Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Do The Seeds Mean?

by Savannah

My reaction to the seeding done by Wimbledon was "meh". I mean when all is said and done the AELTC did what it usually does - stir the pot.

The two seeds I was looking for were Venus Williams and Serena Williams. A quick glance at Wikipedia gives you a list of winners going back to the dawn of time but I was interested in the last ten years.

2000 USA Venus Williams USA Lindsay Davenport 6–3, 7–6(7–3)
2001 USA Venus Williams BEL Justine Henin 6–2, 3–6, 6–0
2002 USA Serena Williams USA Venus Williams 7–6(7–4), 6–3
2003 USA Serena Williams USA Venus Williams 4–6, 6–4, 6–2
2004 RUS Maria Sharapova USA Serena Williams 6–1, 6–4
2005 USA Venus Williams USA Lindsay Davenport 4–6, 7–6(7–4), 9–7
2006 FRA Amélie Mauresmo BEL Justine Henin 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
2007 USA Venus Williams FRA Marion Bartoli 6–4, 6–1
2008 USA Venus Williams USA Serena Williams 7–5, 6–4
2009 USA Serena Williams USA Venus Williams 7–6(7–3), 6–2
2010 USA Serena Williams RUS Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 6–2

There seems to be a trend here no? In the last ten years there have been only two years that someone with the surname Williams has not won Wimbledon. One of those winners is retired and the other one is poised to make a deep run this year.

Is the AELTC trying to ensure an anyone but a Williams winner? Maybe. I just don't think it's smart to wave a red flag in front of either of the Williams Women. I'm just saying.

Still after today where after her gutsy win yesterday Serena showed the aftereffects of her recent health issues I wonder if she'll be physically ready for the rigors of a Grand Slam. She visibly hit a wall today and while she fought hard to try and make the outcome respectable in the end her mighty will couldn't get her over the finish line. That may turn out to be a good thing for her. She was really hyped up/nervous yesterday and she came out on the same high today. But the adrenaline wore off and she got to experience the limits of what her body can do now. Depending on her draw she could make it to the second week. I don't want to look much past that.

As for Venus she cc'd everyone on the email she sent out today. The bitch is back. I almost felt sorry for Ana Ivanovic today because it was obvious she had no recourse but to guess what Venus was going to do next. And she kept guessing wrong.
I'm sure Venus will face a murderer's row of opponents but if she plays like she did today it won't matter. Should she have been seeded higher? I think so. The AELTC has carte blanche when it comes to the women's draw and I have to say I was surprised to see Venus seeded #24. I saw some griping on Twitter today about the Williams Women being the only players to get moved around by the AELTC. I wonder who they wanted moved? Certainly not Kim Clijsters who as expected withdrew from the event today after the draw was released. Her ankle injury is said to be unrelated to the original one.

I have no reason not to take all of this at face value. As I said before and repeated yesterday I didn't think Clijsters would play a match before the United States hard court season and was stunned she played the French. I'll be shocked again if she plays anywhere before the US Open where she'll be guaranteed a cakewalk.

As for the men there's a lot of talk about the #2 and #3 seedings.
I have to say that I was surprised to see Roger Federer seeded according to his rank. I know the AELTC published some blather about the seeding for Venus and Serena that included paying homage to their history on grass. Following that same logic Federer should've been the number two seed. Once again I went to Wiki and here are the results for the last ten years.

2000 USA Pete Sampras AUS Patrick Rafter 6–7(10–12), 7–6(7–5), 6–4, 6–2
2001 HRV Goran Ivanišević AUS Patrick Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7
2002 AUS Lleyton Hewitt ARG David Nalbandian 6–1, 6–3, 6–2
2003 SUI Roger Federer AUS Mark Philippoussis 7–6(7–5), 6–2, 7–6(7–3)
2004 SUI Roger Federer USA Andy Roddick 4–6, 7–5, 7–6(7–3), 6–4
2005 SUI Roger Federer USA Andy Roddick 6–2, 7–6(7–2), 6–4
2006 SUI Roger Federer ESP Rafael Nadal 6–0, 7–6(7–5), 6–7(2–7), 6–3
2007 SUI Roger Federer ESP Rafael Nadal 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 6–2
2008 ESP Rafael Nadal SUI Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10),9–7
2009 SUI Roger Federer USA Andy Roddick 5–7, 7–6(8–6),7–6(7–5),3–6,16–14
2010 ESP Rafael Nadal CZE Tomáš Berdych 6–3, 7–5, 6–4

Just for shits and giggles I looked up the #2 seed's Wimbledon results.
Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Career SR Career W-L Win %
Wimbledon A A 3R 4R SF 2R QF SF 0 / 6 20–6 76.92

Of course none of this matters except that a guy who has won the event six times is seeded behind a man who has never made a final. Oh well. Once again I'm just a lowly blogger so what do I know? I'm not even entitled to see transcripts from Grand Slam pressers according to the ITWA.

All I can say is that there are a lot of red being waved in front of some pretty irritable people. It's going to be an interesting tournament.


vw said...

They had to put Novak second so they could place Murray on his side. Any other way would mean that Murray would have to play both Nadal and Fed.

Matt said...

Love, love, love your commentary Savannah. I keep relaying your comments to the amusement of my boyfriend - we both know you're right on the money.

I prefer reading your comments compared to the mainstream media, and agree with you wholeheartedly that Venus was completely shafted when it comes to her seeding. Although I'm hoping that it will put even more fire in her belly to tear through the draw this year. Nothing inspires like anger... And I'm hoping she channels it towards her opponents!

Although I'm not a fan of RF, I agree with regard to his seeding, too. Am hoping RN and RF are on opposite sides of the draw.

Has tennis always had this shroud of ridiculous over it? I remember when I was younger it was much simpler... Or maybe I was just naive.. Ha.

Cheers for the great comments - I'll always be reading! =)

lilac said...

They probably won't even let Venus play on Centre Court. Remember how poorly they treated her last year: they forgot to send her an escort to one match, and most egregious she played on Centre Court ONCE; Clistjers played on it twice(? or maybe even more than that) I believe. Venus played her quarter against Pironkova on an outer court -- I have always believed that affected her. Federer plays almost all of his matches on Centre Court -- he mentinoned during last year's fortnight that he knows every nook and cranny of Centre Court. I think that helps him; Venus should have played her quarter on Centre Court -- at least she should have played there more than once. AELTC has always tossed banana peels on the Williams' sisters path to the Dish; but one of them always manages to raise it at the end. That's how tough they are.

Savannah said...

vw I think you make an excellent point re Murray.

Matt thank you for the compliment. Sometimes you just have to call it as you see it.

I often ask myself the same question Matt. I mean the shit that goes on in full sight of the fans and the so called media would be funny if it wasn't so malicious and mean spirited.
Then again JMac just admitted to darkening an indoor arena so that his match would be postponed to the next day so maybe those guys are such heroes because there was no internet and live streams. Or bloggers.

Still Lilac has listed all the indignities Venus has had to endure at Wimbledon and they do it as if no one is watching. It's amazing to me. Venus isn't the only one who has suffered at the hands of the AELTC. Remember 2008 and those rain delays and how one player got five days off while another had to play every day?

That is why its so ironic that the player who got five days off is now on the receiving end of some of the crap. If there was any kind of real tennis press this sort of thing would be publicized more often.

徐一村 said...

May be you should not confuse everybody about the seeding. There is a formula that AELTC uses to seed men since 2002 and the formula is published on the Wimbledon site. Roger just does not have the numbers to bump him up to second seed. It will be the first time in seven years he won't play the traditional first match on center court comes next Monday. End of an era?

The formula is not used for women seeding. Venus won wimbledon in 2005 as the 23re seed. Lucky number for her - she is seeded 23 after Kim pulled out. So good omen for her..

Savannah said...

I'm not trying to confuse everyone about the seeding. I posted both formulas when I posted the seeds. Yes the AELTC can manipulate the women's draw more than the men but in discussing the RF seeding I was reacting to what his fans have been posting on fanboards all day.

Don't forget they bumped Roddick up and one other male player is seeded higher than his ranking so the formula lets them do a lot.

TennisAce said...

The funny thing is Savannah, is that when I saw Cronin talking about Venus being seeded high, I went back and did some checking. In 2009 when Pova was ranked 50, she was seeded 24, a jump of 35 places. She fell in either the 2nd or 3rd round. Karma is indeed a beyotch.

As for the Fed thing, I don't care how much they try to give Murray a cakewalk, there is no way he is winning Wimbledon. He would def have to beat either Fed or Nadal to get there and he just does not have the game to beat either of those men in a Grand Slam

TennisAce said...

Frankly, if they felt that Roddick's resume allowed him to be bumped, how is it that Fed's resume did not allow him to be bumped. Last year was the first time since 2003 that the man has not reached either the semis or final of Wimbledon. He deserved much better than this. Watch Novak crash and burn in the first week. Grass is not his best surface, despite what his fans may say. Hard courts are his specialty as it is the specialty of many players these days.

vw said...

Savannah I sometimes think the draws are rigged. They don't care for Djok so there can be only ONE reason for him to be number 2 seed.
It benefits AELTC/Murray.Now let's see if Murray falls in Djok's half.

Yolita said...

The reason for the seedings is an agreement Wimbledon had with the ATP to have a formula for seeding the players which took into account both the ATP ranking points and the performance on grass in the last 2 years. They came up with a formula which has been used ever since. No such agreement exists between Wimbledon and the WTA.
The formula is the following: take the ranking points, add all the points earned on grass in the last 12 months and then add 75% of the best event on gras during the 12 months previous to that. That formula is used to decide the Top 32 seeds. Using this formula, we get th following "Wimbledon points":
Rafa: 12070+2045+0=14115
Novak: 12005+720+270=12995
Roger: 9230+360+1500=11090

As you can see, this formula helps Roger in the sense that he's 2000 points behind Nole instead of 3000. But it's not enough.

This formula has been agreed to, it has been used. It would have been very difficult to break an agreement previously made. It would not have been the right thing to do.

So, please, enough with the conspiracy theories. The organisers are only honouring an agreement. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.