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Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
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El Dude Offline
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Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
As a side inquiry from this thread, if you take a look at the chart that follows you can see that among the 14 "big tournaments" each year (4 Slams, 1 WTF, 9 ATP 1000s), from 2005 to 2010 at least two non-Big Four players took one, while in 2011-12 only David Ferrer won a single ATP 1000.

[Image: BigFourDominance.jpg]

With 4 of 14 already done, we've only had wins from Djokovic (2), Nadal, and Murray, so it is looking like another Year of the Big Four. But if someone other than the big four were to break the "hegemony," who do you think has a chance?

The obvious choice, in my opinion, is Juan Martin del Potro. But I think he can only do it an ATP 1000 or, perhaps, the World Tour Finals. I just don't see him having the stamina to win seven matches in a best-of-five Grand Slam event. Berdych, Tsonga, and Ferrer are the other somewhat-likely candidates. Tsonga in particular has seemed to have come closest to winning a Slam. But anyone else? Do you think Milos Raonic can pull one off, possibly an ATP 1000?

Paris Masters is worth keeping an eye on as it is the only big tournament that has had a different winner in each of the last 11 years. Richard Gasquet, anyone?
23-Apr-2013 04:51 PM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
Dimitrov at Bercy Paris. And I hope Tsonga wins Wimbledon, but that's obviously more hoping. I don't see Del Potro win anything, he might get to another final though. Something about him changed since the magic of 2009. I don't enjoy watching him anymore, it used to be electrifying but now it just looks like numb bashing of the ball.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 04:58 PM by Denisovich.)
23-Apr-2013 04:56 PM
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Sundaymorningguy Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I am going to go with Berdych. I think he just needs that one tournament and then it will open the flood gates. I want Del Potro to be the one, but he seems to take one step forward and two steps back everytime.
23-Apr-2013 05:09 PM
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herios Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I am almost certain there will be some white colour added this year to your spraedsheet, because IMO, the "Big 4" as a group already peaked in 2011 and in fact the hegemony was broken, by Ferrer, in 2012 (he almost did it again recently in Miami).
23-Apr-2013 05:36 PM
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AndrewWilliam Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I got my money on Dimitrov. I think he's got all the tools to get there. He just needs to mature and take his 'mental game' to the next level to compete with the big boys.
I'm still hoping Ryan Harrison can step it up, but I obviously have to see a lot more before we start talking about him in the same ball park as those players.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 06:09 PM by AndrewWilliam.)
23-Apr-2013 06:07 PM
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El Dude Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I didn't have the guts to say Dimitrov, even though I wanted to. I have high but hesitant hopes for him. I could really see him breaking through with at least an ATP 500 win this year, hopefully an ATP 1000 but I'm not quite ready to go there yet. Maybe Paris.
23-Apr-2013 06:54 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(23-Apr-2013 04:51 PM)El Dude Wrote:  As a side inquiry from this thread, if you take a look at the chart that follows you can see that among the 14 "big tournaments" each year (4 Slams, 1 WTF, 9 ATP 1000s), from 2005 to 2010 at least two non-Big Four players took one, while in 2011-12 only David Ferrer won a single ATP 1000.

[Image: BigFourDominance.jpg]

With 4 of 14 already done, we've only had wins from Djokovic (2), Nadal, and Murray, so it is looking like another Year of the Big Four. But if someone other than the big four were to break the "hegemony," who do you think has a chance?

The obvious choice, in my opinion, is Juan Martin del Potro. But I think he can only do it an ATP 1000 or, perhaps, the World Tour Finals. I just don't see him having the stamina to win seven matches in a best-of-five Grand Slam event. Berdych, Tsonga, and Ferrer are the other somewhat-likely candidates. Tsonga in particular has seemed to have come closest to winning a Slam. But anyone else? Do you think Milos Raonic can pull one off, possibly an ATP 1000?

Paris Masters is worth keeping an eye on as it is the only big tournament that has had a different winner in each of the last 11 years. Richard Gasquet, anyone?

Great work, El Dude! I always love your stats and tables.

The Paris Masters has been an interesting tournament for a long time, as you point out. By that time of year, so many guys are tired and/or injured, and either fall early, or don't go at all, making it a unique elite event. (And notice that neither Rafa nor Murray have won it, either.) That said, it also explains why several of the winners have little, if anything, else to show for their efforts. Berdych, Tsonga, Soderling, and Ferrer have nothing else (OK, Soderling has since retired, and Ferrer's win just happened, but we can also say there's nothing before it either).

In other words, even when some of these guys do have the opportunity to break through, and get their first big title, it doesn't push them on to win more; they merely serve as demonstrations of why the Big Four are the Big Four.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 09:24 PM by tented.)
23-Apr-2013 07:38 PM
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Billie Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I doubt he is likely to break the big four's hegemony, but I think that Berdych might win a big title (a Masters) this year. He needs to be a bit lucky and only face 2 out of 4 top guys. I think he is getting better mentally and that is the crucial thing in winning one of these (he has tennis skills).

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
23-Apr-2013 08:09 PM
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atttomole Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
Dimitrov for sure. I think he can take his game to a higher level, given the talent he possesses. There is room for improvement.
23-Apr-2013 09:19 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
I don't think the Slams are on offer, beyond the top 4. Of the MS, maybe Shanghai and Paris, and they're a long way away.
23-Apr-2013 09:50 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
Milos is winning something this year.

23-Apr-2013 10:04 PM
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herios Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(23-Apr-2013 06:07 PM)AndrewWilliam Wrote:  I got my money on Dimitrov. I think he's got all the tools to get there. He just needs to mature and take his 'mental game' to the next level to compete with the big boys.
I'm still hoping Ryan Harrison can step it up, but I obviously have to see a lot more before we start talking about him in the same ball park as those players.

Andy dear, I am telling you with empathy, do noy put any eggs into Harrison's basket. Perhaps you lost track, but he has fallen through the cracks completely. He is now ranked 100 and thus he's been relegated to the challenger tour. And is brutal there, let me tell you, all kind of nobodies can kick your rear end.

(23-Apr-2013 10:04 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  Milos is winning something this year.

He is improving, but still i am very nervous about his big events.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 10:46 PM by herios.)
23-Apr-2013 10:45 PM
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AndrewWilliam Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(23-Apr-2013 10:45 PM)herios Wrote:  Andy dear, I am telling you with empathy, do noy put any eggs into Harrison's basket. Perhaps you lost track, but he has fallen through the cracks completely. He is now ranked 100 and thus he's been relegated to the challenger tour. And is brutal there, let me tell you, all kind of nobodies can kick your rear end.


Ryan's having a tough time at the moment. I hope it inspires him to work even harder on his craft and never take anything for granted. Anyway, I'm not writing the guy off because he's in a slump. Roddick had plenty of those in his career. As a fan you just keep rooting for them and hope they'll turn it around eventually.
(This post was last modified: 23-Apr-2013 11:51 PM by AndrewWilliam.)
23-Apr-2013 11:50 PM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 03:54 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  Does anyone find it strange that Murray won NO Masters Series events last year after winning two each year the four years prior? You'd think having Lendl coaching him that would have gone up. He managed a Slam, but his production elsewhere dropped off.


It was all about getting the first slam!

He already has one this year, I'm sure he will add another.
24-Apr-2013 05:02 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 05:02 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  
(24-Apr-2013 03:54 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  Does anyone find it strange that Murray won NO Masters Series events last year after winning two each year the four years prior? You'd think having Lendl coaching him that would have gone up. He managed a Slam, but his production elsewhere dropped off.


It was all about getting the first slam!

He already has one this year, I'm sure he will add another.

i've been saying that for a while - after Gold and the USO, Andy's fall results were worse than usual for him, and for me, these were the first signs that this might have not been the 'breakthrough' so many have been hoping for. the AO final loss (and the unwarranted trouble with Fed) were other signs as well. Andy has done slightly better by now in winning Miami, but that wasn't due to a new level of performance either, just him clinging on to the chance after the doors were pushed wide open with the absence/early loss of the 'classic' Big 3.

of course, he could have another, or a couple more this year. still, it remains to be seen what that USO win really meant.

regarding "all about winning that first slam" - why then, didn't he really thrive once he got that? did he actually feel like now that he's done it, now that he has One slam, he gets to rest a little, take it easy? that would be a horrible perspective for his future, if you ask me.
(This post was last modified: 24-Apr-2013 05:24 AM by johnsteinbeck.)
24-Apr-2013 05:04 AM
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DarthFed Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 05:04 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ that's what I was saying all the time, no? after Gold and the USO, Andy's fall results were worse than usual for him, and for me, these were the first signs that this might have not been the 'breakthrough' so many have been hoping for. the AO final loss (and the unwarranted trouble with Fed) were other signs as well. Andy has done slightly better by now in winning Miami, but that wasn't due to a new level of performance either, just him clinging on to the chance after the doors were pushed wide open with the absence/early loss of the 'classic' Big 3.

Andy not winning an MS event last year was just one of those things, a razor thin loss to Djokovic in Shanghai as well as losing to him at Miami. Murray also skipped Canada which is likely one of his strongest MS events. There also is probably some truth in what Huntingyou said that he was so dialed in to winning the bigger events that he did poorly in the MS events. I think Murray has turned the corner for good. The Olympics and US Open wouldn't have been possible for him a couple years ago especially after the Wimbledon final loss. Australia saw him get his first win at a slam over Roger and Andy was great in that match. He was never going to be favorite over Nole in an AO final (no one is).

As for the question it is definitely Del Po and Berd in some order. DP is a bigger threat vs. Nole and Rafa while Berd is a bigger threat vs. Fed and Murray. I guess a lot would come down to how the draw shakes out.
24-Apr-2013 05:14 AM
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El Dude Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 05:04 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  i've been saying that for a while - after Gold and the USO, Andy's fall results were worse than usual for him, and for me, these were the first signs that this might have not been the 'breakthrough' so many have been hoping for. the AO final loss (and the unwarranted trouble with Fed) were other signs as well. Andy has done slightly better by now in winning Miami, but that wasn't due to a new level of performance either, just him clinging on to the chance after the doors were pushed wide open with the absence/early loss of the 'classic' Big 3.

of course, he could have another, or a couple more this year. still, it remains to be seen what that USO win really meant.

regarding "all about winning that first slam" - why then, didn't he really thrive once he got that? did he actually feel like now that he's done it, now that he has One slam, he gets to rest a little, take it easy? that would be a horrible perspective for his future, if you ask me.

I'm tending to agree with you, mr. steinbeck. When Andy won the US Open I think the hope (from his fans) was that he was taking after his coach, Ivan Lendl, who spent his early years under the shadow of Borg, McEnroe, and Connors, and didn't win his first Slam until age 24 but continued to win seven more. But given the fact, as you say, he's held pretty steady at his "normal" level since then, I think it is more likely that Murray is another Guillermo Vilas - certainly a great player, but not among the true greats.

In other words, I'm saying that Murray is to Federer-Nadal-Djokovic what Vilas was to Connors-Borg-McEnroe: the main challenger and spoiler, the best of the rest that has a legit shot at challenging any of the top three but usually loses. I do think that Andy has surpassed Roger, but that's only since Roger has entered his 30s.

Nothing to be ashamed of with the Vilas comp. I just that, if I were a diehard Murray fan, I'd set my hopes on 3-4 Slams rather than 5+.
24-Apr-2013 07:14 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 05:14 AM)DarthFed Wrote:  Andy not winning an MS event last year was just one of those things, a razor thin loss to Djokovic in Shanghai as well as losing to him at Miami. Murray also skipped Canada which is likely one of his strongest MS events. There also is probably some truth in what Huntingyou said that he was so dialed in to winning the bigger events that he did poorly in the MS events. I think Murray has turned the corner for good. The Olympics and US Open wouldn't have been possible for him a couple years ago especially after the Wimbledon final loss. Australia saw him get his first win at a slam over Roger and Andy was great in that match. He was never going to be favorite over Nole in an AO final (no one is).

As for the question it is definitely Del Po and Berd in some order. DP is a bigger threat vs. Nole and Rafa while Berd is a bigger threat vs. Fed and Murray. I guess a lot would come down to how the draw shakes out.

i dunno, "so dialed in to winning the bigger events"? sounds like he went for the calendar slam in '12. which he didn't. he won gold (great) and one slam title (wonderful). and what about the WTF, for example? as far as his AO performance: yes, he brilliantly/strongly outplayed Fed - but it still was a close match (that cost him later on), so that's not exactly a spectacular break-through either (especially since he'd already beaten Fed in a best of five by then). i'd love for Andy to have turned the corner, but i still have to see it to believe it.

and yes, back to the original question - i guess the question is, what's the bigger hurdle to overcome: mental (Berd) or physical (DelPo) fragility? i honestly don't know. so I'll go with Tsonga, he's displayed his fair share of both Wink

(24-Apr-2013 07:14 AM)El Dude Wrote:  
(24-Apr-2013 05:04 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  i've been saying that for a while - after Gold and the USO, Andy's fall results were worse than usual for him, and for me, these were the first signs that this might have not been the 'breakthrough' so many have been hoping for. the AO final loss (and the unwarranted trouble with Fed) were other signs as well. Andy has done slightly better by now in winning Miami, but that wasn't due to a new level of performance either, just him clinging on to the chance after the doors were pushed wide open with the absence/early loss of the 'classic' Big 3.

of course, he could have another, or a couple more this year. still, it remains to be seen what that USO win really meant.

regarding "all about winning that first slam" - why then, didn't he really thrive once he got that? did he actually feel like now that he's done it, now that he has One slam, he gets to rest a little, take it easy? that would be a horrible perspective for his future, if you ask me.

I'm tending to agree with you, mr. steinbeck. When Andy won the US Open I think the hope (from his fans) was that he was taking after his coach, Ivan Lendl, who spent his early years under the shadow of Borg, McEnroe, and Connors, and didn't win his first Slam until age 24 but continued to win seven more. But given the fact, as you say, he's held pretty steady at his "normal" level since then, I think it is more likely that Murray is another Guillermo Vilas - certainly a great player, but not among the true greats.

In other words, I'm saying that Murray is to Federer-Nadal-Djokovic what Vilas was to Connors-Borg-McEnroe: the main challenger and spoiler, the best of the rest that has a legit shot at challenging any of the top three but usually loses. I do think that Andy has surpassed Roger, but that's only since Roger has entered his 30s.

Nothing to be ashamed of with the Vilas comp. I just that, if I were a diehard Murray fan, I'd set my hopes on 3-4 Slams rather than 5+.

yup, seems reasonable (and not just b/c you agree with me Wink )
(This post was last modified: 24-Apr-2013 07:22 AM by johnsteinbeck.)
24-Apr-2013 07:16 AM
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herios Offline
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RE: Most Likely Player(s) to Break the Big Four's Hegemony in 2013?
(24-Apr-2013 03:54 AM)nehmeth Wrote:  Does anyone find it strange that Murray won NO Masters Series events last year after winning two each year the four years prior? You'd think having Lendl coaching him that would have gone up. He managed a Slam, but his production elsewhere dropped off.


I didn't. Remember, what happened to Nole after his first AO?
24-Apr-2013 07:42 AM
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