Barcelona or Bucharest? Scheduling Decisions Under the Microscope

This post has been withdrawn due to a mistake in the calculations that seriously affects its conclusions.  I am leaving this note here to avoid breaking the link.  Look on the bright side–on this site, there’s plenty of tennis analysis in which the mistakes have less serious effects.

6 thoughts on “Barcelona or Bucharest? Scheduling Decisions Under the Microscope”

  1. “perhaps Janko wants an easy cruise to the semifinals with low risk of an early exit…”
    Oh well, it looked good on paper…

  2. A nice investigation as usual. However, one of the key assumptions of this article is wrong. Being seeded definitely gives advantages, but free points aren’t one of them. If a seeded player has a bye in the first round and he loses the second round, he receives the points as if he would have lost the first round. In this case no points.

    See Monaco in Sao Paolo. He was 3th seed and had a bye. But on his ATP ranking:
    Date Tournament Round Points Drop Date
    11.02.2013 Sao Paulo R16 0 17.02.2014

  3. I used to have the same thinking as you, that players should maximize the expected number of points they get.
    Then I realized that it is simply wrong to maximize expectancy when looking at the long term result.
    Even the small chance to make big points might be worth it in the long run, as being seeded in tournaments and being able to enter ATP1000 tournament worth a lot of money (and points too…)
    To make a proper estimation, you should try do the same comaprision for say, 2 or 3 years ago, and then simulate the rest of the time up until now, when taking into account entry into ATP1000 and seeding.
    If you could implement that (and fix the 1st round points for players with byes that loses first round), that would be amazing.
    I realize it’s a lot of work…

    1. Yes, to some extent that is true, and that is why I’m not surprised my results suggested that players were ‘risk-seeking.’ It is better to have 1500 points in year one and 500 in year two than 1000 in both year one and year two.

      The interesting question, though, is where the break-even point is. Obviously there is some point at which a player should enter a 250 instead of a 500, even if he is limiting his chances of the big score. If ‘expected points’ from the 250 are only 5% higher than from the 500, the 500 is a better bet. But 15 percent? 50 percent?

      1. I believe the only way to answer what s the best choice, is to simulate a few more years… That will depend also on short term goals, such as entry to or seeding in a tournament a few weeks later.

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