Author Topic: Why are tennis's biggest rivalries boring? This might shed some light on it.  (Read 888 times)

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Online Babblelot

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I know I never liked domination, be it Sampras's or Federer's. And it's become quite clear that many, if not most, of you who thought you liked domination, really don't after all.  :whistle:

So, which rivalries remained fresh after +20 meeting?

I thought I'd look at 17 of tennis's great rivalries and rank them based on their staying power.  (I included 3 exceptions: Borg-McEnroe only met 14 times, Sampras-Becker 19 times, and Safin-Hewitt 14.) Regardless of the overall record, rivalries featuring long winning streaks were downgraded. Each player included has won at least 1 slam and reached a career high ranking of at least #2 (Chang). For that reason, I left Federer-Nalbandian and others off the list.

Here's what I've got.

#1 Safin 7-7 Hewitt
Last 10: 5-5
Last 8: 4-4
Last 2: 1-1
Each player won consecutive matches just once.

#2 Wilander 11-9 Edberg
Last 10: 5-5
Last 2: 1-1

#3 Federer 14-10 Djokovic
Last 10: 5-5
Last 2: 1-1

#4 Courier 14-14 Chang
Last 10: 5-5
Last 2: 1-1

#5 Borg 7-7 McEnroe
Last 8: 4-4
Last 3: McEnroe 3-0

#6 Sampras 20-14 Agassi
Last 8: 4-4
Last 3: Sampras 3-0

#7 Lendl 11-10 Becker
Last 12: Becker 7-5
Last 3: Lendl 3-0

#8 Edberg 14-13 Lendl
Last 11: Edberg 8-3
Last 4: Edberg 4-0

#9 Sampras 12-7 Becker
Last 10: Sampras 7-3
Last 3: Sampras 3-0

#10 Nadal 18-10 Federer
Last 8: Nadal 5-3
Last 2: 1-1

------------------------------------- the "quality" of the rivalries, for the purpose of this ranking, drops of the cliff below the top 10

#11 Lendl 21-15 McEnroe
Last 14: Lendl 11-3
Last 6: Lendl 6-0

#12 Nadal 16-14 Djokovic
Last 10: Djokovic 10-2
Last 7: Djokovic 7-0

#13 Navratilova 43-37 Evert
Last 32: Navratilova 25-7 including 13 in a row
Last 15: Navratilova 10-5
Last 3: Navratilova 3-0

#14 McEnroe 20-14 Connors
Last 14: McEnroe 12-2 including 11 in a row

#15 Borg 15-8 Connors
Last 10: Borg 10-0

#16 Becker 25-10 Edberg
Last 8: Becker 8-0

#17 Lendl 22-13 Connors
Last 17: Lendl 17-0
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 01:04:13 PM by Babblelot »
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
http://www.gifsoup.com/view1/1857331/2004gaudio-o.gif

Offline monstertruck

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Holy Crap!
I don't know how you do it!

Personally, I disagree that the rivalries are boring.
Even when TMF faces Nadal I am interested to see what, if any tweaks either player brings to the match.  I don't buy into the concept that some matches are a foregone conclusion and can be 'predicted' even when the odds are slim.

Let me try again.
Even if the odds of a player beating a rival are slim, as a tennis fan, I can still find something interesting to watch within the match.  Who the eventual winner is has no impact my interest level.  I'd still be fully engaged if Fed and Raf were to meet in the semis or finals of RG.  Wouldn't you?  :confused1:
CONK da ball!!!

Online Babblelot

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Holy Crap!
I don't know how you do it!

Personally, I disagree that the rivalries are boring.
Even when TMF faces Nadal I am interested to see what, if any tweaks either player brings to the match.  I don't buy into the concept that some matches are a foregone conclusion and can be 'predicted' even when the odds are slim.

Let me try again.
Even if the odds of a player beating a rival are slim, as a tennis fan, I can still find something interesting to watch within the match.  Who the eventual winner is has no impact my interest level.  I'd still be fully engaged if Fed and Raf were to meet in the semis or finals of RG.  Wouldn't you?  :confused1:

I don't mind watching them play. I'd rather see them meet in the semis. We've seen a lot of finals. The stakes suddenly seem higher meeting in the semis. Reaching finals is the next thing that's rattled off. So and so was 14-4 in major finals. So and so reached 18 major finals. Reaching a final is a big damn deal. Stopping that person from reaching the final is a big damn deal. I've seen the Rafa-Federer final too many times. I'm really intrigued by the Rafa-Federer semi-final. Not reaching the final is added humility. The same was true when Soderling stopped both Rafa and Roger in 4R. The earlier loss added humility.

Yeah, bring on the semi.
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
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Offline monstertruck

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Agreed semis are huge and can be the highlight matches of a tourney.

Finals can be anti-climatic when either semi offers a more competitive match.  As you well know, it's all about the tennis for me, and if there's increased value thanks to the tension or pressure in a particular semi matchup as opposed to a final with a foregone conclusion, the semi gets my vote.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline Nole nš1

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Good topic.

Offline Start da Game

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one dimensionality makes anything boring.......those stats only reflect the top heavy nature of international tennis these days.......a top 20 player is just not expected to beat say nadal or djokovic or fed because that's how this sport has been transformed into over the last 10 years....... 

rivalries in the past had that surprise element because the top 3 back then say sampras, agassi, becker had their work cut out against any good player even outside top 20 because there were specialists and surfaces were different.......those types of things made tennis rivalries interesting......

i think it was paul haarhuis or someone who used to trouble pete quite often coming out of no where......korda was another one who gave him some trouble.......

anyhow we are speaking about top rivalries but even top rivalries have become such that it all basically comes down to who is in top condition at the moment......

i don't think nadal - djokovic is boring or bad......you sense the intensity is only increasing match by match even though the stats may show something......murray - djokovic has potential to become a big one as well......
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Online Babblelot

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OK, with Roger's win yesterday, I moved Nadal-Federer into the top ten. Not sure why I left them out of the rankings the first time around despite the lopsided H2H :paper bag: but they are a worthy top ten when measured by the 17 rivalries I've included.
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
http://www.gifsoup.com/view1/1857331/2004gaudio-o.gif

Offline Nole nš1

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OK, with Roger's win yesterday, I moved Nadal-Federer into the top ten. Not sure why I left them out of the rankings the first time around despite the lopsided H2H :paper bag: but they are a worthy top ten when measured by the 17 rivalries I've included.

You are right.

Offline FedFanForever

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Thing is even though Becker lead Edberg 25-10 in H2H, Edberg was 2-1 in Wimbledon finals. Sounds familiar, no?  :rofl_2: :rofl_2: :rofl_2:
Then we will fight in the shade.

Online Babblelot

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Thing is even though Becker lead Edberg 25-10 in H2H, Edberg was 2-1 in Wimbledon finals. Sounds familiar, no?  :rofl_2: :rofl_2: :rofl_2:

Sampras and Becker were more lopsided at Wimby.

Pete and Agassi were lopsided at USO and AO.

Nevertheless, these rivalries stand out in people's minds. So I've ranked them using the criteria above.
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
http://www.gifsoup.com/view1/1857331/2004gaudio-o.gif

Offline FedFanForever

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Fact is with Federer vs Nadal you really do you have to look at the rivalry in terms of surfaces. On clay, Roger is his utter turkey. Off clay it's a real rivalry.
Then we will fight in the shade.

Online Babblelot

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Fed now 6-5 on HC. That is easily overlooked what Rafa has been able to do on this surface. Miami will be huge.
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
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Offline Nole nš1

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Federer wins Nadal easy.

Offline DirtyKash

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HEY! You forgot about the Federer vs. Roddick rivalry!

Online Babblelot

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Lol. 7 years! Since Roger had beaten Rafa on outdoor HC  :rofl_2:

This rivalry is ridiculous no matter how you slice it.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 03:06:02 PM by Babblelot »
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
http://www.gifsoup.com/view1/1857331/2004gaudio-o.gif

Offline Nole nš1

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Lol. 7 years! Since Roger had beaten Rafa on outdoor HC  :rofl_2:

This rivalry is ridiculous no matter how you slice it.

I agree.

Offline Swish

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Lol. 7 years! Since Roger had beaten Rafa on outdoor HC  :rofl_2:

This rivalry is ridiculous no matter how you slice it.

I agree.

Fed has a way of taking what was taken, he's the best competitor in the game. Believe it:gleam:
 

Offline Swish

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Ah, I figured it out. You're cleaning those boards by dumping all the trolls you collect here.

Sort of a "hang out here little troll, we don't want you back" arrangement.

Sounds exactly like the swish I know.










This is not what the thread is about, post your imaginations somewhere else and respect the forum.
 
No use going around making accusations, there is no proof and posters don't want to read this.
 
Don't make problems where there are none, you're old enough to know that and I shouldn't have to tell you.
 
 
What else you got?

Offline Swish

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Swish, you really do most of your posting at TW and MTF? Good god, man, is there enough time in one day? Week? Month? Doesn't your family miss you?

At least you save your best material for us.  :hammer:






Nobody misses me or loves me.

Offline pawan89

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Swish, you really do most of your posting at TW and MTF? Good god, man, is there enough time in one day? Week? Month? Doesn't your family miss you?

At least you save your best material for us.  :hammer:

Nobody misses me or loves me.

Swish we love you.

And also, Bab, swish, monster, noleno1, Alex, and whoever else involved, with all due respect to each and every one of you and you know I respect you all lots, can we get over this recent episode of the blame game and immaturity sparked by an unforseen brazilian force, I have enough trouble going through the multiple threads, each of which has a few posts that is actually worth reading and don't need anymore of whatever else we have going on here to keep up with.

thanks :)  :king:


This is actually a very interesting thread and thanks to Bab for pulling the stats together. I personally don't believe the Fed vs. Nadal rivalry is the greatest or anything. The only reason it made the waves it did was because Nadal was the only one who could actually win matches off Fed to call it a rivalry. And then it got boring pretty soon when it was no longer that Nadal was the only one who can beat Fed, /Nadal always beat Fed, so it went from no rivalry to pointless rivalry and fast forwarded through the real-rivalry pretty much in a span of 2 months in 2006.