French Open Odds Update: Quarterfinals

The draw looked odd this morning — Andy Murray and Viktor Troicki were still in the fourth round, while Novak Djokovic was safely in the semis following Fabio Fognini’s withdrawal. (Djokovic’s odds of advancing didn’t change much with Fognini’s withdrawal!)

Now that things are back to normal, we can update the odds. My rankings make Novak the 2-1 favorite to reach the final over Federer–probably a little optimistic for Roger, but you have to admit, the Swiss has looked surprisingly good this week. Largely thanks to Djokovic, there’s a 60% chance that the tournament winner comes from the bottom half.

Here are the odds for the remaining players:

Player                  SF      F      W  
(1)Rafael Nadal      68.9%  49.6%  24.9%  
(5)Robin Soderling   31.1%  17.1%   5.1%  
(4)Andy Murray       86.8%  32.1%  10.0%  
Juan Ignacio Chela   13.2%   1.1%   0.1%  
(3)Roger Federer    100.0%  33.1%  16.2%  
(2)Novak Djokovic   100.0%  66.9%  43.8% 
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5 Comments

Filed under Forecasting, French Open

5 responses to “French Open Odds Update: Quarterfinals

  1. Tom Welsh

    1. Why does Murray regularly get such easy draws? (Anyone still surprised that Djokovic beat Murray with such ease in the final of the Australian Open should compare the players they each beat on the way to the final. Murray beat Beck (101), Marchenko (79), Garcia-Lopez (32), Melzer (11), Dolgopolov (46), and Ferrer (7). Meanwhile Djokovic beat Granollers (42), Dodig (81), Troicki (27), Almagro (14), Berdych (6), and Federer (2). Total rankings of Murray’s opposition: 276 (average 46). Total rankings of Djokovic’s opposition: 172 (rounded average 29). And here in Paris, Murray got qualifiers in the first two rounds – followed by Berrer, Troicki, and Chela!

    2. Do your odds make any allowance for Murray’s (supposed) injury? (Is his right ankle hurt, or not?)

    • It seems like a fluke that Murray has gotten so lucky — after all, you wouldn’t expect Almagro to crash out like he did last week. Maybe Murray only makes it to finals when given a relatively easy draw.

      Nope, my odds aren’t affected by injuries. I have no idea how I’d factor that into the calculation, so I operate on the assumption that if a guy plays, he’ll play at his established level, even though the assumption is not 100% accurate.

  2. Tom Welsh

    I haven’t looked at the other big finals that Murray has reached, but it does seem a plausible mechanism given his apparent inability to beat the very best players on the biggest occasions. His physical equipment and skill seem adequate – what I very gravely doubt is whether he has the character to win Slams or reach #1. Federer, and especially Nadal, have always combined a gritty determination with tremendous self-control, and this often lets them recover from difficult match situations. Murray, on the other hand, seems to play too passively in general, and also to lack self-belief and self-control. In short, to over-dramatise things perhaps, I don’t think he really believes he deserves to be the best.

  3. Tom Welsh

    Well, once again Murray has been dismissed quickly and decisively the first time he met a world-class player (Nadal this time). And once again his previous opponents weren’t really all that challenging. Check them out:

    Rd. 1 Eric Prodon (124)
    Rd. 2 Simone Bollelli (126)
    Rd. 3 Michael Berrer (95)
    Rd. 4 Viktor Troicki (15)
    QF Juan Ignacio Chela (34)

    Compare Federer:

    Rd. 1 Feliciano Lopez (41)
    Rd. 2 Maxime Teixeira (181)
    Rd. 3 Janko Tipsarevic (32)
    Rd. 4 Stanislav Wawrinka (14)
    QF Gael Monfils (9)

    Or Djokovic:

    Rd. 1 Thiemo De Bakker (71)
    Rd. 2 Victor Hanescu (60)
    Rd. 3 Juan Martin Del Potro (26 – yeah right)
    Rd. 4 Richard Gasquet (16)
    QF walkover against Fabio Fognini (49)

    Or Nadal:

    Rd. 1 John Isner (39)
    Rd. 2 Pablo Andujar (48)
    Rd. 3 Antonio Veic (227)
    Rd. 4 Ivan Ljubicic (37)
    QF Robin Soderling (5)

    Murray’s opponents averaged a ranking of 99, compared to 69 for Federer, 56 for Djokovic, and 89 for Nadal. But actually those numbers make Murray’s opposition look better than it really was. Troicki is 15??? He didn’t play like someone who is better than Gasquet! And guys like De Bakker and Veic are quite dangerous – more so than their ranking would suggest. If Murray’s coach had been given the chance to pick a bunch of sacrificial victims to usher him, risk-free, into the semi-finals, he could hardly have done a better job.

    • Interesting, thanks. In fact, Fed and Nadal I think should really be lower — there’s little difference between #125 and #175 or #225, so if I were going to analyze this over the course of many tournaments or slams, I’d probably just say that anybody above the cut (Q’s, WC’s) is really playing at or near the level of the cut.

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