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How to Win 28 Slam Matches in a Row

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 05 Jun 2016, 8:42 pm

Andre Agassi managed a 27-1 record at one stage, unfortunately it’s hard to get 28-0 when you run into Pete Sampras on fast grass playing the best match of his entire career. However for consecutive 15 and 18 were his best streaks.

Roger Federer won 27 in a row twice, before losing at RG 06 and 07.

Rafa managed 25, before losing to David Ferrer at the Australian Open in 2011. However even though his best streaks are not quite as good as Novak or Roger's, he is the ultimate streak breaker, as he denied Federer in 2006 and 2007 and Djokovic in 2012, when they were on a streak of 27 going for the 28. Connors and Sampras also have a 25 streak.

Rod Laver won 26 matches in a row in 1969 (he only had to play 5 at the Australian Open in 1969, but 7 at the others). If we count his absence from the 1970 Australian Open as breaking the streak, then this means that today Djokovic made the record of most consecutive open era slam wins. However, if we excuse Rod's absence from two slams (he also missed the 1970 French Open) as not counting as a streak breaker, then he managed to win three more matches at Wimbledon in 1970 making a streak of 29.

So Novak can equal that Laver 29 streak with a first round match win at Wimbledon, and beat it to get to 30 by winning his second round match at Wimbledon.

His current streak involves 3 Federer wins (Federer has fallen to no-one else in a slam in the last 12 months), 2 Murray, but he did not play Nadal or Stan.

I assume Laver had another streak of around 25-28 in 1962 with his amateur slam, I didn’t check out the exact numbers as slams were sort of second tier then and he went straight on to the pro tour after so pretty sure it would be 28 max.

I did check Don Budge 1937-1938. In those days Wimbledons were 7 matches, Oz 5, French Open and US Open 6 (for top ranked players). So I make that 7+7+6+6+6+5=37 in a row. There were no walkovers - I checked the wikipedia article for each slam. After that he turned professional, ending his streak unbroken at 37. I should note that when he won 6 slams in a row, Fred Perry and Ellsworth Vines had already turned professional. He did get the better of them both in 1939 on the pro tour more often than not, however it’s doubtful he would have won 37 slam matches in a row in an open era. Anyway, Novak would have to win Wimbledon to be able to then go on and break that record at the US Open.

Here’s how Novak’s 28 matches played out:

The closest to beating him was Kevin Anderson (7-5 in the fifth and two sets up). Gilles Simon was the other one to take him to 5.
He always won the first three rounds in straight sets, losing his first set in the 4th round. He usually lost three sets per tournament, but at the French only two. Pretty consistent form. Scoreline wise, his toughest match was always the 4th round (OK a slight bending of the truth if you look closely at the US Open results).

The below are from the Wikipedia articles 2015/6 Novak Djokovic tennis season and include both the seeding and ranking of opponents.

Wimbledon (2015)
1R Philipp Kohlschreiber
33 Win 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
2R Jarkko Nieminen
92 Win 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
3R Bernard Tomic (27)
26 Win 6–3, 6–3, 6–3
4R Kevin Anderson (14)
14 Win 6–7(6–8), 6–7(6–8), 6–1, 6–4, 7–5
QF Marin Čilić (9)
9 Win 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
SF Richard Gasquet (21)
20 Win 7–6(7–2), 6–4, 6–4
W Roger Federer (2)
2 Win 7–6(7–1), 6–7(10–12), 6–4, 6–3

US Open
1R João Souza
89 Win 6–1, 6–1, 6–1
2R Andreas Haider-Maurer
52 Win 6–4, 6–1, 6–2
3R Andreas Seppi (25)
25 Win 6–3, 7–5, 7–5
4R Roberto Bautista Agut (23)
23 Win 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3
QF Feliciano López (18)
18 Win 6–1, 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–2)
SF Marin Čilić (9)
9 Win 6–0, 6–1, 6–2
W Roger Federer (2)
2 Win 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4

Australian Open
1R Chung Hyeon
51 Win 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
2R Quentin Halys (WC)
187 Win 6–1, 6–2, 7–6(7–3)
3R Andreas Seppi (28)
29 Win 6–1, 7–5, 7–6(8–6)
4R Gilles Simon (14)
15 Win 6–3, 6–7(1–7), 6–4, 4–6, 6–3
QF Kei Nishikori (7)
7 Win 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
SF Roger Federer (3)
3 Win 6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
W Andy Murray (2)
2 Win 6–1, 7–5, 7–6(7–3)

French Open
1R Lu Yen-hsun
95 Win 6–4, 6–1, 6–1
2R Steve Darcis (Q)
161 Win 7–5, 6–3, 6–4
3R Aljaž Bedene
66 Win 6–2, 6–3, 6–3
4R Roberto Bautista Agut (14)
16 Win 3–6, 6–4, 6–1, 7–5
QF Tomáš Berdych (7)
8 Win 6–3, 7–5, 6–3
SF Dominic Thiem (13)
15 Win 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
W Andy Murray (2)
2 Win 3–6, 6–1, 6–2, 6–4

Interesting article here
There were no walkovers in any of the streaks I mentioned (according to the above source)
Plus wikipedia articles covering the other sources

Henman Bill

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Post by whocares Sun 05 Jun 2016, 8:57 pm

Fun fact above : Novak met twice Bautista Agut in round 4 and beat him twice in 4 sets. One for futures pub quizz once Novak will officially have the longest slam winning streak Smile


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Post by summerblues Sun 05 Jun 2016, 9:52 pm

Thanks HB for the post, I enjoy reding these kinds of stats. Funny how Novak seems to be taking a day off in the 4th round.

I suspect he will try very hard to go and win the next two slams.


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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 06 Jun 2016, 5:58 pm

The calendar slam is the most difficult to achieve, esp one has to win the channel slams, which are only 2 weeks (in the past) or 3 weeks apart. To achieve that, one has to win all 4 in the span of 33 weeks - from AO to USO.

Had Rafa won the AO2011 and thus won 4 in a row, I would think that's a harder 4 in a row to win - FO, 2 weeks later he had to win Wimbledon, 7 weeks later the USO, and then a break of 19 weeks the AO - compared to winning Wimbledon first, then USO, AO and finally the FO.

The difficulty is in winning the channel slams - Fed won the channel slams in 2009 and AO the following year but didnt win the 2009 USO. Rafa won the channel slams in 2008, didnt win the USO that year and won AO 2009. In 2010 he won three in a row within the same year but failed at the AO2011.

Of course winning 3 in a row is never the same as winning 4 in a row, the test now is for Djoko to win the channel slams and then the calendar slam.


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