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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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'Consistent Top-Tenners'

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dav. View Post
And her serve, forehand and mentality/anticipation would have made her a consistent top-tenner alone.
I sat back and gave this statement a lot of thought. How many 'consistent top-ten' players ARE there? Virtually all player get injured at some point, so everybody drops out of the top ten at some point. So obviously this isn't about ALWAYS being in the top ten, just mostly. Check it out.

curr 01 02 03 04 05 06 11 16 60 ** 10
year DS SW VW ED SK JJ AI AM MS ** NP
---- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ** --
2008 03 02 06 04 08 01 05 24 09 ** 11
2007 15 07 08 11 02 03 04 18 05 ** 14
2006 11 95 48 08 04 12 14 03 02 ** 06
2005 20 11 10 08 18 22 16 03 04 ** 09
2004 44 07 09 06 05 28 97 02 04 ** 12
2003 54 03 11 08 36 85 ** 04 32 ** 12
2002 68 01 02 19 43 ** ** 06 ** ** **
2001 ** 06 03 15 ** ** ** 09 ** ** 38
2000 ** 06 03 12 ** ** ** 16 ** ** 62
1999 ** 04 03 62 ** ** ** 10 ** ** 95
1998 ** 19 05 ** ** ** ** 29 ** ** **
1997 ** ** 25 ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **


Currently in the top ten; Serena, Venus, Dementieva and Kuznetsova. Four. That's all. Sharapova and Mauresmo both were (and I think Sharapova will be again.) And Jankovic and Ivanovic are ... not .... quite ... there yet.

So ... does this tell us anything useful? All the player who have three straight years finishing in the top ten have done something notable. The least of it is Dementieva's gold medal. Even the Serbs, who are close but not quite there, have won a slam and/or attained the #1 ranking.

NOTE: I decided to use year end rankings because the WTA database provides them in an easy format. Figure three straight years finishing in the top ten is a good definition of 'consistent'. That winnows out the Dokics and Hantuchovas and Schnyders who were all legit top tenners, but only for a couple years.

NOTE: Included Petrova for laughs. Six straights finishing ranked between #6 and #15. The quintessential example of a consistent 'not quite top ten' player.

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Last edited by Volcana; Jul 13th, 2009 at 05:38 AM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Dinara

Such a weird story, how she was an average top 20 player, and is now heading for year end #3 and #1.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

although beeing injured a lot the sisters are impressive

dementieva became consistent after a few medicore years

MAria will come close to the sisters achievments

A personal guess: safina will have the same fate like JJ and AI...it will go down very quickly
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Interesting approach. I've been myself thinking about a concept of competitive vs non-competitive top tenner.
In the current top 10, Wozniacki and Petrova are typically the non-competitive ones, that is they rarely beat other top- tenners.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Safina's ranking is by far the most interesting to me.

How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnydarko View Post
Safina's ranking is by far the most interesting to me.

How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?
My take is that's more about mental than strokes and fitness.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

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Originally Posted by Sharapower View Post
My take is that's more about mental than strokes and fitness.
Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

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Originally Posted by donnydarko View Post
Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.
Maybe...
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharapower View Post
In the current top 10, Wozniacki and Petrova are typically the non-competitive ones, that is they rarely beat other top- tenners.
Wozniacki has only been in the top 10 for a few months - with Safina pretty much the only player she has faced from the top 10 since she made it there. Besides, you would always expect players from the lower part of the top 10 to have a losing record against the top 5.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

If you divide thing up between outside the top 100, 100-21, 20-11, and the top 10, there's an interesting trend. The players who win a lot of slams don't spend a lot of time getting from out the top hundred into the top ten. Serena didn't spend that transitional year between 100 and 21 at all. She went from outside the top 100 to #19 to #4.

Venus 100+ to 25 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten, a dip to #11 and two more top ten years
Sharapova 100+ to #32 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten
Mauresmo 100+ to #29 to #10, dip to #16, then six straight top ten years
Kuznetsova 100+ to #43 tp #36, top ten, dip to #16, last three years in the top ten

If you order the players by slam wins, then tour wins, you get the same order
Serena
Venus
Sharapova
Mauresmo
Kuznetsova

Your active multi-slam winners. Which would indicate, obvious not conclusively, that players who are going to win multiple slams don't waste a lot of time getting from outside the 100 into the top ten.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Two players who could match the pattern the current multi-slam winners seem to have traveled ard

Sorana Cirstea, and Sabine Lisicki. Both were outside the top hundred at the end of 2007. Well inside the 100 at the end of 2008, and both could end the year inside the top ten, providing huge finishes.

Actually, Lisicki doesn't need a huge finish. She's currently #26, and while she's 1300 points out of the #10 ranking, she's only 'defending' 426 points for the rest of the year. That's winning two Interantional events. The rest is gravy. Especially when you serve like Serena Williams' illegitemate sister.

Cirstea's definding 888, and 1602 points to make up. That's probably winning Beijing, or the US Open final, or something else ridiculous.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

The great thing about Sorana, Volcana (oh god that rhymes) is that she's perfectly capable of making up those points by Roland Garros as next year as she has about 100 points to defend up to then.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:51 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnydarko View Post
Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.
No, I agree. Apart from her possibly working harder but that goes hand in hand with her fitness.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

And can I just say, maybe we have differend definitions of "consistent top 10 players" but when I see It, I think of a player hovering around the 6-12 mark for a long time, not necessarily finishing the year in the top 10, but spending most of their time there.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2009, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 'Consistent Top-Tenners'

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Originally Posted by Slutiana View Post
And can I just say, maybe we have differend definitions of "consistent top 10 players" but when I see It, I think of a player hovering around the 6-12 mark for a long time, not necessarily finishing the year in the top 10, but spending most of their time there.
That's a completely fair point. While I was putting up Petrova's stats, I found myself thinking, 'actually, for a lot of people, that's a top ten player.' No lower than #15, up as high as #3 (in her case), in the top ten more than she's out.

The definition I used definitely seperates the wheat from the chaff, but I concede I probably lost a good bit of 'wheat' there.

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