2012 US Open Men’s Projections

Here are my pre-tournament odds for the 2012 US Open.  For some background reading, follow the links for more on my player rating systemcurrent rankings, and more on how I simulate tournaments.

I’ve made one tweak to the algorithm (for men only) since last posting odds.  As many of you have noticed, I seem to underestimate the chances that the very best players will progress through the draw.  Some analysis of past results showed that this is correct, so for now, there’s a bit of a band-aid in the system, boosting the odds of the current top ten in a way that reflects how they’ve outperformed my projections in the past.

Still, Federer and Djokovic both have well under 30% chances of winning the Open, and fall just short of 50% between them.  My rankings give Djokovic a very slight edge despite Federer’s big season, and the tournament draw, which places Murray in Federer’s half, firmly tilts the scales in the Serb’s favor.

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
1   Roger Federer           90.6%  84.0%  74.0%    23.2%  
    Donald Young             9.4%   5.4%   2.5%     0.0%  
    Maxime Authom           32.9%   2.3%   0.7%     0.0%  
    Bjorn Phau              67.1%   8.3%   3.7%     0.0%  
    Albert Ramos            50.1%  15.1%   1.7%     0.0%  
    Robby Ginepri           49.9%  14.8%   1.7%     0.0%  
    Rui Machado             15.1%   5.5%   0.4%     0.0%  
25  Fernando Verdasco       84.9%  64.6%  15.4%     0.3%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
23  Mardy Fish              77.1%  50.6%  33.9%     1.3%  
    Go Soeda                22.9%   8.8%   3.3%     0.0%  
    Nikolay Davydenko       88.6%  39.4%  21.4%     0.2%  
    Guido Pella             11.4%   1.2%   0.1%     0.0%  
    Ivo Karlovic            67.5%  34.2%  14.7%     0.1%  
    Jimmy Wang              32.5%  10.9%   3.0%     0.0%  
    Michael Russell         35.7%  16.2%   5.4%     0.0%  
16  Gilles Simon            64.3%  38.6%  18.1%     0.3%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
11  Nicolas Almagro         52.9%  33.6%  20.2%     0.3%  
    Radek Stepanek          47.1%  28.5%  16.5%     0.2%  
    Nicolas Mahut           48.7%  18.2%   8.6%     0.0%  
    Philipp Petzschner      51.3%  19.6%   9.5%     0.0%  
    Blaz Kavcic             45.9%  15.3%   4.8%     0.0%  
    Flavio Cipolla          54.1%  19.8%   6.9%     0.0%  
    Jack Sock               19.8%   7.7%   1.9%     0.0%  
22  Florian Mayer           80.2%  57.2%  31.6%     0.5%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
27  Sam Querrey             64.9%  51.7%  27.6%     0.7%  
    Yen-Hsun Lu             35.1%  23.9%   9.3%     0.1%  
    Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo   31.4%   4.8%   0.8%     0.0%  
    Somdev Devvarman        68.6%  19.6%   5.5%     0.0%  
    Denis Istomin           62.4%  23.8%  11.8%     0.1%  
    Jurgen Zopp             37.6%  10.2%   3.8%     0.0%  
    David Goffin            28.7%  14.8%   6.9%     0.0%  
6   Tomas Berdych           71.3%  51.3%  34.3%     1.7%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
3   Andy Murray             87.6%  76.3%  63.9%    13.7%  
    Alex Bogomolov Jr.      12.4%   6.3%   2.7%     0.0%  
    Hiroki Moriya           22.9%   1.8%   0.4%     0.0%  
    Ivan Dodig              77.1%  15.7%   7.8%     0.1%  
    Thomaz Bellucci         65.9%  29.0%   6.6%     0.1%  
    Pablo Andujar           34.1%   9.9%   1.4%     0.0%  
    Robin Haase             31.9%  15.6%   3.0%     0.0%  
30  Feliciano Lopez         68.1%  45.5%  14.1%     0.3%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
24  Marcel Granollers       63.8%  37.7%  19.2%     0.2%  
    Denis Kudla             36.2%  16.4%   6.3%     0.0%  
    Lukas Lacko             46.7%  20.6%   8.4%     0.0%  
    James Blake             53.3%  25.2%  10.8%     0.1%  
    Paul-Henri Mathieu      45.6%  14.3%   5.9%     0.0%  
    Igor Andreev            54.4%  19.2%   8.7%     0.0%  
    Santiago Giraldo        30.9%  16.5%   7.7%     0.0%  
15  Milos Raonic            69.1%  50.0%  33.0%     1.0%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
12  Marin Cilic             70.6%  56.4%  31.1%     0.9%  
    Marinko Matosevic       29.4%  18.6%   6.5%     0.0%  
    Daniel Brands           70.6%  20.5%   6.0%     0.0%  
    Adrian Ungur            29.4%   4.5%   0.7%     0.0%  
    Tim Smyczek             53.1%  15.1%   5.8%     0.0%  
    Bobby Reynolds          46.9%  12.1%   4.3%     0.0%  
    Guido Andreozzi          5.7%   0.9%   0.1%     0.0%  
17  Kei Nishikori           94.3%  71.9%  45.6%     1.7%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
32  Jeremy Chardy           84.1%  55.5%  23.6%     0.3%  
    Filippo Volandri        15.9%   4.3%   0.7%     0.0%  
    Tatsuma Ito             44.6%  16.6%   4.5%     0.0%  
    Matthew Ebden           55.4%  23.6%   7.3%     0.0%  
    Martin Klizan           42.3%   8.7%   3.2%     0.0%  
    Alejandro Falla         57.7%  14.7%   6.4%     0.0%  
    Karol Beck              16.7%   8.2%   3.2%     0.0%  
5   Jo-Wilfried Tsonga      83.3%  68.5%  51.2%     3.9%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
8   Janko Tipsarevic        81.6%  69.4%  49.7%     1.9%  
    Guillaume Rufin         18.4%  10.4%   3.8%     0.0%  
    Brian Baker             40.9%   7.1%   1.8%     0.0%  
    Jan Hajek               59.1%  13.1%   4.5%     0.0%  
    Grega Zemlja            55.9%  22.5%   8.1%     0.0%  
    Ricardo Mello           44.1%  15.5%   4.7%     0.0%  
    Cedrik-Marcel Stebe     39.2%  21.6%   8.2%     0.0%  
29  Viktor Troicki          60.8%  40.4%  19.2%     0.2%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
19  Philipp Kohlschreiber   54.1%  32.9%  16.2%     0.3%  
    Michael Llodra          45.9%  26.1%  11.9%     0.2%  
    Grigor Dimitrov         54.9%  23.7%   9.8%     0.1%  
    Benoit Paire            45.1%  17.4%   6.4%     0.0%  
    Mikhail Kukushkin       46.2%  14.5%   6.0%     0.0%  
    Jarkko Nieminen         53.8%  18.3%   8.2%     0.1%  
    Xavier Malisse          33.7%  19.2%   9.6%     0.1%  
9   John Isner              66.3%  48.0%  31.9%     1.6%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
13  Richard Gasquet         82.1%  51.9%  27.6%     0.9%  
    Albert Montanes         17.9%   5.3%   1.3%     0.0%  
    Jurgen Melzer           82.7%  39.6%  18.1%     0.3%  
    Bradley Klahn           17.3%   3.1%   0.5%     0.0%  
    Steve Johnson           35.5%   5.3%   1.1%     0.0%  
    Rajeev Ram              64.5%  15.4%   4.7%     0.0%  
    Ernests Gulbis          27.6%  18.4%   7.6%     0.0%  
21  Tommy Haas              72.4%  60.9%  39.1%     2.5%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
28  Mikhail Youzhny         68.2%  49.4%  22.9%     0.6%  
    Gilles Muller           31.8%  17.4%   5.2%     0.0%  
    Tobias Kamke            48.9%  15.9%   4.2%     0.0%  
    Lleyton Hewitt          51.1%  17.2%   4.6%     0.0%  
    Igor Sijsling           69.4%  17.1%   7.3%     0.0%  
    Daniel Gimeno-Traver    30.6%   4.0%   1.0%     0.0%  
    Kevin Anderson          27.6%  18.3%   9.8%     0.1%  
4   David Ferrer            72.4%  60.6%  44.9%     3.9%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
7   Juan Martin Del Potro   70.1%  55.3%  45.2%     4.6%  
    David Nalbandian        29.9%  18.4%  12.2%     0.3%  
    Benjamin Becker         48.9%  12.7%   7.0%     0.0%  
    Ryan Harrison           51.1%  13.6%   7.7%     0.1%  
    Lukasz Kubot            71.1%  38.8%  11.8%     0.1%  
    Leonardo Mayer          28.9%  10.0%   1.5%     0.0%  
    Tommy Robredo           31.0%  11.8%   2.1%     0.0%  
26  Andreas Seppi           69.0%  39.5%  12.5%     0.1%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
20  Andy Roddick            89.4%  57.3%  36.9%     1.1%  
    Rhyne Williams          10.6%   2.0%   0.4%     0.0%  
    Carlos Berlocq          23.0%   5.2%   1.5%     0.0%  
    Bernard Tomic           77.0%  35.5%  19.7%     0.3%  
    Edouard Roger-Vasselin  44.4%  14.4%   4.3%     0.0%  
    Fabio Fognini           55.6%  21.1%   7.3%     0.0%  
    Guillermo Garcia-Lopez  38.8%  22.5%   8.9%     0.0%  
10  Juan Monaco             61.2%  41.9%  21.0%     0.4%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
14  Alexandr Dolgopolov     61.8%  36.8%  19.6%     0.3%  
    Jesse Levine            38.2%  18.1%   7.7%     0.0%  
    Marcos Baghdatis        67.8%  34.5%  17.2%     0.2%  
    Matthias Bachinger      32.2%  10.6%   3.5%     0.0%  
    Steve Darcis            59.5%  23.6%  10.8%     0.1%  
    Malek Jaziri            40.5%  12.6%   4.6%     0.0%  
    Sergiy Stakhovsky       28.8%  14.1%   5.8%     0.0%  
18  Stanislas Wawrinka      71.2%  49.8%  30.9%     0.8%  

    Player                    R64    R32    R16        W  
31  Julien Benneteau        64.7%  43.7%   9.6%     0.3%  
    Olivier Rochus          35.3%  18.7%   2.8%     0.0%  
    Dennis Novikov          34.1%   9.6%   1.0%     0.0%  
    Jerzy Janowicz          65.9%  28.1%   4.4%     0.0%  
    Rogerio Dutra Silva     39.5%   2.5%   0.6%     0.0%  
    Teymuraz Gabashvili     60.5%   5.4%   1.9%     0.0%  
    Paolo Lorenzi            6.4%   3.6%   1.2%     0.0%  
2   Novak Djokovic          93.6%  88.6%  78.5%    26.5%
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7 Comments

Filed under Forecasting, U.S. Open

7 responses to “2012 US Open Men’s Projections

  1. Hi Jeff,

    I enjoy seeing these simulations, but I still think the Big 4 (or Big 3, in the case of this year’s USO) odds are understated.

    For example, although the SF odds aren’t given, I think it’s reasonable to infer from the table that both Federer and Djokovic, using your system, have about a 50% chance of making the SF stage (the actual value isn’t important for what follows).

    This means that (assuming probabilities are independent, which is a reasonable first assumption) there’s about a 1/4 chance that both will make the SF, and a 1/4 chance that neither will. But, as we know, both players have made the SFs in New York for the last 5 years: furthermore, going back over the last 20 GSs (ie to USO 2007), Federer has made the SF stage 17 times of 20 (RG 2010, Wimbledon 2010/2011 excepted), and Djokovic has made it to the SFs and beyond 14 times of 20, including each of the last 10 GS tournaments.

    I would also be able to make a lot of money in the long run, I think, taking the opposite side on a “Donald Young beats Roger Federer 1 time in 11 over 5 sets at USO 2012.” bet.

    The dominance of the Big 4 leads to some squirrelly inputs to any kind of simulation model (I’ve had a hack at this myself in the past). Still, even with the band aid, a 50/50 chance for Federer and Djokovic is still too low, I reckon.

    • If you look at the odds of these specific players, yes, they would appear to be understated. But as they say, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you take previous top fours, or previous players who have exhibited similar levels of dominance, this is what the numbers spit out. Maybe Federer and/or Djokovic have some magic semi-reaching talents that go beyond their generally exhibited skill, but that isn’t something I would bet on.

      I was surprised by the odds for Fed/Young, too. But Donald has some quality results within the time frame my system is looking at, even if common sense suggests he isn’t about to post another one.

  2. I agree past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. But possibly it should be used to calibrate forecasts?

    For example, this year your model gave Rafael Nadal about a 30% chance of winning Roland Garros (30.4%). As we know, Nadal had won 6 of 7 times he’d entered the tournament before 2012. For argument’s sake, let’s assume that this was, in fact, an unlikely outcome. Let’s find the probability of winning RG if Nadal is likely to win RG 6 or more times on 5% of the occasions he enters 7 straight RGs (for simplicity, again assume probabilities don’t change year on year, and each tournament is an independent outcome) using a basic binomial model.

    It turns out that 6 or more wins at RG only happens on 0.4% of occasions with a single tournament win probability of 30.4% – ie, pretty unlikely. We’d expect 4 wins or fewer about 97% of the time. So this isn’t a compelling argument for saying Nadal’s probability of winning is about 30%.

    Suppose we crank the probability up to 50%: now Nadal wins 6 tournaments of 7 5.5% of the time, and 7 of 7 0.8% of the time. Not very likely, but above our threshhold.

    What probability of winning the tournament does Nadal need to have to make at least 6 of 7 wins a 50/50 proposition? About 77%.

    There are lots of results over the last few years that seem to defy ordinary modeling logic – for example, Federer’s QF streak, and the 29/30 Ws for the Big 3 since RG 2005. Adjusting models like this is part art, part science. Still, I submit that models need to be calibrated so our recent experience doesn’t come across as an extreme outlier.

    • But what if our recent experience *is* an extreme outlier?

      The question isn’t whether past performance should be used to calibrate forecasts, it’s whether it should be used on a player-specific basis to calibrate forecasts.

      At what point do you start recognizing one of these outliers and building that into the model for that player or small group of players? Two french wins for Nadal? Four? 10 QFs for Fed? 20? At what point do you stop? When Fed is 30? 33? When Nadal has missed x recent tournaments because of injury?

      You’re 100% correct that the current big 3 have broken the model, and if anyone was betting against them based on my model, they would’ve lost a lot of money. If I were personally putting money on the line this week, I’d put it against my odds for Fed and Djok to reach the semis. But I’m more interested in broader patterns, and I’ll take long-term trends over short-term ones every time.

  3. Before we go deeper into this question, here’s a hack I had at some related questions five years or so ago:

    http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2008/01/the-years-that.html

    http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2008/01/the-years-tha-1.html

    I hope you think it’s interesting.

    Back then, I had Nadal as 65% vs Fed in a clay match. By 2009, I’d dialled that up to about 80%.

    Basically, I believe that models are useful if they provide insights. There’s a balance between the general and specific. Unusual outcomes do happen (eg Rosol d Nadal), but you have to be prepared to adjust a model if it is repeatedly predicting things that don’t calibrate with experience, unless you can demonstrate that there are overwhelming reasons for believing experience is the outlier. You also (black swan alert!) have to be careful about models that just seem to reinforce conventional wisdom. I come from England, where we’d had falling national house prices in the 1990s. When I learned, in 2007, that rating agencies’ models didn’t allow US national house prices to fall, I went “ruh roh.”

    What’s the saying? “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time is enemy action.” If Federer AND Nadal AND Djokovic are consistently achieving results that a model fails to forecast, time to adjust the model.

  4. Jignesh

    What did you tweak to ‘adjust’ the odds?

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