We knew it! The popularity of our blog – Data visualization and BI reveal a gamblers’ guide to the Australian Open – has confirmed it. We all love the tennis.
Size does matter (Average number of games played per match per round 2001 – 2010 men’s draw)
Naturally, competition heats-up as the tournament progresses. The average number of games played per match increases (with the exception of round one and the Final), reflecting the heightened pressure and evenness of opponents. The dramatic spike in the Semi Finals demonstrates the toughness of the round.
But what about those exceptions? Why is the average number of games played per match higher in the first round than round two or three? And why is the final a consistent walkover?
Well, the first round can be explained by two factors. The chances of two lowly ranked players squaring-off is at its greatest – so competition will be fairly even. Additionally, better-ranked players are still dusting-off their racquets and blowing-out the cobwebs.
As for the Final? It too, can be explained by two significant factors. As shown in our last Aus Open blog, highly ranked players have dominated the winners’ plaque for the last 10 years. In addition, the underdog gets up in the Semi’s 40 percent of the time. The result? A face-off in the Final between a seasoned pro, at the top of their game (and world rankings), and an overwhelmed, overachieving underdog, who gets brushed aside.
Ok, ‘fine’ you say, so the Semi’s are tough. But how does the fact that more games are slugged out actually affect the result of the match? How are you helping me keep my dignity intact and wallet bulging as the Semi’s fast approach?
Average number of games played versus the odds of an upset (total data men’s draw 2001 – 2010)
So glad you asked. Data analysis clear shows that the number of games played directly correlates with the chance of an upset.
The longer a match is drawn out, the bigger the chance of an upset victory.
Hold-off on your bets until the Semi Finals are underway. If it’s looking like a five set pull-your-hair-out-edge-of-your-seat-thriller; put it all on the little guy.
As for the Final? The sure bet is the sure bet.