ATP Tour Doubles Finals – Canadian content edition

Two teams with Canadian content have a slight chance to make the final eight pairs at the ATP World Tour Championship in London.

But a lot of really great things have to happen.

(Update, Friday: Pospisock upset the Bryan brothers in the quarter-finals, and Bopanna-Mergea were eliminated. That means that the Can-Am team has its fate in its own hands: win Paris, go to London. Get to the final, be eligible as the alternates).

At the moment, seven teams are qualified. The battle for the eighth and final spot (barring injuries to the other pairs) is still alive between five teams (current points totals in brackets)

8. Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Florin Mergea (ROU) (3455)

9. Alexander Peya (AUT) / Bruno Soares (BRA) (3330)

10. Vasek Pospisil (CAN) / Jack Sock (USA) (2820)

11. Juan Sebastian Cabal / Robert Farah (COL) (2735)

12. Daniel Nestor (CAN) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) (2530)

Pospisil and Sock are the only one of the contending teams that fell in the top half of the draw; the others can knock each other out and help them out a bit if they take care of their own business.

There’s probably not much argument that had they played more together, Pospisil (and Sock) and Nestor (and Roger-Vasselin, who have just seven tournaments together) likely would be right in the mix. Pospisil and Sock didn’t prioritize this as they made their fall schedules, and so often found themselves in different cities. But as it is, it’s down to the wire.

Peya and Soares, who are splitting up at season’s end, helped themselves quite a bit as they put 500 points on their resumé by winning the doubles title in Basel on Sunday.

Only Bopanna and Mergea, at No. 8, are seeded at the Masters 1000 in Paris this week, as all the top teams are competing.

Nestor and Roger-Vasselin, obviously, are the long shots.

What Nestor and Roger-Vasselin have to do:

*Win the title, and hope Bopanna-Mergea lose their first match, which will be in the second round. Bopanna and Mergea have a first-round bye. But per ATP rules, if they lose their first match (second-round match), they receive second-round prize money but not second-round ranking points. Bopanna-Mergea will play either Cabal/Farah, or Lopez/Mirnyi.

As well, they have to hope that Peya-Soares lose before the semi-finals.

What Pospisock has to do:

*Win the title (they have Matkowski-Zimonjic at No. 7 and the Bryans at No. 1 in their quarter).
*Hope Peya/Soares AND Bopanna/Mergea lose in the semis or earlier (one of the two pairs will definitely do that as they could meet in the quarter-finals)

What Bopanna/Mergea have to do:

*Win the title
*Make the final and defeat Peya/Soares in the quarters, where they could meet (If they lose to Peya/Soares there, they’d be out)
*Make the semi-final, and hope Pospisock doesn’t win the title (they would edge Bopanna/Mergea out by five points in that case)
*If Peya/Soares are out by that potential quarter-final meeting, they qualify by reaching the final no matter what anyone else does

What Peya/Soares have to do:

*If they beat Bopanna/Mergea (or Cabal/Farah) in the quarter-final, they would be in UNLESS Pospisock wins the title.
*If they reach the final, they’re in no matter what the other teams do.

What Cabal/Farah have to do:

*Win the title (including beating Bopanna/Mergea in the second round, and Peya/Soares in the quarters if both teams get there).


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4 thoughts on “ATP Tour Doubles Finals – Canadian content edition

  1. Also how does team #9 – backup team work in atp finals?

    Do they get to play only if one team backs out completely out of the tournament, or can they play one game if a team/player is injured for one round robin match…which leads to the next question.

    I never understood the playoff tiebreak rules:
    b) Greatest number of matches played;
    Comment: 2-1 won-loss record beats a 2-0 won-loss record; a 1-2 record beats a 1-0 record.

    Why should it be the case that a worse win/loss percentage gets to move on in the ATP final playoffs?

      • LOL – no worries…. I figured out the alternate or #9 team question.

        Regarding ATP finals elimination round qualifying criteria, I’m still a bit puzzled in the case of injuries and/or alternates playing in the ATP finals. (Sorry I know it’s not the topic of the post but if anybody knows the answer, please enlighten me!).

        I see why they prioritize “greatest # of matches played” ahead of W-L percentage…so that a player who doesn’t play all the matches in the round robin can’t gain an advantage in qualifying for playoff round by resting up and/or pretending to be injured for a match. Also, it wouldn’t make great television.

        e.g. Otherwise a player with a 1-1 win record could decide to skip final RR match against a 2-0 player who’s leading the RR to protect his W-L percentage; in this case, it would guarantee that the two remaining players who have finished a round robin at 1-2 could not qualify for playoffs ahead of him. Also, they don’t want people retiring from match if they only need to win one set in a match to qualify for elimination round.

        Still isn’t there a problem in this qualifying criteria in that it disadvantages a player who is legitamately temporarily injured that has a better record than all other round robin participants?

        As an extreme example, take 2014 atp finals with Federer, Nishikori, Raonic, Murray. Assume the unlikely event that Raonic had beaten Federer 6-0 6-0 and he had also beaten Murray 6-0 6-0, while still being unable to play against Nishikori due to a temporary injury, with Nishikori beating alternate Ferrer.

        Nothing would have changed….Federer and Nishikori would still have qualified for playoff round with a 2-1 round robin record, while Raonic would not have qualified with a 2-0 round robin record due to lower # of completed matches played.

        In this far fetched example though, if one assumed Raonic had played and lost 6-0 6-0 to Nishikori, or if he just showed up to Nishikori match and not returned a single ball, then double faulted every service game, he would have ended up 2-1 in the round robin with a better % sets won or % games won than Federer or Nishikori.

        Wouldn’t it make sense to first apply a “default assumption” criteria that player who has not played all 3 matches in round robin is assumed to lose 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets and given a loss, prior to going to the elimination round qualifying criteria of “# of completed matches”?

        Then in this extreme example, Raonic would qualify for elimination round. Otherwise, one could have a situation where a temporarily injured player could be forced to just show up at a round robin match (e.g. Raonic shows up against Nishikori) and lose in order to meet “completed matches” criteria to move on to elimination round.

        Wouldn’t it make more sense to assume Raonic loses 6-0, 6-0 in the match for elimination round qualifying criteria, so that he can still qualify for elimination round?

  2. Go dodig/melo! They should knock out Peya/Soares at QF…if Andy Murray does not do it first.
    Hopefully cabal/farah can knock off bopanna/mergea; they’ve been playing well late beating the Bryans.

    Then nestor/ERV can win nestor’s 1000 against rojer/tecau, then go to London by winning Paris. Their loss to Murray/Peers in Basel hurt them though; they had a clear draw to the basel finals and could have controlled their own fate here in Paris.

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