over the last 30 years where that happened) but Andy was no slouch either.  He lost only to Novak - in AO, IW and Miami (he did not play MC).

1994: Sampras won AO, IW and Miami, and did not play MC.  Medvedev won MC, and did not play AO, IW, or Miami.  So, technically this year qualifies too (the two of them shared the four titles without anyone else beating either of them) but it seems like it should not quite count - it was only made possible by Medvedev not playing the three hard court tournaments as there is no way he would have been so consistent in those.

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by summerblues on Mon 01 May 2017, 2:22 am

It is bizarre that not only did Fed and Rafa win everything, but they did not even have to play Andy and Novak.

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 01 May 2017, 9:06 am

SB - Some very interesting stats. Thanks. As has been pointed out, Rafa and Rog's sweeping up of all the big points this season means that Murray and Djoko are not all that far behind, despite indifferent starts to the season.
Another stat. All the big tournaments in 2017 have been won by 30-somethings. With Murray and Djoko reaching 30 this month, we could easily have a complete monopoly of the major titles this year by those in their fourth decade.

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Re: Andy and Novak

Post by temporary21 on Mon 01 May 2017, 2:25 pm

It's not that fair an assessment for Andy. Shingles isn't helpful

More importantly an elbow injury isn't to be glossed over. It's about the worst injury a tennis player can have other than the wrist

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Re: Andy and Novak

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