© Ella Ling

Novak Djokovic celebration

We are officially in a golden age


There is now some science which confirms what everyone has been thinking since the Australian Open, that Andy Murray has the misfortune to be competing in the toughest era in the history of modern men’s tennis.

Analysis by sportingintelligence.com, which has been shared with thetennisspace.com, has given each player a number based on his results at the grand slams over a rolling four-year period, and has demonstrated that the three-way rivalry of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is the strongest since the sport turned professional in 1968. The next best era was around the time of the 1990 Australian Open, during the era of Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander. In third place was the three-way rivalry between Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, which, according to the numbers, was at its peak at the 1981 US Open. 

The research also confirmed that Federer achieved the greatest slam streak of the Open era, peaking at the 2009 French Open and Wimbledon. And that Federer and Nadal have had the highest quality rivalry of the modern era, peaking at the 2009 Australian Open, though the Nadal and Djokovic rivalry is not far behind. Behind them are Lendl and Wilander, which was at its strongest at the 1988 US Open, and Borg and McEnroe are in fourth place, peaking at the 1981 US Open. Four of the top 10 highest quality rivalries feature Lendl, now Murray’s coach, with his matches against Edberg in fifth place, his contests against Boris Becker in sixth, and his matches against McEnroe in tenth.

For the full story, please visit http://sportingintelligence.com