Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Most Exclusive Club and The Place Where Everyone is Allowed

Throughout the last 2 weeks Mike and I have been following the Australian Open closely. What was great this year were the amount of upsets culminating with Stanislaus Wawrinka beating Rafael Nadal for the Men's championship.

Li Na won the women's tournament last night in a typical women's tournament of "upsets." Why do I say typical, well because for whatever reason that is just how the women's game is, I'm not sure if its because they play less sets, or if the players are genuinely more even, but through the history of the Women's game no one has ever excelled like the men to dominate the game for any period of time, the #1 ranking is someone new every year it feels like.

Lets get scientificy!

Since the 2004 Australian Open, Roger Federer's first major win, through 2013 there have only been 7 men to win a tennis Major. Now starting with Wawrinka in 2014, he just became the 8th different man since then. that is what you call an exclusive club. the same guys being at the top of the game, seemingly transferring rights to top ownership.

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And if you look at the actual matchups of all these major finals you realize that over 90% of the time these guys were facing each other in the finals.

On the women's side however in that same timespan...

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There's 15 winners in all in that time period, not exactly an exclusive club. Sure Serena Williams stands out as having a lot and even Justine Henin with 5, but if you look over the time span the longest back-to-back streak any of these women put together was... 2.

Full disclosure, Serena got 4 in a row in 2002/2003; but the Men in the same 2004 to present period had fours streaks of 3 back to back to back or more, and even a streak of 18 in a row being won by the same 3 guys broken up by Juan Del Potro and then another streak of 11 being won by those same 3 guys.

I'm not saying the women's game is inferior from these statistics at all, I'm just saying, maybe we shouldn't be using the word "Upset" so much for the Women's game these days.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Don't the women also quit playing more often? Like, I think a lot of the names on the women's chart are out of the game now, where most of the men are still in. I saw something where Li Na had considered quitting, and then Sharapova has alluded to it as well, especially before her latest injuries. So I'd think that some of the turnover comes from that.

I also agree that fewer sets could contribute, but I guess I'd need to research and stuff.

Sort of related, I have said the best-of-three is more exciting to me than the best-of-five. I was fine with the final being five sets this morning, but overall, I think three is better.