A Case Study of the Match Winners and the Slam Winners

Rohini IyerSenior Writer IMarch 17, 2009

Tennis players can be classified into two main categories: One filled with players who win almost everything and anything in the tournament charts. From ATP events to the slams, they conquer everything while the other includes players who perform well at all, but the slams.

So why does this tend to happen? Has it something to do with difference in the length of the matches at the slam level that makes it so monopolising among a few or is it because of each player's level of fitness and stamina?

But then the question arises that if it was a problem of stamina, the slams are better scheduled than the ATP events because of the gap between two matches.

When it comes to the slams the players have to go through a maximum of seven matches in two weeks whereas in the latter case its almost one match per day and even if it is a best of three setter, the feeling of weariness will be more here.

Let us consider David Nalbandian. Nalbandian has finished as a Runner-Up in Wimbledon 2002, not to mention a lot of Semifinal appearances in the other slams. He is also one of the only players to have won a year end Masters Cup without winning a slam.

Davydenko, another old war horse can be included, too. He finished as the losing semifinalist at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows in 2004 and boasts of a good record at the ATP calender events.

Then does this prove that stamina is definitely not a criterion for not winning slams? Or is it merely a case of "To each his own" not necessarily ruling out this line of thinking meaning Davydenko and Nalbandian can be the two exceptions to the rule?

Are the Grand Slams equally responsible for fuelling this invisible demarcation? Does the backdrop of these two words doing the spoiler if physical conditions are excluded?

Is the event so overwhelming that it makes the players think twice as hard and puts more pressure on them in such a manner that by the time they can regroup themselves, they find themselves on the losing side.

Novak Djokovic looks to fit in this category. Though he has a slam to his name, his ATP winnings look more convincing than his Grand Slam approach.

And the number of such players is on the increase: Tsonga, Simon, Monfils and even Murray seem to be on-board; although to be fair to Murray it can be said that he still is developing, underlying this justification will be an element of "What if" about his slam winning abilities.

Or to take a totally different view of the story, are the coaches responsible for their pupils turning out this way? Can the blame be entirely transferred to the coaches for failing to understand the needs and demands of the various tournaments.

Yet, Roger Federer stands out. He hasn't had a coach for a major part of his career and by the looks of it, it doesn't appear that he is going to hire one. His career however is outstanding with 57 ATP singles and 13 grand slam singles titles.

So does the coach actually enter into the picture frame on the lines that he doesn't provide a player the training required for winning a potential slam or is the player himself responsible for not extending and converting his other winnings into a slam victory?