Wednesday, 19 January 2011

No Major upsets

3 days in and a few hairy moments but, as with most Majors, no major upsets. Gilles Simon gave Federer a great game in one of the matches of the tournament so far - even more than my predicted "maybe take a set". Real signs that he can get his way back up to the top 10 before too long.

Plenty of competition for the match of the tournament though, Nalbo-Hewitt, Verdasco-Tipsarevic, Fish-Hanescu, Petzschner-Tsonga and Monfils-De Bakker all producing epic 5 setters but each time the higher rank coming through in the end. So why is that? 

A quick bit of maths reveals a telling stat regarding unforced errors (UFE). In the 6 matches mentioned (GS-RF, DN-LH, FV-JT, MF-VH, PP-JWT & GM-TDB), the average % of UFE made by the lower seed for the whole match was 48.5%. However the average % of UFE made by the lower seed in the 5th set only jumps up to 59.7%
Most pundits will tell you that UFE come down to two things, tiredness and concentration. There's no reason for any player to be less fit than his opponent (apart from if you're playing Monfils cos that man's a running machine) - but concentration is another matter. Not that I'm a world-class tennis pro to speak from experience but maintaining your concentration for 3+ hours is almost impossible. No wonder the ATP website attributes Federer's success to his experience. Players like Tipsy and Hanescu are always around in tournaments and can give a good show of themselves, but on the big stage they seem to lack the mental game to see it through. 
That's what sets Rafa, Roger and Novak apart, even from Robin/Andy/Tomas etc., they are insanely consistent in the Grand Slams. 

No doubt Rafa will crash out to Sweeting tonight. 

So my predictions from the previous post - mixed I think is a good summary. 

Simon certainly earned his label as "dangerous", only I underestimated quite how dangerous

Davydenko crashed out first round - hardly living up to my prediction of a QF slot

We'll have to see tonight about JMDP and Tomic, although I feel like the latter has done well by me getting past 44th ranked Jeremy Chardy.

As for the overall prediction, I'm sticking with Federer, it's good for him to have had a battle early on and the draw has opened up for him even more than before - the earliest he could meet another seed is the QF. Nadal certainly looked ominous but I'm not sure there was enough actual tennis to make a proper evaluation. We'll see how it looks after another round of matches...

No comments:

Post a Comment