Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Actuality of Six

It is time for celebration, for Amir 'The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, But The Racquet Is Mightier Yet' Weintraub has won his first round match in Quimper in a tough three set match against Florian Reynet. And yes, there is definitely going to be a post called 'Not With A Bang But With A Quimper' sometime this week. Even if it is the awesomest tournament that ever awesomed.

By winning said match against said Florian Reynet, AW (which stands for both Amir Weintraub and Awesome Writer) will gain a very valuable six ranking points. This seems like fat nothing until you consider that you actually get fat nothing for losing, which I think is a little bit mean. You should get at least a point for making the cut.

But anyway, yes, six ranking points. This is a small amount, but when you are ranked #259 in the world and have only 181 points anyway, six is quite a respectable amount. If the rankings were to remain completely static apart from AW, this means he would jump close to ten ranking spots. Not bad at all. Especially when you consider that he has the chance to turn that six into fifteen by beating either Josselin Ouanna or Laurent Rochette in the next round...

But I digress. We're not talking about the possibility of fifteen. We're talking about the actuality of six. Which is a lot, if you're Amir Weintraub.

Which takes me back to a favourite subject of mine - Grand Slam wildcards.

For losing in first round qualies of the Australian Open, AW got eight ranking points. In case you are not good at maths, eight points is better than the six points he got for making the second round in the Quimper Challenger. Nicolas Mahut, who was cruelly denied a wildcard but qualified anyway and made the second round, got 45 points from his Australian Open campaign. I'm pretty sure you get 25 points for a first round loss.

Forgive me, ranking points system, if I am cruelly maligning you, but it seems to me like players from nations with a Slam are getting a bit of an advantage here. If I'm AW - and thus from Israel, a non-Slam country - my chances of getting a Slam wildcard into the main draw are pretty slim. But if I'm, say, Carsten Ball, I'm pretty much assured of a wildcard into the Australian Open every damn year. And I have a decent shot at the reciprocal wildcard into the US Open and/or Roland Garros. I get all those points just for being from a Slam country.

And also, if I'm AW, I don't even know if I'm going to get into qualies. I don't know if I've made the cut. But if I'm, say, Luke Saville... hello, eight points on a plate, even if I get totally drilled by the awesomeness of Nico Mahut in the first round.

Maybe I am totally wrong and there are different points for qualifiers and wildcards. In which case this blog entry is pretty much pointless. But I like to think that it is more ammunition on the bonfire of the Wildcard For Awesome (tm). Wildcards -whether into the main draw or the qualies - shouldn't just be for people from Slam-having countries. Awesomeness is international.

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