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ATP World Tour Finals: scenario centre

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Originally published on: 25/11/10 10:18

Hold onto your hats, folks, it’s the day all tennis journalists dread – the final round of group matches at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Oh, to be Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic this morning. The 2008 champions are the only confirmed qualifiers for the semi-finals ahead of the final round of group matches, meaning their match against the twice-beaten Lukas Kubot and Oliver Marach is the only one of the remaining eight ties that has nothing riding on it.

That may be great news for the fans heading down to The O2 over the next couple of days, but represents a statistical quagmire for the players and tournament organisers, who will be keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s chaotic scenes as Juan Martin del Potro was left kicking his heels on court as the number-crunchers confirmed he had reached the semi-finals at Andy Murray’s expense following a three-set victory over Roger Federer.

In the interests of passing the headache on, we’ve listed the possible qualification scenarios for Thursday’s matches, featuring the Group B singles players and Group A doubles teams. Here comes the science bit…

Singles Group B standings:

win-losssets won-lostgames won-lost
Roger Federer2-04-024-11
Andy Murray1-12-218-18
Robin Soderling1-12-220-22
David Ferrer0-20-415-26

 

Thursday’s matches:

Roger Federer vs Robin Soderling
Andy Murray vs David Ferrer

 

Easy street:

There are two sets of results that, regardless of the scorelines, settle the group.

Scenario 1: Federer beats Soderling, Murray beats Ferrer
Federer tops group, Murray reaches semi-finals

Scenario 2: Soderling beats Federer, Ferrer beats Murray
Soderling tops group, Federer reaches semi-finals

 

Now it gets tricky…

A string of other potential results brings the sets-won column into play.

Scenario 3: Soderling beats Federer in two sets, Murray beats Ferrer in three sets
Soderling tops group, Federer reaches semi-finals

Scenario 4: Soderling beats Federer in three sets, Murray beats Ferrer in two sets
Federer tops group, Murray reaches semi-finals

Scenario 5: Soderling beats Federer in three sets, Murray beats Ferrer in three sets
Federer tops group, Murray reaches semi-finals

Scenario 6: Federer beats Soderling in two sets, Ferrer beats Murray in three sets
Federer tops group, Murray reaches semi-finals

Scenario 7: Federer beats Soderling in three sets, Ferrer beats Murray in two sets
Federer tops group, Soderling reaches semi-finals

Scenario 8: Federer beats Soderling in three sets, Ferrer beats Murray in three sets
Federer tops group, Murray reaches semi-finals

 

Astrophysics:

Not quite, perhaps – but we’re down to calculating game win-loss percentages.

Scenario 9: Federer beats Soderling in two sets, Ferrer beats Murray in two sets
Federer tops group, Ferrer, Murray and Soderling tied

Scenario 10: Soderling beats Federer in two sets, Murray beats Ferrer in two sets
Ferrer eliminated, Federer, Murray and Soderling tied

 

In short:

  • Roger Federer can only miss out on the semi-finals if his game won/lost ratio slips behind Murray and Soderling after both post straight-sets wins
  • Andy Murray needs to win a set against David Ferrer if Roger Federer beats Robin Soderling in the afternoon session
  • Even a straight-sets victory for Soderling over Roger Federer might not be enough to make the semis
  • As a wise man once put it, David Ferrer is livin’ on a prayer…

 

Doubles Group A standings:

 win-losssets won-lost
Fyrstenberg/Matkowski2-04-1
Bryan/Bryan1-13-2
Melzer/Petzschner1-12-3
Dlouhy/Paes0-21-4

 

Thursday’s matches

B Bryan & M Bryan vs L Dlouhy & L Paes
J Melzer & P Petzschner vs M Fyrstenberg & M Matkowski

 

Easy street:

Scenario 1: Bryan/Bryan beat Dlouhy/Paes, Fyrstenberg/Matkowski beat Melzer/Petzschner
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, Bryans reach semi-finals

Scenario 2: Dlouhy/Paes beat Bryan/Bryan, Melzer/Petzschner beat Fyrstenberg/Matkowski
Melzer & Petzschner top group, Fyrstenberg & Matkowski reach semi-finals

 

Now it gets tricky…

 

Scenario 3: Bryan/Bryan beat Dlouhy/Paes in two sets, and Melzer/Petzschner beat Fyrstenberg/Matkowski in two sets
Bryans top group, Melzer & Petschner reach semi-finals

Scenario 4: Bryan/Bryan beat Dlouhy/Paes in two sets, Melzer/Petzschner beat Fyrstenberg/Matkowski in three sets
Bryans top group, Fyrstenberg & Matkowski reach semi-finals

Scenario 5: Bryan/Bryan beat Dlouhy/Paes in three sets, Melzer/Petzschner beat Fyrstenberg/Matkowski in two sets
Bryans top group, Melzer & Petschner reach semi-finals

Scenario 6: Bryan/Bryan beat Dlouhy/Paes in three sets, Melzer/Petzschner beat Fyrstenberg/Matkowski in three sets
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, Bryans reach semi-finals

Scenario 7: Dlouhy/Paes beat Bryan/Bryan in two sets, Fyrstenberg/Matkowski beat Melzer/Petzschner in two sets
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, Dlouhy & Paes reach semi-finals

Scenario 8: Dlouhy/Paes beat Bryan/Bryan in two sets, Fyrstenberg/Matkowski beat Melzer/Petzschner in three sets
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, and Dlouhy & Paes reach semi-finals

Scenario 9:Dlouhy/Paes beat Bryan/Bryan in three sets, Fyrstenberg/Matkowski beat Melzer/Petzschner in two sets
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, Bryans reach semi-finals

Scenario 10: Dlouhy/Paes beat Bryan/Bryan in three sets, Fyrstenberg/Matkowski beat Melzer/Petzschner in three sets
Fyrstenberg & Matkowski top group, Bryans reach semi-finals

 

No astrophysics necessary for this one!

 

So there you have it. Simple really, wasn’t it? Join us tomorrow for the breakdown of the Group A singles and Group B doubles scenarios or the breakdown of our stats man, whichever comes first…

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