GIGSTUFF #47 – No News, Just Sport and Weather

by Andrew Gigacz

24th January 2011


In last week’s GigStuff, mention was made of Feliciano Lopez and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez holding the hopes of the “Z” drought being broken. The only letter not included in the surname of past Australian Open winners is Z. The Spaniards have fallen by the wayside but unseeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer, still carries the Z-hopes in the men’s draw. However, Melzer is due to meet Andy Murray this afternoon so the chances of the Z-drought being broken via the men’s draw remain slim.

For the women, things are a little brighter. The top two seeds, Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva, are both Z-girls and remain alive at the Open.

The Z-drought may yet be broken.



I have no news on the winner of the 1968 and 1969 Melbourne Cups but for lovers of rain stats, here’s an interesting piece of information coming from our man at the rain gauge, Dwayne Pipe. In Melbourne, no rain was recorded on any of the first eight days in January. Following that, seven consecutive days of rainfall were recorded. This was in turn followed by another eight rain free days before a period of rain this morning ended that sequence.

Extrapolation of this sequence of 8 fine days. 7 rainy days, 8 fine days etc. means that we should be able to plan our year ahead. As an Almanac community service, here is the forecast for some of the more important days on the Melbourne sporting calendar:

ANZAC Day – 25th April: Those heading to the dawn service and the big game at the ‘G might want pack their umbrellas. Rain looks a certainty.

AFL Grand Final Day – 1st October: (another non-September GF, so another chance for a Magpie flag) – Fine

Melbourne Cup Day – 1st November: Fine

Boxing Day Test Match: 9am on the morning of the opening day will be the end of a seven-day rain sequence, leaving us with fine weather throughout the Test.

Of course, weather forecasting is still an inexact science. It would be remiss of us to exclude the possibility that this sequence is in fact part of an IMRRCP. That’s an Ian Major Radio Rentals Climate Pattern (“that’s 8-7-8, double-8, double-8”).

If that is the case, Anzac Day will be wet, Grand Final and Melbourne Cup Days will still be fine, and the Boxing Day Test might have rain interruptions on Day One, but will be clear thereafter.


And speaking of calendars, it’s only 11 months to Christmas Eve, folks. Have you got me a present, yet?


January in Melbourne has been warm but not hot. The average maximum thus far, 26.2, is just above the long-term January average but we’ve had no really hot days. In fact, the highest temperature recorded in Melbourne so far this year is only 34.5 degrees, and with nothing higher than 30 forecast for the next week, the city is on the verge of an unusual phenomenon.

In 156 years of records, in only nine of those years has the monthly January maximum been less than 35 degrees.

The ten “Lowest Highests” in Melbourne January history are:

  1. 1984 (January monthly max of 32.3 degrees)
  2. 1972 (32.7)
  3. 1931 (32.7)
  4. 1953 (33.7)
  5. 1980 (34.0)
  6. 1970 (34.4)
  7. 2011* (34.5)
  8. 1904 (34.5)
  9. 1977 (34.8)
  10. 1865 (34.8)

 *not yet completed


In the Australian Baseball League at the weekend, Canberra and Sydney played out the only binary match.


Sydney: 100 100 011 Canberra 011 000 000, resulting in a 4-2 win to Sydney.


Last night saw Svetlana Kusznetsova (another Z-factor) girl have a heartbreaking loss to Fransesca Schiavone, going down to the Italian 16-14 in the third set of the longest recorded women’s match in Grand Slam history. Despite the loss, Kusznetsova would have every right to believe that her 2011 campaign has been a success. And her second-round scoreline, 6-1, 6-4 against Arantxa Rus, confirms it.

6164 is the postcode of “Success”.


Australia has gone to a 3-0 lead in the one-day series against England, with John Hastings hitting the winning runs last night. Fellow Victorian David Hussey top-scored for Australia, with an unbeaten 68.

In fact, maybe it’s worth looking at Australia’s cricketing summer from a Victorian player viewpoint.

The Australian Test team included one Victorian, Peter Siddle, throughout the series. The result was an embarrassing 3-1 loss.

The side for the two Twenty20 matches included three Victorians, White, Hussey and Finch. The series was tied 1-1 and Australia was unlucky to have lost the first match.

In the one-day series, Hussey and White have featured in all three games, and with the addition of Hastings last night (never mind where he was born), the Australians had perhaps their most comfortable victory so far.

I’m not much of a statistician but I can see a pretty clear correlation in those figures.


Despite seemingly heading towards another Grand Slam final, Roger Federer had some nervous moments against Gilles Simon in the second round. The match was a five-set thriller and as it went on, I ended up moving closer and closer to the edge of my seat.

How ironic then that…

SIMON vs FEDERER is an anagram of RIDS ME OF NERVES.

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?



    Jurgen Melzer predictably rolled by Roger in straight sets. There’ll be no Z in the surname of the 2011 men’s champ.

    Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva continue to fly the flag for the women. Seeded 1 and 2, they will meet in the final if they keep winning and the Z-drought will finally be broken.

  2. Z FACTOR UPDATE: Number 1 seed Wozniacki is out, defeated by Li Na. (Does she have a sister named ‘Yeah’?)

    The last Z hope is Zvonareva, who is about to play Kim Clijsters for a place in the final.

  3. And Zvonareva lost while I was at cricket training, so the Z drought will last at least another year.

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