The issue of "legitimacy" -
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question The issue of "legitimacy"

I've been reading all of the reactions to Jen-Jen becoming #1 on this and a couple of other boards, and it occurred to me that, for many individuals, her ascendancy raises the same questions about "legitimacy" that Hingis' prolonged occupancy of the slot did.

Many questioned why Hingis remained #1 for so long given her protracted Grand Slam drought. Some are now questioning the validity of Capriati's ascendance given several factors: her slump of the last few months, her loss to Testud (Testud?????), and, most significantly, the manner in which she became #1 -- bec Hingis got injured.

Are these valid concerns or just sour grapes? <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

Or is Capriati's occupancy of the #1 slot by seemingly questionable means simply further evidence that the WTA needs to revamp its ranking system? <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">

This enquiring mind would love to get your opinions.

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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 10:01 PM
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hmm. i think the rankings are pretty fair. to be the best you shouldnt only be able to come out and win a few matches once or twice a year, but rather they should reward the player who is able to consistantly produce the best results.

take this to an analogy of hte match. over half the people i play i can beat when i play the whole match well. however, if i play a relatively inconsistant match i will lose....get it?

if youre winning, youre the best. the more you win, the higher your rank. id like to know what the problem is with the ranking system is that people have?
post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by NejedlyKanepi:
<STRONG>if youre winning, youre the best. the more you win, the higher your rank. id like to know what the problem is with the ranking system is that people have?</STRONG>

Actually Nejedly it's not as simple as that. If it were there wouldn't be any complaints. The reason why people have a problem with the ranking system is that it is confusing for most people that don't follow tennis closely. It doesn't reflect the true #1 unless the #1 player does what is required. It doesn't just take winning to make you #1. Venus has the most titles of anyone and she isn't #1. Not only do you have to win but you have to play throughout the year to keep adding to your point total. It doesn't really reflect the best player. Most people who watch sports like football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, or even billiards know by the end of the season who is the true champion. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So knowing without a doubt who the best team or player is is comforting to some people.

When you watch tennis and you see the #1 player hasn't won a GS in 3 years, and hasn't won a tournament since February then yes it does become confusing for some people. Hell I've had to explain it to friends and family members myself. Only this time there shouldn't be any questions about why Jenn is #1. As much as she's pissed me off this season I am happy to see someone who worked hard the WHOLE season and had the results finish the year as the #1 player. Instead of getting it by playing more and smaller tournaments. She played the tournaments that had the top players in it and even though she didn't win them all she usually finished in the semis or finals.

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 10:46 PM
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My argument would be that if you have the best record in the Slams, and have played nearly twice as many tournaments as the player with the next best recordin the Slams, you are a fairly legitimate #1.

Of course, nobody really legitimately deserves any ranking that someone else's fan feels like griping about.

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 10:47 PM
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It kinda depends what you see the point of the rankings as being. If they are there as a reflection of who has played the best tennis over a 12 month period, then clearly there's nothing wrong with the present system.

But, the point of rankings is supposed to be for seedings in tounaments. And I can't help wondering whether it wouldn't be better to have a 6 month system. That would be a better reflection of who's doing best _at the moment_ and therefore who's likely to do best at a particular tournament. So the players who'd been in good form for a few months would get better seedings than those consistent throughout the year. I think that that would be a better system.

Another option would be to have different rankings for different surfaces, so that again the in-form player on a particular surface would get seeded higher in a tournament on that surface. For example, Venus doesn't really deserve a #4 seeding on clay whereas players like Aranxta, Conchita, Amelie deserve to be higher than they are.

These are just vague suggestions, the point I'm making is that the current ranking system doesn't serve the purpose of giving players likely to do well at a particular tournament a higher seeding in that tournament. And I think that it should.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2001, 11:31 PM
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Simply put, the rankings do not indicate who the player most likely to win is. This is not a problem. People mke it a problem by insisting that the rankings should indicate who the best -player is. They don't. They just measure who has the best 17 tournament results in 52 weeks. In 2001, those two players weren't the same player. In 1997, they were the same player.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 01:56 AM
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there's never gonna be a system that satisfies everyone
and i can only say that i'm fine with the system now
of course i'll complain now and then but nonetheless, i'll still accept it
there's different number one in everyone's heart, and havin the rankings agree with you just adds to your joy
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 03:42 AM
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Not to be a pain in the ass...
But if a few months from now (or weeks), Jenn pulls up injured, and either Lindsay or Venus takes over the number 1 position, I don't think we will be hearing to many complaints.
People whining about HOW Jenn got the ranking on the given day, fail to achnolage what she has done ALL year to get herself in that position to begin with.
What it comes down to is that there is a LOT of player hating focussed on Jenn, which causes a lot of people do work as hard as they can, to take away from what she is done.
Which is too bad for them, cause they will just have to suffer suffer suffer. Jenn isn't going anywhere <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">

The only people who are confused about the rankings, are those who don't understand what they are all about (as mentioned in several other previous posts). Or those, who will simply whine and whine untill their fave becomes number 1, then say "I told you so", meanwhile, no one was ever disagreeing with them <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 05:13 AM
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I didn't see anyone complaint when Venus moved up to number two in the rankings ionmarch after Lindsay pulled out of the tourney because of injury despite Venus playing only a few tourneys in 2001 and Lindsay already winning one or two titles at the start of the year......

I say since the tour has a year end tournament then there should be a year end....with points and all....

The new seedings for the new season should start withe the order of the list from the previous year's championship..the list should be ranked in the following order..

Grand slam champions from previous year should get 10 points for each slam, while the tier ones 8 pts and tier 2s 6 pts and so forth..therefore ther is a reward for winning a title the previous year..

Capriati-AUS/ one title..28 pts with additional follow-up points for being a finalist

Venus will have Wimbledon/US-20pts plus lets say 4 tier ones...that will be 52 pts ...

the list will go an on and that will be the starting list for the season...therefore if Jen or Venus were the best players the year before they will be awarded with go ahead points for the season......

That way the better player will be recognized....

Therefore every player will want o compete to better their chances for the next year and get go ahead points...that is the better system.

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 05:53 AM
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Unless there's a no1. player who wins at least more slams than the next person I think we'll always be able to argue on one's validity as no.1.

Every one of the players knows what the ranking rules are and I don't think I've heard or read of any of them complaining about it. (Of course, a majority of these players don't argue enough for equal pay.)

Martina Hingis had every right to be no.1 for the weeks she held it because that's how the rules worked. When fans argue against her I hardly cared but it really bothered me when the people in the media would criticize her and the rankings. All that bashing despite racking up most of the titles from the underpublicized post-U.S. Open indoor season and other respectable showings.

So the argument against Hingis was that she didn't win a slam in over two years. The argument over Jennifer Capriati is that she wasn't as dominant as Venus Williams and hasn't won as many titles as Venus or Lindsay Davenport.

(It's really not until New Haven that I really thought that Capriati wasn't "the best" this year.)

Then there's the speculative/hypothetical slants. Say Venus Williams was no.1 but had bad indoor results (hard to make a call on this one since she has only played one indoor event this year). She also had back-to-back clay court losses, losing in the first round of the French Open.

And would Davenport be where she is now if she was injured during the time after the French Open rather than before it. And what about her prowess on clay? Does her lack of accomplishment on that surface hold her back?

My point is that people will always find something to pick on.

As for the ranking system itself...

I don't know if there's a better system. Sometimes I wish there was a way to factor in the "close losses." I also don't understand the whole quality points bit.

Say Davenport was no.1. A victory over her on grass would give you the same amount of quality points as a win over her on clay. Which one of those achievements do you really think is more impressive?

Forget Capriati's 400QPs from beating Hingis in Slams. It seems really funny to me to have Virginia Ruano Pascual with 200 QPs from beating Hingis in the first round of Wimbledon. (She got more points beating Hingis than she did by reaching round 2!)

I like the whole seeding by surface idea. I thought it was ridiculous seeing Serena Williams seeded so low for the U.S. Open or Davenport seeded so high for the French.

That said, I hate 32 seeds. Early rounds are mostly boring now. And I like the thought of a top player possibly going out early. (You don't prep properly, you lose.)

As for Capriati losing to Testud...
Venus lost to Hingis, Maleeva, Henin, Schett and Shaughnessy. When Testud beat Capriati she was ranked at or higher than four of those players were when they beat Venus.

And for the unfortunate Hingis incident...
Fitness is part of the tour. Staying healthy equals more tourneys equals more results. The example I'll cite is Henin (what else would you expect from me?). The girl lost about 6 months last year due to illness and injury. For a time she dallied in the bottom 50 of the top 100. Got healthy, started the year at 45, played more and broke the top 10 in just over 6 months. (Look at her year-end ranking last year, how many tournaments she played and her win-loss record.) Or look at Maleeva. Or if you want to see this in action watch Myskina.

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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 08:54 AM
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There seem to be 2 issues here: The 'validity' of Jen's #1 ranking; the issue of the ranking system in general


Or is Capriati's occupancy of the #1 slot by seemingly questionable means simply further evidence that the WTA needs to revamp its ranking system?
What on earth is questionable about the way Capriati has gained (ahem, earned )the #1 ranking?

Of course its unfortunate for Martina the way it happened, but there's nothing questionable about it at all. Jen is #1 now because of her record throughout the whole of this year. She may not be producing the results she was at the start of the year, but that's why its taken over the rolling 52 week period.

Everybody is in exactly the same position.

Now on to the other point of whether the ranking itself is at fault, personally I think not. There are surely only 2 'candidates' for the #1 ranking: Venus and Jennifer. Jennifer has the better record this year whichever objective way you want to look at it.

'Wow' factors do not - and should not - come into the equation.

I also think for Jennifer to lose to Testud (Testud???), that's being very uncomplimentary to Sandrine who is a former Top Ten player always capable of beating the top players, she just rarely does it...

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your responses. It's great to be able to engage in positive discussion.
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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 11:19 AM
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Soue Grapes for sure. The rankings measure performance over a 12 month span and reward players who do well qqover that period, taking into account the number of tournaments played. Jennifer has played very well and has the best "Slam" record this year. As far as how it happened, Jen has no control over what happens with Hingis. And Jennifer was bound to reach #1 sooner or later anyway. Granted, the manner was not the best, but it happened.

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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 11:33 AM
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this only goes to show that the ranking system works for everybody and the hard worker always gets the most cherised prize. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

different reactions are being thrown left & right simply because we're used to seeing somebody achieve the No.1 spot on a WINNING NOTE. It's just a matter of time that Jenny would prove why she's the No.1 player right now. <IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0">

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old Oct 15th, 2001, 02:01 PM
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Actually the reason why Capriati has been rewarded is not just because she has been winning but also because she did not win last year. The system does not reward consistency over a couple of years. You have to play and win more than you did the previous year. One wonders whether the system does not encourage early burn out and injuries. A player as talented as Hingis had to play manically to hold onto her slot which has of course caused her to suffer in a number of areas.
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