Sunday, July 5, 2015

Djokovic Still the Favorite After the 1st Week of Play

The Wimbledon has dwindled down to its final 16 contenders. While some of the top seeds have fallen (think Raonic, Nishikori, and Nadal), Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Wawrinka are still in contention.

Last week, I presented my model that predicted the odds of each players reaching different rounds of the tournament. After three rounds of play, the odds of the contender haven’t changed significantly (Djokovic at 57%, Federer at 18%, Murray at 13%, and Wawrinka at 8%). That said, the chance of these players reaching the semifinals has increased dramatically. Mark your calendars down for some mouthwatering clashes on Thursday and Friday, as the top 4 seeds all have at least a 67% chance of making it to the final four.

Comparing our results with betting odds, we claim that Bet365 appears to have overestimated the chance that the underdogs will win the tournament. They may be making this move on purpose to hedge against the risk of paying out huge multiples, or they are wary of the fact that three of the past six slams have been won by a member not in the Big Four. But giving Nick Kyrgios a 1 in 29 chance of winning is far too optimistic given that he will have to beat Djokovic, Wawrinka and Federer/Murray to win the tournament.

Another overly optimistic implication betting companies have made is giving Murray a 1 in 3 chance of winning the tournament. Yes, many people are probably betting on Murray. Yes, many people think homecourt advantage matters. But keep in mind that Murray is 2-6 in Grand Slam finals and has lost to Federer or Djokovic 11 times in a row. There are also lapses in concentration, such as in the third set against Andreas Seppi, that is worthy of concern and may come back to haunt him when he plays Federer or Djokovic.

Thoughts on my model? Thoughts on Wimbledon in general? Feel free to comment below. Check out the posting on the first week of Wimbledon here.

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