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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

I know a lot of people hate this kind of theoretical stuff so if that's you I advise you not to read on. This is just something which is interesting to discuss for me so...

Imagine a tennis league system with divisions or leagues of sixteen players. Over the course of a season each player will have to play a whopping 90 matches. 15 on grass, 15 on a slower clay court, 15 on a faster clay court, 15 on a slower HC, 15 on a faster HC, 15 indoors. Of course this equates to one match against each other player on each of these surfaces.

For this hypothetical discussion we have to imagine that no player will get injured (this is not supposed to be a discussion about how this could work but what would happen if it did). However, the players will get fatigued over the course of a 90 match season (unsurprisingly). Just because it has previously been the course of tennis seasons I imagine the seasons coming in blocks, slow HC, then slow clay, then fast clay, then grass, then fast HC and finally indoors. I guess all matches will be best of three.

Also, there will be promotions and relegations. I would imagine the bottom 2 and top 2 will be automatic relegation/promotion. Then 3rd from bottom, 4th from bottom, 3rd from top and 4th from top will have a short playoff from which two will go/stay up and two will go/stay down.

The question is this, who would this favour and why? Not just in terms of the very top players by the way. I am also speaking of lower players who would end up in a league above their current station or vice versa. Also, which types of players would benefit?

Note: This thread is intended for discussion so if you have one word answers fine but I'd rather here some more elaborate responses.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 12:18 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

Interesting theory, but hard to apply for an individual sport. So will this apply to Futures and Challenger events?

Do the Grand Slams become obsolete?

Sounds a bit like RR, there will be some dead matches for sure, with nothing to gain like there are at the end of the football season, when both teams can't qualify for higher honours, but can't get relegated.

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

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Sounds a bit like RR, there will be some dead matches for sure, with nothing to gain like there are at the end of the football season, when both teams can't qualify for higher honours, but can't get relegated.
These are the matches where the most amount of money is made.

Also, stebs, would the rankings remain the same throughout the season and then change after all the results are in? So theoretically one could stay ranked #13 all year and then jump into the top 10 after the season? I think this discourages the easily navigated system of rankings we have currently, where if you win, your ranking improves immediately.

Tennis as a sport has a tough time adapting to anything new, even small things. A massive overhaul of the current system probably wouldn't fly for a variety of reasons, but it is an interesting concept nonetheless.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

Some of my thoughts on this;

I think at the top Federer would probably be strong enough overall to keep that spot. Thing is he isn't vulernable to many players on any surface. I don't actually think he would neccesarily win the majority of big matches but such a system rewards consistency against slightly less strong players. I also think Nadal would keep second place fairly comfortably. As has happened in tennis as it is he would dominate clay to a sufficient extent to build a commanding lead midseason and not be pegged back that far over the course of the year. I do think his win % on faster courts would suffer though as a result of being forced to play all the players.

Behind the top I think Djokovic would have an advantage over Murray. They seem pretty close in most places but Djokovic would be stronger over a long clay season and Murray wouldn't catch up during a grass season in which specialists are scarce. Whilst I see Murray as superior on the grass he wouldn't get that many more victories due to the weak field and Djokovic's overall competance. Del Potro actually might surpass both even if he could get enough wins in the short grass season not to leave himself floundering. In some ways he has shown himself to be superior to Murray and Djokovic at dispatching slightly lesser players.

Next is the chasing group. Would streaky players like Tsonga suffer? I think so, the weighting of points at the business end of tournaments rewards hot streaks greatly but a whole season doesn't. Roddick would extend a lead over the bunch imo, he is usually tough for a lower rank player to defeat. For me Davydenko and Soderling would head the current WTF group with Verdasco and Gonzalez behind and Tsonga after that.

Guys like Haas, Robredo, Monfils, Cilic, Stepanek, Ferrer, Berdych etc... are on the edge here. They would be fighting off relegation/pressing for promotion. I think a league system would favour the consistency of the hard working and defensively solid players but the long season would hurt them. That being the case I think late season pushes from strong indoor players like Berdych and Stepanek might do the trick with the grindy players being picked off with their weary legs a hindrance.

That's enough for now.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

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Interesting theory, but hard to apply for an individual sport. So will this apply to Futures and Challenger events?

Do the Grand Slams become obsolete?

Sounds a bit like RR, there will be some dead matches for sure, with nothing to gain like there are at the end of the football season, when both teams can't qualify for higher honours, but can't get relegated.
Impossible to apply in fact, as I said, it's purely theoretical.

I would imagine it strecthing right down to futures level yes. I am not knowledgable on this level of tennis though. Maybe there are some lower guys who would actually be able to climb the tables over a long season with their consistency?

Yes the slams would be obselete.

Well, as in a league system there would have to be rewards. I mean if there was a league and no tournaments perhaps the players wouldn't receive wages but instead prize money for match wins and eventual league position as well.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 02:19 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

I think a shorter season would be better. 90 matches is just to many. Also players low in the league system would have to get consecutive promotions for years to make it to the top group. A young hotshot would take a long time to get to the top. Like how Del Potro catapulted to the top last year. In this system he would only be one group above at this point in time.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 02:56 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

A super idea for Playstation or Nintendo, and a pity it would never really happen in actual tennis.

Players with consistency and stamina would be rewarded, and the "streaky" and one surface players would be penalised.

15 matches on grass and "only" 30 on clay would make some difference, but I honestly believe that barring injuries Federer and Nadal would still be fighting for #1 and Murray, Djokovic, Del Potro and Roddick for #3 to #6.

Lower down Haas, Stepanek and Soderling could improve, while Almagro, Monaco and similar could drop a bit.

Nice theoretical post OP.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

I don't think it would make a big difference to the rankings.

It takes the pressure off individual matches, since every win is worth the same number of points, so you'd see less choking. Could favour the mentally weak players like Verdasco, Mathieu and Acasuso. Are all matches best-of-3? That would favour Murray.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 09:32 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

One theoretical question aside from the main purpose of this thread: Could the ELO ranking system used in Chess be adopted in Tennis? Maybe if draws be also allowed in tennis? Don´t blame on me. It´s a theoretical discussion.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

well i wold like to see it more like home-away style of league but it would be hard for realization because of long trips...for example. Nadal would have clay as a home surface,Murray slow HC,some players might chose fast grass so we could see some good ol` grass serve and volley.Top league would consist about 30-32 players,and so the lower leagues,with relegations at the end of season.This would be really hard to and maybe boring but it might be quiet refreshing for tennis!

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

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One theoretical question aside from the main purpose of this thread: Could the ELO ranking system used in Chess be adopted in Tennis? Maybe if draws be also allowed in tennis? Don´t blame on me. It´s a theoretical discussion.
Can you describe how that system would be used in tennis even theoretically?

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

Nalbandian would also be screwed by the way. He relies almost wholely on good runs.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 01:13 AM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

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Can you describe how that system would be used in tennis even theoretically?
Wikipedia has a fairly clear description of the system. It doesn´t depend on the importance of a tournament, but on the ranking of the defeated rivals. More at these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system
http://www.mrscienceshow.com/2009/06...g-systems.html

Last edited by calvinhobbes; 10-06-2009 at 01:53 AM.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 01:37 AM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

this system would make tennis boring, i like the grand slams being the highpoints of the season, i don't like the evenness of the proposed season
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 01:58 AM
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Re: Tennis League *Warning - Theoretical Discussion

No Slams no good.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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