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Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 02:16 PM
This was posted in another thread.And her serve, forehand and mentality/anticipation would have made her a consistent top-tenner alone.I sat back and gave this statement a lot of thought. How many 'consistent top-ten' players ARE there? Virtually all player get injured at some point, so everybody drops out of the top ten at some point. So obviously this isn't about ALWAYS being in the top ten, just mostly. Check it out.

curr 01 02 03 04 05 06 11 16 60 ** 10
year DS SW VW ED SK JJ AI AM MS ** NP
---- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ** --
2008 03 02 06 04 08 01 05 24 09 ** 11
2007 15 07 08 11 02 03 04 18 05 ** 14
2006 11 95 48 08 04 12 14 03 02 ** 06
2005 20 11 10 08 18 22 16 03 04 ** 09
2004 44 07 09 06 05 28 97 02 04 ** 12
2003 54 03 11 08 36 85 ** 04 32 ** 12
2002 68 01 02 19 43 ** ** 06 ** ** **
2001 ** 06 03 15 ** ** ** 09 ** ** 38
2000 ** 06 03 12 ** ** ** 16 ** ** 62
1999 ** 04 03 62 ** ** ** 10 ** ** 95
1998 ** 19 05 ** ** ** ** 29 ** ** **
1997 ** ** 25 ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Currently in the top ten; Serena, Venus, Dementieva and Kuznetsova. Four. That's all. Sharapova and Mauresmo both were (and I think Sharapova will be again.) And Jankovic and Ivanovic are ... not .... quite ... there yet.

So ... does this tell us anything useful? All the player who have three straight years finishing in the top ten have done something notable. The least of it is Dementieva's gold medal. Even the Serbs, who are close but not quite there, have won a slam and/or attained the #1 ranking.

NOTE: I decided to use year end rankings because the WTA database provides them in an easy format. Figure three straight years finishing in the top ten is a good definition of 'consistent'. That winnows out the Dokics and Hantuchovas and Schnyders who were all legit top tenners, but only for a couple years.

NOTE: Included Petrova for laughs. Six straights finishing ranked between #6 and #15. The quintessential example of a consistent 'not quite top ten' player.

Horizon
Jul 12th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Dinara :lol:

Such a weird story, how she was an average top 20 player, and is now heading for year end #3 and #1.

mr_burns
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:07 PM
although beeing injured a lot the sisters are impressive

dementieva became consistent after a few medicore years

MAria will come close to the sisters achievments

A personal guess: safina will have the same fate like JJ and AI...it will go down very quickly

Sharapower
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Interesting approach. I've been myself thinking about a concept of competitive vs non-competitive top tenner.
In the current top 10, Wozniacki and Petrova are typically the non-competitive ones, that is they rarely beat other top- tenners.

Donny
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Safina's ranking is by far the most interesting to me.

How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?

Sharapower
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Safina's ranking is by far the most interesting to me.

How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?

My take is that's more about mental than strokes and fitness.

Donny
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:44 PM
My take is that's more about mental than strokes and fitness.

Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.

Sharapower
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.

Maybe...

TheAllan
Jul 12th, 2009, 06:20 PM
In the current top 10, Wozniacki and Petrova are typically the non-competitive ones, that is they rarely beat other top- tenners.
Wozniacki has only been in the top 10 for a few months - with Safina pretty much the only player she has faced from the top 10 since she made it there. Besides, you would always expect players from the lower part of the top 10 to have a losing record against the top 5.

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:15 PM
If you divide thing up between outside the top 100, 100-21, 20-11, and the top 10, there's an interesting trend. The players who win a lot of slams don't spend a lot of time getting from out the top hundred into the top ten. Serena didn't spend that transitional year between 100 and 21 at all. She went from outside the top 100 to #19 to #4.

Venus 100+ to 25 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten, a dip to #11 and two more top ten years
Sharapova 100+ to #32 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten
Mauresmo 100+ to #29 to #10, dip to #16, then six straight top ten years
Kuznetsova 100+ to #43 tp #36, top ten, dip to #16, last three years in the top ten

If you order the players by slam wins, then tour wins, you get the same order
Serena
Venus
Sharapova
Mauresmo
Kuznetsova

Your active multi-slam winners. Which would indicate, obvious not conclusively, that players who are going to win multiple slams don't waste a lot of time getting from outside the 100 into the top ten.

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:35 PM
Two players who could match the pattern the current multi-slam winners seem to have traveled ard

Sorana Cirstea, and Sabine Lisicki. Both were outside the top hundred at the end of 2007. Well inside the 100 at the end of 2008, and both could end the year inside the top ten, providing huge finishes.

Actually, Lisicki doesn't need a huge finish. She's currently #26, and while she's 1300 points out of the #10 ranking, she's only 'defending' 426 points for the rest of the year. That's winning two Interantional events. The rest is gravy. Especially when you serve like Serena Williams' illegitemate sister.

Cirstea's definding 888, and 1602 points to make up. That's probably winning Beijing, or the US Open final, or something else ridiculous.

Slutiana
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:47 PM
The great thing about Sorana, Volcana (oh god that rhymes) is that she's perfectly capable of making up those points by Roland Garros as next year as she has about 100 points to defend up to then.

Slutiana
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.
No, I agree. Apart from her possibly working harder but that goes hand in hand with her fitness.

Slutiana
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:53 PM
And can I just say, maybe we have differend definitions of "consistent top 10 players" but when I see It, I think of a player hovering around the 6-12 mark for a long time, not necessarily finishing the year in the top 10, but spending most of their time there.

Volcana
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:37 PM
And can I just say, maybe we have differend definitions of "consistent top 10 players" but when I see It, I think of a player hovering around the 6-12 mark for a long time, not necessarily finishing the year in the top 10, but spending most of their time there.That's a completely fair point. While I was putting up Petrova's stats, I found myself thinking, 'actually, for a lot of people, that's a top ten player.' No lower than #15, up as high as #3 (in her case), in the top ten more than she's out.

The definition I used definitely seperates the wheat from the chaff, but I concede I probably lost a good bit of 'wheat' there.

Kart
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:47 PM
NOTE: Included Petrova for laughs. Six straights finishing ranked between #6 and #15. The quintessential example of a consistent 'not quite top ten' player.

I don't think so - her end of year results could be skewed by injury as much as anyone else's.

I appreciate year end rankings are the most readily available data but you surely need to look at the number of weeks spent in the top ten for each player.

Actually, thinking about it, consecutive weeks spent in the top ten would be even more useful as there are a lot of women that dip in and out depending on how many points players above them lose.

I would imagine that a large number of them never progress into the top eight or so.

Not sure if I worded this post very well but it makes sense to me anyway !

Miss Atomic Bomb
Jul 12th, 2009, 09:50 PM
I appreciate year end rankings are the most readily available data but you surely need to look at the number of weeks spent in the top ten for each player.

Actually, thinking about it, consecutive weeks spent in the top ten would be even more useful as there are a lot of women that dip in and out depending on how many points players above them lose.



http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=297798

AnnaK_4ever
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:10 PM
Actually, thinking about it, consecutive weeks spent in the top ten would be even more useful as there are a lot of women that dip in and out depending on how many points players above them lose.

Active players who have spent 100+ consecutive weeks in the top-10 :

Venus : April 1998 - November 2003 (~290 weeks)
Serena : April 1999 - July 2004 (~270 weeks); May 2007 - present (~110 weeks)
Mauresmo : July 2002 - September 2007 (~270 weeks)
Sharapova : July 2004 - January 2009 (239 weeks)
Dementieva : September 2003 - March 2007 (~180 weeks)
Kuznetsova : April 2006 - present (~170 weeks)
Jankovic : February 2007 - present (127 weeks)
Ivanovic : May 2007 - June 2009 (108 weeks)
Petrova : May 2005 - May 2007 (~105 weeks)

Kart
Jul 12th, 2009, 10:26 PM
^ Thank you. That's a pretty elite club.

OsloErik
Jul 12th, 2009, 11:55 PM
My take is that's more about mental than strokes and fitness.

Chickens and eggs. When her fitness improved, lo and behold she can do all the things with the ball she couldn't before. She's got a surprising amount of talent for a player who just two years ago was prone to having inane bash sessions until someone lost. When you get fit, you can afford patience, and when you display patience, you have confidence.

Maybe I'm alone when I say I don't see any drastic difference in Safina's mentality.

In big matches, no. But she's been cleaning house for the better part of the last 15 months with anyone not in the top 10, off of grass, in non-slam events. At one point I ran the numbers, and she was either the champion or lost to the eventual champion a good 80% of tournaments she entered. That's pretty remarkable stuff for someone we don't think of as a great champion. It's Clijsters-esque. She's almost unbeatable if you aren't in an important match (slam finals, for example). It's all about the patience. She feels confident that she can last in the point long enough against 95% of the tour to wait for a good shot for a winner. The players she's struggled against are all capable of first strike tennis (notice the three slam losses this year were against top-flight servers) and good footwork and/or movement in general. She's only self destructing against players who take her chances away.

Volcana
Jul 13th, 2009, 12:08 AM
I appreciate year end rankings are the most readily available data but you surely need to look at the number of weeks spent in the top ten for each player.It turns out, that doesn't alter things much.
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=297798

Players weeks total as Top-10 Top-5 Top-3 No.1
Venus WILLIAMS 464 274 184 11
Serena WILLIAMS 430 208 139 72
Amelie MAURESMO 339 202 155 39
Elena DEMENTIEVA 264 75 5
Maria SHARAPOVA 239 196 105 17
Svetlana KUZNETSOVA 237 142 37
Nadia PETROVA 151 22 4
Jelena JANKOVIC 127 108 80 18
Ana IVANOVIC 108 81 36 12
It's the six same players, with the same three other players being close. Yes, it's more accurate, but year end ranking turns out to be a decent crude approximation.

Consecutive weeks in the top ten yields the same results.
Active players who have spent 100+ consecutive weeks in the top-10 :

Venus : April 1998 - November 2003 (~290 weeks)
Serena : April 1999 - July 2004 (~270 weeks); May 2007 - present (~110 weeks)
Mauresmo : July 2002 - September 2007 (~270 weeks)
Sharapova : July 2004 - January 2009 (239 weeks)
Dementieva : September 2003 - March 2007 (~180 weeks)
Kuznetsova : April 2006 - present (~170 weeks)
Jankovic : February 2007 - present (127 weeks)
Ivanovic : May 2007 - June 2009 (108 weeks)
Petrova : May 2005 - May 2007 (~105 weeks)There changes in order, but the players remain the same.

OsloErik
Jul 13th, 2009, 12:13 AM
If you divide thing up between outside the top 100, 100-21, 20-11, and the top 10, there's an interesting trend. The players who win a lot of slams don't spend a lot of time getting from out the top hundred into the top ten. Serena didn't spend that transitional year between 100 and 21 at all. She went from outside the top 100 to #19 to #4.

Venus 100+ to 25 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten, a dip to #11 and two more top ten years
Sharapova 100+ to #32 to 5 straight years ending in the top ten
Mauresmo 100+ to #29 to #10, dip to #16, then six straight top ten years
Kuznetsova 100+ to #43 tp #36, top ten, dip to #16, last three years in the top ten

If you order the players by slam wins, then tour wins, you get the same order
Serena
Venus
Sharapova
Mauresmo
Kuznetsova

Your active multi-slam winners. Which would indicate, obvious not conclusively, that players who are going to win multiple slams don't waste a lot of time getting from outside the 100 into the top ten.

Now THAT's an interesting trend. The multi-slam winner trend I've always liked is first time slam champions in the open-era who went on to win multiple slams all (save one) share one thing in common: they reached a slam semifinal or better in their teens. Davenport is the only multi-slam champion who debuted after the open era who didn't have a slam semifinal or better as a teen. And she was a top 10 player with multiple quarterfinals as a teen, so she's only JUST outside the parameters.

But your trend is fairly noteworthy. I wonder what the progression was for other recent multi-slam champions (Henin, for starters, but Davenport and Hingis as well).

As a rule, I tend to break down the tour into a couple of zones. There's outside the top 100 (where you aren't guaranteed a slam entry and are generally not worth my time), outside the top 50 (maybe one or two noteworthy results and your name pops into the radar fairly often), outside the top 25 (maybe you'll be top 20 someday, maybe not), outside the top 15 (it's pretty surprising how many players have spent the bulk of their career in the 15-25 range and never gone much higher), outside the top 10 (almost breaking through, mainly interesting if they are young), and a general point division within the top 10 (for example, right now Safina has an 1800 point lead on the field, Serena has a 2000 point lead on her sister, Venus, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, and Jankovic are all in a roughly 1000 point range of each other, and Zvonareva, Azarenka, and Wozniacki are spaced fairly evenly 400 or so points apart, with Petrova really being the highest of the 10-20 ranked players and not entrenched in the top 10).

So, for example, when Mauresmo and Kuznetsova (and Dementieva, actually) had their sophomore slumps, they stayed in that 15ish range. They didn't have a huge prolonged absence from the tour that made them slip so far down like Venus or Serena did (in fact, I believe Kuznetsova's been in the top 20 since 2003 or so, and Dementieva had a week or two outside the top 20 in 2002 but has been in ever since).

BASICALLY, I've gotten off track. I think the easiest way to explain it is if you've spent roughly 90% of your career since breaking into the top 20 INSIDE the top 20, with about 60-70 percent or more of your career since breaking into the top 20 INSIDE the top 10 (bearing in mind injury, such as Venus and Serena in 2006 or Sharapova now), you're a consistent top 10er. Sugiyama wasn't a consistent top 10er, she was a consistent top 20er. Mauresmo, however, was a VERY consistent top 10er for about a decade. Dementieva fits the bill, Venus and Serena certainly do, Kuznetsova does.

TheBoiledEgg
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:35 AM
How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?

Verdasco :tape:

Breske
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:48 AM
Safina's ranking is by far the most interesting to me.

How many other middling top twenty players could break through if they REALLY made the effort to improve their fitness, strokes, etc.?

When you add strokes you're talking about reinventing an entire game.

Fitness/movement if certain 15-30 players had optimal fitness/movement they would undoubtedly be higher ranked.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Jul 13th, 2009, 05:27 AM
Dementieva finished 12 in the year 2000

Volcana
Jul 13th, 2009, 05:39 AM
Dementieva finished 12 in the year 2000Sorry. Typo.