Category Archives: Tennis Abstract

Custom Filters and Head-to-Heads on TennisAbstract.com

There are a couple of cool new features on TennisAbstract.com that I’d like to share with you. I’ve added another way to search for player head-to-head records, and I’ve also added even more filtering functionality to WTA pages.

Let’s start with the H2H. There have always been a variety of ways to find head-to-head records on the site, and now I’ve made it easier than ever, right on the front page:

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Start typing, and you’ll get a drop-down menu of possible players. Choose one, select another player in the field to the right, and you’ll go straight to a list of career matches between the pair.

For quite some time, there have been other ways of getting H2H results, and sometimes those methods are quicker still. First, for any upcoming match at a current tournament:

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The record shown for each matchup is the career H2H record. Click on it for the list of matches.

Next, there’s a one-click route from player pages. For any listed match on a player page, the “d.” (for “defeated”) is a link. Click on that link and you get the career head-to-head record of the two players involved in that match:

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Finally, you can use the “Head-to-Head” filter in the left-hand column.

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It takes a few more keystrokes than the other methods outlined here, but it’s a quick way to get any H2H with a particular player. Also, for power users, you can use that filter to generate a list of matches with multiple opponents:

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Custom filters

Also new today is the addition of custom date and rank filters for WTA pages. These custom filters have been available on ATP pages for several months, though I suspect many of you have yet to discover them. They work exactly the same way for men’s and women’s pages.

Let’s say, for instance, you wanted to look at Serena Williams‘s record and results since she returned to the #1 ranking last February. Click on “Time Span” in the left hand column. You’ll see a long list of years. At the bottom of the list, click on “Custom” and use the drop-down menus to select specific start and end dates:

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As an added bonus, the URL changes every time you use one of these custom filters, so once you’ve generated your list showing Serena’s 89-6 record since her return to the #1 spot, you can easily share it.

You can also get custom results for opponent ranking (the “vs Rank” filter). Let’s say you wanted to know Tomas Berdych’s record in the last year against players ranked inside the top 50, but outside the top 10:

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Enjoy!

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Projected Matchups on TennisAbstract.com Tourney Pages

I’ve been tinkering around with the tournament pages on Tennis Abstract (for example, this week’s WTA event in Strasbourg), and I want to share the latest improvement with you.

If you are unfamiliar with TA’s tournament pages, it may take a moment to adjust to the method of presentation. But I’ve found that it’s a much more efficient way of presenting a lot more data than a traditional draw diagram–without the hassle of loading a PDF and zooming in and out.

In the left-hand column, you’ll find all upcoming matches, along with the career head-to-head record for each one. Click on the player links to go to their TA player page, or on the H2H record to see a list of H2H matches. Further down, you’ll find all results from the event (including qualifying rounds), most recent first. Take a close look at the “d.” in the middle of each completed match, and you’ll find that some of them are links. Click on those links to get the career H2H results for that pair of players.

In the right-hand column is a tournament forecast. The default view shows each player’s chances of reaching each round of the tournament. ATP forecasts are based on tournament simulations, which use jrank player ratings. WTA forecasts are based on official WTA rankings.

You’ll find today’s new addition here:

taforecast

 

You can click on the links in the top row, “Archived,” to see what the forecast looked like at earlier stages of the tournament.

New today, click on links in the “Probable matchups” row to see the most likely development of the tournament, including H2H records for likely later-round matches:

talater

I imagine that this will be particularly helpful at the beginning of the week for tournaments with larger draws, when you want to get a quick glance at, for instance, quarterfinal or semifinal pairings worth looking forward to.

You can always click “Current” in the top row to return to the real-time forecast.

More TennisAbstract news:

Draws and forecasts are available for French Open qualifying:

I’ll add main draw forecasts as soon as those draws are set, as well. You can find links to those on the front page of TennisAbstract.com. They’ll be updated hourly throughout the tournament.

If you’ve been wondering about some weird numbers on the ATP stats leaderboard, it’s because 2014 matches weren’t included. (Yes, I know it’s May. Ugh.) If you haven’t checked out that page, I hope you will. There are dozens of stats and hundreds of ways to filter results and generate rankings for the last two-and-a-half seasons. For instance, here are the leaders in 2014 return points won on clay.

Finally, we’ve hit a cool milestone with the Match Charting Project. Thanks to the hard work of Deb Decker, there are 50 Rafael Nadal matches in the database, including nearly every match from this year. You’ll also find at least one match for each of 90 players in the current ATP top 100 and 43 of the current WTA top 50. I hope you’ll consider contributing to this growing resource.

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Entry Lists are Back!

I’ve finally been able to bring back one of my favorite features on TennisAbstract.com: ATP entry lists and player schedules!

You’ll find these in the lower right corner of the front page at tennisabstract.com.

Tour-level main draw entry lists are available about six weeks ahead of time.  Challenger, Grand Slam qualifying, and Masters qualifying lists are out three weeks ahead of time. The lists on the site are updated every few hours. For example, here’s the list for the Roland Garros main draw.

The best part of this is that I can compile upcoming player schedules in one place. As I complained not too long ago, it’s outrageous that this information isn’t more readily available. My schedules aren’t perfect–for one thing, they don’t include wild cards as they are awarded–but they go a long way to addressing the problem. On that one page, you can see where your favorite player is scheduled to appear over the next several weeks.

 

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New Ranking Maps and Charts

I’m excited to share with you a couple of new features I’ve been working on for TennisAbstract.com.

First is an interactive ranking map:

rankmap

The above map shows the geographic concentration of teenagers in the WTA top 1000.  Click through to the full-size map, and you can mouse over any country to find out how many players they have in that category.

More importantly, you can customize the map in a variety of ways.  Choose from either the ATP or WTA rankings, decide how deep you’d like to go in the rankings, and if you’d like, limit the age range.  It’s a great way to see which countries are most dominant on each tour, and it’s also an opportunity to visually investigate which nations are likely to hold that power in the near future.

Next is an interactive ranking history chart:

rankchart

This chart shows ranking points for the big four over the past three years.  Again, if you click through to the full-size map, you’ll get more features: mouse over any line to see the date and the player’s ranking points at the date.

Like the map, the ranking chart is fully interactive.  You can select anywhere from one to four players–for now, only in the ATP top 100–choose a timeframe, and select either ranking or ranking points.

One option I want to call you attention to is one of the timeframes: “Year-end (by age).”  Here, instead of dates, the horizontal axis shows ages.  For instance, this graph shows the big four’s year-end rankings at each age.

Enjoy!

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Help make TennisAbstract.com better (and promote your blog)

Today I’m launching a new project on TennisAbstract.com: links to great player news and analysis elsewhere on the web.

I hope you’ll work with me to make this a reality. Getting your blog posts and articles on TennisAbstract.com player pages is easy.

Step one: Fill out a quick form to tell me a few things about your site.

Step two: Add TennisAbstract.com links to player names in your posts. (The TA Linkifier makes this a snap.)

That’s it!

Please read through the rest of this page. Then, if I haven’t scared you away, please submit your information.

How it works

Once every hour or so, I’ll check your RSS feed for new content and scan any new posts for TA player links. If you’re writing about Roger Federer and include a link to his TA page, your post will show up in the “Player News and Views” section of Federer’s page.

your links here

For now, each player page will show the most recent five posts. After approximately 30 days, I’ll drop each post from the database.

Finally, this is very much a work in progress, and I’m sure I’ll do some tweaking throughout the month of August. I’ll probably break stuff. Please let me know if you think things are not working like they should, but please also be patient.

The rules

There are, of course, some basic guidelines you’ll need to follow.

The object of including “News and Analysis” on TennisAbstract.com is just that: to provide news, views, and analysis. I’m not interested in including links to sites that simply list orders of play, match results, betting lines, or betting results.

Next, TennisAbstract.com links must be relevant to the content of each post. Don’t add random links to Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic at the bottom of your articles in an attempt to game the system. I’m obsessed with TennisAbstract.com, and I’ll notice.

Finally–and this should be obvious–work must be your own. I won’t link to aggregators or any other kind of site that is recycling content that originates elsewhere.

I’m a reasonable guy, but I do retain the sole right to determine what sites and posts are included in this system. If you violate any of the above policies, or if you do other objectionable stuff that I didn’t think of until I catch you doing it, I’ll remove your site from the program and add several bad losses to your favorite player’s record.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to add TennisAbstract.com links to every post? Nope. However, only posts that include TennisAbstract.com links will show up on player pages.

Do I have to use the Linkifier? No. If you love inserting links manually, it would be churlish of me to stop you.

How about “custom filter” links? Will you recognize those too? Yes! If you’re linking to a player page, it doesn’t matter whether you’re linking to the standard view or the page with some combination of filters applied.

I submitted the form, but I haven’t heard from you and my posts aren’t showing up. Please give me 72 hours to process applications for new sites. If it has been longer than that, send me an email with a friendly reminder.

Why isn’t one (or some, or all) of my posts showing up on player pages? Please allow up to six hours for new posts to show up. (And make sure there are TennisAbstract.com player links in the post!) If it has been that long, send me an email. Stuff breaks. I’ll try to fix it.

Why doesn’t the Linkifier add a link for [some player]? Are you sure it’s spelled right? The Linkifier checks for exact matches of player names, along with a small number of variations I’ve added by hand. Check the player’s TA player page to see how the site spells it. It’s certainly possible that you’ve got it right and I’ve got it wrong. If so, send me an email.

Do you check for updates to my posts? At present, no. I’ll scan the post for player links only when it first appears. I recognize that’s not ideal for content like live blogs, so eventually this will change.

Submit your site

Click here for the very simple application instructions on TennisAbstract.com.

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National Showdowns in Challenger Finals

If Dudi Sela and Amir Weintraub both win their semifinal matches at the Leon Challenger today–against Donald Young and Jimmy Wang, respectively–it would the first time that two Israelis face off in a Challenger final, at least since the beginning of 1991, when my challenger database begins.

In over 2800 Challengers in that time span, 407 of them have ended with finals contested between countrymen.  As you might guess, all-USA finals have been the most common, at 84, partly due to the former dominance of Americans in the sport and also owing to the large number of Challengers held on US soil.  Next in line are Argentina (59) and Spain (52), two countries with the key combination of many events and a large pool of second-tier pros.

Perhaps more interesting are the countries at the bottom of list.  Nations like Slovenia*, Taiwan, and Slovakia have more in common with Israel–few events in-country, with just a handful of players contesting Challengers.  Those are the three most recent countries to join the list.  Given the contemporary Challenger field, even more surprising are inclusions such as Norway, Denmark, Mexico, and Morocco, all of which enjoyed all-national Challenger finals in the 90s.

*Slovenia is increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Led by the underrated Grega Zemlja, it is one of only 12 countries with three players in the ATP top 100.

Given that 29 countries have experienced such a final, we might expect some nations that aren’t on the list.  A few that come to mind are Switzerland (usually better represented than the current two players ranked between 20 and 300), Ukraine (currently six players between #98 and #300), and Portugal (surely Rui Machado and Frederico Gil will meet in a final eventually).

Here’s the full list, including the most recent final for each country:

Country  CH Fs  Date      Event            Winner              Runner-up                
USA      84     20130204  Dallas CH        Rhyne Williams      Robby Ginepri            
ARG      59     20120730  Manta CH         Guido Pella         Maximiliano Estevez      
ESP      52     20121112  Marbella CH      Albert Montanes     Daniel Munoz De La Nava  
GER      39     20130121  Heilbronn CH     Michael Berrer      Jan Lennard Struff       
FRA      36     20121001  Mons CH          Kenny De Schepper   Michael Llodra           
ITA      31     20110718  Orbetello CH     Filippo Volandri    Matteo Viola             
CZE      24     20120312  Sarajevo CH      Jan Hernych         Jan Mertl                
BRA      20     20120910  Cali CH          Joao Souza          Thiago Alves             
AUS      17     20130225  Sydney1 CH       Nick Kyrgios        Matt Reid                
NED      5      20100906  Alphen CH        Jesse Huta Galung   Thomas Schoorel          
BEL      4      20120924  Orleans CH       David Goffin        Ruben Bemelmans          
ROU      4      20120806  Sibiu CH         Adrian Ungur        Victor Hanescu           
AUT      4      20070716  Rimini CH        Oliver Marach       Daniel Koellerer         
COL      3      20120709  Bogota CH        Alejandro Falla     Santiago Giraldo         
JPN      3      20120423  Kaohsiung CH     Go Soeda            Tatsuma Ito              
RSA      3      20110411  Johannesburg CH  Izak Van Der Merwe  Rik De Voest             
SWE      3      19931101  Aachen CH        Jonas Bjorkman      Jan Apell                
RUS      2      20100823  Astana CH        Igor Kunitsyn       Konstantin Kravchuk      
GBR      2      20050704  Nottingham CH    Alex Bogdanovic     Mark Hilton              
CAN      2      19991129  Urbana CH        Frederic Niemeyer   Sebastien Lareau         
IND      2      19990412  New Delhi CH     Leander Paes        Mahesh Bhupathi          
SLO      1      20120716  An-Ning CH       Grega Zemlja        Aljaz Bedene             
TPE      1      20111017  Seoul CH         Yen Hsun Lu         Jimmy Wang               
SVK      1      20100809  Samarkand CH     Andrej Martin       Marek Semjan             
NOR      1      19980601  Furth CH         Christian Ruud      Jan Frode Andersen       
ECU      1      19960715  Quito CH         Pablo Campana       Luis Adrian Morejon      
DEN      1      19960226  Hamburg CH       Kenneth Carlsen     Frederik Fetterlein      
MAR      1      19950814  Geneva CH        Younes El Aynaoui   Karim Alami              
MEX      1      19920427  Acapulco CH      Leonardo Lavalle    Luis Herrera

TennisAbstract.com update: If you like ATP stats, you’ll love the new leaders page.  It allows you to compare the ATP top 50 across nearly 60 different metrics, and filter matches in all the same ways you can on player pages.  Find out who hits the most aces on  clay, who plays the most tiebreaks in Masters events, who has faced the toughest opponents, or just spend the rest of your afternoon tinkering with the thousands of possible permutations.  It’s very much a work in progress, so (a) let me know if you have suggestions or come across a bug; and (b) don’t be shocked if I occasionally break it while trying to improve it.

Also, I’ve created a “current tournaments” page that aggregates all matches (completed and upcoming) at this week’s events.  It’s a great way to get a quick overview of what’s happening this week, and with next week’s qualifying draws released, you can also use the filters to zero in on, say, all Americans who are still alive in some ATP, WTA, or Challenger event.

Finally, don’t miss the Player Schedules page, which aggregates ATP and Challenger entry lists to show you who is playing where for the next six weeks.

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New Updates and New Toys on TennisAbstract.com

I’ve been working quite a bit lately on TennisAbstract.com, and I hope you’ve noticed.

First and foremost, player pages are updating mid-tournamentUsually within an hour or two of the end of each match.  For instance, check out Olivier Rochus, who qualified in Miami and has now reached the second round.  While stats such as ace rate aren’t yet available for current-week matches, most filters do consider them.  You know, just in case you’re wondering about Rochus’s career record against the Japanese.

Next, TennisAbstract.com now works in all major browsers, including Internet Explorer.  Since the beginning of the site, I developed it only for Google Chrome.  It mostly worked in Firefox until, several week ago, it suddenly didn’t.  (The site depends on a few thousand lines of Javascript, and every browser interprets Javascript a little differently, except for IE, which reads it much differently.)  The site is now functioning normally in Firefox.  While it now works in IE, applying filters is painfully slow.  I don’t know exactly why.  I hope that you are using Firefox or Chrome at home, and if you have to use IE at work, your employer changes their ways soon.

I’ve also added a few rankings reports.  First is the Country Rankings page for both men and women, which shows you the top three players for each country.  It’s particularly interesting to see who the best national #2′s and #3′s are, along with the countries that have just one or two top-flight players. Second, there’s a “lefties only” ranking list for both men and women.  Also, I’ve filled out the history of WTA Rankings by Age–you can now see year-end age-group rankings for any of the last 30 years.  Here’s 2000.

Finally, ATP entry lists are now available, updated several times per day.  For example, here’s the list for next week’s Le Gosier challenger.  These lists show who is scheduled to play every event in the next six weeks or so, along with alternates and withdrawals.

Enjoy!

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WTA and ITF Results on TennisAbstract!

I hope that by now, you’ve taken advantage of the wealth of ATP results and stats at TennisAbstract.com.  This week, I’ve expanded the site to include women’s tennis–a lot of women’s tennis.

Not only does TA now contain all the matches from the entire history of the WTA  and Fed Cup, but it is also bursting at the seams with lower-level ITFs, all the way down to 10k’s and satellites.  You can track the progress of Annika Beck, keep tabs on Melanie Oudin‘s resurgence, or simply take a look into the history of a long-running event.

(If ITFs and men’s futures are your thing, you can always get a one-page look at this week’s events–men and women–from the TA homepage.  Players in those draws are linked to their TA results pages, as well.)

All told, the site now contains 317,815 matches across 12,807 tournaments.  That’s about 13,000 players, of whom about half have WTA ranking data.

I’ve also started churning out some additional data on the ladies.  The WTA Rankings by Age report shows the highest-ranked teenagers, under-21s, under-23s, and older players, while the WTA H2H Matrix shows the head-to-head records of the WTA top 15 in one place.  And there’s more to come.

To get started, just click some clinks in those reports, or use the search box on the front page (or almost any other page) to look up the WTA player of your choice.  Enjoy!

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More New Toys on TennisAbstract.com

If you’re not yet using TennisAbstract.com as your go-to ATP results and stats resource, it might be time to switch.

Last week, I added tournament pages for every ATP and Challenger event.   For instance, you can now see every match (and all of its stats, and every player’s ranking) for any tournament, like last week’s Shanghai Masters, or the 2001 Milan event.  Most sites require that you click a pop-up window to get match stats.  Now you can compare every match (including qualies, for the last several years) by  ace rate, return points won, and dozens of other stats.

As with the player pages, the match table is sortable by almost every column, and a handful of filters in the left-hand sidebar allow you zero in on the matches you are interested in.

One feature I particularly like is the ability to select subgroups of players in the top-right table.  Each tourney page defaults to displaying event totals for the eight men who reached the quarters, so you can compare tournament-long statistics for the top contenders.  By clicking the links at the bottom of that table, you can get a quick glimpse of the seeds, qualifiers, or wild cards … or stats for everyone in the main draw.

These tournament pages are accessible from every player page (and vice versa).

There are several more new features that I hope you find interesting:

  • If you haven’t already seen TA’s current tournament pages, this is a great week to check them out, with three tournaments in action.  These pages show all completed matches, all upcoming matches, and jrank-derived odds given who is left in the draw.
  • A small recent adjustment to those pages is particularly handy.  For the projections, you can click on previous round names (e.g. “R32″) to see what the projections looked like at that point in the tournament.  Find out who scored the biggest upsets, who has increased their odds the most, or just hunt for my model’s most egregious errors.
  • Many of you have asked for regularly updated surface rankings.  Here you go!
  • The first of several new reports is the Head-to-Head Matrix.  See H2H records for the current top 15.  Click on the records themselves to see a fuller view of all of the relevant head-to-heads..
  • Also new: Current Rankings by Age.  Find the top players under 19, under 21, and under 23, along with those 28+, 30+ and 32+.  Use the dropdown menu to see similar reports for each year’s year-end rankings back to 1984.
  • Inspired by a long-ago blog post, see which players are performing the most and least consistently.
  • Finally, compare tournaments by field quality.  This is fascinating stuff, so much so that I made a report for the last 52 weeks of Challengers, as well.

All of the reports are accessible from the TennisAbstract.com home page.  I hope you enjoy them, and that you keep an eye out for the next wave of new toys, as well.

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New Functionality (and a little more data) on TennisAbstract.com

Since meta-sizing the TennisAbstract.com database, I’ve focused on making each player page more useful and functional.  Here are the highlights:

  • “Show Career” link.  By default, most pages show a player’s matches for the last 52 weeks.  When you start applying filters, the number of matches shrinks heavily.  In many cases, what you really want is that set of filters applied to the player’s whole career. Now, there’s a “show career” link at the bottom of every list of matches.  (Unless, of course, the table is already displaying the full career!)
  • Apply filters to a new player.  A few days ago, a reader sent me this link, carefully constructed from four different filters, with four selections in one of the filters.  Once you’ve done all that work, what if you want to see the same filters applied to a different player?  Now, instead of repeating the process, enter the player into the search box below the match list, and voila! the filters are applied to another player.
  • Ctrl-Click for multiple selections. I’ve never liked the behavior of the menus for multiple selections.  By default, if you clicked on a second selection, the page assumed you wanted both.  For instance, to change from “hard” to “clay,” for instance, you had to click on “clay,” then click on “hard” again to deselect “hard.”  Now, these selections behave more intuitively.  If you want multiple selections, hold down the control key while clicking on a filter.
  • More filters for best-of-five matches.  If you haven’t looked recently, check out the menus for “Results” and “Sets.”  Now you can search for five-setters where a player lost the first two sets, or best-of-fives that went exactly four sets, and so on.  By splitting these into two menus, there are more possible queries than ever.
  • Exclude players from results.  How impressive are Juan Martin del Potro’s results this year if you exclude his losses to Roger Federer?  The “Exclude Opp” menu makes it easy to answer questions like these.
  • More Davis Cup coverage.  I’ve added World Group Playoffs (or Challenge Rounds, or Qualifying Rounds, or whatever they called them from one year to the next) from 1981 to 2002.  Now World Group results are complete back to 1981, along with Group 1 and Group 2 back to 1993.  Still more to come.

Many of these came directly from reader suggestions.  I do appreciate every comment even though I can’t act on them all.  Many suggestions aren’t yet reflected on the site, but are moving their way up the to-do list.   Let me know what would make the site more valuable to you.

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