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Ranking numbers

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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:54 am

Let's look at the top 4 men's players (and I'm going to be historical and call them "The Gang of Four" rather than whatever cutesy name tennis writers like giving them) and see where they might have problems in maintaining their rankings next year and where they can pick up points.

I'll throw in the Olympics caveat, as it offers 800 points to the winner, but comes when a number of players are beat up in the summer.

# 1 Djokovic
End of year point total: 13,630
With so many titles, there are few chances for Djokovic to earn more ranking points (a final/win at Roland Garros, winning Cincinnati or Paris, playing Shanghai or Monte Carlo). He's going to have to defend like crazy, and I'm not sure it's possible to have as good a year as he had again.

#2 Nadal
End of year point total: 9,595
Nadal can improve his ranking if he can beat Djokovic and do it often. Otherwise, he's going to be defending his #2 ranking. Shades of Federer 2009, he had the best claycourt season with a slam and a Master's despite someone else being the massive favorite with 2 Master's heading into Roland Garros. Nobody but me will harp on that fact. If he can't beat Djokovic in finals and Djokovic makes it to those finals, then look for him to maybe pick up points at the Australian Open. Nadal could pick up a number of points after the US Open, but he's traditionally been bad at that time of year. I don't see that changing.

#3 Federer
End of year point total: 8,170
He had a great end of the year, but 5,170 of his points came before that. He had "only" 6 finals this year, but he's going to have to figure out a way to consistently get past Nadal or Djokovic off of indoor carpet if he wants to be in the top 2.

#4 Murray
End of year point total: 7,380
He needs to not fall apart after the Australian Open, whether he makes the final or not. He did better than Federer at the slams and made 6 finals as well (with more titles, 5 to Federer's 4). The post-US Open Asian sweep was where he made a lot of his points. He has traditionally played very well during the period inbetween Wimbledon and the US Open, giving him Olympic hopes. He also has the "can't get higher if I can't beat Nadal or Djokovic in the semis" problem.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby funches on Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:20 pm

Good analysis, except they don't play on indoor carpet anymore. It's been banned for ATP tour events. They play on indoor hard courts, which are slower and higher bouncing than carpets.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:56 am

Well, funches would pick up on my embarrassing error.

I am a little surprised that Nadal going "Del Potro is going to be top 4 next year" since it would mean one of the top 4 dropping out. Of course, that might just have been Nadal being polite.

If one of the Gang of Four dropped out, Nadal or Federer are my leading candidates. Federer because he's old, and Nadal because he's getting beat up and seems to be suffering a lack of motivation. Forget losses at Wimbledon and the US Open, I think the Rome and Madrid losses hurt him the most.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:58 pm

It's time for more numbers! You know you love them.

The first question is, can Federer overtake Nadal by Roland Garros?

The answer: very unlikely. If Federer won both Indian Wells and Miami and followed up by getting to the semis of Monte Carlo, Rome, and Madrid while Nadal did as well as he did last year (finals in IW, Miami, Rome, and Madrid, winner in Monte Carlo and Barcelona), he'd have 10,440 points and beat Nadal's 10,415. But that would require Djokovic to be as dominant on clay as he was last year, and for Federer to win IW and Miami by going through Djokovic and Nadal in the semis or finals, requiring luck for the draw and beating a bad matchup. Can he do it? Yes. Is it likely? No. If Nadal loses in the semis or earlier for the US hardcourt spring, then Federer's chances improve.

The second question is, can Nadal overtake Djokovic by Roland Garros?

The answer: yes, but it depends on Djokovic. Djokovic is defending more points than I think anyone ever has for this stretch. If Nadal were to simply beat Djokovic in the finals of Rome and Madrid with everything else remaining the same, Djokovic would have 12,510 points while Nadal would have 11,215 points; more than the difference of an entire Master's win. It would take Nadal beating Djokovic in all 4 Master's finals to take the advantage of 12,015 versus 11,710. If that were to happen, I think Djokovic would enter Monte Carlo (late, but like they're going to tell him "No"?) and make it to the semis to prevent that from happening.

Question three: can del Potro make it to the top 8 before the next slam?

The answer: almost certainly. Fish is ahead of him by 35 points and defending less points than delpo, but with the way he's been playing, he's almost certainly not going to back up his semis appearance at Miami. I'm not sure del Potro will match his semis at Indian Wells, but I think he can get to the quarters in both much easier than Fish could. del Potro didn't play Monte Carlo or Rome, so he'll certainly surpass Fish if he doesn't get injured. Tipsarevic could get ahead of him, but his claycourt credentials aren't good (he's never been to a claycourt final), so I'm not expecting a lot out of him.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby funches on Thu May 10, 2012 1:24 pm

The upshot of Verdasco's win over Nadal today: if Federer reaches the semis of Rome and Nadal does not win the tournament (both big ifs), I believe Federer will pass him for No. 2 in the world.

Anyone up for a Rafa-Djoker Roland Garros semifinal?
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Thu May 10, 2012 3:35 pm

While I would be up for a Rafa-Djoker semi, it would only be a 50-50 chance. If they do meet in the semis and have a very physical 5 set game, then I would think that someone-who-I-don't-want-to-jinx would have a very good opportunity at having at least 2 of each slam.

When do the French Open points fall off? The ATP site has them falling off during the French Open. If the seedings are done without those points, then a Madrid win by Federer (something I'd probably give more than a 50-50 chance at right now) would guarantee his being seeded #2 if my math is correct.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby funches on Thu May 10, 2012 8:32 pm

The French Open seeds are set after the Italian Open, so if Nadal won there I would think he would be a certain No. 2 seed regardless of what Federer does this week. This definitely is not my area of expertise, but how would be I wrong there?

Federer a better than 50-50 shot? Maybe. He's played better than Djokovic for most of the year, but I still think Djokovic would beat him if he had his A game. The surface definitely helps Federer, though.

I'm also watching Dolgopolov in the bottom half. Based on ability, it looks like he can beat anyone on clay. Mentally, he hasn't been there, but there's always a first time.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Fri May 11, 2012 5:08 am

Taking off the Rome points, Federer and Nadal have:

Nadal: 9105 (includes Madrid points)
Federer: 8430 (does not include Madrid, at least 180)

If seedings do not include last year's RG points (and I'm not sure why they would do it this way), then it becomes:

Nadal: 7105 + Rome
Federer: 7230 + Madrid + Rome

I'm not sure why people are already claiming that Federer has taken the #2 spot, but this is the internet, so I shouldn't be surprised.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:01 pm

What a difference a couple of months makes, right?

Before I return to the Gang of Four, consider the absurdity of Nadal-slayer Rosol falling 3 spots after Wimbledon to 103.

Let's look at the Gang of Four and compare their points through Wimbledon to what they were at the end of last year.

Federer 11,075 (up 2,905 from 8,170)
Djokovic 11,000 (down 2,630 from 13,630)
Nadal 8,905 (down 690 from 9,595)
Murray 7,460 (up 80 from 7,380)

I thought it was going to be a daunting task for Djokovic to defend all those points, and I was right. Nearly half of the points he lost came from 'only' making the semis at Wimbledon (down 1,280). 640 came from losing to Isner at Indian Wells, 390 from Clay season, and 320 from Dubai. At this point last year, he had 8 titles; now he has 2 (1 slam and 1 master's).

The obvious thing to point to for Federer is winning Wimbledon (accounting for a gain of 1,640 points). The next ones are him winning Indian Wells and Madrid (a gain of 1,280 points, I believe). But if he hadn't won Dubai or Rotterdam (up 640, I think) or played Halle, then he wouldn't be #1. He's lost some points by not going as far in Miami or at the French Open, but the stretch he's gone on has been incredibly good. At this point last year, he had 1 title; this year he has 5 (including 1 slam and 2 master's).

Counterintuitively, Nadal had 3 titles at this point last year, but 4 this year (1 slam, 2 master's). His final winning percentage is 80% this year, where it was 30% last year. What gives? Going from runner-up in a Slam to out in the second round inflicts great harm on your ranking points. The blue clay experiment didn't help either (another 510 points lost), and going from runner-up at Indian Wells and Miami to a semi-finalist hurts too (480 points lost).

At this point last year, Murray had 1 title (Queen's) while he has 1 this year (Brisbane). He didn't have as terrible a letdown after the Australian Open as he did last year (final at Miami), which probably accounts for gaining points, even with a less impressive clay court season than last year.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby funches on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:48 pm

^^^^
Great analysis.
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:42 am

I want to revisit the 75 point gap between Djokovic and Federer. I think it's worth looking at.

Those of us here know that the rankings are year-round and not entirely about the slams. Even so, Djokovic having 2 slams to Federer's 1 in the last 12 months makes his being overtaken seem odd. I mean, Djokovic plays a full-time schedule and goes deep in the draw.

Looking at the points as of today, the reason is clear: Djokovic has 4 titles (2 slams and 2 Master's at Canada and Miami) while Federer has 8 (Wimbledon, 3 Master's at Indian Wells, Madrid, and Paris, WTFs, and 3 500-levels at Rotterdam, Basel, and Dubai). At this point, very little of Djokovic's year of domination remains (3600 points from titles at the US Open and Canada, and a final at Cincy and another 380 from his post-US Open not-so-dominating period).

Comparatively, Nadal has won 4 titles in the last 12 months (all this year) and Murray has 5 (other than Brisbane, all are from last year: Master's at Cincy and Shanghai, and Tokyo and Bangkok).
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Re: Ranking numbers

Postby Forehand_lob on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:48 am

The Djokovic year of domination has fallen off, and the gap between #1 and #2 is more points than you'd get for being in a Slam final. Which you may think is odd seeing as Federer lost 360 points by losing in the QFs, except Djokovic lost 800 points by losing in the final.

Federer - 11,805 points (defending 3,000 until the end of the year), 6 titles (1 slam, 3 masters, 2 500s)
Djokovic - 10,470 points (defending 560 until the end of the year), 3 titles (1 slam, 2 masters)
Murray - 8,570 points (defending 1,930 until the end of the year), 3 titles (1 slam, gold medal, 1 250)
Nadal - 7,515 points (defending 590 until the end of the year), 4 titles (1 slam, 2 masters, 1 500)

I can say that Murray should ignore Bangkok. Barring a giant indoor run by Federer, Djokovic will likely retake #1 by the end of the year; if Federer plays the Asian swing this year, it'll be an indication that he wants to keep the ranking.
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