The #1 Ranking, Year-End #1 and the 'Best Player' - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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The #1 Ranking, Year-End #1 and the 'Best Player'

The #1 ranking, The Year-End #1 ranking, and the best player in the world.

For the second time in recent history, we find ourselves with a #1 ranked player who not only doesn’t have a GS title, but who is, in most opinions, NOT the best player in the world. This is not to say that Kim hasn’t earned her raking. She has, without qualification. But the #1 ranking itself is only a means to fair seeding at individual tournaments. If you win Wimbledon and the US Open, then gain 30 pounds and totally lose your game, you’re likely still #1 when OZ rolls around. But you sure aren’t the player who won 2 GS titles in a row.

The Year-End #1 at least limits the effects of other year’s tournaments. But even then, it’s easy to find years where the Year-End #1 didn’t win a GS title. Happened in 2001. It’s like winning the President’s Trophy in the NHL

It’s nice, but it’s not why anyone’s there.

So what are we left with? Who’s the ‘best’ player?

The player who’s likeliest, on past history, to win any given match. Tennis being what it is, we have to say something like ‘averaged over a majority of surfaces’. So it’s more like, if the two players play five matches, indoors and out, on clay, cement, grass, rubber and carpet, who’s going to win most of the time? And, tempting as it is, speculation is to be avoided.

We don’t assume Venus has come up with a plan to beat Serena.

We don’t assume Justine has come up with a plan to beat Venus.

In both cases, the player who has won six or seven times in a row HAS to be favored, regardless of our hopes and dreams.

Being ranked #1 in tennis is becoming the same as holding a ‘world’ title in boxing. It doesn’t even mean anything to long-time fans anymore. Not because it SHOULDN’T be important, but because it’s become increasingly divorced from the realities of winning and losing. There are five players ranked above Venus Williams, and four of them I’d bet on Venus to beat on any surface without a second thought. Yet I don’t advocate changing the ranking system.

I would instead change the focus to winning the championship each year. Not so much a champion’s race concept, but one more like team sports. The goal of each season, for everyone, is winning the ‘playoffs’ and being crowned ‘champion’ at the end.

So the Year End Championships becomes the Super Bowl, and the goal for everyone is winning the Championship, not simply ‘leading the most laps’, i.e. ‘weeks at #1’.

To my mind, this would put Kim’s win at the championships last year, AND her current #1 status, in the proper perspective. Nobody cares if the team that wins the Super Bowl is the best team. They are the WINNING team, and THAT'S what's important.

Similarly, Kim won the WTA's 'Super Bowl' last year. And it's the 750 points from that win that are keeping Kim #1. Andf if you think about it '2002 WTA Champion Kim Clijsters is ranked #1 in the WTA in 2003' sounds commonplace, even ordinary. Last year's champ is often this year's leader in ANY sport.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
The #1 ranking, The Year-End #1 ranking, and the best player in the world.

For the second time in recent history, we find ourselves with a #1 ranked player who not only doesn’t have a GS title, but who is, in most opinions, NOT the best player in the world. This is not to say that Kim hasn’t earned her raking. She has, without qualification. But the #1 ranking itself is only a means to fair seeding at individual tournaments. If you win Wimbledon and the US Open, then gain 30 pounds and totally lose your game, you’re likely still #1 when OZ rolls around. But you sure aren’t the player who won 2 GS titles in a row.

The Year-End #1 at least limits the effects of other year’s tournaments. But even then, it’s easy to find years where the Year-End #1 didn’t win a GS title. Happened in 2001. It’s like winning the President’s Trophy in the NHL

It’s nice, but it’s not why anyone’s there.

So what are we left with? Who’s the ‘best’ player?

The player who’s likeliest, on past history, to win any given match. Tennis being what it is, we have to say something like ‘averaged over a majority of surfaces’. So it’s more like, if the two players play five matches, indoors and out, on clay, cement, grass, rubber and carpet, who’s going to win most of the time? And, tempting as it is, speculation is to be avoided.

We don’t assume Venus has come up with a plan to beat Serena.

We don’t assume Justine has come up with a plan to beat Venus.

In both cases, the player who has won six or seven times in a row HAS to be favored, regardless of our hopes and dreams.

Being ranked #1 in tennis is becoming the same as holding a ‘world’ title in boxing. It doesn’t even mean anything to long-time fans anymore. Not because it SHOULDN’T be important, but because it’s become increasingly divorced from the realities of winning and losing. There are five players ranked above Venus Williams, and four of them I’d bet on Venus to beat on any surface without a second thought. Yet I don’t advocate changing the ranking system.

I would instead change the focus to winning the championship each year. Not so much a champion’s race concept, but one more like team sports. The goal of each season, for everyone, is winning the ‘playoffs’ and being crowned ‘champion’ at the end.

So the Year End Championships becomes the Super Bowl, and the goal for everyone is winning the Championship, not simply ‘leading the most laps’, i.e. ‘weeks at #1’.

To my mind, this would put Kim’s win at the championships last year, AND her current #1 status, in the proper perspective. Nobody cares if the team that wins the Super Bowl is the best team. They are the WINNING team, and THAT'S what's important.

Similarly, Kim won the WTA's 'Super Bowl' last year. And it's the 750 points from that win that are keeping Kim #1. Andf if you think about it '2002 WTA Champion Kim Clijsters is ranked #1 in the WTA in 2003' sounds commonplace, even ordinary. Last year's champ is often this year's leader in ANY sport.
You got it all wrong. The Championships ISN´T the superbowl of tennis. You really want me to believe that Kim was better than Serena ,who win three GS´s last year, just because Kim won the Championships?! Pluuuzzzz!!

So the player who wins the championships is a better than one who wins the GRAND SLAM?!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Wow these 2 posts really show what huge difference their exists between Williams fans: 1 intelligent post by Volcana, and 1 post by bandabou

Goodbye Kim C
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David de pingwin
Wow these 2 posts really show what huge difference their exists between Williams fans: 1 intelligent post by Volcana, and 1 post by bandabou
Sure, sure...for the Kim-fans the championships are the biggest thing....uhm, could it be because it´s still the biggest thing she has won..despite being no.1?!

No player starts the year thinking:" This year my biggest goal is to win the championships!" Don´t fool yourself....it´s all about the slams, the championships are nothing more than a bonus.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandabou
Sure, sure...for the Kim-fans the championships are the biggest thing....uhm, could it be because it´s still the biggest thing she has won..despite being no.1?!

No player starts the year thinking:" This year my biggest goal is to win the championships!" Don´t fool yourself....it´s all about the slams, the championships are nothing more than a bonus.
actually i disagree with Volcana. a Play-off system might work for some team-sports, but in a sport like tennis, where Grand Slams have such a history, the Slams are more important than the championships, and always will be

Nevertheless, I prefer an intelligent post that I disagree with to one of your posts.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandabou
Sure, sure...for the Kim-fans the championships are the biggest thing....uhm, could it be because it´s still the biggest thing she has won..despite being no.1?!

No player starts the year thinking:" This year my biggest goal is to win the championships!" Don´t fool yourself....it´s all about the slams, the championships are nothing more than a bonus.

Now that is bitter

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David de pingwin
actually i disagree with Volcana. a Play-off system might work for some team-sports, but in a sport like tennis, where Grand Slams have such a history, the Slams are more important than the championships, and always will be

Nevertheless, I prefer an intelligent post that I disagree with to one of your posts.
I guess you earned that right,no?!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Instant
Now that is bitter
It ain´t bitterness. It´s like the song:" Es la cruda realidad!"

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana

The player who’s likeliest, on past history, to win any given match. Tennis being what it is, we have to say something like ‘averaged over a majority of surfaces’. So it’s more like, if the two players play five matches, indoors and out, on clay, cement, grass, rubber and carpet, who’s going to win most of the time? And, tempting as it is, speculation is to be avoided.

We don’t assume Venus has come up with a plan to beat Serena.

We don’t assume Justine has come up with a plan to beat Venus.

In both cases, the player who has won six or seven times in a row HAS to be favored, regardless of our hopes and dreams.
Well Justine has REALLY come into her own this year since January (when Venus last beat her, 8-9 months ago). Since then Venus has hardly played at her best either.
Alot changes in 9 months so I think it's as much speculation to say that Venus still owns Justine as it is speculation to say she doesnt.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David de pingwin
actually i disagree with Volcana. a Play-off system might work for some team-sports, but in a sport like tennis, where Grand Slams have such a history, the Slams are more important than the championships, and always will be
I don't know about 'always will be', but you're certainly correct now. I simply disagree with you s to relevance. I'm not trying to diminish the impotance of the Slams. But the WTA doesn't control the Slams. The WTA came into being DESPITE the ITF, not with its help. As it stands, the WTA has allowed a seeding system to become more important than winning their own championship. This is, forgive me, stupid. All it accomplishes is to increase the influence of the ITF, at the WTA's expense. The point of the WTA's season should be to win the WTA championship. As a practical matter, they should avoid competing against the Slams, but being WTA champion for a given year is something they can pump up a little, and should.

Men's golf hold a parallel.

The majors are the most important tournaments, and everyone wnats to win them. But the moment the fourth one is over, the talk turns to 'who will be Player of the Year?' of course, you pretty much have to wina major to BE player of the year, but the point is the tour has it's own way of determining the best player, apart fromthe ranking ists and 'who won the majors'.

In tennis, since there IS a year end championship, as in most sports, the champion for the year would be decided on the court, by defeating the best players, rather than by the vagaries of the ranking system.

And yes, just as in almost every other sport, the best player might lose in the championships. just like World Cup, or cycling, or baseball or the Super Bowl, or curling.

When you get right to it, it doesn't matter who won San Diego last year. Or Rme or Filderstadt or Pattaya. But if the WTA took a page from other sports, and focused more on who would win their championship, complaints about the ranking system and its irrationality might well subside.

It would all make a bit more sense too.

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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.

Last edited by Volcana; Oct 2nd, 2003 at 04:19 PM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LozHippy
Well Justine has REALLY come into her own this year since January (when Venus last beat her, 8-9 months ago). Since then Venus has hardly played at her best either.
Alot changes in 9 months so I think it's as much speculation to say that Venus still owns Justine as it is speculation to say she doesnt.
So we don't say either, we stick with the actual record of matches played between the two.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
I don't know about 'always will be', but you're certainly correct now. I simply disagree with you s to relevance. I'm not trying to diminish the impotance of the Slams. But the WTA doesn't control the Slams. The WTA came into being DESPITE the ITF, not with its help. As it stands, the WTA has allowed a seeding system to become more important than winning their own championship. This is, forgive me, stupid. All it accomplishes is to increase the influence of the ITF, at the WTA's expense. The point of the WTA's season should be to win the WTA championship. As a practical matter, they should avoid competing against the Slams, but being WTA champion for a given year is something they can pump up a little, and should.

Men's golf hold a parallel.

The majors are the most important tournaments, and everyone wnats to win them. But the moment the fourth one is over, the talk turns to 'who will be Player of the Year?' of course, you pretty much have to wina major to BE player of the year, but the point is the tour has it's own way of determining the best player, apart fromthe ranking ists and 'who won the majors'.

In tennis, since there IS a year end championship, as in ,ost sports, the champion for the year would be decided on the court, by defeating the best players, rather than by the vagaries of the ranking system.

And yes, just as in almost every other sport, the best player might lose in the championships. just like World Cup, or cycling, or baseball or the Super Bowl, or curling.

When you get right to it, it doesn't matter who won San Diego last year. Or Rme or Filderstadt or Pattaya. But if the WTA took a page from other sports, and focused more on who would win their championship, complaints about the ranking system and its irrationality might well subside.

It would all make a bit more sense too.

Interesting....if they have done this earlier, then maybe we wouldn´t have to wait till last year to actually see BOTH Williamses playing at the championships.

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