Scenario: It's 2004, and it is time for USTA to pick a women's doubles team to send to the Olympics. What do you do? Well, you have the defending champions (Williams/Williams). You also have an incredible team in Raymond/Davenport.
Assuming Davenport's foot heals properly and she has a desire to stay with Raymond and go to Athens, who do you take?
At the moment (5/26 ranks) Raymond/Davenport are ranked No. 3 in the Team Champions Race with 1429 points. Williams/Williams are ranked No. 6 with 836 points. And if you want to get nitpicky, Navratilova is No. 4 (with Kuznetsova, alas). How do you decide?
If you look at the individual rankings for "doubles players" then you will find a vastly different story. Lisa Raymond is No. 3 (Behind Ruano Pascual and Suarez) with 2988 points and Lindsay Davenport is No. 12 with 1908 points. Serena Williams is holding off Davenport for the No. 11 spot (1927 pts), with Navratilova and Shaughnessy coming in No. 18 and 19.
If you do this based on stats alone, (which was NOT the case in 2000) then Raymond/Davenport take the spot on the sole basis that Venus is not even ranked in the top 100 at the moment.
So what is the solution? Do you look solely at the numbers? Do you give the defending champs a chance? Or
do you form a small doubles tournament during the weeks prior to Athens (exclusive to the Americans) and let the teams who want to contend duke it out?
Or is all this fuss for nothing because no one cares about the Olympics anymore?
-- Chris -- AIM: dieudevin -- Keeper of Henin's awe inspiring backhand, Davenports's three majors (and wins over the Williamses!) and Harkleroad's upsets.
Lindsay Davenport is god.
Proudly cheering on Davenport, Capriati, Shaughnessy, Golovin, Sprem, Dementieva, Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne, Rubin, Washington, Uberoi, Petrova, Zvonareva, Kuznetsova, Fernandez, Schnyder, Rodionova, Morariu, Kirlenko, Sharapova, Mauresmo, and Frazier!