I’d planned to roll out my Western and Southern simulation today, but no such luck. There’s yet another scratch. And yet again, it’s a seeded player giving up his bye line – Milos Raonic, the sixth seed, is being replaced by Christian Harrison, who’s ranked 240th in the world according to the ATP. Harrison is the fourth lucky loser chosen to fill out the bracket, and the third to go directly into the second round by fluking onto one of the eight lines that get a first-round bye.
So, I’ll need to retool the simulation once again. It will be a matter of a few minutes to slot in Harrison and nudge nearly everyone else up a place in the simulator’s skill ranking, but it will take a few hours to run the trials, and all this has to be done in off moments stolen from actually watching tennis.
With four of the seven losers of the qualifying mini-brackets being chosen to fill lines in the main draw, and with three of those getting first round byes, it appears that, on average, the Q2 losers, collectively, will be on track to win more prize money than the qualifiers who actually won and entered the main draw by right. It will be close. And I think we’re probably done finding new lucky losers, so perhaps the next simulations will actually make it to the blog. Watch this space.