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The Fab Four 5-Set Records. Is This Roger Federer's Achilles Heel?

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by Filippo Scala

I analyzed the Fab Four (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) records in 5-set matches, focusing not only on their overall win-loss record, but also, more specifically, on their records in the crucial stages of tournaments, semifinals and finals.

Here’s the breakdown. Semifinals and Finals matches are bolded. ANDY MURRAY 2016 Davis Cup WG SF: GBR vs ARG RR Juan Martin del Potro [ARG] d. Murray 6-4 5-7 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4
2016 Us Open QF (6)Kei Nishikori [JPN] d.

(2)Murray 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-5
2016 Wimbledon QF (2)Murray d. (12)Jo Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] 7-6(10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1
2016 Roland Garros R64 (2)Murray d. Mathias Bourgue [FRA] 6-2 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3
2016 Roland Garros R128 (2)Murray d.

Radek Stepanek [CZE] 3-6 3-6 6-0 6-3 7-5
2016 Davis Cup WG R1: GBR vs JPN RR Murray d. Kei Nishikori [JPN] 7-5 7-6(6) 3-6 4-6 6-3
2016 Australian Open SF (2)Murray d. (13)Milos Raonic [CAN] 4-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-2
2015 US Open R64 (3)Murray d.

Adrian Mannarino [FRA] 5-7 4-6 6-1 6-3 6-1
2015 Roland Garros SF (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (3)Murray 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1
2014 Roland Garros QF (7)Murray d. (23)Gael Monfils [FRA] 6-4 6-1 4-6 1-6 6-0
2014 Roland Garros R32 (7)Murray d.

(28)Philipp Kohlschreiber [GER] 3-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 12-10
2013 Wimbledon QF (2)Murray d. Fernando Verdasco [ESP] 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5
2013 Australian Open SF (3)Murray d. (2)Roger Federer [SUI] 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2
2012 US Open F (3)Murray d.

(2)Novak Djokovic [SRB] 7-6(10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2
2012 Australian Open SF (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (4)Murray 6-3 3-6 6-7(4) 6-1 7-5
2011 US Open R64 (4)Murray d. Robin Haase [NED] 6-7(5) 2-6 6-2 6-0 6-4
2011 Roland Garros R16 (4)Murray d.

(15)Viktor Troicki [SRB] 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
2010 Roland Garros R128 (4)Murray d. Richard Gasquet [FRA] 4-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 6-1
2009 Wimbledon R16 (3)Murray d. (19)Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3
2009 Australian Open R16 (14)Fernando Verdasco [ESP] d.

(4)Murray 2-6 6-1 1-6 6-3 6-4
2008 US Open R32 (6)Murray d. Jurgen Melzer [AUT] 6-7(5) 4-6 7-6(5) 6-1 6-3
2008 Wimbledon R16 (11)Murray d. (9)Richard Gasquet [FRA] 5-7 3-6 7-6(3) 6-2 6-4
2008 Roland Garros R128 (10)Murray d.

(WC)Jonathan Eysseric [FRA] 6-2 1-6 4-6 6-0 6-2
2007 Davis Cup WG PO: GBR vs CRO RR Murray d. Marin Cilic [CRO] 3-6 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-3
2007 US Open R64 (19)Murray d. Jonas Bjorkman [SWE] 5-7 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-1
2007 Australian Open R16 (2)Rafael Nadal [ESP] d.

(15)Murray 6-7(3) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1
2006 US Open R32 (17)Murray d. (10)Fernando Gonzalez [CHI] 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-2
2006 Davis Cup G1 PO: GBR vs ISR RR Murray d. Andy Ram [ISR] 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-2 6-3
2006 Roland Garros R128 (25)Gael Monfils [FRA] d.

Murray 6-4 6-7(2) 1-6 6-2 6-1
2005 US Open R64 (Q)Arnaud Clement [FRA] d. (Q)Murray 6-2 7-6(2) 2-6 6-7(4) 6-0
2005 US Open R128 (Q)Murray d. Andrei Pavel [ROU] 6-3 3-6 3-6 6-1 6-4
2005 Wimbledon R32 (18)David Nalbandian [ARG] d.

(WC)Murray 6-7(4) 1-6 6-0 6-4 6-1 RAFAEL NADAL 2016 Us Open R16 (24)Lucas Pouille [FRA] d. (4)Nadal 6-1 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6(6)
2016 Australian Open R128 Fernando Verdasco [ESP] d. (5)Nadal 7-6 4-6 3-6 7-6 6-2
2015 US Open R32 (32)Fabio Fognini [ITA] d.

(8)Nadal 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4
2015 Australian Open R64 (3)Nadal d. (Q)Tim Smyczek [USA] 6-2 3-6 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5
2013 Roland Garros SF (3)Nadal d. (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7(3) 9-7
2012 Wimbledon R64 Lukas Rosol [CZE] d.

(2)Nadal 6-7(9) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4
2012 Australian Open F (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (2)Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5
2011 Roland Garros R128 (1)Nadal d. John Isner [USA] 6-4 6-7(2) 6-7(2) 6-2 6-4
2010 Wimbledon R32 (2)Nadal d.

(33)Philipp Petzschner [GER] 6-4 4-6 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3
2010 Wimbledon R64 (2)Nadal d. Robin Haase [NED] 5-7 6-2 3-6 6-0 6-3
2009 Australian Open F (1)Nadal d. (2)Roger Federer [SUI] 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2
2009 Australian Open SF (1)Nadal d.

(14)Fernando Verdasco [ESP] 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(2) 6-7(1) 6-4
2008 Wimbledon F (2)Nadal d. (1)Roger Federer [SUI] 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-7
2007 Wimbledon F (1)Roger Federer [SUI] d. (2)Nadal 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2

2007 Wimbledon R16 (2)Nadal d.

(14)Mikhail Youzhny [RUS] 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-2
2007 Wimbledon R32 (2)Nadal d. (28)Robin Soderling [SWE] 6-4 6-4 6-7(7) 4-6 7-5
2007 Australian Open R16 (2)Nadal d. (15)Andy Murray [GBR] 6-7(3) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1
2006 Wimbledon R64 (2)Nadal d.

(Q)Robert Kendrick [USA] 6-7(4) 3-6 7-6(2) 7-5 6-4
2006 Rome Masters F (2)Nadal d. (1)Roger Federer [SUI] 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5)
2005 Madrid Masters F (1)Nadal d. (8)Ivan Ljubicic [CRO] 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)
2005 Rome Masters F (5)Nadal d.

(9)Guillermo Coria [ARG] 6-4 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6(6)
2005 Miami Masters F (1)Roger Federer [SUI] d. (29)Nadal 2-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 6-1

2005 Australian Open R16 (3)Lleyton Hewitt [AUS] d. Nadal 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6(3) 6-2
2005 Australian Open R64 Nadal d.

(15)Mikhail Youzhny [RUS] 6-1 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3
2004 US Open R128 Nadal d. (Q)Ivo Heuberger [SUI] 6-0 6-3 4-6 2-6 6-3 NOVAK DJOKOVIC 2016 Davis Cup WG R1: SRB vs KAZ RR Djokovic d. Mikhail Kukushkin [KAZ] 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3 6-2
2016 Australian Open R16 (1)Djokovic d.

(14)Gilles Simon [FRA] 6-3 6-7 6-4 4-6 6-3
2015 Wimbledon R16 (1)Djokovic d. (14)Kevin Anderson [RSA] 6-7(6) 6-7(6) 6-1 6-4 7-5
2015 Roland Garros SF (1)Djokovic d. (3)Andy Murray [GBR] 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1
2015 Australian Open SF (1)Djokovic d.

(4)Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0
2014 Wimbledon F (1)Djokovic d. (4)Roger Federer [SUI] 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4

2014 Wimbledon QF (1)Djokovic d. (26)Marin Cilic [CRO] 6-1 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2
2014 Australian Open QF (8)Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] d.

(2)Djokovic 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7
2013 US Open SF (1)Djokovic d. (9)Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] 2-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 6-4
2013 Wimbledon SF (1)Djokovic d. (8)Juan Martin Del Potro [ARG] 7-5 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-3
2013 Roland Garros SF (3)Rafael Nadal [ESP] d.

(1)Djokovic 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7(3) 9-7
2013 Australian Open R16 (1)Djokovic d. (15)Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7(5) 12-10
2012 US Open F (3)Andy Murray [GBR] d. (2)Djokovic 7-6(10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2
2012 Roland Garros QF (1)Djokovic d.

(5)Jo Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] 6-1 5-7 5-7 7-6(6) 6-1
2012 Roland Garros R16 (1)Djokovic d. (22)Andreas Seppi [ITA] 4-6 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 6-3
2012 Australian Open F (1)Djokovic d. (2)Rafael Nadal [ESP] 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5
2012 Australian Open SF (1)Djokovic d.

(4)Andy Murray [GBR] 6-3 3-6 6-7(4) 6-1 7-5
2011 US Open SF (1)Djokovic d. (3)Roger Federer [SUI] 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
2010 US Open SF (3)Djokovic d. (2)Roger Federer [SUI] 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5

2010 US Open R128 (3)Djokovic d.

Viktor Troicki [SRB] 6-3 3-6 2-6 7-5 6-3
2010 Wimbledon R128 (3)Djokovic d. Olivier Rochus [BEL] 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-2
2010 Roland Garros QF (22)Jurgen Melzer [AUT] d. (3)Djokovic 3-6 2-6 6-2 7-6(3) 6-4
2010 Davis Cup WG R1: SRB vs USA RR Djokovic d.

John Isner [USA] 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4
2010 Australian Open QF (10)Jo Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] d. (3)Djokovic 7-6(8) 6-7(5) 1-6 6-3 6-1
2008 US Open R16 (3)Djokovic d. (15)Tommy Robredo [ESP] 4-6 6-2 6-3 5-7 6-3
2007 US Open R64 (3)Djokovic d.

Radek Stepanek [CZE] 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 5-7 7-5 7-6(2)
2007 Wimbledon QF (4)Djokovic d. (10)Marcos Baghdatis [CYP] 7-6(4) 7-6(9) 6-7(3) 4-6 7-5
2007 Roland Garros R32 (6)Djokovic d. (WC)Olivier Patience [FRA] 7-6(2) 2-6 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3
2006 Davis Cup WG PO: SUI vs SCG RR Djokovic d.

Stanislas Wawrinka [SUI] 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4
2006 Wimbledon R16 (7)Mario Ancic [CRO] d. Djokovic 6-4 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3
2006 Roland Garros R64 Djokovic d. (9)Fernando Gonzalez [CHI] 6-4 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1
2005 US Open R32 Fernando Verdasco [ESP] d.

Djokovic 6-1 4-6 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4
2005 US Open R128 Djokovic d. Gael Monfils [FRA] 7-5 4-6 7-6(5) 0-6 7-5
2005 Wimbledon R64 (Q)Djokovic d. Guillermo Garcia Lopez [ESP] 3-6 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-4
2005 Davis Cup G1 R2: SCG vs BEL RR Olivier Rochus [BEL] d.

Djokovic 1-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-1 6-3 ROGER FEDERER 2016 Wimbledon SF (6)Milos Raonic [CAN] d. (3)Federer 3-6 7-6(3) 6-4 5-7 3-6
2016 Wimbledon QF (3)Federer d. (9)Marin Cilic [CRO] 6-7(4) 4-6 6-3 7-6(9) 6-3
2014 US Open QF (2)Federer d.

(20)Gael Monfils [FRA] 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2
2014 Wimbledon F (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (4)Federer 7-6(7) 4-6 6-7(4) 7-5 4-6
2014 Roland Garros R16 (18)Ernests Gulbis [LAT] d. (4)Federer 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 2-6 6-4 3-6
2013 Roland Garros R16 (2)Federer d.

(15)Gilles Simon [FRA] 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-2 6-3
2013 Australian Open SF (3)Andy Murray [GBR] d. (2)Federer 4-6 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(2) 2-6
2013 Australian Open QF (2)Federer d. (7)Jo Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3
2012 Wimbledon R32 (3)Federer d.

(29)Julien Benneteau [FRA] 4-6 6-7(3) 6-2 7-6(6) 6-1
2012 Roland Garros QF (3)Federer d. (9)Juan Martin Del Potro [ARG] 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-0 6-3
2011 US Open SF (1)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (3)Federer 7-6(7) 6-4 3-6 2-6 5-7
2011 Wimbledon QF (12)Jo Wilfried Tsonga [FRA] d.

(3)Federer 6-3 7-6(3) 4-6 4-6 4-6
2011 Australian Open R64 (2)Federer d. Gilles Simon [FRA] 6-2 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3
2010 US Open SF (3)Novak Djokovic [SRB] d. (2)Federer 7-5 1-6 7-5 2-6 5-7
2010 Wimbledon R128 (1)Federer d.

Alejandro Falla [COL] 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6(1) 6-0
2009 US Open F (6)Juan Martin Del Potro [ARG] d. (1)Federer 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4 6-7(4) 2-6
2009 Wimbledon F (2)Federer d. (6)Andy Roddick [USA] 5-7 7-6(6) 7-6(5) 3-6 16-14
2009 Roland Garros SF (2)Federer d.

(5)Juan Martin Del Potro [ARG] 3-6 7-6(2) 2-6 6-1 6-4
2009 Roland Garros R16 (2)Federer d. Tommy Haas [GER] 6-7(4) 5-7 6-4 6-0 6-2
2009 Australian Open F (1)Rafael Nadal [ESP] d. (2)Federer 5-7 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3 2-6
2009 Australian Open R16 (2)Federer d.

(20)Tomas Berdych [CZE] 4-6 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 6-2
2008 US Open R16 (2)Federer d. (23)Igor Andreev [RUS] 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-3 3-6 6-3
2008 Wimbledon F (2)Rafael Nadal [ESP] d. (1)Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(8) 7-9
2008 Australian Open R32 (1)Federer d.

Janko Tipsarevic [SRB] 6-7(5) 7-6(1) 5-7 6-1 10-8
2007 Wimbledon F (1)Federer d. (2)Rafael Nadal [ESP] 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2
2006 Rome Masters F (2)Rafael Nadal [ESP] d. (1)Federer 7-6(0) 6-7(5) 4-6 6-2 6-7(5)

2006 Australian Open R16 (1)Federer d.

Tommy Haas [GER] 6-4 6-0 3-6 4-6 6-2
2005 Masters Cup F David Nalbandian [ARG] d. Federer 7-6(4) 7-6(11) 2-6 1-6 6-7(3)
2005 Miami Masters F (1)Federer d. (29)Rafael Nadal [ESP] 2-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 6-1
2005 Australian Open SF (4)Marat Safin [RUS] d.

(1)Federer 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(6) 7-9
2004 US Open QF (1)Federer d. (6)Andre Agassi [USA] 6-3 2-6 7-5 3-6 6-3
2003 Davis Cup WG SF: AUS vs SUI RR Lleyton Hewitt [AUS] d. Federer 7-5 6-2 6-7(4) 5-7 1-6
2003 Gstaad F (3)Jiri Novak [CZE] d.

(1)Federer 7-5 3-6 3-6 6-1 3-6
2003 Australian Open R16 (10)David Nalbandian [ARG] d. (6)Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 6-1 3-6
2002 Australian Open R16 (7)Tommy Haas [GER] d. (11)Federer 6-7(3) 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-8
2001 Wimbledon R16 (15)Federer d.

(1)Pete Sampras [USA] 7-6(7) 5-7 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5
2001 Wimbledon R64 (15)Federer d. Xavier Malisse [BEL] 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 6-3
2001 Roland Garros R64 Federer d. Sargis Sargsian [ARM] 4-6 3-6 6-2 6-4 9-7
2000 Basel F (2)Thomas Enqvist [SWE] d.

Federer 2-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 1-6
2000 US Open R128 Federer d. Peter Wessels [NED] 4-6 4-6 6-3 7-5 3-4 RET
2000 Davis Cup WG PO: SUI vs BLR RR Federer d. Vladimir Voltchkov [BLR] 4-6 7-5 7-6(1) 5-7 6-2
2000 Roland Garros R32 Federer d.

(Q)Michel Kratochvil [SUI] 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 6-7(4) 8-6
1999 Davis Cup WG QF: BEL vs SUI RR Christophe Van Garsse [BEL] d. Federer 6-7(4) 6-3 6-1 5-7 1-6
1999 Wimbledon R128 Jiri Novak [CZE] d. (WC)Federer 3-6 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 Djokovic has the best overall record 27-8 (77%) as well as the best record in semis and finals 9-2 (82%).

Nadal also has very impressive records 17-8 (68%) and 7-3 (70%). Murray is 23-9 (72%) in his career and 3-3 (50%) in the final rounds. Federer, on the other hand, has an only slightly positive career record (24-20) which is not a big surprise since endurance has obviously never been his main asset.

His record was, in fact, still only 18-15 before he turned 30. What is more alarming is how his record drastically drops to 22% (4-14) in semis and finals, his last win being the amazing 2009 Wimbledon final over Andy Roddick.

His last win against one of the other top-4 is the 2007 Wimbledon final against Nadal. That said, Roger has however won 6 of the last 9 best-of-3 matches against Djokovic, 6 of the last 7 against Murray and the only best-of-3 match he played against Nadal in the last 3 years.

Looking forward to the new season and Federer’s quest to clinch one more Major, is the ability to compete with the top players when the match goes the distance the main concern for his fans? I personally believe Roger still has a Grand Slam triumph in him, but he will clearly have to put the matches to bed as quickly as possible when facing the other big guns.

Follow Filippo on Twitter @FilippoScala1 .

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