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July 07 • 10:57
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Did Fed Throw the Olympic Final?

August 09, 2012 | 11:38 AM

Since there've been several readers and writers sharing their suspicions that for some reason FED threw the Olympic final to Andy out of some sense of charity or pity for 'poor Andy' and the host country (Britain has put Andy on a 1st class postage stamp, perhaps as a preliminary gesture before knighthood for him, and perhaps mother Linda - assuming Scotland doesn't re-claim it's own athletes for a Scolympic squad in Brazil). My efforts failed to convince readers that there is no way FED would ever through any match (except perhaps an exhibition to Pete), let along give up his life long dream of a gold medal to complete his GOATest constellation of records.

Perhaps a post from Jeff Sackmann (LINK BELOW) will help convince doubters. It will take into account the results in matches which have followed marathon 5th sets in the men's game. There have been 140 fifth sets that went beyond 6-6 and could not conclude with a tie-breaker, and Jeff looks at what happened in the next rounds. He also looks at the results which followed 5th set breakers, and if this isn't thorough enough, there's more. The only thing he didn't look at was match time.

His conclusion: Changing format to fifth-set tiebreaks would have little effect on future outcomes–it would just make those matches a bit more dependent on a lucky bounce.

In any event, don't expect the Wimbledon Committee to change to a breaker any time soon: the wider public finds these marathons more compelling than anything, regardless of the quality of the tennis being played (Fed v Delpo was much higher quality than Isner v Mahut) or the importance of the particular outcome.

The Hangover Effect of a Marathon Fifth Set | Heavy Topspin: A Tennis Blog


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