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Post by temporary21 Tue 13 Oct 2015, 1:57 pm

First topic message reminder :

May as well get a topic started. Things have started with a bang, with Roger going down to Ramos Vinolas in three sets.

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Post by laverfan Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:00 pm

djkbrown2001 wrote:Look at the gap between him and number 2.

Look at who is #2. Wink. The lack of a younger generation is lamentable.

djkbrown2001 wrote:He is staking his claim as the greatest  ever.

GOAT discussions should go to the sticky. OK

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:05 pm

His form will go down soon enough.

As for Murray how can you win less games than Tomic and Tsonga did?! Laugh Laugh
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Post by HM Murdock Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:16 pm

I really expected that Novak's level would dip a little post-USO but, if anything, it has got better. Twenty sets in a row to win a 500 and Masters.

A brief consideration of the W/L of other recent dominant seasons:

Federer 2004: 74-6
Federer 2005: 81-4
Federer 2006: 92-5
Federer 2007: 68-9
Nadal 2010: 71-10
Djokovic 2011: 70-6
Nadal 2013: 75-7

Today's win moves Novak to 73-5.

Should he go undefeated until the end of the season, he'll move to 83-5. That would comfortably beat his own 2011 season and would be comparable with peak-era Federer numbers.

I suspect that Paris and WTF will probably add a defeat or two to the loss column though. My feeling is he will probably end somewhere around 80-6. So still one of the great seasons but a sliver behind peak Fed.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:30 pm

Scary stuff. Perhaps our frustrations are more a reflection if wanting someone to give novak a game...  Shows how important partnerships and rivalrous are, djoko needs his Nadal, could it BE nadal? Or do we need a freak to come through right now ?

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:35 pm

Ideally, we need a younger rival.

I see though, that Novak is now only two behind Rafa's Masters titles record (25 v 27).

If Rafa can find some better form next year, the battle for that record could end up being pretty close.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 1:53 pm

The surprise to me there is that Nole hasnt already overtaken him

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 18 Oct 2015, 2:01 pm

Very unlikely that Novak will lose either at Paris or WTF. The slow courts at both those events suit him perfectly. Murray is the only player I would say has a shot against him on those courts and his performance yesterday, coupled with focus on the DC, makes any threat minimal. Everyone else will be cannon fodder to this Novak whose only focus will be on cleaning up the rest of the season.

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Post by laverfan Sun 18 Oct 2015, 2:02 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Today's win moves Novak to 73-5.

Should he go undefeated until the end of the season, he'll move to 83-5. That would comfortably beat his own 2011 season and would be comparable with peak-era Federer numbers.

I suspect that Paris and WTF will probably add a defeat or two to the loss column though. My feeling is he will probably end somewhere around 80-6. So still one of the great seasons but a sliver behind peak Fed.

Unless Djokovic has an injury, I expect 83-5. Even those five losses are good matches, as they are in Federer's case.

Djokovic - lost to Federer (2), Murray, Wawrinka, Karlovic.

Federer (81-4 - 2005) - lost to Nalbandian, Nadal, Gasquet, Safin.

Four players in both cases.

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Post by summerblues Sun 18 Oct 2015, 4:11 pm

HM Murdock wrote:A brief consideration of the W/L of other recent dominant seasons:

Federer 2004: 74-6
Federer 2005: 81-4
Federer 2006: 92-5
Federer 2007: 68-9
Nadal 2010: 71-10
Djokovic 2011: 70-6
Nadal 2013: 75-7

Today's win moves Novak to 73-5.

Should he go undefeated until the end of the season, he'll move to 83-5. That would comfortably beat his own 2011 season and would be comparable with peak-era Federer numbers.
Very impressive, but as a Fed fan I will use it is an opportunity to highlight that even if he indeed wins all the remaining matches, his W/L ratio will still be a touch behind Federer's both 2005 and 2006 numbers.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 4:13 pm

Novaks two biggest seasons yielded one more slam (thank Safin for that one), more of a concern on the slam race stakes, Novak could have another two comparable seasons, by which point hes almost there.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 18 Oct 2015, 4:55 pm

summerblues wrote:Very impressive, but as a Fed fan I will use it is an opportunity to highlight that even if he indeed wins all the remaining matches, his W/L ratio will still be a touch behind Federer's both 2005 and 2006 numbers.
I deliberately said "comparable to" rather than "equal to" for precisely that reason! Smile

Should Novak end up on 83-5 though, I think I would rate it higher than Federer's 2005, despite it being marginally behind in the W/L ratio. Fed 'only' won two slams that year and didn't get beyond the SF in the other two. It also 'only' had four Masters titles.

I'd rate 2006 as Fed's best year and probably McEnroe's 84 as the best ever.

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Post by summerblues Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:21 pm

HM Murdock wrote:Should Novak end up on 83-5 though, I think I would rate it higher than Federer's 2005, despite it being marginally behind in the W/L ratio. Fed 'only' won two slams that year and didn't get beyond the SF in the other two. It also 'only' had four Masters titles.

I'd rate 2006 as Fed's best year and probably McEnroe's 84 as the best ever.
I agree that Novak's 2015 is better than Fed's 2005, probably even if Novak were to lose another match down the stretch. The season is not measured just in terms of W/L. W/L thing is perhaps intriguing now because of how good Nole's W/L is this year and because all the other important items (slams) were already decided.

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Post by summerblues Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:25 pm

temporary21 wrote:Novaks two biggest seasons yielded one more slam (thank Safin for that one),
That is true but Fed's third and fourth best seasons yielded three slams each too.

temporary21 wrote: more of a concern on the slam race stakes, Novak could have another two comparable seasons, by which point hes almost there.
Surely not?  I would be amazed if he gets anywhere near.  I doubt he reaches even 14.  Then again, I expected he would fail to get to 10, so I could be wrong again.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:40 pm

For me I am more interested in the fact that it seems the gap is widening. Historical comparisons are of course interesting and of course speculating about the future in sports is perilous. However looking at how he has won the last ten or so matches in straight sets and that he seems to be getting better over time like some tennis Benjamin Button. I mean it is some feat to have your best year at age 28 and look to be playing better at the end of a season that you won 3 slams and played in the final of the other than you did at the start. What I have seen this season is a Novak who seems to be picking up steam after that loss in the FO. Now the difference between 84 Mac or Fed 06 is that Djokovic's is still at his peak and the opposition is in a bit of disarray. So will he come back to earth like 2012 or is this something different? I mean Novak was emotionally and physically drained as well as seriously injured at this time in 2011. This year he is pulling an Usain bolt and taking triumphal bow even before he crosses the line. Right now in contrast he is fit, fresh, and sometimes he seems so comfortable in these matches against the best in the world that you half expect him to fall a sleep in a change over. I think he will start the season strong next year, this will be more like 2010 where Novak built momentum after getting USO final. How he performs in Paris in June is going to determine how far he can take it. If he carries this form or something like it and can win The FO next year then his belief will go up and he maybe tougher to stop. I think that the FO conversely will be the best chance for one of his rivals to bring him back to earth and deflate this recent scary mind frame. I mean a loss or two in AO and not winning London in the process I think will be important but the big test again will be in late spring. At this point the gap is bigger between him and his competition than ever and he seems to be getting stronger to me that is the interesting part of the story

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Post by djkbrown2001 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:41 pm

The below is from a blogger from another forum. Do you agree with his conclusion?


Novak became a real factor in 2011:

Grand Slams: Novak 9 x winner, Rafa 5 x winner, Murray 2 x winner, Federer 1 x winner.

Masters 1000: Novak 20 x winner, Rafa 9 x winner, Federer 7 x winner, Murray 5 x winner.

World tour final: Novak 3 x winner, Federer 1 x winner, Rafa 0, Murray 0.

Olympics 2012: Murray 1 x winner

Total: Novak 32 x winner, Rafa 14 x winner, Federer 9 x winner, Murray 8 x winner.

Head to head since 2011 until today: Novak vs Rafa 15:7 (7-1 in last 8 matches), Novak vs Federer 14:8 (4-1 in last 5 matches), Novak vs Murray 16:6 (9-1 in last 10 matches) .

In total: Novak vs other 3 big players ? 45:21 (20-3 in last 23 matches)

Conclusion: Novak won the one title more as Rafa, Federer and Murray COMBINE in the last 5 years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) 32-31

For any with brain this is more than enough to figure out who the real GOAT is here .

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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:46 pm

Of the last 5 years, theres little argument that Novak has been the top dog of tennis but the overall top bovine? Not yet for sure

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Post by summerblues Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:53 pm

Starting with 1973 (the year the rankings were introduced) I looked at the Win % of the #1 player of that year.  Table below lists those that got to 90% or better.

A couple of caveats:
1.  I only checked the YE #1 each year.  In principle, there could have been some #2 players with 90% years too.
2.  I got most of my data from Wikipedia; especially in the early years it may be suspect.  For example, I have also seen different numbers for Jimmy's 1974 in other places.

PlayerYearWinsLossesWin %
1McEnroe198482396.5
2Connors197493495.9
3Federer200581495.3
4Federer200692594.8
5Djokovic2015 (so far)73593.6
6Borg197984693.3
7Lendl198674692.5
Federer200474692.5
9Lendl198584792.3
10Borg198070692.1
Djokovic201170692.1
12Connors197869692
13Connors197579791.9
Lendl198979791.9
15Connors197690891.8
16Nadal201375791.5
17Lendl198774791.4
Some comments:
1.  McEnroe's famous 1984 is obviously #1, but Connors's 1974, which tends to get a bit forgotten (perhaps because of the quality of some of the tournaments he played, or because he was not so popular in tennis circles?), is also better than anything the more recent players produced.

2.  Connors and Lendl had four 90% seasons - more than anyone else.  For some of the numbers they both compiled over their career, the guys do seem to go somewhat underrated.

3.  The other guys with multiple 90% seasons are:  Federer(3x), Borg(2x) and Djokovic (2x, unless he totally blows up down the stretch this year).

4.  There were plenty of 90% seasons in the 1970s and 1980s, then nothing until Federer's 2004 and then plenty more again.  The best season from the 1990's is Sampras's 1994 season at 86.5% (77W/12L).  Who knows why?  No good players then (not even Sampras?), less focus of top players on small tournaments, more difficult to be consistent with varying surface conditions?

5.  The weakest W/L ratio for a #1 season was Kuerten's 2000; he had a ratio of 74.1% (63W/22L)

6.  Djokovic's 2015 is provisionally at #5.  He cannot get any better even if he wins everything but he could drop if he loses more matches.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:54 pm

Oh no he didn't? I'll take the bait I think he has to do it again and have a year like this and another couple of very good years where he is the best player to be in the conversation. He needs a few more slam trophies and to pile up weeks at number one. One thing is true he does have a decent chance of overhauling some records of federer that no one thought could be equaled. For, example consecutive slam quarters, year end number one finishes, weeks at number 1, and most consecutive tour finals. These are all more doable than the big 17 slam record. But I don't agree with this Goat talk it is premature.

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Post by summerblues Sun 18 Oct 2015, 7:57 pm

djkbrown2001 wrote:who the real GOAT is here .
You mean "here and now"? Wink


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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 8:07 pm

Well heres some GOAT talk for you gents...

baaaaa
baaaaaaaaa

the "GOHAN", That works, but it makes them sound a bit anime...

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 18 Oct 2015, 11:25 pm

If he goes unbeaten to the end of the season, would you not rate it higher than Fed's 2006? They would be even on slam results but Novak would have won 6/8 masters (making the final of the other two). Fed, in contrast, only won 4/7 masters entered, making the final of two others. Their performances were even in Dubai and they each won Tokyo/Beijing. Fed's other wins came at lower level events. I would put Novak's year higher.

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Post by Born Slippy Sun 18 Oct 2015, 11:29 pm

summerblues wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Novaks two biggest seasons yielded one more slam (thank Safin for that one),
That is true but Fed's third and fourth best seasons yielded three slams each too.

temporary21 wrote: more of a concern on the slam race stakes, Novak could have another two comparable seasons, by which point hes almost there.

Surely not?  I would be amazed if he gets anywhere near.  I doubt he reaches even 14.  Then again, I expected he would fail to get to 10, so I could be wrong again.

I would be amazed if he doesn't reach 14. He probably has two more peak years plus another couple with slam winning potential. Times have changed in the age profile of top players. 17 I suspect is out of reach but it could be close.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 18 Oct 2015, 11:29 pm

Would suggest his year may be better, if top level results are considered and he wins the O2

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Post by laverfan Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:08 am

djkbrown2001 wrote:For any with brain this is more than enough to figure out who the real GOAT is here .

Alice Marble, circa 1938, had a 80+/0 W/L. Don Budge won 6-slams-in-a-row. Lenglen had a streak of 182 matches (spanning five years).

Are they GOATs too? Is there more than one?

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Post by laverfan Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:14 am

Born Slippy wrote:If he goes unbeaten to the end of the season, would you not rate it higher than Fed's 2006? They would be even on slam results but Novak would have won 6/8 masters (making the final of the other two). Fed, in contrast, only won 4/7 masters entered, making the final of two others. Their performances were even in Dubai and they each won Tokyo/Beijing. Fed's other wins came at lower level events. I would put Novak's year higher.

Are you trying to add subjective color to numbers, BS? Wink

I think Alice Marbles, 80+/0 W/L in '38 (or was it '39) a better achievement. How does that sound?

I am with SB on the various GOAT-ness debates. There is more than one.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:15 am

There is really no one best open era year since it is too subjective on weighting various factors such as W/L %, importance of calendar year grand slam above all (?), and whether and how you look at quality of opposition.

I think Connors’ year is one I am leaning towards, because of 3 slams out of 3 (he wasn’t allowed to enter the French Open final French as many of you know). The argument against Connors however may have been lack of other greats at their peak in 1974.

Mcenroe’s would have been the best had he won the French Open final. In fact he can join Federer (2006) and Djokovic (2015) as players who would have had the best year ever, had they won the French Open final.

The other contender is Rod Laver’s 1969, where he won all 4 slams but had a lower W/L %.
I think Djokovic 2011 is also a contender for the best year of all time, when you look at the quality of opposition and his actual performance level, and where he was at the end of 2010, , solidly in the number 3 position. You can argue that his W/L % is 2011 is lower because he was injured/unfit at the end of the year because of the quality of the opposition facing in week in, week out. Against a weaker field he might have finished stronger. But again fell short at the French Open, where he did not make the final.

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Post by temporary21 Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:27 am

There are many GOATS in the world lf, sometimes they make little GOATS and we get even more GOATS.

WL% is a very easily exploitable stat. One thing there is a of consensus on is that important victories, finals winning victories have significant weight, which W/L cares nothing for.

If GS tally is the same, but one has more masters, then with comparable W/L, I would edge that over a slightly higher percentage.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:29 am

If we are going to include women's tennis, we ought to mention, just limiting it to the open era, Steffi Graf's golden calendar year grand slam (1988) also had 3 seasons in the 96-98% range, with 2-3 matches lost

and Martina Navratilova did a 86-1 (98.8%) I think in 1983, with that 1 defeat coming once again at that pesky French Open. She also had 3 other seasons with a 97% or so W/L, just 2 or 3 defeats.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:30 am

GOAT discussion is getting out of hand.

I think we need some kind of tier system, perhaps baby GOAT, regular GOAT, alpha male GOAT.

Perhaps some kind of system involving different animals, such as sheep, cows and so on.

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Post by temporary21 Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:48 am

But what if someone likes cows more than sheep? What have you done HB!!!

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Post by summerblues Mon 19 Oct 2015, 2:38 am

Born Slippy wrote:If he goes unbeaten to the end of the season, would you not rate it higher than Fed's 2006?
To me, they would be very close but yes, I would probably rate Nole's 2015 as a little bit better (if he goes unbeaten the rest of the year of course).

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Post by summerblues Mon 19 Oct 2015, 2:43 am

Born Slippy wrote:I would be amazed if he doesn't reach 14. He probably has two more peak years plus another couple with slam winning potential. Times have changed in the age profile of top players.
I think our disagreement on this comes mostly from our different take on your last sentence.  My take is that the age shift has been overplayed and that a lot of it is somewhat idiosyncratic, rather than systematic.  That is what will make next year interesting for me - to see if my opinion is plain wrong or whether I have a point and he will start showing age.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 19 Oct 2015, 8:55 am

summerblues wrote:My take is that the age shift has been overplayed and that a lot of it is somewhat idiosyncratic, rather than systematic.
I agree with this.

I think the proliferation of older players at the top of the game is comparable to the proliferation of marsupials in Australia or middle managers at the BBC - they lack any natural predators.

I don't think older players today are better than older players of the past. They have just been very fortunate to not have a younger generation come through.

That statistic doing the rounds that Djokovic has been the youngest Masters winner for the last 9 years is astonishing. That's a complete failure by one generation and another generation delayed at best.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 19 Oct 2015, 9:38 am

HMM - That Djoko has been youngest Masters winner for the last NINE YEARS really is staggering and something few would have realised. I think I'm right in saying that only a couple of Masters have been won in recent years by anyone outside the Big Four.
So just who would you see coming through to challenge the big guns? Dimi has had a disappointing year and neither Nishi nor Cilic (hardly youngsters, in any case) have done anything THAT remarkable. Coric, at 18, might be a good bet. Kyrgios, if he can get his head together, is another who MIGHT do well.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 19 Oct 2015, 9:59 am

Sir Fred - it feels like any prediction is more in hope than expectation!

I see potential in Coric, Chung and maybe Zverev but I think they need to make their big move soon.

Being in the top 50 at age 18/19 is a good milestone but it needs to lead onto being in the top 10 and winning big titles at 20/21.

That second step is what has eluded recent generations.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:07 pm

HM

Following from your comment, have a look at what age Djokovic and Murray were when they broke into the top 10 and started challenging for / winning major titles (never mind the precocious Nadal)...

I don't buy into the argument that conditions have changed THAT much since 2006/7 - most of the homogenisation happened around 2003, so if there was an advantage to older / more experienced players they'd have stayed ahead of Djoko and Murray for longer.

The Big 4 undoubtedly is an outstanding group, with 3 all time greats and Murray hanging on to their shirt tails. The lack of success from the subsequent generations (now) is mainly from not having an outstanding player come through - a few showed promise but have either been hindered by injury (Delpo) or just not developed as anticipated (Gulbis, Tomic). Maybe the current youngsters will bridge the gap, but they have some way to go yet...

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:38 pm

dummy_half wrote:The Big 4 undoubtedly is an outstanding group, with 3 all time greats and Murray hanging on to their shirt tails. The lack of success from the subsequent generations (now) is mainly from not having an outstanding player come through - a few showed promise but have either been hindered by injury (Delpo) or just not developed as anticipated (Gulbis, Tomic). Maybe the current youngsters will bridge the gap, but they have some way to go yet...
I agree.

The big indictment against the younger generations is not that they haven't replaced Fed, Rafa, Novak and Andy but that they haven't even replaced Berdych and Ferrer!

And who's back in the top ten now? 30 year old Tsonga, who replaces 29 year old Anderson, who continues to hold off 29 year old Gasquet and 30 year old Isner.

It's a sorry state of affairs.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 19 Oct 2015, 1:57 pm

I don't buy into this argument that it's likely Djokovic will go 10-0 for the rest of the season. Tiredness after a long season, injury risk, and above all faster than average surfaces plus the calibre of opponents at the final event. I think there is a good chance he will lose at once more.

Federer is a threat at the WTF, as are some of the other big hitting top 8 players if they have a hot day.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 19 Oct 2015, 2:13 pm

Henman Bill wrote:I don't buy into this argument that it's likely Djokovic will go 10-0 for the rest of the season. Tiredness after a long season, injury risk, and above all faster than average surfaces plus the calibre of opponents at the final event. I think there is a good chance he will lose at once more.

Federer is a threat at the WTF, as are some of the other big hitting top 8 players if they have a hot day.
Other than the notoriously inconsistent Stan, there aren't any big hitters in the top 8! (Do we count Berdych as a big hitter?)

Not that I disagree with the overall thrust of your comment. I think Djokovic will lose at some point between now and the end of the season.

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Post by Guest82 Mon 19 Oct 2015, 3:22 pm

I can't see him losing between now and the end of the season.

The 2nd best player in the world (who he's just beaten very handily) will be concentrating on davis cup, Stan is inconsistent and Fed (who's just lost to Ramos)

Other than that, I don't really give anyone a chance.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 19 Oct 2015, 6:30 pm

Where are these "faster than average" surfaces? Unless Paris has changed its significantly slower than Shanghai and WTF is a place where Novak's ruled for several years.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 19 Oct 2015, 6:34 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
dummy_half wrote:The Big 4 undoubtedly is an outstanding group, with 3 all time greats and Murray hanging on to their shirt tails. The lack of success from the subsequent generations (now) is mainly from not having an outstanding player come through - a few showed promise but have either been hindered by injury (Delpo) or just not developed as anticipated (Gulbis, Tomic). Maybe the current youngsters will bridge the gap, but they have some way to go yet...
I agree.

The big indictment against the younger generations is not that they haven't replaced Fed, Rafa, Novak and Andy but that they haven't even replaced Berdych and Ferrer!

And who's back in the top ten now? 30 year old Tsonga, who replaces 29 year old Anderson, who continues to hold off 29 year old Gasquet and 30 year old Isner.

It's a sorry state of affairs.

This is key I think. There is an argument to be made that we currently have the top 3 players of the open era playing plus one who is probably top 20. Its not a shock they remain at the top. However, its hard to see Ferrer or Berdych as more than standard lower top 10 players. A good crop of youngsters should be at least be competing with them yet they are 1000s points behind in the race.

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 20 Oct 2015, 1:48 am

Paris is faster than average, although it seems to vary a lot by year. Some years it's been way faster than average and the fastest of all the masters.
London is faster than average for the tour, that's not saying a lot.
Without checking, I suspect Djokovic has better results at IW, Miami, Canada etc than Paris and London he has done well in recent years, but it took him longer to break through to be fair.
Most of the tournies for the rest of the season now are indoor, so they are all fast.

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Post by socal1976 Tue 20 Oct 2015, 2:05 am

Djokovic has been dominant in Paris and London. I think he has three Paris indoors at the least, I mean he actually is by a country mile the best indoor tennis player for a number of years. I don't see the surface being much of nuisance to Novak at Paris or London. He also has won a bunch of Dubai crowns as well and that is typically faster. The only fast court tournament that he doesn't play well in is Cincy and I think that has a lot to do with the weather and the time of season as well. Novak doesn't like wind or too much heat and he benefits from a shift to indoor tournaments.

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Post by HM Murdock Tue 20 Oct 2015, 8:56 am

^ Yes Socal, and even at Cincy he's a 5 time runner up.

If we consider how much Novak's game is built on hitting with consistent depth, it makes total sense that the move indoors, with its still conditions and ambient temperature, would suit him.

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Post by bogbrush Tue 20 Oct 2015, 9:25 am

Born Slippy wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
dummy_half wrote:The Big 4 undoubtedly is an outstanding group, with 3 all time greats and Murray hanging on to their shirt tails. The lack of success from the subsequent generations (now) is mainly from not having an outstanding player come through - a few showed promise but have either been hindered by injury (Delpo) or just not developed as anticipated (Gulbis, Tomic). Maybe the current youngsters will bridge the gap, but they have some way to go yet...
I agree.

The big indictment against the younger generations is not that they haven't replaced Fed, Rafa, Novak and Andy but that they haven't even replaced Berdych and Ferrer!

And who's back in the top ten now? 30 year old Tsonga, who replaces 29 year old Anderson, who continues to hold off 29 year old Gasquet and 30 year old Isner.

It's a sorry state of affairs.

This is key I think. There is an argument to be made that we currently have the top 3 players of the open era playing plus one who is probably top 20. Its not a shock they remain at the top. However, its hard to see Ferrer or Berdych as more than standard lower top 10 players. A good crop of youngsters should be at least be competing with them yet they are 1000s points behind in the race.

I've saying exactly this for years to people calling Golden Era; there are some very ordinary players who should have been feeling the pressure from the next generation even 5 years ago. That this is still the case in 2015 is shocking

It's almost as if tennis has ceased and we're watching the last days of the sport until the only competent professionals retire, a bit like how if the Sun disappeared instantly we'd still get almost 10 minutes of lovely weather before the lights went out.
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Post by Henman Bill Tue 20 Oct 2015, 2:39 pm

OK, I am going to look this up

Novak has won
4 Indian Wells
5 Miamis
3 Canadas
0 Cincinattis (with 5 finals)
3 Shanghai
3 Paris

4 world tour finals

He has won less at Paris than IW/Miami which could be due to court speed, but it is not much of a difference, and could be explained by the position in the season, a lot of top players can save themselves for the world tour finals which used to be the week after and the other big 4 often also took early exits here and someone outside the top 4 won the title

4 world tour finals is more than I thought he had, I thought he had 2-3

He has also gone 14-0 (15-0 including a walkover) for the last 3 years. That is extremely impressive. I did not realize that. I doubt even Federer managed that many consecutive wins at the WTF. In 2012 and 2013 he lost quite a number of sets, but in 2014 he powered through the group stages rather more emphatically.

Querrey at Paris 2012 was his last defeat at either Paris or London (indoor). 2011 his results were a write off due to fitness.

So yes his indoor record is a bit better than I thought. I think in 2010/2011 Federer was still the indoor king, until Djokovic took it off him in recent years. It took Djokovic slightly longer to establish a dominance indoor than outdoor.

I still think he is a bit more vulnerable indoor, but admittedly the statistics don't back this up much. Let's see what happens this year.

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Post by socal1976 Tue 20 Oct 2015, 6:24 pm

BB could it be that no player has risen to the level set by three or four guys as opposed to the deficiency in competition? I think the stable conditions play a role but in my mind it isn't an indictment of the golden era of players we have seen that the next group struggles to compete. Look at players like Tsonga, Berdy, del po (when he was playing), Nish, Cilic, Stan etc and I don't see them being deficient when compared to the average of players you would see in the past from 5-10. I mean Djokovic's hasn't dropped a set recently maybe he is just playing at that high a level. You see it is the game standing still I think that we are far from that. Like many observers when you see the age of the peak moving back across the board then maybe also the modern game has advanced to the point that a longer apprenticeship is required. It just isn't enough to be young and just bomb shots to the top. Becker is a perfect example when he came up he was a level of power above the rest of the opposition. He didn't require polish, a world class fitness regime, or intricate tactical sense. He just lined up on serve on a lightening fast Wimbledon and hit the urine out of it. That just won't get it done today, and it isn't because guys can't hit like that today, in fact more players hit big now then ever mainly due to tech

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 20 Oct 2015, 10:23 pm

Agree that the level of players 5-10 is consistent with previous decades.

It's still an indictment on the young players that they are not setting the top 10 alight, however.

I do think the game is standing still. A peak was reached in 2011 and 2012 after years of improvement since 2000 and since then no further progress at all. Federer is worse, Murray is worse, Nadal is worse, the 5-10 players are about the same, and, since some young players like Raonic or Dolgopolov breaking through or shining at the 2011 Australian Open, there hasn't been all that much progress there either.

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Post by bogbrush Wed 21 Oct 2015, 9:37 am

socal1976 wrote:BB could it be that no player has risen to the level set by three or four guys as opposed to the deficiency in competition? I think the stable conditions play a role but in my mind it isn't an indictment of the golden era of players we have seen that the next group struggles to compete. Look at players like Tsonga, Berdy, del po (when he was playing), Nish, Cilic, Stan etc and I don't see them being deficient when compared to the average of players you would see in the past from 5-10. I mean Djokovic's hasn't dropped a set recently maybe he is just playing at that high a level. You see it is the game standing still I think that we are far from that. Like many observers when you see the age of the peak moving back across the board then maybe also the modern game has advanced to the point that a longer apprenticeship is required. It just isn't enough to be young and just bomb shots to the top. Becker is a perfect example when he came up he was a level of power above the rest of the opposition. He didn't require polish, a world class fitness regime, or intricate tactical sense. He just lined up on serve on a lightening fast Wimbledon and hit the urine out of it. That just won't get it done today, and it isn't because guys can't hit like that today, in fact more players hit big now then ever mainly due to tech
I'm looking specifically at these 5-10 players still being largely unchallenged in that role as they go into their 30's, and crucially no real sign of anyone bringing anything new to the party (possible exception being Kyrgios). Tsonga making a return to the top 10 depresses me, no offence JWT but he shouldn't be getting back there.
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