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Do things necessarily need to be competitive at the top?

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Post by break_in_the_fifth Tue 07 Apr 2015, 8:22 am

First topic message reminder :

Djokovic is number 1 in the world right now and by some distance. From reading posts this year so far I get the feeling that people here aren't satisfied with this state of affairs or that it's somehow worse now than it has been before. I'm not saying this is shaping up to be the most exciting year in tennis ever but is it really so bad, relative to the last 5 years, that the others need to step their game up to save us from some kind of viewing catastrophe? Yes they need to step their game up if they want to beat him and I'm sure they are doing all they can but the feeling I'm getting from here is that it is all too imperative that they succeed in order to avert a crisis.

I'll admit that I didn't watch much of Miami apart from highlights but across these last two tournaments he's been challenged a few times but in the end proved too good. The game moves on every year and if he's done the best with keeping up with that and improving then more credit to him. He's not my favourite player but if he should win the majority of everything significant this year then so be it. It seems that on here there is a strong desire not to have a single player dominate and that if that is the case then competition is weak; maybe no one wants to see domination of a "weak era" like 2004-2007 again and anything resembling that can't be good for the game. I, on the other hand, believe it's possible to just gave a player who is much better than everyone else at a given time. The competition is ok this year and we're not at a point where the matches are foregone conclusions , at least no more or less significantly so than previous years.

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Post by Jahu Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:04 pm

See, I said yesterday, it was better to stick to Andy's wedding arrangements Laugh
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:13 pm

Jahu wrote:See, I said yesterday, it was better to stick to Andy's wedding arrangements Laugh

I'd heard Roger was invited but had a flashback to Australian Open 2013 (was it?) and told Andy to 'Fu** off'. Laugh
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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:28 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Jahu wrote:See, I said yesterday, it was better to stick to Andy's wedding arrangements Laugh

I'd heard Roger was invited but had a flashback to Australian Open 2013 (was it?) and told Andy to 'Fu** off'. Laugh

I heard it was Judy who called Fed up to invite him, but he told her to 'Be quiet'.

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Post by LuvSports! Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:30 pm

and when Murray denied the rumour Feds said, " I don't give a **** what he said."

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Post by Jahu Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:36 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Jahu wrote:See, I said yesterday, it was better to stick to Andy's wedding arrangements Laugh

I'd heard Roger was invited but had a flashback to Australian Open 2013 (was it?) and told Andy to 'Fu** off'. Laugh

I heard it was Judy who called Fed up to invite him, but he told her to 'Be quiet'.

Maybe Mirka does not like explicit content Kim Laugh
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Post by bogbrush Thu 09 Apr 2015, 1:24 pm

This isn't a GOAT / weak era debate at all. Feel free to stick it wherever though, I'm not emotionally attached to it.
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Post by bogbrush Thu 09 Apr 2015, 1:27 pm

temporary21 wrote:I can "mostly" see the point of both of you, but neither of you see the other ones point, and are just arguing semantics at this stage. This has also become a weak era/ GOAT discussion, and as such I think its best to move this one to the sticky
Oh I can see his point. It's right there on the top of his head Wink

(just a joke, please have a free shot at me in return, Amrit)
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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 09 Apr 2015, 1:42 pm

bogbrush wrote:
temporary21 wrote:I can "mostly" see the point of both of you, but neither of you see the other ones point, and are just arguing semantics at this stage. This has also become a weak era/ GOAT discussion, and as such I think its best to move this one to the sticky
Oh I can see his point. It's right there on the top of his head Wink

(just a joke, please have a free shot at me in return, Amrit)


I would have responded with a funny joke I saw myself, but unfortunately my copy and paste function isn't working so I can't lift one of your hilarious 'equal era in 12+ months theory' sketches you're doing.

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 09 Apr 2015, 1:42 pm

The approach to suggest sticking this thread into the sticky is madness. Quite apart from the fact it isn't a GOAT debate, you have a thread that has generated 150+ comments from a range of posters over a couple of days. That's more than any non-tournament thread in the last month. These are the type of issues people wish to discuss and the forum needs them to sustain it. Otherwise it is moribund and will continue to slowly die.

The sticky operates as a graveyard as it does not appear on the list of recently commented articles and requires posters to notice there has been action. It is a very effective way of killing any stimulating discussion.

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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 09 Apr 2015, 1:48 pm

Joking aside Bogbrush, I am genuinely curious if you are going to continue to defend this theory of yours.
As far as I can see, you're the only one who has argued on this thread that the very concept that Djokovic could face easier competition in the next few years than throughout his career so far is invalid. Surely as sensible and as reasonable as you are, at some point you will say 'ok fine, I admit it is actually possible that Djokovic could get easier competition in the next few years if no young guns break through'.
Or maybe not Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:11 pm

It is all variables though IMBL. Whereas he may face lesser competition from Nadal, Murray and Federer his level itself may dip as well so for him the competition might actually be stiffer depending on whose consistency falls the least. Up and coming players as well may become more consistent as well stiffening competition so who knows?
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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:18 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:It is all variables though IMBL. Whereas he may face lesser competition from Nadal, Murray and Federer his level itself may dip as well so for him the competition might actually be stiffer depending on whose consistency falls the least. Up and coming players as well may become more consistent as well stiffening competition so who knows?
You're right on both counts.
It may be that Djokovic himself declines and can't take advantage of the slightly weaker field. However no signs of that so far in 2015.
It may also be young players seriously improve (or Nadal & Murray...), but once again I'm not too optimistic for that either.

At the moment its Federer who's shown he can trouble Djokovic, but in best of 5 you feel his chances will be much less against Djokovic, as Federer at this age may physically not compete over a very long period.

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Post by temporary21 Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:28 pm

We dont mean dump the thread into the sticky, we mean maybe take the convo from here on, to the sticky if you wanna go down the era debate road. Fed wouldnt go to the wedding as a simple peasent guest in any case. There woudln't be room for the seven nannies either.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:37 pm

Personally, the whole Murray wedding subject by Jahu shows a distinct lack of tennis knowledge. The wedding takes place on Saturday in Dunblane less than 24 hours before the start of the Monte Carlo Masters which all of the major players are taking part in - that is the reason they aren't attending and for no other heinious reasons like Jahu would have us believe. Murray is giving Monte Carlo a miss this year and will begin is clay court season in an ATP250 tournament in Munich at the end of this month.
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Post by Jahu Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:53 pm

CC, I'm sure the Top 3 can afford or even share ( censored ) a private jet to Andy's wedding, then fly mid day Sunday after some haggis to MC.

Don't defend now Andy warning drumroll
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:55 pm

Jahu wrote:CC, I'm sure the Top 3 can afford or even share ( censored ) a private jet to Andy's wedding, then fly mid day Sunday after some haggis to MC.

Don't defend now Andy warning drumroll

Oh dear. picard
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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:56 pm

Another point adding to the overwhelming cascade of reasons as to why BB's wacky 'equal era theory' is so warped is birth dates.

Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray were all born within 1 year of each other, from 1986-1987. Can you think of any player at the level of any of these 3 who were born in the next 5 years (i.e. 1988-1992), i.e. aged around 22-26 now ?
I certainly can't, and this for me is one of the key reasons Djokovic if he can keep up his current level will have it easier in the next few years than he has had to deal with so far. The irregularity of birth dates of top players being produced manifests itself in the irregularity and fluctuation of competition.


Last edited by It Must Be Love on Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Jahu Thu 09 Apr 2015, 2:58 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Jahu wrote:CC, I'm sure the Top 3 can afford or even share ( censored ) a private jet to Andy's wedding, then fly mid day Sunday after some haggis to MC.

Don't defend now Andy warning drumroll

Oh dear. picard

You don't fancy haggis? Whistle
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Post by kingraf Thu 09 Apr 2015, 3:03 pm

I heard Murray couldn't find a petri dish in Dublane to grow Djokovic's food, so decided it'd be best to not have him there
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 09 Apr 2015, 3:17 pm

Jahu wrote:CC, I'm sure the Top 3 can afford or even share ( censored ) a private jet to Andy's wedding, then fly mid day Sunday after some haggis to MC.

Don't defend now Andy warning drumroll

Jeez is there a brain in there? Monte Carlo starts less than a day after the wedding and is the first clay court tournament of the season for these players so I'd hazard a guess they will be cramming in as much court practice as possible. It is a shame but you are either in full WUM mode or incredibly stupid if you don't understand those pertinent facts. I tell you what I'll be all ears when or if Roger, Rafa or Novak voice their bitter disappointment in the press - which they won't. I wonder why? I'll leave you now to work that one out and return in a weeks time to see if you have managed it yet. OK
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Post by Jahu Thu 09 Apr 2015, 4:32 pm

CC, at 46 you should have less of a need to look intelligent and so serious here.

Does it take up to 65 year old, when you retire to understand this wedding thing?

London is no good to you I swear, since you moved there, you are on space travel Run
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Post by bogbrush Thu 09 Apr 2015, 7:34 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:Another point adding to the overwhelming cascade of reasons as to why BB's wacky 'equal era theory' is so warped is birth dates.

Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray were all born within 1 year of each other, from 1986-1987. Can you think of any player at the level of any of these 3 who were born in the next 5 years (i.e. 1988-1992), i.e. aged around 22-26 now ?
I certainly can't, and this for me is one of the key reasons Djokovic if he can keep up his current level will have it easier in the next few years than he has had to deal with so far. The irregularity of birth dates of top players being produced manifests itself in the irregularity and fluctuation of competition.
You can't disprove my theory. In fact, it's less a theory and more a statement of facts.
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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 09 Apr 2015, 7:50 pm

bogbrush wrote:
It Must Be Love wrote:Another point adding to the overwhelming cascade of reasons as to why BB's wacky 'equal era theory' is so warped is birth dates.

Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray were all born within 1 year of each other, from 1986-1987. Can you think of any player at the level of any of these 3 who were born in the next 5 years (i.e. 1988-1992), i.e. aged around 22-26 now ?
I certainly can't, and this for me is one of the key reasons Djokovic if he can keep up his current level will have it easier in the next few years than he has had to deal with so far. The irregularity of birth dates of top players being produced manifests itself in the irregularity and fluctuation of competition.
You can't disprove my theory. In fact, it's less a theory and more a statement of facts.
Why don't you defend it then ?

Explain why when there is such irregularity with the rate tennis players of a certain level are produced, why would there be no fluctuation in a period greater than 12 months ?
Why does it always balance itself out after 13 months or greater ? Do you not therefore think it's possible that 2014-2015 may not be as strong as 2011-2012 ? (as it's concerning a time period of greater than 12 months) ?
In terms of relevance to this thread specifically: do you therefore not think it possible that Djokovic's competition now for the next 13 months (or any period greater than 12 months) could be easier in slams because of the lack of young guns then it was for him in 2011-2013 ?

So many questions, so few answers. Either it's because you have the answers and you're hiding it from us, or you know your 'equal era' theory is totally illogical and indefensible.

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Post by temporary21 Thu 09 Apr 2015, 9:55 pm

As the One Proposing the thoery, the burden of proof is very much on BB here, you need to convince people its right, beofre people need knock it down.

Personally im not really convinced of it either

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Post by temporary21 Thu 09 Apr 2015, 10:02 pm

Strength of competition depends much on form of good players at he time. This doesnt necessarily even out over a long period, for one tennis players have quite a short career. Moreso, a players average form isnt a straight line, it will go up and then dip as they get older.

Periods of time can be less competitive and not as good in quality if a big guy retires, or if the established players suffer a dip in form over a period of time, leaving the second tier guys to pick up the slack, which they cant yet. THAT of course means they turn into the new big guys over time, hence the vaguely cyclical nature of things, but theres no guarantee to me it will even itself out properly.

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Post by summerblues Fri 10 Apr 2015, 2:42 am

It Must Be Love wrote:I am exposing my good friend Bogbrush's lack of logic on this topic. Wink
Ok.  I suppose what I am saying is that to me it seems like an odd purpose in a tennis forum discussion.  Perhaps they have logic fora where something like that would be better suited.  Anyway, if that is what makes you tick, by all means go for it.

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Post by It Must Be Love Fri 10 Apr 2015, 3:10 am

Relax, SB I was just being light hearted there.

I saw something Bogbrush said which I disagreed with, so I pointed out what I disagreed with, and now we're having a debate.
No reason for me to start looking for logic fora.

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Post by summerblues Fri 10 Apr 2015, 4:04 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Jahu wrote:See, I said yesterday, it was better to stick to Andy's wedding arrangements Laugh

I'd heard Roger was invited but had a flashback to Australian Open 2013 (was it?) and told Andy to 'Fu** off'. Laugh

I heard it was Judy who called Fed up to invite him, but he told her to 'Be quiet'.
and when Andy was overheard complaining that 'he does it all the time', Mirka called him a crybaby.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 10 Apr 2015, 7:21 am

temporary21 wrote:As the One Proposing the thoery, the burden of proof is very much on BB here, you need to convince people its right, beofre people need knock it down.

Personally im not really convinced of it either
No, I don't have to convince anyone of anything. The scientific process involves making hypotheses (which I have), supporting them with information (which I also have) and making predictions (also done). It now falls to experimental testing to disprove the hypothesis.

By the way, you can hardly have something knocked down once you've convinced people it's right - the first process renders the second redundant. But don't worry, you don't have to convince everyone of that theory.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 8:10 am

Don't agree with HMM here, concerning the mix of slams. Do note that two out of four slams are on the HCs, so strictly speaking, Fed had more than half of his slams on the HCs. A good balance would be having more clay slams for him, maybe 6 HCs, 7 Grass and 4 Clay? Now his weakness on clay was excused because of one particular player, but how about Rafa's on the HC where he had to fight with Kings of the HCs, and on grass where he had to fight with the king of grass?

Also, Rafa is always being penalized for being so overwhelming superior on the clay than anyone else and anywhere else. If anything, Rafa is special in thst he could dominate on a surface for so long, yet good enough to win on other surfaces. I don't think he's done winning slams, even on surfaces other than clay, so he may end up having a good balance too, maybe 50/50 on clay and non clay? Let's see...

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 8:53 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Don't agree with HMM here, concerning the mix of slams.  Do note that two out of four slams are on the HCs, so strictly speaking, Fed had more than half of his slams on the HCs.  A good balance would be having more clay slams for him, maybe 6 HCs, 7 Grass and 4 Clay?  Now his weakness on clay was excused because of one particular player, but how about Rafa's on the HC where he had to fight with Kings of the HCs, and on grass where he had to fight with the king of grass?

I think you are answering your own arguments!

Firstly, one of the Kings of HC and the King of Grass that you refer to is the same person! Federer is/was king on two surfaces, Rafa only on one.

And even if we combine USO and AO as mere "HC", then it is still 9/7/1 for Federer but 3/2/9 for Rafa. Federer's mix remains more balanced, with two dominating surfaces rather than one.

I can't see anyway of splicing it that makes Rafa's spread of results look better than Federer's.

And I'm not "penalizing" Rafa for anything. I think he's one of the best ever. I just think that if another player has both a greater number of slams and what I consider to be a better distribution of slams, then I have to conclude that he is better.

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Post by Matchpoint Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:08 am

"Strength of competition"?


The rule does not say a thing about the nature of competition a player must beat in order to win an ATP tournament. If Djoko continues to be the last man standing in the next slam(s), he is still king, regardless. So who he beat doesn't matter in the big picture. His victory will be recorded as fact and the trophy awarded will still be the same. Weak-strong competition ain't going to change history made, will it?

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Post by kingraf Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:10 am

But you are? Federer has nine HC slams because he gets two chances a year. If he only had one chance the mix would almost certainly not be as balanced. No issue with it, as the conditions are what they are, but that's the reality.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:27 am

No HMM, not forgetting Fed has twice as many chances of winning on the HCs as Rafa has on clay. If there're only three slams, one on each surface, you'll see that Fed would have half or more than half his slams on his favorite surface that is grass, assuming there's no AO, so Fed would have 7 grass, 1 Clay and 5 HC, so he's still having more than half of his slams on his favorite surface. Also, having only one slam on clay isn't anything better than winning two slams on grass, so how's Fed's being more balanced?

I would say neither Fed's nor Rafa's (up to now) is balanced. Like I said, if Fed has more FOs, and Rafa has more HCs and grass, than they'll both be more balanced in their slam mixes. Rafa is not done yet winning slams, I won't be surprised he would win more HC slams going forward, especially at the USO. How about a mix of 10, 5, 2 compared to 9,7, 1? Or better still, 10,5,3, ie 10 clay, 5 HCs and 3 grass?

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:34 am

kingraf wrote:But you are? Federer has nine HC slams because he gets two chances a year. If he only had one chance the mix would almost certainly not be as balanced. No issue with it, as the conditions are what they are, but that's the reality.
OK, let's halve the HC counts.

Federer: 4.5 / 7 / 1
Nadal: 1.5 / 2 / 9

Same total number now (12.5) but Federer still has the more balanced mix, IMO.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:41 am

HMM, you're also wrong to say that it's Fed who stopped Rafa at the HC slams, it's Novak, not Fed. Remember, Rafa beat Fed thrice at the AO,; whilst Novak had stopped Rafa once at AO and once at USO.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:42 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:  If there're only three slams, one on each surface, you'll see that Fed would have half or more than half his slams on his favorite surface that is grass, assuming there's no AO, so Fed would have 7 grass, 1 Clay and 5 HC, so he's still having more than half of his slams on his favorite surface.  
That's some serious gerrymandering going on there but let's go with it and pretend the Australian Open didn't exist:

Federer: 5 / 7 / 1
Nadal: 2 / 9 / 2

Both now at 13 slams but Federer still a more balanced mix.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:44 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:HMM, you're also wrong to say that it's Fed who stopped Rafa at the HC slams, it's Novak, not Fed.  Remember, Rafa beat Fed thrice at the AO,; whilst Novak had stopped Rafa once at AO and once at USO.
I didn't say that.

Where do you think I did?

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:50 am

HMM, how can you half the slams like that? You either do away with one, AO or USO. So without AO, Fed would be 7, 5,1 and Rafa 9, 2, 2. Without USO, Fed would be 7,4,1 and Rafa 9, 2,1. To me, both are not balanced, as Fed managed only one slam on clay. As I said, Rafa isn't done yet winning slams, if he wins more HC slams, and Fed couldn't win anymore clay court slam, then we should be saying Rafa's mix is more balanced than Fed's. We shall see....

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:53 am

Oh, you mentioned one of the HC King happened to be Fed who's also the King of grass, so I assumed you mean Fed is also stopping Rafa on HCs in addtion to grass. That's only my assumption though, may not be what you implied.

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Post by kingraf Fri 10 Apr 2015, 9:58 am

That's all on how you want to mix it up. (It's not lost on me however that if you cancel AO, poor Djokovic, has Murray breathing down his neck on the slam count)

You could alternatively point out that Federer has the lone slam in his "weakest" stomping ground, Nadal has two. Federer has five on his secondary surface, against Nadal's two, but that means Nadal bests him 2/3, doesn't it? Primary and Tertiary.
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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:07 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:HMM, how can you half the slams like that? You either do away with one, AO or USO.  So without AO, Fed would be 7, 5,1 and Rafa 9, 2, 2.  Without USO, Fed would be 7,4,1 and Rafa 9, 2,1.   To me, both are not balanced, as Fed managed only one slam on clay.
I said Federer was more balanced than Nadal.

Is it your claim that:

7-4-1 v 2-1-9 (no USO)
or
7-5-1 v 2-2-9 (no AO)

shows two equally unbalanced mixes because they each have only 1 win at their weakest event?

Why are you not considering the 7-4 or 7/5 v 9-2 at the two stronger events?

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Post by LuvSports! Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:07 am

Yes but if there was another grass court or indoor slam then feds would have even more....


Futile discussion.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:08 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Oh, you mentioned one of the HC King happened to be Fed who's also the King of grass, so I assumed you mean Fed is also stopping Rafa on HCs in addtion to grass.  That's only my assumption though, may not be what you implied.
You mentioned the "Kings of the HCs and the King of Grass".

I assumed the Kings of the HCs were Federer and Djokovic.

Who did you mean?

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Post by kingraf Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:12 am

That's an assumption, LS (the grass bit anyway), Federer went 8-6 (sets) and 2-1 (matches) against Nadal on grass, and Nadal had chances to take the 07 final away before he faded. Every chance really that they split the grass slams.

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:15 am

kingraf wrote:That's all on how you want to mix it up. (It's not lost on me however that if you cancel AO, poor Djokovic, has Murray breathing down his neck on the slam count)

You could alternatively point out that Federer has the lone slam in his "weakest" stomping ground, Nadal has two. Federer has five on his secondary surface, against Nadal's two, but that means Nadal bests him 2/3, doesn't it? Primary and Tertiary.
You've lost me now.

It wasn't me cancelling AO, I was responding to BLB.

But how does Nadal best Federer in 2/3?

He has won more titles at 3 out of the 4 slams.

If USO didn't exist, he has won more titles than Rafa at W and AO.

If AO didn't exist, he was more titles than Rafa at W and USO.

Where does Rafa win 2/3? Headscratch

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:17 am

Yep, Kings of HCs mean Fed and Novak, and Rafa managed to beat Fed at the AO thrice. Also, 9-2-2, vs 7-5-1, you can say one is overwhelmingly good on one surface and balanced on the other two; and one is good on two surfaces and poor on the third one, it depends on how one sees it.

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Post by LuvSports! Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:20 am

kingraf wrote:That's an assumption, LS (the grass bit anyway),  Federer went 8-6 (sets) and 2-1 (matches) against Nadal on grass, and Nadal had chances to take the 07 final away before he faded. Every chance really that they split the grass slams.


Isn't it all an assumption?

If Aus was grass, Feds probably would have chalked up a few before rafa was around and some more when Rafa was around.
But it's just conjecture.
Homogenised surfaces for all anyway these days.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:20 am

Well, if the fourth slam is on indoor court, then again it depends on the surface. If it's indoor HC, it's still HC!

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 10 Apr 2015, 10:24 am

Well if AO was grass during 2007-2010, I won't bet that Rafa would win more than one AO! Rafa was dping well on grass back then!

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