Originally Posted by chris whiteside
On page 23 you mention Rino Tommasi's statistical method of ranking and 1961 is mentioned. Is it possible that this is saying that he began them then?
No, that's another matter - we only mentioned his method.
I would be very interested for any SIMPLE explanation you could give regarding the method - I did try to read the Wiki article but it was way over my head!
I'll try. As you highlighted SIMPLE, I'll stay "simple" as most as possibile.
1) The Elo method was invented in the sixties, and applies to chess. Today it provides reliable rankings in chess, but we must remember these rankings are always related to the whole career
, not the last year or couple of years. So the method is unreliable if you want "real-time" rankings. For the same reason - whole career - it's very good for GOAT analysis instead.
2) Nobody worries, in chess, about the "whole career" problem, because decline is slow. Sometimes, especially if a player comes back after long inactivity, it IS a problem.
3) As there are many similarities between chess and tennis, Mazak suggested to apply ELO method to tennis.
4) As there are some differences between chess and tennis, I modified some of the method's parameters according to these differences.
5) The method works this way: the matches are all the same, tournaments do not matter (that's one of the thing I modified). Only matches count. Players start the professional career at 2000 points' level. When two players meet, the winner gains points, the loser loses the same points. If difference between them is great, few points are gained (if the stronger
player wins). If difference is great, many points are gained (if the weaker
6) Mathematical formulas rule the method. In chess, as the players start at 2000 points, these formulas imply that elite players are ranked between 2600-2700, sometimes up to 2800; null players are ranked at 1300-1400, with absolute starters at 1200. As I confirmed the 2000 points rule, the tennis's rankings are similar to the chess ones.
7) Now, the important thing.
8) This is NO GOAT. This is dominance level achieved, opponents considered
. Certanly a strong indicator of who the GOAT may be, but not the only one. I myself believe this to be the most important indicator, but there are also longevity, number of victories in majors, H2H against main opponents, polyvalence, number of victories in minors, as we all know.
9) So that's the reason why Seles and Graf are almost equal. Seles has less victories, less longevity, little polyvalence, but dominance level is similar. It doesn't matter if dominance lasted 2-3 years or much more. If dominance lasted enough to become unquestionable, that's good for the ELO method (in chess there are a lot of significant examples).
10) Last but not least, forgive me if my english is far from perfect. At least I don't use Babelfish!