Category Archives: By the Numbers

Not A Means, But An End

In 2011, for the first time in the Open Era, no male tennis player reached his first Grand Slam semifinal. In 2012 it happened for the second time. This means there hasn’t been a new face in the final four … Continue reading

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Hardcourt Retrospective 2012 (Part Two)

This is Part Two of my look back at some of the players for whom the hardcourt season proved definitive, for better or for worse. The selection of players discussed might seem odd, although this is hopefully only because it … Continue reading

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Hardcourt Retrospective 2012 (Part One)

The ATP calendar has never made a great deal of sense, which is no great issue, since nowhere is it written that sporting schedules need to be sensible. In the case of tennis, a global concern with a vast delta … Continue reading

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Ten Maidens

In 2010, five different players captured a maiden title, although history does not record what they did with it after that. Whatever it was, once word got round the locker-room the deed was keenly emulated. In 2011 the number doubled. … Continue reading

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Surely It Cannot Continue

There is a theoretical maximum to the number of points that any single tennis player can accrue in a season, and for a long time this year Novak Djokovic was hell-bent on getting closer to it than anyone ever has. … Continue reading

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Rise and Fall (Part Two)

Previously I discussed the players who had complied their most memorable season in 2011, at least relative to 2010. Today I’ll talk about those who fell most sharply away. There are various reasons why this might happen. Some players subside … Continue reading

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Rise and Fall (Part One)

The immediately striking feature of this year’s ATP top ten is that it bears a suspiciously strong resemblance to last year’s. Expanding the selection, the same holds true for the top fifty, and even the top hundred. Perusing the lists … Continue reading

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Low Ebb

And so we have arrived at that point in the season when even hardcore tennis fans – historically a penalty for larcenists and false witnesses – find it hard to get motivated to follow the sport, unless they find themselves … Continue reading

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This Mighty Quartet

There is a case to be made that there is no such thing as the Big Four. Those opposed to the idea correctly point out that Andy Murray has never won a major, and therefore does not merit inclusion in … Continue reading

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Damned Lies

By and large, I have little time for statistics in sport, suspecting they were invented by Americans intent on ensuring the viewing public enjoys itself less. While stats at their best can prove illuminating when judiciously applied, at their worst … Continue reading

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