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The 2022 Australian Open "You Can't Win Jack" will be a medal-awarding contest for the first-place winner(s) only.
Anyone can pick the men’s and women’s singles winners of the 2022 Australian Open, but it takes real talent to spot the ultimate LOSER of the event. The Wooden Spoon Award goes to the last place finisher of a competition – in tennis terms, it’s the player whose conqueror loses in the next round, whose conqueror loses in the next round, whose conqueror loses in the next round, etc.
At the 2021 US Open, Yaroslava Shvedova was the women's wooden spoon winner. She lost to Jasmine Paolini in the first round, who lost to Victoria Azarenka in the second round, who lost to Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round, who lost to Barbora Krejčíková in the fourth round, who lost to Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals, who lost to Leylah Annie Fernandez in the semifinals, who lost to Emma Raducanu in the final.
Pablo Carreño Busta one-upped her by earning his own spoon for the second straight grand slam. He lost to Maxime Cressy, who lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili, who lost to Reilly Opelka, who lost to Lloyd Harris, who lost to Alexander Zverev, who lost to Novak Djokovic, who lost to Daniil Medvedev.
That's how Yaroslava Shvedova and Pablo Carreño Busta were the ultimate losers at this year's US Open!
ENTRY: To enter the 2022 Australian Open "You Can't Win Jack" contest, pick the names of four men’s singles contestants and four women’s singles contestants who you think are the most likely to finish in “last place” in their respective draws. Rank those players 1-4, with #1 being your most likely to finish “last”.
These picks carry through the rest of the tournament. So if your picks lose in the first round – and you hope they do! – the players who beat your picks become your new selections in the 2R, and so on, until the finals (if you’re lucky…).
SCORING: For each round that one of your entries remains in the running, you earn a point. Bonus points are earned based on your selected rank of your four picks. You get a multiplier for bonus points – your number 1 pick gets a bonus of (x4), #2 pick gets a bonus of (x3), #3 pick gets a bonus of (x2) and #4 pick gets a bonus of (x1).
EXAMPLE: Using the 2013 Australian Open as an example, let’s say Bernard Tomic was my #1 pick in the Wooden Spoon contest. Since he won in the 1R, I get no points. But Oscar Hernandez was my #2 pick, and he lost to Janko Tipsarevic. So I get a point for Hernandez' loss, and Tipsarevic automatically becomes my 2R pick. As my #2 pick, any points I earned from Hernandez - and from Tipsarevic in the next round, etc. - get multiplied by (x3).
BONUS POINTS: At the 2009 US Open (wow, I've really been running this contest for a while), a bonus point system was initiated. Bonus points were awarded to anyone who picked the actual Wooden Spoon Winner(s) (unfortunately no one did for either men or women). That system will still be in place at the 2022 Australian Open. There will be a 5 point bonus x the weight of pick.
#1 confidence pick = 5 bonus points x 4 = 20 bonus points
#2 confidence pick = 5 bonus points x 3 = 15 bonus ponits
#3 confidence pick = 5 bonus points x 2 = 10 bonus points
#4 confidence pick = 5 bonus points x 1 = 5 bonus points
* To make it easy on yourself, fill out a full draw sheet, then trace backwards through the draw to find your ultimate losers. You may want to consider entering the TAT Prediction Contest which is also being run for this tournament, to help you get started on your YCWJ picks.
* It’s not enough to pick players who you think will lose first round, because you'll need the winner of the match to lose in the next round.
* There are several sets of players with the same last name. If you are picking one of them, please include enough of their first name to be able to uniquely identify your pick. Your pick must be unambiguous to those of us who are scoring the contest.
* If any player that you select withdraws before his/her first round match, and you do not change your pick, you will be assigned the player who takes your original selection's place in the draw. If you pick a qualifier and specify the line number, you will be assigned whichever player takes that line.
* If you fail to submit a full team of 4 men and 4 women, you will be disqualified from the contest and your picks will not be scored.
* Since the number of possible teams is in the quadrillions, I will assume that the probability that two people accidentally pick the same team is small enough to ignore. However, please do not intentionally copy someone else's team.
Entries are due before the start of main draw play at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds on Monday, January 17th (Sunday evening in the US).
p.s. Running this contest requires a lot of copying and pasting, which creates a lot of opportunities for typos to creep in. If you find any, please send me a private message. Thanks.
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