Friday 28 December 2012

Australian Open 2013 Predictions - Part 1

Yesterday, I wrote about how eagerly we all are waiting for the season to start. I had also mentioned that over the course of next few days I will be bringing the Aussie Open predictions articles to you. So let us kick start the series.

The first article of the series looks at the chances of the top 8 players, based on the history of top 8 players in Australian Open. I have used the results since 1988, since it was 1988 when the surface of Australian Open changed from grass to rebound ace. The surface being used these days is Plexicushion.

Most likely top 8 seeds at this year's Australian Open will be:
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1 - Novak Djokovic
2 - Roger Federer
3 - Andy Murray

4 - Rafael Nadal
5 - David Ferrer
6 - Tomas Berdych
7 - Juan Martin Del Potro
8 - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Let us now explore the chances of each player winning this year's first grand slam (Aussie Open) based on the rank of the player and how the players with similar ranks have performed at Australian Open in the past.

We will start from bottom and move upwards gradually. Let us start from potential 8th seed for the Australian Open 2013, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

No. 8 - Tsonga (Chances at Australian Open)
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Melbourne tennis courts have never loved an 8th seed. During the past 25 years, an 8th seed has never made it to the finals of the Australian Open. In-fact only one player seeded 8th has made it to the semi-finals during the past 25 years, it was Mats Wilander, back in 1990 (he lost in straight sets to Stefan Edberg).

Based on the past results the probability of Tsonga loosing before the QF stage are 80%, with only 20% chances of making it to the QF or better.

Tsonga has been working with a new coach and we know that he has got the game, he has been to the finals here and he knows what it takes to make it to the big one, will he change this statistic for the 8th seed, let us wait and watch.

No. 7 - Del Potro (Chances at Australian Open)
Of the top 8 seeds during the past 25 years of Australian Open, only 2 seeds have never made it to the final. One being a player seeded 8th, and the other, guess who? Yes, the unfortunate 7th seed. The Aussie tennis doesn't seem to like the 7th seed either. However, they have done better than the 8th seeds, making it to the semi-finals at 3 occasions during the past 25 years. The chances of Del Potro making it to the QF or better are 42% based on past results of the 7th seeds.

Del Potro won't be happy with this statistic and might want to change it this year. The fact that he did close his year on a high note, though it was a loss at the hands of Djokovic, he did play well, might be an indication of good things to come. Let us see what Del Potro can do for the 7th seed.

No. 6 - Berdych (Chances at Australian Open)
Of the top 8 seeds, no. 6 seed is the only seed out of the top 4 seeds to have won the Australian Open during the past 25 years. Must be a good thing to know for Berdych. Based on historical data, Berdych has 36% chances of making it to the QF or better. In fact a 6th seed has never lost in the final when he has made it during the past 25 years, doing it twice. Petr Korda did it in 1998 and Agassi did it again in 2001.

Berdych will be gunning for his first major, and given the statistics and the fact that he has beaten Federer and Djokovic back to back before at a major, he must be pumped up to go for it.

No. 5 - Ferrer (Chances at Australian Open)
Ferrer had a stellar 2012, where he won the most titles of all the players, 7, his career best. In fact it was his career best year on tour. What is next for him, a Grand Slam, yes or no? We will have to wait and see.
A fifth seed has never won Australian Open, but he has been to the championship match on 3 occasions during the past 25 years.
Based on the past performances put in by the fifth seeds, Ferrer has 44% chance of making it to the quarter-finals of Australian Open or better. Ferrer's best grand slam result has been semi-final. He has never been to the final of a grand slam, will it happen at Australian Open, the odds are not that bad.

No. 4 - Nadal (Chances at Australian Open)
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We have all been anxiously waiting for the return of Nadal from the injury lay off. How good will he perform remains to be seen.
Given the history of 4th seeds at Australian Open, they have made it to the final on 3 occasions (1988, 1996, 2005), winning it on 2 occasions, Becker in 1996 and Safin in 2005. Nadal has won the Australian Open trophy before, and he did that in style in 2009 when Ndal defeated Federer in the final.
Nadal's chances of making it to the quarter-final or better of the Australian Open are 52%. But it will all depend on how his knees hold up and how he deals with the pressure.

No. 3 - Murray (Chances at Australian Open)
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Andy Murray walks into the Australian Open as the reigning U.S Open champion. He will be having all the confidence he needs. Based on the past trends a 3rd seed has 60% chances of making it to the quarter-finals of Australian Open, 44% chances of making it to the semi-finals, 24% chances of making it to the championship match, and 12% chance of winning the trophy.
Murray has been to the championship match of Australian Open twice, loosing to Roger Federer in 2010 and to Novak Djokovic in 2011.
With the weight of winning his first major off his shoulders, he will be looking forward to add more to his grand slam resume.

No. 2 Federer (Chances at Australian Open)
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Based on the history of second seed in the Australian Open, Federer has a huge 76% chance of making it to the quarter-final of the Australian Open. In-fact a second seed has lost before the quarter-final only once in the past 10 years, and a total of 6 times during the past 25 years.
Federer has a 24% shot at winning the trophy based on the history of 2nd seeds at Australian Open. However, with his age and heat there in Australia, will he be up to the task, remains to be seen.

No. 1 Djokovic (Chances at Australian Open)
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The top seed has the richest history in the Australian Open tennis during the past 25 years. A top seed has not lost in the first round, but once, in the past 25 years. The only top seed to loose in the first round was Australian stalwart Hewitt, back in 2001. A top seed has gone on to win the Australian Open trophy in 10 of the past 25 years, which makes a whooping 40% chance for Djokovic to win the trophy.
Djokovic is the two time defending champion, and is aiming to become the first player in the Open era to win Australian Open 3 consecutive years. Will Djokovic win Australian Open 2013, let us wait and see.

That was all from the part one, I will be bringing in the part 2 for you guys soon. Stay tuned and do let me know how you feel about this article or anything else you want to see on the blog. Hoping for a great season ahead of us.

For the probability of the individual players please refer to the links below:

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