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View Full Version : Get rid of round-robin


Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 10:20 AM
The round-robin format as it is is a disgraceful competition format. The only benefits it has are gimmicks: that there are more matches so that the WTA makes more $$$$ (and, THEORETICALLY, people are more entertained due to the greater number of matches), and that it is "unique" and different from what we normally see.

The issue I have here, foremost, is the lack of integrity in the system. When the top eight players qualify for the season-ending championships of their sport, they should not need to be treated to multiple chances to remain in a competition. This is what round-robin allows, and while you can apply subjectivity to the situation in saying Stosur could draw Azarenka in the first round of the tournament and be in an 'unfair' position due to her poor past record against her, the round-robin format in itself is the epitome of unfairness.

Generalised, the issue with the integrity of round-robin is that one match can have adverse effects that do not apply solely to the match itself. Round-robin creates little messy scenarios that players themselves have the ability to affect in an entirely unfair way; in particular, today, Petra Kvitova, as a player who had already qualified for the semifinals and had guaranteed her advancement to the next round regardless of her third round-robin match, had the ability to lose one set and attempt to win from that point, which would have determined whether someone OTHER than Petra Kvitova herself would find herself advancing to the next round. I am speaking entirely hypothetically here and would not accuse any players of carrying out such a plan, but I am highlighting the fact that these conditions can be taken advantage of and that the issue is that each match creates and effects just as many conditions as it does the actual elimination of the loser and advancement of the winner.

Last year, as I recall, Kim Clijsters had the ability to hand-pick her semifinal opponent by either tanking or attempting to win her third round-robin match. Again, we are only looking at this hypothetically and not from the exact possibilities of the scenario given. It is this power that is given to the players and gimmicky percentage statistics that makes me dubious of the round-robin format.

I feel that the very top players in the world should not need multiple chances. In a tournament as big as the season-ending championships, it feels to me like they should go big or go home, rather than be given the opportunity to play up to TWO awful matches and lose them both (in the case of advancing to the semifinals as the second player in a 3-0, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 group outcome), and still end up the winner of the tournament.

There is also the issue of the WTA's foolish scheduling of this tournament. Deliberately holding matches between a player who has already played a match and a player who has not is rubbish, and while this is not a problem exclusive to round-robin, I wanted to complain about it anyway.

Last but not least, there is the anticlimatic feeling of the possibility of the final being a match that has already taken place during the week. Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

As for possible solutions or alternatives, I would suppose there are none other than changing the format of the tournament back to direct knockout. Direct knockout between the top eight players only provides seven matches throughout the course of the week, and I would suppose this is problematic from a marketing standpoint. The format could be reverted to direct knockout with sixteen players as it once was before, but looking at it subjectively the quality of the players in the 9-16 race bracket -- or lack thereof -- is slightly concerning. Again, from a marketing standpoint, it would be regrettable to lose your #2 player to the #14 player, or to end up with a Peng - Bartoli SF, but that is creating excuses for the best players when they do not manage to bring their best games to the tournament.

The best players in the world should be expected to bring their best games to these matches, and when they are given multiple chances and there are a flurry of conditions, rather than the strict outcome of having to win the match or be absolutely eliminated, it is blatant that players will NOT give it all they have. This is disappointing from everyone's point of view, even when the WTA benefits from more matches being played.

Less is more. Go big or go home.

Mistress of Evil
Oct 29th, 2011, 10:28 AM
I really cannot make myself read that Shvedbarilescu-esque essay but I agree bring back the draw format!

Matt01
Oct 29th, 2011, 10:44 AM
Get rid of round-robin


Agreed.

LCS
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:08 AM
:worship:

Chaosm21
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:13 AM
The round-robin format as it is is a disgraceful competition format. The only benefits it has are gimmicks: that there are more matches so that the WTA makes more $$$$ (and, THEORETICALLY, people are more entertained due to the greater number of matches), and that it is "unique" and different from what we normally see.

The issue I have here, foremost, is the lack of integrity in the system. When the top eight players qualify for the season-ending championships of their sport, they should not need to be treated to multiple chances to remain in a competition. This is what round-robin allows, and while if you apply subjectivity to the situation in saying Stosur could draw Azarenka in the first round of the tournament and be in an 'unfair' position due to her poor past record against her, the round-robin format in itself is the epitome of unfairness.

Generalised, the issue with the integrity of round-robin is that one match can have adverse effects that do not apply solely to the match itself. Round-robin creates little messy scenarios that players themselves have the ability to affect in an entirely unfair way; in particular, today, Petra Kvitova, as a player who had already qualified for the semifinals and had guaranteed her advancement to the next round regardless of her third round-robin match, had the ability to lose one set and attempt to win from that point, which would have determined whether someone OTHER than Petra Kvitova herself would find herself advancing to the next round. I am speaking entirely hypothetically here and would not accuse any players of carrying out such a plan, but I am highlighting the fact that these conditions can be taken advantage of and that the issue is that each match creates and effects just as many conditions as it does the actual elimination of the loser and advancement of the winner.

Last year, as I recall, Kim Clijsters had the ability to hand-pick her semifinal opponent by either tanking or attempting to win her third round-robin match. Again, we are only looking at this hypothetically and not from the exact possibilities of the scenario given. It is this power that is given to the players and gimmicky percentage statistics that makes me dubious of the round-robin format.

I feel that the very top players in the world should not need multiple chances. In a tournament as big as the season-ending championships, it feels to me like they should go big or go home, rather than be given the opportunity to play up to TWO awful matches and lose them both (in the case of advancing to the semifinals as the second player in a 3-0, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 group outcome), and still end up the winner of the tournament.

There is also the issue of the WTA's foolish scheduling of this tournament. Deliberately holding matches between a player who has already played a match and a player who has not is rubbish, and while this is not a problem exclusive to round-robin, I wanted to complain about it anyway.

Last but not least, there is the anticlimatic feeling of the possibility of the final being a match that has already taken place during the week. Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

As for possible solutions or alternatives, I would suppose there are none other than changing the format of the tournament back to direct knockout. Direct knockout between the top eight players only provides seven matches throughout the course of the week, and I would suppose this is problematic from a marketing standpoint. The format could be reverted to direct knockout with sixteen players as it once was before, but looking at it subjectively the quality of the players in the 9-16 race bracket -- or lack thereof -- is slightly concerning. Again, from a marketing standpoint, it would be regrettable to lose your #2 player to the #14 player, or to end up with a Peng - Bartoli SF, but that is creating excuses for the best players when they do not manage to bring their best games to the tournament.

The best players in the world should be expected to bring their best games to these matches, and when they are given multiple chances and there are a flurry of conditions, rather than the strict outcome of having to win the match or be absolutely eliminated, it is blatant that players will NOT give it all they have. This is disappointing from everyone's point of view, even when the WTA benefits from more matches being played.

Less is more. Go big or go home.

This is the only tournament where only the best players participate and show some interesting matches. I want 15 Matches in 6 days and not 7 in 4 days.

Feyd
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:19 AM
The round-robin format as it is is a disgraceful competition format.
I stopped reading here.

Beat
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:21 AM
i totally disagree. it's a special tournament and RR works fine and actually spices things up. it has a special atmosphere, too, and it would be a realy pity if they'd destroy this.

also, in your essay, i think you underestimate the players' inner drive to win every single match (bar azarenka, obviously); there's a lot of money and ranking points at stake. you also overestimate a player's chance to "manipulate" the outcome of a match. it's really not that easy.

Matt01
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:27 AM
also, in your essay, i think you underestimate the players' inner drive to win every single match (bar azarenka, obviously); there's a lot of money and ranking points at stake. you also overestimate a player's chance to "manipulate" the outcome of a match. it's really not that easy.


Not quite fair to single out Azarenka when lots of other players have tanked their unimportant RR matches before.
I can see why that format has some appeal to some people but for a serious competition like the YEC it is just not useful IMO.

laurie
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:30 AM
I prefer round robin, it's only once a year and things happen in life. Radwanska should have got the job done but didn't. But then again, Zvonareva should have got the job done against Radwanska.

The men have had round robin for as long as I can remember, I like it.

Apoleb
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:35 AM
No, this is a lot more fun. Even the tanks are fun.

Melange
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:36 AM
people are getting too precious about this. football uses group format all the time. one could argue that the champions league has too many meaningless group matches but fans still watch them. na's last two matches were more disgrace than healthy coke's tank but noone seems to mind. with ticket prices so cheap, its about £3, i cant see why too many people would complain.

Keadz
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:41 AM
I like it :)

TheBoiledEgg
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:58 AM
only people who dont like it cant figure out who qualifies and who doesnt

Hurley
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:03 PM
The round-robin format as it is is a disgraceful competition format. The only benefits it has are gimmicks: that there are more matches so that the WTA makes more $$$$ (and, THEORETICALLY, people are more entertained due to the greater number of matches) [...] Less is more.

8 player round robin: 12 group matches + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

16 player knockout: 8 1R + 4 QF + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

Shut it down, kid.

Matt01
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:13 PM
8 player round robin: 12 group matches + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

16 player knockout: 8 1R + 4 QF + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

Shut it down, kid.


Comparing apples and oranges :rolleyes:

8 player RR = 15 matches

8 player knockout = 7 matches

:wavey:

Slutiana
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:37 PM
8 player round robin: 12 group matches + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

16 player knockout: 8 1R + 4 QF + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

Shut it down, kid.
Exactly.

It's a special tournament and this layout is fine. These days the top players rarely play and so at least at time moment, a tournament like this is really needed.

I ain't reading that long-ass Shvedbarilescu crap, btw.

Slutiana
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:37 PM
Comparing apples and oranges :rolleyes:

8 player RR = 15 matches

8 player knockout = 7 matches

:wavey:
Missed the point. As usual.

Svetlana)))
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:46 PM
I really cannot make myself read that Shvedbarilescu-esque essay but I agree bring back the draw format!

Exactly.

It's a special tournament and this layout is fine. These days the top players rarely play and so at least at time moment, a tournament like this is really needed.

I ain't reading that long-ass Shvedbarilescu crap, btw.

http://i56.tinypic.com/316tgf6.gif
YASSSS.

brickhousesupporter
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:47 PM
The round-robin format as it is is a disgraceful competition format. The only benefits it has are gimmicks: that there are more matches so that the WTA makes more $$$$ (and, THEORETICALLY, people are more entertained due to the greater number of matches), and that it is "unique" and different from what we normally see.

The issue I have here, foremost, is the lack of integrity in the system. When the top eight players qualify for the season-ending championships of their sport, they should not need to be treated to multiple chances to remain in a competition. This is what round-robin allows, and while you can apply subjectivity to the situation in saying Stosur could draw Azarenka in the first round of the tournament and be in an 'unfair' position due to her poor past record against her, the round-robin format in itself is the epitome of unfairness.

Generalised, the issue with the integrity of round-robin is that one match can have adverse effects that do not apply solely to the match itself. Round-robin creates little messy scenarios that players themselves have the ability to affect in an entirely unfair way; in particular, today, Petra Kvitova, as a player who had already qualified for the semifinals and had guaranteed her advancement to the next round regardless of her third round-robin match, had the ability to lose one set and attempt to win from that point, which would have determined whether someone OTHER than Petra Kvitova herself would find herself advancing to the next round. I am speaking entirely hypothetically here and would not accuse any players of carrying out such a plan, but I am highlighting the fact that these conditions can be taken advantage of and that the issue is that each match creates and effects just as many conditions as it does the actual elimination of the loser and advancement of the winner.

Last year, as I recall, Kim Clijsters had the ability to hand-pick her semifinal opponent by either tanking or attempting to win her third round-robin match. Again, we are only looking at this hypothetically and not from the exact possibilities of the scenario given. It is this power that is given to the players and gimmicky percentage statistics that makes me dubious of the round-robin format.

I feel that the very top players in the world should not need multiple chances. In a tournament as big as the season-ending championships, it feels to me like they should go big or go home, rather than be given the opportunity to play up to TWO awful matches and lose them both (in the case of advancing to the semifinals as the second player in a 3-0, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 group outcome), and still end up the winner of the tournament.

There is also the issue of the WTA's foolish scheduling of this tournament. Deliberately holding matches between a player who has already played a match and a player who has not is rubbish, and while this is not a problem exclusive to round-robin, I wanted to complain about it anyway.

Last but not least, there is the anticlimatic feeling of the possibility of the final being a match that has already taken place during the week. Am I the only one who has an issue with this?

As for possible solutions or alternatives, I would suppose there are none other than changing the format of the tournament back to direct knockout. Direct knockout between the top eight players only provides seven matches throughout the course of the week, and I would suppose this is problematic from a marketing standpoint. The format could be reverted to direct knockout with sixteen players as it once was before, but looking at it subjectively the quality of the players in the 9-16 race bracket -- or lack thereof -- is slightly concerning. Again, from a marketing standpoint, it would be regrettable to lose your #2 player to the #14 player, or to end up with a Peng - Bartoli SF, but that is creating excuses for the best players when they do not manage to bring their best games to the tournament.

The best players in the world should be expected to bring their best games to these matches, and when they are given multiple chances and there are a flurry of conditions, rather than the strict outcome of having to win the match or be absolutely eliminated, it is blatant that players will NOT give it all they have. This is disappointing from everyone's point of view, even when the WTA benefits from more matches being played.

Less is more. Go big or go home.
http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af19/rudeboy77/Gifs/Icantread.gif

codycruz1234
Oct 29th, 2011, 12:55 PM
i think it is fine but they should have a rest day before the semifinals, as that was the reason people tank there matches. play the round robin in the first four days and the doubles at a friday. Kvitova almost done the same thing. ALMOST. Or maybe they should place the dead rubber first so the player wont complain about being tired. Place the elimantion match last, so no one would tank, its purely bad scheduling.

goldenlox
Oct 29th, 2011, 01:01 PM
I was always against round robin because it leads to players overplaying right before to squeeze in, then they would go 0-3.

But I understand it. They want the stars to play several matches, not get knocked out on Tuesday by someone ranked around 16

fouc
Oct 29th, 2011, 01:07 PM
Round Robin is great :hearts:

TheBoiledEgg
Oct 29th, 2011, 01:13 PM
if you dont wanna play RR, dont qualify for it
simple

Lisickinator
Oct 29th, 2011, 01:44 PM
What about double elimination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-elimination_tournament) with 8 players?

Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:01 PM
8 player round robin: 12 group matches + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

16 player knockout: 8 1R + 4 QF + 2 SF + 1 F = 15 matches

Shut it down, kid.

My point still remains. I was already aware both of these scenarios resulted in the same amount of matches. In fact, the 16 player knockout is 'worth more matches' because undoubtedly some of the 15 in the round-robin are dead ones.

Anyway, I appreciate the replies that weren't constructed by blithering idiots. I'm a little surprised no one else has even so much as mentioned the final-may-have-already-been-played thing, but I didn't expect to be so in the minority. I guess people fail to see that it's a rubbish system. Oh well.

ElusiveChanteuse
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:04 PM
RR is fine.

Roookie
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:04 PM
I love this format. We finally get to see the top players playing against each other.

Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:08 PM
I love this format. We finally get to see the top players playing against each other.

I am genuinely perplexed by the replies I have gotten that have stated this or something similar. Did you somehow take a detour into some other thread where some entire other subject was being discussed? The top players play each other in any top 8 format and I'm sure that wouldn't change with the demise of RR.

hingisGOAT
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:10 PM
if you dont wanna play RR, dont qualify for it
simple

joke post?

this board is officially over-run by generation suck teen fans, there is no doubt in my mind... ppl too young to remember how prestigious the YEC USED to be, in the early 2000s and before, until it became a RR joke. a bunch of talentless hacks running the WTA, playing in the WTA, and supporting the WTA on these forums.

especially notable is how this topic has a bunch of replies that amount to little more than "no, you're wrong! i'm right!" the OP laid out a very solid argument and i have not seen one competent reply from anyone who disagrees, just a bunch of trolling. personally i don't see how anyone could support the RR format, what with all of the tanking, gamesmanship, unfair and arbitrary qualifications... but then again i suspect those who support it aren't real tennis fans, just teenage stalkers of "PRINCESS SUNSHINE" or "SNICKERSVIKARENKA!!" who only care about seeing their idols on television as much as possible, with no concern for the quality of the matches themselves...

Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:14 PM
I appreciate the multiple comparisons to a user who actually knows what he's talking about and forms compelling (while often long-winded) arguments. I wasn't exactly under the impression that posting something great in length to properly comunicate a point was cause for ridicule on a discussion board but thanks for clearing it up for me, guys. :lol:

Hurley
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:46 PM
I guess people fail to see that it's a rubbish system. Oh well.

So...your argument is "I don't like it."

Roger that.

Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 02:52 PM
So...your argument is "I don't like it."

Roger that.

No. My argument is in post #1, the most important post in the thread. Please refer to that.

I admit I was self-righteous in saying that, but it's difficult not to be when that's the attitude nearly every replier is adopting.

pov
Oct 29th, 2011, 03:04 PM
i totally disagree. it's a special tournament and RR works fine and actually spices things up. it has a special atmosphere, too, and it would be a realy pity if they'd destroy this.

:yeah: RR is also a more accurate assessment of the players.

pov
Oct 29th, 2011, 03:10 PM
I admit I was self-righteous in saying that, but it's difficult not to be when that's the attitude nearly every replier is adopting.

This comes across as if you're saying you dislike that "nearly every replier" has an opinion that doesn't match yours.

Burisleif
Oct 29th, 2011, 03:15 PM
Extend the round robin phase and get rid of the knock out stage please. Either 6 players per group so you have 3 matches from alternate groups playing each day, with the winner of each group meeting for the overall tittle, or 6 players total with the round robin stage being decisive.

Morning Morgan
Oct 29th, 2011, 03:31 PM
To be honest, I prefer the RR format because it maximizes the most number of blockbuster matchups between top players. With the 16 players draw format, there are at most 7 matches which I really want to watch, as the 9-16 players are usually more scrubbish (relatively speaking), and I always viewed them as filler material. With the round robin, it's like having 6 blockbuster quarterfinals within one group itself.

Matt01
Oct 29th, 2011, 04:08 PM
Missed the point. As usual.


I didn't. :rolleyes:

Matt01
Oct 29th, 2011, 04:12 PM
:yeah: RR is also a more accurate assessment of the players.


When you see player's tanking their dead matches, then those are not accurate assessments at all.

Marlene
Oct 29th, 2011, 08:58 PM
The RR format has both pros and cons. I like that we get to see the top 8 players of the year in at least 14 different match-ups (forgetting about alternates for a sec), and I like that we get to see each player more than once. On the other hand, the format has some obvious flaws, such as dead rubber matches like Azarenka vs Bartoli yesterday, and the criteria for advancing to the semis sometimes seem counter-intuitive; e.g. Zvonareva and Radwanska were tied at 1-2 in wins, but Zvonareva moved on even though she lost to Radwanska.

I'm not sure what they can do about dead rubber matches though - it's difficult to sell tickets for a match that could be cancelled, and it's a bizarre situation to be in for a player like Azarenka yesterday when the result of the match doesn't really matter. Relatively speaking, the extra 140 pts for a RR win is peanuts for top-8 players, and so is the money if you consider what that RR win will "cost" you in terms of your chances of making the final and the money that comes with that. Perhaps they should let the alternates play the dead rubber matches!?

Mynarco
Oct 29th, 2011, 09:10 PM
RR is fun
playing dead rubber however:o

égalité
Oct 29th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Yes, because it was so great having walking byes like Anna Smashnova in the WTA championships.

Round robin is way better.

Papillon.
Oct 29th, 2011, 11:55 PM
This comes across as if you're saying you dislike that "nearly every replier" has an opinion that doesn't match yours.

I was more disdainful that many people weren't saying a single thing to back up their opinion or why they thought RR was fine or why I am wrong. Several people have brought up fine counterarguments that I can't really dispute, but "GUUUUUUUURL POST 2 LONG" is not one of them.

bandabou
Oct 30th, 2011, 12:00 AM
Only way it'd be fair, is to having all deciding matches played simultanuosly..otherwise it promotes tanking.

goldenlox
Oct 30th, 2011, 12:01 AM
The YEC works either way.
The men have a few stars, so it makes sense to keep them around all week.
WTA is more fluid, top 4 could change 2 or 3 players every year.
Maria, Petra were far from top 4 one year ago.

new-york
Oct 30th, 2011, 12:05 AM
Makes the YEC a special tournament.

M.A.S.L.
Oct 30th, 2011, 12:07 AM
I love Round Robins, the only disgraceful point is the way to untie (2players, 3 players it's ok)

Melange
Oct 30th, 2011, 02:19 AM
I love Round Robins, the only disgraceful point is the way to untie (2players, 3 players it's ok)

they should decide it with a serve-off. whoever serves more aces goes through :worship:

hablo
Oct 30th, 2011, 03:58 AM
No, this is a lot more fun. Even the tanks are fun.

This.

KingCrimson88
Oct 30th, 2011, 04:08 AM
No, this is way better. Also I can't believe you wrote a freaking essay on this, lmao.

terjw
Oct 30th, 2011, 01:56 PM
I like the RR format for YEC. I'm pretty sure the WTA has no intention of changing it. Reminds me of the way the football world cup is done and the cricket one day world championship is run and no-one of any importance advocates changing them. And there are dead matches there.

Corswandt
Oct 30th, 2011, 02:05 PM
Get rid of round-robin

But then we wouldn't get to see stuff like the Kvitova d. Agatha match, which game so much life to everyone here in Corswandt Manor.

LuvSerena?MeToo
Nov 1st, 2011, 11:25 PM
Yes and go back to MSG

edificio
Nov 1st, 2011, 11:40 PM
The round robin is fun once a year. Also, make them work for the huge paychecks.

ExtremespeedX
Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:22 AM
No. If you're a true top player, you can beat everyone. Keep the round robin. It's not the round robin's fault that the current #1 couldn't even reach semi finals.

*JR*
Nov 2nd, 2011, 01:26 AM
What about double elimination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-elimination_tournament) with 8 players?

This is indeed the best compromise. BTW, Jon Wertheim once wrote (about the year they went from 16 players to 8, I think 2003) that one reason the WTA finally felt free to was that even if it were kept @ 16, Kournikovarated wasn't going to make it anyway. :yeah: (Poor Goldy, Steam, Jojo, etc) :awww:

Papillon.
Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:48 AM
No. If you're a true top player, you can beat everyone. Keep the round robin. It's not the round robin's fault that the current #1 couldn't even reach semi finals.

I hate Caroline Wozniacki, just so you know.

aloeball
Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:25 PM
What if they change it to survivor style. The contestants can like draw from a hat and get a number from 1-8. Then they can pick ANY player they want to play. They play and the players who lose 2 matches are like knocked out. Voila :lol:

This is what reality television has turned me into.

Bronx19
Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:32 PM
They get paid too much to care, $100k isnt enough incentive to even try.

Edith09
Nov 2nd, 2011, 04:47 PM
I like round-robin, it makes YEC special. I agree that dead rubbers are bad (I hate when players tank), but it´s just one or two matches for whole event and I can live with that.

Marlene
Nov 2nd, 2011, 06:52 PM
I like round-robin, it makes YEC special. I agree that dead rubbers are bad (I hate when players tank), but it´s just one or two matches for whole event and I can live with that.


Perhaps they should simply allow a player to opt out of playing the 3rd RR match if it's a dead rubber match? No money, no ranking points, just a day off before the semis. One of the alternates should then take the place of the opted-out player - the money awarded for a RR win would hopefully be enough to motivate the alternate to give a darn.

pesto
Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:38 PM
Well, I'd keep it, but I'd scrap points for losses and increase points for wins, so the differential, and thus the incentive, in a dead rubber was greater. The prize money could remain the same - I don't think that's the prime objective.

But tbh, I've rarely seen anyone behave quite like Azarenka did. She's a special (head)case. It was rather fascinating in a ?!?!? kind of a way.

Edith09
Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:45 PM
Perhaps they should simply allow a player to opt out of playing the 3rd RR match if it's a dead rubber match? No money, no ranking points, just a day off before the semis. One of the alternates should then take the place of the opted-out player - the money awarded for a RR win would hopefully be enough to motivate the alternate to give a darn.

Yeah it would be solution, Bartoli seemed very happy to play dead rubber instead Sharapova this year...

Marlene
Nov 3rd, 2011, 12:42 AM
Well, I'd keep it, but I'd scrap points for losses and increase points for wins, so the differential, and thus the incentive, in a dead rubber was greater. The prize money could remain the same - I don't think that's the prime objective.


The problem - for a player in Azarenka's position - is that you gain very little, relatively speaking, from a 3rd RR win when you've already qualified for the semis.

Here's the money math for Azarenka:

Qualify: $110k
2 RR wins: 2*$115k = $230k
3 RR wins: 3*$115k = $455k
On to semis: $30k
Semi win: $405k

Total w/2 RR wins: $370k
Total w/3 RR wins: $485k
Total w/2 RR wins + winning semis: $775k
Total w/3 RR wins + winning semis: $890k


Basically, a player in Azarenka's position would already have $370k in her pocket before the 3rd RR match. And that player could probably be thinking about "gambling" with the possible $115k extra from a 3rd RR win, hoping it'd up her chances of winning the semis. Again, here's the math:

Win the 3rd RR match, be tired and lose in the semis: Total $485k
Tank the 3rd RR match, be well-rested and win the semis: Total $775k

Now, I don't think $$$ is the only incentive for Azarenka. But the thing is, with respect to both prize money and ranking points, and possibly also bragging rights*, it makes little sense to "go all in" in the 3rd RR match if you feel it's gonna compromise your chances of winning the semis.

*Who cares how many RR matches you won, if you made it to the final - "YEC finalist" on the CV is always gonna look better than "semifinalist"...

Overall, the dead rubber matches is really just a strange situation to be in for any player. All year round tennis is about winning matches and moving on to the next round, and here you have a situation where tanking a match might just improve your chances of moving on in the next round...