Doubles and Williams Sisters - Seeding - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Doubles and Williams Sisters - Seeding

You have to play 3 tournaments in the last twelve months to have a doubles ranking. So the Williams2x doubles team doesn't have a ranking. Unfortunately, they're the best doubles team on the Tour. (Or at least, they should be favored against any opponents currently on tour.)

If you don't seed them, the #1 seeds could get them in the 1st round. If you seed them low, one of your top seeds can get them in the QFs. I'm sure Lisa and Rennae wouldn't be wild about either of those options. Wimbledon seeded them #3, protecting the top two ranked teams, but bumping an otherwise deserving team from a seed.

It's an open tournament, so you can't just bar the Williams Sisters from playing.

What's the solution that results in the best tournament, AND the fairest treatment of the players? Remember, doubles NEEDs participation form the top players. They'll be leery of any rules that dissuade Lindsay or Martina or Venus or Serena from playing.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:01 PM
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I liked Wimbledon's solution. #3 is about the right seeding to give Williams/Williams at a slam. And the same, IMO, should hold for say Davenport/Morariu if they should happen to enter a doubles slam without a ranking.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:05 PM
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Whenever they don't play enough to have a ranking, they should always be seeded #3. True, another team that probably should be seeded 3 will have to miss out but that would be the fairest to everyone.

On the other hand I personally don't care whether they are seeded or not, they are probably going to win the thing anyway.

But for the sake of the top two seeds, the number # seeding is probably best.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:35 PM
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Seed them 16th or 1st.. The sisters will win, no matter what. rankings don't matter when it comes to the Williams Sisters.

"I told her, `You don't want to get into a hitting battle with Sharapova, because it would be uneven for Sharapova, because Sharapova only has one good side and that's her backhand,"'. "`You don't want to get into that for the simple reason you would win. So try to hit some balls to her strong side, to her backhand, and that would help you with your match for tomorrow

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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I am sure we have discussed this before

I still think rankings are there for a reason. You earn a ranking, you get your seeding. I don't believe in exceptions. If the Williams play the GS and they do well in them, that'll be 4 tourneys, and therefore, enough to have a ranking and a seeding. If they play less than 3 tourneys, then, they can't have a seeding, since they won't have a ranking.

Maybe Lisa and Rennae wouldn't like having to play the sisters in a 1st round, but I doubt the deserving n.16 seeds would enjoy having to play Lisa and Rennae in the first round either if they lost their hard earned seed in favor of the sisters.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:48 PM
 
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I'm not very knowledgeable on doubles rankings - is it completely unreasonable to change the rules to allow teams that play one tournament have a ranking ?

Whether you seed them 1-4 there's no real difference. Wherever you seed Williams sisters, they are going to take the place of someone else. You can't make everyone happy.

I suppose the ultimate answer is for the tournament directors to consult with the doubles teams to see what they'd be happy with. Of course if the directors don't much care about the players and are only interested in ratings then why seed them at all ? - they don't have a ranking and they'll get to the final anyway.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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That Davenport-Morariu comment is well made. Leaving them unseeded is just a time bomb for some seeded team. My guess is Martina Hingis will have 3 tournaments til at least OZ. But if she doesn't play doubles the rest of the year to get her singles game in shape, she could be in the same position.

It almost comes down to saying they'll seed 14 teams and then two 'wild seeds' who can be any team they want. At least the #16 team wouldn't have therir hopes of a seed dashed.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Kart - The tournament directors don't want Venus-Serena or Chanda-Anna playing Lisa-Rennae or Lindsay-Corinna in the 1st round. It means a source of ticket sales is eliminated early.

It's like getting Venus vs Anna in the 1st round of the USOpen. All it does is cost you money.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:32 PM
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Good thinking, Volcana. Tennis is a sport BUT the WTA, ATP, ITF, the Grand Slams, and tournaments all want to make money as well.

The Williams Sisters vs. Anna K/Chanda Rubin generated great ticket sales and viewership (in the States at least). If both teams had been unseeded, this matchup may have occured earlier in the tournament and women's doubles may have garnered far less publicity.

During a time when the ATP Tour is thinking about eliminating doubles for financial reasons, it makes sense to encourage top players into the doubles bracket and to seed them. Maybe it's not fair but it's economically viable.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:47 PM
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WIMBLEDON came up with the best solution.
Would the number 16 seeds rather play the unseeded Williams?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:49 PM
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POINT: to be the best doubles team your body has to be able to take more than 2 doubles tournaments a year.
YES the Williams are always the favourties even in doubles, but maybe we would see more upsets if they played more tournaments as doubles!
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 10:10 PM
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Raj, I believe that Venus and Serena as a doubles team would only get better.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2002, 10:20 PM
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The 3rd seed was a good solution. Face it, the Williams will only play doubles at Grand Slams and when they are both healthy!

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Raj
POINT: to be the best doubles team your body has to be able to take more than 2 doubles tournaments a year.
YES the Williams are always the favourties even in doubles, but maybe we would see more upsets if they played more tournaments as doubles!
Isn't this the same line of thinking that was thrown at Venus and Serena about their lack of singles play? I mean people were having fits, strokes and hay babies opining that if they played more matches, their bodies would break down.
Surprise!

It seems that the more they play, the better they get and the more they win.

Be careful what you wish for.

They just might decide to play 6 or 7 tournaments. Then the complaints will start that Williiams winning all the trophies is "a little bit sad" for women's tennis.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Raj - That is TOTALLY a false syllogism. They ARE the best doubles team. So obviously the fact that they only play twice a year is irrelevant.

They aren't the #1 team. '#1' is ranking. They don't play enough for a ranking. But the simple truth is they are favored in every match they play and justifiably so. That makes them the best.

They're just plain better than everybody else. The one team I thought could really challenge them long term was Hingis-Seles.

Ask any other team who's the favorite to win the US Open.

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