Brit Marcus Willis Upstages Roger Federer, Entire Men’s Field with Wild Wimbledon Win Monday
by Staff | June 27th, 2016, 9:48 pm

GOAT and seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer won on Monday at the All England Club, but he was overshadowed by the man who will be his second-round opponent — British qualifier Marcus Willis, ranked No. 772, who won a pre-qualifying tournament before making it through the qualifying event, then on Monday upset No. 54-ranked Ricardas Berankis at Wimbledon 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
“It’s gotten a little bit out of hand,” said the 25 year old from Slough, who was considering moving to America to teach tennis at a club before meeting his current girlfriend. “I’m enjoying it. Yeah, keep it rolling…I’ve been coaching at the Warwick Boat Club. I had options in Philadelphia. Nothing was dead set. But I met the girl, she told me not to, so I didn’t. I do what I’m told.”

Willis saved 19 of 20 break points and kept Berankis off balance with his big serving, unorthodox slices and strong net-rushing game.

The Brit on Wednesday will meet the No. 3-seeded Federer, who on Monday was not in top form, struggling to defeat Argentine Guido Pella 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3.

“Obviously it’s an amazing dream come true,” Willis said of facing Federer. “I get to play on a stadium court. This is what I dreamed of when I was younger. I’m going to go out there and try to win the tennis match. I probably won’t. I might not. But I’m going to give everything, as I have the last seven matches.”

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic also had an up-and-down performance, blowing out British claycourter James Ward in the opening set before logging a 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-4 win.

“Nine games in a row, 6-0, 3-0. I thought it was just a matter of time when James would win his first game,” Djokovic said. “I knew that the reaction of the crowd, and his own reaction, will be the way it was. As a home player, he enjoyed a lot of support today, especially when he won his first game. That’s when the energy kind of shifted on his side.”

Also into the second round among Top 10 players were N0. 5 seed Kei Nishikori taming the serve of Aussie Samuel Groth 6-4, 6-3, 7-5, No. 6 Milos Raonic serving off Spain’s Pablo Carreno 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4, and No. 9 Marin Cilic beating Brian Baker 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

Other seeded winners Monday were No. 11 David Goffin, No. 13 David Ferrer, No. 16 Gilles Simon beating Janko Tipsarevic from a set down, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic stopping Borna Coric in straights, No. 27 Jack Sock straight-setting Ernests Gulbis, No. 28 Sam Querrey outlasting Lukas Rosol 12-10 in the fifth, and No. 30 Alexandr Dolgopolov.

There were four upset-makers on Monday as France’s Jeremy Chardy beat No. 17 seed and compatriot Gael Monfils in five 6-7(4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and Pierre-Hugues Herbert ousted No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin surprised No. 20 Kevin Anderson in five 4-6, 6-7(13), 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-3; and Russian Andrey Kuznetsov upset No. 29 Pablo Cuevas in five 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Notable unseeded winners were French grass cultivator Nicolas Mahut who will next face No. 13 Ferrer, American Steve Johnson who will next meet Chardy, and Grigor Dimitrov who will square off against No. 16 Simon.

Unfinished on Monday was Santiago Giraldo and Gilles Muller tied at 11-11 in the fifth set when the match was called for darkness.

Matches to look for on Tuesday at the All England Club include (2) Andy Murray vs. Liam Broady in an all-Brit, (4) Stan Wawrinka vs. Taylor Fritz, (15) Nick Kyrgios vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (19) Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic vs. Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, and (18) John Isner vs. Marcos Baghdatis.

1. Serena Williams (USA) [1] v Amra Sadikovic (SUI)
2. Liam Broady (GBR) v Andy Murray (GBR) [2]
3. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [13]

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Taylor Fritz (USA) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [4]
2. Monica Puig (PUR) v Johanna Konta (GBR) [16]
3. Petra Kvitova (CZE) [10] v Sorana Cirstea (ROU)

NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
1. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [15] v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
2. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v Bernard Tomic (AUS) [19]
3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [3] v Kateryna Kozlova (UKR)
4. Heather Watson (GBR) v Annika Beck (GER)

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131 Comments for Brit Marcus Willis Upstages Roger Federer, Entire Men’s Field with Wild Wimbledon Win Monday

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyone see the DelPo match? Never heard of his opponent but he’s top 100 and had some Slam match wins, so sounds on paper like a meaningful blowout.

Man, I hope he beats Wawrinka. And I like Wawrinka, but how great would it be to see Del Potro as a top ten threat again?

RZ Says:

Such a great story about Marcus Willis. Can’t imagine him winning his next round match but he just made the most money of his career and has a great story and memory for a lifetime.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

RZ, it will only get better for him. Even if he loses, he can say he played the greatest player of all time in front of a packed stadium at Wimbledon. It will be a family legend.

chrisford1 Says:

Perhaps the greatest player of all time, TV. Maybe only perhaps. Time will tell. Opinions differ.

Travis Bickle Says:

Greatest player of all time?

Keep dreaming Tennis Vagabond ;-)
An alarm clock named Novak is about to wake you up … beep, beep, beep …

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Yes, everything is debatable. That doesn’t mean you need to debate it every time.

I’m merely pointing out that a nice story gets even better. If you prefer Marcus tell it his grandchildren with just the name Roger Federer and no honorific, it will still be a great story for him.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyway, if I were Marcus and I were telling the story, I would definitely up the excitement by calling him GOAT… even if it were only Novak he was playing!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I kid, I kid.

James Says:

If Delpo is indeed fit again, I wouldn’t count him out against anyone. He has both the game and the temperament to blow anyone off the court.

And he’s no slouch on grass – remember the last olympic semi final against Federer, with Fed winning 19-17 in the third set, 4.5 hour match? It was Delpo across the court. That pretty much sealed the win for Murray. Same way in 2013 wimbledon, Delpo sapped Djokovic in a long 5-setter in the semi (that pretty much sealed the Murray win at Wimbledon).

And slice works better on grass than any other surface, so he doesn’t have to hit two-handed backhands all the time, which have been the aggravating factor for his left wrist.

I am all for Delpo beating Wawa on thursday!

Travis Bickle Says:

You kid well, kiddo!

It was actually a smart joke!
TV, you actually remind me of a white rhino…

A white rhino and a Federer fan with sense of humor – there are about 10 of each left in the world!

SG1 Says:

Rarely root against Wawa but sure hope that Del Po can make a run. How great a story would it be see him in the 2nd week! I do worry about the lower skidding bounces and how these shots will affect his wrist. You can only slice so much.

Giles Says:

TB. Lol. You do know that even if your joker surpasses fed’s slam count and other minor feats he will never be acknowledged as the GOAT. Why? Cos he’s not loved. Truth!
Anyway, how are you doing? Is the insomnia and depression any better? 😀

SG1 Says:

You definitely need to have sense of humor to be a Murray fan these days. He repeatedly comes tantalizingly close to winning big tournaments and teases you with what he can do…then he can’t close the deal.

Good thing he and his fans are Brits. Some of the funniest folks on earth. Now if they could only get some perspective on soccer….

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Travis, you made me with laugh out loud with that.

Daniel Says:

As of now, Fed still GOAT so TV is right.

Willis can say the sentence as TV wrotr tomorrow. In a few tears time maybe not, have to rephrase it.

Agree about DePo and slices, he avrually develop a good sloce due to his wrist misfortune and his serve and flat strokes are very effective on grass. Wawa OTOH lost a set (tiebreak).

Don’t expect great runs for him neither Berdy this Wimby. Hopomg DelPo wins, he needa some rankings asap, nect tear he won’t have protected rabkings anymore sk he better get back to top 30 to enter main draws directly.

BBB Says:

I didn’t realize GOAT was also a popularity contest. Fun to watch the goal posts move. Sign of nervousness that 17 isn’t unattainable?

Daniel, Fed is GOAT to those who believe majors (and popularity) are the only criteria. But as has been discussed many times, there are no fixed criteria and thus GOAT is a matter of opinion, not science.

Daniel Says:


Fed is GOAT on major, number 1 records and tital titles and figuring in top 3 in all major achievements list of important criterias.

Plus the consistency records and longevity recorda only shared by Connors so far.

The aesthix effect and popularity is a bonus or side effect of all the above.

Until somebody gets close to all his main records (which Djoko is the only one who can challenge him in all fronts) he still is right there.

The only ones who don’t think he is are the weak era lobbists and HxH with Nadal types.

Maybe by this time next year it will be Djoko already as he could vert well be in top 3: Slam count, #1 weeks, #1 year end; top 5 total titles, plus the consistency records similar to Fed.

But he has to reach there first. Things can change pretty fast.

BBB Says:

You’re welcome to that opinion, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s an opinion. People tend to decide who’s GOAT and then justify it by correlating it to categories where their preferred GOAT dominates.

Daniel Says:

Its not an opinion, more a general consensus nased on the majority of achievements and lavk of gaps holes.

Comparing him to all other past and present players he is the more acomplished in all fronts and with less “agaisnt”.

The numbers back him up.

Opinion is “weak era” argument, which is subjective and considering a HxH versus one particular player (who many have an “opinion” that it is a match up issue) as the rule of thumb.

Baa Says:

It’s funny in a sad way.
Players outside top 750 today can beat a top 70 player
but fedal fanatics claim that no one plays dazzlingly & very well except Novak. Even 34 year old Roddick can beat Marcus & sub top 200 guys now.
Of course, Fed fanboys like to avoid this truth.

There’s no need to lobby for weak era theories,
when 2002-2006 was the
most sickening time in history.

Sore loser bullies & horrible chokers
were running rampant during that era.
Clowns like Roddick, Baghdatis and Blake were top 10 when
BalletFed struggled badly vs. them.
He even lost to Baghdatis & Blake at the Olympics (the one that double faulted away Slam 2nd rounds and had illnesses & a curved spine).
No way in hell that Fed is the best or most beautiful player.
I bet even 28 year old Sampras, Rafter, Laver & Pancho could
annihilate 20-28 year old Fed with their net game & speed around the court.

Daniel Says:

For example, some have an opinion that Djoko is the GOAT now due to his resulta in last 20 months. He doesn’t habe all the numbers to back him up still, but some are of the opinion that hos ltest results and dominations mater more.

If he stands this recent dominatiom to a few more years than there will be no arguing because it will not be just a small sa but a very significant amount of time at the top.

As I said, things can change pretty fast and Nadal is the living example of that. Last Slam won at 28 and 4 days. So far no longevity record and hos consistency at the top lasted as well as Federer: 10 year but Federer was more acomplished. At least he will alwasy have the HxH. The year is still not over yet and as much as I am 95% sire Djoko still wins 1 more major and keep dominating, there is a possiiblity Murray could win this Wimby and maybe even USO. Suddenly the year can change in a spam of 4 tourneys.

Hard to imagine but possible. Or Fed somegow steal this Wimby and the whole debate will become a loop.

BBB Says:

No, it’s not a consensus. It may be a widely held view, but it’s not a consensus, which by definition requires everyone to agree. Not even Laver agrees with you.

I truly cannot fathom why people are so insistent that there is only one way to look at this.

chrisford1 Says:

Daniel, keep in mind that opinion may shift as it has in other long-lived sports to conclude there is no possible way to determine a GOAT after 50, 100 years pass between the athletes then and the ones now
We may only be able to compare within an era, or a time when careers of two compared overlap by 5 years or less. Even then, you have different peaks and different levels of difficulty in the competition.
And just like with a job candidate – you sometimes find one is “more decorated with qual certs and awards” than another candidate, that is less decorated but we determine is the better candidate for the job.

It could be in this era that with the passing of sufficient time that Fed is the most decorated and highest paid, Novak is the best overall, Rafa was the toughest player Tour members said they faced, and Andy was just about as good as the other 3 and far better than any other in his era in career success.

Travis Bickle Says:

Just your opinions man, nothing else. Believe in your idol Fed and his “religious experience”, but don’t push your opinions as facts…

Only when Djoker wins 18 majors IN A ROW folks like you will accept him as a GOAT, i.e. probably never.

BTW, have you ever watched Olympic diving sport? If not, they have something called “degree of difficulty” in their point calculation – so if you get all 10s from judges but your dive had low degree of difficulty, you will lose against a guy who received 8s from judges but had much higher degree of difficulty for his dive.
Why am I mentioning this? Well, Federer’s “degree of difficulty” in his 17 slams could be reflected by the average ranking of his final opponents, which is around 10 or so. Djoker won 11 of his 12 majors beating Federer/Nadal/Murray in finals, and his “degree of difficulty” derived from the average final opponent ranking is around 2-3! So based on this (and these average rankings are facts not my personal opinions), Djoker’s 12 majors is better than Fed’s 17.
I am just showing you this to demonstrate that we can always use selected set of facts to support our opinions – add to this another fact: Federer NEVER has been able to achieve Grand Slam (4 majors in a row) and Djoker has! And another fact: Federer has negative H2H against BOTH of his 2 main rivals playing more than 40 matches with each (i.e. no fluke) – on the other hand Djoker has positive H2H against BOTH of his 2 main rivals playing more than 40 matches with each (i.e. also no fluke)…

Based on all this, and not even counting future upside, I believe Novak Djokovic is already best tennis player that has ever played the game, but unlike you I am considering it just my opinion.

That is difference between Djoker side and Federer side – Djoker went quietly about his own business and surpassed Federer and his legacy. Federer, after realizing threat from Djoker long time ago, reacted like a sore loser he always was and called Novak “a joke”. Federer fans, including media followed his lead…
However, we can see clearly now who won and who lost in that game and who is that “joke” on ;-)

Daniel Says:


To me It’s pretty easy to have “only one way” of looking at it due to the sheer numbers Fed acumulated.

If in two years time Djoko has 17-18 Slam, the total numbers weeks at #1, record Year end #1 tied with Smapras, record Masters, and so on (potential Olumpic Gold, Maters sweep, doible career Slam, The Grand Slam this year), the consecutive Slams records (finals, semis, QF,) and so on and on wouldn’t it be easy to say the same?!

Daniel Says:


I said thay Djoko doesn’t even need to tue or surpass 17 for me. If he wins Cincy, Olympics, next Tear RG, USO this year and another Slam to have 15 and be the undisputed second in Slamvount he will have the most complete career ever. He will habe defended at least once all Slams, mininum 2 in all Slams and the #1 recorda will follow he will be top 3 in all major categories with the compete body of work.

Right now is possibility henceI will, as an empiric person, support Fed’s claim.

J-Kath Says:

Gosh …it is so arrogant to assume to know how X beat Y simply because of rain, tiredness, having to face another tough guy prior to the contest. Match having to run over 2 days otherwise X would have beat Y or vis-a-versa. Asterisk after asterisk. State facts – everybody can say if this hadn’t happened etc. etc.

Daniel Says:

It will just be better for Djoko’s claim to at least tie 17 so there is no way anybody will deny him.

This season I want him to get the Gold and Cincy. Closimg Career Slam (the 4 in a row), Getting ailympics and comoeting the Master Sweep would be epic. Than he will just play for records and have nothing left to achieve.

Daniel Says:

Another way at looking at it. In tennis there is several stan alone achievements that so far obly one players has it.

Djoko won 4 in a row but Laver had already done it.

For example Nadal won consecutive Slams for 10 staright years and has the 9 Garros. Umprecedent and he stands alone. Something probably will never be repeated.

Federer has 3 years winning 3 majors per year. Something Djoko can tie this year but so far in all tennis history only Federer was able to do.

Laver was the only one to win 4 in the same year, somegting Djoko can do.

Sanpras won Slams in a spam of 13 years, something Fed can do if he wins 1 more.

Djoko may have a chance to have the record AO wins in a few years time.

Baa Says:

Baghdatis & Roddick aren’t top 200 baseline players
of all time. They got outmuscled by old Sampras or Agassi.
Baggydduck played excruciatingly cringeworthy matches.
Lmao It was joke how they were praised profusely just because
they played each other & choked to Fed at Slams.
Baghdatis threw away the 7-5 3-0* lead in 2006 Aussie Open.
Roddick lost even in his fake davis cup safe haven because
He couldn’t compete with all weak era top 10 players.
He failed vs. sub 100 players.
He worshipped the so-called GOAT & choked in a forgettable last Wimbledon hurrah.

Roddick bragged that he had better Slams than Robredo & Wawrinka
but Robredo beat Fed at the U.S. Open and Wawrinka slapped down Roddick & played entertaining tight matches with Fedalvicray.
You don’t see a top 4 Wawrinka losing 5 straight matches
& 1st round/2nd round all year as Baghdatis, Blake & Roddick did.
Weak era /002-2006 was pathetic, to say the least.

ABerg Says:

Djokovic was at the net for 19% of the point. Federer 20%, Murray 12%.
One match does not constitute a trend, but based on the single data point Djokovic is working on transition.

Tennisfan Says:

Get a life people. Why does every thread have to turn into a GOAT debate. As for the article, good on Willis, it would be a great experience regardless of the outcome. Disappointing that Monfils is already out.

James Says:

At 29 years of age, Djokovic doesn’t have to deal with a younger Nadal or a younger djokovic.

Ya, that’s repetition, but so are all the “GOAT” comments here. And ya, its a fact, much as many people here don’t like to admit.

You don’t need this advantage when you are 24/25/26. But you do need it when you are 28/29/30 or older. You can do the math as to which players in history had this advantage and who didn’t.

Oh wait, Djokovic seems to be the only one to have that advantage!!

skeezer Says:

“ever watched Olympic diving sport? If not, they have something called “degree of difficulty”

Tennis is not Diving. Lol.

Matthew Harris Says:

Djokovic is my favorite active player but Federer is the GOAT. However, Djokovic is moving rapidly toward the penthouse.

I don’t think the GOAT should necessarily be determined simply by counting majors, but that’s obviously a key consideration.

Is Djokovic on the most dominant run in Open Era history? I’m not sure. He is the first man to win 4 straight Slams since 1969. Does that mean he’s been more dominant than Federer at his peak? I suppose it depends on how you want to measure dominance.

The most amazing aspect of Federer’s career isn’t his 17 Slams, it’s making 10 straight Slam finals followed immediately by another 8 in a row. 18 finals in 19 Slams.

IMHO, that’s the most incredible stat in the history of men’s tennis. Djokovic is the second-most consistently great player in the history of the men’s game, and he’s made 18 of the last 23 finals.

Djokovic’s peak has arguably been higher than Federer’s since he won 4 straight. But Federer won 6 of 7 Slams. Currently Djokovic has won 6 of 8.

So Djokovic has had the greatest 4 Slam run of all time. But for any stretch of 5 or more consecutive Slams, Federer’s best tops Djoker’s. In Fed’s best 10-Slam stretch he made 10 straight finals, winning 8. In Djoker’s best 10-Slam stretch he made 8 finals, winning 6. Fed’s best 20-Slam stretch – 18 finals, 2 semis, 12 titles. Djoker’s – 16 finals, 3 semis, 10 titles.

Of course, Djoker’s best stretch is happening right now, so he’s got a great chance to move closer to Fed. After the US Open I think we can take stock once more. If he wins there and at Wimbledon, he’d have 6 straight Slams and the Holy Grail.

Even if does win the next two, that would leave him with 9 finals in his last 10 Slams, with 8 titles. That would tie him with Federer for the most titles in 10 consecutive Slams, but still leave him one short of Federer’s record of 10 finals in 10 Slams. It would also give him 8 consecutive Slam finals, leaving him 2 behind Federer’s record of 10 straight, and putting him in a tie for second place with … Roger Federer, who ripped off another 8 in a row immediately after his streak of 10 straight was broken.

It’s amazing when you think about it. If Djokovic wins the next 2, his best 10-Slam stretch would still not surpass Federer’s.

As I mentioned above, Djoker’s my main man. I started pulling for him around 2007, basically looking for an underdog that might end or at least weaken Federer’s and Nadal’s hegemony. I do hope Djokovic becomes the GOAT. He’s getting closer but even as a Djoker fan, I have to give Federer the credit he’s earned.

There is one interesting point about Federer’s domination. Some critics have argued that he won a lot of his Slams against a field that was relatively weak. There is some truth to this criticism.

Whether Player A or Player B faced better competition is an interesting question. It’s also tough to answer. Neither vague statements about whether Player A was in his prime when he lost to Player B, nor lists of the great players a particular player faced add much to the discussion.

All athletes face an aging and injury curve. Their performances levels change over time. Rankings can help us assess how a player performed relative to the rest of the field at a given time. However, since they are relative, they don’t tell us much about the strength of the field itself.

I think the best we can do is to use the seeding to determine whether a player’s opponents were among the best in the world at the time of the match.

By this measure, Djokovic and Nadal defeated better players in their Slam finals than Federer did. The average seed of the players Federer defeated in his GS finals wins is 5.423. Nadal’s is 2.114 and Djokovic’s is 2.118.

I determined this by computing the geometric mean of the seeds of their opponents. Note that when Fed, Rafa or Djoker were seeded higher than their opponent, I subtracted 1 from their opponent’s seed. I did this to ensure he wasn’t penalized for being seeded higher than his opponent. For instance, suppose a player is seeded #1. The highest seed he could possibly face in the finals is #2. If the #1 seed faced the #2 seed in all of his GS finals, the average seed of his opponents would obviously be #2. Vice-versa, if the #2 seed faced the #1 seed in all his GS finals, the average seed of his opponents would be #1. However, it would be absurd to claim that the #2 player faced tougher opponents in his finals than the #1 player did. In both cases, they would have faced the highest-seeded opponents possible given their own seeding.

Another question is how to deal with unseeded opponents. Federer faced 3 unseeded opponents in his Slam finals wins. Rafa and Djoker each faced only 1. To address this, I assigned an unseeded opponent the #32 seed in my calculations. I also computed these averages using the geometric mean rather than the more common arithmetic mean. The advantage of the geometric mean is that it minimizes the affect of extreme values. To see this advantage at work, consider the following example. The arithmetic mean of 1, 1, 1, 1, 32 is 7.2. The arithmetic mean of 3, 3, 3, 3, 24 is also 7.2. Those two sets have the same average even though 4 of the 5 numbers in the first set are lower than those in the second set. However, the geometric mean (calculated by taking the 5th root of the product 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 * 32) of the first set is 2, but the geometric mean of the second set is 4.547. The geometric mean essentially gives outliers less weight.

Incidentally, if you leave out the unseeded players entirely, Fed’s geometric mean comes to 3.60, Rafa’s to 1.685, and Djokovic’s 1.614.

Travis Bickle Says:

Skeezer, it was for Daniel.
I wouldn’t expect you to understand the parable between tennis and diving regarding degree of difficulty… That stuff is too complex for you.
Appreciate you reading it though – one day you may even understand it ;-)

skeezer Says:

Completely 2 different sports and rules. No comparisan. There is no degree of difficulty in Tennis, you play an opponet, not against some judges with cards.

BBB Says:

If it’s so inarguably clear Daniel, why do you have post after post explaining it?

Travis Bickle Says:


You are missing the point, again.

Of course tennis has no judges with cards. However, Daniel was not arguing about an outcome of a tennis match – he was deciding on a GOAT. If you didn’t get it by now, you could see that deciding on a GOAT is judging (with or without cards) and that is where comparison with judged sports and degrees of difficulty come in.

So to make it easy for you:

Tennis – no judging, outcome clearly decided
Diving – judged sport, outcome depends on degree of difficulty
GOAT debate – judged, outcome not clearly decided, and therefore depends on many factors including the degree of difficulty.

So, GOAT debate is more similar to diving than tennis – I hope you get it now ;-)

skeezer Says:

No, I don’t.
Let me explain it to you more clearly.
You cannot compare the 2 sports. They are not comparable. Thus, your summation attempt of reasoning a GOAT(in tennis)fails.

Wog Boy Says:

Poor skeezer, from once “knowledgeable” fan (who plays tennis:),these days he became just another sad poster trolling Nole fans aka Giles…but wait, he was doing the same to Rafa fans when Rafa was on the roll, only one possible conclusion…fedfanatic, the leader of the cult on TX.

Vami Says:

I had to laugh but felt uneasy at the same time like you were making jokes about disabled people; that how stupid the guy is. It reminded me about John Oliver’s rant on Brexit and p*g %^&$ David Cameron leaving the office. “It’s like catching an ice cone in the air after a child has been hit by a car. I’ll eat it, but it’s tainted somehow”.
Watch the whole thing (if not already), it gets better as it goes.

skeezer Says:

@Matthew Harris,
Great post and well thought out.
“It’s amazing when you think about it. If Djokovic wins the next 2, his best 10-Slam stretch would still not surpass Federer’s.”
Appreciate you mentioning this, no one from the Church of Novak wants to point out Feds mass of feats, only the ones that count for there fanaticism. Kudos to you , and best of luck to your fav in creating his own record book in the future.

BBB Says:

It’s interesting that making finals is apparently such a plus when it’s Federer, and such a negative when it’s Murray.

Wog Boy Says:


I had to lough, Matthew Harris might be a Nole fan, though not quite sure about that reading such elaborated post about only one thing and that is making GS finals, well…Lendl was best in it, where do we put him here? He mast be the GOAT, or very close to it, just my opinion since the GOAT is only an opinion until ITF/ATP makes rule book for “the goat” and officially declares one, but that won’t happen..we all know why,no?

Travis Bickle Says:


I’ve watched that John Oliver’s segment already – I generally try to catch his every episode. The funniest guy on TV, in my opinion!

You’re right about skeezer. However, I try to explain things to him in as simple terms as possible – different folks have different levels of comprehension.

What I also love is when these new Djoker fans show up (Matthew Harris) and tell us how much Federer is better. A Djoker fan who never posted here before decides to post and tell us that Djoker could win next 2 majors and STILL will not surpass Federer!!! That is how true Djoker fans talk and not like us pretenders…

Even Rod Laver said before Roland Garros this year that when it comes to greatness, Djokovic is equal to Federer:

Even skeezer could conclude what Laver thinks after Djoker captured FO and Grand Slam (4 majors in a row). But what Laver knows about tennis and greatness – we have objective true “Novak fans” like Mr. Harris above and “tennis lovers” like Daniel and skeezer to prove good old Rod Laver how little he knows about tennis and how great his pro-Djokovic bias is!

Daniel Says:


Regarding finals, context!, MH used runs of finals and finals won for both Fed and Djoko, Murray doesn’t have a run of finals won, except 2 out of 3 from USO 2012 to Wimby 2013, not representative in the level of Fedovic.

Wog Boy Says:

On the other note, Wimbledon grass already shows signs of wear and tear after onle two days of playing, particularly around base line, if it keeps wearing at that speed we might end up with CC tournament in the second week..

Daniel Says:


Thanks for the compliment, I am much more a “tennis lover” than you, blind Djoko shiite fanatic.

Let’s see if you’ll be here when Djoko retires, I will.

Wog Boy Says:

You obviously no no nothing about Islam and Sunnis and Shiites, exept what you saw on TV, otherwise you wouldn’t post such nonsense. That is far more complex and complicated than tennis and above your level of comprehension, you just insulted more than 100 million people and their religious beliefs. For your information, ISIS are Sunnis and they are killing Shiites indiscriminately, they hate them more than any others religion, now you know and try to educate yourself more about the matter you are talking.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ should say “know” not “no no”

BBB Says:

Yes, context. Everything Federer does is proof he’s GOAT, everything other people do is proof Federer’s GOAT.

Travis Bickle Says:


I must admit what your phrase “blind Djoko shiite fanatic” means and it could be due to your lack of English language skills, but I can assure Djoker fans do not belong to shiite Muslims, nor do Djoker fans see him as “religious experience” or “shhh genius at work”. That level of lunacy and worship is known characteristic of Fed fans.

As far as tennis love goes, you are Federer worshiper first and tennis lover distant second, that much is clear from your posting history here. Just today you used numerous post (as BBB noticed) to try to convince yourself (not us) that your idol is the GOAT.

And then when I linked Rod Laver’s opinion that destroys your weak theory and clearly indicates that Djoker has already left Federer in his rear mirror when it comes to greatness, you stopped debating and started talking about shiite religion…

Debate tennis you “tennis lover” if you can and feel free to refute Laver’s assertions and don’t worry about Djoker fans. Like your idol said when he lost at USO 2011 “it’s a lucky shot” or in 2006 about a young and upcoming teenager (Novak) “the guy is a joke”…

Federer is a has-been reduced now to losing regularly from mediocre players (new Hewitt in the making), his worshipers are a sad, miserable and bitter bunch left to cheer for anyone playing Djoker and diminishing Djoker’s achievements. It sucks to be Fed fan these days. But please don’t be bitter about it – it is just tennis it’s not religion. I know, I know, it’s hard for you guys to adjust but it is inevitable – there is someone who is even better than your god, shiite, christian or whatever… ;-)

As far as will I be here when Djoker retires, who cares – since he is already the greatest ever, everything after him will be less spectacular. One thing is for sure – folks like yourself win’t have a guy to cheer against.

skeezer Says:

Yawn. Propoganda maximus deluxe.

chrisford1 Says:

Matthew Harris – the glaring flaw in your analysis is it is 100% based on stats from just 4 of the 19-23 tournaments a typical player enters in a year. Under 1/4th of the events the average player is in the draws for. For many, under a 5th…

The Slams are also not a majority of the points and money dished out – balanced against Masters, ATP 500, 250s, the YEC, Davis Cup and money and (not this year) points from the Olympics.

You cannot evaluate performance if you deliberately exclude most events a player is competing at.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Huh. I ruined the entire thread just by mentioning it would a nice experience for Willis.

Can’t someone just save a link to this so we never have to go though this again? It’s like a comedy sketch. Mention the secret phrase (“GOAT”), and everyone goes back to the beginning of an argument they’ve just finished. Like sex, when everyone just goes through the mechanical motions of the same positions over and over, well, I won’t be going back to that tupperware party again!

Tennis-X should post two of every blog post: one version can be taken up by twisting it into a GOAT argument, and the other can discuss the actual news.

Daniel Says:


Sorry,I don’t read to the end your posts nor CF1 anymore, start reading first lines and then realize is exactly the same thing and move on, I just responded to you specficially because you mention me in the first line of your post at 3:53 about what I was exchanging with BBB. It’s not worthy the energy.
Peace out!

Jun Says:

TV, it’s not so bad. Thanks for unintentionally starting this latest debate. I enjoy reading fed fans trying really really hard. It’s getting untenable for them. It’s idolatry in its purest form. Goodie!

Markus Says:

17 > 12

Matthew Harris Says:

Travis Bickle – I guess you must think I’m a shill Federer fan posing as a Djokovic fan to make my praise of Federer appear more objective. I’m definitely not a Fed fan.

Can you make a case for Djoker. Sure. I hope he keeps winning and his case keeps getting stronger. Right now I would rank him as the 2nd greatest player of the Open Era, ahead of Nadal and Sampras. 4 straight Slams is the greatest accomplishment in the Open Era and probably gives him the highest peak of all time. I certainly don’t think I know more about tennis than Laver and I’m not arguing that Laver is wrong. I think it’s cool that Laver says Djoker’s the man.

The biggest advantage for Djokovic is probably his 4 consecutive Slam titles. It is also true that Djokovic has beaten considerably better opponents in Slam finals than Federer has, lending some validity to the argument that he feasted on weaklings. So perhaps the lesser competition he faced in his best years takes a little shine off of Federer’s performance in the Slams, which taken alone are staggering. I thought it was very ironic when David Long, a writer for the New Zealand publication “Stuff,” wrote that Djokovic could never be the GOAT because he beat much weaker players than Federer. I tried on several occasions to post a comment discussing my analysis of their opponents in Slam finals, but their moderator wouldn’t approve it, even though it contained no subjective statements or conclusions, just a run-down of the numbers and my methodology.

Regardless, Federer comes out ahead by pretty much every other measure. More Slam titles. More Slam finals. More Slam semis. More consecutive Slam finals (streaks of 10 and 8 for Fed, 6 and 4 for Djok). More consecutive Slam semis (23 for Fed, 14 for Djok). Championships at the ATP World Tour Finals (6 Fed, 5 Djok). Djokovic has won 4 straight, which no one else has done. Weeks ranked #1 in the world (302 for Fed, 205 for Djok). Consecutive weeks at #1 (237 for Fed, 104 for Djok). It does appear to me that Djokovic has enough ranking points to be guaranteed to remain #1 in the world through the end of the year even if he loses every match he plays for the rest of the year. So we can go ahead credit him with his 5th year-end #1 ranking, which ties him with Fed and Connors for second all time.

I honestly do think Djokovic is the greatest all-around player in the Open Era. The most complete player. No weaknesses, really. The worst elements of his game are probably the “best” worst elements any champion has had.

If Djokovic wins Wimbledon and the US Open, I think his GOAT case becomes very strong, notwithstanding the fact that I noted in my previous comment that completing the Quest for the Holy Grail would still leave Djokovic’s best 10-Slam and 20-Slam stretches a hair lower than Federer’s, and that Federer would still have the edge in career Slams and finals as well.

If Djoker pulls that off, the GOAT assessors will really have something to talk about. I am confident that he CAN, but winning a Slam is not easy, and winning two straight is tougher still. A lot of the recent articles assessing the totality of Djokovic’s career read almost as if he already has the Calendar Slam in the bag. No doubt Djokovic will be favored to win every Slam until time and/or injury slow him or another player establishes that he can challenge him consistently. But I have to think the odds of him winning the Calendar Slam are maybe 50-50 right now. If his odds of winning Wimbledon and the US Open each stand at 70%, he’s got roughly a 50-50 shot to pull it off. I think that’s a fair assessment.

Skeezer Says:

I also enjoy reading Church of Novak fans trying TOO hard. It’s getting untenable for them.
The jealosy card is so obvious. Trust me, Fed fans are not threatened, why should they be? Lol…..Feds all time numerous volumes of records speak for themselves.
Ka ching.

Matthew Harris Says:

Chrisford1 – I don’t think there is a flaw in my analysis. My analysis was limited to the Slams, that’s all. I never claimed it was a comprehensive analysis of anything, suggested that the Slams were all that mattered, or discussed the factors I think should be considered and how I would weight them.

Whether or not most people place as much significance on other events as they should , I think most people assess a player’s legacy primarily on his performance in the Slams, and largely rely on rankings, performance in other tournaments, or various other measures to make fine distinctions between players with similar Slam resumes.

Travis Bickle Says:

Matthew Harris,

Yes, based on your very first post on Tennis X, I do think you’re a shill Federer fan posing as a Djokovic fan to make your praise of Federer appear more objective. However, since you are claiming otherwise, I give you benefit of the doubt and won’t insist on my initial assessment.

I have to admit, I find some of your statements extremely Federer-biased to the level surpassing even greatest Fed fanatics. The glaring example is your statement:
“If Djokovic wins Wimbledon and the US Open, I think his GOAT case becomes very strong”

Even the most delusional Fed worshipers, and I’ve seen a fair share of those think that if Djoker would to win Wimbledon and USO this year (making it Calendar Year Grand Slam and also six majors in a row) there would be no debate who the greatest ever is – end of story, case closed forever, etc…
However, you a self-proclaimed Djoker fan think it would only make his GOAT case stronger (duh) but would still leave him short due to his inferior record in 10 and 20-slam final stretches.

As a fellow Djoker fan, I can only tell you that I find your arguments and reasoning very odd and strangely pro-Federer, especially for a non-Fed fan, but that is definitely your prerogative.

I personally align with Rod Laver’s point of view (I attached link in my earlier post above) which is as follows: Before 2016 FO Djokovic and Federer were equal in terms of greatest of all time. After Djoker won FO and, by that, the Grand Slam of 4 majors in a row, the GOAT match in both my eyes and Laver’s eyes is finished – game, set and match Novak Djokovic!

Margot Says:

Some have us have asked for a “Film” thread on tx, so we don’t bore everyone else to pieces.
By the same token a “GOATY” thread would be mighty fine.
Lovely for Willis to have his moment in the sun BTW and everything crossed for him to make even further progress.

jane Says:

sex, white rhinos, goats and tupperware? what is this place coming to! ; )

AndyMira Says:

@Jane..ha ha ha,my thoughts exactly!Hope there’s no invitation to go to tupperware party somewhere!

Van Persie Says:


You are not very coherent:

“Yawn. Propoganda maximus deluxe.” at 10:05 PM, 28 June

“I also enjoy reading Church of Novak fans trying TOO hard. It’s getting untenable for them.” at 12:48 a.m., 29 June

Willow Says:

Tennis Vagabond lol, now that is funny ;-)) ….

Giles Says:

Aren’t you all forgetting that joker has to catch Rafa’s 14 before he can catch fed’s 17???
Anything can happen. Joker might stand still with his 12. And then??? Egg on your faces, no?

Ronn Says:

Agreed, Travis. Fedatics are more like cult followers than real tennis fans. There exactly the same kind of people who followed Charles Manson, lol…

Jun Says:

“Fed fans are not threatened ”

Thanks for Exhibit A.

It’s difficult, isn’t it? I feel your pain. I really do.

skeezer Says:

Read 12:01 post. Firing off that.

Seriously, who doesn’t have 17 Slams? You know who.
There is no pain, only joy of all these years watching the most talented player ever.
Threats? Lol…Rafa was suppose to be a threat to Feds records…look whats happened so far.
Seriously, one day these records maybe broken, but in the meantime we get the “woulda shoulda coulda” by the Church of Novak every other post. Yawn. Fed will remain relevant in history and one of the greatest and respected players to have ever played the game. Too much yappin by the Church, not enough just enjoying the ride of Nole.

BBB Says:

“Fed will remain relevant in history and one of the greatest and respected players to have ever played the game.”

This is true. To TV’s point, why can’t we leave it at that?

Jun Says:

Quality over Quantity, anytime. Just ask Mr. Rod Laver.

12 high-quality definitely beats 17 lesser-quality.

Oh, 4 in a row of the highest quality! Case closed!

Wog Boy Says:

More and more people are joining Mr Laver, as VP posted in her link Dare Cahill considers Nole best ever, but what would they know about tennis anyway..

Daniel Says:


Read my line again, I didn’t insulted all Muslim, just the shiite radical fanatic, which are minirity and not Sunis and fiiring for my anology to the particular poster who I think is radical fanatic fan

You don’t know me neither “my level of comprehension”. This is a tennis blog and I won’t be measuring my education level, My IQ nor co#%* size in here.

Margot Says:

Christianity and Islam -so much in common including originating in the same place. Extraordinary really.
Am atheist, have absolutely no axe to grind.

Markus Says:

“12 high-quality definitely beats 17 lesser-quality”

…yeah…like mostly over an old Roger and a very injured Rafa and whole bunch of underachieving competition.

when 17 = 17, we can talk again.

calmdownplease Says:

This blog seriously requires a massive colonic!!!!!!!

Markus Says:

One of the biggest misconceptions in tennis is that Djokovic accumulated a large number of slam title in the face of the toughest competitors. On paper maybe because it has names that include two people whose achievements at the moment are superior that his: Federer and Nadal. What it fails to mention is that Roger was already past his prime and Nadal has already been undone by his injuries in those matches they lost to Djokovic. If you go into the details, Djokovic is probably the luckiest tennis player in that he peaked when there isn’t a tough competition to challenge him. Everybody is either very old, very injured (I’ll add del Potro here), very mentally weak (Berdych, Gasquet, and a Lendl deprived Murray, or still young and inexperienced.

jalep Says:

Well said, CDP.

I wonder if a few of them can see their way out of obsession for enough time to notice that a Nole match is going on right now. Enjoy it people! It won’t be on long — Mannarino is no match for my man Nole.

calmdownplease Says:

‘Djokovic is probably the luckiest tennis player in that he peaked when there isn’t a tough competition to challenge him’

As was Fed 2003/7
Well it won’t be the end of this I think, but in my view neither can be the GOAT for this reason.
(DISCLAIMER; I don’t believe in tennis goats))
So let’s all just stay in the moment shall we
You know there’s a quite big tennis tournament thingy going right NOW.

Giles Says:

Jalep wants people to enjoy joker’s match right now. Lol. BUt he doesn’t play enjoyable matches, always soooo borrrrring!

Giles Says:

Just spotted the clowns in his box. Geez, what a sight for sore eyes!! 😩😫

Giles Says:

How many times does the faker bounce the ball? Geez, Why doesn’t he get a TVW? Distracting his opponent in the process. 😡

jalep Says:

Hi Giles, you know that “boring” is subjective. But your opinion doesn’t offend me – which is one of the many reasons why I can’t possibly qualify as a Real Novak Djokovic Fan.

I disagree with you about him but you know that. Your angst is amusing though lol…

Matthew Harris Says:

Markus – if you think Djokovic has had it easy, beating up old guys, etc. I would encourage you to take a look at my comment on who Fed, Djoker and Rafa beat in their GS finals. It’s just about the numbers – forget the names, reputations, etc. How good was the guy you just beat in this GS final? By that measure, Djokovic and Nadal have beaten better competition than Federer.

Giles Says:

Somebody should tell joker that he looks like a real @sshole doing that celebration.

Markus Says:

Matthew Harris, you’re missing the point on my comment. To have a it right, you have to keep it in context. And to keep it in context, you need to have read many of the posts preceding it, not just today but in many days before. Go back to the beginning of the brainless “weak era-strong era” theory.

Margot Says:

Tsk! Tsk! Jalep, you are obviously “not a good enough” fan. Do you mean to say you like more than one player????? Be off with you.;)
Just loving the insane crowd support for wee Willis :) But Rogie cruising at the mo.

jalep Says:

Guilty as charged, Margot! Blame it on my impure mind. I confess to being not at all monogamous about favorite sport stars; nor am I interested in GOATY , mine is bigger than yours circular debates. What I am psyched about Contador riding another TDF yippee…

Willow Says:

Why are Novaks fans so upset, that some Federer fans actually have Novak as their second favorite, or questioning certain fans on their loyalty towards Novak, seems like they are upset when people say they like Novak, upset when they say they dont, upset when posters say hes their second favorite, and dont seem to believe it when anyone says anything nice about Novak, like they must have some hidden secret agenda ??….

Matthew Harris Says:

Travis Bickle –

How best to understand my assessment of Djokovic’s career? As recently as 2014 I thought Federer was the GOAT and that you couldn’t even make a plausible case for anyone else, not even for Nadal. Today, I think Djokovic is building a plausible case and Federer’s crown is in jeopardy. He has a great shot at it and I hope he gets there.

I’m not dismissing Djoker. I love him. I have been watching his career with great enthusiasm and have seen him ascending the ranks, achieving tennis immortality and inching closer and closer to the absolute pinnacle.

There is no universally agreed upon set of criteria used to determine the GOAT. Nearly everyone agrees in a broad sense on what kinds of factors should be considered, but not everyone agrees how they should be weighted, etc.

When I wrote that Djokers case would very strong, that wasn’t a slight. It was simply recognizing that in several of the measures people commonly cite when debating GOATs, Federer would still have the lead. That’s all. I’m acknowledging that even with a Calendar Slam, Fed fans would still have a reasonable argument in his favor. I might not agree with them, but I couldn’t say they were crazy for thinking it.

Willow Says:

And i thought the thread was about Macus Willis ?, but its turned into a GOAT thread, i wish Sean would open a permanent thread on the topic, and let those that care discuss it there ….

jalep Says:

Yep. A Goaty thread needs to be permanently pinned at the top of the “Top Stories” on the Home page.

I’m watching Thiem and he makes my stomach nervous — is it love? 😲

Willow, should I be watching Marcus Willis? Score looks better 3rd set.

jalep Says:

Yesssssss. Thiem made it. I was joking about the love part. The nerves have everything to do with picking to go Thiem DEEP.

jalep Says:

Picking Thiem to go deep as in to the quarterfinal — #incoherent #happy

Willow Says:

Jalep, Willis gave a good account of himself, closer than the scoreline would suggest, Marcus getting emotional aww, standing signing autographs, taking pictures, walked off together,Roger saying such lovely things about Macos, and Marcos now doing a presser, girlfriend in the crowd blowing him a kiss, whomever wins W, hes the star of of the tournament for me ….

BBB Says:

CDP – I agree with you.

One thing – if Federer is so washed up that Djokovic’s wins against him count less, then what are we to make of the fact that Federer himself said he was playing better tennis in 2015 than 10 years earlier?

This is why I think venturing into discussions about weak era vs. strong era is just another opportunity for people to cherry-pick the data to support the conclusion they’ve already drawn.

Daniel Says:

The fundamental flaw in weak era theory is that ig a player is winning too muchnor is justbetter than everybody else there is no way it os a strong era.

For example, right now of Djoko won 4 Straight Slams, by weak era definition it is a weak era bevause in a strong era other players share the big trophys, so the more a player dominates the more he expose the weak era.

That’s why I don’t buy it. Because with this line of thought you basically assume that nobody could ever be good enoight to just overce the others, becaise there will always be *.

In Fed’s case the weak era lobbyst say lack of Multiple Slam winners. Ij the casenof Djoko now there is no young olayers and the “names” he is besting were not what they used to be. Last Slam any other big 4 won RG 14′.

There is only 2 ways of looking at it. Either you aknowledge that a particular players is just better than the rest: Fed 2004-2007, Djoko 2015-2016…???? or you apply the weal era argument for both.

But the irony is that majority of the pro Weak Era (mainly Djoko fans) selective used agaisnt Federer but not agaisnt Djoko. It’s a no win situation just what type you fit in. Superiror player for a strecth or the others were not good enough? If you mix both, than there os no conclusion.

Daniel Says:

I have no problem with people having different opinion on the matter, just don’t ve a hypocrite and back it up whatever you want to belief.
But saying Fed played in a weak era for months and now just assume that a player wins 4 straight and doesn’t consider this a weal era is ridiculous.

I am the type 1, to me Fed was just too good for the field in 2004-07c raising the bar of the sport and Djoko the same since 2015, he is nust to good for the field and is raising the bar tet again. How far can he go and if he domination can be “better” than Federer was it’s what we’m soon find out.

Matthew Harris Says:

Markus – My position on the “weak era – strong era” argument is that people on both sides of the equation talk about it, but rarely in a meaningful way. Most of the discussion revolves around lists of the all-time greats Player A has beaten and arguments about whether those greats were in their prime at the time.

I think the best way to measure the “quality” of a player’s Slam titles is to look NOT at the NAMES of the players he beat in the finals, and the attendant vagaries of the arguments about whether he was in his prime, but at the seeds of the players he beat.

The seeding won’t tell you whether a player in one season was better than a second player in another season, but it will tell you where those players stood among their peers at the time the match was played. This might not tell us as much as we’d like but I think it may be the only way to get any meaningfully useful insight into the question.

Most arguments about this tend to be inherently vague. To support the argument that Player X was no longer in his prime when he lost to Player A, people frequently cite the fact that Player X won most of his Slams before Player A started winning his. That statement may be reasonable enough on its face but I don’t think it proves as much as its proponents do.

If Player A starts winning a lot of Slams at Player B’s expense, Player B is obviously not going to be winning them as often as he did before. However, that fact alone may be less useful than it appears, because Player A is a substantial part of the reason Player B is now winning fewer Slams. In essence, Player B’s losses to Player A are part of the proof that Player B was in decline when he lost to Player A.

Has Federer been in decline? Yes. But perhaps not as much as some people think. Since the 2010 US Open, Djokovic has beaten Federer in the semifinals or finals of a Grand Slam 8 times. People offer the fact that Federer has only won 2 Slams from 2010-present as further proof of his decline. But were it not for Djokovic, he’d have at least 3 additional Slam titles and at least 5 additional Slam finals. I think that paints a more accurate picture of Federer’s last 5 seasons.

Travis Bickle Says:


Why would you look at the seedings and not rankings? Is ranking more reliable metrics because you don’t have to assume anything for unseeded players?

Vami Says:

I don’t like Nick K. but every now and then his comments are spot on, like the one about super coaches and Ivan-Andy’s relation. “Andy could bring in a guy off the street and he would be able to play at a ridiculous level”. But somebody above in the always amusing GOAT debate reduced all Andy’s hard work, dedication, talent etc. to “Novak took advantage of Lendless Andy”? That Novak guy must be super mean, out of all professional players in the world he’s the only one doing it. Everybody else decided to be nice towards Andy and let him win!

MMT Says:

Vami Says: “…out of all professional players in the world he’s the only one doing it. Everybody else decided to be nice towards Andy and let him win!”

Well played.

J-Kath Says:

Giles : While I don’t subscribe to your content vis-a-vis Nole, I did notice the number of times he bounced the ball. On average it is 6 times; when he is irritated, or a wee bit nervous, he bounces it on average nine times. Shall we mention it to Fed? ???Just joking.

Matthew Harris Says:

Travis – I used seeding for several reasons. One is convenience – if you pull up Slam results from previous years, the seeds are shown on the brackets. To use rankings instead I’d have to look them up separately for each player.

Another is to deal with unseeded players, as you suggested. I assigned a seed of 32 to unseeded players. Obviously the actual ranking of these unseeded players would be considerably lower than 32. But I don’t think using their actual ranking would do anything useful. It would probably have to opposite effect by letting extreme values skew the mathematics. I used geometric to minimize this skew effect, so using the ranking instead wouldn’t make it much worse, but it would increase it

I think there would be little if anything to gain by using rankings in general. The seeds track the rankings closely. Of course, when a highly rated player is injured and has to miss the tournament, that moves the seeding of everyone below him a little but I don’t think the effect is particular significant.

One potential benefit of seeds is that in recent years, some of the Slams have adjusted the seeds a little off the actual rankings to account for a player’s recent history or success or failure on a particular surface. Wimbledon has done that for a long time, Roland Garros in more recent years. This might make the seeding a better reflection of the player’s performance on that surface than raw rankings.

By and large, I don’t think it would make much difference.

Incidentally, I was looking at the seeds of all the players Fed, Rafa and Djoker have beaten in Slam finals. I know I posted my calculation already, but just looking at the numbers themselves is enlightening.

10 of Federer’s Slam finals victories have come against players who were seeded outside the 4. 7 of them were against players seed lower than 6th.

3 of Djokovic’s Slam finals victories have come against players seeded lower than 4. Only 1 was against a player seeded lower than 6th.

3 of Nadal’s also came against players seeded lower than 4. Only 2 were against players’s seeded lower than 6th.

So 7 of Fed 17 Slams came against players in the top 4. 9 of Djokovic’s 12 and 11 of Nadal’s 14 came against players in the top 4.

Matthew Harris Says:

One more thoughts on seeding. People like to talk about which were the greatest eras. I wrote before that seeding could tell you where a player’s opponents stood with respect to everyone else at the time the match was played, but it didn’t tell us much about the strength of the era.

I’m starting to think it can help us assess the era as well. From 2003 to 2006, 6 of the 24 Slam finalists were unseeded and a 7th was seeded 31st. From 2007 – present, only 1 unseeded player has made a Slam final. I haven’t drawn any final conclusions about it but it is interesting.

madmax Says:

Wog Boy Says:
You obviously no no nothing about Islam and Sunnis and Shiites, exept what you saw on TV, otherwise you wouldn’t post such nonsense. That is far more complex and complicated than tennis and above your level of comprehension, you just insulted more than 100 million people and their religious beliefs. For your information, ISIS are Sunnis and they are killing Shiites indiscriminately, they hate them more than any others religion, now you know and try to educate yourself more about the matter you are talking.

June 28th, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Wogboy, keep YOUR politics out of tennis. This is supposed to be a tennis site . How can you talk with all of your nonsense about the British Public and the brexit vote? Scandalous.

You have absolutely no idea what has gone on except to read about it in the papers. Not only that, if you are such a patriot about your country, why are you living in Australia? A British Commonwealth? With common values and goals, NONE OF WHICH YOU SHARE! Laughable is what you are!

madmax Says:

Turning to the right topic here. I must be the only one who thought that this ‘fairytale’ was just blown way out of proportion.

Well done to Roger, for handling the awful, rowdy, crowd who behaved more like football hooligans, Fine to support your guy, but the whistles, the crows, the huge shouting on centre court, and yet the umpire did nothing to control it.

Willis spent the last 10 years drinking beer and wasting his talent. This is not a fairytale story. An ordinary man, with some talent, who was ‘allowed a platform’ for 24 hours and will milk it for all it is worth.

What struck me yesterday most of all, was Willis gave an interview. When asked ‘What happened when he was walking out onto centre court?’. He said Roger let him go first and said, to ‘enjoy the moment’. Roger is such a class act. He really is.

Said he was not bothered by all the heckling, could understand it.

Willis took the limelight of course, with some great shots, but no more than that. He is overrated.

You see players, week in and week out who dedicate their lives to tennis. He got caught up in the paparazzi, and now the media are getting caught up with him. So is the British Public.

Be gone Marcus Willis. Open up a pub in Brighton and do your coaching because you are not dedicated to your sport, like Murray, Federer, Djokovic, you are dedicated to the limelight.

Sorry to those of you who think he is the next best thing.

Giles Says:

Madmax. Pretty mean comments Did the fact that Willis received more applause than fed really irritate you that much? Tsk tsk 😡😡😡😡😡😡

Madmax Says:

GILES..mean?..not at all. Just honest. I just felt Filed that He is overrated. When you look at the others who work so hard in in and day is simply because he is being lauded as the next best thing..Sorry that I don’t buy into the fairytale..but you know’s the British Media. In my view they go way over the top.

Madmax Says:

GILES. Apologies. Am typing from my phone, on the go!

MMT Says:

Matthew Harris: I applaud your analysis, but have to point out a few problems – ranking doesn’t take into consideration how the player was playing during the tournament. It matters little that a highly ranked player is highly ranked, if he doesn’t make a final. So using a player ranking at the time of the final over values the previous 11 months and 2 weeks, and ignores the “current” result, which is 6 matches in a row. No matter the players ranking he won at least 1 more match than 126 of the best players on Earth – to me that means more than the ranking or even major tallies of everyone else who wasn’t good enough to make the final.

Also, by focusing on the final opponent, one ignores the other opponents along the way – for a finalist there are 6 of them. The whole point of having 7 rounds is to determine how well a player plays over a longer period than just a couple of matches – presumably the matches get harder as one progress, not because the rankings of their opponents get higher (they don’t necessarily) but because they players you face have also won as many matches as you have, and are presumably playing well at the moment.

But the real problem is, when you determine greatness by something other than the results, you are creating an alternate universe of competition that sets aside the existing universe of competition – that’s literally changing the rules of evaluation after the fact. It’s better to use the competition and it’s structure as it exists at the time (i.e. the results).

I’ve addressed this previously here:

Djokovic has a good shot to surpass 17, but he can’t have any 2012-2014 periods along the way.

madmax Says:

Now what is interesting for the next match for Federer, is Dan Evans actually played a blinder of a match against Dolgo. He is seeded pretty high and really made some fantastic shots. Unlike his compatriot. So I guess, we have to go through the Brit hype again.

This is what Henman said last night about Evans;
“In his second-round win, Dan Evans showed his ability to hit consistent slice shots, which are difficult to deal with because of the low and skiddy bounce on the grass court. On his backhand side, Evans hit almost all slice (89%), keeping the ball low for his opponent, but still giving himself adequate margin for error with an average net clearance of 56cm. Evans will try to use this to construct the point against Federer to utilise his powerful forehand.”

So, it seems that Evan will be out for blood today. That necessary confidence, even arrogance at meeting Federer on centre court.

Just hope that Roger can sustain another partisan crowd and remains as effortless as possible. I have to say though this match feels different. Federer needs to be on his guard.

I saw Luby scouting in the crowd yesterday.

Federer keeps me on edge at the moment. Would love to know what his game plan is for today. If Evans is all about slice, then Federer should be more than toe to toe with him here.

Murray said a few things about Evans just here:

Has anyone noticed that Andy has whitened his teeth for the TV?

calmdownplease Says:

‘Has anyone noticed that Andy has whitened his teeth for the TV?’

Not really.
He simply talks less cr*p than you do hence they appear whiter than yours…..

madmax Says:

CDP, just crawl away will you?

And why miss out a letter? Say it. Don’t be afraid to be banned again. You are a nasty person. You really are.

madmax Says:

Del Potro,

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love this guy. Simply adorable. Fantastic to see him back. Tears in his eyes, hands shaking. What he has been through and continued to work day in day out to get back on tour.

Markus Willis. Take note. Del potro. Class.

calmdownplease Says:

not afraid to say ‘cr*p’ lol!
I just didnt want the post moderated

calmdownplease Says:

Banned AGAIN?!
Don’t think so!

madmax Says:

Then go for it CDP. Go for it.

calmdownplease Says:

go for what?
a beer?
I might have to go for some very strong bulletproof coffee after this tedious experience with you

madmax Says:

The Markus Willis story rumbles on. Talk about hysteria.

Willow, this is for you…I know you love the romantic side of things.

CDP, perhaps you can play Willis in the film. Let’s face it. Good looks. Great personality. Couldn’t think of anyone else. Oh. Yes. I could. Wogboy. Perhaps he could be your coach!

Giles Says:

madmax. Lol

Willow Says:

Madmax no, it was a nice match at the time, played in a nice atmosphere at the time, and and and was a nice fairy tale story at the time, but enoughs enough now, its over, and getting a bit irritating now, and the whole things been beaten to the ground ….

Willow Says:

Im super happy for Delpo, and nice to see him get a big win, but im not about to predict a second coming, or multiple GS, or a top 10 finish at the end of the year ….

Giles Says:

This is just the start of the big roller coaster ride for Marcus. He is going to be a millionaire very shortly and I for one, am very pleased for him. Such a likeable young man.
Alison. What is your problem?? Why is it irritating?? You should be pleased he’s a Brit but instead you want to take sides with madmax whose only irritation is the fact that he stole the limelight from fed to a certain degree.

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