Tennis: Harvest Without Seeds

All the world loves an underdog—except, apparently, the people who run tennis tournaments. Which undoubtedly accounts for the fact that nobody makes book on tennis. For years it has been standard practice at all big U.S. amateur tournaments to "seed" the top eight players. Seeded players collect expense money (up to $28 a day). They are paired against weak opponents in the early rounds, and they never play each other until the quarter-finals at the earliest. The idea is to make sure that the two best players reach the finals (thereby boosting...

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