Saturday, July 14, 2018

Wimbledon tennis shows that ties should be OK.

Wimbledon tennis?

Kevin Anderson of South Africa will play in the men's 2018 final tomorrow. Here'e how he won his two most recent best of five set matches:

Quarter final over Roger Federer:
6-7 (5-7)

Semi final over John Isner in 6 hours, 36 minutes:
7-6 (6)
6-7 (5)
6-7 (9)

Set five at Wimbledon does not use the tie breaker employed in sets one through four. It retains the old form of playing full games, which means that Anderson finally won by winning two consecutive games in the fifth set.

His post match interview was devoid of joy or exultation. He stated that it was really a draw (tie) and hoped that the rules would be changed by which he probably meant go to the "shoot out" style formula of sets 1, 2, 3, 4.

But that "shoot out" is as absurd in reverse. The real issue is simply accepting ties and not insisting that all athletic competitions, both individual and team, come to some final resolution with a winner and a loser.

Baseball games become pretty silly after 9 innings. With starting pitchers going about 5 innings, extra innings quickly deviate from normal play. A "shoot out" style solution suggested last year was to start an extra inning with a runner on second base.

Soccer has this problem and college football. The real issue is what is affirmed by determining a winner under odd circumstances? What's the point? Who cares?

The trend has been towards a quick resolution, which is very different than normal play. Baseball and Wimbledon tennis have been sticking with simply continuing normal play. But in modern times that can be just a long drawn out farce that really proves nothing.

Just call it a draw.

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