Chaitanya's Random Pages

June 30, 2013

The quarter final streaks of Connors and Federer

Filed under: sport — ckrao @ 10:36 am

Roger Federer‘s quarter final streak win in grand slam tennis singles tournaments ended at 36 recently, the magnitude of which indicates his consistency, longevity and fitness. His loss in the second round at Wimbledon 2013 was interestingly his 1111th career match and it was the first time he had ever lost a second round match in a grand slam match (he was 49-0 prior to this).

Jimmy Connors had the second longest streak of 27 ending in the 4th round of Wimbledon 1983 to Kevin Curren. Due to his association with World Team Tennis, he was not allowed to participate in the French Open during his peak years, and he also chose to skip the Australian Open after 1975. This is why the streak lasted a period of 10 years (age 20 to 30). (Connors was able to remain a top ten player for 15 years!)

Federer won 141 matches in his streak of first four round wins (there were four withdrawals from opponents) while Connors won 109 (his two Australian Opens had only three rounds before the quarter final stage). Both had 22 6-0 wins.

Here are the scores of their 5-set matches prior to quarter finals in grand slam singles matches. They each had one occasion of being pushed to 10-8 in the fifth set. (Note that from 1975 to 1979 the first three rounds of US Opens were best of 3 sets.)

5-set matches of Connors:

  • 1981 US Open, 3rd round vs Andres Gomez: 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6
  • 1980 French Open, 2nd round vs Jean-Francois Caujolle (FRA): 3-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, 6-1
  • 1978 US Open, 4th round vs Adriano Panatta: 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5
  • 1977 Wimbledon, 4th round vs Stan Smith: 7-9, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
  • 1974 Wimbledon, 2nd round vs Phil Dent: 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8
  • 1973 Australian Open, 3rd round (R16) vs Syd Ball:  6-4, 5-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4

5-set matches of Federer:

  • 2013 French Open, 4th round vs Gilles Simon: 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
  • 2012 Wimbledon, 3rd round vs Julien Benneteau: 4-6, 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-1
  • 2011 Australian Open, 2nd round vs Gilles Simon: 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3
  • 2010 Wimbledon, 1st r0und vs Alejandro Falla: 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-0
  • 2009 French Open, 4th round vs Tommy Haas: 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
  • 2009 Australian Open, 4th round vs Tomas Berdych: 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
  • 2008 US Open, 4th round vs Igor Andreev: 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • 2008 Australian Open, 3rd round vs Janko Tipsarevic: 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-1, 10-8
  • 2006 Australian Open, 4th round vs Tommy Haas: 6-4, 6-0, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2

Hence Federer came back from 2 sets down on 4 occasions while Connors only had to do so once.

You can see their full listings of the grand slam matches of these two great players via their ATP pages here (for Connors) and here (for Federer). More statistics on Federer’s streak can be found here and here (both Wall Street Journal Daily Fix blog entries).

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