Federer’s Davis Cup contributions compared with his contemporaries

by thriding

There has been some recent criticism of Federer’s appetite for the Davis Cup competition.

Here is his record in comparison with some other high-quality Davis Cup competitors of recent years.

The criticisms have also related specifically to his “Prime” years, to the comparisons include a versions of him starting in 2003, when he won his first slam. Similarly, there is a version of Nadal from 2005, when he first won the French Open.

  1. Hewitt: 14 years, 32 ties, 66 rubbers: 4.71 rubbers/year
  2. Federer: 14 years, 22 ties, 58 rubbers: 4.14 rubbers/year
  3. Roddick: 12 years, 25 ties, 45 rubbers: 3.75 rubbers/year
  4. Nalbandian: 11 years, 24 ties, 48 rubbers: 4.36 rubbers/year
  5. Berdych: 10 years, 21 ties, 48 rubbers: 4.80 rubbers/year
  6. Stepanek: 10 years, 15 ties, 36 rubbers: 3.60 rubbers/year
  7. (’03-’12 Fed: 10 years, 14 ties, 37 rubbers: 3.70 rubbers/year)
  8. Nadal: 9 years, 14 ties, 27 rubbers: 3 rubbers/year
  9. (’05-’12 Nad: 8 years, 10 ties, 20 rubbers: 2.5 rubbers/year)
  10. Ferrer: 7 years, 15 ties, 25 rubbers: 3.57 rubbers/year

RUBBERS per TIE

  1. Federer  2.76
  2. (’03-’12 Fed 2.64)
  3. Stepanek 2.4
  4. Berdych 2.29
  5. Hewitt 2.06
  6. Nalbandian 2.00
  7. (’05-’12 Nad 2.00)
  8. Nadal 1.93
  9. Roddick 1.80
  10. Ferrer 1.67

Switzerland do not have great depth, nor do their ties see many dead rubbers, so it is not surprising that Federer more often than not has had to play three rubbers in each tie. Spain have rarely needed to call upon Nadal in doubles, hence his average under 2 rubbers per tie.

RUBBERS

  1. Hewitt 66
  2. Federer  58
  3. Berdych 48
  4. Nalbandian 48
  5. Roddick 45
  6. (’03-’12 Fed 37)
  7. Stepanek 36
  8. Nadal 27
  9. Ferrer 25
  10. (’05-’12 Nad 20)

Hewitt has played far more ties than the others in our comparison, and naturally tops this list

RUBBERS per YEAR

  1. Berdych 4.80
  2. Hewitt 4.71
  3. Nalbandian 4.36
  4. Federer  4.14
  5. Roddick 3.75
  6. (’03-’12 Fed 3.70)
  7. Stepanek 3.60
  8. Ferrer 3.57
  9. Nadal 3.00
  10. (’05-’12 Nad 2.50)

Berdych and Hewitt have played for teams that are both highly reliant on them and successful as well. Spain have great depth and so despite going deep into the competition each year they have much less need of Nadal

TIES

  1. Hewitt 32
  2. Roddick 25
  3. Nalbandian 24
  4. Berdych 21
  5. Federer  21
  6. Ferrer 15
  7. Stepanek 15
  8. (’03-’12 Fed 14)
  9. Nadal 14
  10. (’05-’12 Nad 10)

Nadal is the youngest of these players so it is unsurprising he has played the fewest ties.

TIES per YEAR

  1. Hewitt 2.29
  2. Nalbandian 2.18
  3. Ferrer 2.14
  4. Berdych 2.10
  5. Roddick 2.08
  6. Federer  1.57
  7. Nadal 1.56
  8. Stepanek 1.50
  9. (’03-’12 Fed 1.40)
  10. (’05-’12 Nad 1.25)

Of these eight Federer has been playing for the least successful country, which will go some way to explain his place at the bottom of this chart. They have reached just 1 SF & 5 QFs in his 14 years. Nadal’s similarly low score expresses Spain’s lack of need for him in the early part of the competition.

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