Marquee Fall Schedules: Where Will Federer, Djokovic And Murray Be Playing
by Sean Randall | September 26th, 2012, 2:53 pm

After a 3-4 week post-US Open lull in the schedule, the top players are set to return for the final stretch of the ATP circuit. And for the first time in many years, even with Rafael Nadal likely done for the year, we still have a true 3-way race for No. 1 this fall with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all slugging it out for that coveted top ranking at the end of the year.

Federer leads on the 52-week ranks but Djokovic is the front runner in terms of the key 2012 rankings points, about 1,000 ahead of Federer and his lead is just above 3,000 over Murray.

But with 1,500 points avail at the London Finals, 1,000 each at Shanghai and Paris, Djokovic’s lead isn’t safe by any means. We know how well Federer plays indoors and if Murray can stay hot and win Shanghai, anything could happen as we near the end.

So as a guide, here’s where the boys will be playing this fall. Subject to change of course.

Federer (4): Oct 8 – Shanghai, Oct 22 – Basel, Oct 29 – Paris, Nov 5 – London
Djokovic (4): Oct 1 – Beijing, Oct 8 – Shanghai, Oct 29 – Paris, Nov 5 – London
Murray (5): Oct 1 – Tokyo, Oct 8 – Shanghai, Oct 22 – Basel, Oct 29 – Paris, Nov 5 – London

By week:
Oct 1 (Beijing, Tokyo)
Djokovic (Beijing)
Murray (Tokyo)

Oct 8 (Shanghai)
Federer/Djokovic/Murray (Shanghai)

Oct 15 (Stockholm, Moscow, Vienna)

Oct 22 (Basel, Valencia)
Federer (Basel)
Murray (Basel)

Oct 29 (Paris)
Federer/Djokovic/Murray (Paris)

Nov 5 (London)
Federer/Djokovic/Murray (London Finals)

Looking at the above schedule, it’s a little surprising to see that there are just TEN events left to start on the 2012 ATP calender. Just 10.

Specifically, what will be interesting is if Federer makes the long trip to China to just play the one event in Shanghai. Rivals Murray and Djokovic both have multiple events to play in that region (and some guys in action this week are playing all three), while Federer has just the one, so there is some doubt that Roger will make the journey – remember he didn’t play last year.

If Roger passes up Shanghai he’ll be at risk to dropping further behind Djokovic in 2012 points. Novak and Murray could each collect as many as 1,500 points by winning both their Asian swing stops, assuming the two do play (Djokovic did not play last year so I think he will make trip, while Murray could be fatigued following his big summer run). And if Novak does sweep in Asia, his 2012 ranking lead will balloon to about 2,500 over Federer realistically making it awfully tough for Roger to pass the Serb.

Hopefully Roger does play or Novak doesn’t win both Asian events and for once we’ll have an exciting race to the finish.

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116 Comments for Marquee Fall Schedules: Where Will Federer, Djokovic And Murray Be Playing

El Flaco Says:

I think Murray is overdoing it by playing 5 tournaments. That could backfire.

Huh Says:

El Flaco Says:
I think Murray is overdoing it by playing 5 tournaments. That could backfire.


Huh Says:

I pick fed for WTF, Basel n Shanghai.

nole may win something.
murray may pick up paris n tokyo.

at the end i pick fed to finally surpas nole in 2012 points race(godspeed to fed for that) n clich the year end no.1!

for me, nothin would be so bad in tennis as a fed fan than fed not crossin the 300 weeks mark! i sure hope fed gets the motivation n luck n crosses the 300 week marks at top, that’d be an immeasurabl satisfaction to me! nobody deserves it more than fed! allez federer!!!

skeezer Says:

Its going to be an interesting rest of year.
Go Fed!


Angel Says:

Huh, Federer has already secured the 300 weeks mark, he cannot lose number 1 before Paris.

sienna Says:

There is probably not one real Fedfan worried about 300 weeks. He has got the record safely in the bag.

Brando Says:

IMHO, I see roger as the logical fav going forward. He’s heading into the part of the season where he is- and this is regardless of him being no.1- the undisputed king: indoor courts. This is the best surface for him by a countrymile, atleast IMO. And he is going to rule the roost. I believe his most likely challenger will be muzza- he actually beat fed in shanghai and bar novak’s WTF win has the next best indoor record. Most likely, for me, fed ends no.1- and to be very honest, I want him to do it. At age 31 it would be a truly fantastic achievement, and possibly the last chance, for a great champion to end a great season as top dog! Good luck to all!

Steve 27 Says:

Be careful with Andy Murray at the WTF, is in London at least until next year, he has all the tools to win another big title at home before Wimbledon 2013. He is my pic.

Margot Says:

It’s a two horse race between Nole and Fed, because Andy can’t possibly get to No1. However, do hope he stays injury free and makes it to the O2 this year.
Seeing Tipsy play 3 times last year was NO compensation…;)

Huh Says:

WOW ANGEL, thank a hell lot for lettin me know about it! yeah!!!



Huh Says:


wilfried Says:


Actually I think Roger Federer’s top spot is not completely secured because if Novak wins in Bejing – a very likely scenario in my opinion against the relative weak opposition he’s got there- and also the Shangai Masters – a less likely scenario but not an impossible one – and Roger at the same time does not participate in the Shangai Masters or loses early (an unlikely scenario), than Novak overtakes Rogers top spot in the ATP singles ranking.

juikop Says:

i hardly think djokovic will not finish number 1.
1000 points its a big advantage (i take 20% anyday), djokovic will never go and lose versus a not top 5, so it gives him 2222 more or less secured points until the end.
means federer will need to collect at least 3333 of the 4000 available, he needs to win all tournaments he enter and even then that will not be enough if djokovic makes a better than regular end finish, djokovic needs only reach the final of last 3 to close the door, if djokovic wins one or federer skip one or fail to win one, forget it, the wtf will not decide number 1 as usual.
i think different about murray, he is not overplaying, he is in point collecting mode, he needs as much points now as he can secure, he is not number 1 rigth now just because he play poorly between the paris master and the french open (only semi in australia is not good enough, seems like murray change game up and down when he go to france, hey murray “Un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras”), but if he collect points now he will had a clear shot of reaching number 1 until the french, and he wants it.
besides why murray will skip this time of the year, he rules, he had won the last 3 times he had played shangai

Colin Says:

Juikop, I don’t doubt Murray wants to be No 1, but it isn’t his primary target. He wants more major titles, and that obviously includes the WTF.

He had a great run late last season – and what happened? He got injured and had to pull out of the WTF. If he wins Paris, he has to play in London almost immediately.

Brando, don’t be too confident about Federer; Murray leads him 8-7 on hard courts.

Jannet Says:

@Brando It would be cool if you were right. I hope fed get 300 weeks that would be a nice number, considering him being the indoor king he has a great shot at it.

the mind reels Says:

Sean’s article notes that “Novak and Murray could each collect as many as 1,500 points by winning both their Asian swing stops…”

This isn’t true — one or the other could collect up to 1,500 points, but they both couldn’t do so. Of course, each could win his respective pre-Shanghai title (Djokovic, Beijing; Murray, Tokyo), which would give them each 500 points, but only one of them could win Shanghai, thus grabbing those 1,000 points. The other would be limited, at best, to the 600 for reaching the finals.

So, after Shanghai, *either* Murray or Djokovic could have up to 1,500, and the other could, at best, have 1,100. This assumes Federer plays Shanghai and does not make the finals in Shanghai. If he does play, which I think he will (see below), I think he makes at least the semis.

Federer will have had about 4 weeks off since Davis Cup by the time he is next scheduled to step on the court in Shanghai. That should be enough time to rest, vacation a bit, and get some practice time indoors. Unless he finished the outdoor hardcourt season in worse off condition than we thought, I fully expect him to make the trip to China. He’ll have another week off between Shanghai and Basel, and the travel to/from tournaments is minimal for the remainder of his season: Switzerland –> France –> England. The home crowd in Basel should hopefully bolster his play there, giving him some added confidence.

the mind reels Says:

I guess the other thing worth mentioning is that Murray is defending in Shanghai, and so his incentive to win there is quite large. It will have been important for him to rest up plenty between the US Open and Tokyo in order for him to last the autumn push, particularly if he wants to put himself in any position for No. 1. I agree with others that it’s very much a longshot for Murray, and it’s virtually (if not mathematically) out of the question if he doesn’t win Shanghai.

Huh Says:

its either fed or nole who’ll be year end no.1, most probably murray can’t do it

sienna Says:

So imagine djoker losing shanghai final to murray,
Paris final to berdy and wtf ( of course) to Fed.

We would have himbeing Yearend #1 with Fed winning the bigger prices.
I guess the atpwill award the winner of wtf player of the year award . They can do that. It would be the right thing to do .

Thangs Says:

Murray has to collect the points as much as he that he will have a shot mid of next year.

skeezer Says:

The important thing for Murray fans is to see if he can continue to build on his recent successes. If he can, I agree with Thangs that in the middle of next year he should be looking good. Murray has had a history of going up and down. If Lendl can keep his head focused and his confidence and belief high the next several months will take care of themselves*

*wrt ranking

rogerafa Says:

Novak is the heavy favorite to finish as year-end number one with a massive lead in the race. Roger’s past indoor record does not mean he will keep repeating it every year. Shanghai looks uncertain and the back to back to back Basel, Paris and London schedule this year makes it impossible for a 31-year old to do well at all the three tourneys. If he takes Paris seriously, he will jeopardize London. He will probably skip Paris this year. Besides, Andy and Novak, among several others, are excellent indoor players. Indoor hard today is not as blazing quick as the indoor carpet of the 1990s. It will be a big surprise to me if Roger somehow manages to pip Novak to the post. It will require an on-top-of-his-game Roger and a big dip in Novak’s form and I do not see it happening.

rogerafa Says:

@ Angel

As wilfried said, Roger has definitely not secured the 300 weeks mark. There is a mathematical possibility of Novak taking over as number one after Shanghai. That will leave Roger at 299 weeks.

rogerafa Says:

I think Andy should focus on WTF and AO after the Asian swing and take it from there. I would definitely like him to skip Paris in order to be fresh for London. The ranking will, sooner or later, take care of itself if he does well at the bigger tourneys.

Huh Says:

omg, fed getti stuck at 299 weeks is a scary prospect then! angel may hav given her post mistakenly slightly missin the calculation, but at least she gav a good respons to me about fed sealin no.1,so thanks to angel for her answer, n angel made at least a honest attempt to tell me my query.

but to the mor_n sienna, you even think befor postin somthin or suffr from malnutrition to not be abl to think anything??? why u said fed has the record safely in bags?? n why u always keep bit@#in like there’s no real fed fan probably who doesn’t know fed has the 300 week at no.1??? is it to how your idiocy or to prov what an uneducated lowlife you’re?? if fed has not sealed it n he can lose it, then you must know somthin about that befor commentin. both rogerafa n wilfried showd that it’s actualy possibl that fed may remain stuck at 299 weeks! why u always assum things befor they happen n giv ur brazen stupid posts??? go n hav yourself som good food, may b you’d be able to think then!

Huh Says:


to me it’s very very important how many weeks fed remains at no.1 and particularly MOST important is fed crossin 300 weeks at top. the year end no.1 of cours is a gravy. if fed gets both plus the player of the year award, that’d round off an amazin year for true fed fans(who’ve not got dung in their brains).

Daniel Says:

Huh, getting year end #1 us bigger than 300 weeks. This record (most weeks as #1) is safe already, the 300 will be just to look better. But tieying Sampras with 6 year end #1 is the only record missing in Fed’s resume. Davis cup, Olympic single gold is 1 record. 6 year end finishing spreaded im 9 years (2004-2012) will be the ultimate icing on this fabolous year. He may not get this chance again, ever!
Having this he will have (alone or shared) the 4 more important records in tennis:

– Total Grand Slam: 17 stand alone
– Total Year end #1: 6 (assuming he ends 2012) shared with Sampras
– Total Wimbledon: 7 shared with Sampras
– Record weeks as #1: 300+ stand alone

Daniel Says:

It will basically seal the GOAT debate.
Anythig else he eins is gravy, for example a potential 6th US Open (another shared record). He is alteady the boggesy Grand Slam player and eer Slam he plays he adds more records. Maybe if Nadal doesn’t return to form he can even squeeze a last French Open. As we all know that prize is Nadal’s, than Djoko or Fed. Nobody eles in sight on clay.

rogerafa Says:

@ Daniel

I think total majors and total weeks at no. 1 are much more important than so many Wimbledon titles or so many year-end number one. By the way, it is not 300+ weeks yet. :)

As grendel said the other day, 299 or 300 may not bother Roger much but there is a nice ring to being referred to as the first man ever to complete 300 weeks at the top.

I think, in case of Rafa’s absence, the French Open is Novak’s to lose. Obviously it will be much more open and even Del Potro, Tsonga and Andy will have a shot.

Huh Says:


where’s the GOAT debate at all???!!! our guy has already sealed it since he won hi 15th slam! :)

remember the celebrations then??? :D

Huh Says:


thanks for openin my eyes to the fact that year end #1 is more important! but you know, if fed somehow even not is able to end the year a NO.1, i want at least the 300 weeks! but yeah, as u said havin year end #1 has to be the ultimate gravy!!! :D

Daniel Says:

Agree rogerafa!

But to me he cares more about YER, which will ensurd 300+ regadless and tying Sampras.

Forgot one record whihc will last for the ages, unless Fed plays 4 more tears concentrating in smaller toruneys: Connors 109 singles titles, impossible to break in todays man tennis.

Daniel Says:

You are right Huh, actually when he won RG 2009:)

jane Says:

For anyone who has Netflix, they’ve recently added a 4 episode documentary called “Wimbledon: A History of the Championship”; it was made in 2001, though, so it leaves out more recent history. Anyhow, just thought I’d mention it.

sienna Says:

the record is safely in the bag and 300 is not the record.

Chris Ford Says:

Besides the present “Big 3”, I also like the big improvement in Berdych and Delpo who is looking finally like his awesome 2009 self.
And..well, there is still a chance of Nadal making an appearance at Barclays WTF. He has ruled out October, but he could just show up for the honor, enjoy the stunning party and shows, the appearance fees, work the sponsors…because he has the points to be among the 8 invited. Enjoy it, not kill himself in the Round Robin because no one would expect him to do well without some tuneup tourneys.

But given he is Rafa, though, he wouldn’t be selfish like that. He will likely give up his spot so someone that is at 100% can play. Delpo and Janko Tipsarevic are 8,9. Like Janko to be there on his own rather than as the alternate, and Delpo has earned it with his ferocious summer play.

grendel Says:

“Forgot one record whihc will last for the ages, unless Fed plays 4 more tears concentrating in smaller toruneys: Connors 109 singles titles, impossible to break in todays man tennis.”

Perhaps they should list the ratio of number of tourneys won to number played. That might be interesting.

roy Says:

no.1 records and gs records need to be put in context with the quality of the competition in any legit argument about ”GOATS”

hewitt must have been better than djoker. he had 30 more weeks at no.1 by the same age…

rafter must be better than murray. he has more slams.

and so on.

Dave Says:

I said Federer’s probably going to play Shanghai if he decides he’s going to fight for the year-end No 1 ranking. And that’s what it seems he is going to do. Roger’s participation has been confirmed again for the second time by the Shanghai organizers a few days ago in a press release according to several Swiss news media (the first confirmation was in late August). The Shanghai stadium is the site of Federer’s 2006 and 2007 Tennis Masters Cup titles (and he was in the final in 2005, despite a bum ankle), so he is comfortable playing there.–31225690

As for Murray, it’s mathematically very difficult of him to end the year as number No.1. He has maximum 4,500 points from his five remaining events, but he must win about 3,200 points more than whatever Djokovic makes from his four events (max 4,000 points). In other words, all Djokovic has to do is win at least 1,300 points for it to be impossible for Murray to over take him (at most Murray can add an ATP 250 event on Oct 15, which is unlikly to happen because he’ll be playing six weeks in a row). If Novak needs it, he can take a wild card at Basel.

The fight for year No. 1 is realistically between Federer and Djokovic. The year end No.1 gets crowned ATP World Tour Champion.

Whoever gets No.1 probably will be also awarded the ATP Player of the Year (ATP World No. 1) based on the precedents of this award over the last 37 years whenever four different players shared the four slams (it did not matter that the No.2 and No. 3 player were also in other slam finals). So both Federer and Djokovic fully know that winning the year-end No. 1 is critical to being considered player of the year.

noogie Says:

Guten morgen Huh. Wie geht’s.

Sienna Says:

Dave Says:

Whoever gets No.1 probably will be also awarded the ATP Player of the Year (ATP World No. 1) based on the precedents of this award over the last 37 years whenever four different players shared the four slams (it did not matter that the No.2 and No. 3 player were also in other slam finals). So both Federer and Djokovic fully know that winning the year-end No. 1 is critical to being considered player of the year.

Interesting so ruling is not definitive about this. it would be nice if WTF champion might be the deciding factor. So a possible stand off between the two would be a scenarion which can only be dreamed of in deciding the year.

noogie Says:


noogie Says:

Fed-er-rer. If Fed retires after five years from now, he might join the Challenger Circuit and rules there for another ten years.

I guess Nadal would be in some old age hideaway with Huh as his personal trainer.

grendel Says:

Of course it’s quite implausible to expect Murray to gain #1 this year. Extraordinary lapse by Rusedski in suggesting that Murray and Djokovic would be battling it out in the fall (he opined this just at the end of the US).

No reason why Murray shouldn’t be a contender next year, however. Not a prediction, note. Leaving aside the foolishness of this type of prediction, we don’t yet know if Murray can play consistently throughout the year.

Meanwhile, whilst to call Murray the player of the year, as suggested by a contributor in this link from Tennislover ( would be eccentric, this may well be remembered as Murray’s year, for the reasons given in the link.

Because this is the year in which Murray has truly emerged. For this to be remembered, however, Murray will have to build upon the breakthrough.

nodinal Says:

i read above that, for someone, this is the number 2 top record
“Total Year end #1”
is anyone share that thought?
because i 100% disagree, in fact it not make my top 20 record

let see the actual record holder:
to start, some years of sampras were number 1 thanks to slam victories, but hes was far down in number of titles that year, and in his last one how he get number 1 with 1 slam and 0 masters 1000 (or what whats called that days) and just 2 other titles speak more of the weak field than anything, and clearly show what number 1 year end really is, a math game.
nadal and federer do more the times they ended number 2 than sampras did in some years he got the number 1
for instance in 2003 federer had a better year than roddick (big titles and number of them) but the math game give roddick the prize, even when federer beat roddick in the tennis masters cup,
just like that, villas and other were in the same position in the year end race.

no taking anything from anyone, the season its what it is, and for sure sampras do what he need to stay number 1 in 1998 ahead of rios and corretja (both lose their grand slam finals that year and dont won any)

but lets get real its not the top 2 record of all time

federer consecutive run of 23 semis (6 years span) and 34 quarter ongoing are better in my personal opinion.

MMT Says:

Why is it implausible to expect Murray to gain #1? He has played better than anyone since Wimbledon, only Djokovic has a better major record this year, and he has the Olympics. He’s not injured and he’s playing as many tournaments as any of the other top 3.

Why so tepid on Murray?

noogie Says:


Because he is Andy Murray.

grendel Says:

MMT – I refer you to Dave’s post above. The maths just isn’t there except in the extreme case. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t say I was tepid – I’ve suggested, in line with the commentator from tennislover’s link, that in some ways Murray could be regarded as player of the year.

Unofficial player of the year, let us say,whose celebration is to be savoured by the discerning…..

Margot Says:

Is that the same Andy Murray who would NEVER, EVER win a slam perchance?
However, still think Andy has too many points to make up this year, however who knows next?
But, as grendel says, he must show some consistency from now on, b4 us fans will have any such high-falluting ideas.
You just never know with Andy.

Huh Says:

wanshang hao noogie! ni zenmeyang

gehts mir gut! ;)

Huh Says:

4 wrongs again from nanana:

1st c presumd i didnt kno that fed already surpassed pete record

2nd c faild to comprehend my concernd post

3rd c gav an usual irrelevant respos to my concernd post

4th c is unreal enough to think that no real fedfan’ll worry about federer’s 300 week at top record.

grendel Says:

Referring to Daniel’s post at 6.24, I wondered what the ratio of number of tourneys won to number played mught be – specifically for Connors and Federer, but why not others too.

I’ve checked, up to a point, for Fed and Connors. I can’t actually find the number of tourneys played, only total number of matches played, so I have assumed 5 matches per tourney – reasonable?

Connors:1519 matches, divide by 5 and 303.8 tourneys. 109 tourneys won, so 109divided by 303.8=.3588…, or 35.88…% (b.t.w. Connors won 109 tourneys as listed by ATP players guide. Apparently he won 148 tourneys altogether – no idea what that means).

Federer:1062 matches, so divide by 5 and get 212.4 tourneys played. Federer has won 76 tourneys, and 76 divided by 212.4 is .3578…=35.78 %

This is quite incredibly close, 35.88% of all tourneys entered won by Connors, 35.78 % won by Federer. If someone could provide the exact number of tourneys entered by each player, that could affect the result.

noogie Says:

Will we ever realize how great Federer is. The best. Some might sing Nadal’s praises, but I think the wrong technique was forced upon him by Toni Stalin. He is a product of dictatorship. Nevertheless let’s wait and see if he survives the Hoffa syndrome attacks.

grendel Says:

of course, such stats, whilst entertaining, are really of limited value, since no account is taken of the differing types of tournament. That would be a hell of a job to assess; you’d have to give different weightings for different tournaments, and I daresay that might be pretty contentious.

Still, it was fun…

sienna Says:

300 or 299 is of little to no difference

trufan Says:

The GOAT debate is long settled.

I don’t think Fed will play Shanghai. Jet lag, two less weeks of rest – why should he do it? Year end No 1 doesn’t mean much. He already has the total weeks No 1 record.

On the other hand, if he can get his 7th YEC, that would be a real achievement – by resting now, he improves his chances of winning at London, by when Murray and Djoke would be done. Djoke is already pretty tired this year, and Murray has got to be exhausted. They are no teenagers either – both are 25, sort of middle age in tennis.

Fed has nothing left to prove. What would be sweet would be an 8th wimbledon next year, his 18th slams. He should just play a reduced schedule from next year, and enjoy….

trufan Says:

Remember, Basel Paris London are pretty much the same time zone. Basel is his hometown, so it wont even feel like work for him. Then he can grind it out for two more weeks, since the end is in sight. By skipping shanghai, he gets to rest till almost mid october – since he can just practice for a week before Basel and play his way into form that week, since the early rounds are likely to be lower ranked players. That brings him in shape for Paris, and then London.

Why would he cut his vacation short and have so much jet lag both ways to go an play Shanghai? Unless he reaches the final there, he doesn’t get too many point (even semi means 360 points). And if he reaches the final, that means he plays 5 matches. Too much work for the old man.

steve-o Says:

Why so tepid on Murray?

Because Murray had to grind for five hours to win his US Open title, and if he has to keep grinding in four or five more tournaments to capture the year-end ranking, he’s going to collapse of exhaustion midway through.

Last year, when he was winning several indoor tournaments, I remember everyone was tabbing him to win the YEC.

Federer remarked that because the draws weren’t that tough, it wasn’t an indication of how Murray would perform in London. He was pilloried for it and accused of bad sportsmanship and being a big meanie, as is often the case when he makes incisive observations that some people would prefer not to hear.

Then of course, Murray fizzled out in Paris and was a non-force thereafter, proving Federer right.

As to whether Murray will ever be #1, he’d almost have to win a lot more hard-court Masters like he did in 2009–in addition to winning a Grand Slam. And even then it’s not so easy.

To be #1 in the age of Federer you have to win many titles on all surfaces year-round. I don’t know that Murray can do that without getting injured.

You’ll notice that this year his performance in the best-of-three was fairly mediocre, especially after the second half of the year. That will need to change if he wants to be at the top.

Huh Says:

”sienna Says:
300 or 299 is of little to no difference”

may not be for some of the self-styled n self proclaimed federer fans whose almost all posts here contain much or only about rafa n very littl to abolutly nothin about fed, but for the record books, for the satisfaction of hardcore fundamental federer fans n pundits, federer crossin 300 marks’ll be abolutely huge n another unreal accomplishment in his legacy! true fed fans want it absolutely n can’t wait for fed to cross 300 weeks at #1!

go roger!!!

grendel Says:

Sienna – I wouldn’t discount the symbolic value of 300 weeks as opposed to 299. Obviously, it makes little or no difference on a literal level. But 300 just has a better ring to it, and people are influenced by that, maybe unconsciously, I don’t know.

We know the difference between 299 and 300 weeks at the top is negligible. And yet in some mysterious way, we like the sound of 300 better. It seems more weighty, somehow. It isn’t – but that’s how it seems. Even if you know it isn’t, you still can’t help at some level feel that it is. It’s like in cricket. There seems to be the world of difference between a batsman scoring a 100 and scoring 99. Score 99 not out (say, innings closed) -result, despair. Score 100 out – result, elation.

Appearance and reality, eh? What a bummer trying to get your head round that one….

Sienna Says:

You said it Grendel just symbolic. So little to non importance,.

Huh Says:

steve-o says

”Last year, when he was winning several …some people would prefer not to hear.”


Sienna Says:

Grendel the next time someone is gonna threathen 299… I probably will have grandchildren and my oldest is 6years.

Huh Says:

i assure everybody that for every real fed fan who loves fed, the 300 weeks at top is extremely important n of absolute importance this thing is to the all time faithful federer fans at n so far i’ve not seen fans of roger bigger than at that great personal site of federer! i’d not pay much importance to the BSing done here by some fake fed fans who first would say that 299 n 300 r not same n then hypocritically in case of fed reachin the 300 mark would make others’ life hell braggin n boastin about that to the point of virtual strangulation for fan of other players!

sienna Says:

it is a pretty lame point you make.
Maybe in snooker it is relevant to make 100 break as to 99, to but when your the outright leader of the pack . then who cares. no way we make 300 weeks important
only those who want to talkdown on Fed will
try to.

sienna Says:

If you want to make a signifigance in numbers 1000 would realy set him apart. 4 digids as to 3

These little children whotry to make a case. Grendel your not of them are you?

skeezer Says:

Well a win is a win, but a Bagel is better than winning in a TB. Why? Ask a fan. I go with grendel on this one. 300 is a marker I am sure Fed realizes. Knowing him, he’ll try to make it happen he is the King of records, so why not? Wish him the best. That said, 299 is something that will be heralded no doubt and no matter what, if that is the final number. its all gravy. Top looking waaayyy down.


Huh Says:

one has to be a fed hater to say that fed bein the first player to cross 300 week at #1 doesnt mak much differenc to him bein stuck at 299 weeks, or the peron so sayin has to be a fake fed fan!

Huh Says:

there’s only one fake fan of fed in this world whom i saw postin that fed creatin another exclusiv record of bein the only man to cross 300 weeks at top isnt much different from him remainin stuck at 299 weeks, WHOA! fed has the record of most weeks, so what? does that mean fed reachin 300 mark is not another record which in case of fed doin it wouldnt be so huge? hell no!!!

that would be an unreal exclusiv record that fed would’ve done, should he do it! n he’d be that much distanced from the rest by that record!

Huh Says:


Huh Says:

well said skeeze!

grendel Says:

Sienna – of course it is only symbolic, that is, it is not saying anything real about Federer’s career. I agree with you there. But the symbolic counts, it’s just the way we’re constructed!

Sienna Says:

I really couldnot care about it. It is only a number he needs to go through in order to get 301.

If he retires and the numbers on Fed are being made.

Then there is no body in the whole world(maybe 1)
who would say that his weeks at #1 299 is somewhat of a stained number because he is 1 week shy of 300.

Sienna Says:

I meant to say and if you guys do then that is just stupid.

grendel Says:

I thought I’d work out the ratio of tournaments won to tournaments played of a few more players. Nobody has show any interest, and that is not surprising since these figures are only a pointer, really – for the reasons given yesterday. Still, I would imagine they are not too far out. Although if someone can show that they are, that’s fine – means we’ll have proper figures.

1)Bjorn Borg (63/1470 = 42.9%
2)J.McEnroe (77/214.6)= 35.887%
3)J.Connors (109/303.8)=35.879%
4)I.Lendl (94/262) = 35.878%
5)R.Federer (76/212.4)= 35.78%
6)R.Nadal (50/141) = 35.46%
7)P.Sampras (64/196.8)= 32.5%)
8 G.Vilas (68/241.4)= 28.2%
9)N.Djokovic (31/115.2)=26.9%
10)B.Becker (49/185.4)= 26.4%
11)A.Agassi (60/228.8)= 26.2%
12)A.Murray (24/97.6)= 24.6%
13)S.Edberg (42/215.2)= 19.5%
14)A.Roddick (32/165)= 19.4%
15 L.Hewitt = 18.0%

Comments: 1)Borg is far ahead.2) Remarkable cluster of 5 players at around 35% 3) Nadal is far ahead of his immediate contemporaries – clearly the clay factor. 4) Two other clusters. 5) Obviously, many of these careers have some way to go. Since this is about ratios and not about absolute numbers, don’t expect the percentages necessarily to get much higher. Murray’s for instance, is likely to be a good deal higher in 3 years, say. But in 6 years, it could drop back. And so on.

grendel Says:

I may have missed some players.

grendel Says:

For Borg, of course it is 63/147, not 63/1470.

sienna Says:

So borg gets kudos for cutting it a little short.

I really cannot compute those numbers because Borg dropped out.

Also I would like togetstats about laver. maybe we should wait for Dave toon this thread

I do know that conners had tourneys with only 4 opponents.
Sometimes they played midweek and weekend tourney.

So all in all itis a bit difficult to compaire

El Flaco Says:

Benneteau looking for his 1st title after going 0-6 in finals.

fedovak Says:


I think roger was the best argument for GOAT after 15. Though, 17 is the one that sealed it. Roger has been w#1 for 2 or 3 eras… Wow.

MMT Says:

Fair enough grendel – I actually didn’t even read Dave’s post, but it does show it to be unlikely that Murray can over come Djokovic or Federer for that matter.

I guess without the context it read like a bit of a cop out – or maybe I was LOOKING for that!

Margot Says:

Interesting that, but as Sienna points out Borg stopped playing at the top of his game, so isn’t he bound to be in the lead?

sienna Says:

this is a wrong way of looking at a way to asses the alltime greats.
Not all players alike. Roger refused to stay sidelined during his mono periode.
Also there were times he was injured and stillcame out to play.
So that is a choice and thechoice affects a stat like this is.

RAFA chose not to play at all this summer. 100% he would have lostanother 5 tournements there where more tournements he choose not to play wimbly 2009 for example.

So you cannot take those stats for a meassure of greatness because players have different ways of dealing with problems they face.

You must look at slams, WTF championships these are the 5 big ones in a year where all the players try to be at their best and are most desperate for the win.

I include WTF championships because that is always a major goal for the elite.

jamie Says:

Borg retired at 25. His numbers will look great because of that. But he is no GOAT candidate. Not even close. He couldn’t even win the USO when it was played on clay. Never won a HC slam. Ran away like a coward from JMac. Only won at 2 different slams.

The GOAT discussion is between Federer and Laver.

Polo Says:

Although the discussion for the GOAT will never end and will never be resolved, each time that the topic comes up, the one who will always be mentioned will be Federer.

jamie Says:

Sampras was awful on clay. Lost very early for many years at RG to journeymen. Never even reached a RG final. Only 1 title on clay. He is not in the the GOAT discussion either.

Just because a player won more than 10 slams does not mean he is a GOAT contender.

Nadal is terrible indoors. Can lose to anyone indoors, even to challenger players. Only 1 title indoors won against a clown like Lube coming for 2 sets down. Nadal never won a WTF. He is not in the the GOAT discussion either.

Sampras, Borg and Nadal are not in the GOAT discussion.

jamie Says:

Emerson is another player than won more than 10 slams but against an amateur field that didn’t compare with the level of the professionals. He is not in the GOAT discussion at all.

Sampras, Borg, Nadal and Emerson are all time greats, legends, but not GOAT candidates.

grendel Says:

Sienna and Margot

You both raise valid objections to the list I compiled. And there are others, some of which I mentioned myself.

It’s only a sort of parlour game. One point in reply. Sienna says Connors won some tourneys where there were only 4 players. I would guess (perhaps MMT could enlighten us?) that these tourneys were not included in the 109 listed by the ATP as won by Connors. He actually won 148 – but I used the 109 figure. Lendl and McEnroe also won many tourneys not listed by ATP – but I used only ATP figures.

You could argue that the situation is satisfactory as it is. If Connors won 109 tournaments and that is the record, he deserves the record (you might want to say) because he went on winning years after most people have retired. And this in itself is a notable achievement.

Nevertheless, it is not without interest to have a look at the relative success of players in winning tournaments as opposed to the absolute success – though I entirely agree the method I used was crude.

Incidentally, when the 22 year old Connors beat 39 year old Rosewall to win Wimbledon, he was asked afterwards if he thought he could last as long as Rosewall. It seemed like a bizarre question, given the relative styles of the 2 players. And Connors wasn’t slow to point this out – the silky smoothness of Rosewall, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of his own game, which you might expect to exact substantial wear and tear fairly quickly. I remember the quietly ruminative manner of Connors as he mused over the question. He was a strange chap. An animal on the court – as Serena once admiringly said – and a kind of bar room philospher off it.

So who would have thought it? That Connors would last as long as Rosewall, I mean. That interviewer, who ever he was, was either being perverse or he was strangely prescient.

grendel Says:

Just one final point on the desireability of relative success. It’s not everything, but nor is it nothing. But if a player entered 10 tournaments and won 7 of them, so his success rate was 70%, this would certainly be eyebrow raising (why didn’t the bugger play more?), but you would not want to say that this chap was the best player in the world. Not enough data. But Borg won 63 titles – that’s almost twice as many as Roddick in his entire career, and one less than Sampras. Plus he won another 38 titles not listed by the ATP. Now 63 out of 147 (42.9%), that I submit is interesting and impressive and worth considering.

I don’t think this makes him “goat”, whatever that is. I take the objections of Sienna and Margot on board. But I do think it is of great interest. Borg was a phenomenon. A flawed phenomenon, as many are keen to point out. A phenomenon all the same.

alison Says:

Although everyone makes great points,in one form or another,i have to say that GOAT talk is one facet of tennis ive never really cared about,i think its nice that there are so many great players in their own ways,and all should be given credit for their own achievements,IMO we are lucky that there are so many great players.

Tennislover Says:


” Still, I would imagine they are not too far out. Although if someone can show that they are, that’s fine – means we’ll have proper figures.”

While the figures for titles won are easily available, I was quite surprised to find that it is not so for the total tournaments played by different players. Admittedly, my internet search was not extensive but it still came as a bit of a shock. While accurate figures for the players from the 1970s and 1980s are difficult to find, I tried to get these figures from the ATP site and Wikipedia – not always reliable but the ATP site is not all that accurate either – with mixed success. I am sure that not everything is 100% accurate in my list but any errors are likely to be insignificant while assessing the overall situation. I could not compile Vilas’ numbers – the atp site had server errors and Wikipedia did not have the data – and he is the only notable omission in my list. Here is the modified list.

1)Borg (64/185)= 34.59%

2)Nadal (50/168)= 29.76%

3)Lendl (94/319)= 29.46%

4)Federer (76/261)= 29.18%

5)Mcenroe (77/264)= 29.16%

6)Connors (107/394)=27.15%

7)Sampras (64/266)= 24.06%

8)Djokovic (31/141)= 21.98%

9)Becker (49/264)= 18.56%

10)Agassi (60/343)= 17.49%

11)Nastase (59/338)= 17.45%

12)Murray (24/143)= 16.78%

13)Edberg (42/285)= 14.73%

14)Wilander(33/233)= 14.16%

15)Roddick (32/227)= 14.09%

16)Hewitt (28/220)= 12.72%

Borg’s percentage will go up to 37.64 if we exclude the 15 events he played in the early 90s during his “comeback”. Borg had only one bad year at the start of his career wherein he played 23 events without winning any. Raf went 1/28 early on before his breakthrough 2005. Fed, in contrast, struggled mightily going 0/45, 1/65 and 4/87 by the third, fourth and fifth years, respectively, of his career before establishing himself as a major threat in 2003. His high rank is quite remarkable in light of this fact although his figure will go down as he starts losing more and more in his twilight years. Sampras’ percentage went down quite a bit due to his struggles in the last three years of his career. The figures for Djoko and Murray will obviously improve as they should win many more titles in their peak years. I had expected Raf’s percentage to be a bit higher considering his clay domination. 36 of his 50 titles are on clay i.e. about 65% of his titles. Although the figures for Connors, Mac and Lendl are probably slightly inaccurate, the very high winning percentages did come as a bit of a surprise to me. Of course, a lot of caveats, as you mentioned earlier, apply especially with respect to the quality of some of the events won by these guys.

Sienna Says:

in the early 70 mid 70 there where several tours.
Alot of those tourney only had 6 draw.

Lavers or the early proffesional (we know he was not part of that) time was worse they played so many and the pr’so where not that many0 So draws consisted from 8 player sometimes 4!
But those where different times.

We truly should only try to look at the winnings a player makes. Or if you want to extract a succesrate on entering and winning. You must take a certain period.

So who did win his first 6 or 8 slams in the least amount of tourneys. Started from his first win.

I guess that list shows us a different turn or trick of the tail.

grendel Says:

Very interesting, Tennislover, and I must admit, rather more plausible figures than those I give. My chaps all seemed to do a bit too well. I’d be curious to know how you worked out number of tourneys. e.g. you say Sampras played in 266 tourneys. According to Wiki, he won 762 matches, lost 222, so he played 984 matches. Averaging 5 matches per tourney (obviously not accurate), that gives 196.8 tourneys, say 197. That is 69 less than you give – quite a discrepancy. How did you arrive at your figure?

oooh, I’ve dropped a booboo somewhere!

Good old Gasquet, eh – some scoreline against Simon, he must have been playing well.

grendel Says:

I’ve just realised how incredibly stupid I have been! Obviously (but not to me, apparently!) it is not 5 matches per tourney, because generally that’d mean winning most of them. Usng your figures for Sampras gives about 3.7 matches per tourney, which is much more realistic. I’d be curious to know how you arrived at that figure.

Well, my figures then are nonsense, but I’m glad they provoked some research, because I do think it is rather interesting – given caveats, etc.

jane Says:

Thanks to grendel and Tennislover for the numbers posts – always fascinating to look at these kinds of lists that span so many years and styles. No matter what, they all win an awful lot. And some girls are bigger than others, to quote a Smith…

Sienna Says:

Meanwhile Europe is turning the Ryder Cup Upside down……

sienna Says:

16 draw

the one event that truly unites Europe.

In your face remember 1999?

Tennislover Says:

Grendel – I am not sure I understand your query. The numbers, at least for the players of the last two decades, are what they actually are except for possible counting errors on my or Wiki’s part. I am pretty sure that the figures are, give or take a few events, fairly accurate. Wiki does not have data for some of the players on the list and I had to do it the old-fashioned way by going through their playing activity for their entire careers and then weeding out team events like Davis Cup and World Team Cup to arrive at the total tournaments played. It took some time but it is a Sunday and I somehow didn’t mind attempting this time-consuming exercise. You have to keep in mind that the the career match win/loss record at wiki includes the Davis Cup and World Team Cup numbers but the title count obviously includes only the individual titles. Sampras’ 984 matches include 23 DC matches as well as some wtc matches. Sampras was not like Fed who keeps going deep in most of the events he enters. Sampras’ clay record is not all that great. Just follow the link and scroll down to the section called ‘singles performance timeline’ and that should clear things up for you in case you still have any doubt.

Here is, for instance, Sampras’ playing activity for the 1993 season.

By the way, I calculated Vilas’ numbers (62/318 = 19.49%) from the ATP site and he gets the 9th rank in the list i.e. between Djoko and Becker. I also notice that Sampras, apart from Borg of course, has the same rank on both the lists even if the percentages are diffrent. Had I not included Nastase and Wilander, there would probably be some more shared ranks. There is really no reason for you to be so regretful. :-)

Tennislover Says:

Grendel – I responded to your query but my comment is apparently awaiting moderation.

Sienna – It was a thrilling Sunday, wasn’t it. The scenes were quite unbelievable. Sometimes you just have to wonder what kind of things motivate people at what kind of times. No matter how you define it, momentum plays such a huge role in Ryder cup and the Americans were visibly under pressure once Europe got a bit of momentum. Such a star-studded team got nervous at key moments and let Europe off after being up 10-4 at one stage yesterday. I am not that big a golf fan but I could not keep myself away from the drama that unfolded today.

Margot Says:

Yay! Who says “Golf is not a sport.” Thrilling day.
Simon got injured.
Interesting stats being uncovered, thanx grendel and Tennislover.
Also interesting, Borg tops it however you do it.

Sienna Says:

Golf not a sport?

Those guys are super fit and its as good as a mental game as any other sport.

What happened with the american was a total collapse. Or the ghost of Sevi was truly nearby and taking care of Europe.

I must say that the overall attitude towards eachother has improved the last couple of Ryder Cups.
1999 was an absolute low in sportmenship and conduct in sports generaly. Team US lost themselves there as they turned the match like Europe did this time.

Ryder Cup is maybe the one event from Golf that is a must see spectacle. I say it has a lot to do with the 2 year periode. It keeps the value very high and occasion not to familiar to get used to it.

I understand why tennis will try to follow with Davis Cup. A two year event taken place within 2 weeks might get the same interest and it could proove to be a lifesaver for DC.

Sienna Says:

I really dont know why you puit so much value in % of winning attending tourney.

If Nadalwould have played during summertime he would have added 4 more tourney leaving him with 50/172 avarage below Mcenroe.

A better meassurement is looking for tourney that really count. Slams and WTF over a winning periode of time from a player. That is the true definition of a champion of champions.

Not the youngster learning the trade or an old timer playing for fun and ambition..

Giles Says:

Well done Team Europe winning the Ryder Cup! Who doesn’t believe in miracles? ??

grendel Says:


You’d think it would be a straightforward matter to find the number of tournaments played by a given player, and it absolutely isn’t! Incidentally, the ATP link you give is good, but when I go onto ATP site, queries are often refused, it’s a frustrating site, I don’t know if anyone else finds that.

How you found the patience to work through all the lists boggles the old mind. For one player, it takes long enough, for 15 or so – good grief! I hope you thought it was worth it.

No, I’m not really regretful, I’m just amused – and interested – that one can make such an elementary but fundamental error. To assume 5 matches are played per tourney (on average)is almost incomprehensible when you think about it, and it leads you to wonder quite what the brain is up to. It’s as if there’s some sort of blind spot…b.t.w., you would expect our lists to be more or less in the same order, since the same error was made by me for each player. And so for example we both have McEnroe, Federer, Lendl and Nadal clustered together on roughly the same percentage, although I have Connors there as well, and you have him 2% below.

All this arose, you know, from Daniel’s remark that Federer is unlikely to catch Connors in number of tourneys won. It was natural to wonder, in these circumstances, what was their respective relative successes.

This investigation has clarified for me that this is not a straightforward matter and maybe doesn’t even make strict sense. Leaving aside the different types of events, which is a serious and obvious caveat, there is the business of different stages in a player’s career which you highlighted in your first post.

Even so, some kind of overall picture is available thanks to your stalwart work. Because of the qualifications which have to be made, it is not a matter for anyone to go to war about, I don’t think.

Thanks again for your time.

grendel Says:

Since another sport has been brought up on this site, I thought I’d post this link (in for a penny,in for a pound, don’t you know):–sow.html

Personally, I rarely pay the slightest attention when a public figure goes all modest, it is almost always phoney and sometimes sick making. Watch Stephen Fry “modestly” waving off applause, and you want to grab hold of his carefully dishevelled hair, give it a good shake, and for good measure stick his head into a bowl of water for a couple of minutes.

You only have to watch Messi on the football pitch to see that here is a disarmingly nice and unaffected young man. Fry is unable to open his mouth on any subject without directing attention to himself, sometimes quite subtly. Messi, who is easily one of the 2 or 3 greatest footballers in history, really is a team man – and there is no exaggeration in the link I post.

alison Says:

Grendel please can you put the link up again in blue,as i cant access it otherwise Thanks.

alison Says:

It will be great to have Andy Murray back in action again this week,1st match is against Monfils,heres hoping theres no USO hangover,and hoping he can successfully defend the title in Tokyo that he won last year,go Andy.

grendel Says:

alison – for some reason the link thing has changed slightly. Try this:

If that doesn’t work, go onto eurosport site, then click on football, and you should see it.

the DA Says:


Actually, Monfils pulled out and will be replaced by lucky loser Ivo Karlovic. Still a tough 1st round.

Brando Says:


‘You only have to watch Messi on the football pitch to see that here is a disarmingly nice and unaffected young man. Fry is unable to open his mouth on any subject without directing attention to himself, sometimes quite subtly. Messi, who is easily one of the 2 or 3 greatest footballers in history, really is a team man -‘

Completely agree with you regarding messi here. Very recently i was actually talking about this topic with a few friends- as to how there are very few genuinely- that’s key aspect IMHO, whether its genuine or not- nice sportsman in the sportsworld atm post Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘im not happy’ tantrum. We pretty much thought the following:

– By a countrymile the sportsmen of the past seemed more classy and genuinely humble. For example, in tennis you look at Bjorn Borg and almost embarrassed he seemed when he would win a championship match- you could sense that he rather not have that kind of attention. Others like Laver also, seemed to be very classy.

– In present day sporting world, common consent was tennis seem to have a really good bunch at the top atm. You compare rafa, fed, nole, andy to leading figures in other sports and you quickly realize that tennis does have some really good ambassadors of the game. Good role models, relatively speaking, IMHO.

– Lastly, Lionel Messi is pretty much the classiest sportsmen in the world, was the conclusion we came to. He is the best in the most popular and followed global sport- football. Is lauded by many, yet somehow he seems to be a genuinely down to earth, humble personality. Nothing superficial about him at all.

alison Says:

The DA thanks it was probably too soon for Monfils to return from the injury,(sigh)thats a stinker of a 1st match for Andy,just hope he can come through relativley unscathed.

alison Says:

Thanks Grendel i will try that link,love Messi,i agree with yourself and Brando,one of the best if not thee best footballer of all time,and thats saying something,not only that one of the best sportsmen ever.

Tennislover Says:

Grendel- Yeah, my assumptions about wiki, and the internet itself, got a bit of a reality check and I’d really berate myself if somebody were to show me a site with all the stats in place. I was half expecting Dave, who is very good at this sort of stuff, to come up with a link to such stats. It surely can’t be that difficult an issue and I am probably not smart enough. Yes, the ATP site can be very frustrating at times. Some of the info there is plain wrong. The historical weekly rankings section, for instance, is in a mess.

It was worth it because my curiosity was piqued by your figures but I couldn’t find the answers at all. I didn’t have to do it for all the players though. Mid-way through the counting, I did ask myself if I wasn’t being a bit crazy but abandoning it would have meant wasting whatever effort had already gone into it. Some of the memories from my childhood and teenage years(early 80s to mid-90s) came back as I went through the playing activity. It was a bit of a tennis history lesson as well especially about the 1970s. While I was focused on rushing through the events, I couldn’t stop myself from having a look at some of the biggest events every once in a while. I was amazed to find some of the things I still remember but, more importantly, many things that I had forgotten. Some of my pee-conceived notions also received a bit of a jolt. It really was quite fascinating.

I agree about the qualifications. It is quite complicated and no easy conclusions can be drawn. The game is so much more physical today. Most of the top players play very few of the ‘smaller/weaker’ events. I can’t imagine Connors’- or even Lendl’s – record being broken any time soon.

As for Messi, I think he just loves the game so much. His child-like enthusiasm and joie de vivre, as it were, make him stand out. It appears as if he simply enjoys playing the game. Everything else seems secondary.

Margot Says:

Would like to join the Messi fan club. There was a documentary on BBC about him and as well as being a footballing genius he seemed such an extraordinarily nice, unaffected-by-fame kind of guy.

alison Says:

Andy will play Lucas Lacko next round after coming through in straights against Karlovic,at tricky 1st set which Andy took on a tiebreak,it was always a tricky match against Karlovic with those booming serves.

Dave Says:

Federer is going to Shanghai, as predicted. Game on. May the best man win the year-end ranking, Roger or Nole. Whichever half of the draw Murray ends up in Shanghai, Paris and WTF may help decide the next few weeks.

Andy Murray would love to have the last laughs this Fall — win a few titles to set himself up to take the No.1 ranking between June to August next year. Next to Federer, Ivan Lendl is the best at getting and keep the No.1 ranking.


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