Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wimbledon Seeds Announced

Wimbledon is the only major where this is still a story. Every other tennis tournament from futures to challengers to tour-level events and each of the other three majors uses the ATP rankings to determine the seeding. However, Wimbledon takes a slightly different approach. Many people believe that Wimbledon alters its seeding just because it likes to be different. However, the reason Wimbledon changes the seeds is because the grass season is so short. Because it is so short, Wimbledon wants their seeding to reflect how well players play on grass more than the ATP rankings do.

Many people also believe that Wimbledon simply picks whoever they want to be seeding whatever they want. Once again, this is inaccurate. Wimbledon's seeding is completely based on a strict formula to avoid any sort of unfair advantage for former champions or British players. This is the formula.

ATP Ranking Points + All points from grass events in last 12 months + 75% of the points earned at their best grass result from previous 12 months

Almost two months ago, I used the formula to try to predict what the Wimbledon seeds would be. Since my predictions came before Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros along with several 250-point events had been played, my list was simply a projection.

Still, we can use my projected list from two months ago to show that there is no bias involved in how Wimbledon seeds are selected. It also shows that it isn't an insult to Stan Wawrinka or Rafael Nadal to seed them lower than than their ranking. They both got the seed they earned. Novak Djokovic clinched the No. 1 seed when he won Rome, and Wawrinka fell out of the top four after he lost to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Here are the Wimbledon seeds. The number in parenthesis is what I predicted almost two months ago.

1. Novak Djokovic (1)
2. Rafael Nadal (2)
3. Andy Murray (4)
4. Roger Federer (3)
5. Stan Wawrinka (5)
6. Tomas Berdych (7)
7. David Ferrer (6)
8. Milos Raonic (11)
9. John Isner (8)
10. Kei Nishikori (12)
11. Grigor Dimitrov (14)
12. Ernests Gulbis (16)
13. Richard Gasquet (10)
14. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (13)
15. Jerzy Janowicz (15)
16. Fabio Fognini (9)
17. Mikhail Youzhny (18)
18. Fernando Verdasco (19)
19. Feliciano Lopez (28)
20. Kevin Anderson (23)
21. Alexandr Dolgopolov (21)
22. Philipp Kohlschreiber (27)
23. Tommy Robredo (20)
24. Gael Monfils (22)
25. Nicolas Almagro (17)
26. Andreas Seppi (26)
27. Marin Cilic (25)
28. Roberto Bautista Agut (unseeded)
29. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (unseeded)
30. Ivo Karlovic (unseeded)
31. Marcel Granollers (unseeded)
32. Dmitry Tursunov (32)

So with three major tournaments still to go, I managed to correctly predict seven of the 32 seeds and got 12 predictions within one of the actual seed. If Wimbledon just picked the seeds however they wanted, my predictions wouldn't have been nearly as accurate. Wimbledon follows their formula to the letter.

Murray didn't jump from a tie for fifth in the ATP rankings to No. 3 seed just because he is a Brit. Nadal wasn't dropped to the No. 2 seed out of disrespect. All 32 seeds got the seed that they earned.

Another interesting thing to note is that there is absolutely no difference in terms of the draw in being the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. The most important gaps are at 2/3, 4/5, 8/9, 16/17.

I did several sets of predictions for the Wimbledon seeds. In this article, I used my first set of predictions, but below are links to all of my predictions with the date that I made the predictions.

April 28, 2014
May 4, 2014
May 12, 2014
May 19, 2014

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