Originally Posted by VW#1
This is why I think the WTA should use a ranking system like golf where the previous year's results still count as part of your total but not as much as the points gained during the current year. That way you wouldn't have to worry about having special rankings and seedings because someone could be out for a stretch of time with an injury and not have to worry about their ranking slipping out of the top 10 or 20 or whatever. This system would also mean you'd have to actually be winning big titles on a consistent basis. The ranking system seems to favor one of two types of players.
1. Players who show a big improvement in results from the previous years.
2. Players who play a lot of tournaments and are consistent but not necessarily winning Slams.
I mean quite honestly that's how Capriati got to number one before Venus did. She had a large improvements in results, but in almost all aspects Venus had a better year, she won more titles, won all their meetings etc. Matina Hingis also benefitted as did Clijsters from the ranking system. Hingis was consistent and played lots of tennis but wasn't winning slams, same goes for Clijsters. It can be said that Henin Hardenne only got number one because of the absence of the Williams Sisters, but a lot of that can be silenced cause at least she had slam wins behind her and good solid consistent play and WINS at big tournaments. I mean I guess being number one in the world has already lost it's importance anyway. Hingis was number one long after it was clear she was somewhere around 3 or 4 in the world, and Serena had won 5 of the last 6 grandslams and Clijsters was able to take it away from her. If anyone should be number one it should be Myskina, at least she has a slam this year and at least some consistent play. So to directly answer the question I don't want to see Mauresmo at number one because frankly she doesn't deserve it, she hasn't even gotten to a slam final this year, how is that being the best player in the world?
I agree with what you're saying about the ranking system, but the WTA can't please everyone. So instead, they're pleasing themselves.
They want all players to play the four biggest events, the slams. So they increased the point total two years ago to reinforce the necessity of playing. They want players to play more events. So they created a system that rewards playing a full schedule of 18 events. Capriati got to #1 before Venus because she had better results in a full schedule than Venus did - simply because Venus failed to follow the "guidelines" of the tour.
You can't really complain about the ranking system. The same system that awarded the #1 ranking to so-called un-deserving people like Hingis or Clijsters, as you claim, also awarded the same ranking to Venus and Serena and Henin-Hardenne, all of whom are supposedly people that earned the ranking.
If someone can be #1 without winning a slam, I think that in some ways it's just as impressive. Fine, they misrepresented at the biggest 4 events. But that means that they had to put in some huge efforts to make up for that. Mauresmo remains the only player to make at least the QF at all of the slams this year and is in fact the only player to have 4 grand slam QFs on her record. The next player to come close is Lindsay (ironically, the player with the next best shot at becoming #1) who has 2 SFs, 1 QF, and a fourth round. And you'll be shocked to see that the next best grand slam results in the past four is: Anastasia Myskina, with a win, two QFs, and a third round.
So, in essence, I see what you're saying, but there's only so much you can do to even out the ranking system. It's impractical to say that because Mary Pierce won the French Open in 2000 that she should still be recieving 10% of those points on her ranking - or even that because Jennifer Capriati won the Australian Open in 2002 that she should still have 30% of those points on her ranking. They are different players now.
I agree the ranking system is flawed, but I don't have a practical solution, and I do think that it works. It does find the best players. "Best" doesn't necessarily refer to slams, but it does at least mean best over the past year.