Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: Biggest ever year end #1 ranking injustice
Wozniacki over Kvitova 2011 7 35.00%
Wozniacki over Clijsters 2010 0 0%
Davenport over Clijsters 2005 0 0%
Davenport over Capriati and Venus 2001 5 25.00%
Graf over Sanchez Vicario 1994 2 10.00%
Graf over Seles 1993 3 15.00%
Navratilova over Evert 1978 0 0%
Austin over Evert in one of 1980 or 1981 3 15.00%
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

In the wake of the stupidity of Wozniacki ending 2011 ranked #1 over the more deserving Petrva Kvitova, who had a far superior year, it makes me wonder thinking of a few past cases and which year had the biggest ever injustice as far as the year end #1 ranking. I am curious to what some of the posters who have followed the game a long time such as tennisvideos, Rollo, Sam L, and others think. Here are the main candidates I can think of:

2011- Wozniacki over Kvitova.

2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters

2005- Davenport over Clijsters

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had).

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time)


My vote would still go to Wozniacki ending the year #1 over Kvitova this year though.
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

This year really just takes the cake. In my view the "she [Kvitova] just didn't play enugh argyment holds no water.

Look at the stats:

Kvitova: 58-13 (.816) Won 6 out of 19 events. Titles were Wimbledon, YEC, Madrid, Paris, Brisbane, and Linz.

Aussie QF, French R16 (lost to N, Li eventual champ), Wimbledon won-US Open 1R.

Won titles on all surface and undefeated indoors. 1-0 vs Wozniacki

Wozniacki: 63-17 (1 retirement) (.797) Won 6 of 22 events. Titles were

Indian Wells, Dubai, New Haven, FCC, Brussels, Copenhagen.

Aussie SF, French 3R. Wimbledon-4R, US Open-SF.

0-1 vs Kvitova.

To me there's no comparison. Is Petra a strong #1? No. But she's a clear #1.
Has Caro won the YEC she would have a claim to be #1 even without a slam.
Once again she proved she's not ready for prime time though.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 2011, 03:48 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

Serena with 3 slams in 2009?
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

How I feel about the others (and I added a couple of my own)

Quote:
2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters-no contest Clijsters. We're talking 2 majors to 0 if one counts the YEC.

2008-Jankovic as #1. Ger real. It was Serena Williams.

2006-I agree with Henin as #1, but a case can be made for Mauresmo.

2005- Davenport over Clijsters Clijsters was the clear #1 to me.

2004-No way Davenport was #1. One can argue with who would replace her, but either Henin or Sharapova gets my vote.

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus. Again, no major=no way. Venus is #1 in my book, though there's an argument for the capster.

2000-I have Venus as #1 rather than Hingis. At least Hingis won the yEC and a bucket load of other events, so it's arguable.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario. Sanchez was #1 to me by virtue of winning 2 majors.

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had). Steffi is my clear #1. Not her fault Monica didn't return to tour later in the year.

1990-There's a somewhat good for Monica as #1 in this year.

1987-I have Graf as #1, but Martina has a case.

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1981 was the year I think 3 women had credible cases for #1. Evert was the consensus choice, but Austin (by virtue of 2 majors and head to heads with Chris and Martina) and Martina (who played a full schedule, wobn a major, and by today's standards would be clear #1) have cases.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time). I have Evert as #1, but Martina clearly has a case.


1971-Pre-computer era. I have Goolagong as #1 (as did most pundits) but clearly King had a case.

1966-Most had King as #1 for the year, but there are cases for Bueno and Jones as #1.

1964-was it Bueno or Smith?


Last edited by Rollo; Oct 31st, 2011 at 04:06 PM.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 2011, 04:09 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

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Originally Posted by Imperfect Angel View Post
Serena with 3 slams in 2009?
Serena finished 2009 as #1 so what are you talking about
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 07:12 AM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

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Originally Posted by BlueTrees. View Post
Serena finished 2009 as #1 so what are you talking about
Serena won two Slams in 2009, not three
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

That's not the point. She finished the year as #1 so whether she won two or three is irrelevant.
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

I’m very disappointed with this thread. It’s a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.

Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.

IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.

Looking at the list I can see that some have instinctive criteria, which are not spelled out. These criteria are: only Slam wins matter; all other results (runner-up, semis, etc.) and all other tournaments are irrelevant. At best they are good for determining who is better among Slam winners.

You should understand that tours would never accept this view. It devalues all other tournaments, which form the flesh of the calendar (with Slams being the skeleton). And tours can’t exist only playing Slams – they would go bankrupt.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 01:04 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

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Originally Posted by mick1303 View Post
Iím very disappointed with this thread. Itís a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.

Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.

IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.
I don't see any thing wrong with the thread. It is a perfectly legitimate question.

Everyone will have their own idea of rankings so why can't they give their opinion in a rational manner?

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
How I feel about the others (and I added a couple of my own)

2010- Wozniacki over Clijsters-no contest Clijsters. We're talking 2 majors to 0 if one counts the YEC.

2008-Jankovic as #1. Ger real. It was Serena Williams.

2006-I agree with Henin as #1, but a case can be made for Mauresmo.

2005- Davenport over Clijsters Clijsters was the clear #1 to me.

2004-No way Davenport was #1. One can argue with who would replace her, but either Henin or Sharapova gets my vote.

2001- Davenport over Capriati and Venus. Again, no major=no way. Venus is #1 in my book, though there's an argument for the capster.

2000-I have Venus as #1 rather than Hingis. At least Hingis won the yEC and a bucket load of other events, so it's arguable.

1994- Graf over Sanchez Vicario. Sanchez was #1 to me by virtue of winning 2 majors.

1993- Graf over Seles (since IMO Seles's #1 ranking should have been frozen for 12 months. Who knows she might have returned in late 93 or early 94 if it had). Steffi is my clear #1. Not her fault Monica didn't return to tour later in the year.

1990-There's a somewhat good for Monica as #1 in this year.

1987-I have Graf as #1, but Martina has a case.

1980 and 1981- Evert over Austin. I actually agreed with it, letting alone not thinking it was a big injustice, but again some at the time seemed to dispute it. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that around then to "some" people Wimbledon, U.S Open, Avon, and Colgate Championships were considered the 4 biggest events.

1981 was the year I think 3 women had credible cases for #1. Evert was the consensus choice, but Austin (by virtue of 2 majors and head to heads with Chris and Martina) and Martina (who played a full schedule, wobn a major, and by today's standards would be clear #1) have cases.

1978- Navratilova over Evert (I didnt see it as being obviously wrong, but it seems some did at the time). I have Evert as #1, but Martina clearly has a case.


1971-Pre-computer era. I have Goolagong as #1 (as did most pundits) but clearly King had a case.

1966-Most had King as #1 for the year, but there are cases for Bueno and Jones as #1.

1964-was it Bueno or Smith?
Since Rollo has added in some pre-computer rankings.

1966 How to win friends and influence people!

Even I wouldn't have Jones as #1. It's unfortunate she was carrying the shoulder injury which hampered her and then curtailed the end of her Season. Had she won the German then she had a claim to the top spot. Billie-Jean's early loss at Forest Hills upset the apple-cart and I went with Bueno. Overall the Blasters Panel went 4-3 King.

1971 Very tight but winning the RG/Wimbledon axis which for me is the second most difficult achievement in the game swung it for Yvonee despite the large number of losses. BJ had quite a large number of losses too but she did have a case.

Strangely, letters to World Tennis which was an American publication suggested that the public thought Margaret Court should have been ranked #1!!

1964 Margaret Court is cited as the world #1 in 1964 in the record books but this is because this was Lance Tingay's ranking. Over world correspondent as a whole there was a slight majority in favour of Maria Bueno. IMO Tingay's reasons for choosing Court were well argued and articulate and I agreed with him. Blasters Panel 4-3 Court.

I would add 1960 I have only seen the two rankings Tingay and Ned Potter of WT. Both went for Bueno probably because she won Wimbledon but Darlen Hard won both RG and Forest Hills beating Bueno in both. Maria also lost to Jan lehane at the Australian. The Blasters Panel actually went 4-3 in favour of Hard although I sided with Bueno albeit by the skin of a fart. For large parts of the year Darlene did not play like a #1.

For 1981 I think it depends on your personal view of the rankings. Do you just consider what a player achieves and ignore the losses or take their full results into account?

For me the fact that you may have won 2 Majors as opposed to one does not in itself tkae the #1 spot. You can also argue whether the YEC is on a par with a Slam. Evert also had a deficit in h2hs with both Austin and Navratilova. However, over the year Evert had by far the best record. Austin's losses at the quarter finals to Shriver at both Wimbledon and the Australian which was a strong event that year were of great importance.

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 02:22 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

Why isnt 1987 even listed as an option in the poll? Surely it at least deserves a discussion?

Of even more significance, there's this little gap in Graf's resume the size of the hole in the ozone layer: It's called Monica Seles. Was Graf the best female player of all time? She wasn't even the best in the heart of her career.
- Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated 27/8/01
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

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Originally Posted by Philbo View Post
Why isnt 1987 even listed as an option in the poll? Surely it at least deserves a discussion?
Well personally I never thought 1987 was much of a question. I dont remember many people thinking it was either at the time, but it was a long time ago so I could be wrong. Graf won 12 tournaments (including French Open, Miami, WTA Championships), and her only losses all year were the Wimbledon and U.S Open finals. Yeah Martina won Wimbledon and the U.S Open but she only won 4 tournaments. Graf would have had to go slamless for it to be validly argued it was Martina IMO (or Martina have won a 3rd slam atleast), but as it was Graf won the French Open which pretty much ends it. Otherwise it is taking the slams are everything mantra to a whole new level entirely.

Anyway there isnt enough poll options to include all the years someone wasnt a 110% clear beyond any question to every soul type #1.
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2011, 11:59 PM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

For me 1987 was a case of Graf as #1 with Martina having a case to be #1.

In some regards Martina, honest as ever, sort of set up the controversy (if one can call it that) and then settled it herself.

Before the YEC she stated that she felt that she was #1 rather than Steffi, especially if she won the YEC. When Martina lost early (to Sabatini?) she was quick to concede #1 to Steffi for 1987.

Viewed through today's prism some might be puzzled why Martina even thought she was close. Things were different in 1987 though. For one thing the relative equality of slams was not universally acknowledged. The old view that Wimbledon was the King or Queen of events still prevailed in many quarters. A minority even felt the US Open was worth more the French. And while Martina was even close to Steffi in events won or win-loss percentage, she did reacch the final of all 4 slams.

Anyhow the computer and most expert panelists had Graf as #1. At least two experts had Navratilova as #1 for the year though.
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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 12:31 AM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

Quote:
Posted by Mick303
I’m very disappointed with this thread. It’s a pity that a site, that I grew to respect and admire, stoops to the level of ESPN message board.
I respect your opinion and want to address your concerns here. I don't know what the ESPN message board is like-your post tells me I may not want to know.

If posters here cross a line and are rude and hateful towards each other or players don't hesitate to let me know and I'll address it.

Quote:
Such speculations serve only a purpose to plant hate among the fans of different players. And since fans are faceless on Internet, hate transfers to the players.
If this was a General Messages thread I could see your point, but we get alot less heated here.

The other thing to consider is the historical nature of these controversies. They happened and will continue to happen. People have varying opinions. I find the excitement in these close ranking years draws people to the sport.



Quote:
IMO it is impossible to discuss such matters without clear and precise definition of criteria.
I tend to agree here. This is why at least in my case I have my own ranking system

Quote:
Looking at the list I can see that some have instinctive criteria, which are not spelled out. These criteria are: only Slam wins matter
If you get a chance look at some of Chris Whiteside's threads in our ranking projects. There were more thoughtful posts in those threads than "fans" spouting off.

I'll confess I'm a bit of a "slamist". I weight them a lot because the top players themselves do. When John Mcenroe says it's ridiculous that Caro is ranked #1 he is only saying what every slam champion would say if they could be honest.

Biased? Maybe. But it's a bias that has been with the sport since its birth. The idea that anyone could be #1 without a slam (or at least a major event of significance) has been laughable for well over 100 years until Hingis was so ranked in 2000. it has history behind it, and as a history major and a tennis historian of sorts this thought is more logical and timeless than a computer that will change how it ranks players in time.

Quote:
all other results (runner-up, semis, etc.) and all other tournaments are irrelevant. At best they are good for determining who is better among Slam winners.
All other results? Perhaps, but I find other data makes it way into the argument if the discussion goes on. Graf as #1 in 1987 and 1990 are two examples where the non-slam statistics clearly helped her.

Quote:
You should understand that tours would never accept this view. It devalues all other tournaments, which form the flesh of the calendar (with Slams being the skeleton). And tours can’t exist only playing Slams – they would go bankrupt.
You're right. The tour can't survive on slams alone. But does inflating points for regular tour events really help the regular tour? This approach has been tried for years now (since 1997) and has proved to be, in my view, an utter failure. The men support the tour, while the likes of Serena and Kimmie ignore it (a charitable view) or give it the middle finger (I'll confess that's less charitable).

Samll but significant ranking changes could improve the WTA immensely IMO.

Anyhow, we are likely to disagree-and that's fine. Because I'm confident we will do so in a civilized manner Mick.

Heck-even Chris is still talking to me after I didn't his favorite Ann Jones #1 for 1966 (and she had 2 majors to 1 for all the other contenders that year)
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:50 AM
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Re: Biggest ever rankings injustice- wrongful computer year end #1s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
For me 1987 was a case of Graf as #1 with Martina having a case to be #1.

In some regards Martina, honest as ever, sort of set up the controversy (if one can call it that) and then settled it herself.

Before the YEC she stated that she felt that she was #1 rather than Steffi, especially if she won the YEC. When Martina lost early (to Sabatini?) she was quick to concede #1 to Steffi for 1987.

Viewed through today's prism some might be puzzled why Martina even thought she was close. Things were different in 1987 though. For one thing the relative equality of slams was not universally acknowledged. The old view that Wimbledon was the King or Queen of events still prevailed in many quarters. A minority even felt the US Open was worth more the French. And while Martina was even close to Steffi in events won or win-loss percentage, she did reacch the final of all 4 slams.

Anyhow the computer and most expert panelists had Graf as #1. At least two experts had Navratilova as #1 for the year though.
I always thought that 1987 was a good example of why it was a good thing to have the title of "world champion." So you could have Graf as #1 and Martina as world champion, for holding the most prestigious trophies. So the computer number one could be the sort of dull but accurate workhorse statistics, while the world champion was who was more prominent in the big events. In 1978, you could give the computer #1 to Evert, but world champion to Martina (or should that be the other way round after Evert won the US Open?). I would like to give Austin at least something, say #1 in 1980, but in both the two biggies she lost in the semi-finals (albeit in three sets to the eventual winners). Maybe in 1980 you could grudgingly give Austin #1 (as a sort of consolation prize for everything that happened afterwards)? Evert was clearly "world champion", winning all the big tournaments (Italian, French, US Clay Courts, US Open) and only losing to Evonne in the final of Wimbledon (right after she had beaten her on grass at Chichester). She also beat the defending champion and top seed in the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open.
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