Monday, April 28, 2014

Wimbledon Seeds Projections

Roland Garros hasn't even started yet, but it is never too soon to start looking forward to Wimbledon. One of the interesting aspects of Wimbledon is that it is the one tournament that still does its own seeding. With the battle for No. 1 getting very close right now, it will be interesting to see who the No. 1 seed at Wimbledon will be, especially if Novak Djokovic is the No. 2 going into the tournament.

Race to Wimbledon
There are still several tournaments between now and Wimbledon, so for this first set of seedings, I took away all of the points each player has to defend in the upcoming tournaments before Wimbledon and added the grass-adjustment component of the Wimbledon seedings to see where each player stands right now. In other words, instead of the Race to London rankings this is the "Race to Wimbledon" seedings.

1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Andy Murray
4. Roger Federer
5. Stanislas Wawrinka
6. Juan Martin del Potro
7. Tomas Berdych
8. David Ferrer
9. John Isner
10. Milos Raonic
11. Richard Gasquet
12. Kei Nishikori
13. Jerzy Janowicz
14. Fabio Fognini
15. Grigor Dimitrov
16. Mikhail Youzhny
17. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
18. Ernests Gulbis
19. Fernando Verdasco
20. Alexandr Dolgopolov
21. Tommy Haas
22. Nicolas Almagro
23. Tommy Robredo
24. Kevin Anderson
25. Gael Monfils
26. Florian Mayer
27. Philipp Kohlschreiber
28. Ivan Dodig
29. Vasek Pospisil
30. Dmitry Tursunov
31. Marin Cilic
32. Feliciano Lopez

Murray and Janowicz were the players that benefited the most from the grass-adjustment since they both had incredible runs at Wimbledon each of the last two years. Also noteworthy, is that Andreas Seppi and Gilles Simon are unseeded. However, it is likely that Del Potro and maybe a few others like Monfils won't play in Wimbledon, so those near misses will get in.

If Wimbledon Were Today
For this next set of rankings, I added the points each player has to defend back onto their rankings, since the players who typically do well at those big clay tournaments and grass tune-ups will continue to do well there. This is essentially what the Wimbledon seeds would be if the seedings were done today.

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Novak Djokovic
3. Roger Federer
4. Andy Murray
5. Stanislas Wawrinka
6. David Ferrer
7. Juan Martin del Potro
8. Tomas Berdych
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
10. John Isner
11. Richard Gasquet
12. Milos Raonic
13. Kei Nishikori
14. Jerzy Janowicz
15. Mikhail Youzhny
16. Tommy Haas
17. Grigor Dimitrov
18. Fabio Fognini
19. Tommy Robredo
20. Fernando Verdasco
21. Kevin Anderson
22. Ernests Gulbis
23. Nicolas Almagro
24. Alexandr Dolgopolov
25. Gael Monfils
26. Philipp Kohlschreiber
27. Marin Cilic
28. Feliciano Lopez
29. Florian Mayer
30. Andreas Seppi
31. Gilles Simon
32. Nicolas Mahut

The big change in this one is that Nadal is now the No. 1 seed instead of Djokovic, but by less than 200 points. Also Tsonga jumped up eight spots putting himself on the edge of being a top eight seed instead of outside the top 16. Haas also jumped up into the top 16, but the rest remained in their tiers (top 2, top 4, top 8, top 16, seeded). The new seeded players are Seppi, Mahut, and Simon, who all have a significant amount of points to defend before Wimbledon.

My Picks
What the real seeds will be will be somewhere in between these two rankings, so I decided to come up with a logical guess at how well each player will do in the upcoming weeks and see what the seedings are for that. So these are my predictions for the 2014 Wimbledon Men's Singles seeds.

1. Novak Djokovic - The only worry is his wrist
2. Rafael Nadal - At best, he does as well as last year in the next events
3. Roger Federer - It's a tight battle for No. 3, but Federer looked good in MC
4. Andy Murray - He can avoid the top three until semis if he gets top four seed
5. Stanislas Wawrinka - Has a lot to defend in Madrid
6. David Ferrer - No chance he will defend his points at RG, but he is still David
7. Tomas Berdych - He needs to end the losing streak at RG
8. John Isner - Could swipe the coveted No. 8 seed with del Potro out
9. Fabio Fognini - Isn't this high from grass adjustment; chance for top 10
10. Richard Gasquet - Was 11 on each of the other two, but has little to defend
11. Milos Raonic - Clay just isn't his thing; hard for him to move up in spring
12. Kei Nishikori - Big title in Barcaleno could lead to more success
13. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - He has a lot to defend, but top 16 shouldn't be an issue
14. Grigor Dimitrov - It's been almost a year since he beat Djokovic already
15. Jerzy Janowicz - His ranking will come crashing down after Wimbledon
16. Ernests Gulbis - Will the real Ernests Gulbis please stand up? #Gulbised
17. Nicolas Almagro - Is playing well and in the hunt for a top 16 seed
18. Mikhail Youzhny - He's in a slump
19. Fernando Verdasco - Got a big boost from the grass-adjustment component
20. Tommy Robredo - Would love to see some more magic from Tommy at RG
21. Alexandr Dolgopolov - Been great on the hard stuff; will that continue on clay?
22. Gael Monfils - Only played Wimbledon twice in six years; will he play in 2014?
23. Kevin Anderson - In a little bit of a slump and has a lot to defend
24. Tommy Haas - Will be seeded based his 2013, because 2014 has been rough
25. Marin Cilic - He was 31 in the first list, but getting a seed won't be a problem
26. Andreas Seppi - the most reliable clay-courter that has never been in the top 10
27. Philipp Kohlschreiber - Watch out for him to come out of his slump in Munich
28. Feliciano Lopez - He's the kind of guy that the top players want to get a top seed
29. Ivan Dodig - Is unseeded if the seedings were today, but has little to defend
30. Florian Mayer - He was a quarterfinalist two years ago; still dangerous
31. Vasek Pospisil - Ranking is built on one result; thankfully it was in August
32. Dmitry Tursunov - Granollers, Simon, and Mahut; if just one of them catches fire suddenly, Tursunov can forget about getting a top seed; Otherwise, he's in

The difference between Murray and Federer is very small right now, so there is a lot up for grabs between those two. Either way it would be great to see the Big Four as the top four seeds at the most prestigious event in tennis. If they are the top four seeds, this will likely be the last time that all four are the top four at any grand slam event. Perhaps all four can play Basel or Dubai in 2016, so that they can all be top four seeds one last time at a tournament. For now though, it looks like Wimbledon will be the last event in this incredible era.

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