# Federer and the coin toss

#### ThomasTerrible

##### Rookie
I'm watching some tennis from "the tube", and here's a question that I thought of just now:

I've seen quite a few of Federer's matches. If I'm not mistaking, he seems to win the coin toss a lot more than 50 per cent, which should be the case...

I will simply suggest that Federer has a noticeably higher than 50 per cent coin toss win ratio.

Can anyone confirm or correct me on this one?

#### Netspirit

##### Hall of Fame
It is physically and mathematically impossible.

#### ambro

##### Professional
It's a conspiracy I tell you!

#### peRFection

##### Semi-Pro
even destiny is a *******

#### Seany

##### Banned
From memory, he won the toss in the Final, semi-final, quater-final, 4th round and 2nd round at Wimbledon this year.

Not sure about the other 2 rounds.

#### Cup8489

##### G.O.A.T.
Sometimes his opponents defer the toss, though. All told, Federer tends to serve first in almost every match.

#### purge

##### Hall of Fame
Sometimes his opponents defer the toss, though. All told, Federer tends to serve first in almost every match.
in part because if he loses the toss alot of opponents actually chose to return first.

i never give any notice as to who wins the coin toss. so i cant say if he wins it more often than 50 % of the time. i doubt it tho

#### CRWV

##### Rookie
It is physically and mathematically impossible.
Only if you have no understanding of Physics or Mathematics...

"there are three kinds of lies; Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" - Twain

#### Sentinel

##### Bionic Poster
How do they decide who calls heads/tails ?

#### tusharlovesrafa

##### Hall of Fame
How do they decide who calls heads/tails ?
As far i know Umpire asks the higher seeded player to call heads/tails.

#### nereis

##### Semi-Pro
Only if you have no understanding of Physics or Mathematics...

"there are three kinds of lies; Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" - Twain
Only when the number of observations approached infinity (or any large number) would be expect with close to 100% certainty that the expected value of Beta would be 0.5 given a base c of tails and x of heads.

For any n less than 100, just about any attempt to talk about the mean, unconditional or otherwise, is just about nothing than mental masturbation about what n sample size should be regarded as representative of the population.

#### kOaMaster

##### Hall of Fame
They do a coin toss.
almost spilled my breakfast orange juice. wonderful!

I will simply suggest that Federer has a noticeably higher than 50 per cent coin toss win ratio.
I doubt that there are many players with coin toss win ratio of 50%
maybe it's his winning secret, who knows?

like starting a penalty shootout in football - whoever is first to score wins in about 60% of the time. significant higher than the lone probability

#### YellowBall77

##### Banned
I don't see serving first (or choosing who serves first) as any kind of real advantage in the match. It is way less of an 'advantage' than say being white in chess or having home field advantage in nil playoffs.

#### Tennis_Hands

##### Banned
As far i know Umpire asks the higher seeded player to call heads/tails.
Before the WTF 2010 final Federer called it. And, at the time, he was lower seeded.

#### RoddickAce

##### Hall of Fame
dumbo,he asked "who calls it?".
lol I think he means in jest that they do a coin toss to determine who calls the coin toss

#### The Bawss

##### Banned
It is physically and mathematically impossible.
You don't know what you're talking about.

#### Rhino

##### Legend
It is physically and mathematically impossible.
So it is "physically" impossible for a coin to land on heads or tails more than 50% of the time?
What is it that happens physically then to prevent this?

And as for mathematically; how is 51% (for example) an impossible mathematical result?

Just wondering.

#### Cup8489

##### G.O.A.T.
So it is "physically" impossible for a coin to land on heads or tails more than 50% of the time?
What is it that happens physically then to prevent this?

And as for mathematically; how is 51% (for example) an impossible mathematical result?

Just wondering.
It's not. however, the larger the sample space of flipping for head or tails, the closer to 50/50 the results will be. for instance, if your sample space was 10 flips, it's fairly likely that you can get heads 70% of the time, because only two of the flips would need to go against the expected result.

But if you had sample of, say 100 flips, that 70% would require 20 flips to go against the statistical probability, and thus is less likely to happen..

This goes on and on, until the probability that you'd get a heads 70% of the time is very low.

But, the poster you quoted was wrong in saying it's impossible.. because it isn't.

#### Sentinel

##### Bionic Poster
They do a coin toss.
LOL, good one.

But what if Sampras was playing a match against his training partner :twisted:?

#### underground

##### G.O.A.T.
It is true that Federer tends to get the coin toss right, and even if he doesn't chances are that he will serve first anyway.

Isn't there this thing that the coin has a higher chance to flip on one side depending on which side was facing upwards before the toss?

#### jmverdugo

##### Hall of Fame
Of course is rigged, I mean, he already control rain, win, roof conditions, technology and hawk eye, it is only logic he also has coin-toss-ology mastered.

#### Praetorian

##### Professional
I've seen quite a few of Federer's matches.
OK. Before we go into any more speculation of conspiracies or statistical anomolies, do we have and REAL hard facts to backup or support this claim? The man has played in 100s over the years, so who can say with absolute certainty that they've seen all his matches. Hell, the last Wimby I've only seen the Semi, and Finals, from start to finish. Even during the coin toss, I barely remember who won, deferred, etc, because I really didn't care. Can someone at least post a link to a website that would have this information? Taking a small sampling size, or even handing picking the samples to represent all of his matches really isn't providing credible evidence that "something" might be going on. It would be like saying "Income levels and unemployment in the US isn't declining, look at the Senators, and Congressman"

#### spot

##### Hall of Fame
They do a coin toss.
Actually there is a softball league in atlanta where they do 2 coin tosses. The first one is to figure out who gets the chance to call the "real" one. It always was ridiculous to me but evidently they had far less arguments after using this method.

#### PSNELKE

##### Legend
lol I think he means in jest that they do a coin toss to determine who calls the coin toss
The tushinator obviously didn't get the joke. :lol:

#### ThomasTerrible

##### Rookie
It created a bit of a discussion at least

Like I said, I have nothing to back this up with, and I don't think anyone will have kept statistics on this.

Someone mentioned that Federer often serves first. It might be that... It was just a feeling I had and wanted to hear if anyone knew more about it...

#### CRWV

##### Rookie
It is true that Federer tends to get the coin toss right, and even if he doesn't chances are that he will serve first anyway.

Isn't there this thing that the coin has a higher chance to flip on one side depending on which side was facing upwards before the toss?
with an American quarter, it's something like 50.5%.

irrelevant if we're referring to Wimby/Aussie/French/etc.,.

#### iriraz

##### Hall of Fame
Does it really matter who wins the coin toss?If i`m not mistaken at Wimbledon in a match Federer chose the side and his opponent chose to recieve.
I mean it would be a big deal if they have a coin toss in a deciding set but to open the match is not that important.Most of the guys chose to recieve against Federer,as they are probably nervous at the start of the match and they want to get some balls into play before they get going.
Some coin tosses are irrelevant especially in a Federer-Nadal match where Federer always choses to serve first and Nadal always choses to recieve.

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#### Magnus

##### Legend
I'm watching some tennis from "the tube", and here's a question that I thought of just now:

I've seen quite a few of Federer's matches. If I'm not mistaking, he seems to win the coin toss a lot more than 50 per cent, which should be the case...

I will simply suggest that Federer has a noticeably higher than 50 per cent coin toss win ratio.

Can anyone confirm or correct me on this one?
I know that against Nadal he losses coin toss many times but Nadal wants to receive first, so Roger usually serves first.

#### jwbarrientos

##### Hall of Fame
Umpire shouldn't allow Roger use his own coin

#### monique s

##### Rookie
I'm watching some tennis from "the tube", and here's a question that I thought of just now:

I've seen quite a few of Federer's matches. If I'm not mistaking, he seems to win the coin toss a lot more than 50 per cent, which should be the case...

I will simply suggest that Federer has a noticeably higher than 50 per cent coin toss win ratio.

Can anyone confirm or correct me on this one?
Noticed that also.I would say 90% of the time, he wins the toss.

#### monique s

##### Rookie
I don't see serving first (or choosing who serves first) as any kind of real advantage in the match. It is way less of an 'advantage' than say being white in chess or having home field advantage in nil playoffs.
It is an advantage to serve 1st....remember ARod,Wimby 09, if he had been serving 1st in last set,serving 2nd is more stressful.Even Andy said that.

#### West Coast Ace

##### G.O.A.T.
They do a coin toss.
LOL! Well played, sir!

Only when the number of observations approached infinity (or any large number) would be expect with close to 100% certainty that the expected value of Beta would be 0.5 given a base c of tails and x of heads.
Thank you. There are a few people who've taken Statistics on these boards.

I think some of Fed's opponents have read Brad Gilbert's books...

#### West Coast Ace

##### G.O.A.T.
Isn't there this thing that the coin has a higher chance to flip on one side depending on which side was facing upwards before the toss?
If the same person were doing the 'tossing' there could be.

Back in the old days of Vegas there was a group of gamblers who'd watch particular roulette dealers to determine how hard they'd fling the ball - knowing where the wheel was when the ball was released they could approximate what section of the wheel the ball would end in - they'd 'carpet bomb' that section with bets.

#### marpiw

##### Semi-Pro
I Think That This Success In The Coin Toss Would In Some Way Go Against Federer...his Oponent Could Get A Lot Of Information From The Reciept Of The First Balls About ''the State Of The Player":the Power Of His Serves,the Response Of Shots,how He Feels,how He Is Physically...if All This Information Could Be Processed By His Oponent Adequately It Would Prove Deadly For Federer...so I Think He Is Not A Lucky Guy Winning All Those Coin Tosses...he Is Giving Away Lots Of Anticipated Information About Himself To His Oponent...