Roger Federer took on Tomas Berdych inside the area-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday, a blockbuster conflict on the commercial enterprise end of a grand slam occasion.
however from 2019, beneath plans to lessen the range of seeds from 32 back to sixteen at the four primary tournaments, the match ought to show up inside the first or 2nd spherical instead.
In June 2001, Wimbledon instigated the alternate to 32, having been spooked the previous year when some of players, irritated at being bumped from the seedings in desire of grass-court experts, boycotted the championships.
for the reason that then, the pinnacle players have regularly cruised via the outlet rounds, especially in the guys’s draw, with the number of early shocks considerably lower than earlier than the trade.
it is a alternate that has divided gamers however Federer gave it his tentative support whilst the plans had been first introduced final November.
”Having 16 seeds, that is probably exciting,“ Federer said throughout the ATP Finals in London. ”The draw can be extra risky, better fits inside the first week.
“The top men have made a habit of now not cruising but getting thru the first week quite easily for a protracted time frame. playing in opposition to the numbers 17, 19 or 20 within the global isn’t something I really need to do, but it’s far what it’s miles.”
Statistically, the change reduced the quantity of defeats for top-sixteen seeds inside the first two rounds at grand slams, however simplest honestly in the guys’s draw.
on the Australian Open, the average quantity of pinnacle-sixteen seeds dropping in both spherical one or averaged 7.2 inside the 5 years earlier than the alternate, falling to three.63 between then and 2017.
at the French Open, the average went from six to four; at Wimbledon, it fell from 6.five to four.65 and at the U.S. Open, it dropped from 6.25 to 4.eleven.
in the girls’s draw, in three of the four grand slams, the early exits even went up, marginally.
At a time while gamers are talking approximately receiving a more proportion of match revenue through extended prize money, the exchange have to permit more players a better risk to earn extra by means of getting similarly inside the grand slams.
a few players, although, are not so sure.
“I don’t see a great deal the advantage, for the grand slams,” sixth seed Marin Cilic stated at Melbourne Park. “The draw is massive, and that i think that the draw, the seeding have to be similar to now.”
Madison Keys, seeded seventeenth, joked that the ladies’s event did now not want any greater excitement, not least in view that 10 of the top-sixteen seeds went out earlier than the 0.33 round this yr, in comparison to most effective six within the men’s occasion.
“I suppose the sixteen seeds, I don’t recognize the point of it,” Keys said. “I bet we want more drama and extra upsets. it’ll be exciting, to mention the least.”
some former gamers, however, are in choose.
“With 16 seeds you’ve got greater exciting suits earlier, more a laugh, more exhilaration,” 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic informed Reuters.
”You need to have to work to win a grand slam. You get some parts of the draw wherein a few men stroll to the zone-very last with out losing a set, so with 16 seeds you understand you can play a man ranked 17 within the first round.
“I think it’s a rule exchange that is ideal.”
Paul Annacone, as soon as ranked range 12 and a former educate of Pete Sampras, Tim Henman after which Federer, sees it from each aspects.
“My position as a fan is I’d like to see 16 seeds, however if I put my educate’s hat on, or players’ hat on, i get why they don’t need it,” Annacone advised Reuters.
”one year I had to play (John) McEnroe first spherical of the U.S. Open and i used to be one of the next few seeded, I assume, so … I recognize it, it provides for a few exhilaration, but it additionally provides for a few useless heartbreak too.
“in many ways, it’d make the beginning potentially extra thrilling and more dangerous, (so the exchange is) likely higher for the sport however not as correct for the (pinnacle players).”