Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge
by Brendan Brody

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

Numbers of the Day: Stanislas Wawrinka Defies the Power of 17

January 26, 2014


A lot has been made of Wawrinka's victory over Raphael Nadal in that it was a total shock to anyone who is aware that tennis is a sport, and what focus hasn't centered on the sheer shock of his victory has orbited around the concept of nationalism and how Wawrinka became only the second player of Swiss nationality (joining Federer) to win a Grand Slam title. But these stories--the underdog's triumph and the saluting of flags--do not tell us everything about what Wawrinka just did and what it might mean for the sport moving forward.

Aside from a Wawrinka number one or a Swiss number two, another number that quickly comes to mind from Wawrinka's victory over Nadal is three, as in it looked like Wawrinka might win in three straight sets over the world's number one ranked player. However, the number that really blows my mind is how if Nadal had won, this year's Australian Open would have marked the seventeenth straight Grand Slam in which the winner's name was Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or Andy Murray. Instead that number rests in peace at sixteen, and while the "Big Four" may put together a new streak, there is no way any new streak would span four years of dominance. Also, any new streak might not include Federer, who last won a Grand Slam in 2012 (I know, not that long ago, but still the epoch, with him at the helm, is surely well into its coda).

The last player to win a Grand Slam outside the "Big Four" was Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 U.S. Open, and since that title, he has yet to play in another Grand Slam final. One last thing, prior to del Potro's 2009 Grand Slam victory, Federer and Nadal had combined for 21 out of 25 Grand Slam victories, the longest consecutive streak in those 21 victories was eleven. The interruptions to the Federer-Nadal dominance were: Andy Roddick, Gaston Gaudio of Argentina, Marat Safin, and Novak Djokovic. Only Djokovic ever went on to win more than one more Grand Slam, asserting himself at times as the best player in the game. At the age of 28, the Australian moment belongs to Wawrinka, but the road ahead is anything but predictable, not only for him, but for the tennis universe as a whole: tectonic plates may very well be in motion.

2 comments:

Christian Langlois said...

Love it! The more tennis talk, the better. Throw in that Wawrinka had never beat Djokovic or Nadal in around 25 combined meetings against the two, and he goes on to beat them both and become the FIRST person to ever beat them both in the same grand slam tournament.

January 26, 2014 at 1:51 PM
Bryan Harvey said...

That's crazy. No one has ever beaten the two in the same Grand Slam? Seriously, ridiculous.

January 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Post a Comment

 

© 2008-2010 ·The Lawn Chair Boys by TNB