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eshell
Sep 4th, 2002, 03:35 PM
Analyzing 20 years of U.S. Open seedings

From staff reports

Much has been made recently about how the top handful of women tennis players have dominated the sport while their male counterparts continue to crown multiple new Grand Slam champions.

But is this such an anomaly? Or have top-seeded women been ruling the court for a longer period of time?

According to USA TODAY analysis, it certainly pays to be the top seed in the U.S. Open women's draw.

Over the past 20 years, 10 top-seeded women have won the Open. During the same period, just four top-seeded men have taken home the trophy often losing to the second seed in the finals.

History shows the men's draw to be a rocky road for the top seed with the same number of champions also being knocked out in the fourth round.

These unexpected upsets are far less common among the women, however. The No. 1 player has typically coasted to the finals. In the past 20 years none have lost before the quarterfinals. And even then, the only player to lose in the quarterfinals was Martina Navratilova in 1982. Four top seeds have lost in the semifinals (Chris Evert Lloyd in 1985, Steffi Graf in 1991, Martina Hingis in 2000 and 2001).

Other interesting facts about the top seeds between 1982-2001:

Most times seeded first:
Men: 5 (Pete Sampras)
Women: 9 (Steffi Graf )


Most consecutive years seeded first:
Men: 4 (John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Sampras)
Women: 5 (Graf, Martina Hingis)


Different number of No. 1 seeds:
Men: 8 (McEnroe from '82-'85, Lendl from '86-'89, Stefan Edberg in '90, Boris Becker in '91, Jim Courier from '92-'93, Sampras in '94 and '96-'99, Andre Agassi in '95 and '00, Gustavo Kuerten in '01)
Women: 5 (Martina Navratilova from '82-'84 and '86, Chris Evert Lloyd in '85, Graf from '87-'91 and '93-'96, Monica Seles in '92, Hingis from '97-'01)


http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/open/seeds-fared-1982-2001.htm

See the article for a chart.