Tony48

08-31-2011, 10:52 AM

I posted this over at MTF:

Fans have voiced complaints about how regularly Federer & Djokovic land on the same half, as well as how often Nadal and Murray land on the same half. And for good reason. I analyzed 3 other eras and not a single one displayed the glaring irregularities that we have come to expect in the Federer-Djokovic-Nadal-Murray era.

So did this happen in the past? I wanted to find out. My method was simple: try and find 3 other eras that were similar in nature to the current "Big 4" era. And those similarities included 1) an era with 4 CONSISTENT players, 2) they had to maintain that consistency simultaneously for at least a few years, and 3) they had to be seeded near the top of the rankings (No. 1 - 5, for example) more often than not.

It was a little difficult trying to pin down a group of 4 players that closely mirrored today's top guys but I found 3:

1. McEnroe-Lendl-Connors-Wilander ERA (1983-1985)

2. Endberg-Becker-Lendl-Agassi ERA (1988-1991)

3. Edberg-Courier-Becker-Sampras ERA (1991-1994)

....and they would be compared to:

4. Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray ERA (2008-present)

Fortunately, there was a lot of behavior in these eras that had characteristics similar to that of today's era, such as top guys that seemed to ALWAYS be seeded 1st and 2nd (a la Federer and Nadal) and guys that came in and crashed the party (a la Djokovic), etc. So theoretically, the draw based on the seeding would behave similarly, right? Right? :)

Well, here are the stats for the first era:

KEY:

1) number of times it was possible to be paired on the same side of the draw (not being seeded 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, etc.)

2) number of times they were actually paired

McEnroe-Lendl-Connors-Wilander ERA (1983-1985)

MCENROE-LENDL

1) 2 times

2) 1 time (50%)

MCENROE-CONNORS

1) 7 times

2) 4 times (57%), 2 consecutive times

MCENROE-WILANDER

1) 11 times

2) 7 times (63%), 3 consecutive times

LENDL-CONNORS

1) 9 times

2) 4 times (44%), 2 consecutive times

LENDL-WILANDER

1) 11 times

2) 5 times (45%), 3 consecutive times

CONNORS-WILANDER

1) 3 times

2) 0 times

Nothing jumps out. Seems that the 50/50 draw was in full effect here. And it's perfectly reasonable for Connors and Wilander to have not drawn each other out of a mere 3 times of potentially being paired.

Also, there are no ridiculously high numbers when it comes to consecutive times of being paired (we'll revisit this later, lol)

On to the next era:

Endberg-Becker-Lendl-Agassi ERA (1988-1991)

EDBERG-BECKER

1) 6 times

2) 3 times (50%), 0 consecutive times

EDBERG-LENDL

1) 10 times

2) 6 times (60%), 3 consecutive times

EDBERG-AGASSI

1) 7 times

2) 2 times (29%), 2 consecutive times

BECKER-LENDL

1) 6 times

2) 2 times (33%), 0 consecutive times

BECKER-AGASSI

1) 8 times

2) 4 times (50%), 4 consecutive times

LENDL-AGASSI

1) 5 times

2) 4 times (80%), 3 consecutive times

At first glance, because of the high standard set by the first era, the Lendl-Agassi pairing looks suspicious. Their number of potential pairings is relatively low at 5 because Agassi didn't play the Australian Open and Wimbledon at times, as well as Lendl missing some. 4 out of 5 times COULD be seen as high but honestly, a pool of 5 isn't that big.

Next:

Edberg-Courier-Becker-Sampras ERA

EDBERG-COURIER

1) 6 times

2) 3 times (50%), 2 consecutive times

EDBERG-BECKER

1) 5 times

2) 2 times (40%), 0 consecutive times

EDBERG-SAMPRAS

1) 10 times

2) 6 times (60%), 2 consecutive times

COURIER-BECKER

1) 9 times

2) 5 times (56%), 2 consecutive times

COURLER-SAMPRAS

1) 9 times

2) 6 times (67%), 4 consecutive times

BECKER-SAMPRAS

1) 8 times

2) 2 times (25%), 0 consecutive times

Not much to see here. The Becker-Sampras pairing might be a little low given its potential pairing of 8, but since the OTHER pairings are pretty equal, it's probably safe to assume that this is just one of those statistical anomalies (assuming you think 25% even merits attention at all).

Now here's where the fun begins:

Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray ERA (2008-present)

FEDERER-NADAL

1) 3 times

2) 0 times

FEDERER-DJOKOVIC

1) 15 times

2) 13 times (87%), 7 consecutive times

FEDERER-MURRAY

1) 12 times

2) 1 time (8%)

NADAL DJOKOVIC

1) 11 times

2) 2 times (18%), 0 consecutive times

NADAL-MURRAY

1) 14 times

2) 13 times (93%), 8 consecutive times *PRESENT STREAK*

DJOKOVIC-MURRAY

1) 9 times

2) 1 time (11%)

Where do you even begin with something so ridiculous and unprecedented? Either the percentage is under 20% or over 85%...in every single pairing! (if you exclude Federer-Nadal).

And 8 consecutive, on-going pairings between Nadal and Murray? :roll: The highest in the other era was 4 and Nadal-Murray has doubled that and likely to continue.*** And if it weren't for the 2010 French Open, Djokovic and Federer would be on a current streak of 12! :shock:

And if these numbers are any indication, expect to NEVER see a Federer-Nadal semi-final in a slam (as long as they stay relevant).

Given all this data and how they bare NO resemblance to past draws, I think it's fair to suggest that the slam draws these days are rigged.

Also, if anyone wants to see all of the seeding data (or just look at it to make any corrections), you can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?x1j2ngft97j3l4c

EDIT:

***that portion contains an error. I'll fix it later today....getting ready for work :)

Fans have voiced complaints about how regularly Federer & Djokovic land on the same half, as well as how often Nadal and Murray land on the same half. And for good reason. I analyzed 3 other eras and not a single one displayed the glaring irregularities that we have come to expect in the Federer-Djokovic-Nadal-Murray era.

So did this happen in the past? I wanted to find out. My method was simple: try and find 3 other eras that were similar in nature to the current "Big 4" era. And those similarities included 1) an era with 4 CONSISTENT players, 2) they had to maintain that consistency simultaneously for at least a few years, and 3) they had to be seeded near the top of the rankings (No. 1 - 5, for example) more often than not.

It was a little difficult trying to pin down a group of 4 players that closely mirrored today's top guys but I found 3:

1. McEnroe-Lendl-Connors-Wilander ERA (1983-1985)

2. Endberg-Becker-Lendl-Agassi ERA (1988-1991)

3. Edberg-Courier-Becker-Sampras ERA (1991-1994)

....and they would be compared to:

4. Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray ERA (2008-present)

Fortunately, there was a lot of behavior in these eras that had characteristics similar to that of today's era, such as top guys that seemed to ALWAYS be seeded 1st and 2nd (a la Federer and Nadal) and guys that came in and crashed the party (a la Djokovic), etc. So theoretically, the draw based on the seeding would behave similarly, right? Right? :)

Well, here are the stats for the first era:

KEY:

1) number of times it was possible to be paired on the same side of the draw (not being seeded 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, etc.)

2) number of times they were actually paired

McEnroe-Lendl-Connors-Wilander ERA (1983-1985)

MCENROE-LENDL

1) 2 times

2) 1 time (50%)

MCENROE-CONNORS

1) 7 times

2) 4 times (57%), 2 consecutive times

MCENROE-WILANDER

1) 11 times

2) 7 times (63%), 3 consecutive times

LENDL-CONNORS

1) 9 times

2) 4 times (44%), 2 consecutive times

LENDL-WILANDER

1) 11 times

2) 5 times (45%), 3 consecutive times

CONNORS-WILANDER

1) 3 times

2) 0 times

Nothing jumps out. Seems that the 50/50 draw was in full effect here. And it's perfectly reasonable for Connors and Wilander to have not drawn each other out of a mere 3 times of potentially being paired.

Also, there are no ridiculously high numbers when it comes to consecutive times of being paired (we'll revisit this later, lol)

On to the next era:

Endberg-Becker-Lendl-Agassi ERA (1988-1991)

EDBERG-BECKER

1) 6 times

2) 3 times (50%), 0 consecutive times

EDBERG-LENDL

1) 10 times

2) 6 times (60%), 3 consecutive times

EDBERG-AGASSI

1) 7 times

2) 2 times (29%), 2 consecutive times

BECKER-LENDL

1) 6 times

2) 2 times (33%), 0 consecutive times

BECKER-AGASSI

1) 8 times

2) 4 times (50%), 4 consecutive times

LENDL-AGASSI

1) 5 times

2) 4 times (80%), 3 consecutive times

At first glance, because of the high standard set by the first era, the Lendl-Agassi pairing looks suspicious. Their number of potential pairings is relatively low at 5 because Agassi didn't play the Australian Open and Wimbledon at times, as well as Lendl missing some. 4 out of 5 times COULD be seen as high but honestly, a pool of 5 isn't that big.

Next:

Edberg-Courier-Becker-Sampras ERA

EDBERG-COURIER

1) 6 times

2) 3 times (50%), 2 consecutive times

EDBERG-BECKER

1) 5 times

2) 2 times (40%), 0 consecutive times

EDBERG-SAMPRAS

1) 10 times

2) 6 times (60%), 2 consecutive times

COURIER-BECKER

1) 9 times

2) 5 times (56%), 2 consecutive times

COURLER-SAMPRAS

1) 9 times

2) 6 times (67%), 4 consecutive times

BECKER-SAMPRAS

1) 8 times

2) 2 times (25%), 0 consecutive times

Not much to see here. The Becker-Sampras pairing might be a little low given its potential pairing of 8, but since the OTHER pairings are pretty equal, it's probably safe to assume that this is just one of those statistical anomalies (assuming you think 25% even merits attention at all).

Now here's where the fun begins:

Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray ERA (2008-present)

FEDERER-NADAL

1) 3 times

2) 0 times

FEDERER-DJOKOVIC

1) 15 times

2) 13 times (87%), 7 consecutive times

FEDERER-MURRAY

1) 12 times

2) 1 time (8%)

NADAL DJOKOVIC

1) 11 times

2) 2 times (18%), 0 consecutive times

NADAL-MURRAY

1) 14 times

2) 13 times (93%), 8 consecutive times *PRESENT STREAK*

DJOKOVIC-MURRAY

1) 9 times

2) 1 time (11%)

Where do you even begin with something so ridiculous and unprecedented? Either the percentage is under 20% or over 85%...in every single pairing! (if you exclude Federer-Nadal).

And 8 consecutive, on-going pairings between Nadal and Murray? :roll: The highest in the other era was 4 and Nadal-Murray has doubled that and likely to continue.*** And if it weren't for the 2010 French Open, Djokovic and Federer would be on a current streak of 12! :shock:

And if these numbers are any indication, expect to NEVER see a Federer-Nadal semi-final in a slam (as long as they stay relevant).

Given all this data and how they bare NO resemblance to past draws, I think it's fair to suggest that the slam draws these days are rigged.

Also, if anyone wants to see all of the seeding data (or just look at it to make any corrections), you can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?x1j2ngft97j3l4c

EDIT:

***that portion contains an error. I'll fix it later today....getting ready for work :)