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Fantasy tips: Choose wisely for power and glory

Sabine Lisicki strikes a forehand on Centre Court.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Tuesday 24 June 2014

It’s not too late to sign up to play Fantasy Wimbledon. To give yourself the best chance of winning tickets to a singles final next summer, create your ideal Wimbledon competitor by selecting those players who will be making their opening appearances on Tuesday.

You might, for instance, be tempted to choose Serena Williams for the ‘Power’ category – based on winners and unforced errors – before she plays fellow American Anna Tatishvili. Or perhaps you might want to allocate some of your budget on Roger Federer’s ‘Net Play’ for his first-round match against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi.

Or maybe you expect Sabine Lisicki’s serve to score well with the German, last year’s runner-up to Marion Bartoli, opening her tournament against Israel’s Julia Glushko. Or perhaps you think that Rafa Nadal’s returns will have a big impact against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan. And which player do you expect to convert large numbers of break points on Tuesday to score heavily in the ‘Mind’ category?

Andy Murray’s poise and purpose as he opened Centre Court for this year’s tournament would have been appreciated by all those who had selected the champion in the Fantasy Wimbledon game. Britain’s first men’s singles champion since the 1930s – and also a fan of fantasy sports  scored well in all five categories during his straight-sets victory over Belgium’s David Goffin.

Those Fantasy Wimbledon users who had selected Murray for the ‘Serve’ category would have been rewarded with 21 points, with the Scot firing eight aces through the grass, worth three points each, while serving just one double fault, which meant the loss of three points.

This was one of the great afternoons for British tennis, a celebration of Murray’s achievement last summer; it was also a fine day for those who had chosen Murray for 'Power': he hit 28 winners to 10 unforced errors. With two points for every winner, and a point deducted for every unforced error, Murray earned 46 points in that category (and anyone who had Murray’s ‘Power’ as their ‘Wild card’ would have received double that amount, so 92 points).

Murray is widely regarded as one of the best returners in the game, and that was reflected in the statistics: he won 43 per cent of return points, and with a point for each percentage point, that produced a ‘Return’ score of 43  points.

Murray broke Goffin's serve four times; and with each of those breakpoint conversions worth seven points, that meant 28 points. Fifteen times Murray visited the net; he won nine of those points, and lost the other six. With two points scored for every point won, and a point deducted for every point lost in the service box, any user who had chosen Murray for ‘Net Play’ would have gained 12 points.

Anyone who had Tomas Berdych for the ‘Power’ category would have had a strong start to the fortnight, with the former finalist hitting 75 winners and making 24 unforced errors during his first-round win over Romania’s Victor Hanescu; that was worth 126 points.

Fantasy Wimbledon

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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

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