Believe it or not, Wimbledon is one of just two tennis tournaments in the world that have more history than Rogers Cup.
It’s true. Rogers Cup has been around for forever – only the US Open and the legendary lawns of Wimbledon have been around longer. But the All England Club’s slick grass courts and bouncy hard courts of Rogers Cup are worlds apart, both literally and in style of play.
So how have Wimbledon champions fared a month later when they touch down in Canada? Were they able to translate their attacking grass court tennis to Toronto and Montreal’s more neutral surface?
With the year’s third Grand Slam just around the corner, let’s have a look at how Wimbledon champions of the past 15 years have fared at Rogers Cup – and how Rogers Cup winners did at the Wimbledon just a month prior.
Here are a few takeaways from this cross-tournament statistical comparison:
There’s a high correlation between Rogers Cup results and Wimbledon results in men’s singles tournaments. Typically, a strong run at Wimbledon translated well to a strong run at the Rogers Cup.
Four times over the past 15 years has the Wimbledon champ completed the relatively quick surface-turnaround: Roger Federer won both tournaments in the same year on two different occasions, while fellow “Big 3” members Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic completed the same in their banner years of 2008 and 2011 respectively.
Although in the early 2000s Wimbledon champs and Rogers Cup champs had very little crossover between results, the recent trend of grass court success translating onto Canadian hard courts speaks towards both surface homogenization and the all-court abilities of the current Golden Era of champions.
Moderate success at Wimbledon has proved to be a strong precursor for success in Canada, with 14 of the past 15 Rogers Cup champions having made the fourth round or better at Wimbledon just a month prior.
Perhaps it’s the toll that a full grass court campaign takes on a player; if they lose in the fourth round or quarterfinals they get an extra week of rest, which means an extra week of preparation on hard courts. Meanwhile, a Wimbledon champion plays for a full extra week in addition to media commitments after the tournament.
BREAKING: Federer is great at tennis.
…and it shows in the data. His frequent success at Wimbledon in the mid-2000’s translated into Rogers Cup results. His versatile style of play works well on all surfaces, and his exceptional scheduling skills often had him ready and raring to go by the time Rogers Cup came around.
Later on, Nadal and Djokovic followed suit – both have multiple titles at Wimbledon and Rogers Cup. Andy Murray has lifted the trophy in Canada on three occasions, but not in the same year as his legendary SW19 Grand Slam triumph – though his results at both tournaments are often exceptional.
The bottom line is that this might a matter of these Big 4 players being simply better than all their competition regardless of the surface, rather than suggesting that grass court form plays a hand in how well they’ll play a month later on hard courts.
Want to see a French Open champ in action this summer? Be sure to get your tickets for the 2016 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.