From Monday to Sunday last week, the ATP 250s in Munich and Oeiras were filled with statistical quirks. Here’s a rundown of some of the oddities you might have missed:
- In both events, the top four seeds in qualifying advanced to the main draw. Since the beginning of the decade, there have been 173 ATP 250s, and these two events were only the 7th and 8th of those in which the four qualifiers were the top four seeds.
- Not only that, but the four players those qualifiers defeated were the 5th through 8th seeds. Put another way, the eight players in the qualifying round were the top eight seeds. That hadn’t happened in the 2010s–and it happened in two different tournaments last week. Of the previous 171 events, seven seeds reached the qualifying round on four occasions, but never eight.
- In Munich, Tommy Haas won his first two matches as a 36 year old. He wasn’t the first man that old to win a match this year–Marc Gicquel beat him to it in Montpelier–but he’s only the 12th player to do so since 2000. Still, he has a long way to go to catch Ken Rosewall, who won over 350 tour-level matches after his 36th birthday.
- In four matches, Fabio Fognini reached the Munich final, but he didn’t play a single direct entrant. After a first round bye, he faced Dustin Brown, a wild card, followed by three qualifiers, Thomaz Bellucci, Jan Lennard Struff, and Martin Klizan. In ATP history, no one has ever played every round of an event without facing another direct entrant. There have been a few instances when a player faces four non-direct entrants (notably Richard Gasquet‘s 2007 Wimbledon run). I also found a couple of WTA $10Ks in which a player faced five non-direct entrants, but there are eight qualifying and four wild card spots at that level.
- Fognini lost to Klizan in the final, a repeat of the final result in 2012 in St. Petersburg. Klizan’s two titles both came against Fognini, making him only the fifth player in ATP history to win his only two finals against the same player. The Slovak is in good company: The most recent guy on the list is David Ferrer, and before that was Carlos Moya.
- Back in Portugal, the heavy favorite Tomas Berdych won the first set over Carlos Berlocq by the score of 6-0. That’s rare enough in a tour-level final. Berlocq made it much more unusual, though, when he came back to win. It was only the 10th time in ATP history that a player won a final after dropping the first set 0-6. The last occurrence was quite recent, when Marcel Granollers came back to win in the Kitzbuhel final last year.
- Berlocq is known as a fighter, but he had never come back from a 0-6 hole in a tour-level match before. He had done so only once as a pro, in a Challenger match against Marcos Daniel in 2004.
- Berdych’s record was even more pure, having never lost a professional match after winning the first set 6-0.
One more quirk from the week: By winning the Tallahassee Challenger, Robby Ginepri ended an 11-year-long title drought at that level. (Though he did win several ATP titles in that time.) Amazingly, that isn’t a record. Thomas Johansson went 12 years and two months between Challenger titles, and Tommy Robredo, who ended his own nearly 12-year drought when he won Caltanissetta in 2012.
The Madrid Masters has star power, but this year it’s unlikely to produce as many historical oddities as the week it follows.