Another year, more familiar champions.
It’s been a period of dominance for more than a decade now, the powerhouse three, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have headlined a ‘Golden Age’ of men’s tennis.
Along with Andy Murray, the tour has been defined by greatness, an unparalleled dominance by the top players.
Since the 2004 Australian Open, no-one outside the ‘Big Three’ has been ranked world No. 1, a contrast to the previous six years, where 11 players held the top ranking.
Of the 40 Slams contested from the 2005 French Open, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won all but 5 of them. But perhaps more interestingly so, is where they have won them from.
An analysis of the Grand Slams since 2000 shows a sharpening of the men’s game in the rate of which the top seeded players win.
In theory, a Grand Slam tournament gives all 128 players an equal shot at glory, but as we’ve all unsurprisingly seen, the top-rated players, more often than not, are crowned champions.
However it is the increasing rate of which they are doing so, is perhaps more notable.
Between 2000 and 2009, roughly 20% of semi-finalists were players who weren’t seeded in the top 16. Contrast to the past 21 tournaments, where the same lower-ranked players contributed to just 3.5% of Grand Slam semi finals.
Furthermore, from Wimbledon 2005 to Wimbledon 2009 the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds won all but one of the 16 titles up for grabs.
See the latest design graphic, ‘Importance of Rankings Infographic’ below: