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FedEx ATP Performance Zone: Grand Slam Greats
FedEx ATP Performance Zone: Grand Slam Records
by James Buddell|
This month, to mark the start of the US Open, ATPWorldTour.com takes an in-depth look at Grand Slam championship records using the FedEx ATP Performance 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 practice at ATP World Tour tournaments, but only a lucky few are able to take home silverware from the major championships: 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 current players: second-placed Rafael Nadal, who has a 164-23 (.877) mark and 12 trophies. Roger Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam title-leader, is third overall with a 257-40 record (.865).
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 Emirates ATP Rankings, is sixth for the best Grand Slam match winning percentage in the all-time list (152-29, .840). Meanwhile, defending US Open champion Andy Murray is ranked No. 18 overall, with a 113-28 mark (.801).
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. 17 in the all-time list since 1973, with a 163-40 match record (.803), 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."
Borg, who believes that he was at the peak of his form when he won Roland Garros in 1978 and 1980, is not surprised. "Tennis is a mental sport, you need to be physically strong and know how to handle the important situations, through perfect practice. The difference between playing well in tight situations is the difference between the players at the top."
So is it Roger Federer’s turn for major glory? Former World No. 1 Tim Mayotte told ATPWorldTour.com, “Don't underestimate Roger. A lot depends on his draw. He could beat two of top three but not three.”
But Pete Sampras and Mayotte are both impressed by Nadal. “I think for Rafa to take the time off he did last year and to come back the way he has is truly amazing,” Sampras told ATPWorldTour.com. Mayotte admits, “Rafa seems in great form. Strong and focused.”
Nadal recently won the Rogers Cup in Montreal (d. Raonic) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Isner). The last player to win the Canada-Cincinnati double and went on to lift the US Open trophy was Andy Roddick in 2003.
Nadal will regain No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings if he gets to the final and Djokovic loses before the quarter-finals, or if Nadal wins the title and Djokovic loses before the final.