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View Full Version : What constitutes a 'weak' draw?


Volcana
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Obviously, that depends on the level of the tournament. For discussion purposes, let's stick to Tier I's and GS tournaments. This thread is (obviously) prompted by the IW draw. IW has 15 of the top 20 players, but only 2 of the top 5. That's kind of unusual. Whether that's 'weak' or 'strong' depends, I think, for most folks on this board, on whether or not their fave is playing. If she's playing, it's strong, if she's not, it's weak.

However, let's pretend we're all objective, and say it's a matter of how you think about the tour.

Some people think the tour goes 20+ deep in players who are a threat to any given match. In rank order, more or less; Sharapova, Henin, Mauresmo, Kuznetsova, Clijsters, Hingis, Petrova, Jankovic, Dementieva, Vaidisova, Chakvetadze, Safina, Schnyder, Ivanovic, Serena, Peer, Li Na, Hantuchova, Golovin, Safarova, Groenefeld, Msykina, Venus. And they focus on the percentage of those players who are present.

The other school of thought is, the tour has maybe less than half a dozen who are threats to win any big tournament. Sharapova, Henin, Mauresmo, Clijsters and Serena. (I leave out Venus, even though I personally believe she's one of that half dozen, because one Tier III title with only one win over a top twenty player just not enough to say 'I'm back, and better than ever'.)

If you subscribe to that theory, then whether or not a Tier I or GS tournament is 'weak' is a matter of how many of the elite players are present. By that model, IW is quite weak, having only one of the five current 'big-timers'.

You could also use percentage of GS singles titlelists. On the surface, this favors IW, since the top three seeds have all won GS singles titles. However, how many active GS singles titelists are on the tour right now? Nine. (This does not count Davenport, Capriati or Seles.) Three of nine GS singles winners isn't so hot. But, to be realistic, let's say GS singles winners, in the top ten, who won a GS title in the last four or five years. Okay, four or five is pretty generous, but it's still a short list.

Sharapova, Henin, Mauresmo, Kuznetsova and Clijsters.

NOTE: Mary Pierce actually won her last GS singles title more recently than Hingis. Wierd, huh?

So, can I measure the strength of a tournament solely on the presence or absence of those five players?

Well, the whole discussion is moot, but in the abstract, it's an interesting question. In the early 80's, was a tournament automatically 'strong' if Evert and Navratilova both showed up?

jdyshrky
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:28 PM
There are many things it depends on and it takes into account your personal views on players. This week I see Maria top seed [in my head I'm thinking this name should be followed by another star player, ie predicting what sort of final to expect] then I read Svetta [then I wouldnt count on her getting to the final so I have doubt, the draw breaks down in my head] then I think semis, i see Martina #3...then I shut down. Weak draw. I wouldnt waste anymore time. I'll assume Peer and Safarova will come through so the tennis is okay. I'll route for LiNa, pour myself a long drink and call back to the tournment in about a week or so to see what's happening...

cellophane
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:30 PM
As far big tournaments go (not slams), to me a strong draw includes players who are top 10 and have won at least 1 Tier I title, maybe more. There are actually more people who have won big tournaments (not slams) apart from the ones you listed. Hingis, Kuznetsova, Petrova would be included. So neither the first, nor the second list. Although maybe a Tier I title is a bit excessive. But at least good results in Tier 1s or Slams.

Corswandt
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Wrong approach.

A draw is always weak or strong only in relation to other(s) draw(s).

In this case, the IW draw is "weak" or "strong" depending on what you compare it with:

I) Miami or the Grand Slams
II) other TIs like the PPO, Rome, San Diego, Moscow...

Volcana
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:43 PM
Wrong approach.

A draw is always weak or strong only in relation to other(s) draw(s).I don't think that's true. It's actually perfectly possible to have a year when ALL the Tier I's have weak draws. Injuries can do that, or just wierd scheduling by the players.

In this case, the IW draw is "weak" or "strong" depending on what you compare it with:

I) Miami or the Grand Slams
II) other TIs like the PPO, Rome, San Diego, Moscow...Exactly the approach I was trying to avoid. I'm looking for an objective measure, not a comparative one.

Corswandt
Mar 5th, 2007, 10:49 PM
I don't think that's true. It's actually perfectly possible to have a year when ALL the Tier I's have weak draws. Injuries can do that, or just wierd scheduling by the players.

But then the fields of those TIs would be considered weak because in previous seasons there had been stronger ones.

Exactly the approach I was trying to avoid. I'm looking for an objective measure, not a comparative one.

"Objective" and "comparative" aren't real opposites. The words you're looking for are "absolute" and "relative".

Dementieva Guts
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:26 PM
A strong draw is a tourney with some kind of depth. A tourney turned strong when lots of contenders could win it all. A weak draw is a tourney with lots of divas. Nobody wants to be a witness of players withdrawals or complainings rents.

you can call it a deep draw when you're totally sure that every main draw entries would be playing with guts, NOT with Hardware.

jjames69
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:30 PM
A weak draw is the when the quality of play is poor, ala, errors and choking. not just when seeds are absent. a draw can be weak even if the top players are entered if they play poorly.

tennnisfannn
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:32 PM
When the winner is a foregone conclusion, it is generally a weak field (unless federer is in the draw) There are a few challnegers in the draw, but come sunday weeek, maria will be holding the trophy.

cellophane
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:36 PM
A weak draw is the when the quality of play is poor, ala, errors and choking. not just when seeds are absent.

I agree with that as well. A strong draw is only as good as the quality of play.

starin
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:44 PM
A weak draw is the when the quality of play is poor, ala, errors and choking. not just when seeds are absent. a draw can be weak even if the top players are entered if they play poorly.

that makes no sense. That doesn't mean the draw was weak. It just means the quality of play in the tournament was not good. That's such a wierd way to look at a draw. Quality of play is not linked to the strength of a draw. To me a weak draw is a draw where the quality of players is poor. Meaning a draw where there are few top, proven players.

goldenlox
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:46 PM
Parts of this draw are very difficult. Peer plays Safarova in the round of 32. The winner probably plays Chakvetadze. That would be a good section of any major.

jjames69
Mar 5th, 2007, 11:53 PM
that makes no sense. That doesn't mean the draw was weak. It just means the quality of play in the tournament was not good. That's such a wierd way to look at a draw. Quality of play is not linked to the strength of a draw. To me a weak draw is a draw where the quality of players is poor. Meaning a draw where there are few top, proven players.


sure take serenas draw at the AO for example. she played an off form sharapova, off form jankovic(a real errorfest), and peer and vaidisova both showed their youth by choking.

therefore the draw was weak. serena played one good match and won the tournament

and it will make miami even more interesting.

darrinbaker00
Mar 6th, 2007, 12:45 AM
A weak draw is when a player you can't stand (Sharapova and Hingis in my case) wins a tournament. ;)

PLP
Mar 6th, 2007, 01:05 AM
hmmm, I think it's a strong draw.

Obviously not everyone is in CALI, but especially the top half has MOSTLY potentially, very juicy matches! :hearts:

SAEKeithSerena
Mar 6th, 2007, 01:35 AM
nadia petrova's tournament win runs last year....



no, seriously.

starin
Mar 6th, 2007, 02:11 AM
sure take serenas draw at the AO for example. she played an off form sharapova, off form jankovic(a real errorfest), and peer and vaidisova both showed their youth by choking.

therefore the draw was weak. serena played one good match and won the tournament

and it will make miami even more interesting.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

lets just assume your ridiculous assertions are true (ohhhh...those wily WS, they just got lucky in all 13 of their slams, stupid monkeys). What you are saying is that Serena's road to the final was easy. That doesn't mean the entire draw was weak. A draw constitutes all the players in the tournament, not just one player. lol, that's why I said I don't understand your definition of a weak draw. It makes no sense, seeing as your definition applies to individual players. A weak draw means that the top players are missing. Well, at least that's what it means to me.

jjames69
Mar 6th, 2007, 02:43 AM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

lets just assume your ridiculous assertions are true (ohhhh...those wily WS, they just got lucky in all 13 of their slams, stupid monkeys). What you are saying is that Serena's road to the final was easy. That doesn't mean the entire draw was weak. A draw constitutes all the players in the tournament, not just one player. lol, that's why I said I don't understand your definition of a weak draw. It makes no sense, seeing as your definition applies to individual players. A weak draw means that the top players are missing. Well, at least that's what it means to me.



has been a long dryspell for the williams fans. most fans probably thought she'd be chasing steffi's record now, rather than just trying to make the top 10 but,

she got two inexperienced teenagers in the semi's and quarters rather than say a martina hingis or amelia, and justine henin. she needed some luck to get back into the mix and she got it. now let see if she can win consistently.

miami is her home turf. should be a telling tournament about serena's comeback.

starin
Mar 6th, 2007, 02:48 AM
has been a long dryspell for the williams fans but,

maybe because she got two inexperienced teenagers in the semi's and quarters rather than say a martina hingis or amelia, and justine henin. she needed some luck to get back into the mix and she got it. now let see if she win consistently.

miami is her home turf. should be a telling tournament about serena's comeback.

well... i'm sure if Serena loses to lets say henin or sharapova, or anyone for that matter, you willl be rejoicing. But that is not related to this thread at all. Serena in fact is not related to this thread. I didn't argue about Serena's draw. In fact I could care less if she only had to play players outside the top 100 to win her slam. I was just saying i don't think you're definition of a weak draw makes sense. It's too specific. And doesn't apply to a draw as a whole. And using Serena as an example proves my point. Because Serena may have had what you would consider an easy path to the final. But that is just her specific route to the title, and not indicative of the draw as a whole.

oh and by the way, do use the user name JamesBlake @ the espn tennis message board?

zzachtan
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:45 AM
I believe you can only consider a draw tough or strong if at least 4 elite players are in the tournament.

cellophane
Mar 6th, 2007, 04:12 AM
For me, any tourney without justine or amelie in it, has a weak draw.

Darn it, Nadia beat (cheated) Amelie in Paris and Justine in Berlin. Did she have easy draws? :angel:

Stamp Paid
Mar 6th, 2007, 04:12 AM
Serena at the Australian Open 2007.

Volcana
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:12 AM
I should make a point I thought obvious about how I'm using the word 'draw'. The 'draw' is who ENTERED, not how they play. It's easy to SAY a player got their ass kicked cause they were 'off-form'. But everybody LOOKS 'off-form' when they're getting their tail stomped. When people say, 'the IW draw is weak', they obviuosly are NOT referring to how people played. The tournament hasn't started yet.

As I said, I thought that point obvious, but as I read through the thread, I see I was in error. Sorry. My bad. I hope I cleared things up.

Kunal
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:15 AM
weak draw would be one....where....the in form players are not playing...and one in which ....a top player can jus breeze thru to the semis or the finals

John.
Mar 6th, 2007, 08:24 AM
weak draw would be one....where....the in form players are not playing...and one in which ....a top player can jus breeze thru to the semis or the finals

That's my take on it too.

I also look at a weak draw as being a tournament where names the general public know are not playing.

Let's face it, the draw looks OK to us as we know these players. But outside of tennis fans, whose there that people know. Sharapova & Hingis.

As good as Kuznetsova, Petrova, Dementieva, Vaidisova, Jankovic etc are, how many people know them?

Petersmiler
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:26 AM
That's my take on it too.

I also look at a weak draw as being a tournament where names the general public know are not playing.

Let's face it, the draw looks OK to us as we know these players. But outside of tennis fans, whose there that people know. Sharapova & Hingis.

As good as Kuznetsova, Petrova, Dementieva, Vaidisova, Jankovic etc are, how many people know them?

In that case, give Kournikova a WC and IW becomes one of the strongest draws of the past couple of years!

Seriously though, I don't really see why it matters. The draw is what it is and I think Darrin Baker hit the nail on the head when he said that the definition of a weak draw is when a player I don't like wins it!

starred06
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:31 AM
According to this board, a tournament has a weak draw when the player they hate takes the title. Therefore it is usually a "weak" draw when the Williams, Sharapova, or even Justine wins a title.

Just look at this ridiculous living proof.



sure take serenas draw at the AO for example. she played an off form sharapova, off form jankovic(a real errorfest), and peer and vaidisova both showed their youth by choking.

therefore the draw was weak. serena played one good match and won the tournament

and it will make miami even more interesting.

That's some good laugh for me.

On the other hand, IW does not have a weak draw on paper. It has got 15 players in the top 20, and 7 players in the top 10 playing. Even 2 players in the top 4 are playing. However, the tricky part is that Henin and Mauresmo are absent. They are the players who won 3 GS and the YEC combined. So is this a weak draw because these 2 players are not playing? I really don't know. Will it make it a tough draw if Clijsters is present too? Well I definitely see less people complaining if the Williams sisters play here. But is that really objective views or just sentimental feelings?

You have to be really bold to call IW a weak draw, because it really isn't. The reason why people think this field isn't strong enough is because there isn't really any dominating players present in the draw.

MrSerenaWilliams
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:43 AM
On paper it's DEFINATELY a strong draw, but it almost seems a forgone conclusion that Sharapova will win. Although many people thought that about the AO :tape:

We'll see. I personally think it's rather strong w/ some JUICY match-ups :bounce: can't wait :yeah:

bandabou
Mar 6th, 2007, 10:06 AM
when did Maria become off-form? Before or after Serena beat her? Was she off-form when she beat Kim ( no.3 or 4 player in the world!) 4 and 2 too? Hmm... same goes for Peer: before or after she beat Sveta?

WIMBLY2004
Mar 6th, 2007, 10:37 PM
when did Maria become off-form? Before or after Serena beat her? Was she off-form when she beat Kim ( no.3 or 4 player in the world!) 4 and 2 too? Hmm... same goes for Peer: before or after she beat Sveta?

Well, you can't call the Maria who struggled in a 3-hour-match against Pin in-form, can you?

AnnaK_4ever
Mar 6th, 2007, 11:06 PM
Speaking about "weak" draws...

Australian Open 1997
Rnd -- Opponent ----------------- Rank
R128 - RITTNER, BARBARA ---------- 46
R64 -- RAYMOND, LISA ------------- 26
R32 -- SCHETT, BARBARA ----------- 34
R16 -- DRAGOMIR, RUXANDRA -------- 27
QF --- (8) SPIRLEA, IRINA -------- 10
SF --- (14) FERNANDEZ, MARY JOE -- 17
F ---- PIERCE, MARY -------------- 22

Wimbledon 1997
Rnd -- Opponent ------------------ Rank
R128 - KREMER, ANNE -------------- 218
R64 -- BARABANSCHIKOVA, OLGA ----- 80
R32 -- ARENDT, NICOLE ------------ 53
R16 -- APPELMANS, SABINE --------- 19
QF --- CHLADKOVA, DENISA --------- 57
SF --- KOURNIKOVA, ANNA ---------- 42
F ---- (3) NOVOTNA, JANA --------- 3

US Open 1997
Rnd -- Opponent ------------------ Rank
R128 - JONES, TAMI --------------- 103
R64 -- CHLADKOVA, DENISA --------- 42
R32 -- LIKHOVTSEVA, ELENA -------- 25
R16 -- LABAT, FLORENCIA ---------- 40
QF --- (10) SANCHEZ, ARANTXA ----- 11
SF --- (6) DAVENPORT, LINDSAY ---- 6
F ---- WILLIAMS, VENUS ----------- 66

Australian Open 1998
Rnd -- Opponent ------------------ Rank
R128 - PROBST, WILTRUD ----------- 80
R64 -- RITTNER, BARBARA ---------- 73
R32 -- KOURNIKOVA, ANNA ---------- 29
R16 -- BASUKI, YAYUK ------------- 24
QF --- (5) PIERCE, MARY ---------- 7
SF --- (10) HUBER, ANKE ---------- 14
F ---- (8) MARTINEZ, CONCHITA ---- 11

Martina Hingis beat a total of 4 Top-10 players to win her first four Grand Slam titles. For comparison: this is exactly the amount of Top-10 players Mary Pierce had to beat to win a single Australian Open.

Having said this, I don't deny Martina has deserved all her titles. She was the best player out there, no doubt.