– Nowadays there are some seeded players which are almost always playing five set matches on early rounds on Slams no matter the level of the opponent is, mostly due to their flashy but inconsistent tennis. We will analyse the players which are playing more five setters on early GS rounds at the moment:
Gilles Simon: The frenchman has played 15 matches that went to 5 sets in his career, with a 9-6 record (60%), which doesn’t seem much compared to other players which have played + 30 five setters [ Hewitt has played 49, Haas 39, Wawrinka 32…], but he deserves to make the list because he has played 6 five setters in his last 5 Slams, with a 4-2 record. His most sweet memory from five set matches must have been beating #28 seed Kohlschreiber in USO R2, few hours after his son had been born in France while he was playing. He’s also had tough moments, like losing to Melzer 6/0 in the fifth after being two sets to one and a break in the 4th. on Davis Cup 2011 or to Wawrinka on the same situation on Roland Garros R3 of 2012. Despite his great endurance he has never made a comeback from two sets to love, though he came close vs Federer and Bennetau in AO 11′ and 12′, but he has never lost a match after winning the first two sets. He’s 27, and he usually needs some time to get into matches lately so we expect him to play a few more five set matches in the future.
Alexandr Dolgopolov: The Ukraine native is at 23 the youngest to make this list, but he has already played 10 five setters on his young career, with a 7-3 record [ 70%]. The anarchic and sometimes tactically stupid ukranian makes him get engaged in a lot of five setters. This year he has played 5 matches that went to the distance, winning 3 of them. His best moment on five set matches was surely his breakthrough in Oz, when he beated #12 Tsonga and #4 Soderling in 5 sets to make the QF’s. He will surely always remember this year USO R1, as he comebacked from a 46 36 *04 deficit to defeat Levine! He has also had some very tough moments, like vs Tsonga on Wimbledon R2 10′ [ lost 8-10 in the fifth]. He has comebacked from a 0-2 deficit twice, vs Jones on AO 12′ & vs Levine on USO 12′.
Philipp Kohlschreiber: The German has a great 14-5 record [ 73,6%] on five setters, and he is usually able to save off energy for the 5th set due to his good fitness and agressive game and he is usually able to end matches strongly. On 2012 he has a perfect 4-0 record on five sets, with very good wins vs Monaco, Haas, Paire & Isner. He’s had some really epic moments on 5 set matches: his second 5 set match was 17/15 over Dlouhy on RG R1 2007, and he displayed one of the best GS matches on recent times, defeating Roddick 8-6 in the fifth set of AO R3 08′. He has also other long matches, like 8-6 in the 5th. over Minar on Wmbledon R2 09′, and 9-7 in the 5th over Gabashvily on Wimbledon R2 10′. He doesn’t have a particularly painful loss on a 5th set, and he has comebacked from two sets to love just once, vs Tobias Kamke on AO R1 11′.
Stanislas Wawrinka: Stanislas has always been a player who gets easily engaged on five set matches, because he usually goes into mental walkabouts vs inferior players, and dropps sets easily. But due to his style of play when he’s on he can go toe to toe with top players on Slams also ( has beated Murray and other top-10’s like Roddick on GS). He has a not bad 19-13 record on five set matches [ 59,3%], with a 3-3 record this year. He has had some great moments on five set matches: like beating Hewitt in 5 sets on the decisive rubber of DC play-off’s 11′, also beating 11-9 on the fifth Karlovic on Wimbledon R1 07′, or beating #10 Puerta being just 20 years old in 5 sets on USO R2 05′. But he’s also had tough moments, like not taking advantage of an opportunity to make a SF on a Slam losing to Youzhny on USO QF 10′ in 5 sets or to Murray in Wimbledon R4 09′, and also a really bad loss to Fish 7-9 in the 5th set on DC R1 12′ on clay. He has comebacked from two sets to love 5 times: vs Blake in RG R2 05′, vs Soderling in USO R2 06′, vs Ramirez-Hidalgo in RG R1 07′, vs Cipolla in USO R3 08′ and vs Tsonga in RG R3 11′, and has lost from to two sets to love once, vs Gonzalez in RG 08′.
John Isner: The big serving American doesn’t has a good 5 set record, actually a below 50% one at 4-10 [ 28,5%] with a really bad 1-5 record this season [ 16,6%]. The reason why he gets dragged lately in many five setters is because his return is really poor, so he just hopes to keep his serve and win the set either getting a good return game or to win in tie-breaks, and that always leads to tight matches. He has won though, the longest match in history, 6/4 3/6 6/7(7) 7/6(3) 70/68 vs Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon R1 2010. He has also won some great five setters like the one vs #5 Andy Roddick in USO R3 2009, beating him 7/6(3) 6/3 3/6 5/7 7/6(5). But he’s lost really long matches also, vs Cilic in AO 2011 by 7/9 on the fifth, to Paul-Henri Mathieu in RG 2012 by 16-18 in the fifth set. He also came really close to beat Nadal at his kingdom, losing 4/6 in the fifth on RG 2011. He’s never comebacked from a 0-2 deficit, and he has lost once after winning the first two sets, it was vs Chela in Roland Garros R1 of 2008.
Janko Tipsarevic: The Serb is a quite good 5 set player, having a 15-8 record [ 65,2%], with a 1-1 record this season. He used to play much more five setters, that’s why he made the list, now as he’s more solid he doesn’t get many bad patches throughout matches. He’s had some really sweet moments on five setters, like winning 8-6 vs #20 Dominik Hrbaty the first 5 set match of his career at just 19 years old, and also beating #6 Fernando Gonzalez on Wimbledon R3 2007 by 6/3 3/6 6/3 4/6 8/6 or winning three straight five setters in a row in the same tournament, and also beating Radek Stepanek on DC QF 12′ by 9-7 on the fifth after a polemic match. He’s had also tough moments, like losing in USO QF 2012 to #5 David Ferrer in a 5th set tie-break after squandering a 4-1 lead on the 5th set, or losing 8-10 to Federer on Australian Open R3 of 2008, alsolosing on DC 1-6 to Hewitt in the 2007 play-off’s. He has comebacked 5 times from a 0-2 deficit: vs C.Rochus on DC Group 1 R2 on 2006, vs O.Rochus on DC Group 1 R2 in 2006, vs Peya on Wimbledon R1 2007, vs Lacko in DC play-off’s 2008 and vs Rufin on US Open R1 of 2012. He’s lost twice after winning the first two sets, vs Nalbandian on AO R1 2007 and vs Verdasco on Australian Open R1 2011.
Fabio Fognini: The Italian is a great player when on and always gives a great show with his antics and inconsistency. He has a not bad 7-5 record [ 58,3%], and he has played 7 of the 12 five setters he has played in the 2010-2012 period. He started his five set career losing to Russell in AO 2008 R1, and to Odesnik in US Open R1 2008. He’s had some really great moments in 5 set matches: in RG 2010 he won 2 5 set matches in a row, it was really good vs Monfils specially, winning from a 0-2 deficit. He also had a great moment in RG R4 2011, when he defeated 11-9 Montañes in the fifth while having cramps and making a lot of foot faults. He’s also had some really tough moments like losing his first 4 five setters. He has comebacked three times from a 0-2 deficit: vs Monfils in RG R2 10′ by 9-7 in the fifth, vs Russell in USO R2 10′ & vs Roger-Vasselin in USO R1 12′, and he has lost once after losing the first two sets, vs Monaco in RG R1 07′.
Nicolas Almagro: The spaniard has a good 5 set record at 12-8 [ 60%], he is a good server so he can usually hold on with his serve, but he is not a good returner so he usually plays many five setters, specially vs inferior opponents on hardcourt Grand Slams. This year he has a great 4-0 record with wins over Dimitrov, Rochus, Petzschner and Isner. qHe played his first five setter vs Kuerten on RG 04′ R1, losing 5-7 in the fifth. He’s had some good moments on 5 sets like winning two straight five setters on Wimbledon 09′, vs Monaco and K.Beck, and also 8-6 vs Malisse on AO R1 10′, and also saving matchpoints vs Andreev on AO 11′ R2 and beating Isner on DC 2012. But he’s also had really bad moments, like losing to Wawrinka in DC vs Switzerland or losing his first five 5 setters. He has comebacked twice from a 0-2 deficit, vs Monaco on Wimbledon R1 09′ and vs O.Rochus on Wimbledon R1 12′, but he has also lost twice after winning first two sets, vs Muller on USO R3 08′, and vs Kubot on RG R1 11′.
Marin Cilic: The big croat has a great 14-6 record [ 70%] on 5 setters, which shows us that tall guys can have good fitness. He usually gets a way to win 5 setters, even if his opponents has the momentum. He played his first five setter vs Gilles Simon, losing it 3-6 in the fifth, and won his first 5 setter vs Nieminen. He’s had really good moments on five, like defeating Davis cup hero David Nalbandian on 5 sets in DC tie between Croatia and Argentina, or winning three five set matches on the same tournament, in Australian Open 2010 vs Tomic, #4 Del Potro and #6 Roddick, and winning really long matches, like 9-7 vs Isner on AO R3 11′ , 17-15 vs Querrey on Wimbledon R3 12′ or 8-6 vs Fish on Davis Cup QF 09′. He’s also had some tough moments, like losing 8-10 to Haas on the fifth on Wimbledon R4 09′, running out of steam vs Nishikori on USO R2 10′ after leading two sets to one and a break or losing a crucial DC match vs. Berdych on SF’s. He’s comebacked twice from a 0-2 deficit, vs Matosevic on USO R1 12′ and vs Levine on USO R2 09′. He’s never lost from two sets up.
Honourable mention to:
Marcos Baghdatis: The popular Cypriot has always had an up and down style, but he has a pretty strong 5 setter record: 10-6 ( 62,5%), having went to the distance just once this season, vs Bachinger in the USO, winning it. His best 5 setter moment was in the Australian Open of 2006, when he won 5 setters vs Stepanek, Ljubicic and Nalbandian,or defeating Ferrer on AO 10′. He’s also had some painful losses, like the one to Djokovic 5-7 in the 5th set of Wimbledon 07′ QF or to Feliciano Lopez by 6-8 in the 5th. on Wimbledon R4 08′. He has made 2 comebacks after having a 0-2 deficit: one vs Nalbandian in AO SF 06′ and the other vs Ferrer in AO R2 10′, and he’s never lost after being two sets up.
* 1 important fact: Nadal holds the best five set record at 15-5 (75%), same % as Gilles Muller, who has a 9-3 record ( 75%). Djokovic also has a great record at 17-6 ( 73,9%), like Robredo, who has a 10-4 record ( 71,4%). Players who have played many five setters are Hewitt, with a 31-18 record, and Haas, who has a 20-19 record.