AusOpen 2017: Round 2 Updates

My original prediction of a Djokovic championship has been derailed by the 5-set Round 2 loss by the joker to Istomin. As a result of this, a pre-Round 3 update to my predictions is required…

Round 2 Reviewed

In the first quadrant of the draw, three out of eight match results I had predicted inaccurately. Since I had hoped John Isner would have progressed further, one revised prediction was required. However, I think that branch will still become Andy Murray’s. Speaking of whom, Sir Andy now becomes my favourite to win the 2017 Championship. However, given the early and unexpected upset to the former 2016 champion, anything could happen…

In the second quadrant, which other commentators and sports analysts had deemed to be the least predictable part of the tournament, I have been proven vastly wrong with three correct predictions: Wawrinka, Tsonga and Tomic. Revised predictions are all for Round 3 with my Round 4 predictions remaining unchanged. When overlaying the individual match results against my predictions, Stan’s Round 2 was a straight-sets victory, The Troicki win was clearly hard to gauge given the five-set challenge. However, the final fifth set was not that one-sided in terms of eventual score. For the Darcis match, as a four-set victory, the score line suggested maybe I had simply picked the wrong horse. the Kyrgios vs Seppi match was fascinating and much has been talked about since the five-set drama. Kyrgios was my original pick because of my Aussie bias. However, I was truly uncomfortable and had toyed with backing Seppi. The match itself validates my earlier suspicion that the unpredictability of Kyrgios would be his own undoing. Similar to my Wawrinka prediction, that was a straight-sets domination by the Swiss. That Tsonga will face Jack Sock is a minor blip in my original prediction model since I still think Tsonga will win whoever he faced at Round 3. Tomic was challenged but overcame his opponent and I expect he will use the home-court advantage to his fullest to overcome Round 3 challenger Daniel Evans.

The general pattern for Round 2 has been that where my prediction is correct, generally the matches are more one-sided and my predictions of backing the dominant, higher-seeded player I think has its uses in my predictive modelling. Two adjustments to Round 3 predictions for the third segment of the draw are necessary since my original winners were knocked out from Round 1… However, the flow-on effect is contained to Round 3 since my Round 4 predictions back other players who have proven me correct. I have underestimated Mr Agut who I now realise has been a solid performer in previous tournaments. With a name like his, I now recall he normally progresses into the middle of the tournament. Congrats to the top seeded players who have provided the third quarter of the draw with “stability”.

In the former Djokovic quarter of the draw, his match was truly an upset. One which most people did not see coming, including the Joker himself. His loss reverberates across my prediction model as will be shown shortly. The final blip in my original predictions is an example of getting things wrong twice… First I had backed Tommy Haas, who was forced to retire in Round 1. In having to revise my Round 2 winner, I again picked the wrong player in Fognini. Paire as the Round 3 contender against Dominic Thiem is a case of me just not being that familiar with him as a player. For Round 3 I do think Thiem will get the better of him, so prove me wrong Paire!

Round 3 and beyond

The Djokovic loss has a cascading effect on my predictions flowing up his branch of the draw. I think Denis Istomin, will progress to the quarterfinals, buoyed somewhat by his Round 2 victory. I think Dominic Thiem will now prevail but then face and lose to Rafael Nadal. Should Nadal have a finals showdown against Murray, I suspect our Scottish multiple runner-up will claim victory and his first ever Australian Open Grand Slam.