I'm going to do a little study of the 2006 tennis season. I'm going to gather data purely from the singles draw sheets (in Tennisweek magazine), and, since I don't have a computer, will be doing it the old fashioned way-- pencil and paper. So I'm not going to be writing everything
down; just some essentials that can be compiled and analyzed.
One set will be a chart of seeds for every tournament. There will be 8 columns representing the slots for the seeds (with 16-seed tournaments getting 2 lines, and 32-seeds getting 4). In these spots I will put either the # of the seed, or some other distinction (U-unseeded, Q-qualifier, W-wild card, etc.), and I'll make notations above who reached the semis and finals, and won.
The other chart will be the interesting one. This is where I want to compile what will be the most useful info. For practical purposes, there has to be a limit on the # of columns (say, 12), or it will be illegible. Which info, available solely from the drawsheet, should be included amongst those 12 columns? I have a preliminary set of 12, but a couple can be calculated afterwards from the raw data and so aren't absolutely necessary.
The info I'm currently planning on tracking for each tourney is:
# of possible matches
# of matches started
# of matches finished
1-set matches (these 3 with a * marking matches that didn't finish)
# of walkovers
# of LL in draw
# of seeds withdrawn
7-6 (or more) sets (these 3 with a * denoting if it was in a final set)
I'm planning on gathering this data from tournaments on both tours for 2006. I originally planned (and may eventually get around) to do 2005 as well, and then do 1995 and 1996 and compare the differences in the 10-year spans, and see if there are any interesting trends.
Can anyone think of any other data I should track, and which would make for interesting analysis? These are the ones that occured to me, but there might be something I overlooked. Also, what ways would you like to see the raw data analyzed? Just an overall assessment? A breakdown by Tiers as well? By surfaces? I'll wait until I see if there are any suggestions before I begin the arduous task of data compilation. (Yes, that's
why I haven't started yet. That's the story and I'm sticking to it.
One year alone won't tell us everything, as we won't know if it's a normal year or a fluke, or which way things are trending. But it may provide some interesting matter for discussion, and perhaps some surprises.