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Robbie.
Nov 16th, 2004, 12:28 AM
Firstly I'd like to congratulate Lindsay on finishing the year as #1. She now becomes only the fifth woman - joining Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Hingis to finish the year the number one three times or more. Her achievements this year also moved her up the all time prizemoney list to third behind Graf and Navratilova. She is one of the all time greats, no question about that; her place in history is assured. However, as has become the norm when any player attains a high level of achievement, there are detractors out there trying to tear down it's significance and legitimacy.

The chief tactic employed by these detractors is the "you have to win a major to deserve the number one ranking" mantra trotted out ad nauseum. This statement is a fallacy that can only be entertained for any sustained period by small minds. It has never been the case in golf, the structure of which - with 4 "majors" - is, more than any sport, most similar to tennis. For years, #1's have been recognised in that sport as legitimate without winning majors.

Anyone with some sense can see that the two achievements - winning a major and being #1 - are conceptually distinct. There is no reason why they should necessarily be bound up together. In women's tennis, which has a history of being dominated by one or two supreme athletes the distinction may have, in the past, been masked in practice by this dominance; it became commonly accepted that the dominant player throughout the season would also be the dominant player in the majors. However as the tour evens out the distinction between the two concepts will become more evident, as has been the case in the last half decade. A slamless #1 can nevertheless be a legitimate #1.

The conceptual difference is really quite elementary. Winning a major involves peaking for a two week event at one venue in one tournament, becoming #1 involves the sustaining of a high level for an 11 month season across tournaments, across continents. They are profoundly different achievements. Lindsay is #1 this year but she hasn't won a GS. She isn't credited with a GS but she is credited with being number one and she deserves it because she has sustained the highest level of play of any player all year. She has been the standard all year, winning the most titles of anyone, and when she doesn't win the winner usually has to go through her to get the cookies. No one else this year can lay claim to being that standard. In a year so even as 2004, that's what you expect of a #1 player. The same goes for Martina in 2000.

If the winners of the Grand Slams are not good enough over the rest of the season to become #1 then that is that. The same logic that says having a grand slam is a prerequisite for #1, leads necessarily to the conclusion that no non-slam winner should ever be allowed to rank above a slam winner which is an absurd situation that would not only kill the tour but would change the very nature of the #1 ranking as an achievement.

Ultimately I think that what is behind the "you have to win a major to be number one" mantra is a feeling that the real currency by which we assess a player's greatness is Grand Slam titles. I have no problem with prioritizing winning slams over the #1 ranking for an historical assessment. However, they are two distinct concepts. You DONT have to win a major to be a legitimate #1. It's not something inherent in the concept. Being #1 should be considered ON IT'S OWN, not with the caveat that a particular player didn't win a major in the period that they held the #1 ranking.

On the scale of achievements where does the #1 ranking rank in relation to winning slams? Well it's a subjective thing I guess. To be considered among the all time greats you probably need to have achieved both at some point. What I will urge people to note before they dismiss the significance of being #1 is that, historically, getting to #1 is a much rarer achievement than winning a Grand Slam. How many GS winners have their been in the since 1975 (when rankin's began)? My Count is 30. There have only been 14 #1's.

Just_lindsay
Nov 16th, 2004, 12:35 AM
Firstly I'd like to congratulate Lindsay on finishing the year as #1. She now becomes only the fifth woman - joining Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Hingis to finish the year the number one three times or more. Her achievements this year also moved her up the all time prizemoney list to third behind Graf and Navratilova. She is one of the all time greats, no question about that; her place in history is assured. However, as has become the norm when any player attains a high level of achievement, there are detractors out there trying to tear down it's significance and legitimacy.

The chief tactic employed by these detractors is the "you have to win a major to deserve the number one ranking" mantra trotted out ad nauseum. This statement is a fallacy that can only be entertained for any sustained period by small minds. It has never been the case in golf, the structure of which - with 4 "majors" - is, more than any sport, most similar to tennis. For years, #1's have been recognised in that sport as legitimate without winning majors.

Anyone with some sense can see that the two achievements - winning a major and being #1 - are conceptually distinct. There is no reason why they should necessarily be bound up together. In women's tennis, which has a history of being dominated by one or two supreme athletes the distinction may have, in the past, been masked in practice by this dominance; it became commonly accepted that the dominant player throughout the season would also be the dominant player in the majors. However as the tour evens out the distinction between the two concepts will become more evident, as has been the case in the last half decade. A slamless #1 can nevertheless be a legitimate #1.

The conceptual difference is really quite elementary. Winning a major involves peaking for a two week event at one venue in one tournament, becoming #1 involves the sustaining of a high level for an 11 month season across tournaments, across continents. They are profoundly different achievements. Lindsay is #1 this year but she hasn't won a GS. She isn't credited with a GS but she is credited with being number one and she deserves it because she has sustained the highest level of play of any player all year. She has been the standard all year, winning the most titles of anyone, and when she doesn't win the winner usually has to go through her to get the cookies. No one else this year can lay claim to being that standard. In a year so even as 2004, that's what you expect of a #1 player. The same goes for Martina in 2000.

If the winners of the Grand Slams are not good enough over the rest of the season to become #1 then that is that. The same logic that says having a grand slam is a prerequisite for #1, leads necessarily to the conclusion that no non-slam winner should ever be allowed to rank above a slam winner which is an absurd situation that would not only kill the tour but would change the very nature of the #1 ranking as an achievement.

Ultimately I think that what is behind the "you have to win a major to be number one" mantra is a feeling that the real currency by which we assess a player's greatness is Grand Slam titles. I have no problem with prioritizing winning slams over the #1 ranking for an historical assessment. However, they are two distinct concepts. You DONT have to win a major to be a legitimate #1. It's not something inherent in the concept. Being #1 should be considered ON IT'S OWN, not with the caveat that a particular player didn't win a major in the period that they held the #1 ranking.

On the scale of achievements where does the #1 ranking rank in relation to winning slams? Well it's a subjective thing I guess. To be considered among the all time greats you probably need to have achieved both at some point. What I will urge people to note before they dismiss the significance of being #1 is that, historically, getting to #1 is a much rarer achievement than winning a Grand Slam. How many GS winners have their been in the since 1975 (when rankin's began)? My Count is 30. There have only been 14 #1's.

Well said! :D

Congratulations to Graf :worship: , Navratilova :worship: , Evert :worship: , Hingis :worship: , Seles :worship: , The Williamses :worship: :worship: , Henin-Hardenne :worship: , Davenport :worship: , Austin :worship: , Capriati :worship: , Clijsters :worship: , Sanchez-Vicario :worship: , and Mauresmo :worship: ... the cream of the crop of women's tennis... all deserve their place in the annals of tennis history.

fammmmedspin
Nov 16th, 2004, 12:48 AM
In the land where no one who won GS was consistent and no one who was consistent could get to a major final, the person who wins most tournaments is queen - seems fair.

Add to that the "who beat whom", "who won most matches", "who has a relatively clear rankings point lead lead over every GS winner" and the "who on earth else could be number 1?" arguments and the case for Lindsay is too obvious to need defending.

bandabou
Nov 16th, 2004, 12:56 AM
Bravó, bravó.....well said.

As long as the being no.1 or ending year as no.1 doesn´t become more of a measuring stick than the actual WINNING of majors.

E.g.: Lindsay might well have ended three years as no.1 and won three majors, but I´d still say that Serena with only one year end no.1 but with 6 majors was better.

Fingon
Nov 16th, 2004, 01:17 AM
Firstly I'd like to congratulate Lindsay on finishing the year as #1. She now becomes only the fifth woman - joining Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Hingis to finish the year the number one three times or more. Her achievements this year also moved her up the all time prizemoney list to third behind Graf and Navratilova. She is one of the all time greats, no question about that; her place in history is assured. However, as has become the norm when any player attains a high level of achievement, there are detractors out there trying to tear down it's significance and legitimacy.

there is no doubt that Davenport deserves her place in history, I wouldn't go that far to consider her one of the all time greats with only 3 GSs though.
Anyway, her place in history is because of what she has achieved overall, not this year.


The chief tactic employed by these detractors is the "you have to win a major to deserve the number one ranking" mantra trotted out ad nauseum. This statement is a fallacy that can only be entertained for any sustained period by small minds. It has never been the case in golf, the structure of which - with 4 "majors" - is, more than any sport, most similar to tennis. For years, #1's have been recognised in that sport as legitimate without winning majors.

so? then we should be playing 18 holes in tennis. Since when the gold tour doing it makes it right?

Anyone with some sense can see that the two achievements - winning a major and being #1 - are conceptually distinct. There is no reason why they should necessarily be bound up together.

I might not have any sense then because I do believe they are bound together

In women's tennis, which has a history of being dominated by one or two supreme athletes the distinction may have, in the past, been masked in practice by this dominance; it became commonly accepted that the dominant player throughout the season would also be the dominant player in the majors. However as the tour evens out the distinction between the two concepts will become more evident, as has been the case in the last half decade. A slamless #1 can nevertheless be a legitimate #1.

for sure they can be # 1, the question is what the # 1 means, and it should mean the best player, or close to it, when two players without even a GS final hold it, then it's obvious it has lost all meaning.

The conceptual difference is really quite elementary. Winning a major involves peaking for a two week event at one venue in one tournament, becoming #1 involves the sustaining of a high level for an 11 month season across
whatever, winning a major means peaking when it matters, ask any player, including Davenport what they prefer, you would be surprised (if they give you an honest answer and not one prepared by the wta press office).

They are THE price. My favourite used to be Martina Hingis, she was # 1 without a major and I said several times that I would have been happy if she lost her # 1 but won a major.

Justine is my favourite now, I couldn't care less if she is # 1 or not, but I want her to win GSs. She wins IW? the Olympics? nice, but it has no meaning compared to the GSs, being # 1 should be a consequence, not an end.

tournaments, across continents. They are profoundly different achievements. Lindsay is #1 this year but she hasn't won a GS. She isn't credited with a GS but she is credited with being number one and she deserves it because she has sustained the highest level of play of any player all year.

I beg to differ, she hasn't sustained the highest level of play of any player all year, she didn't at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, the US Open, or even the YEC, those are 11 of the 13 combined more important weeks of the year, it's when it matters.

She has been the standard all year,

what? all year? LMAO, she really started winning big after after Wimbledon, very poetic rethoric but frankly, not much substance.

winning the most titles of anyone, and when she doesn't win the winner
usually has to go through her to get the cookies.
so?, they have to go through many players, 7 to be exact, according to this then Capriati should also be in contention.

No one else this year can lay claim to being that standard. In a year so even as 2004, that's what you expect of a #1 player. The same goes for Martina in 2000.
exactly, neither should have been # 1.


If the winners of the Grand Slams are not good enough over the rest of the season to become #1 then that is that.
what about winning the titles when the winners of the GSs are injured, off form, but the winners of the GSs where in form, once again, when it mattered.

The same logic that says having a grand slam is a prerequisite for #1, leads necessarily to the conclusion that no non-slam winner should ever be allowed to rank above a slam winner which is an absurd situation that would not only kill the tour but would change the very nature of the #1 ranking as an achievement.
talking about fuzy logic, I would is illogic logic, since when if you say that winning a slam is a prerequisite to be # 1 means that a non-slam winner can't be ranked above a slam winner, huh?, being ranked higher isn't the same as being # 1.
Kill the tour? that's the funniest part, the rankings are completely messed up, and the # 1 has nothing to do with that, They have been rewarding poinsts based on injury rankings when the rules clearly say the opposite, there are a big number of misplacement in the ranking not to mention the numerous errors the wta makes, if it was up to the ranking, the tour would be dead long ago. People want to watch tennis, not follow statistical tables.

Ultimately I think that what is behind the "you have to win a major to be number one" mantra is a feeling that the real currency by which we assess a player's greatness is Grand Slam titles.
exactly, you got it finally

I have no problem with prioritizing winning slams over the #1 ranking for an historical assessment. However, they are two distinct concepts. You DONT have to win a major to be a legitimate #1. It's not something inherent in the concept. Being #1 should be considered ON IT'S OWN, not with the caveat that a particular player didn't win a major in the period that they held the #1 ranking.

I think I answered that before.

On the scale of achievements where does the #1 ranking rank in relation to winning slams?

let's put it this way

winning a slam 1000 points
being # 1 10 points

Well it's a subjective thing I guess. To be considered among the all time greats you probably need to have achieved both at some point.
not really, only the slams, I think you have to be in double figures of GS titles to be considered an all time great.

What I will urge people to note before they dismiss the significance of being #1 is that, historically, getting to #1 is a much rarer achievement than winning a Grand Slam.

of course, that's not the point, there are a number of factors involved, that doesn't mean it's a better achievement, it's also more difficult to stay naked in the snow, but it doesn't mean much does it?

How many GS winners have their been in the since 1975 (when rankin's began)? My Count is 30. There have only been 14 #1's.
the GSs are the only tournaments that people watch, they are on tv nearly everywhere, the GS winners appear on the front page of newspapers, are invited to tv programs, # 1s are not known outside the tennis fan base

Fingon
Nov 16th, 2004, 01:18 AM
Bravó, bravó.....well said.

As long as the being no.1 or ending year as no.1 doesn´t become more of a measuring stick than the actual WINNING of majors.

E.g.: Lindsay might well have ended three years as no.1 and won three majors, but I´d still say that Serena with only one year end no.1 but with 6 majors was better.
was there any doubt?

Fingon
Nov 16th, 2004, 01:19 AM
Bravó, bravó.....well said.

As long as the being no.1 or ending year as no.1 doesn´t become more of a measuring stick than the actual WINNING of majors.

E.g.: Lindsay might well have ended three years as no.1 and won three majors, but I´d still say that Serena with only one year end no.1 but with 6 majors was better.
Serena is the best current active player (if we don't consider Monica as active).

Reasons, she won move singles GS titles than anyone else, and she's won all four of them, being # 1 is not even in the mix.

bandabou
Nov 16th, 2004, 01:47 AM
You echo my sentiments about this matter exactly, fingon.....

AlexB
Nov 16th, 2004, 02:16 AM
ill go even further....if a player lets say is year end number 1 for 10 years straight and didnt win one major in that period (highly unlikely as that seemss), ide consider that player the best player of all time.

Robbie.
Nov 16th, 2004, 02:26 AM
there is no doubt that Davenport deserves her place in history, I wouldn't go that far to consider her one of the all time greats with only 3 GSs though.
Anyway, her place in history is because of what she has achieved overall, not this year.


so? then we should be playing 18 holes in tennis. Since when the gold tour doing it makes it right?

I might not have any sense then because I do believe they are bound together

for sure they can be # 1, the question is what the # 1 means, and it should mean the best player, or close to it, when two players without even a GS final hold it, then it's obvious it has lost all meaning.
whatever, winning a major means peaking when it matters, ask any player, including Davenport what they prefer, you would be surprised (if they give you an honest answer and not one prepared by the wta press office).

They are THE price. My favourite used to be Martina Hingis, she was # 1 without a major and I said several times that I would have been happy if she lost her # 1 but won a major.

Justine is my favourite now, I couldn't care less if she is # 1 or not, but I want her to win GSs. She wins IW? the Olympics? nice, but it has no meaning compared to the GSs, being # 1 should be a consequence, not an end.

I beg to differ, she hasn't sustained the highest level of play of any player all year, she didn't at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, the US Open, or even the YEC, those are 11 of the 13 combined more important weeks of the year, it's when it matters.

what? all year? LMAO, she really started winning big after after Wimbledon, very poetic rethoric but frankly, not much substance.
so?, they have to go through many players, 7 to be exact, according to this then Capriati should also be in contention.
exactly, neither should have been # 1.

what about winning the titles when the winners of the GSs are injured, off form, but the winners of the GSs where in form, once again, when it mattered.
talking about fuzy logic, I would is illogic logic, since when if you say that winning a slam is a prerequisite to be # 1 means that a non-slam winner can't be ranked above a slam winner, huh?, being ranked higher isn't the same as being # 1.
Kill the tour? that's the funniest part, the rankings are completely messed up, and the # 1 has nothing to do with that, They have been rewarding poinsts based on injury rankings when the rules clearly say the opposite, there are a big number of misplacement in the ranking not to mention the numerous errors the wta makes, if it was up to the ranking, the tour would be dead long ago. People want to watch tennis, not follow statistical tables.
exactly, you got it finally

I think I answered that before.

let's put it this way

winning a slam 1000 points
being # 1 10 points
not really, only the slams, I think you have to be in double figures of GS titles to be considered an all time great.

of course, that's not the point, there are a number of factors involved, that doesn't mean it's a better achievement, it's also more difficult to stay naked in the snow, but it doesn't mean much does it?

the GSs are the only tournaments that people watch, they are on tv nearly everywhere, the GS winners appear on the front page of newspapers, are invited to tv programs, # 1s are not known outside the tennis fan base
What a hostile post :lol:

Fingon, I've read enough of your posts to know that you have a brain but I'm sorry your completely wrong on this one.

You managed to get through a whole post purporting to dissect mine, without in fact ever rebutting any of my material arguments.

You place no significance on number one and put all the weight on GS. IMO that's the wrong thing to do. If slams are more important then why have TWICE the number of players who have been #1 won Grand Slams? They are two completely distinct achievements, aside from the fact that winning a GS contributes to your points tally.

Your comment that Lindsay didn't set the standard this year is false. Setting the standard doesn't mean winning every tournament it means being the player to beat eachtime you step out. You mention 6 tournaments over the year. At 4 out of those 6 the winner had to go through her to win at late stages of the tournament, at another the finalist had to go through her, and at the YEC she may well have beaten the overall champion in their round robin match up. Elsewhere she has been pretty much unbeatable. While other players have had higher peaks, no one had come close to matching her high level consistency week in week out. It may be a sad indictment on the year but Lindsay is the only one who was presenting herself to win in the late stages of tournaments in January, presenting herself to win in June and July, and presenting herself to win in November. This year that makes her the standard bearer and the rightful number one. This year.

What you call fuzzy logic, is not fuzzy logic at all. If you want a ranking system that ENSURES that you can't be number one without a GS, which is the only way that you see #1 as having any credibility, then you have to ENSURE that the Grand Slam winners are the only possible contenders for the title. That is you only qualify to be ranked in the top 4 if you have a GS and from those four is selected the player with the best results overall. Otherwise your logic of GS being supreme goes out the window. How can you say that to be ranked number one you need a GS, that the players who win the GS are the only ones entitled to be number one, but it is ok for the #2 player to be slamless while the #3 and #4 players are GS winners? How does a ranking system like that uphold the logic of supremacy of the slams?

And I think therein lies your problem. You don't consider the #1 ranking within it's context. It doesn't purport to be anything other than a crown for the player who has collected the most points over a calendar year. That player has almost always set the standard throughout year. Considered like that, getting to number one means something. That's why every tennis player aspires to it, irregardless of where it ranks in relation to winning a GS title. That's why only 14 people have ever done it. What is wrong is that people want the ranking system, an objective measure, to reflect who they see as "the best", which is a subjective measure. All your arguments against my post are subjective arguments; from what the players think to what you want for your fave players to what other fans think. You mention the fact that casual tennis fans only know Grand Slam winners. Aside from the fact I don't think this is true (I actually think the 14 number ones are far more recognisable than say Iva Majoli or Chris O'Neill or Kuznetsova or Myskina to the general public), even if it was, it is only a subjective understanding of the best player, based on a subjective weight of importance placed on the GS titles. The ranking system is not wrong, just because the players who won the GS's this year, your 4 "best" players of the year, did not sustain a high enough standard over 17 tournaments to be number one.

Fingon
Nov 16th, 2004, 03:32 AM
What a hostile post :lol:
really?

Fingon, I've read enough of your posts to know that you have a brain but I'm sorry your completely wrong on this one.
really?

You managed to get through a whole post purporting to dissect mine, without in fact ever rebutting any of my material arguments.
no, actually dissecting your post, I normally answer that way because I go through all the points and it's easier than going back to read, and I do think I rebutted your material arguments, but it's a matter or opinion I guess.

You place no significance on number one and put all the weight on GS. IMO that's the wrong thing to do.
really? according to who?, if I can choose between Justine being # 1 not holding any slams or winning one GS and not ever being # 1 I would choose the former, without hesitation.
If I could choose between her winning 1 GS and nothing else, or winning all the non-gs titles, I would also choose the first option.

Everyone has heard of Wimbledon, Roland Garros, the US Open, the Australian Open, not many people outside tennis know there is a ranking.

If slams are more important then why have TWICE the number of players who have been #1 won Grand Slams? They are two completely distinct achievements, aside from the fact that winning a GS contributes to your points tally.

I don't see how the number of players who achieved one or the other has any relation with the point. Of course they are two completely different achievements, the point is which one is worth more, no contest IMO, especially because the WTA has degraded the quality of the ranking with its marketing driven changes. The ranking has been reduced to a joke in the past few years, especially this year (no relation with Davenport being # 1). It reward quantity not quality.

Your comment that Lindsay didn't set the standard this year is false. Setting the standard doesn't mean winning every tournament it means being the player to beat eachtime you step out.

I don't think she was the player to beat every time she stepped out. She wasn't at the Australian Open, she wasn't at Indian Wells, she wasn't at Roland Garros, she wasn't at Wimbledon, she wasn't at the US Open, she wasn't at the YEC. You might think she was, that's your opinion, fine, but what's your base to say she was the player to beat? while Justine was healthy she was the player to beat. And later, even with Serena in bad form, she was perceived more like the player to beat than Davenport. Yes, she won 3 tournaments in a row, and that's remarkable, but everyone knows that Venus and Serena are playing well under par, Kim and Justine are not even playing, Mauresmo is a choker and Maria and Sveta are still developing their game. True, she was the best player during that period, but it was only when the other top players were injured/off form, when Justine was healthy she faced Lindsay twice and won both, how could Lindsay be the player to beat througout the year?, or you mean while Justine wasn't playing?

You mention 6 tournaments over the year. At 4 out of those 6 the winner had to go through her to win at late stages of the tournament, at another the finalist had to go through her, and at the YEC she may well have beaten the overall champion in their round robin match up.
I honestly don't see what that has to do with anything, Capriati lost to Myskina in RG, so? it's the first time that "going through her" is a measure of greatness.

Elsewhere she has been pretty much unbeatable.
keyword, elsewhere, not at the big stages, not with Justine healthy, not with Maria playing well.

While other players have had higher peaks, no one had come close to matching her high level consistency week in week out.

hmmm, then you can say she was the most consistent, even that is arguable but I can give you that, more consistent doesn't mean best.

It may be a sad indictment on the year but Lindsay is the only one who was presenting herself to win in the late stages of tournaments in January, presenting herself to win in June and July, and presenting herself to win in November. This year that makes her the standard bearer and the rightful number one. This year.
well, Justine in January actually won the tournaments, so she did in February, then got ill, when she came back she won as well, then got ill again, so when she's been healthy she's won, that says something.

What you call fuzzy logic, is not fuzzy logic at all. If you want a ranking system that ENSURES that you can't be number one without a GS, which is the only way that you see #1 as having any credibility, then you have to ENSURE that the Grand Slam winners are the only possible contenders for the title.
first, I never said I want to a system that ensures that. The reason why Lindsay was # 1 was because, yes, she was consistent and the players that dominated the two previous years were either injured, ill, or coming back from a long injury. In the case of Mauresmo you can add the artificially inflater YEC points

That is you only qualify to be ranked in the top 4 if you have a GS and from those four is selected the player with the best results overall. Otherwise your logic of GS being supreme goes out the window. How can you say that to be ranked number one you need a GS,
not really, this year has been atypical for the injuries of the top players, but normally, players that win slams are ranked at the top unless you have ridiculous distortions like what the YEC creates, and that's clearly a flaw in the ranking system. Davenport isn't # 1 because the system is flawed but for other reasons, but the system is still flawed and that a big part of the reason why I don't give it too much weight.

that the players who win the GS are the only ones entitled to be number one, but it is ok for the #2 player to be slamless while the #3 and #4 players are GS winners? How does a ranking system like that uphold the logic of supremacy of the slams?

again, you are putting words in my mouth (or fingers), I didn't say that, I say that GSs are more important than being # 1. Let me remind you that Lindsay (and Amelie) isn't only slamless, she hasn't even been to a final of a GS. Besides the purpose of seedings, the ranking should reflect as accurately as possible who the best players are, and the current ranking (and many before) just don't go with the general perception.

Again, this year is atypical and I don't see how you could tweak the ranking for not allowing Davenport or Mauresmo to be # 1, thinking that Kim and Justine hardly played, and Serena is still bothered by her knee injury, but, the ranking is still flawed and that has nothing to do with Davenport, we can discuss that if you want, but in fact the ranking now is just an statistical game, without meaning, the wta, by employing people that has no clue whatsoever about statistics has done this. The ranking is so flawed that IMO they need to redo all rankings since the beginning of the year, and as quick as the WTA is to fine the player, they should compensate with money to those players that were hurt by this joke of a system.

And I think therein lies your problem. You don't consider the #1 ranking within it's context. It doesn't purport to be anything other than a crown for the player who has collected the most points over a calendar year.

wrong and wrong, that's the race, and it's not a crown, you are describing a championship, or a race, not a ranking, a ranking by definition is and oustanding system, it measures level of play (or should) not standings. Notice that the ITF champion and the WTA player of the year are not choosen based on rankings, not even the WTA trusts its own system.

Other than a cake, the # 1 receives nothing, the only crowns are for winning tournaments.

That player has almost always set the standard throughout year. Considered like that, getting to number one means something.

I really have problems with that.

In 2002, Serena Williams set the standard, not because she was # 1 but because she won 3 GSs.

Last year Justine set the standard, because she won 2 GSs and more titles than Serena who also won 2 (true, Serena was injured after Wimbledon) even though she didn't reach the # 1 until Zurich, funny thing, she was setting the standards before that, when she got to # 1 she wasn't playing well and hardly setting any standard.

That's why every tennis player aspires to it, irregardless of where it ranks in relation to winning a GS title.
I don't think every tennis player aspires to it, every tennis player aspires to win GSs, that's for sure.

That's why only 14 people have ever done it.

the only reason why only 14 people has done it is because as I said, the system rewards quantity over quality, it wasn't like that when it was an average system and then, the # 1s were multiple GS winners. The first player to hold the # 1 without a slam was Martina Hingis. Notice that under the average systems the # 1s were Evert, Navratilova, Austin, Graf and Seles, that's since 1975 to 1986, 11 years.

since the actual system is in place, you had 7 new # 1s in 8 years, that's precisely when the system stopper rewarding quality and started rewarding quantity (which was the admitted purpose of changing the system).

What is wrong is that people want the ranking system, an objective measure, to reflect who they see as "the best", which is a subjective measure.
the ranking system doesn't reflect a reality, no matter how "objective" it is.

All your arguments against my post are subjective arguments; from what the players think to what you want for your fave players to what other fans think.
it's about perception, if a system yields a result that doesn't agree with reality, then it's wrong, and they are "subjective" opinions of people that know about tennis, I am not the only one that thinks that way.

You mention the fact that casual tennis fans only know Grand Slam winners. Aside from the fact I don't think this is true (I actually think the 14 number ones are far more recognisable than say Iva Majoli or Chris O'Neill or Kuznetsova or Myskina to the general public),
none is recognizable to the general public. The level of recognition has nothing to do with rankings, or winning slams, Anna Kournikova is the most recognized player.
Chris Evert was the american sweetheart.
Martina Navratilova was controversial
Monica Seles was stabbed.
Steffi Graf set impressive records.
Martina Hingis was controversial.
The Williams sisters are a trade mark.
Capriati was controversial.

Those are the well recognized # 1s. Austin, Justine, Kim, Davenport are not known to the general public.

But people that are not tennis fans do watch the slams, they are on TV everywhere, they are in the newspapers. Who the # 1 is buried in page 5 of the sport sections.

even if it was, it is only a subjective understanding of the best player, based on a subjective weight of importance placed on the GS titles. The ranking system is not wrong, just because the players who won the GS's this year, your 4 "best" players of the year, did not sustain a high enough standard over 17 tournaments to be number one.
No, the ranking system is wrong for a number of reasons, as I said, this year was atypical, with one GS winner out most of the year, 2 who won earlier than expected, before their games were fully matured (remember that Maria is still under the AER) and Myskina, honestly I think she was lucky to win one.