Numerical Analysis of the AO Men's Draw

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
My philosophy -- though many disagree -- on draws is that players should be bracketed numerically. Since they’ve (given the rules of tennis) earned their seeds, they should be matched up accordingly. Obviously, this is regardless of names involved. Here’s a quick look at the top 4 seeds (no names) and who mathematically they should be matched up with - Expected - from the R of 32 thru the semis, and in parentheses (who they were actually matched up with).

Obviously, upsets can and will happen, and I am not claiming that everyone’s current form -- impossible to gauge -- is actually as seeded. That could be true for any sport, team or individual.

Keep in mind that the top seed should have an easier path than the #2, who should have it easier than the #3 and so on. They’ve earned that; that’s why they’re seeded based on ranking (Yes, Wimbledon is slightly different, but that’s another kettle of fish.)


PlayerR of 32 Expected (Actual)R of 16
(E/A)
QF
(E/A
)
Semis
(E/A)
Total
(E/A)
#1 32 (27)16 (14)8 (6)4 (3)60 (50)
#231 (30)15 (16)7 (5)3 (4)56 (55)
#330 (29)14 (15)6 (8)2 (1)52 (53)
#429 (28)13 (13)5 (7)1 (2)48 (50)

By numerical analysis, #1 should have the easiest path, but actually, has the toughest - or the same difficulty as #4. #2 received an ever-so-slightly, but insignificantly harder draw than expected, and #3 received an ever-so-slightly, but insignificantly easier draw than expected. Remember, the higher the number, the easier the draw (this is on [paper.) Let’s do this same chart with actual names:


PlayerR of 32
Expected
(Actual)
R of 16
E (A)
QF
E (A)
Semis
E (A)
My Analysis
DjokovicMannarino (Fritz)Fognini (Raonic- could be Stan)Diego
(Zverev)
Med
(Thiem)
Much tougher than expected - mostly in R of 16 and QF.
NadalSonego (Evans)PCB (Fognini)Rublev (Tsitsipas)Thiem (Med)About as expected
ThiemEvans (Humbert)Raonic (PCB)Zverev (Diego)Rafa (Novak)
Easier than expected, per the QF mostly
MedvedevHumbert (Krajinovic)Goffin (Goffin)Tsitsipas (Rublev)Rafa (Novak)About as expected, if slightly easier.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
My philosophy -- though many disagree -- on draws is that players should be bracketed numerically. Since they’ve (given the rules of tennis) earned their seeds, they should be matched up accordingly. Obviously, this is regardless of names involved. Here’s a quick look at the top 4 seeds (no names) and who mathematically they should be matched up with - Expected - from the R of 32 thru the semis, and in parentheses (who they were actually matched up with).

Obviously, upsets can and will happen, and I am not claiming that everyone’s current form -- impossible to gauge -- is actually as seeded. That could be true for any sport, team or individual.

Keep in mind that the top seed should have an easier path than the #2, who should have it easier than the #3 and so on. They’ve earned that; that’s why they’re seeded based on ranking (Yes, Wimbledon is slightly different, but that’s another kettle of fish.)


PlayerR of 32 Expected (Actual)R of 16
(E/A)
QF
(E/A
)
Semis
(E/A)
Total
(E/A)
#132 (27)16 (14)8 (6)4 (3)60 (50)
#231 (30)15 (16)7 (5)3 (4)56 (55)
#330 (29)14 (15)6 (8)2 (1)52 (53)
#429 (28)13 (13)5 (7)1 (2)48 (50)

By numerical analysis, #1 should have the easiest path, but actually, has the toughest - or the same difficulty as #4. #2 received an ever-so-slightly, but insignificantly harder draw than expected, and #3 received an ever-so-slightly, but insignificantly easier draw than expected. Remember, the higher the number, the easier the draw (this is on [paper.) Let’s do this same chart with actual names:


PlayerR of 32
Expected
(Actual)
R of 16
E (A)
QF
E (A)
Semis
E (A)
My Analysis
DjokovicMannarino (Fritz)Fognini (Raonic- could be Stan)Diego
(Zverev)
Med
(Thiem)
Much tougher than expected - mostly in R of 16 and QF.
NadalSonego (Evans)PCB (Fognini)Rublev (Tsitsipas)Thiem (Med)About as expected
ThiemEvans (Humbert)Raonic (PCB)Zverev (Diego)Rafa (Novak)
Easier than expected, per the QF mostly
MedvedevHumbert (Krajinovic)Goffin (Goffin)Tsitsipas (Rublev)Rafa (Novak)About as expected, if slightly easier.
Nice OP.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Why do you talk about me? My reaction clearly wasn't aimed at you.

Because your reaction was insulting -- who was it aimed at then? How did that advance a good dialogue?
But I don't want this thread to devolve into petty stuff.
Honestly, I don't expect 100% agreement, even 50% agreement, but do expect to have good, intelligent, civil discussions.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
I know many are saying Djokovic got a tough draw, but I actually think it is a pretty decent one, as long as he stays healthy. Of course it could have been easier, but it isn't too devastating. If he can't get through that, then he simply isn't in form to win.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
I know many are saying Djokovic got a tough draw, but I actually think it is a pretty decent one, as long as he stays healthy. Of course it could have been easier, but it isn't too devastating. If he can't get through that, then he simply isn't in form to win.
If he's on his A game - or builds to it (may have to get there by R of 16) - he may still be okay, but the Djoker fan in me would rather see the 'expected" Fognini, Diego, Med in those rounds. One can debate Med or Thiem, although Thiem won the last HC slam and also beat Novak in last year's final.
(I just don't like - regardless of names 1 v 3 and 2 v 4, along with the other supposedly random draw elements.)
But I really didn't intend this as a pro-Novak or a complaining-for-Novak thread.
In fact, I'm still, personally, hoping for Rafa to take one more AO and Novak one more FO.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Because your reaction was insulting -- who was it aimed at then? How did that advance a good dialogue?
But I don't want this thread to devolve into petty stuff.
Honestly, I don't expect 100% agreement, even 50% agreement, but do expect to have good, intelligent, civil discussions.
It was aimed at the suggestion that every higher ranked player should have an easier draw than the one below him. I quoted only that part, so it is obvious what I am addressing.

Not only is that a totally corrupted interpretation of the system in place: the only guarantees in the current ranking system are the so called "tiers" (so that interpretation is, in fact, incorrect), but it also assumes that the it is a "given" that the higher ranked a player is the more he should be given an advantage: a disastrous proposition in terms of healthy competition.

On top of that the strength of the competition is almost never exactly matching the ranking numbers, so that is another weakness of constructing such arguments in a mechanical fashion .

Lastly, you engaged in petty stuff, and uncivil discussion, as you didn't even ask what my argument was, but directly went into name calling.

 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
If he's on his A game - or builds to it (may have to get there by R of 16) - he may still be okay, but the Djoker fan in me would rather see the 'expected" Fognini, Diego, Med in those rounds. One can debate Med or Thiem, although Thiem won the last HC slam and also beat Novak in last year's final.
(I just don't like - regardless of names 1 v 3 and 2 v 4, along with the other supposedly random draw elements.)
But I really didn't intend this as a pro-Novak or a complaining-for-Novak thread.
In fact, I'm still, personally, hoping for Rafa to take one more AO and Novak one more FO.
Really?

The Djoker fan in me is like a Super Saiyan, getting excited at the prospect of fighting good competition. I am happy with the draw, up to Novak to deliver though.
 

Tennis_Freak99

Hall of Fame
I have noticed this too. The rank 1 getting tougher draws seems a lot premeditated.

I remember Nadal (then #1) getting brutal draws in 2018 Wimbledon and USO. This trend continued to Novak's 2019 RG and USO (then #1) which led to him slipping to #2. Nadal's 2020 AO (then #1) was a tough one too compared to Novak to whom he eventually lost the #1.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Stan is barely beating 4.5 players that I play with at my local club.
Well, if he's that bad, he'll lose well before he reaches the Serb.

However, if he's in good enough form to reach the world No 1, he'll probably have beaten Raonic and will be on a roll. I'd fear the Stanimal in this situation if I were a Novak Djokovic fan.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Well, if he's that bad, he'll lose well before he reaches the Serb.

However, if he's in good enough form to reach the world No 1, he'll probably have beaten Raonic and will be on a roll. I'd fear the Stanimal in this situation if I were a Novak Djokovic fan.
Yes, that is a correct observation: if Wawrinka reaches Djokovic he is playing well, and if not, it is immaterial that he is in Novak's draw. However, if he is in between well playing and being uncertain (let's not forget that he is having a long comeback from an injury and has played relatively little tennis in the last year or so), I tend to favour him not reaching Djokovic. Especially if the information about the surface being fast is true: he needs a bit more time on his strokes, and those conditions will not be optimal for him, if he is struggling with his form even a little.

 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
It was aimed at the suggestion that every higher ranked player should have an easier draw than the one below him. I quoted only that part, so it is obvious what I am addressing.

I was the only one who had made any suggestions on this thread.
Of course, even though they're bracketed in tiers, the main theory of seeding is for those who earn seeds - and higher seeds - to have an easier path (on paper) than those with lower seeds who are unseeded. Take "March Madness". Once they arrive at the seeds, they bracket numerically, Generally, all pro sports do the same for their postseasons. Some like the tiers as it introduces some unknown; I don't. (Yet, I still embrace upsets as they happen. I don't want guaranteed results; I just want that structure up front.)


Not only is that a totally corrupted interpretation of the system in place: the only guarantees in the current ranking system are the so called "tiers" (so that interpretation is, in fact, incorrect), but it also assumes that the it is a "given" that the higher ranked a player is the more he should be given an advantage: a disastrous proposition in terms of healthy competition. There is nothing corrupted, as I acknowledged what is in place, and right off the top, showed that I was advocating for something, and added "though many disagree".

On top of that the strength of the competition is almost never exactly matching the ranking numbers, so that is another weakness of constructing such arguments in a mechanical fashion . Which I also acknowledged. But there's no one way to measure this, and I still advocate for numerical bracketing, if you will. And if, say, the #16 is coming in as the 4th best player in the draw (again, there's no real way to measure this) -- and he knocks off #1 in the R of 16, fine.

Lastly, you engaged in petty stuff, and uncivil discussion, as you didn't even ask what my argument was, but directly went into name calling.

If you started with these points - and even in your own uniquely didactic way -- then fine. I still responded to them, because that's my intention. if we disagree on some points, that's the nature of open-minded discussion. But the way you first responded left a lot to be desired.

 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
The bracketed tiers don't have the purpose to ensure "easier" path for one player over the other for players in the same bracket , which is the case you were reviewing. It was never meant to be that way as far as the system in place is concerned, which is why we have random (at least we hope) drawing of players from each bracket. Actually, what I said is that your interpretation is not in sync with the system in place.

I am not familiar with "March madness", and I don't see why I need to review other systems or sports, when he have our very specific detailed example in front of us.

 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
The bracketed tiers don't have the purpose to ensure "easier" path for one player over the other for players in the same bracket , which is the case you were reviewing. It was never meant to be that way as far as the system in place is concerned, which is why we have random (at least we hope) drawing of players from each bracket. Actually, what I said is that your interpretation is not in sync with the system in place.

I am not familiar with "March madness", and I don't see why I need to review other systems or sports, when he have our very specific detailed example in front of us.

Yes, I know what is in place, but that's not my preference. And given the randomness within the tiers, that's how I would measure - within those parameters - what I would consider to be a difficult or easy draw.

Your point is well taken that tennis does not have to follow suit with other sports. I agree with that, but can still prefer that they did - from R of 32 on.

I am also considering your point that one should not expect a #1 to have an easier path than a #2, or perhaps, even a 3 or 4 in, say, the quarters. Again, that is the way it is (you earn placement in a tier); perhaps, most would agree that this is how it should be.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Yes, I know what is in place, but that's not my preference.
I am not sure how the above and this:

RaulRamirez said:
Keep in mind that the top seed should have an easier path than the #2, who should have it easier than the #3 and so on.

mean the same thing.


Maybe, I misunderstand something, but the above, followed by the phrase " They’ve earned that; that’s why they’re seeded based on ranking" points not at your preference, but at your understanding of how the system is designed.

There is a difference between a preference of how something should work, and an understanding how something works.

As for your calling of a draw "easier" or "difficult" based on ranking, that is your thing. I just noted that in itself it is not very indicative of anything in particular, especially for players in the same or adjacent brackets.

Obviously, ultimately I was disagreeing with the very idea of some rigid system that guarantees the easier path the higher ranked a player is. That is even further corruption of the fair play competition than even the current ranking system, which is already problematic enough.


 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
I am not sure how the above and this:

RaulRamirez said:
Keep in mind that the top seed should have an easier path than the #2, who should have it easier than the #3 and so on.

mean the same thing.


Maybe, I misunderstand something, but the above, followed by the phrase " They’ve earned that; that’s why they’re seeded based on ranking" points not at your preference, but at your understanding of how the system is designed.

There is a difference between a preference of how something should work, and an understanding how something works.

As for your calling of a draw "easier" or "difficult" based on ranking, that is your thing. I just noted that in itself it is not very indicative of anything in particular, especially for players in the same or adjacent brackets.

Obviously, ultimately I was disagreeing with the very idea of some rigid system that guarantees the easier path the higher ranked a player is. That is even further corruption of the fair play competition than even the current ranking system, which is already problematic enough.


I wanted to end - this back and forth - agreeably, and credited you with making a couple good points - a courtesy that I doubt you have ever extended to me. And I did this even after you entered this thread the way you did. It's called taking the high road, and being humble and gracious. Even on message boards.

Not that it matters, but per your trying to prosecute. I started the whole OP with "My philosophy -- though many disagree -- on draws is that players should be bracketed numerically.". That was the context for what followed.
Life's too short to argue and quibble. Enjoy the tennis. It's a very sad, challenging world out there; try to spread joy, not misery.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
I wanted to end - this back and forth - agreeably, and credited you with making a couple good points - a courtesy that I doubt you have ever extended to me. And I did this even after you entered this thread the way you did. It's called taking the high road, and being humble and gracious. Even on message boards.

Not that it matters, but per your trying to prosecute. I started the whole OP with "My philosophy -- though many disagree -- on draws is that players should be bracketed numerically.". That was the context for what followed.
Life's too short to argue and quibble. Enjoy the tennis. It's a very sad, challenging world out there; try to spread joy, not misery.
I presented only arguments and logic, never once discussing you, so your whole post is completely uncalled for (just like your first such attempt before that), and subsequently baffling that you lecture me not to do things that you and only you in this thread are doing.

 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
Second consecutive year in which Nadal will meet the fifth seed in the AO quarterfinals.
Coincidence?
:sneaky:
 
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