A couple of weeks ago, Stanislas Wawrinka won the Australian Open as the eighth seeded player. He is the winner with the lowest seeding since Gaston Gaudio (unseeded) won Roland Garros in 2004. I will not go so far as to say that it's the end of an era but it's definitely a noteworthy event given how the past couple of years it's been fairly easy to predict the winners of Grand Slam titles. I thought I take a moment to reflect on the past few years of tennis as they have been singular.
It's just amazing to think about the quality of tennis we've seen over the last few years. It's always problematic to try to compare the level of game play between different eras. But if we look at a few pieces of statistics it's clear that we've had a truly spectacular period of tennis.
- Seven players have won a career Grand Slam.
Two of them are active now (Federer and Nadal).
- Thirteen players have won three Grans Slam in a single year.
Three of them are active now (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic)
- When it comes to appearing in most consecutive Grand Slam finals, Federer holds both first and second place (10 and 8, which would have been 19 if he had made it to the final in Australian Open 2008)
Nadal is 6th place with 5 (tied with three other players) and Djokovic 10th with 4 (tied with three other players).
- Feder has won five consecutive Wimbledon titles, and US open titles.
- Nadal is the only player ever to win a single Grand Slam tournament eight times (French Open), and the also the only player to win at least one Grand Slam tournament for nine consecutive years.
- Nadal is the second player to win at least two Grand Slam tournaments on three different surfaces
- Djokovic is the only player in the open era to win three consecutive Australian Open and holds the record of 31 consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series matches.
- Federer, Nadal and Djokovic share the record of playing in the final of all nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, and Djokovic is alone in having won eight.
- Federer has won 17 Grand Slam tournaments and have held the no. 1 position in the world for 302 weeks in total.
The really astounding thing here is that we have three record breaking machines who are active at the very same time. It really shouldn't be possible. Pretty much all other record holder in tennis have reigned supreme, or at least haven't had two other players to compete with. The Sampras - Agassi rivalry is one notable parallel but it still doesn't live up to the same standard as the current era.
It's been an amazing couple of years for tennis. Here's to another couple of amazing years!