The situation in the Red Group of the WTA Championships is dramatic, as it’s very complicated to calculate who will pass the round-robin phase and reach the semifinals. Our reader, Daniel Bellin, a 61-year-old retired tennis fan from Princeville, Kaua’i Hawai’i, currently living in Bucharest, made a mathematical prediction for us.
Agnieszka Radwanska’s victory over Vera Zvonereva sets up a probable 3-way tie between her, Zvonareva and Caroline Wozniacki. Petra Kvitova will probably beat Radwanska. If Kvitova wins in straight sets, then all three of the remaining Reds are 1-2 in matches and 3-5 in sets. Zvonareva beat Wozniacki, but Wozniacki beat Radwanska who beat Zvonareva so there is perfect symmetry there.
To find a winner, we must go to percentage of games won. In that case, Zvonareva will be the second semifinalist unless Radwanska beats Kvitova or wins a set off of her. If Radwanska wins a set she is 4-5 in sets while the others are 3-5. If she loses to Kvitova in straight sets at 7-6 7-6 or worse, she is, at best 39 wins to 44 losses for 46.98%. Zvonareva won 35 games and lost 37 for 48.611% and Wozniacki won 34 games and lost 41 for 45.333%. Thus Zvonareva is the second Red Group semifinalist unless Radwanska wins 1 or more sets from Kvitova. Cool, huh? (photos: © Neal Trousdale)
Dan — thank you so much for the clarification. Just curious — how many times before this has there been this kind of perfect symmetry in the RR, setting up such a confusing resolution?