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Risto

Tennis Volume 7: Roger That!

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Carry on people... We need to know where the hell Murray belongs :D

 

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I guess my real issue with the Big Four is how early it was proclaimed. A quick Google search leads me to believe the term started getting used in 2011. At the start of the 2012 circuit, Feds had 16 titles, Rafa had 10, Joker had 4 and Murray had none. I don't think it should have mattered that he was the most likely to be the 4th participant in the semi finals. He was simply not on their level. 

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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I guess my real issue with the Big Four is how early it was proclaimed.

I agree there's some truth to this. It was obvious early on that a number of people wanted Murray to be part of the Big Four early on and it's probably fair to say he didn't quite live up to expectations, though by any other measure he's had a very successful career that anyone else outside the three would have killed to have.

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In the previous thread, @Proudfeet said:

You are really talking past each other.

His point is, Murray being the fourth best player, is far removed from the Big Three. Stan doesn't come into consideration at all.

Exactly.

If we want to create the Big Four, then Murray is the fourth one. But the gap between the Big Three and him is so big it makes no sense. Murray is the best non-Big Three player over the past decade, no denying that. Still, he's nowhere near the Big Three.

Now, we can create the Big 10 and add Wawrinka, Berdych or whoever, it still does not change the fact that top three players are in a group of their own and no one comes close.

Or why stop at "Big Ten"? There are currently 1969 ATP ranked players. Let's call it "Big 1970" and include me in the list just for laughs! :lol: 


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Posted (edited)

Well, as a matter of fact the difference between Fed's and Novak's GS titles and Novak's and Murray's GS titles is... one. Djoker has eigth titles less than Federer, and Murray has nine titles less than Djoker. Does that mean, that Novak also shouldn't be  included in the Big Three, pardon, Big Two? My point being every argument can be used as a double-edged sword.

Edited by 3CityApache

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35 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

Well, as a matter of fact the difference between Fed's and Novak's GS titles and Novak's and Murray's GS titles is... one. Djoker has eigth titles less than Federer, and Murray has nine titles less than Djoker. Does that mean, that Novak should't be also included in the Big Three, pardon, Big Two? My point being every argument can be used as a double-edged sword.

But the fact remains that the entire "Big Four" thing was created on the premise that never fulfilled. People thought the Murray will be far more successful than he actually has been. As for your argument, unlike Andy, Novak has superior H2H with both Federer and Nadal, not to mention that he has numerous accomplishments of his own, one of them being holding all 4 Slams at one moment, something that has not been achieved since Rod Laver. So, saying that difference between Roger and Novak is the same as the one between Novak and Andy is truly notwithstanding, having in mind everything they have done.

But, you do have a point that this entire thing depends on the perspective. I guess, just like the majority of Serbs will never admit Roger is GOAT, Brits will also see Murray as sort of equal to the Big Three.

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13 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

Well, as a matter of fact the difference between Fed's and Novak's GS titles and Novak's and Murray's GS titles is... one. Djoker has eigth titles less than Federer, and Murray has nine titles less than Djoker. Does that mean, that Novak also shouldn't be  included in the Big Three, pardon, Big Two? My point being every argument can be used as a double-edged sword.

Saying the difference between Federer and Djokovic is only 1 more Grand Slam title than between Djokovic and Murray is plain ridiculous.  It's like saying that difference between Murray and Cilic is only 1 more Grand Slam title than between Cilic and me or you.

Federer is beyond doubt the most successful player if we're talking about Grand Slam titles, but the other two are among top 5.

If you look at their h2h:

  • Federer vs Djokovic - Djokovic leading 23–22
  • Federer vs Nadal - Nadal leads 23–15
  • Nadal and Djokovic - Djokovic leads 26–24

If we take their Masters 1000 titles into account, they are again roughly the same - 27, 30, 30 for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, respectively.

If you take a look at those stats, Federer actually has the worst head-to-head and the least Masters 1000 titles.

There is more than enough reason there to consider them maybe not equal, but definitely in the same ballpark.

Let's look at all those parameters for Murray now, shall we?

His h2h against "Big three":

  • Federer leads 14-11
  • Nadal leads 17-7
  • Djokovic leads 25-11

Masters 1000 titles - 14.

Grand Slam titles - not ranked among top 30.

Murray simply can not compare with the other three and shouldn't be counted as their equal.

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16 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

Well, as a matter of fact the difference between Fed's and Novak's GS titles and Novak's and Murray's GS titles is... one. Djoker has eigth titles less than Federer, and Murray has nine titles less than Djoker. Does that mean, that Novak also shouldn't be  included in the Big Three, pardon, Big Two? My point being every argument can be used as a double-edged sword.

In my opinion your argument falls apart when we adjust the numbers by the players’ ages. Nadal is less than a year older than Murray and Novak, and Murray is actually a week older than Novak. If we adjust Fed’s age to be 5 years younger and look at where they were at these points in their careers, you’d have Fed with 17 titles, Nadal with 16 titles, Joker with 12 and Murray with 3. In other words, Murray accounts for 3 out of 48 slam titles, which amounts to 6.25% of the Big Four’s titles.

Another thing that differentiates Murray from the other three is that he lacks an era of dominance. Fed dominated the sport for several years, and was often in contention with Tiger Woods for the title of “Most Dominate Athlete Relative To Their Sport.” Rafa dominated 2010, winning 3 slams, and he won 4 out of 5 slams, and completely owned the French, leaving him with the legacy of the greatest clay court player ever. Novak did the same thing in 2011, winning 3 slams and 4 out of 5. He also, like others have said, held all 4 slams at once and won 5 out of 6 slams between the 2015 and 2016 circuits. Murray has nothing to compare to their dominance.

Furthermore, what separates the other three from Murray is their consistency. Sure, everyone can have a clunker here and there, but when healthy, you always expected Fed, Rafa and Joker to bring their A game. That simply isn’t the case with Murray. Now look, if you want to argue that Andy’s A game is in the same class with the other three, I’d agree, more or less. But he was also prone to play terribly for long stretches of time, and worse, he would often meltdown and self-destruct over relatively small things. There are numerous examples of this, and one specifically jumps to mind, though I can’t remember the tournament and his opponent (I’m pretty sure in was a slam though). He was up 2-0, and was cruising through the match. Then in the third set there was one call that set him off and he proceeded to get destroyed for the remainder of the set and again in the fourth. He did regain his form in the fifth, but another call he didn’t like set him off again and he ended up losing 3-2. I don’t think anyone would argue against that his on the court antics have cost him dearly. Absent that, he would have won multiple more slams IMO.

And this brings me to my last point: lumping Murray in with the Big Four rather than allowing him to just be the fourth best player on the tour might have been detrimental to his career. I think it put a lot of pressure on him and he likely wasn’t ready for it. You could see this, not when he won his first slam at the U.S. Open in 2012, but at Wimbledon we he won in 2013. He broke down, and you could see the years of pressure to be the first male UK born tennis player to win a slam since 1936 wash away in a moment. He ended a 77 year drought at Wimbledon, and you could see how that weighed on him. Elevating him too soon must have only magnified that pressure.

Now, take everything I’ve said with a grain of salt. I am just a casual fan who would prefer to play tennis rather than watch, but from afar, this is why it’s always seemed odd to me to include Murray in the top tier of the sport. He’s great, and probably top 25 all time, but he never belonged in the same class as the three dudes who were among the five greatest players of all time.

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2 hours ago, baxus said:

.If you look at their h2h:

  • Federer vs Djokovic - Djokovic leading 23–22
  • Federer vs Nadal - Nadal leads 23–15
  • Nadal and Djokovic - Djokovic leads 26–24

Honest question, does this mean anything? I feel like Feds and Nadal were beginning to decline when Joker’s game took a major leap forward, hence why he has the better h2h numbers.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Honest question, does this mean anything? I feel like Feds and Nadal were beginning to decline when Joker’s game took a major leap forward, hence why he has the better h2h numbers.

It doesn't prove anything. It shows the number of matches each of them won when facing each other. The way you choose to interpret that is up to you.

Someone might say that Djokovic was not up to his level in the first few years when Federer and Nadal were constantly beating him and not be wrong, the same way you are not wrong when you say what you said there.

Edited by baxus

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Even though i agree with the premise that Murray is nowhere near the equal of the other three, as previously mentioned he has 2 olympic golds, but more importantly he pretty much won the davis cup by himself, so while he is by far the weakest of the big 4, he is still a member. 

And lets not forget his most important accolade, 3 x winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year.  

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Eh, I agree with BigFatCoward. Murray is the weakest member of the big four, but he's a valid member because he is really quite competitive in every tournament other than GS level. 

Stan is the only other member in the conversation, but there's a reason he's classified as the Stanimal, not the Big Five. His top level is comparable or even superior to Murray's, but his consistency is not at all the same and that sets him apart even more. So in 10 years I'm pretty sure I'll still be happy reflecting on this era as being the Big Four + Stanimal. And Fed will still be winning slams then anyway, probs. 

Anyway, it's nice to see the Tennis thread on the first page of Entertainment rather than having to check like 7 pages back for it. 

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8 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Honest question, does this mean anything? I feel like Feds and Nadal were beginning to decline when Joker’s game took a major leap forward, hence why he has the better h2h numbers.

It most certainly means something, especially in this discussion. You have undeniable proof of the equality among the three top tiers. Something that certainly separates Djokovic from Murray. Even if we count Federer's and Nadal's struggles at the time, we can't deny that Djokovic managed to reach the level Murray couldn't. Also, if we count Fedal's problems we also have to count  Djokovic's injuries in the past 2 years. Just like in any sport, there are numerous factors that we have to weigh in.

Ironically, I spend most of my tennis-discussion time discussing against Djokovic... Going the other way around is certainly interesting.

6 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Even though i agree with the premise that Murray is nowhere near the equal of the other three, as previously mentioned he has 2 olympic golds, but more importantly he pretty much won the davis cup by himself, so while he is by far the weakest of the big 4, he is still a member. 

And lets not forget his most important accolade, 3 x winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year.  

Of course he is a member as the construction was formulated having him in mind, but years after it was coined, the reality is different - we have three brilliant players, arguably three greatest players that have ever played tennis (one of them, Federer, most certainly and rightfully being called GOAT(btw, not related to Swiss livestock:D )). So, we have the three players for which you can easily argue that has done something the other two (and no one else) has done. They are almost equal in many areas. That is where Murray seems like an odd companion. He is amazing player, that is for sure and if he was born in some reality without these three, he would be almost unrivaled. For me, Murray simply never lived up to what many believed he was capable of. 

2 hours ago, Leap said:

Anyway, it's nice to see the Tennis thread on the first page of Entertainment rather than having to check like 7 pages back for it. 

Yeah... Especially since the current debate is so interesting :D 

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7 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Even though i agree with the premise that Murray is nowhere near the equal of the other three, as previously mentioned he has 2 olympic golds, but more importantly he pretty much won the davis cup by himself, so while he is by far the weakest of the big 4, he is still a member. 

I've always been under the impression that the Olympics didn't matter that much to tennis players. At least not the elite players.

Quote

And lets not forget his most important accolade, 3 x winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year.  

Speaks to the quality of English soccer players right now.

:P

 

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15 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I've always been under the impression that the Olympics didn't matter that much to tennis players. At least not the elite players.

I can't say if Olympics matter to tennis players or not, but I think we can all agree that in tennis winning an Olympic gold is not rated as highly as a Grand Slam title.

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

I can't say if Olympics matter to tennis players or not, but I think we can all agree that in tennis winning an Olympic gold is not rated as highly as a Grand Slam title.

I'd say it probably depends on the player, if you had to choose wimbledon or the olympics you would choose wimbledon, however Federer's record would probably look better with 19 - 1 than 20 - 0.

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6 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

I'd say it probably depends on the player, if you had to choose wimbledon or the olympics you would choose wimbledon, however Federer's record would probably look better with 19 - 1 than 20 - 0.

Federer won Olympic gold in 2008 in doubles with Wawrinka, he has also won Silver Medal in 2012. So, it is not like he is totally unsuccessful at the Games.

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22 minutes ago, Risto said:

Federer won Olympic gold in 2008 in doubles with Wawrinka, he has also won Silver Medal in 2012. So, it is not like he is totally unsuccessful at the Games.

Doubles? I reckon most players would take one singles GS over 20 doubles GS.  

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19 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

Doubles? I reckon most players would take one singles GS over 20 doubles GS.  

Just like most players would take one GS over Olympic Gold. As for that particular medal, it is a great achievement, nonetheless. Especially for two players who normally don't play doubles. 

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19 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

I'd say it probably depends on the player, if you had to choose wimbledon or the olympics you would choose wimbledon, however Federer's record would probably look better with 19 - 1 than 20 - 0.

I'm not that sure. 20 is a nice, round number. ;) 

And I wasn't saying that Federer would or wouldn't accept swapping one of his 20 GS titles for 1 Olympic gold if he could. I have no idea what he'd choose. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like swapping prize money, though. ;) 

If you asked tennis players when they get their first ATP ranking if they would prefer winning GS or an Olympic gold, I'd hazard a guess that 100% of them (or close enough to make no difference) would pick winning a GS, and not for financial reasons only.

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