FEDEX RELIABILITY ZONE
FedEx Reliability Zone: Grand Performers
FedEx Reliability Zone: Grand Performers
by James Buddell|
This month, to mark the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, ATPWorldTour.com takes an in-depth look at Grand Slam championship records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index, with exclusive analysis from some great champions.
Every player attempts to peak for each major championship by working hard off the court and by gaining valuable match practise at ATP World Tour tournaments, but only a lucky few are able to take home silverware from the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Bjorn Borg leads the all-time Grand Slam match-wins list with a 141-16 record (.898) since 1973, including 11 titles, ahead of second-placed Rafael Nadal, who has a 143-20 (.877) mark and 10 trophies. Roger Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam title-leader, is third overall with a 228-34 record (.870).
Borg told ATPWorldTour.com, "The goal for me every year was to win the Grand Slam tournaments. It helped if I arrived at each Grand Slam well-rested and alert no matter what surface it was. It was most important to hit peak form at those events.
"You could lose anyway, but if you did, you knew that you were in good shape and did your best. After the first two rounds I began to feel that I was in the tournament and I got more confidence. I played much better the longer the race went on." Borg's worst performance in 27 majors was a US Open second-round exit in 1974.
Novak Djokovic, who is currently No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings and defending champion at the Australian Open, is eighth in the all-time list (110-24, .821). He went .962 last year, with a 25-1 record. Meanwhile, World No. 4 Andy Murray is ranked No. 17 overall, with a 78-24 mark (.765).
Djokovic, who picked up three of the four Grand Slam championships and seven other titles last year, recently explained how confidence carried him through last season. "Every single [title] gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "I was building confidence with every trophy that I have won. Like everything in life, in tennis as well, you need to have a high confidence level. When you're playing on it, it feels like nothing can stop you."
Six-time major champion Boris Becker, who won his first big title, at 1985 Wimbledon, aged 17, told ATPWorldTour.com, "The difference between the top players, those who win Grand Slams titles, and other players is not a question of technique or their actual game, but having a positive attitude.
"When you play a major final, you have to play to win with aggression. You must take your chances and not give it away. Just by getting to a final, you should be confident. Then, it is a case of going out to win."
Becker, who is No. 13 in the all-time list since 1973, with a 163-40 match record, added, "In any era of tennis, talent has only gotten a player so far. The simple fact is that no one is going to lose a Grand Slam for you. The winner is the guy who dominates the middle of the court."
Last year, the Top 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings reached all four Grand Slam semi-finals.
Borg, who believes he won Roland Garros in 1978 and 1980 at the peak of his form, is not surprised. "Tennis is a mental sport, you need to be physically strong and know how to handle the important situations, through perfect practise. The difference between playing well in tight situations is the difference between the players at the top."
With the current Top 4 among the Top 20 grand performers since 1973, Pete Sampras (No. 5 overall, 203-38 record, .842) observed, prior to Wimbledon last year, that Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray "are just better movers than everyone else. They're better athletes." His one-time rival, Andre Agassi, added, "The players are quicker, stronger, bigger, fitter and the whole package is that there is much more strength in tennis today."
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January: Fifth Set Career Records
February: 52-Week Clay-Court Records
March: Current ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Records
April: Career Clay-Court Records
June: Career Grass-Court Records
July: Career Hard-Court Records
August: Career Tie-Break Records
September: Current Hard-Court Records
October: Career Indoor Records
November: After Losing The First Set Records
December: Finals Records
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