June 25, 2005

A pedant watches Wimbledon

During the fourth set of the match today between Andrew Murray and David Nalbandian, the commentator expressed the opinion that if it went to a fifth set, Nalbandian would be "the odds-on favourite".

It immediately occurred to me that in a field of only two, the favourite must by definition be odds-on.

3 Comments:

At June 26, 2005 1:40 am, Anonymous Jon said...

Hi Justin.

It's Jon from Cowley Chess Club here. I've misplaced your e-mail address, could you possibly e-mail me - gallicrow@gmail.com. I was wondering if you would like to try playing a couple of correspondence games again.

Oh yes, tennis. Don't know much about it. I know a little about gambling though. I once managed to bet on two outsiders in a two "horse" race - Frank Bruno vs Tim Witherspoon. Bruno was the favourite in Britain, so I bet on him in America, and Witherspoon was the favourite in America, so I bet on him here. It wasn't until the fight started that I realised I'd forgotten to cover the possibility of a draw, but fortunately for me Bruno got knocked out and I won about £5.

 
At June 26, 2005 10:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of being pedantic, didn't the commentator mean that if it went to five sets, Nalbandian would then have the upper hand.
Don't the odds change during the match i.e. if Murray is leading 5-1 in games and 2-0 in sets, he the becomes odds-on favourite?
Amazing that Murray was about to play Wimbledon and never thought to practise 5 set matches.

 
At June 26, 2005 11:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

previous anonymous just woken up...as you say, "odds-on favourite" with 2 people can be condensed to "favourite"....last time I leave a comment and lower the tone....sorry.

 

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