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upperkut
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:33 PM
According to dictionary.com, a fluke is "A stroke of good luck.
A chance occurrence; an accident" ...

If "stroke of good luck" doesn't sound too bad, in tennis world the word "fluke" often carries a negative conotation that undermines one's accomplishments and victories. There is nothing sweeter than being a singles Grand Slam title holder, but if comparable results and titles do not follow, a player's single most important career feat may be tainted as being "just a stroke of unusual luck ...

The following ladies have had the extreme happiness of hosting a singles Grand Slam trophy once in their lives in the past 15 years. Some of them had the chance to do it more than once, but failed on their conquest. What does characterize a Grand Slam title as a fluke? Can you elaborate on which one you think was a fluke and which other ones were not?

Jana Novotna - Wimbledon 98
Iva Majoli - French Open 97
Conchita Martinez - Wimbledon 94
Gabriela Sabatini - US Open 90

and for measurement, let's add Virginia Wade's Wimbledon title in 1977...

DA FOREHAND
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Majoli earned her victory by spanking the number one player in the world...she was a solid top ten player, and her best surface was clay.

Conchita winning Wimbledon was a bit of a fluke.

brunof
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:40 PM
I don't think any of the following players you listed can be considered 'flukish'. Each player won 7 consecutive matches against high level players, in a huge event. I am sure once these players reached the finals they were the ones who picked up it, played solidly and won. That cannot be taken away from them.

irma
Apr 8th, 2004, 07:13 PM
How can it be tainted? When you win you were simply the best that tournament

Sabatini never brought it in slams. In semis and 2 finals she always failed on the moment supreme. The fact that she brought it one time, is not a case of luck. she was simply better on that day (even when I hate that fact and match :lol: )
same for Majoli an even more obvious case because she didn't even reach another slam semi

It just came together for them that tournament. That's no luck. They were simply good enough to do it.

DA FOREHAND
Apr 8th, 2004, 07:16 PM
How can it be tainted? When you win you were simply the best that tournament

Sabatini never brought it in slams. In semis and 2 finals she always failed on the moment supreme. The fact that she brought it one time, is not a case of luck. she was simply better on that day (even when I hate that fact and match :lol: )
same for Majoli an even more obvious case because she didn't even reach another slam semi

It just came together for them that tournament. That's no luck. They were simply good enough to do it.


She thrashed Hingis, not even allowing a break point.

TheBoiledEgg
Apr 8th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Gaby should have won Wimbledon 91 as well, she choked serving for match :(

plus she was a match away from being #1.

croat123
Apr 8th, 2004, 11:46 PM
iva played one of the best matches i've seen vs. martina. hingis couldn't even get into the match and majoli wasted like 10 break points early in the match before finally taking control. it could have been even more convincing. + she had wins over just about everyone in the top ten (except graf) and a few tier i's under her belt and already had 2 clay court titles that season. and she had been ranked as high as number 5 before that win.

novotna isn't a fluke. it was her third final. she was a top player. her playing style was perfect for grass.

i didn't watch tennis before 97, so i can't comment on the last too, but, if you look at the names, both gabriela and conchi are tennis legends (even if conchi doesn't like grass, her slice is killer on the surface)

arcus
Apr 9th, 2004, 12:43 AM
For me a "fluke" implies that the person was lucky in that they wouldnt have normally been expected to win. Like if I got a wild card into a slam and all my opponents retired due to overwhelming scabies or something !!!!!!!!!!!!


Sabatini oozed talent and looked awesome, novotna oozed talent and, er, em, oozed some more talent. For me, the surprise is that they didnt win more slams. Damn, I would have hated it if they had never won slams............

Personally I would have liked to see sukova and claudia khode-kilche (?sp) win a slam or two. Great players, very stylish.

True flukes in tennis? hmmmmm Thats a tough one.......
Its certainly weird that martinez wins wimbledon, but only made the finals, of the french once............. Majoli winning the french, well she was a quality player, but that one comes close if you consider that she never made the semis of any of other slam.
I was going to say kodes in the wimbledon boycott year, but he also had won the french twice. I'll have to think about more.

croat123
Apr 9th, 2004, 12:44 AM
but majoli had never lost before the 4th round in rg...

Mr_Molik
Apr 9th, 2004, 12:49 AM
jana, conchi and gaby all made other slam finals, so they cannot b considered as a fluke. it may have been a fluke that conchi won wimby, but i think she deserved it after all her titles
with majoli, i think the other slams r irrelevant. clay is her best surface and she had never lost b4 the 4th rd at RG, so i dont think it was a fluke either.

Volcana
Apr 9th, 2004, 12:54 AM
1) Do we count Virginia Wade's 68 US Open and '72 AusOpen titles as flukes as well?

2) NONE of those are flukes. ALL those players were top ten players for YEARS before winning that title.

3) You want a seemingly 'flukey' GS win. Chris O'Neil 1978 OZ champ. The only tournament she ever won. She could have been Kournikova. Instead, she's a GS champ.

A fluke win is one that isn't backed up by a solid body of work, at or near that level. Majoli had been a top ten player for three or four years before winning RG, and clay was her best surface. If you had asked who would win if none of the big names did, Majoli would have been most people's reply that year.

If you've won a Tier I or two, and have been a top ten player for 3+ years, before OR after, no GS win is a fluke.

When you've done nothing in your career anywhere near the level of a win, that's when you've got a fluke. The most obvious recent example is Hantuchova's win at IW. She did spend a good solid year in the top ten. But she never won another tournament, and her game has tanked. But if she came back and won a couple Tier II's, I'd stop saying that wn was a fluke, and recall the words of the Grateful Dead.

'What a looooooooooong, strange trip it's been'.

arcus
Apr 9th, 2004, 01:01 AM
Here's a great question, who was the grand slam champion with the lowest career high ranking?

Kart
Apr 9th, 2004, 02:25 AM
2) NONE of those are flukes. ALL those players were top ten players for YEARS before winning that title.

I agree.

Volcana
Apr 9th, 2004, 02:32 AM
Arcus- You mean in the open era?
I don't know the answer, but I can narrow it down for you. Since we've even HAD rankings for the women, I know that virtually every GS winner EVENTUALLY became a tope ten player, if they weren't already.

There are only two possibly four exceptions.

Virgina Ruzici
Mima Jausovec
Barbara Jordan
Chris O'Neil

Let's put on our research caps.

Jausovec - Ended 1976 ranked #8, so we throw her out.

Ruzici - Don't know her highest ranking, but she won 14 tournaments. In '78, won singles and doubles at RG, and made the mixed final. She could play.

It's gotta be one of these two.
Barbara Jordan
Chris O'Neil

Both only ever won one WTA tournament. Both won a GS that one time.

Lifetime Records
----------------
Jordan 21-63
O'Neil 19-53

mexicotrip
Apr 9th, 2004, 04:28 AM
The men's side has a LOT OF FLUKES...(see French Open 2003)

arcus
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:17 AM
Arcus- You mean in the open era?
I don't know the answer, but I can narrow it down for you. Since we've even HAD rankings for the women, I know that virtually every GS winner EVENTUALLY became a tope ten player, if they weren't already.

There are only two possibly four exceptions.

Virgina Ruzici
Mima Jausovec
Barbara Jordan
Chris O'Neil

Let's put on our research caps.

Jausovec - Ended 1976 ranked #8, so we throw her out.

Ruzici - Don't know her highest ranking, but she won 14 tournaments. In '78, won singles and doubles at RG, and made the mixed final. She could play.

It's gotta be one of these two.
Barbara Jordan
Chris O'Neil

Both only ever won one WTA tournament. Both won a GS that one time.

Lifetime Records
----------------
Jordan 21-63
O'Neil 19-53

Good post Volcana.
I was thinking of Mima J, but had forgotten about ruzici. I cant find her peak ranking, but I know she was top 10 in 81, and in 79 she was top seed in the australian (and lost in the first round, and in doing so joined an illustrious band of slam-top-seed-round-one-losers, including graf and hingis).

Im not sure how much weight to put on o'neill and jordan, cos (I might draw ire for saying this) the aus open at that stage just wasnt as prestigious as it is now. (well, e.g. ruzici was top seed in 79!!).

I guess my point in asking the question was that its quite rare for a player to be a slam champion to never have made it to No. 1, and even rarer not to have made top 3.
i.e. very few real "flukes".



:) :) :)

Mr_Molik
Apr 9th, 2004, 08:55 AM
i think ruzici go to 8 in the world