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View Full Version : #1 or a Slam? (another version)


densuprun
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Let's see what people answer to this question.

Imagine your name is Evonne Goolagong. You've won 6 GS titles already but haven't been #1, ever, because of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. You can choose to end your career with either 7th slam or reaching the top spot. Your choice?

manu32
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:07 PM
another slam......

RenaSlam.
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:08 PM
slam...duh.

Timariot
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:12 PM
In this situation, it is truly a no-brainer - #1 is a very exclusive club, whilst the difference between 6 and 7 Slams legacy-wise is minimal.

*roddicksinme*
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:14 PM
#1 for sure

Helen Lawson
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:14 PM
I thought she had seven slams?
I'd go with No. 8.

SvetaPleaseWin.
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:28 PM
the no.1 spot-shes already won enough slams-you gotts put the icing on top with the no1 ranking

le bon vivant
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:30 PM
If I already had 6 slams, Id rather be #1 at that point.

crazyroberto6767
Sep 27th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Another slam, rankings are just numbers, while grand slams are a true testament to a player's potential/skill.

terjw
Sep 27th, 2005, 09:11 PM
I thought she had seven slams?
I'd go with No. 8.

Hmm - I like the thought of her giving up her 7th slam (Wimbledon 1980) for #1. Then Chris Evert wins that one. :devil: I was so disappointed Chris didn't win - never looked like even getting into the match that day. The rain interruptions didn't change her fortunes either.

Anyway - assuming she could chose between slam #8 and #1 ranking - I'd say slam #8 if it was the US Open cos she never won that - but probably go for #1 ranking more than winning one of the other slams she'd already won before.

Volcana
Sep 27th, 2005, 09:15 PM
In this situation, it is truly a no-brainer - #1 is a very exclusive club, whilst the difference between 6 and 7 Slams legacy-wise is minimal.We went over this in another thread (A brief, incomplete treatise on the WTA ranking system, and the #1 ranking (http://wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=193111)), so I won't repeat it all here, but #1, under the divisor sytem, is a very exclusive club. Under the 'best 17' system, it's a lot less exclusive.

There were six #1's in 21 years under the divisor system.

There have been NINE #1's in only seven years under versions of the current system; 'best 17 tournaments' or 'best 18 tournaments.

(There was one year, 1997, where they used a total point system a la the current Porsche system.)

I ceratinly can't see a player giving up a slam title for the #1 ranking NOW. Our current #1 didn't even make a slam final this year. Measured against that, actually winning a slam is a much more significant accomplishment.

Sam L
Sep 27th, 2005, 09:19 PM
I'll take #7 thanks.

WhatTheDeuce
Sep 27th, 2005, 09:21 PM
Obviously number 1. :retard:

densuprun
Sep 27th, 2005, 11:37 PM
bump.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:44 AM
We went over this in another thread (A brief, incomplete treatise on the WTA ranking system, and the #1 ranking (http://wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=193111)), so I won't repeat it all here, but #1, under the divisor sytem, is a very exclusive club. Under the 'best 17' system, it's a lot less exclusive.

There were six #1's in 21 years under the divisor system.

There have been NINE #1's in only seven years under versions of the current system; 'best 17 tournaments' or 'best 18 tournaments.

(There was one year, 1997, where they used a total point system a la the current Porsche system.)

I ceratinly can't see a player giving up a slam title for the #1 ranking NOW. Our current #1 didn't even make a slam final this year. Measured against that, actually winning a slam is a much more significant accomplishment.

Under the same logic, there has been 4 different Slam winners 2 years in a row now, so one could question how exclusive is that. Notice how some people always bitch when some lower-ranked player wins a Slam? According to them, it reduces prestige of the Slam if someone like Johansson or Costa can win it without doing anything noteworthy rest of the year.

I haven't crunched up the numbers personally, but under divisor system there would have been almost as many different #1's; of course, that is somewhat of a redundant excorcise since players tune their schedule according to ranking system. But the fact is that list of obscure and forgotten Slam winners over the last 30 years is lot longer than list of obscure and forgotten #1's.

For someone like Goolagong in this hypothetical situation who is already a multiple Slam champion, adding up another Slam does little legacy-wise (unless she completes career Slam, and that is lot less relevant for women anyway). When you've already won 6 Slams, winning 1 more isn't going to make people remember you better. By contrast, #1 ranking would be completely new milestone.

skanky~skanketta
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:47 AM
numero uno.

unless, of course, it was a slam i haven't won yet. ;)

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:58 AM
The issue with this whole #1 debate is that #1 USED to really be associated with a player who is the best, but in the past few years there have been 4 #1's who weren't the best player at the time. Davenport 2001, Hingis 2001, Clijsters 2003, Mauresmo 2004. Now in 2005 we have Lindsay and Sharapova. It's getting ridiculous.

Lady
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:16 AM
If I already had 6 slams, Id rather be #1 at that point.

Yep! The same here! :)

#1 is very incredible achievemnt. People may not know how important are slams (I didn't know when I started watching tennis), but #1 is something that all people understand and appreciate! ;)
It's one hell of an achievement. Only 15 made it that far in the open era.

Lady
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:17 AM
The issue with this whole #1 debate is that #1 USED to really be associated with a player who is the best, but in the past few years there have been 4 #1's who weren't the best player at the time. Davenport 2001, Hingis 2001, Clijsters 2003, Mauresmo 2004. Now in 2005 we have Lindsay and Sharapova. It's getting ridiculous.

Yeah, it's kinda lost its prestige. Unfortunately. :(

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:40 AM
In the days before computer rankings (ie november 75) many journalists published a top 10 at the end of the season. Evonne was the almost unanimous choice for #1 in 1971, the year in which she won RG and Wimbledon back-to-back and was runner up in Oz (and may well have won it but for cramps in the final). She didn't play the US Open that year. Most people, therefore, including the WTA, recognise that Evonne, like BJK and Margaret Court, was an Open era #1.

All that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Evonne would go for a US Open title - the only one she is missing from her collection. She only played there six times, reached 4 finals and lost them all.

By the way, if any of you guys ever get a chance to see any of the 74 final vs Billie Jean King, go for it because it is champagne tennis and shows what wonderful shotmakers these two could be.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:46 AM
Let's see what people answer to this question.

Imagine your name is Evonne Goolagong. You've won 6 GS titles already but haven't been #1, ever, because of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. You can choose to end your career with either 7th slam or reaching the top spot. Your choice?

Depending on the Slams I've won...

If I have won all the Slams before (Aus, FO, Wim, US), #1 is a priority.
If I haven't won either of the Slams yet, I rather win that elusive slam.

Having won all 4 slams is an achievement. Adding the #1 is the iceing on the cake. :drool:

Maria Croft
Sep 28th, 2005, 07:58 AM
No career is complete without the top spot, especially if you already had won more GS titles

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 08:02 AM
The issue with this whole #1 debate is that #1 USED to really be associated with a player who is the best, but in the past few years there have been 4 #1's who weren't the best player at the time. Davenport 2001, Hingis 2001, Clijsters 2003, Mauresmo 2004. Now in 2005 we have Lindsay and Sharapova. It's getting ridiculous.

It's because of this thing called "parity". We who have followed ATP for more than 2 years know all about it. Get used to it.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 08:05 AM
Depending on the Slams I've won...

If I have won all the Slams before (Aus, FO, Wim, US), #1 is a priority.
If I haven't won either of the Slams yet, I rather win that elusive slam.

Having won all 4 slams is an achievement. Adding the #1 is the iceing on the cake. :drool:

It should be noted that for a player of the '70s, career Slam meant nothing. "Anyone can win 'Grand Slam' that way, the trick is to win them all in same year" they would have said. Concept of the 'career Slam' only became important when it became obvious that Roland Garros was only milestone missing from Sampras' legacy, and then Agassi won it and completed CGS. And also, because real "Grand Slam" is just about impossible to achieve, especially on men's tour, so people settle for next best thing.

Add-on: though, on Goolagong's case, she might actually prefer USO instead of #1 because she was in the final four times and, more importantly, 4 of her Slams were Australian Opens which were next to worthless, so in reality she had only three Slams.

zoefie
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:22 AM
In this situation, it is truly a no-brainer - #1 is a very exclusive club, whilst the difference between 6 and 7 Slams legacy-wise is minimal.

I agree :)

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:29 AM
I agree :)

Compare the number of women who have been #1 since 1968 with the number who have won 7 slams and tell me which is the more rare.

7 slams:
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Graf
Seles
Serena Williams

#1
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Austin
Graf
Seles
Sanchez-Vicario
Hingis
Davenport
Capriati
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Henin
Clijsters
Mauresmo
Sharapova

terjw
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:16 AM
Denesprun - could you answer did you actually mean before she won her 7th slam at Wimbledon and are askinking us to chose between actually dropping that last slam and the #1 ranking - or did you really mean chose between slam #8 and #1 ranking?

Compare the number of women who have been #1 since 1968 with the number who have won 7 slams and tell me which is the more rare.

7 slams:
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Graf
Seles
Serena Williams

#1
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Austin
Graf
Seles
Sanchez-Vicario
Hingis
Davenport
Capriati
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Henin
Clijsters
Mauresmo
Sharapova

The point is - depending on Denesprun's answer - she's already IN the 7 slams list without needing another one. I don't know what the list of 6 grand slam winners looks like - relevant if the question really is about dropping her last slam when she only had 6 - but I'd expect the same applies - that she's already in an exclusive list and adding a #7 doesn't really do much.

A list of USO winners (which she never won) would also be relevant.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 11:57 AM
Compare the number of women who have been #1 since 1968 with the number who have won 7 slams and tell me which is the more rare.

7 slams:
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Graf
Seles
Serena Williams

#1
Court
King
Goolagong
Evert
Navratilova
Austin
Graf
Seles
Sanchez-Vicario
Hingis
Davenport
Capriati
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Henin
Clijsters
Mauresmo
Sharapova

That's not the point. We are comparing 7 titles and 6 titles and #1.

MLF
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Well I know that Evonne would always have taken the slams titles. She's always said she just loved to play and to try and win tournaments. Prizemoney and rankings weren't her real motivation.

I think people alwaysd overlook the fact she won 7 singles grand slam titles.

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:05 PM
That's not the point. We are comparing 7 titles and 6 titles and #1.

The list is the same for 6 titles, by the way. I understand that if you're a woman with 6 major titles but no number 1 spot, you may feel that number 1 is more of a priority but this hasn't yet happened (at least in the last 50 years).

I was just trying to show that winning 7 career slams is less frequent than hitting number 1. Venus, Justine, Kim (not if she retires early) and Masha may make 7 titles and be number 1 but Tracy, Arantxa, Martina H, Jen, Amélie and Lindsay are all unlikely to get to 7 major titles while all have been #1.

I'd take the 7th major every time.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Denesprun - could you answer did you actually mean before she won her 7th slam at Wimbledon and are askinking us to chose between actually dropping that last slam and the #1 ranking - or did you really mean chose between slam #8 and #1 ranking?

That's exactly what I was asking. Imagine this questin posed to Evonne before that Wimbledon.

fOxYLiCiOuS
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:27 PM
#1 :hearts:


I'd be very happy with 6 GS Titles. :D

Volcana
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Compare the number of women who have been #1 since 1968 with the number who have won 7 slams and tell me which is the more rare.
7 slams: 8 achievers
#1: 18 achievers

Very interesting. I wonder at what point the lists are even. There are no Open era six slams winners. Two five-time winners, two four-time winners (am I overlooking someone?). Three-time winners; Davenport, Wade, Capariti ...

Even winning three slams in the Open era is harder than getting to #1.

Robbie.
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:28 PM
7 slams: 8 achievers
#1: 18 achievers

Very interesting. I wonder at what point the lists are even. There are no Open era six slams winners. Two five-time winners, two four-time winners (am I overlooking someone?). Three-time winners; Davenport, Wade, Capariti ...

Even winning three slams in the Open era is harder than getting to #1.

In form, your post reads as if it is degrading the number one ranking when in substance it is actually simply confirming what the non slam-centric have always maintained; that reaching number one is worth more than winning one GS.

You'll find that the numbers are about equal at 2 slams. There have been 17 women to have won 2 or more slams, and 18 number ones.

In the most rudimentary terms, therefore, the number one ranking = 2 slams.

I'd say that's about right as well.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Good point.

Philip
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:36 PM
For Evonnes situation, i would have to say the number on spot.
She deserved it!

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:53 PM
The point of this poll was to take people away from the Serena-Maria perspective where the biases of fans skew the results.

I didn't want to ask about an imaginary player with n slams and no #1 because then most people would probably imagine their favorite player in her place and the results would be skewed again.

So, I picked a historic player who 90% of the posters here, probably, haven't seen play or, at least, don't feel one way or another about her. I also think that the specifics of her situation were not known to most posters here. (I think that was more or less the case until AndyT started talking about pre-1975 slams and #1's). The point, of course, was not about Evonne and whether she herself would prefer #1 or the 7th slam. The question was about an imaginary player. That was, perhaps, the best way to do it, without actually making people think about Serena, Maria or whoever.

Anyway, the results show that 60-65% of posters here think that #1 has a value that is more than that of one more slam in an already significant collection of slam wins. Good.

TonyP
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:54 PM
I think that when you get up in that territory slam wise, another one would be less meaningful than having reached number one in the world. But again, there are people who reign a very short period of time there and they will not be remembered for being number one.

Sanchez Vacario in my view will always be thought of as a woman who won four slams, not as a former number one, because she held it for a very short period of time. And Mauresmo will not be remembered for either unless she gets her act together. If she never wins a big one, people who always remember her as a talented player, but a head case who could not close out big matches.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:56 PM
Mauresmo is an exception among number ones, let's not bring her into discussion. She is not your average #1.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 02:09 PM
Actually, I should have said THE exception. She is the only #1 without slams, now that Kim has one.

thrust
Sep 28th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Evonne was a wonderful player who was a joy to watch. Ballet like movement, beautiful all court game and a delightful court personality. Her main problem was mental consistancy. She just wasn^t as mentally tough as Court, Evert, or King. Therefore, she was probably never ranked #1 but was always a potential winner in any tournament she entered. She did win many tournaments, including 7 slams and is well deserving of being a Hall of Famer. It is true that the AO may not have had as strong a field as the other Slams, but usually, the top players did play there in the 60^s and 70^s. Court beat Bueno, who was the #1 ranked player in her first AO before the Finals while Lehane beat other top players before the finals. Evonne did beat Evert in one of her finals there, therefore I feel it is unfair to call the AO victories worthless, or even near worthless.

thrust
Sep 28th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Another thing, Evonne was one of those players who^s personality and court demenor was nearly as impressive as her game, as well as was her life story. She came from the Outback from a very poor family. She sort of fell into tennis. Evert, in contrast, grew up playing tennis in a tennis oriented family. This is not to disparage Evert^s accomplishments, but her early tennis life gave her a definite advantage over Evonne.

terjw
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:09 PM
The point of this poll was to take people away from the Serena-Maria perspective where the biases of fans skew the results.

I didn't want to ask about an imaginary player with n slams and no #1 because then most people would probably imagine their favorite player in her place and the results would be skewed again.

So, I picked a historic player who 90% of the posters here, probably, haven't seen play or, at least, don't feel one way or another about her. I also think that the specifics of her situation were not known to most posters here. (I think that was more or less the case until AndyT started talking about pre-1975 slams and #1's). The point, of course, was not about Evonne and whether she herself would prefer #1 or the 7th slam. The question was about an imaginary player. That was, perhaps, the best way to do it, without actually making people think about Serena, Maria or whoever.

Anyway, the results show that 60-65% of posters here think that #1 has a value that is more than that of one more slam in an already significant collection of slam wins. Good.

Denesprun - the only thing you might consider in your conclusion is that a number of us valued winning a particular slam which she hasn't already got higher than #1 ranking - e.g. in this case the US Open - but valued #1 ranking above winning another slam where she already had on (Wimbledon, FO, AO). I couldn't indicate this in the poll - so just voted #1 ranking - and the others that thought this way probably did likewise.

Dexter
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:48 PM
#1

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 04:26 PM
It's because of this thing called "parity". We who have followed ATP for more than 2 years know all about it. Get used to it.

The ATP hasn't had a bad string of #1's like the WTA. The #1 changed hands a couple times in 2003, but at that time Juan Carlos Ferrero and then Roddick both could be considered the #1 at the time they held it, now another dominant #1 has emerged in Roger Federer. One could even argue that Hingis in 2000 wasn't really the best player, but I'll give her a pass cause she was still playing top level tennis good enough to win Grand Slams and won 9 titles.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Also I'd like to add that if I was going to be world #1 without holding one or two slam titles and not being considered the best player at the time then I'd take the 7th slam.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:12 PM
Longest periods with a new first time #1 each year:

ATP: 1998-2001: 7 new first time #1 in 3.5 years
WTA: 2001-2005: 7 new first time #1 in 4 years
My guess is that we won't see a new first time #1 in 2006 so this transitional period is over.

ATP has had a higher rate of new #1 in 1998-2001 than WTA had ever had.
They also had 3 new #1 in 4.5 months in 1999 and 3 new #1 in 5 months in 2003-2004.

stijntje
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:24 PM
I would definetly go for that number one spot...

DA FOREHAND
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Let's see what people answer to this question.

Imagine your name is Evonne Goolagong. You've won 6 GS titles already but haven't been #1, ever, because of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. You can choose to end your career with either 7th slam or reaching the top spot. Your choice?


I would choose to slam the next poster of such a thread :fiery:

Veenut
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:40 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that great champions always opt for winning slams at all times. If the players lack the confindence to win slams, then they will settle for the second best which is for #1. Formerly slam winners didn't need to choose between the two because winning slams would almost assure that you would be #1 concurrently. It has just been in recent years where the system has diluted the value of the #1 position where you can consistently make it to late rounds without even winning and be #1.

IMO if #1 represents the best and you can't win one out of four majors for the year, how can you convince your peers that you are better. Where is the distinction between you and your peers?

Another point is that the main factor in the present scenario is due to the numerous injuries. If the better players were healthy, then the situation would not arise. I would just consider this another fluke and move on and hopefully things will get better and correct itself later.

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 07:06 PM
The point of this poll was to take people away from the Serena-Maria perspective where the biases of fans skew the results.

I didn't want to ask about an imaginary player with n slams and no #1 because then most people would probably imagine their favorite player in her place and the results would be skewed again.

So, I picked a historic player who 90% of the posters here, probably, haven't seen play or, at least, don't feel one way or another about her. I also think that the specifics of her situation were not known to most posters here. (I think that was more or less the case until AndyT started talking about pre-1975 slams and #1's). The point, of course, was not about Evonne and whether she herself would prefer #1 or the 7th slam. The question was about an imaginary player. That was, perhaps, the best way to do it, without actually making people think about Serena, Maria or whoever.

Anyway, the results show that 60-65% of posters here think that #1 has a value that is more than that of one more slam in an already significant collection of slam wins. Good.

Sorry, Densuprun if my post about Evonne's situation skewed the question you were wanting to ask. If you pick a particular player, though, you have to look at her entire situation, not just select the bits that fit into the scenario you want to present. I believe Evonne would have taken that 7th major (whichever major it happened to be) because of the importance that was attached to majors to a woman who played in an era when the computer determined #1 only became a reality half way through her career.

However, maybe nowadays the relative importance of these things has changed and unfortunately we don't have someone who fits the scenario you describe.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 07:09 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that great champions always opt for winning slams at all times. If the players lack the confindence to win slams, then they will settle for the second best which is for #1. Formerly slam winners didn't need to choose between the two because winning slams would almost assure that you would be #1 concurrently. It has just been in recent years where the system has diluted the value of the #1 position where you can consistently make it to late rounds without even winning and be #1.

When the system switched from min.divisor-12 to best-17 it did diminish the contribution of slams into the rating. However, the main difference is not the system but the fact that we don't have slam winners who are consistent for a long time. In every 5 year period from the start of the rankings there was a #1 who continuously stayed in the top spot for 80 weeks or more. Not in the last 5 years.

1976-1980: Evert (140 weeks)
1981-1985: Navratilova (156 weeks)
1986-1990: Graf (175 weeks)
1991-1995: Seles (91 weeks)
1996-2000: Hingis (80 weeks)
2001-2005: S. Williams (just 57 weeks)

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Sorry, Densuprun if my post about Evonne's situation skewed the question you were wanting to ask. If you pick a particular player, though, you have to look at her entire situation, not just select the bits that fit into the scenario you want to present. I believe Evonne would have taken that 7th major (whichever major it happened to be) because of the importance that was attached to majors to a woman who played in an era when the computer determined #1 only became a reality half way through her career.

Don't worry, Andy. Most people voted with minimal information about Evonne and that is fine.

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 07:30 PM
When the system switched from min.divisor-12 to best-17 it did diminish the contribution of slams into the rating. However, the main difference is not the system but the fact that we don't have slam winners who are consistent for a long time. In every 5 year period from the start of the rankings there was a #1 who continuously stayed in the top spot for 80 weeks or more. Not in the last 5 years.

1976-1980: Evert (140 weeks)
1981-1985: Navratilova (156 weeks)
1986-1990: Graf (175 weeks)
1991-1995: Seles (91 weeks)
1996-2000: Hingis (80 weeks)
2001-2005: S. Williams (just 57 weeks)

Absolutely. Basically, from 75 to 96 (or 98/9 if you feel Hingis should be included), there was one woman or a pair of women who were clearly above the rest (transition years like 80/81 or 90 excepted). Since then, we've had a series of women who have dominated for 12-18 months mixed with periods when no one woman has established herself ahead of the pack either through erratic form or absence due to injury. In such circumstances, it is inevitable that the top spot on the rankings will change more frequently.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:10 PM
The ATP hasn't had a bad string of #1's like the WTA.


What did I just said? I guess you weren't around at 1998-2000. ATP was so embarrassed about their #1 players then, that they changed the ranking system to Champion's Race - which of course, produced mighty "World #1" Fabrice Santoro and Magnus Norman... :rolleyes:

But today, few people remember that Kafelnikov lost like 7 straight matches during his epic #1 reign.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:14 PM
Also I'd like to add that if I was going to be world #1 without holding one or two slam titles and not being considered the best player at the time then I'd take the 7th slam.

Nobody would care about that few years later, just like nobody cares if you get lucky and win a Slam without meeting a top 20 opponent.

As I said, Sampras first made #1 with zero Slams to Courier's 2, and nobody remembers that anymore.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:20 PM
What did I just said? I guess you weren't around at 1998-2000. ATP was so embarrassed about their #1 players then, that they changed the ranking system to Champion's Race - which of course, produced mighty "World #1" Fabrice Santoro and Magnus Norman... :rolleyes:

But today, few people remember that Kafelnikov lost like 7 straight matches during his epic #1 reign.

Norman and Santoro were never world #1, I dunno where you got that from. The champions race doesn't decide who is world #1, the entry rankings do. I definitely know about Kafelnikov, but that still doesn't make it as big a problem on the ATP as it is on the WTA.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:21 PM
When the system switched from min.divisor-12 to best-17 it did diminish the contribution of slams into the rating. However, the main difference is not the system but the fact that we don't have slam winners who are consistent for a long time.

Yes, exactly. We've had so many players who win a Slam or two and then get sick or injured. For example in case of Venus in 2000, she basically got to play only half of the year.

By the way, situation in the '70s on ATP was that other players (mostly Borg) were winning the big titles, but Connors tenaciously held on to #1 ranking, although he won only few Slams during that period and almost always lost to Borg. How did he do it? He abused the system - US tour events were much overrated points-wise, and Connors played them against obscure opposition when most of the other elite players were playing each other in Europe. You sure don't see this being brought up much nowadays.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:21 PM
Nobody would care about that few years later, just like nobody cares if you get lucky and win a Slam without meeting a top 20 opponent.

As I said, Sampras first made #1 with zero Slams to Courier's 2, and nobody remembers that anymore.

What year was that?? I'm speaking about recent times, who cares what happened over 10 years ago??

terjw
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:32 PM
Norman and Santoro were never world #1, I dunno where you got that from. The champions race doesn't decide who is world #1, the entry rankings do. I definitely know about Kafelnikov, but that still doesn't make it as big a problem on the ATP as it is on the WTA.

Well I certainly remember Norman ranked #1. Don't take my word though - just found this headline http://tennis.about.com/library/weekly/aa051500.htm

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:33 PM
Norman and Santoro were never world #1, I dunno where you got that from. The champions race doesn't decide who is world #1, the entry rankings do.

See, that's your problem - you are only aware how things are on ATP over last couple of years. When Champions' race was introduced in 2000, ATP tried to bury entry rankings completely and never mentioned them in the press. I think at first you couldn't even find them anywhere, and the formula was not made public (though it was easy to figure out). Champions' Race leader was treated as world #1 by ATP - which is why you can still sometimes hear "former world #1 Magnus Norman"*. Safin, by contrast, was never talked about as world #1 because he never led the race. ATP even put out an article pointing out how silly results 52 week ranking system brought compared to Race, which much more accurately reflected recent achievments. Tennis Magazine - always so in touch with things :rolleyes: - actually kept publishing Race rankings for ATP instead of entry rankings until very recently.

Fans, however, refused to recognize Race #1 and kept following entry rankings. Death knell came in 2003, when Agassi re-gained entry #1 from Hewitt. This was a big publicity event, and ATP simply COULD NOT ignore it.

*story goes that on some WTA player meeting, Dominique van Roost was ridiculing ATP's Race and their "#1 Magnus Norman, who the hell is he", resulting Hingis (who was dating Norman at the time) stepping up to his defence.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:34 PM
What year was that?? I'm speaking about recent times, who cares what happened over 10 years ago??

And the proof just keeps coming - 10 years from now, Knizzle Jr does not care at all that Mauresmo had no Slams when she was #1 :devil:

terjw
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:36 PM
I believed when they announced the race they said it was to replace the current world ranking system.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:38 PM
See, that's your problem - you are only aware how things are on ATP over last couple of years. When Champions' race was introduced in 2000, ATP tried to bury entry rankings completely and never mentioned them in the press. I think at first you couldn't even find them anywhere, and the formula was not made public (though it was easy to figure out). Champions' Race leader was treated as world #1 by ATP - which is why you can still sometimes hear "former world #1 Magnus Norman"*. Safin, by contrast, was never talked about as world #1 because he never led the race. ATP even put out an article pointing out how silly results 52 week ranking system brought compared to Race, which much more accurately reflected recent achievments. Tennis Magazine - always so in touch with things :rolleyes: - actually kept publishing Race rankings for ATP instead of entry rankings until very recently.

Fans, however, refused to recognize Race #1 and kept following entry rankings. Death knell came in 2003, when Agassi re-gained entry #1 from Hewitt. This was a big publicity event, and ATP simply COULD NOT ignore it.

*story goes that on some WTA player meeting, Dominique van Roost was ridiculing ATP's Race and their "#1 Magnus Norman, who the hell is he", resulting Hingis (who was dating Norman at the time) stepping up to his defence.

I KNOW WELL WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, BUT NORMAN ISN'T NOW CONSIDERED EVER TO BE WORLD #1 GEEEZ. YOU'RE TOO FULL OF YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS THE SAME THINGS THAT YOU KNOW. I WASN'T BORN YESTERDAY.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:41 PM
And the proof just keeps coming - 10 years from now, Knizzle Jr does not care at all that Mauresmo had no Slams when she was #1 :devil:

That's fine, but we aren't 10 years in the future, we are in the present and at the present time our "World #1" isn't the clear cut best player in the world same with Mauresmo before and Lindsay after that. I never said the ATP never had ranking problems, I just said they haven't had as much as the WTA in the same period we were discussing.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:46 PM
I KNOW WELL WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, BUT NORMAN ISN'T NOW CONSIDERED EVER TO BE WORLD #1 GEEEZ.

Of course he isn't NOW. But back then, ATP truly tried to get him over as world #1. One reason why Race didn't work was that #1 position changed hands too often.

And yes, contrary to what you claim, ATP #1 fiasco in 1999 was far greater than anything on WTA. One glaring PR problem was that Sampras whipped up Agassi in Wimbledon final, but dropped his #1 position to Agassi - who finished the year as #1 despite losing to Sampras 4 times straight sets, including YEC final.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:50 PM
That's fine, but we aren't 10 years in the future, we are in the present and at the present time our "World #1" isn't the clear cut best player in the world same with Mauresmo before and Lindsay after that.

That's because there is no "clear cut best player" in the moment. Clijsters is closest to making that claim, and she is indeed leading the Race, and probably will finish the year as #1.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Of course he isn't NOW. But back then, ATP truly tried to get him over as world #1. One reason why Race didn't work was that #1 position changed hands too often.

And yes, contrary to what you claim, ATP #1 fiasco in 1999 was far greater than anything on WTA. One glaring PR problem was that Sampras whipped up Agassi in Wimbledon final, but dropped his #1 position to Agassi - who finished the year as #1 despite losing to Sampras 4 times straight sets, including YEC final.

Yes, but the ATP's "fiasco" was caused by a ranking change with them going to the champions race. The WTA's problem is just being caused by certain players playing more than others and amassing a ton of points. Can you understand that??

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:53 PM
That's because there is no "clear cut best player" in the moment. Clijsters is closest to making that claim, and she is indeed leading the Race, and probably will finish the year as #1.

So you think Sharapova is the best player in the world?? Even over the last 52 weeks? Not in terms of points, but in terms of who you consider to be the best from actually watching the players play and seeing the results of what happens when certain players play.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:55 PM
I would want to be Number One so when they would announce your name
Evonne Goolagong
6 time Grand Slam Champion and Former World Number One instead of
7 time Grand Slam Champion

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Yes, but the ATP's "fiasco" was caused by a ranking change with them going to the champions race.


No, you fail to understand that it was the Best of 14 rankings fiasco, which brought up the Champion's Race, which of course was far bigger fiasco. ATP changed the system because they thought like short-sighted tennis newsgroup posters and decided that #1 position was devalued, and ended up devalueing the system even more.


The WTA's problem is just being caused by certain players playing more than others and amassing a ton of points. Can you understand that??

So Sharapova, Davenport and Clijsters should cut their schedule because Serena, Venus and Henin are getting injured so often?

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:03 PM
So you think Sharapova is the best player in the world?? Even over the last 52 weeks?


Why not? Remember, she won YEC last year (beating Serena in the final). As you said, rankings are calculated over 52 weeks.


Not in terms of points, but in terms of who you consider to be the best from actually watching the players play and seeing the results of what happens when certain players play.

Why is that relevant? Surely you do realize that WTA cannot possibly include h2h results to rankings.

Had ATP done that, Ferreira and Krajicek would have racked up many weeks as #1 during the Sampras era...

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:04 PM
No, you fail to understand that it was the Best of 14 rankings fiasco, which brought up the Champion's Race, which of course was far bigger fiasco. ATP changed the system because they thought like short-sighted tennis newsgroup posters and decided that #1 position was devalued, and ended up devalueing the system even more.

The point is that the ATP created the problem when they went to that system. An immediate problem, with the WTA they had no real problem until Hingis in 2001 because the #1 player was usually the best on the WTA



So Sharapova, Davenport and Clijsters should cut their schedule because Serena, Venus and Henin are getting injured so often?

No, but I think those who are doing better from tourney to tourney should be rewarded more than those who are doing just above average from tourney to tourney. The fact that you can play 25 tournaments and lose first round in 8 of them and have them NOT count in your ranking is preposterous.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Why not? Remember, she won YEC last year (beating Serena in the final). As you said, rankings are calculated over 52 weeks.

It's a simple yes or no question.



Why is that relevant? Surely you do realize that WTA cannot possibly include h2h results to rankings.

Had ATP done that, Ferreira and Krajicek would have racked up many weeks as #1 during the Sampras era...

I didn't say H2H should count, but some players show up on the bigger stages and win and others lose on the big stage and play 20 smaller events to make up for it. Points per tournament.

Ryan
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:12 PM
I would rather have seven slams and not be #1, than be #1 with no slams. The latter is looked on more negatively, whereas winning slams without being #1 would just be a very unique distinction. :D

Ryan
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:18 PM
The point is that the ATP created the problem when they went to that system. An immediate problem, with the WTA they had no real problem until Hingis in 2001 because the #1 player was usually the best on the WTA


No, but I think those who are doing better from tourney to tourney should be rewarded more than those who are doing just above average from tourney to tourney. The fact that you can play 25 tournaments and lose first round in 8 of them and have them NOT count in your ranking is preposterous.


I agree. Hingis played a remarkably consistant game in 2000-01 to stay at #1, while her biggest rivals (J-Cap and Venus) did not play enough to take #1 away. Now, I think there are six players who can lay claim to the #1 spot, all of whom HAVE won slams, and HAVe been #1. The 4 slam winners this year spring to mind, and of the 4 Clijsters has been the most dominant. Davenport IMO wont win another slam after three golden opportunities this year, but Maria definately should in 2006, so I see her attaining the #1 spot as further incentive for her to do well. Venus and Serena need to STAY healthy and get back to the Top 5 consistantly, I think for the game to stay at a high level. Justine also has some health issues. Ultimately, I think Kim will reach - and stay at #1 by the end of the year, and stay there until Wimbledon of next year.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:22 PM
I would rather have seven slams and not be #1, than be #1 with no slams. The latter is looked on more negatively, whereas winning slams without being #1 would just be a very unique distinction. :D

That's not what the poll question was about.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:24 PM
The point is that the ATP created the problem when they went to that system. An immediate problem, with the WTA they had no real problem until Hingis in 2001 because the #1 player was usually the best on the WTA


Again, I stress that you are wrong on ATP. They went to Race, because they thought ranking system brought wrong results.

WTA had no "problems" before 2001 because before that, there were usually only couple of players who were actual Slam threats and elite players were injured lot less often.


No, but I think those who are doing better from tourney to tourney should be rewarded more than those who are doing just above average from tourney to tourney. The fact that you can play 25 tournaments and lose first round in 8 of them and have them NOT count in your ranking is preposterous.

Sharapova: 18 tournaments over last 52 weeks
Davenport: 16
Clijsters: 14
Mauresmo: 18
JHH: 8
Pierce: 17
Venus: 15
Dementieva: 19

Clearly, at least now it doesn't look like there is a problem you mentioned. Clijsters, JHH and Venus would have played more events had they been healthy. That said, I'd actually like WTA to implement ATP-style 'required event' rankings.

Btw, here are hypothetical divisor rankings after USO (minimum divisor 14)
1 Clijsters 300.1
2 Davenport 295.8
3 Sharapova 270.8
4 Mauresmo 218.2
5 Hénin-Hardenne 209.6
6 Williams, Venus 201.9
7 Williams,Serena 193.2
8 Pierce 171.1
9 Dementieva 146.4
10 Molik 125.6

Perhaps these rankings would satisfy you more? But as you see, margins in top 3 are small there.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:27 PM
It's a simple yes or no question.


Well, yes. We can't award players from "hypothetical" events - "Clijsters would have won more had she played last fall".


I didn't say H2H should count, but some players show up on the bigger stages and win and others lose on the big stage and play 20 smaller events to make up for it. Points per tournament.

WTA already increased points from Slams and Tier 1's couple of years ago.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:28 PM
I didn't say H2H should count, but some players show up on the bigger stages and win and others lose on the big stage and play 20 smaller events to make up for it. Points per tournament.

Neither of the slam winners (Kuznetsova, Serena, JHH, Venus) would be #1 right before USO if the old WTA min.divisor-12 system was still in place. There is no way you can guarantee that #1 is a slam winner unless you make a joke of the rating system and start awarding 5000 points to slam winners leaving all the other points as they are, with slam finalists getting around 700-800 points.

Ryan
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:29 PM
That's not what the poll question was about.



"Let's see what people answer to this question.

Imagine your name is Evonne Goolagong. You've won 6 GS titles already but haven't been #1, ever, because of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. You can choose to end your career with either 7th slam or reaching the top spot. Your choice?"



Ok, so what exactly IS it asking? If I'm Evonne, I'd still rather have the 7th slam. Better? :)

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Again, I stress that you are wrong on ATP. They went to Race, because they thought ranking system brought wrong results.

WTA had no "problems" before 2001 because before that, there were usually only couple of players who were actual Slam threats and elite players were injured lot less often.



Sharapova: 18 tournaments over last 52 weeks
Davenport: 16
Clijsters: 14
Mauresmo: 18
JHH: 8
Pierce: 17
Venus: 15
Dementieva: 19

Clearly, at least now it doesn't look like there is a problem you mentioned. Clijsters, JHH and Venus would have played more events had they been healthy. That said, I'd actually like WTA to implement ATP-style 'required event' rankings.

*sigh* not in the top ten at the moment, but the top ten isn't all that matters.

Btw, here are hypothetical divisor rankings after USO (minimum divisor 14)
1 Clijsters 300.1
2 Davenport 295.8
3 Sharapova 270.8
4 Mauresmo 218.2
5 Hénin-Hardenne 209.6
6 Williams, Venus 201.9
7 Williams,Serena 193.2
8 Pierce 171.1
9 Dementieva 146.4
10 Molik 125.6

Perhaps these rankings would satisfy you more? But as you see, margins in top 3 are small there.

Yes these would satisfy me more, they always seem to give a more accurate account of how well a players is doing throughout the last 52 weeks.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:34 PM
"Ok, so what exactly IS it asking? If I'm Evonne, I'd still rather have the 7th slam. Better? :)

The answer became relevant. It was off-topic before.

Ryan
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:36 PM
The answer became relevant. It was off-topic before.


Alright, I guess I just looked at too many other player's responses and assumed it was a personal decision.

Timariot
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:37 PM
*sigh* not in the top ten at the moment, but the top ten isn't all that matters.


Exactly. Lower-ranked players need to play more events for financial reasons. Also, one needs to consider promotional needs. Under the old system, someone like Graf could play very scarce schedule and still maintain massive lead -> staledom resulted.


Yes these would satisfy me more, they always seem to give a more accurate account of how well a players is doing throughout the last 52 weeks.

However, you can't read stuff like that directly across. Players tune their schedule according to ranking system. With divisor in place, Davenport probably would have thought "screw it, I'm not going to play Baghdad Open, it will only hurt my totals even if I win" and voilá, she is #1 again.

Volcana
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:37 PM
As I said, Sampras first made #1 with zero Slams to Courier's 2, and nobody remembers that anymore.ANd nobody cares if or when he was ranked number 1. They remember he won more slams than anybody else.

Knizzle
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Exactly. Lower-ranked players need to play more events for financial reasons. Also, one needs to consider promotional needs. Under the old system, someone like Graf could play very scarce schedule and still maintain massive lead -> staledom resulted.

If they are as dominant as Graf, they deserve to be #1 so if that happens, so be it. 14 tournaments is enough anyway.



However, you can't read stuff like that directly across. Players tune their schedule according to ranking system. With divisor in place, Davenport probably would have thought "screw it, I'm not going to play Baghdad Open, it will only hurt my totals even if I win" and voilá, she is #1 again.

So then she'll play a bigger event and we'll have incredible Tier 2 and above fields. Maybe even less injuries since there is no reason to overplay.

densuprun
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:44 PM
I would prefer best of 14, instead of divisor of any kind.

You don't have to overplay and if you are really good then a couple of slam wins and 12 tournies a year should be good enough for #1.

At the same time we won't see players avoiding tournaments late in the year to protect their rating from an accidental fall.

Volcana
Sep 28th, 2005, 10:44 PM
In form, your post reads as if it is degrading the number one ranking when in substance it is actually simply confirming what the non slam-centric have always maintained; that reaching number one is worth more than winning one GS.There is a player in the open era is ONLY tournament win is a GS. So yes, reaching #1 is harder.

selyoink
Sep 28th, 2005, 11:53 PM
Another slam.

Robbie.
Sep 29th, 2005, 12:38 AM
Look, Im just about at the end of my tether with this subject so i'll just make some final notes.

(1) People using Davenport's domination of the number on ranking over the past year to degrade the number one ranking are wrong. As I've stressed repeatedly in other threads, Davenport would have been number one for all of that time under any system we have ever had. The ranking would have passed to Clijsters after the US Open. The Davenport reign of 2004-5 should not undermine the current ranking system or the #1 ranking. She was a legitimate number one.

(2) How accurate and nuanced do people who are saying "the ranking doesnt reflect who the best player is" expect the system to be? Taking into account the argument that the number one ranking should always to be tied to a GS win, which I think is a completely bogus proposition anyway, do you realise that your whole claim that the ranking system is messed up is based on the outcome of two points this year? If Sharapova had converted one of her matchpoints against Serena at AO and Davenport her matchpoint against Venus at Wimbledon, there would have been no controversy. The top three would be perfect.

Do you really expect the number one ranking to reflect the outcome of one or two points out of the millions played each year? No, such a proposition is ludicrous. If you did produce a system that did, it would be so narrowly focused that ultimately you would not be able to see the forest for the trees. What the last year should have highlighted is, what I have always maintained, that the number one ranking should be kept analytically distinct from GS wins. Just because in the past the players winning slams have occupied the number one ranking, doesn't mean that should always be so. This has always been the case in Golf. If the last 7 GS have proven anything, it is that players can play far and above what they have shown in the 50 weeks surrounding their GS win for that two week period. Only ONE of the last seven GS champs could really be considered the best player in the world at the time of their victory, and thats Clijsters, and even she has only been playing like a number one since late July. It might be difficult to accept but at the moment it is looking like the GS are the poor reflection of who the bets players are. For me at the moment, the rankings are just about a perfect reflection of the state of play over the last 52 weeks.

faboozadoo15
Sep 29th, 2005, 01:26 AM
So you think Sharapova is the best player in the world?? Even over the last 52 weeks? Not in terms of points, but in terms of who you consider to be the best from actually watching the players play and seeing the results of what happens when certain players play.
uhh yea, sharapova has something like 6 titles in the last 52 weeks and several more finals.

kim's going to be #1 even though she didn't get past the 4th round of 2/3 majors she's played. sure she has a slam and lots of other titles, of course... but the 4th round...

faboozadoo15
Sep 29th, 2005, 01:42 AM
If they are as dominant as Graf, they deserve to be #1 so if that happens, so be it. 14 tournaments is enough anyway.





So then she'll play a bigger event and we'll have incredible Tier 2 and above fields. Maybe even less injuries since there is no reason to overplay.
who are you to say that 14 is too much? and the 14 divisor rankings aren't THAT different anyway...

players will always overplay as long as there are paychacks at the end of the week.

Knizzle
Sep 29th, 2005, 01:43 AM
who are you to say that 14 is too much? and the 14 divisor rankings aren't THAT different anyway...

I didn't say 14 was too much, I said it was enough.

players will always overplay as long as there are paychacks at the end of the week.

Not the top players.

faboozadoo15
Sep 29th, 2005, 01:48 AM
Not the top players.
that's bullshit.

Anne K.
Sep 29th, 2005, 02:25 AM
Of course he isn't NOW. But back then, ATP truly tried to get him over as world #1. One reason why Race didn't work was that #1 position changed hands too often.

And yes, contrary to what you claim, ATP #1 fiasco in 1999 was far greater than anything on WTA. One glaring PR problem was that Sampras whipped up Agassi in Wimbledon final, but dropped his #1 position to Agassi - who finished the year as #1 despite losing to Sampras 4 times straight sets, including YEC final.

So what?? You probably know that in head-to-heads, Sampras usually had
the edge on Agassi. So, he beat him 4 times, straight sets. Big deal. Andre
won 2 Slams that year and was a finalist in another; Sampras won only one
Slam that year. THAT'S why Agassi was Nr. 1 that year. Not too shabby,
hmmm? :p

Timariot
Sep 29th, 2005, 03:50 AM
So then she'll play a bigger event and we'll have incredible Tier 2 and above fields. Maybe even less injuries since there is no reason to overplay.

Playing 18 tournaments is overplaying?

Timariot
Sep 29th, 2005, 03:53 AM
ANd nobody cares if or when he was ranked number 1. They remember he won more slams than anybody else.

Actually, being on top of the both weeks as #1 and straight year-end #1's was one of his most important records. Sampras pretty much burned himself out to achieve those milestones.

azi
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:54 AM
I would rather have that number one ranking even for just a week, because it will mean she is the top player for that week.Having that many slams will be much better if she reached no.1.