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arn
May 22nd, 2002, 11:16 PM
Carl Maes, the coach of Kim Clijsters will propose a plan to the WTA to change some things.

First he proposes to let 13 tournaments count for the ranks instead of 17. A not so surprising idea...

The next proposal is he wants to set limits to the number of tournaments a player can play during the year, that number would be 22. So after #22 you can't enter a tournament anymore.

Is that last idea a good one or not??? I see some advantages but maybe also some practical problems...

Rollo
May 23rd, 2002, 12:55 AM
While limiting events sounds good on paper, I'm afraid that history shows that those who want the money will simply play exhibitions.

I wonder Arn-do you think this means Clijsters feels the same way? She's been VERY sensible about her scedule IMO since her arm problems earlier this year.

AjdeNate!
May 23rd, 2002, 12:58 AM
I don't think that setting a maximum is very good. I mean, some players may lose early in a lot of events, and thus are physically able to play more. As far as the rankings system... I think leave it alone. They seem to tweak it every year. They need to stick to one system for awhile and let it work out.

Volcana
May 23rd, 2002, 01:21 AM
Nah. I like the 17 minimum. You don't have to play all 17 to be a top five player. Venus made it to #1 with only 14 tournaments. But it does force the elite players to support the tour, or pay a penalty in points. And hey, I'm a Williams fan. My faves are the ones most hurt by the current system, but I think it strikes a balance between the needs of the players and the needs of the tour.

Kim is good enough to be a top five player while only playing 13 tournaments a year. She just needs to cut out those inexplicable opening match losses. She isn't being FORCED to play 22 tournaments. 13 is almost a protection racket for elite players, like the 32 seeds.

I might impose an upper limit on the top fifty. The others players need all the match play they can get.

"Topaz"
May 23rd, 2002, 02:45 AM
Let's take a happy medium between 13 and 17, say, 15. That sounds like a good number to me. I'm sure there are all kinds of competing factors leading to the adoption of a number.

Factors that call for a large number: money, worldwide dispersion (every region wants a tourney), ... please, guys, add the rest.

Factors restricting the number: physical wear and tear on players (ie, health), audience saturation, logistics, ... add the rest.

Short of an exhaustive data reduction through computerized analytical tools, I'll take 15 as this suits my faves ;) and, more importantly, that explodes into a lot of matches for players that reach semis and finals consistently.

Quick calculations:
- For those who go a long way in each tourney, say, 4 matches on avg (eg Hingis, Vee, ...):
15 tourneys x 4 matches per tourney = 60 matches

- For those who take a hike on avg after the second round (eg Anna K, ...):
15 x 2 = 30 matches

So the last group may have to enter about 30 tourneys in order to accumulate the same 60 matches. Now, you get the picture given that the physical wear and tear is not related to tourneys but to number of matches.

I'd better stop here, the powers to be are not listening anyway.

arn
May 23rd, 2002, 09:33 AM
I have no idea if Clijsters feels the same way, but she always said the WTA forces players to play too much. It's pysically soooo heavy and players are already very happy the tour was shortened last year.

Maube an alternative is during auguste or somewhere in the middle of the year, a 2-week period of no tournaments or maybe even 2 times a year a period without tournaments (outside the normal winterbreak)

irma
May 23rd, 2002, 09:38 AM
I think the 22 is a good idea, there are players who need to be protected from themselfs and 22 is still rather a lot, steffi was number 1 or 2 for 10 years and she never played more then 16 tournaments(and that only once in 89) so it's possible!
Venus and Serena are other examples of that!

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
May 23rd, 2002, 01:42 PM
If you look a past history, most of the #1's played very few events until Hingis in 1997 when the ranking system changed that favored "quantity" over "quality".

In my opinion....14 or 15 events should be enough.

4 Grand Slams
1 Championships
5 Tier I's
5 Tier II's
______
15 events

What do you think?

tommyk75
May 23rd, 2002, 01:53 PM
Irma, Steffi was able to stay #1 playing so few events because the ranking system was completely different then. Back then, all of the player's points were divided by the number of tournaments she played (the divisor was 14 for players who played less than 14 events).

What that meant was that someone who played who played 25 events had no advantage over someone who played only 14 or 15 (completely different from the current system). If that system was still around, Venus would almost surely have been #1 for the last couple of years.

I think 16 is a good minimum number for all the players. Also, I feel like the Tour is overextending itself with too many tournaments. There's a Tier 1 or 2 event seemingly every week, and sometimes 3 different events a week, and that's just too much for the players and maybe for the fans as well. It's the quality, not the quantity, WTA should remember.

Jem
May 23rd, 2002, 02:12 PM
I personally like the averaging system for ranking myself -- it makes each tournament count. Unfortunately, it's also easy to abuse. Pam Shriver, for example, hardly ever played the French Open because she was suspectible to any early round loss, which would have hurt her ranking average. The men were notorious for that as well. You had many in the top 10 who skipped the French or Wimbledon to avoid an unfavorable surface and protect their ranking. As for the minimum number of tournaments, I don't 17 is asking too much of the players, but I'd be willing to see it dropped to 16. Below that is too few in my opinion. 13 is ridiculously low. As for whether there are too many tournaments, I'm inclined to disagree. If you have promoters willing to run tournaments, then I say let them run them. I guarantee if you eliminate tour tournaments, they'll just pop up as meaningless exhibitions, and there will be a line of top players waiting to play for big bucks with nothing on the line. It's very easy to schedule breaks for yourself during a 10-month season and play a sensible tournament schedule that gives you time for training and rest. Injuries are a fact of the game, and most occur not because of accidents -- not playing time. There are exceptions, of course. Kournikova probably has overplayed; she was certainly doing that when she got hurt in 2001. Seles (my favorite by the way) shows a penchant for overscheduling herself. Her schedule at the beginning of the year was absolutely crazy. My preference would be to have ranking system that requires a minimum of 16 tournaments (including the Grand Slams if a player is eligible for the main draw) and averages the results of all tournaments played. People should be allowed to play as many tournaments as they want, but an average would make every tournament count. You might also consider reducing the divisor by 1 for players who supported the tour with 20 tournaments, or by reducing by 2 for those who played 24.

irma
May 23rd, 2002, 02:42 PM
tommy I know that, they should go back to the old rankings now the reason that they changed is gone anyway :rolleyes:

tommyk75
May 23rd, 2002, 03:30 PM
Irma:

You said that Steffi was number 1 one for 10 years playing 16 or less events, so "it's possible!" I merely pointed out that it was possible only because the ranking system was completely different, which you failed to acknowledge.

As for your next comment, you said that the reason for the change is "gone." Uh... let's see. The change was done to make the top players play more. Yeah, it's true that they're playing more, but guess why? It's because the ranking system virtually requires it from them to stay at the top. So if WTA takes your idea and goes back to the old system, do you really think the players will keep playing so much? Of course not, the stars would go back to what they used to do under the old system: play less tour events and either rest more or play bigger-money exhibitions. That would lead WTA right back to the problem they had in the first place.

So, before you roll your eyes at anybody else, you might want to roll them at the mirror first. If your points are illogical and inarticulate, you can't blame other people for not understanding you.

veryborednow
May 23rd, 2002, 03:37 PM
no. because the tour must rely upon those who play 20-30 tournaments a year, purely so some tournaments have enough people in them.

If they cut down on the number of tournaments that can be played, the number of tournaments held will be cut.

This is bad -

- for the fans, as less people can watch tennis live
- tour must lose out on money
- companies that sposor lose money
- players don't get as much money (so play exhibitions)
- for the game.

irma
May 23rd, 2002, 03:38 PM
my :rolleyes: was for the wta who changed to rankings because it would be a disadvantage my fav(and this is true) not for you!
peace :cool:

tommyk75
May 23rd, 2002, 03:48 PM
My bad...

Sorry for the misunderstanding. Piece of love right back at you.

Lleyki
May 23rd, 2002, 03:56 PM
I think it's a good idea

Aloysius
May 23rd, 2002, 04:09 PM
Leave it alone.

Players should either work with the ranking system or fall by the wayside.

If they get injured and can't play, then tough, rest already. There will be other players who can and will play.

Richie77
May 25th, 2002, 02:46 AM
I don't think they should force a player to stop playing after a certain number of tournaments...if they're over 18, they have the right to play as much as they want, even though it's not such a good idea for some (hello, Jelena!).

As for the ranking system: It has its problems, but I'm beginning to see the advantages. While I certainly don't like the idea that a player can just disregard first-round losses if they play enough tournaments (e.g. Cristina Torrens Valero staying in the Top 40 despite 10-12 first-round losses!), it also seems to be rewarding consistency. Sandrine Testud and Silvia Farina Elia would probably be ranked a lot less using an average system, because they've got good results, but no one big great result. While we should reward wins, we should also take into account the fact that those players who keep making the 16's and quarters are also deserving of a high ranking.

So, I say keep the rankings the way they are for now.