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Poll: What do you think about 2014 and beyond?
This poll is closed.
It will hold onto 10 and possibly even increase 75.00% 3 75.00%
It will stay within the past standard range of 6-10 25.00% 1 25.00%
We will see another all time low 0% 0 0%
We will see a new all time high 0% 0 0%
It will reach the heights of 2003-2004 0% 0 0%
No clue, it depends on too many factors... 0% 0 0%
Total 4 votes 100%
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The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
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Didi Offline
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The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
In case nobody has noticed, for the first time since 2010 we have ten different players reaching the Semis of Grand Slams. And it's steadily increasing since 2011 as was already the case from 2005 to 2010 when it reached a plateau in the range of 8-10. Just a coincidence or maybe a trend? If so, then 2014 would see another decrease.

2011 reached a low, probably even an all time low. 2003 and 2004 still hold the record for the past 10 years (say Fed's era) with a whopping 12 different players occupying the 16 Semifinals spots. What do you think was the reason for it? In 2004 there was obviously a very deep field rich of talent. 2003 due to the lack of a dominant player?

What can we expect for 2014? Will it hold onto 10? Do you see another increase due to Fed's decline and possibly Nadal's? Or maybe another decrease following the trend mentioned above with the Big 4 returning to total domination and the rest of the field stagnating like in 2011 and 2012? A poll to follow.

2013: BIG 4 + Ferrer, Tsonga, Del Potro, Janowicz, Wawrinka, Gasquet (10)

2012: BIG 4 + Ferrer, Tsonga, Berdych (7)

2011: BIG 4 + Ferrer, Tsonga (6)

2010: BIG 4 + Tsonga, Cilic, Melzer, Berdych, Soderling, Youzhny (10)

2009: BIG 4 + Roddick, Verdasco, Soderling, Gonzalez, Del Potro, Haas (10)

2008: BIG 4 + Tsonga, Monfils, Schüttler, Safin (8)

2007: Fed, Nadal, Nole, Roddick, Gonzalez, Haas, Davydenko, Gasquet, Ferrer (9)

2006: Fed, Nadal, Kiefer, Baghdatis, Nalbandian, Ljubicic, Bjorkman, Davydenko, Youzhny (9)

2005: Fed, Nadal, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt, Puerta, Davydenko, T. Johansson, Agassi, Ginepri (10)

2004: Fed, Roddick, Safin, Ferrero, Agassi, Gaudio, Coria, Henman, Nalbandian, Ancic, Grosjean, J. Johansson (12)

2003: Agassi, Schüttler, Ferreira, Roddick, Ferrero, Verkerk, Costa, Coria, Federer, Philippoussis, Grosjean, Nalbandian (12)
(This post was last modified: 06-Sep-2013 12:33 PM by Didi.)
06-Sep-2013 12:21 PM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
Wow! What an analysis. I have to say (reacting viscerally and not via deep thinking) that this supports the idea that we have a very special group of top players in Fed, Nadal, Nole and Andy. They really have reached up and grabbed ahold of most trophies due to the fact they are all simply better than other players of their era. So, does this lend credence to the oft-floated idea that this might be the best era of a tour rich in "greatness" since the golden era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe and Ivan the Terrible?

Virgil Cane is the name ...
06-Sep-2013 01:48 PM
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August Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
I've done similar research, here's a diagram and table of Final Eight players in four consecutive slams, starting from 1990:

[Image: final8diagram.jpg]
[Image: final8table.jpg]

That's an diagram from the last year, I've gone back to 1983.

The lowest number of SFists in four consecutive slams was from RG '11 to AO '12; 5 (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray, and Tsonga).

There were 6 SFists from AO '83 (Dec.) to USO '84. (McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Connors, Cash, Mayotte)

The biggest number of SFists was from USO '97 to Wim '98; 16 (Korda, Sampras
Moya, Rafter, Rios, Corretja, Ivanisevic, Rusedski, Björkman, Krajicek, Chang, Escude, Henman, Kucera, Mantilla, Pioline)

One could explain the high number of SFists in the '90s with surfaces playing most differently back then. But, I was once looking at how dominated every slam were. Slams are now now more dominated than in the '90s, and they were less dominated in the '90s than they were in the '80s. Maybe '90s was the least dominated decade.

About 2014, I believe it's gonna be about 10. I think the Big Four occupying all SF spots is quite unlikely, could maybe happen once. Roger may struggle to make the semis and Rafa may have injuries. I believe Big Four will occupy at least half of the SF spots, that's 8 out of 16. That leaves eight for the others, and some of them will probably make multiple SFs. I'd say there will be the Big Four and about six other players in SFs next year, that's about 10.

[Image: d4fa.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 06-Sep-2013 03:05 PM by August.)
06-Sep-2013 02:56 PM
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El Dude Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
8-10 seems to be the most common range (seven out of eleven years that listed), with 6-7 and 12 being extreme outliers, so my bet would be on that range.

That said, I think we're on the verge of an era similar to the late 90s and early 00s, when the greats of the game are declining and being challenged by a younger, inferior generation. I expect Djokovic, Murray and Nadal to remain in the elite for a few more years yet, but they'll be challenged more and more each year so that by, say, 2016 or 2017 they'll no longer be in dominance.
06-Sep-2013 03:36 PM
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Didi (09-06-2013)
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
(06-Sep-2013 01:48 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  Wow! What an analysis. I have to say (reacting viscerally and not via deep thinking) that this supports the idea that we have a very special group of top players in Fed, Nadal, Nole and Andy. They really have reached up and grabbed ahold of most trophies due to the fact they are all simply better than other players of their era. So, does this lend credence to the oft-floated idea that this might be the best era of a tour rich in "greatness" since the golden era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe and Ivan the Terrible?

As a side note from the main topic of this thread, I frequently notice that people usually harken back to that era s the "golden era", seemingly skipping what I perceive as another golden era, perhaps even more talent rich: the late 80s and early 90s. Think about it:

Still hanging on: Connors, McEnroe
In prime: Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker
Getting going: Courier, Sampras, Agassi

I don't think there's been a time in tennis history in which more all-time greats were playing the tour.
06-Sep-2013 03:41 PM
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Didi Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
Thank you, August. Kudos to you! That's an incredible effort and a very fitting addition to this thread which gives us a look into the historical context. I'm a stats nerd and absolutely love stuff like that. Smile
06-Sep-2013 04:06 PM
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August Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
(06-Sep-2013 04:06 PM)Didi Wrote:  Thank you, August. Kudos to you! That's an incredible effort and a very fitting addition to this thread which gives us a look into the historical context. I'm a stats nerd and absolutely love stuff like that. Smile

You see that ends to RG '12. I did that when I was bored of four consecutive Noledal finals.

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06-Sep-2013 04:18 PM
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Didi (09-06-2013)
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
(06-Sep-2013 03:41 PM)El Dude Wrote:  
(06-Sep-2013 01:48 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  Wow! What an analysis. I have to say (reacting viscerally and not via deep thinking) that this supports the idea that we have a very special group of top players in Fed, Nadal, Nole and Andy. They really have reached up and grabbed ahold of most trophies due to the fact they are all simply better than other players of their era. So, does this lend credence to the oft-floated idea that this might be the best era of a tour rich in "greatness" since the golden era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe and Ivan the Terrible?

As a side note from the main topic of this thread, I frequently notice that people usually harken back to that era s the "golden era", seemingly skipping what I perceive as another golden era, perhaps even more talent rich: the late 80s and early 90s. Think about it:

Still hanging on: Connors, McEnroe
In prime: Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker
Getting going: Courier, Sampras, Agassi

I don't think there's been a time in tennis history in which more all-time greats were playing the tour.

late 80s to early 90s more rich talent than the 'gold era'? of course we skip that, you are the only one thinking that.

Connors, Borg, Mac, Lendl >>>> Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker.
06-Sep-2013 08:33 PM
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El Dude Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
(06-Sep-2013 08:33 PM)ricardo Wrote:  
(06-Sep-2013 03:41 PM)El Dude Wrote:  
(06-Sep-2013 01:48 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  Wow! What an analysis. I have to say (reacting viscerally and not via deep thinking) that this supports the idea that we have a very special group of top players in Fed, Nadal, Nole and Andy. They really have reached up and grabbed ahold of most trophies due to the fact they are all simply better than other players of their era. So, does this lend credence to the oft-floated idea that this might be the best era of a tour rich in "greatness" since the golden era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe and Ivan the Terrible?

As a side note from the main topic of this thread, I frequently notice that people usually harken back to that era s the "golden era", seemingly skipping what I perceive as another golden era, perhaps even more talent rich: the late 80s and early 90s. Think about it:

Still hanging on: Connors, McEnroe
In prime: Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker
Getting going: Courier, Sampras, Agassi

I don't think there's been a time in tennis history in which more all-time greats were playing the tour.

late 80s to early 90s more rich talent than the 'gold era'? of course we skip that, you are the only one thinking that.

Connors, Borg, Mac, Lendl >>>> Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker.

I agree if you only go four deep. But what about five or six? Its not so clear. Compare, for instance, the year-end top 5 in 1980 and 1990:

1980:
1. Borg
2. McEnroe
3. Connors
4. Mayer
5. Vilas

1990:
1. Edberg
2. Becker
3. Lendl
4. Agassi
5. Sampras

1985 has a pretty amazing top 6:
1. Lendl
2. McEnroe
3. Wilander
4. Connors
5. Edberg
6. Becker

Let's also note the early 70s, when you had Rosewall and Laver still playing well (if not at their peak) alongside Newcombe, Connors, a very young Borg, not to mention Vilas, Ashe, Smith, Nastase, etc.

I think the "golden era" of the late 70s-early 80s is partially considered so because of what is almost certainly the greatest and "sexiest" rivalry in tennis history: Borg and McEnroe. Or at least the first that was widely televised. But if we're looking at talent and not "sex appeal" then it is one of a few talent-rich periods- along with the early 70s, the late 80s, and of course now.
07-Sep-2013 09:50 AM
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Didi (09-07-2013)
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
And to be clear: I'm not arguing that other periods were MORE talent-rich than circa 1980, but possibly EQUALLY or SIMILARLY talent-rich and that 1979-81 being considered the "Golden Era" is largely due to the great Borg-McEnroe rivalry.
07-Sep-2013 09:52 AM
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Didi Offline
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RE: The curious case of Slam Semis in Fed's era
(06-Sep-2013 01:48 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  I have to say (reacting viscerally and not via deep thinking) that this supports the idea that we have a very special group of top players in Fed, Nadal, Nole and Andy. They really have reached up and grabbed ahold of most trophies due to the fact they are all simply better than other players of their era. So, does this lend credence to the oft-floated idea that this might be the best era of a tour rich in "greatness" since the golden era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe and Ivan the Terrible?

I thought that the following statistic I've found on the ATP homepage just before the US Open Final today might be a fitting response to your posting:

Quote:This will be the 34th time in the past 35 Grand Slam tournaments (since 2005 Roland Garros), one of the Big 4 has won a Slam crown. The only exception came at the ‘09 US Open where Juan Martin del Potro won the title. During this span, Federer has won 13 titles, Nadal 12, Djokovic 6 and Murray 2.

If we include the 2005 AO to be fair to Marat Safin since he had to beat the very best version of Federer on his way to the title, it's 34 out of the last 36 Slams that have been won by one of the Big 4. It's ridiculous, really. I'm saying nothing new here, we all knew this but the more you think about it, the more mind-boggling it gets.

Over the course of 8.5 years, almost a bloody decade, from the AO 2005 to the USO 2013 - all but Del Potro and Safin have tried and failed. Roddick, Hewitt, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Davydenko, Gonzalez, Baghdatis, Monfils, Simon, Robredo, Blake, Gasquet, Ljubicic, Youzhny, Tipsa, Fish, Haas, Ferrer, Berdych, Soderling, Tsonga and Wawrinka to name a few who at least made the QFs. I seriously wonder when are we ever going to see a new Slam champion. I reached a point where I would even consider paying for it, just to see it happen. Yes, that's how desperate I am. Lay Down Laughing
09-Sep-2013 09:53 AM
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