Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stanimal's Title Chances are Worse than You Think

The first week of this year's US Open has been tumultuous - top 10 players Kei Nishikori, David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic have all crashed out, and the tournament has had a record 16 retirements. In particular, Jack Sock and David Goffin were leading their matches, only to succumb to the extreme heat and humidity.

Despite all the unpredictability, the two Swiss contenders, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, have reached the second week of the tournament in contrasting fashions. Federer seems to be enjoying himself, toying his opponents with his flashy shot making and half-volley returns, while Wawrinka has somehow escaped from close tiebreak situations, including a seemingly lackluster effort in his match against Ruben Bemelmans.

With that, we were interested in what our tennis prediction model says about the chances of Federer and Wawrinka ending their tournament at each round and compare it to betting odds. Not surprisingly, our odds are fairly similar to the ones provided on betting websites. However, we believe that Wawrinka's chances of ending his run at the QFs are higher (59%) than betting websites (52%). As our model places emphasis on the closeness of each match, the fact that Wawrinka played more tiebreaks, even though he has not lost a set in this tournament, lowers his prospect of reaching the later stages of the US Open. As a result, our odds of him reaching the semi finals, final and winning are significant lower.

On the other hand, our odds for Roger Federer is in line with betting companies, as a result of his masterclass displays in each of his three matches. In fact, our prospects of him losing before the finals is significantly lower than the betting probabilities.

To look at prospects of other remaining players reaching different stages of the tournament, check out our results below. Stay tuned for more updates in the middle of the week.

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