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Djokovic - is the Grand Slam on next year?

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Post by summerblues Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:16 pm

I think he is a shoo-in. His level of play is miles better than anyone else. He was just on a 28 match winning streak and prior to this FO he has won every single tournament that mattered this year. He currently holds the biggest point gap between #1 and #2 players in history of ATP rankings and I do not see any young contenders challenging him next year. The 22-26 year group is just not good enough and the under-22 group will not be quite ready next year. Even more worryingly for his competition, I can still see a lot of room for improvement in his game - for example his backhand slice is as ugly as can be and his overheads - while working ok lately - are notoriously flakey.

Yes, he failed to win RG this year due to bad scheduling but that kind of scheduling fiasco is unlikely to happen again next year.

I do not know what the odds are for Nole's 2016 CYGS but if they are 3-1 or better I think one should take it - it is almost like free money.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:20 pm

I don't know about a shoe in but I think he one or two more chances at this thing remember Agassi won it at 29.

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Post by summerblues Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:26 pm

socal1976 wrote:I don't know about a shoe in but I think he one or two more chances at this thing remember Agassi won it at 29.
I mean a shoo-in for 2016 CYGS not career GS and it was meant as light-hearted parody on those who were seriously discussing Nole's 2015 calendar year slam chances after he had only won the first one of them.

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Post by summerblues Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:26 pm

Or, in other words: Calendar year slams are hard.

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Post by kingraf Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:34 pm

He was supposedly a shoo-in this year as well.

Has a chance, I suppose. But it's Sooo far away. A year ago, Nadal was the #1 player in the world looking to winning his own La Decima in 2015. Things happen.
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Post by Jermaine2015 Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:36 pm

No he's not going to do the CGS. He'll turn 29 next year and history shows players slow down after reaching 29.

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Post by bogbrush Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:37 pm

It's slipping away. Time isn't waiting and for such a physical player, once the slip comes it will be steep.

Certainly no CYGS, perhaps a career but 2016 is last chance IMHO.
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Post by LuvSports! Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:42 pm

Not the biggest gap ever between 1 and 2.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:44 pm

Hardly SB. It's Stan in this form that will do the CYGS and frankly with that backhand even Budge's record of 6 in a row looks under serious threat.

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Post by kingraf Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:52 pm

For sure, if Stan plays well, he could win a career grand slam by the end of the year... But I don't think he will
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Post by HM Murdock Sun 07 Jun 2015, 6:58 pm

A slightly cruel thread but it was a point worth making.

Many people were getting carried away with what Novak might achieve. The fact is that it's really tough to win a slam. To win 4 in a year is nigh on impossible.

Whenever I say that Novak is a one-slam-per-year type of player who will do very well to get to 10 slams, I'm often told I'm being too pessimistic. As things stand, I'm still correct (although I'd be very happy to be wrong!).

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:10 pm

Good OP, actually makes some fair points, I'm not sure about the Calendar Gland Slam, but I do think Djokovic will dominate.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:13 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:Good OP, actually makes some fair points, I'm not sure about the Calendar Gland Slam, but I do think Djokovic will dominate.
Not at slam level.

I'd say anyone who thinks he'll dominate there hasn't been paying attention for the last three and half years!

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 07 Jun 2015, 7:13 pm

A lot can happen in a year.. Nadal has proved that.. nothing is a shoe-in

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Post by Silver Sun 07 Jun 2015, 8:58 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Hardly SB. It's Stan in this form that will do the CYGS and frankly with that backhand even Budge's record of 6 in a row looks under serious threat.

Why are you the only person who's got it? Laugh

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 08 Jun 2015, 9:27 am

Djoko's defeat yesterday shows just how hard it is to win just one GS let alone four in a year.
You have to wonder now whether Djoko will ever win the French. Rafa next year will still be younger than Stan was yesterday and who knows what sort of form Djoko will be in in 12 months time.
I really thought the CGS was on for Nole this year but assumed it would be Rafa, not Stan the Man, that would scupper his chances.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 08 Jun 2015, 2:52 pm

Just to prove how hard the CYGS would be:

The last player to win the Australian Open and French Open in the same year:

Jim Courier in 1992.

Federer didn't with the AO the year he won RG, and Rafa's one previous loss at RG came in the year he won the AO.

Wilander managed in 88. Other than these two, the only other occurrence in the Open era was Laver in his CYGS year.

So much for the RG / Wimbledon double being the tough one Wink

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 08 Jun 2015, 3:12 pm

..but you have to take into consideration that earlier on some players chose not to play at the AO.

I dont know the stats, but from Laver to Borg, were there any player(s) winning the channel slams? We know that since Borg, only Rafa and Fed had won the channel slams.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 08 Jun 2015, 4:03 pm

BLB

My post wasn't entirely serious - it was just that the thought struck me this morning that I couldn't recall the last time someone doubled up the AO and FO.

Your point about the non-participation by the top players in the AO during the 70s and early 80s is reasonable, but there is a 30 year history of all the top players playing both tournaments, and winning both has proven to be very difficult even since the change of the AO to slow hard courts.

Obviously the RG - Wimbledon double is extremely difficult, although most would accept that it is easier now than in Borg's day, as the conditions and required playing styles varied more between the two surfaces (although probably less so than during the late 80s and 90s). In the Open era, 4 players have managed this double, and I think most would accept that they are 4 or the top 5 of the Open era.

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Post by Mafaveli Wed 10 Jun 2015, 1:35 am

Obviously this is a joke thread, but as a Rafa fan I find this thread amusing, as I recall the threads appearing around the 2009 Australian open after Rafa's win. People speculating how the CYGS was definitely on for Rafa. I remember thinking at the time how ridiculous it was at the time even for the (then 3 Slam holding dominant force at the time) beast Rafa, just how difficult that would be. Of course watching Nadal maul Soderling 6-1, 6-0 a few weeks before RG wouldn't prepare me for how right I actually was. I never did buy Rafa being injured causing the loss that year, I don't doubt he was injured, just that I didn't buy that was the cause of his loss.

Having said that, it's clear even as a Rafa fan, it was only Roger in recent times who had a sniff at the CYGS. Ironically it's always been Rafas job to prevent it being achieved.

It's funny people even consider the CYGS is even a possibility without the first two legs being completed, especially considering the first two legs haven't been successfully navigated by any of the current generation or the one before, which is even funnier when you consider we have the "big four", do we make that big 5? Now that Stan had proved he is indeed the man at RG.

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Post by laverfan Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:15 am

1988 Wilander and 1992 Courier had the first two slams.

Wilander lost to 'Cat' Mecir, while Courier lost to a qualifier Olhovisky.

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Post by hawkeye Wed 10 Jun 2015, 8:09 am

Isn't the channel slam the real test? Obviously from this year the bar has been lowered and future channel slams may have a tiny * compared to those achieved in the past because of the more friendly schedule.  A change of surfaces and 14 matches in just over two months. Very impressive!

I also think the clay masters, French Open sweep and the American hard court US Open sweep are impressive achievements. Shame there is no grass equivalent.

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Post by biugo Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:34 am

These swweeps are impressive indeed. I'm curious: has anyone had a similar sweep without being #1 or reaching #1 right after it? (same with the 2 slams in a row)
To each major their sweep and quarter of dominance:
AO + IW + Miami
(MC) + Madrid + Rome + RG
Canada + Cinci + USO
Shanghai + Paris + WTF
W... Wimby is a bit alone there indeed - if only they'd bring back a Master on grass

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Post by Silver Wed 10 Jun 2015, 11:30 am

I guess you'd have to go with Queens, biugo. It would be nice to see a grass masters though. It really is peculiar how different the surfaces and their spreads are compared to decades ago. A few years down the line and we may have a grass resurgence, or a return to carpet, or clay completely dominating, etc.

To answer the question, I believe Novak was #3 when he began his 2011 run. He won the AO, then IW - he overtook Federer for #2 by beating him in the SF there. He then won Miami to complete the sweep, but didn't topple Rafa at the summit until he won Wimbledon that year. Just goes to show how far back he was, and how remarkable the ascent.

For Nadal, it depends on how strict you are. Madrid used to be played later on the year, and on HC, so it wasn't part of the clay swing. Rafa was #2 throughout 2005 - 2007, and won Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome in all of those years. He failed to win Madrid's replacement, Hamburg, until 2008 - mostly because he prioritised other tournaments, got beaten there by Federer, or was busy going life and death with Federer in Rome finals (one instance of them both skipping Hamburg, citing tiredness, would lead to MS finals switching to Bo3). In 2008, he won Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Hamburg and RG, but not Rome - still an amazing sweep. He would dethrone Federer at the top of the rankings after Wimbledon one month later.

Not sure about anyone else historically, LF would likely have good info on this. A clay sweep is the most probable surface, though.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 10 Jun 2015, 1:09 pm

Rafa didnt play at Hamburg until 2007 and then 2008, lost in the final of 2007. He had a clean sweep of clay Masters plus FO in 2010, won Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome and the French Open. He also won Queens and then Wimbledon in 2008; had a clean sweep of Canada/Cincy/USO in 2013. Notice that those were the three best seasons of Rafa's career so far.

Rafa missed the AO/IW/Miami in 2009 when he failed to win Miami (lost to Delpo in the QF). Rafa's poorest performance is always after the USO, ie from Asian to Indoor HC swing.

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Post by kingraf Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:05 pm

Rafa going 22-0 on the clay in 2010 was mighty impressive.
Monte Carlo
Rome
Madrid
Roland Garros

If I'm not mistaken, he dropped one set (to Ernests Gulbis of all people) while running riot.
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Post by LuvSports! Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:15 pm

kingraf wrote:Rafa going 22-0 on the clay in 2010 was mighty impressive.
Monte Carlo
Rome
Madrid
Roland Garros

If I'm not mistaken, he dropped one set (to Ernests Gulbis of all people) while running riot.

Almagro took a set off him as well in Madrid. Sucks on clay.

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Post by kingraf Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:36 pm

Can't even pretend to remember that. Still, a 22-game run where you drop two sets. As good as I ever saw Nadal. Had just changed racquets too, if I recall. Had strings the fibres of which were hexagonal, or something.
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Post by biugo Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:42 pm

And Nadal also won the Canada/Cinci/USO treble (and is the only one in Open era to do so if I'm not mistaken)
Thanks KR about 2010: I did feel Rafa had at least a sweep on clay (surprised it's "only" one though).

Back to Djoko, he's on track with 2011 in terms of Masters win (already 4 this year!) and could finally get the only missing one at Cinci. And altogether I can well see him get 6 Master titles this year, which would be a first, and an impressive feat.

Djoko might end his career holding the record number of Masters above Nadal and Federer. He's only behind Nadal now, but he's a machine in these tournaments, more so than Nadal since 2011.

The records these 3 guys are setting in general are simply insane Shocked


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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:46 pm

biugo wrote:And Nadal also won the Canada/Cinci/USO treble (and is the only one in Open era to do so if I'm not mistaken)

Also Roddick 2003

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Post by biugo Wed 10 Jun 2015, 2:48 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
biugo wrote:And Nadal also won the Canada/Cinci/USO treble (and is the only one in Open era to do so if I'm not mistaken)

Also Roddick 2003

OK
So I was mistaken Smile

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Post by MrInvisible Wed 10 Jun 2015, 3:21 pm

I personally don't think we will see a calendar year grand slam in the mens' game in our lifetimes. Regarding a career grand slam, Djokovic falling short against an inspired Wawrinka shows how tough this feat is to pull off. I personally think he will win the French, but it is v tough to accomplish this feat - many top players have also fallen short.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 10 Jun 2015, 3:57 pm

The French has always been the stumbling block for those trying to achieve the career GS and the CGS. But who would have thought it would be anyone OTHER than Rafa that would much things up for Djoko this time ?
Mr I - yes, it's tough to do a CGS. But things can change so quickly in sport. Little could Sampras have realised in 2002 that his slam record would be eclipsed in just SEVEN years and by a player who had not even won one Slam before 2003.
Could a Coric, a Kokkinakis or a Kyrgios (nice alliteration there, or is it pronounced CHoric?) be about to embark on a bit of history ?

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:04 pm

i think we will see CYGS in our lifetime. with homogenized surfaces, you just need to wait for the next truly great player and you need a good run, a weak era or whatever.

it looks like federer and nadal are never going to do it, murray likewise. djokovic has an outside chance but may not be good enough. no other active player - including youngsters 18+ - looks good enough.

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Post by Silver Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:04 pm

2006 & 2007 are the closest we've seen so far, with Federer being two sets away from doing it. Novak is next closest in 2011. As you say HB, the CYGS would be a truly outrageous accomplishment.

Fed was also two sets away in 2009, despite only winning two slams!

Belovedluckyboy wrote:He had a clean sweep of clay Masters plus FO in 2010, won Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome and the French Open. He also won Queens and then Wimbledon in 2008; had a clean sweep of Canada/Cincy/USO in 2013. Notice that those were the three best seasons of Rafa's career so far.

Nadal reached #1 in 2010 just after winning RG, so he just sneaks in under biugo's stipulations. 2013 definitely counts, though.

If we're actually counting Queens or Halle + Wimbledon, then it seems a bit pointless since Federer has done that like 6 times.


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Post by erictheblueuk Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:12 pm

summerblues wrote:Yes, he failed to win RG this year due to bad scheduling but that kind of scheduling fiasco is unlikely to happen again next year.

I do not know what the odds are for Nole's 2016 CYGS but if they are 3-1 or better I think one should take it - it is almost like free money.

It wasn't the scheduling he got nervous against Murray and recovered in 5 sets, he got nervous against Stan but couldn't recover it.

When Federer was at his peak there was always talk of the CYGS and it never came to be. A lot can happen injury, fitness and form wise between now and USO 2016. But I would have thought that you could at least wait until he's won AO 2016 before saying, "it is almost like free money".
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:30 pm

He wasn't no. 1 yet during the clay season in 2010, it's only after winning the FO in 2010 that he regained the no. 1 ranking from Fed. He wasn't no.1 either after winning the Canada/Cincy/NY combination in 2013; it was until reaching the final of Beijing that he regained the no.1.

In 2008, he had to wait till after the Olympics to become no.1 despite winning the channel slam, in addition to winning MC, Rome, Hamburg, Queens, Canada and the Olympics Gold medal.

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Post by Calder106 Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:46 pm

erictheblueuk wrote:
summerblues wrote:Yes, he failed to win RG this year due to bad scheduling but that kind of scheduling fiasco is unlikely to happen again next year.

I do not know what the odds are for Nole's 2016 CYGS but if they are 3-1 or better I think one should take it - it is almost like free money.

It wasn't the scheduling he got nervous against Murray and recovered in 5 sets, he got nervous against Stan but couldn't recover it.

When Federer was at his peak there was always talk of the CYGS and it never came to be. A lot can happen injury, fitness and form wise between now and USO 2016. But I would have thought that you could at least wait until he's won AO 2016 before saying, "it is almost like free money".

Pretty sure this was a spoof thread from SB. However I do think the scheduling did give Wawrinka an advantage in being fresher. Stan played Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday. Novak played Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday/Saturday, Sunday. So Stan had a couple of two clear days rest spells. One just before his SF. Novak played every second day and had the later SF. If the schedules had been reversed I think it would have been at least a closer final. Credit the Wawrinka though for making it count. I remember he got on the wrong side of the schedule at Wimbledon last year and wilted badly against Federer.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:57 pm

Fed won Halle plus Wimbledon only four times, not six - 2003 to 2006. He didn't play Halle in 2007 and 2009 when he was winning Wimbledon; lost in Halle before winning Wimbledon in 2012.

He wasn't no.1 in 2003, after winning Halle/Wimbledon.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 10 Jun 2015, 8:56 pm

It's fair to try and say that let's wait for the first 2 slams to be won before doing such a thread in the future.

In the case of 2009 though, Rafa was doing extremely well. After winning the Australian Open, he was given around a 70-80% chance of winning the FO by the bookies, one of the most one sided odds ever seen, that's why that Soderling result was such a shocker. He was also the Wimbledon champion although his US Open record was leaving a lot to be desired. But he was beating Federer on all surfaces and everyone else was a fair bit behind.

Thinking about it, there are so many cases where people have won three that it must be just chance in part that has led 46 years without a CYGS. There should be more 3-slam years than 4-slam years, primarily because of simple maths/probability - 4 ways to lose 1 but only 1 way to win them all, or in other words 3-slam years can be WWWL, LWWW, WLWW or WWLW, but 4 slam years can only be WWWW. So 4-slam years ought to be at least 4 times less likely than 3-slam years, more probably when you account for the large fields and many good players affecting the probabilities to win. (?)

I'll have a quick look but I think there have been quite a number of 3-slam years since 1969 and it's probably just chance that we've waited 46 years. It probably ought to happen more like every 15, 20 or 30 years. Of course you might retort that it's not like it happened all the time before 1969 either, which is true, however that is largely because players did not play all the 4 events in days gone by, especially before the 1930s.  Anyway, let me have a quick look at how many 3-slam years there have been, and why they weren't 4 slam years.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:11 pm

OK, 3 slam years since 1969. Slightly less than I thought, Sampras never did it for instance, actually lots of great players have not managed achieve this.

Jimmy Connors, 1974, did not play French Open, not allowed to play.
Mats Wilander, 1988, did not win Wimbledon, lost in straight sets to Mecir in the QF.
Roger Federer, 2004, did not win French Open, lost to Kuerten R4.
Roger Federer, 2006, did not win French Open, lost to Rafa in final. Did take first set.
Roger Federer, 2007, did not win French Open, lost to Rafa in final.
Rafael Nadal, 2010, did not win Australian Open, lost to Murray in quarter final (retirement losing 2 sets and 3-0).
Novak Djokovic, 2011, failed at French Open, lost to Federer in semi.

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Post by kingraf Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:21 pm

As an aside, I'm actually rather interested to hear if people consider winning 3/4 grand slams and making the final in Roland Garros, coming close to completing the Calender Slam. I can appreciate why it would be seen that way, but for me, realistically, you died out on the second leg of a four leg race. It's like if you had a drivers license test, and hit a cone reverse parking but they let you finish. If they tell you at the end that you failed because of the cone, did you almost get it because you did everything right, but the reverse parking... Or did you die out pretty early because you hit the cone on your first yard skill test?
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Post by Henman Bill Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:21 pm

Players that have won the first 2, Australian Open and French Open, since 1969.

Wilander 88, Courier 92, that's it.

No-one has one the first three since 1969.

The list of people that won the first three in entire tennis history.
Laver 1969.
Laver 1962
Hoad 1956.
Budge 1938.
Jack Crawford 1933.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:29 pm

kingraf wrote:As an aside, I'm actually rather interested to hear if people consider winning 3/4 grand slams and making the final in Roland Garros, coming close to completing the Calender Slam. I can appreciate why it would be seen that way, but for me, realistically, you died out on the second leg of a four leg race. It's like if you had a drivers license test, and hit a cone reverse parking but they let you finish. If they tell you at the end that you failed because of the cone, did you almost get it because you did everything right, but the reverse parking... Or did you die out pretty early because you hit the cone on your first yard skill test?

Fair point or at least fair question.

On the other hand it's fair to speculate that had Federer won the 04, 06 or 07 French Open, he would likely have gone on to complete the CYGS. He won a lot of those US Open finals by clear margins, so it's perhaps unlikely he would have cracked under the pressure, although you never know.

Djokovic in 2011 is a more of an interesting case. Would he still have won the US Open in 2011, if he had been under the extra pressure? Would he still have been able to swing that service return at 40-15 for a winner with so much more at stake? Perhaps not, although counter argument, if he had beaten Federer at French Open, would that actually have tilted the mental head in his favour, and enabled him to run out an easier winner at the US Open? Or would a gruelling 5-setter at French Open against Rafa, even if he had won it, left him cooked for Wimbledon?

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Post by hawkeye Wed 10 Jun 2015, 10:58 pm

kingraf wrote:As an aside, I'm actually rather interested to hear if people consider winning 3/4 grand slams and making the final in Roland Garros, coming close to completing the Calender Slam. I can appreciate why it would be seen that way, but for me, realistically, you died out on the second leg of a four leg race. It's like if you had a drivers license test, and hit a cone reverse parking but they let you finish. If they tell you at the end that you failed because of the cone, did you almost get it because you did everything right, but the reverse parking... Or did you die out pretty early because you hit the cone on your first yard skill test?

That's a good point and I have to agree. It's been a while since anyone held the AO, FO and Wimbledon and entered the US Open with it all to play for. So the next best thing is perhaps the non calender slam when players have held 3 slams and entered the fourth with a chance of holding them all at the same time. That's very different from looking back and deciding that if a player had won a particular slam then they would have held all four. It's a very different pressure entering a tournament with the weight of 3 slams compared to holding one or two.

Maybe Federer's 05/06 run of Wimbledon, US and AO, Nadal's '10 run of FO, Wimbledon and the US and Djokovic's '11/12 run of Wimbledon, US and AO are closer in spirit to a grand slam? Surely more pressure when you have three slams in your hand and that makes thye whole thing much more difficult

(I hope I haven't forgotten any recent runs?)

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Post by Silver Thu 11 Jun 2015, 12:17 pm

Henman Bill wrote:No-one has one the first three since 1969.

That's surprising. So nobody has had to deal with the increased media scrutiny that would come nowadays if someone managed to get through Wimbledon undefeated. The pressure would ratchet up to boiling point.

That's probably why people consider three slams + RG final 'close', KR. Because nobody's been able to do better yet. It begs the question, though - was Wilander closer than Federer to the CYGS? I say yes. He may have fallen in an earlier round at the slam he missed, but he still fell later in the year and managed to bag the other three.

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Post by lags72 Thu 11 Jun 2015, 1:10 pm

I continue to be undefeated at all the Slams, and continue to receive no recognition of my achievement.

When I wrote to the ATP & ITF with a view to being credited with at least an honourable mention, all I got from them was a rather terse
"We've no idea who you are"
Crying or Very sad

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