Friday 17 June 2011

Wimbledon Draw - Scattered first thoughts

I saw the Wimbledon Draw about ten minutes ago. Basically, this post is a collection of things that I would've tweeted, but there are too many thoughts, so I'm writing it all down here. I hope to post a normal draw-dissection/predictions later on (though probably not today).

The order of thoughts is based on the Wikipedia drawsheets, look at it here.
  • Fognini vs. Raonic - well, at least we can hope that with Milos's serves, Fabio won't have a chance to wreak a havoc in this Slam.
  • The bottom part of Nadal's first section has Del Potro and Simon as the seeded players, 3 qualifiers (or lucky losers), and one Wild Card - Dudi Sela. Del Potro isn't the best on grass, Simon played in The Boodles exhibition tournament with bandaging this week, so... dare I hope for a surprise fourth-rounder against Nadal here? I probably dare not, but hope dies last.
  • Verdasco vs. Stepanek - tough first round for the Spaniard, who doesn't do all that well on grass...
  • Cilic-Ljubicic in a Croat derby in first round? Ouch.
  • Wawrinka didn't get Federer anywhere near him! That's a first, he played him both in AO and RG this year. Anyway, Wawrinka and Gasquet's section has another close group of qualifiers.
  • OK, maybe I shouldn't be surprised at the amount of qualifiers drawn together, they seem to be everywhere. Forget it :)
  • Karlovic/Tipsarevic? #JankoSigh
  • Isner/Mahut. I don't even know what to say. Will they play on Court 18? That'd be cruel. Centre Court, maybe? But it won't be the most interesting tennis you could think of... Anyway, I think it's going to be a 3 sets match. Maximum 4. OK, maybe... No, I just don't know.
  • Ah, so we don't get Wawrinka/Federer, but we might get Troicki/Djokovic. Of course.
  • Also, of course Roger and Novak fall into the same half. Sure. It only happened in 13 out of the last 15 Slams (or so I've read on twitter, sorry if this is wrong).
  • I'm going to cry at the statistics of this draw, see you later...
Edited to add: This is the funniest thing I've read lately (Yes, Andy Murray's tweets included) - a liveblog account of last year's Isner/Mahut match. Start at 3:45 pm, and make sure you're not drinking anything as you read it.


    1. Mat4

      Anna, I try next time to make an account, but I still don't know what is the easiest way.

      The draw is fixed. I made a caculation a few months ago on about the probability of having a semi protecting a Fedal final (except at RG 2009, when the organisers wanted a Rafole final, after the results during the clay court season, so we could name it: the most attractive final) the last 14 times: it is 1:4096. Only fools and horses (I hope it means something in english) couldn't see the truth about the draw.

      In this one, big servers are evenly disposed, too.

    2. Well, I think we have to take into account not just the slams, but all the tournaments when we count the Fedjoko possible semis. (Also, as long as Novak was #3, it was obvious that we'd get a possibility of a Fedal final every single time)

      (re: making an account - you have an option called "Comment as" - you can either use the "Name/URL" option, or sign in ia a Google account, if you have one.)

    3. Mat4

      Anna, I like this nom de plume, and I use it on sportvox, tennisx, welovetennis... and here. I would like to keep it. It's also a way to be recognized.

      About the draw fixing: I am absolutely certain for the slams, and I could give you a link. In atp 1000, Djokovic has a good draw in MC (where the tournament director is a friend of his ex-coach, Niki Pilic), and in Rome (Sergio Tacchini is a big sponsor there).

    4. Anna,

      I reproduce here an analysis made a few months ago on another site. We discussed it again, and now most of the posters agree that the draw is suspect, at least.

      "mat4 Says:

      Madmax: sorry I couldn’t answer yesterday.

      A little analysis. I used initials: F=Federer, N=Nadal, M=Murray, D=Djokovic. The assumption here is that Djokovic is an easier match for Federer, and Murray for Nadal on hard, or, if you want, that Murray is a trickier match for Federer, and Djokovic for Nadal. On clay, Murray doesn’t count, and the expected draw is N-D in the semi.

      Event Most valuable final draw 1-4 odds
      AO 2011 F-N F-D,N-M 1/2, 50%
      USO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/4, 25%
      W 2010 F-N or F-M F-D, N-M 1/8, 12,5%
      RG 2010 F-N F-M, N-D 1/16, 6,25%
      AO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/32 3,12%
      USO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/64 1,56%
      W 2009 F-M** F-D, ?-M 1/128 0,78%
      RG 2009 N-D* F-D, N-M 1/256 0,39%
      AO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/512 0,20%
      USO 2008 F-M or F-N F-D, N-M 1/1024 0,09%

      Since Rafa won Wimbledon and the rivality between him and Fed took another dimension, the draw in the slams was always protecting them in the semi. The stats above are blatant: there was 1/512 chance to have such draw in 9 slams in a row. From a scientific point of view, it’s a proof. The semi F-D was projected 7 times in a row, from W 2008 to RG 2010; the chances for such thing are 1/128, or 0,78%. It is obvious that there is a pattern.

      There can be disagreaments about the “Most valuble final” thing, but not too much.

      I do not know which draws are fixed, in what measure, and how it is done. I do know that it can be easily done.

      If Djokovic takes the num 2 rank, you can bet that Roger will be in his half at RG. If Roger continues to play exceptionnal tennis like he is doing now and makes a step toward num 1, Nole will land in Rafa’s half.

      * In 2009, Djokovic had an exceptionnal clay court season until RG, and after the final in 2008 when Rafa destroyed Fed, a final N-D was the only where some fight could be expected.
      ** Nadal didn’t play."

    5. Well, the stats are definitely strange, no doubt about that. But seeing how the draws for the seeds are made, I really can't see any possible way of fixing them, so I'll still attribute it to (really) bad luck.

    6. 1: 4096 bad luck? It is simply impossible. I remember that in the 18 century, lottery was fixed in France although a child was choosing the numbers on a public place. The balls with the "right" numbers were colder. I don't know how they do it now, but I have no doubt that they do.

    7. For us, Nole fans, the big question is how the grass will influence the match-up between Roger and Novak. The balls and the surface were in Roger's favour at Roland Garros. The balls were fast and difficult to control (making the return of serve more difficult), and the clay courts were slowing Nole's flat shots. We have to mention also that Nole didn't play the way he should - to be patient, play Roger's backhand, warn him in long rallies...

      If the balls rebound high (it seems to me, watching Djokovic-Simon, that the rebound was quite high), it could be a surface like a fast hardcourt. Nole's serve would be more effective, his forehand also (compared to Roger's, it lacks raw power). Nole could have a good chance to make the final, where I am certain he would win against Nadal.