End of the 32-seed era (2001 Wimbledon - 2018 US Open)

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but the upcoming US Open will be the last to feature 32 seeds in the men's draw.

I, for one, am looking forward to a return to the 16-seed slams, which will increase the probability of upsets for big names early in the tournament. It can be no coincidence that the era of unprecedented consistency among the top stars has been the same as the 32-seed era.

What are others' thoughts?
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
It will be interesting for sure. For example, right before the 32-seed era, world #3 Andre Agassi played world #20 Thomas Johansson in the first round of the 2001 French Open. That would equate to world #3 Sasha Zvevrev playing world #20 Kei Nishikori in the first round if a Major with 16 seeds started tomorrow.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
is it official now anyway? o_O
i haven't heard anything since the ITF said they would consider it, back in November/January.

hard to imagine that it will really come.
the game is more physical now and the depth of the field is greater.
imagine Federer gets Kyrgios and Chung in round 1 and 2. that could cost him a lot of energy and he might make it only to the SF therefore.
that would look decent in the stats, so on paper it would seem that 16 seeds haven't changed much.
but it affects individual players.
 
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buscemi

Hall of Fame
My thoughts are that it will look weird but nothing will change.
It might be tough to measure the impact. Obviously, if a top player loses to a player ranked between #17-#32 in the 1st or 2nd rounds, that's a change. But there are other impacts that we might not know. For example, in 1995, #1 Agassi had to play #28 Corretja in the 2nd round, a match that ended up being a five set battle. Agassi won it and ended up losing to Sampras in a tough five set final. Did a five setter against Corretja as opposed to a possible three setter against an easier opponent have impact on the final? We'll never know.
 

diggler

Professional
I quite like the 32 seeds. I guess the tournaments would like some closer matches in the first week. The top 32 players would prefer the 32 seed system.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
it would also make draw rigging easier. no more need to draw DJ and Fred in the same half.

what would our experts here suggest how to keep the GOAT race open? :)
 

reaper

Legend
Less predictable results will come after the new seeding system is introduced. It won't be because of only 16 players being seeded. It was going to happen anyway with the 3 great players getting long in the tooth. They've won 46 of the last 53 slams (by my count), but there's no group of 3 players set to win 46 of the next 53.
 
Why would increasing early upsets be something posItive?
The first week of majors used to be much, much more interesting than it is now. True, there is more chance of uneven matchups later, but:

1. First weeks matter, too.
2. We get uneven matchups later now, anyway.
3. There are fewer matches in the second week, so it's harder to guarantee good ones. Better to prioritize making the first week as interesting as possible than the second.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
16 seeds will clear out the weak links faster. With 32 seeds, the top 32 players are guaranteed that their first two opponents in majors are outside the top 32. With 16 seeds, anyone from 17 and below could face a top 16 player in the first round or second round.
 
It will be interesting for sure. For example, right before the 32-seed era, world #3 Andre Agassi played world #20 Thomas Johansson in the first round of the 2001 French Open. That would equate to world #3 Sasha Zvevrev playing world #20 Kei Nishikori in the first round if a Major with 16 seeds started tomorrow.
Johansson was a shyt clay courter... DNish is more accomplished on clay by far.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Johansson was a shyt clay courter... DNish is more accomplished on clay by far.
Yeah, I'm not saying that ToJo was a tough matchup on clay...just looking at the respective rankings of Agassi and Johansson at the last Major with 16 seeds and seeing what that would mean at the Australian Open if current seeds held. And that would be a matchup between Zverev and Nishikori.
 

Parabolica

Semi-Pro
Fine this is great but lets understand the impact of this. Seeding will now mean less and players will not attend as many tournaments to get top seeds. This will turn into the woman's tour very soon.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
As a top seed, one could end up facing seed 17 and 18 in first two rounds

It would matter if the 17 and 18 seeds can cause upset . Fact is the top 3 are clearly a different level and they will still prevent the upset. What they will do though is to tire the top seed

problem we will have is lopsided draws where Fed or Djok draws tough players from R1 to R4 but Nadal gets mugs starting R1. He will have lot of energy to oust the Djoker


While it is going to make for exciting first two rounds , quality of R3 to QF will suffer

This will be similar to what is happening now with top seed facing seed 33 while a qualifier meets another qualifier or lucky loser in round 1
 
Yeah, I'm not saying that ToJo was a tough matchup on clay...just looking at the respective rankings of Agassi and Johansson at the last Major with 16 seeds and seeing what that would mean at the Australian Open if current seeds held. And that would be a matchup between Zverev and Nishikori.
No I understand your point and it's a valid one, but that example doesnt do it any justice, especially for someone who wasn't into the tennis scene 20+ years ago. Personally I think I the entire system needs to be replaced, and I would leave any thought of randomness out of it.
 

MLM

Rookie
Fed could draw Miloc Raonic or Borna Ćorić in the 1st round of a Slam. That's great news.
Head to Head with Coric

Nadal: 2-2 (50%)
Federer: 2-1 (67%)

Head to Head with Raonic

Nadal: 7-2 (78%)
Federer: 11-3 (79%)

Not sure how that would be good news for a Nadal fan that Rafa could also play Raonic or Coric early, they would be dangerous for anyone in the field and seemingly equally for Federer and Nadal.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but the upcoming US Open will be the last to feature 32 seeds in the men's draw.

I, for one, am looking forward to a return to the 16-seed slams, which will increase the probability of upsets for big names early in the tournament. It can be no coincidence that the era of unprecedented consistency among the top stars has been the same as the 32-seed era.

What are others' thoughts?
What are the presumably wrong features of the draw we are trying to correct with this move?
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
I think this is a poor decision come about from push by TV to have big names playing higher ranked players. The current system has great balanced early games, just not by the big 4 which is only thing TTW posters and TV seem to care about. This is all about the top players playing Centre Court with full coverage and hoping one hits a 16 to 32 ranked player. With 64 Rd1 matches there are always balanced 1st round matches just got to look outside the seeds.
Bad for tennis as the reality is we all want the best {except true Federer fans} at the pointy end of the Tourney.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
The big guns will have it harder from the get-go, basically. I maintain that feats such as Federer and Novak Djokovic’s semi final streaks would’ve been much harder in a 16-seed draw.
Agreed. For example, Djokovic started his SF streak at Wimbledon 2010, where he came from two sets to one down to beat Rochus (#68) in the first round. It's not too hard to imagine him losing to a player ranked in the #17-#32 range in that match.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
The big guns will have it harder from the get-go, basically. I maintain that feats such as Federer and Novak Djokovic’s semi final streaks would’ve been much harder in a 16-seed draw.
Interesting, so the 32-seed draw is something that helped consolidate the slam dominance of the Big Three Era?
So 16-seed draws slam dominance wouldn’t have been so intense?
An advantage that former open era ATG didn’t enjoy...
 

reaper

Legend
Interesting, so the 32-seed draw is something that helped consolidate the slam dominance of the Big Three Era?
So 16-seed draws slam dominance wouldn’t have been so intense?
An advantage that former open era ATG didn’t enjoy...
I doubt that's true. It can make it easier as well. Let's say Federer is knocked out by world number 17 in round 1 of next year's AO, that makes it an easier draw for Nadal and Djokovic. The early period of 32 seed draws were characterised by very random results. It was only when Federer became dominant that predictably came in. It's not predictable on the women's side at the moment which has 32 seeds because there's no dominant player.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
The early period of 32 seed draws were characterised by very random results. It was only when Federer became dominant that predictably came in.
yeah, it coincided with court homogenisation and poly strings taking over completely.
but before that time were also the rankings itself less "accurate", due to the surface specialists.
but now would switching back to 16 seeds have an effect for sure. not gigantic, but it would cause damage.
reaper said:
It's not predictable on the women's side at the moment which has 32 seeds because there's no dominant player.
were they ever predictable? (are women ever predictable? :confused:)
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but the upcoming US Open will be the last to feature 32 seeds in the men's draw.

I, for one, am looking forward to a return to the 16-seed slams, which will increase the probability of upsets for big names early in the tournament. It can be no coincidence that the era of unprecedented consistency among the top stars has been the same as the 32-seed era.

What are others' thoughts?
It was a travesty I, for one, never thought I'd see the end of. This is a triumph for the game and every true competitor.
 

zep

Hall of Fame
Expect more uneven draws, not sure how that's a good thing. Sure you will get a few exciting early round matches but then you might also get lopsided matches in later rounds. IMO 32 seed system was great and it vastly removed the luck factor.
 

Robert F

Semi-Pro
Seems like a bad idea to me.

Is the hope to knock out higher ranked players earlier so that in the later rounds you have lower ranked/potentially no named players in the second week?
Just hoping to have a harder draw for the higher ranked players for better TV viewing in the first week?

From a competition sense, shouldn't the lower ranked players have to earn their spot?
Wasn't there a time the Wimbledon Champ came back the following year only to play in the final round? (Not saying we should go there).
But, having a ranking should have an advantage. Outside of the distance between the big 3 and everyone else, playing number 32 vs a qualifier cold make a world of a difference for a player ranked 16.

The conspiracy theory would be that Federer, Djokovic and Nadal got together to figure out how to protect their Grand Slam domination.
In addition to getting rid of the seeds they suggest:
Nadal "Let's add a 10 second time clock between points so guys can't get fully rested to play their all out best tennis."
Djokovic "Lower ranked player gets to choose the court and conditions of the match."
Federer "No more oversized racquets. 90 inches is considered mid plus."
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
Seems like a bad idea to me.

Is the hope to knock out higher ranked players earlier so that in the later rounds you have lower ranked/potentially no named players in the second week?
Just hoping to have a harder draw for the higher ranked players for better TV viewing in the first week?

From a competition sense, shouldn't the lower ranked players have to earn their spot?
Wasn't there a time the Wimbledon Champ came back the following year only to play in the final round? (Not saying we should go there).
But, having a ranking should have an advantage. Outside of the distance between the big 3 and everyone else, playing number 32 vs a qualifier cold make a world of a difference for a player ranked 16.

The conspiracy theory would be that Federer, Djokovic and Nadal got together to figure out how to protect their Grand Slam domination.
In addition to getting rid of the seeds they suggest:
Nadal "Let's add a 10 second time clock between points so guys can't get fully rested to play their all out best tennis."
Djokovic "Lower ranked player gets to choose the court and conditions of the match."
Federer "No more oversized racquets. 90 inches is considered mid plus."
Did the above make sense to you? Really, really?
 
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