In the end, no one knows for sure what goes into a draw other than presumed tradition and objectivity with some minor manipulation, as I have seen mentioned. When you start throwing around words like “fixed,” or “rigged” you sound like a fanboy. That’s just the way it is. This is very much a matter of perspective. People are always looking after their guy, which is a source for these kinds of discussions in the first place.
Here’s five bottom quarters from IW ’14, ’15, ’16 and ’17 and Miami ’16:
2 31 24 16 9 21 25 6 (IW ’14 – #6 Del Potro withdrew from the tournament; James Ward got a LL spot in that bracket)
2 30 33 15 9 21 27 7 (IW ’15)
2 32 24 13 12 17 29 6 (IW ’16)
2 31 18 15 9 24 26 5 (IW ’17)
2 26 23 16 9 17 27 6 (Miami ’16)
Nothing at all alarming about this year’s “quarter of death.” Everyone (meaning the popular media and their herd) is freaked-out about the names, perhaps, but as far as seeds go, the IW 2017 draw is pretty much business as usual. When the star commentators even sound some alarm, this, again, is in reaction to the names in-front of those numbers.
Kyrgios and Zverev are still unproven, unequivocally, despite what you want to think; Del Potro is trying to play himself back into the rankings; Federer is coming off an injury plagued year (he was #17 in Melbourne); and Nadal is the 2017 version of Rafa.
If you analyze several of these kinds of draws, I’m sure you can find this or that oddity or exception, for instance the #31 seed of Del Potro doesn’t seem very appropriate (but that coincides with his ATP ranking). Blame Del Potro.
That “insight” from CB3’s graphs is also flawed. Read Wilfried’s comment on my last post and think about the whole discussion and how difficult such an analysis is – to be definitive about this massive indiscretion or conspiracy. I pointed-out to CB3 how in Federer’s case, being #1 for so long will definitely affect the seeds he faces in a tournament. Not to mention he’s 6 years older than Novak.
And then you have, as Wilfried points-out, the fact that certain players with the same rank in different years add difficulty to this kind of comparative analysis.
From Wilfried himself: “Remember my comment about the ranking points of players ranked top 10, top 9 etc a few weeks ago ? I didn’t say it explicitly on that occasion, but a knowledgeable reader would or could have concluded it from my comment: the ranking points that go with a certain ATP ranking, are themselves distributed according to a distribution which fits into the normal distribution, if we observe the behavior of those ranking points over a certain period of time. This implies that one player ranked nr. 10 in the ATP Emirates rankings is not necessarily comparable with another player ranked nr. 10. Or would you treat Roger Federer, currently ranked number 10 with 3,305 pts, on equal terms with Nicolas Almagro, ranked nr. 10 from July 25th 2011 till august 8th 2011 with only 2,165 points?”
Playing a #10 player in 2011 might be a completely different reality compared to playing one in 2017. Obviously. Failing to recognize this, or the age difference between Federer and the rest of that group, or that Federer spent over 300 weeks at #1 . . . this whole conversation is rendered lost, hopeless.
From the article:
Novak’s potential rivals in the later stages of the tournament:
Third round: Jeremy Chardy (FRA, 28), Ryan Harrison (USA)
Fourth round: Tommy Haas (GER, 13), Gilles Simon (FRA, 19)
Quarter-finals: Tomas Berdych (CZE, 7), Richard Gasquet (FRA, 9)
Semi-finals: David Ferrer (ESP, 4), Juan M. del Potro (ARG, 8), Grigor Dimitrov (BUL, 29)
Finals: Andy Murray (GBR, 2), Roger Federer (SUI, 3), Rafael Nadal (ESP, 5)
Folks, if you look for something, you’ll find it.
Looking forward to the 2nd round where we can start to see some good matches.