[Viktor Axelson vs Roger Federer] BWF World Tour vs ATP World Tour: Playing volume & Competitiveness

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by jen_legendary, May 15, 2018.

  1. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    I'm doing a comparison between BWF and ATP World Tour, using data from both tours to determine which one is more competitive. This is part of the working process which I found quite interesting and wanted to share.

    Taking the two world no.1 (as of 13 May 2018) as case studies, looking at their playing patterns and results in the current ranking period to compare how well they had to play in the last 52 weeks to be no.1. Tournaments are listed in order from latest to oldest.

    [​IMG]

    Competitiveness

    1. Tournaments played


    We can see that in ATP Tour (left), there are 16 mandatory tournaments which are counted towards the ranking, while this number is only 10 in BWF Tour.

    Nevertheless, Roger only played 12 and still managed to be no.1 (Unattended tournaments counted as zero points).

    Meanwhile, Viktor attended 11 tournaments in the ranking period to get the top 10 best results counted towards ranking points.

    => Competitive Point For: BWF


    2. Points Won Percentage

    As a result, Roger only needed to win 50% of (maximum) available points to be no.1, while Viktor had to win a much higher percentage of 76%. This percentage is even higher if I had excluded Sudirman Cup, where available points could not be precisely determined (I settled by using points won by Lee Chong Wei, who won the most points amongst MS players).

    It’s also interesting that Roger afforded to miss tournaments with significant points available: 1 Grand Slam (2000) and 2 Masters (1000).

    => Competitive Point For: BWF


    3. Matches Won Percentage

    Roger edges out in this criteria, winning 89% of matches played, while Viktor only claimed victory in 82% of matches. If numbers adjusted to exclude the uncounted tournament (Hong Kong), this number would be 84% for Viktor, still less than Roger’s.

    => Competitive Point For: ATP

    Conclusion: BWF Tour seems to win out on competitiveness, even just for the fact that Roger afforded to only play in 12/16 of counted tournaments and miss out on 4500 worth of points (more than half of his current ranking points). Of course he performed exceptionally at tournaments where he did play, but Viktor’s winning percentage is not much inferior.


    Playing volume:


    1. Tournament played: 12-11

    => ATP

    2. Matches played: 56-39

    => ATP

    In terms of playing volume, number of tournaments played is similar between the two athletes. However, Roger played significantly more matches, thus win out on playing volume. This is partly due to the fact that there are usually larger draws in ATP tournaments (especially in Grand Slams).

    Conclusion: Roger Federer (ATP World Tour) wins out on playing volume.


    That’s all I could found out for now. There are of course many limitations to this comparison but I’d still love to hear your opinions. Any suggestions/ideas on where I can improve is also welcomed.
     
    #1 jen_legendary, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I wonder what the comparison would be for shuttle or ball in play.
     
  3. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I think it's an interesting approach to compare the competitiveness of those two sports that often are considered to be similar, thanks for sharing! It will always be hard to compare different sports in that way, especially when they are organized differently.

    First of all, I think comparing only two players is way too little. If this is a school project, that might be considered enough, but it doesn't really tell you a lot. There might be one absolutely exceptional player who plays and wins every tournament there is, but what does that one player tell you about all the others? I think at least the Top 5 (keeping it simple, so only five) should be compared. Also, you did not look at the difference of points between the different ranks and how many tournaments would be nedded (at least) to overcome that gap. for the example above, it would show that it's only one exceptional player. I think that would be interesting as well. Another fact to be considered is, how many tournaments are there at which level? That might limit the tournaments a player chooses to play. What is the maximum Number of points one can earn?

    There's a lot more, but for now, I'd suggest to
    • stick with your data, but put it down for the Top 5
    • also look at the point gaps between those five ranks
    • maybe look at how many tournaments it would take to overcome that gap
    Again, thanks for sharing.

    Something like that has been done in the 90s, I can see if I can find the data. The essence was that
    • tennis matches are longer than badminton matches
    • tennis players run less
    • the actual time with the ball/shuttle in play was slightly longer for badminton
    Both sports have changed significantly since, so a new comparison would be nice.
     
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  4. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    I’d be keen to find out too but I doubt specific data is available. Although I might be able to find out number of points (points won within matches, not ranking points) won by each player. However I just wanted to know which system is more competitive in terms of ranking (level of competition between players within the sport), not to compare the two sports themselves.
     
  5. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    Thanks for the comment! As I said it’s a work in progress so I’m definitely doing more. Top 5 is also what I intend to do. Appreciate the suggestions!

    I did look at the (sort of) maximum number of points that could be won (look at Total Points Available) and found out the percentage of that maximum that players actually won. While looking at 2 players is definitely a small sample and can’t be conclusive of the bigger picture, I think it’s still able to tell something about competitiveness, since these two are no.1 players, meaning that they have the most points in their respective tour, so it could be assumed that other players perform worse in relation to them.

    In terms of number of tournaments, I should’ve pointed out that in both cases there are more tournaments available should the players wanted to play more. In Roger’s case that’s kinda clear since he didn’t even play all of the mandatory ones and still managed to be no.1.

    The point gap between top players is definitely worth looking at. I’ll see my way around figuring out the best way to do that.

    Thanks again :)
     
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  6. SolsticeOfLight

    SolsticeOfLight Regular Member

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    In tennis, older players can miss some (otherwise mandatory) tournaments. Possibly this accounts for his missing matches?
     
  7. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    I did not know about this, but that’s could very well be the case. I’ll look it up and maybe include this in my discussion. However, it would only account for him not getting fined (if he didn’t), it doesn’t change the fact that he got zero points in those tournaments though. The ATP website made it very clear that those missed tournaments counted towards his ranking, so it’s mandatory inclusion in the point calculation regardless.
     
  8. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    Alright, I found the data again here, but it's even more useless than expected. The comparison is between the 1985 (even older than I thought) World Championship MS final (Morten Frost vs. Han Jian) and the Wimbledon (grass court, so not reall representative) final of the same year (Boris Becker vs. Kevin Curren; not known for long rallies). Anyway, here it is:

    Tennis: Becker - Curren / Badminton: Han - Frost

    final score 6:3, 6:7, 7:6, 6:4 / 14:18, 15:10, 15:8
    duration 3 h 18 min / 1 h 16 min
    duration after deductions 18 min (= 9 %) / 37 min (= 48 %)
    number of rallies 299 / 146
    number for strokes 1004 / 1972
    strokes per rally 3,4 / 13,5
    run distance 3,2 km / 6,4 km

    I emphasized the numbers you were interested about and the (probably biggest) surprise that during the badminton match, the run (not covered incuding reaching with the racket) distance was twice as much as the same during the tennis match.
    As said before, the choice of a grass court game was probabaly not wise and the data is very very old and both sports have changed significantly since.
     
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  9. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Yes. It's old data and often quoted. Unfortunately, we are in a generation that has many players who were not even born in 1985..

    I wonder what the data for the current game is like. Might actually be a good study project for a sports science student.
     
  10. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    Wow 9% play time is ridiculous. There is a Wall Street Journal article a few years back where they timed 2 US Open matches and found 17.5% average of ball in play time. And I thought that was already bad lol.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-mu...-match-1378248020?mod=wsj_share_tweet&tesla=y
     
  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    The Wimbledon match was on a grass court which is much faster. Both Becker and Curran played a serve volley game so rallies are very short. I would say clay courts would be an even better percentage but whether that can approach badminton...
     
  12. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    Definitely the change in playing style. There are not many serve and volleys these days anymore, long baseline rallies instead. Grass court does make the ball fly a bit faster but I don't think it is that much comparing to the US Open hard court which is also on the faster side (if I'm not wrong). Clay court is clearly slower but again I don't think by that large of a margin that can affect play time significantly. Definitely no where near badminton level lol.
    Although, tennis players are taking more and more time between points, with some notorious for being deliberate (Nadal, Djokovic) and in fact the match duration has gone up since the 90s: https://www.washingtonpost.com/spor...ory.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.18914e85e8e1
     
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  13. jen_legendary

    jen_legendary Regular Member

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    I was watching an Italian Open match on clay Nadal vs Dzumhur, so I thought I’d time the play time to see how it fairs. By the time I started timing (from the third game) until the match finishes was 48 minutes, in which I recorded 10 minutes and 30 seconds of ball in play time. That works out as around 22%. It’s Nadal so long rallies are expected, but the match was very one-sided so there actually weren’t that many of them. I think if it’s with some one closer, the percentage might be a bit higher.
     
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