Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

We didn't exactly blow up the numbers in our ATP brackets last week, but in Washington at least a few of us got the Winner, Zverev, correct.  But high scores in the 250s weren't great.  Drivers did well to score 34 in Los Cabos for the win (how could anyone have known Fognini would do so well??), but Aiur won Kitzbuhel with only 19.  Makes sense because two Qualifiers were in the finals there.  This leaves our standings like this:

250
1. Tenedab: 775
2. Lexus: -73
3. BHP: -76
4. Spotec: -80
5. Drivers: -90

So we kind of have a traffic jam in the Top 5 here, but with Frickin' Tenedab WAAAAAAAAAAAAY out in front.  He could take a couple 250s off and not lose the lead.


500s
1. Edu: 345
2. HTS: -5
3T. Tenny: -8
3T. Tono: -8
5. Lexus: -20

This one is still totally up for grabs.  Props to Lexus, though, for quietly contending for the top spot for both 250s and 500s.  Nice job for our newcomer.


ATP Overall
1. Tenny: 2133
2. Edu: -18
3. HTS: -53
4T. Adunar: -95
4T. Tono: -95

Unbelievably tight margins here!  Wow!


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The WTA continues to be confounding and point totals were complete garbage last week.  Snolly and Dtrain won Washington with a mere 22 points, while Frickin' Tenedab won San Jose, which was a 470, with only 24 points.  Awful.  Poor Dtrain finished San Jose with 8.  EIGHT!  This leaves our standings like this:

280
1. BHP: 551
2. Tono: -3
3. Drivers: -4
4. TE: -14
5. Edu: -27

One bad tournament and this whole Top 5 could shift around.  o__o


470
1. Tendab & Tono: 265
3. Adunar: -3
4. HTS: -10
5. Edu: -13

Same here.


WTA Overall
1. Tono: 1714
2. Edu: -1
3. TE: -10
4. Adunar: -15
5. Tenny: -82

Man, if this keeps up, these Top 4 will be jostling each other all the way down to Moscow and Luxembourg!  But don't count Tenedab out, if you're smart.

Last edited by Arvis (Aug. 6, 2018 10:21am)

Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Toronto Winner Picks
Novak - 10
Nadal - Snolly, TE, Spotec
Zverev - Arvis, Tenedab

Arvis, Snolly, and Tenedab are the only ones without Novak at least in the semis.  Arvis and Aiur are the only ones without Rafa in the final.

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Montreal Winner Picks
Halep - 12
Svito - BHP, TE
Angie - Spotec

Everyone has Halep at least in the semis.  Runners-up here are pretty varied.  Woz, Petra, Sloane, and even one (spotec) with Buzu.

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Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Novak is maybe not back to being the Novak of old eh, the young guys are starting to get some self belief.

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Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Nice updates, Arvis!

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion

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Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Excellent Toronto win from Spotec last week, finishing with 99 points!  The other two Rafa pickers, TE and Snolly, also both broke the 90 point mark.  Only poor Arvis and Aiur failed to back Rafa to make the final and appropriately finished in the lowest two positions.

1000
1. Edu: 563
2. Adunar: -23
3. BHP: -34
4. Dwight: -38
5. Murree: -41

Edu has a decent cushion here, but 23 points can be easily overcome in the 1000 format.  He'll have to be careful.  BHP, Dwight, and Murree are really jostling each other for position in the Top 5.

ATP Overall
1. Tenny: 2234
2. Edu: -24 ↓6
3. HTS: -58 ↓5
4. Adunar: -91 ↑4
5. Tono: -94 ↑1

Not much change in the Top 5, everyone stayed close after Toronto somehow.  This does take into account the first couple days of Montreal, though, since I wasn't able to get to this update quickly enough.

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In Montreal, it was a case of the most popular winner pick actually coming good!  So there probably won't be too much shake up in the standings.  However, TE failed to pick Halep to win, but the rest of his bracket was so good that he didn't take too bad of a hit.  Tono and Drivers both had the correct Winner, Finalist, and one correct SFist here, with Tono getting the win with a whopping 116 points.  Well done, guys!
BHP and Spotec failed to have Halep in the finals and finished with 67 and 54 points, respectively.

1000/900
1. TE: 545
2. Adunar: -33
3. Edu: -34
4. Tenedab: -36
5. Tono: -42

Well, despite TE's "Montreal Misstep" he still has a decent lead here.  But he'll have to have a really solid Cincy bracket to maintain it.  He's got 4 players bunched together behind him, and any one of them could take the lead by the end of this week.

WTA Overall
1. Tono: 1846
2. Adunar: -27 ↓12 ↑2 ranks
3. Edu: -28 ↓27 ↓1 rank
4. TE: -36 ↓26 ↓1 rank
5. Tenedab: -96 ↓14

Man, Tono reeeeeeally gave himself some breathing room with that excellent Montreal bracket!  Great job, Tono!  And great job Adunar, moving into second place overall!

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Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

ATP Cincy
Feddy - 11
Alex Z - Tenny, Aiur
Novak - Dwight
Jaziri (orig. Rafa) - Spotec

Not only was Spotec screwed by Rafa, but he's the only one without Federer in the finals, which could haunt him.  5 others have Jaziri in the semis.

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WTA Cincy
Sloane - Tenny, Adunar, Dwight
Kerber - Dtrain, TE, BHP
Halep - Edu, Drivers, Lexus
Serena - HTS, Aiur
Svitolina - Spotec
Petra - Snolly
Bertens - Arvis
Pliskova - Tono
Woz - Murree

Wow, 9 different winners, none picked by more than 3 of us.  This is going to be a crazy tournament.

(bold denotes a Top 5 Player has made that pick)

Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Great update, Arvis!

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion

Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

I wrote a piece on Tsitsipas for theslicetennis.com
A shortened version appears there, but here is the full text.

Stefanos Tsitsipas:  Best of the Next Gen?

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been ripping it up this summer, rising into the ATP top 15 after making the final of the Canadian Open, aka Rogers Cup in Toronto, beating four top-ten players along the way.  But he started the year in mid-pack of the burgeoning crop of Next Gen players, with a ranking of 91.  This exciting young cohort includes 19 year-olds Denis Shapovalov and Alex de Minaur, 20 year-olds Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, and Andrey Rublev, as well as Felix Auger-Aliassime, the first 18-year old to make the radar.  A whisker older are Alexander Zverev, Borna Coric, and Jared Donaldson at 21.

Zverev has been the cream of the crop, claiming three Masters 1000 titles and the world #3 ranking.  He’s also the first of this generation to meet the 100-50-10 metric for predicting future greatness.  This metric for male players tallies his ranking at or near his 18th, 19th, and 20th birthdays.  To meet the standard he should be ranked about 100 on his 18th (not every player meets this criterion, but the other two are mandatory), ranked about 50 on his 19th birthday, and 10 on his 20th birthday or shortly thereafter.

Predicting Greatness

Every top player with 4 slams or a multi-year #1 ranking since Borg (the earliest player for which we have rankings), meets the criteria:  Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, Becker, Agassi, Courier, Sampras, Hewitt, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic.  Some beat the standard by a year or two, like Becker, Agassi, and Nadal.  A few other notable slam winners also meet the standard:   Chang, Safin, Roddick, Murray, and Del Potro.  The most successful players who didn’t meet the standard are Kuerten and Wawrinka.  Both blossomed late and never really became dominant. There are only four players who met the standard but didn’t go on to become slam winners:  Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein, Kent Carlsson, and Andrei Medvedev, all in the 80’s or early 90’s.

Zverev is the 23rd player to match the metric.  Odds are we are looking at a future slam winner and/or multi-year #1.  What he’s achieved at his age is typical of the very best.

The two Canadian youngsters, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime, are also on track to greatness.  Shaps was #45 on his 19th birthday in April, and Felix is #120 and celebrated his 18th birthday last week.  Will they falter like Berdych and Gasquet who both met the first two legs of the standard but were a year late getting to #10, or will they become slam winners? 

So where does Tsitsipas fall?  He was #328 on his 18th birthday and was about a year late, getting close to #100 about a month after his 19th birthday.  He was about two-thirds of a year late getting to #50, and now he’s #15 on his 20th birthday.  If he should make #10 in the next three months he could still be on the path to greatness, although to be fair, till now he has not been meeting the standard laid down by past greats.

His year so far

But rules are made to be broken, and I like what he’s been doing this year.  In his first tournament of the year, Stefanos won four matches out of qualifying to make the quarter-finals in Qatar.  By March he’d made the quarters in Dubai.  That month he played his last Challenger for the foreseeable future.  In April he announced his name to the world by storming through Barcelona, knocking out four top-ten seeds, including then world #7, Dominic Thiem.  He arrived in the final and got thrashed by Nadal -2 and -1, and called it a good learning experience.

He then made the semis in Estoril and won his first main-draw slam match, at Roland Garros.  He upped the ante at Wimbledon by making the fourth round on what he calls his favourite surface.  Next he made the semis at the 500 in Washington, taking out Goffin.  But nothing prepared me for his run to the final of the 1000 in Canada.  He took out four top-ten players including Thiem, Djokovic, Zverev, and Anderson.

Again, he met Nadal in the final, but this time he put up much stiffer resistance and got to set-point in the second set.  But Nadal dug deep and ended it 6-2, 7-6.  Afterwards Nadal called Tsitsipas’s game “complex,” which has be considered high praise.  The kid is only getting better and he just turned 20 the day of the final.

His game

Stefanos has an impressive game, with a powerful, point-ending forehand, a decent serve that will only improve as he fills into his (so far) 6’4” frame, and no real weaknesses elsewhere in his arsenal.  He’s rangy and quick.  But his greatest gift might be his mind.  He stays calm under pressure.  He’s already learning to control his errors unlike many of his young peers, and he knows how to mix it up.  He’s made insightful comments about how intelligently Federer mixes up shot selection.

Intelligent choice has been part of Stef’s legacy.  Some of the media have attempted to nickname him Tennis’ Greek Freak (after basketball star, Antetokounmpo) or Tsitsi Fly, but he claims his nickname is ‘Stef.’  Stefanos’ father Apostolos is a tennis coach.  His mother was a top-ranked Soviet player, and her father was an Olympic gold-medalist in soccer in 1956.  His parents met at a tennis tournament at which she was a player and he was a line judge.  Apostolos became a certified coach and taught his son the game.

In an interview with Ubitennis, his father repeatedly stressed that it was Stefanos making the choices about his career.  Apostolos sees his role as supplying his son with as many tools as possible so that when the point of decision comes, he can choose wisely. 

Said Apostolos:  “I am aware of how complicated it is to push someone from a psychological point of view.  We can inspire children, motivate them, let them see the possibilities.  But we cannot make the decisions for them.”  “Children have great ability to explore and understand, but if one destroys this plasticity it is the end.  Children need to be free to decide.”  “Now tennis is his life and it is right for him to make his decisions for his life. … He must be free to explore, even beyond tennis.”

So when he was 10 or 11, Stefanos woke his father in the middle of the night and announced, “I want to become a tennis player.  I like the competition.  I like the challenge.”  And it was Stefanos who chose his one-handed backhand.  He used to switch between one- and two-handed.

The mind is the greatest weapon

So Stefanos is used to making his own choices.  It shows in the creativity he displays on court.  And it also means he’s in tennis on his own terms.  I’ve been impressed with his collected and placid demeanor during interviews in his run to what has been the biggest tournament of his life, last week in Toronto.  He was not overly excited, awestruck, or condescending.  Rather he seemed focused.  He was present to the now and what needs to be done next.

I’ve seen this before, this collectedness, in players like Pete Sampras and Rafa Nadal.  It’s self-assurance without arrogance, determination without hubris, consciousness of the path forward to a goal not yet reached.  It is perhaps Tsitsipas’ most impressive quality, this focus and solidity of mind.  Alexander Zverev has so far put up more impressive wins and numbers than Tsitsipas can match.  Both have complete games with no holes.  I don’t know if Tsitsipas’ talent is as deep as Zverev’s, but I like Stefanos’ head space.  And sometimes that can make all the difference.

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion

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Re: Tennis Draw Challenge 2018 - Results & Discussion

Fascinating! Thanks for sharing this Charles.