View Full Version : The issue of "legitimacy"

Oct 14th, 2001, 09:48 PM
I've been reading all of the reactions to Jen-Jen becoming #1 on this and a couple of other boards, and it occurred to me that, for many individuals, her ascendancy raises the same questions about "legitimacy" that Hingis' prolonged occupancy of the slot did.

Many questioned why Hingis remained #1 for so long given her protracted Grand Slam drought. Some are now questioning the validity of Capriati's ascendance given several factors: her slump of the last few months, her loss to Testud (Testud?????), and, most significantly, the manner in which she became #1 -- bec Hingis got injured.

Are these valid concerns or just sour grapes? <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

Or is Capriati's occupancy of the #1 slot by seemingly questionable means simply further evidence that the WTA needs to revamp its ranking system? <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">

This enquiring mind would love to get your opinions.

Oct 14th, 2001, 10:01 PM
hmm. i think the rankings are pretty fair. to be the best you shouldnt only be able to come out and win a few matches once or twice a year, but rather they should reward the player who is able to consistantly produce the best results.

take this to an analogy of hte match. over half the people i play i can beat when i play the whole match well. however, if i play a relatively inconsistant match i will lose....get it?

if youre winning, youre the best. the more you win, the higher your rank. id like to know what the problem is with the ranking system is that people have?

Oct 14th, 2001, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by NejedlyKanepi:
<STRONG>if youre winning, youre the best. the more you win, the higher your rank. id like to know what the problem is with the ranking system is that people have?</STRONG>

Actually Nejedly it's not as simple as that. If it were there wouldn't be any complaints. The reason why people have a problem with the ranking system is that it is confusing for most people that don't follow tennis closely. It doesn't reflect the true #1 unless the #1 player does what is required. It doesn't just take winning to make you #1. Venus has the most titles of anyone and she isn't #1. Not only do you have to win but you have to play throughout the year to keep adding to your point total. It doesn't really reflect the best player. Most people who watch sports like football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, or even billiards know by the end of the season who is the true champion. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So knowing without a doubt who the best team or player is is comforting to some people.

When you watch tennis and you see the #1 player hasn't won a GS in 3 years, and hasn't won a tournament since February then yes it does become confusing for some people. Hell I've had to explain it to friends and family members myself. Only this time there shouldn't be any questions about why Jenn is #1. As much as she's pissed me off this season I am happy to see someone who worked hard the WHOLE season and had the results finish the year as the #1 player. Instead of getting it by playing more and smaller tournaments. She played the tournaments that had the top players in it and even though she didn't win them all she usually finished in the semis or finals.

Oct 14th, 2001, 10:46 PM
My argument would be that if you have the best record in the Slams, and have played nearly twice as many tournaments as the player with the next best recordin the Slams, you are a fairly legitimate #1.

Of course, nobody really legitimately deserves any ranking that someone else's fan feels like griping about.

Oct 14th, 2001, 10:47 PM
It kinda depends what you see the point of the rankings as being. If they are there as a reflection of who has played the best tennis over a 12 month period, then clearly there's nothing wrong with the present system.

But, the point of rankings is supposed to be for seedings in tounaments. And I can't help wondering whether it wouldn't be better to have a 6 month system. That would be a better reflection of who's doing best _at the moment_ and therefore who's likely to do best at a particular tournament. So the players who'd been in good form for a few months would get better seedings than those consistent throughout the year. I think that that would be a better system.

Another option would be to have different rankings for different surfaces, so that again the in-form player on a particular surface would get seeded higher in a tournament on that surface. For example, Venus doesn't really deserve a #4 seeding on clay whereas players like Aranxta, Conchita, Amelie deserve to be higher than they are.

These are just vague suggestions, the point I'm making is that the current ranking system doesn't serve the purpose of giving players likely to do well at a particular tournament a higher seeding in that tournament. And I think that it should.

Oct 14th, 2001, 11:31 PM
Simply put, the rankings do not indicate who the player most likely to win is. This is not a problem. People mke it a problem by insisting that the rankings should indicate who the best -player is. They don't. They just measure who has the best 17 tournament results in 52 weeks. In 2001, those two players weren't the same player. In 1997, they were the same player.

Oct 15th, 2001, 01:56 AM
there's never gonna be a system that satisfies everyone
and i can only say that i'm fine with the system now
of course i'll complain now and then but nonetheless, i'll still accept it
there's different number one in everyone's heart, and havin the rankings agree with you just adds to your joy

Crazy Canuck
Oct 15th, 2001, 03:42 AM
Not to be a pain in the ass...
But if a few months from now (or weeks), Jenn pulls up injured, and either Lindsay or Venus takes over the number 1 position, I don't think we will be hearing to many complaints.
People whining about HOW Jenn got the ranking on the given day, fail to achnolage what she has done ALL year to get herself in that position to begin with.
What it comes down to is that there is a LOT of player hating focussed on Jenn, which causes a lot of people do work as hard as they can, to take away from what she is done.
Which is too bad for them, cause they will just have to suffer suffer suffer. Jenn isn't going anywhere <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">

The only people who are confused about the rankings, are those who don't understand what they are all about (as mentioned in several other previous posts). Or those, who will simply whine and whine untill their fave becomes number 1, then say "I told you so", meanwhile, no one was ever disagreeing with them <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">

Oct 15th, 2001, 05:13 AM
I didn't see anyone complaint when Venus moved up to number two in the rankings ionmarch after Lindsay pulled out of the tourney because of injury despite Venus playing only a few tourneys in 2001 and Lindsay already winning one or two titles at the start of the year......

I say since the tour has a year end tournament then there should be a year end....with points and all....

The new seedings for the new season should start withe the order of the list from the previous year's championship..the list should be ranked in the following order..

Grand slam champions from previous year should get 10 points for each slam, while the tier ones 8 pts and tier 2s 6 pts and so forth..therefore ther is a reward for winning a title the previous year..

Capriati-AUS/ French..plus one title..28 pts with additional follow-up points for being a finalist

Venus will have Wimbledon/US-20pts plus lets say 4 tier ones...that will be 52 pts ...

the list will go an on and that will be the starting list for the season...therefore if Jen or Venus were the best players the year before they will be awarded with go ahead points for the season......

That way the better player will be recognized....

Therefore every player will want o compete to better their chances for the next year and get go ahead points...that is the better system.

Oct 15th, 2001, 05:53 AM
Unless there's a no1. player who wins at least more slams than the next person I think we'll always be able to argue on one's validity as no.1.

Every one of the players knows what the ranking rules are and I don't think I've heard or read of any of them complaining about it. (Of course, a majority of these players don't argue enough for equal pay.)

Martina Hingis had every right to be no.1 for the weeks she held it because that's how the rules worked. When fans argue against her I hardly cared but it really bothered me when the people in the media would criticize her and the rankings. All that bashing despite racking up most of the titles from the underpublicized post-U.S. Open indoor season and other respectable showings.

So the argument against Hingis was that she didn't win a slam in over two years. The argument over Jennifer Capriati is that she wasn't as dominant as Venus Williams and hasn't won as many titles as Venus or Lindsay Davenport.

(It's really not until New Haven that I really thought that Capriati wasn't "the best" this year.)

Then there's the speculative/hypothetical slants. Say Venus Williams was no.1 but had bad indoor results (hard to make a call on this one since she has only played one indoor event this year). She also had back-to-back clay court losses, losing in the first round of the French Open.

And would Davenport be where she is now if she was injured during the time after the French Open rather than before it. And what about her prowess on clay? Does her lack of accomplishment on that surface hold her back?

My point is that people will always find something to pick on.

As for the ranking system itself...

I don't know if there's a better system. Sometimes I wish there was a way to factor in the "close losses." I also don't understand the whole quality points bit.

Say Davenport was no.1. A victory over her on grass would give you the same amount of quality points as a win over her on clay. Which one of those achievements do you really think is more impressive?

Forget Capriati's 400QPs from beating Hingis in Slams. It seems really funny to me to have Virginia Ruano Pascual with 200 QPs from beating Hingis in the first round of Wimbledon. (She got more points beating Hingis than she did by reaching round 2!)

I like the whole seeding by surface idea. I thought it was ridiculous seeing Serena Williams seeded so low for the U.S. Open or Davenport seeded so high for the French.

That said, I hate 32 seeds. Early rounds are mostly boring now. And I like the thought of a top player possibly going out early. (You don't prep properly, you lose.)

As for Capriati losing to Testud...
Venus lost to Hingis, Maleeva, Henin, Schett and Shaughnessy. When Testud beat Capriati she was ranked at or higher than four of those players were when they beat Venus.

And for the unfortunate Hingis incident...
Fitness is part of the tour. Staying healthy equals more tourneys equals more results. The example I'll cite is Henin (what else would you expect from me?). The girl lost about 6 months last year due to illness and injury. For a time she dallied in the bottom 50 of the top 100. Got healthy, started the year at 45, played more and broke the top 10 in just over 6 months. (Look at her year-end ranking last year, how many tournaments she played and her win-loss record.) Or look at Maleeva. Or if you want to see this in action watch Myskina.

Oct 15th, 2001, 08:54 AM
There seem to be 2 issues here: The 'validity' of Jen's #1 ranking; the issue of the ranking system in general


Or is Capriati's occupancy of the #1 slot by seemingly questionable means simply further evidence that the WTA needs to revamp its ranking system?

What on earth is questionable about the way Capriati has gained (ahem, earned )the #1 ranking?

Of course its unfortunate for Martina the way it happened, but there's nothing questionable about it at all. Jen is #1 now because of her record throughout the whole of this year. She may not be producing the results she was at the start of the year, but that's why its taken over the rolling 52 week period.

Everybody is in exactly the same position.

Now on to the other point of whether the ranking itself is at fault, personally I think not. There are surely only 2 'candidates' for the #1 ranking: Venus and Jennifer. Jennifer has the better record this year whichever objective way you want to look at it.

'Wow' factors do not - and should not - come into the equation.

I also think for Jennifer to lose to Testud (Testud???), that's being very uncomplimentary to Sandrine who is a former Top Ten player always capable of beating the top players, she just rarely does it...

Oct 15th, 2001, 10:56 AM
Thanks for all of your responses. It's great to be able to engage in positive discussion.
<IMG SRC="smilies/cool.gif" border="0"> TC

Oct 15th, 2001, 11:19 AM
Soue Grapes for sure. The rankings measure performance over a 12 month span and reward players who do well qqover that period, taking into account the number of tournaments played. Jennifer has played very well and has the best "Slam" record this year. As far as how it happened, Jen has no control over what happens with Hingis. And Jennifer was bound to reach #1 sooner or later anyway. Granted, the manner was not the best, but it happened.

Oct 15th, 2001, 11:33 AM
this only goes to show that the ranking system works for everybody and the hard worker always gets the most cherised prize. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

different reactions are being thrown left & right simply because we're used to seeing somebody achieve the No.1 spot on a WINNING NOTE. It's just a matter of time that Jenny would prove why she's the No.1 player right now. <IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0">

Oct 15th, 2001, 02:01 PM
Actually the reason why Capriati has been rewarded is not just because she has been winning but also because she did not win last year. The system does not reward consistency over a couple of years. You have to play and win more than you did the previous year. One wonders whether the system does not encourage early burn out and injuries. A player as talented as Hingis had to play manically to hold onto her slot which has of course caused her to suffer in a number of areas.
To Jenniffer - enjoy your slot this year1 Next year is of course another matter. <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0">

Oct 15th, 2001, 11:34 PM
martina: 60-15

jennifer: 53-12

lindsay: 51-10

venus: 46-5

thjose are the win-loss records according to cbs.sportsline.com

i still mean what i say. sure venus wins, but she doesnt win all the time. players who play, and win, (win consistantly) deserve the ranking, and this is reflected in the current ranking system. my opinion is that this is a good way to come up with the rankings. its like saying if you played only one tournament, and won it, then you are the #1 player because youve never lost and only won! thats how i view it. are we to say that because you dont win one more match every single week, that all your other wins dont count for jack? anna gets her ranking for being one of hte most consistent winner of matches on tour, and as should be, players like her are rewarded. and yeah

Oct 16th, 2001, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by thefreedesigner:
'Wow' factors do not - and should not - come into the equation.</STRONG>

What would you call 'Wow' factors? I personally think that the current Quality Point allotments are 'Wow' factors. (As in "Wow, 'X Player' beat Martina Hingis/Venus Williams/Jennifer Capriati/etc!")

I don't see why they don't just increase the points given per round and give more points to the player who wins the tournament. That way someone is rewarded more for actually winning the title as opposed to beating some highly-ranked player(s) on the way.

It makes the math easier too.

I still think it's silly that beating the no.1-ranked player in a Slam is worth more than reaching the quarterfinals.

Oct 16th, 2001, 03:18 AM
Playing consistently and winning consistently are two different things. Some people on here seem to get them confused. If someone that plays 18 tournaments and wins 4 titles is more consistent than someone who plays 15 and wins 6 than that is a little odd don't you think. First of all Jenn has played 15 tournaments and Venus 12. It's only 3 extra tournaments for Jenn. Now Venus has won 6 of her 12 tournaments. Jenn has won 3 of her 15. So Venus has a 2/1 ratio. Jenn has a 5 to 1 ratio. So Nejedly as you see consistency can be looked at in two different ways. I would say Venus is more consistent if I looked at it that way.

The ranking system rewards players that play more tournaments regardless of whether they win them or not. They can get more points just for beating certain players. While some other player who actually won a tournament get's less. Also it makes it hard for a player that is consistent over more than just a year say 2 years to add or improve on their point total. For instance if a player like Venus who won 6 tournaments in each year loses points for the same performance than something is wrong. Whether she played more or less her results were the same. But she ultimately loss points anyway because of quality points and so on. And players who hadn't won that much the year before don't have anything to defend so when they do win tournaments they only add instead of loss points. Meanwhile a better player who is winning more tournments is getting passed by because of the ranking system holding them back.

See in other professional sports when the champion is crowned at the end of the year as the #1 player or team. They reign supreme until the next year comes to an end. They can either equal their performance and defend their title or position or they can do worse. Unlike this ranking system that holds players back from doing better by subtracting points even if they do repeat, because of quality points or whatever.

With this system if you do better than the previous year you get points added, but what if you can't do any better because your the defending champion? Then it makes it harder for that person instead of making it useful, because while everyone else can improve they can only hope that anyone close to them in rank doesn't do better. It takes any action from them out of the equation, and that's not fair.

Oct 16th, 2001, 08:22 AM
Cynicole, don't get me wrong quality points are an excellent feature of the ranking system, and that's not what I was referring to by 'wow' factor - sorry for the misunderstanding there!

What I meant was when people start using what are frankly, intangibles, to justify their particular favourites claim to a higher spot. eg. Venus retaining both Wimbledon and US Open ( plus pretty much all of her hardcourt points) in the way she did for me was a huge 'wow' factor, but I don't think you can necessarily extrapolate that to say she should be the #1 player in the world - at this point in time - because the ranking system isn't all about that.

If Venus always played like that (in fact she doesn't even have to, just play a few more events here and there), she'd deserve the #1 - 'Wow' factor or no 'Wow' factor.

Oct 16th, 2001, 08:33 AM
If other great players were able to reach the No.1 spot using the current ranking system, then why can't you wait for your favorites to do the same?????

Getting the top ranking is EASIER SAID THAN DONE. <IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/kiss.gif" border="0">

Oct 16th, 2001, 10:28 AM
people who are questioning jennifer's new ranking can use the same argument that they were using for questioning martina's holding of the ranking - - - and that means that people can use the same defence.

Nothing wrong or iffy with jennifer getting the ranking at all. At the beginning of the year she did all the winning, and lately she's been doing the hingis-esque consistency thing. Put them together and you're gonna be ranked high.

And quality points are a good thing. Lets say someone beats a top 10 player every tournament in the year but always loses 2nd round and someone else beats someone ranked 75 every tournament and always loses 2nd round. The first player is obviously better and so deserves to be ranked higher.

Oct 16th, 2001, 11:29 AM
What is bizzarre about the point system is that not only must you win the tournament you won the previous year to defend your points, you must also have a more difficult draw in terms of ranking. Venus lost points at the USOpen because she did not have both the number 2 and one to beat in the same tournament. That is bizzarre. I think points should be awarded for each round won with more being awarded for higher rounds. Period. Think of someone who beats Serena in the quarter finals and gets far less points than one who beats Hingis in the same round!

Oct 16th, 2001, 11:52 AM
Venus is capable of getting the no. 1 ranking; she just needs to work harder. If other players like Marti, Lindsay, Jenny, etc. can do it, then for sure she also can. So stop whining and just wait for her turn. <IMG SRC="smilies/freaked.gif" border="0">

Oct 16th, 2001, 01:00 PM
Well I was quite surprised to see a person with the EXACT same username as mine?
How is this possible?
The old board did not permit this,so how does this one?
In anycase I am tenniscrazy on the Sanex board.On this board,I have been registered here under the same username since May 20th ,this year.I used this nickname TC in the WTA chat room,so I decided to use it here as well.

In anycase ,TC (the other TC),one of has to change our name,so if you want to stick with that name,I'll register again under a new name.No prob <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">
BTW I had a look at your profile,and incidentally my fave player is Martina as well <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: TC ]

Oct 16th, 2001, 01:23 PM
I don't think that Quality Points are very bad. I just think that the amount they hand out in proportion to the amount of points a player gets for reaching 'X' round is too much.

In the heyday of Steffi Graf it was a big deal to beat her (and in most cases 200 points for a Slam defeat were deserved) but the relative depth in the field has changed since then.

I still think that they should hand out more points for actually winning a tournament though.

Oct 16th, 2001, 01:59 PM
just to clarify: I am greatly in favour of Quality Points!

Not sure if that was necessary or not.

Oct 16th, 2001, 03:36 PM
First of all no ones wining about Venus not being #1. Who needs to do that when she is already recognized as the best player on the tour. I think most of her fans understands what she has to do to get to #1 on the computer ranking system, even though she is already #1 in most peoples minds. All the #1 ranking signifies is a point total and who has the most. It does not signify the best player. If it did Venus would be #1 hands down. But the ranking system wasn't designed that way and to conquer it everyone knows it takes more than just winning 4 of the last 6 GS, 12 titles in 2 years, and literally having no equal on court. You have to play a certain amount of tournaments, have literally no points to defend, which Jennifer was in a good position with, and win enough important tournaments like a GS to boost your point total. It also helped that Jennifer wasn't ranked in the top 5 like Venus so she got big quality points for beating Martina, Monica, and Lindsay.

The point of this thread is not whether or not Venus should be #1. It's about the ranking system, and since Venus results in the last 2 years are a good example of how the ranking system doesn't reflect the best player she is used as an example. And Jennifer is used as the other example because coming into the year they were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Jenn not havina a spectacular 2000 season and Venus having one. So it shows what potholes Venus has to navigate around and what potholes Jennifer didn't have.

Now you can say I'm wining or not, but the truth is the ranking system does have flaws and it does hurt players that have had a better previous year than players that haven't. Lindsay for instance had a great first half of 2000, but ultimately lost her #2 ranking to Venus at the beginning of 2001 because she had points to defend and Venus didn't. Than the same thing happened to Venus when her turn came, and you know what the same things going to happen to Jennifer. And it's a shame that going into a new season that all the players aren't on neutral ground. That some players are being held back from their results from the previous year and others aren't.

Oct 16th, 2001, 04:10 PM
All the #1 ranking signifies is a point total and who has the most. It does not signify the best player.

... but the person who has accumulated the most points is the person who is having the consistently best results, against the best players.

plust: if that's all it signifies why do I detect a little cynicism that it doesn't reflect the person who you think should occupy that spot: Venus??

No matter.

I agree with you Queen V: Venus is the hottest player on the tour, but she isn't for the whole of a season. She is also right now, the best player on the tour, but not for the whole of the season.

I don't think you're whining, and the fact that players who have really hot year, are discriminated against the following year definitely holds sway. I happen to think it makes the season more exciting. But then that's just me.

Oct 16th, 2001, 06:12 PM
To All4Williams: You don't have to have better results than in the previous year. If you think that then you haven't understand the system. Jennifer is NOT no. 1 now because she played badly last year. The rankings just consider the last 52 weeks, nothing more. <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">

And to those who think that Venus is undoubtedly the best player right now:

1. Please remember that Venus has had some bad losse this year: the 6-1 6-1 against Hingis and 1st round French Open against Schett, BTW a big minus for her points; because of that Jennifer is the better Grand-Slam-player this year.

2. No doubt that Venus has been the best player this year ON 2 SURFACES: grass and hardcourt.
Clay: definitely not.
Indoors: ??? When does she ever play indoors ? Once in february, there she lost against Maleeva.

3. HOW can you know that Venus is the best right now ? SHE DOESN'T PLAY ! You can only lose to Testud if you play tournaments; maybe Venus would have lost as well.
It's easy to win the favourite tournaments and then vanish for the rest of the season. Venus just has to compete more.

Oct 16th, 2001, 09:11 PM
Er...thanks. I'll take you up on the offer to change your name. I've been TC for so long (on this and several other boards) that I can't bear the thought of having to use another acronym! So thanks for being so sweet about it and do let me know what your new name will be so that I can hail you out from time to time. And yes I love Hingis and Guga. What can I say? TC's are Totally Cool...
TC (short for Tennis Chick, and yours...?)

Originally posted by TC:
Well I was quite surprised to see a person with the EXACT same username as mine?
How is this possible?
The old board did not permit this,so how does this one?
In anycase I am tenniscrazy on the Sanex board.On this board,I have been registered here under the same username since May 20th ,this year.I used this nickname TC in the WTA chat room,so I decided to use it here as well.

In anycase ,TC (the other TC),one of has to change our name,so if you want to stick with that name,I'll register again under a new name.No prob <IMG SRC="smilies/redface.gif" border="0">
BTW I had a look at your profile,and incidentally my fave player is Martina as well <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: TC ]</STRONG>

Oct 16th, 2001, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by thefreedesigner:

plust: if that's all it signifies why do I detect a little cynicism that it doesn't reflect the person who you think should occupy that spot: Venus??

Hi Free, there is no cynicism from me about Venus. I'm just trying to point out the flaws in the system. I felt the same way when Lindsay had a hard time taking the #1 ranking from Martina after working so hard. There's nothing I can do about the ranking system, but I do have my issues with it.

I agree with you Queen V: Venus is the hottest player on the tour, but she isn't for the whole of a season. She is also right now, the best player on the tour, but not for the whole of the season.

Everyone is always saying how Venus doesn't play the whole season. In 1999 she played 17 tournaments, record was 56-11, and had 6 titles. In 1998 she played 15 tournaments, record was 35-8, and had 3 titles. If you noticed at the end of the 1999 season she was out for six months due to injury. So many players after playing over 15 tournaments either are out with injuries or complaining of fatigue. Then their fans, the same fans who support this 18 tournament system, always have an excuse after their fav. loses that they were so tired, and they should rest.

You can't have it both ways. You can't bash one person for trying to avoid injury or fatigue. Then turn around and make an excuse for your fav. when it happens to them.

As for 2000 Venus squeezed 8 tournaments and the olympics into 5 months, then played another tournament a month later. She won 6 of those tournaments and was ended up suffering from anemia by the end of the season. She worked her butt off for the months that she was able to play, and people still bashed her for not playing in the year end championships. What do they expect? Their fav. had the luxury of scheduling tournaments to fit their mental and physical fitness throughout the year, and Venus in an attempt to save her ranking and play well had to put her health in jeopardy.

That's where the ranking system sucks. It forces player, every player including Jennifer, Martina, Amelie etc. to over work their bodies in order to strive for a computer ranking that will hold them back the next year when all that hard work they put in starts coming back to haunt them when they have to work even harder to keep their point total up. It's a never ending cycle that ends with players retiring early, constantly getting injured, or always being tired.

I don't think you're whining, and the fact that players who have really hot year, are discriminated against the following year definitely holds sway. I happen to think it makes the season more exciting. But then that's just me.</STRONG>

It does make the season more exciting, definetly. I just hate to see players look like the have been defeated in the end. Not by their opponent but by their effort to keep pace with players that didn't have to work as hard.

Oct 16th, 2001, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by GoDominique:
<STRONG>To All4Williams: You don't have to have better results than in the previous year. If you think that then you haven't understand the system. Jennifer is NOT no. 1 now because she played badly last year. The rankings just consider the last 52 weeks, nothing more.

UHH what are you talking about? Do you understand the ranking system at all? I remember at the beginning of the year on the other board myself and other posters started threads showing how many points certain players, mainly in the top 10 had to defend. And what Jennifer had to defend since she had won the first GS and looked as if she was going to hava great season, which she did. Those points were from the previous year. The points that players who had either played a lot of tournaments or won a lot of tournaments were going to lose when those weeks came to present. Many posters commented on how Jennifer didn't have many points to defend, and how she out of her, Lindsay, and Venus was going to have it easier because she didn't have as many points to defend.

Now your saying that those players with point totals ranging in the 2-3000 range aren't going to have it harder trying to defend points just to break even, then players with only 500-1000 are? That's ridiculous.

The ranking system does not only consider a 52 week year, it also considers the points you gained from the previous year. And it has no protection for defending champions. Even if Jennifer defends at the Australian Open she won't get the same quality points because she's #1. And if anyone near her ranking does better than the previous year they can gain points by going an extra round, and they can get more quality points. While she's losing points.

Oct 16th, 2001, 11:13 PM
You can't have your cake and eat it.

If you're willing to take the big ranking points that come from wining tournaments. You have to see them drop off your total at the end of a year.

This is quite fair. If you're the top player, you will be winning points constantly to top up the ones that are falling off. Venus herself says, she doesn't think of it as "defending" points, or a championship, but WINNING a new event.

If you have a bad tournament, there are always others you can make back points on - IF you play enough tournaments.

If you're counting on playing 12, winning 12, then you may get disappointed. Being number One doesn't just require winning a few high-point-yielding tournaments, it means being at the top consistently all year round. If you can't do that, you're not number One.

Oct 16th, 2001, 11:50 PM
Everybody has made very good arguments for and against the current ranking system. Really intersting read <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"> I for one, think that it is far from a "fair" system. Yet I think the real test for legitimacy lies in what the general public (i.e. not die hard followers )of the game think. I remember a tennis poll on sky tv during the US Open. It found that 69% of ppl felt that:
1. Hingis was not the "real" no.1
2. The ranknigs system needed an overhaul

Even the tennis commentators ( Annable Croft et al) were calling for an overhaul of the sytem, and somewhat biased way, saying that Venus was clearly the best player around, despite a "dubious" no 4 ranking.

When I talk to friends who proclaim ignorance to the game of tennis, they mostly say: "Venus is the best" or "I don't understand how Hingis can be number 1." It's true that they probably don't understand the rankings system ( I also find it confusing at times), but nonetheless the important point is one of public perception.

Therefore, despite the strong arguments for the system and the whole " who is the real no.1" debate, it would seem that generally, ppl think that the system is unfair. Perhaps then, this is where the push to review and ultimately overhaul the perceived unfairness of the rankings system will come. What do y'all think? <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

BTW I'm missing Queen Venus. When is she returning?

Oct 17th, 2001, 04:48 AM
yeah you're indeed missing Venus again 'coz she's missing more points to achieve the No.1 ranking. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> Don't blame the ranking system, blame her. <IMG SRC="smilies/talk.gif" border="0">

Oct 17th, 2001, 07:26 AM
Actually, I didn't blame anybody.

Oct 17th, 2001, 08:15 AM
1999 she played 17 tournaments, record was 56-11, and had 6 titles. In 1998 she played 15 tournaments, record was 35-8, and had 3 titles.

.... and?? Her ranking would have reflected that record.

I'm not having it both ways, If Venus feels she's at risk of injury by playing more, then that's her decision. But this is one of the reason's why she's not gotten that ranking yet. And no, I'm not saying that she should risk injury to play more.

On the other hand, if the ranking system were to uniformly count fewer than the current 17 tournaments, I think it would make a nonsense of the tennis 'season', because your play over the whole season, would not count.

Brian Stewart
Oct 17th, 2001, 03:25 PM
I think the ranking system is completely fair. Everyone is playing under the same rules. To address some of the issues discussed herein and elsewhere:

Quality points- these are very necessary to add to the fairness of the rankings. The higher-ranked players carry more quality points. Thus, if you have to beat more high-ranked players, you are rewarded with more points. Consider the following scenario:

Let's say for the sake of argument Venus and Jen defend their slams next year, and all of their other points balance out except for 3 tier I wins apiece. Now suppose Venus has to defeat 3 top 10 players in each of her Tier I wins (9 total). Suppose, through a combination of injuries, absences, and upsets, that Jen only had to face 1 top 10 player total in her 3 Tier I wins. Which would deserve the #1 ranking? If you take away the quality points, they're dead even. But Venus clearly worked much harder for her 3 titles. So she should be rewarded as such. Sure, you could argue that Jen can only beat who's on the other side of the net, and it's not her fault the other top players weren't there. Which is true. But, she also had an easier path.

Also consider this year's men's Wimbledon. Roger Federer upset Pete Sampras, who at the time was still highly ranked, and the best grass player on the tour. Yet the ATP has done away with quality points. Therefore, Roger gets no more credit for beating Pete than if he had beaten #500. That's ridiculous. Beating a top player is a lot harder than beating a lower ranked one, and should be rewarded accordingly.

As to there being a built in penalty for players as they rise up the ranks, this is true. But it's true for everybody. For the bulk of the past 5 seasons, Hingis has been #1. Yet once she got there, in the spring of 1997, she had fewer quality points available than anyone else. Thus, from early 1997 on, she would have fewer points available when she had to defend a title. Still, the point is, by winning, she kept the other players from doing so. Do that often enough, and you hold #1.

In the last 2 seasons, Hingis has no slam singles titles. How has she held #1? How many times has she failed to reach at least the semis in these 2 years? You could count them on one hand. That's not just consistency, that's astounding! Especially when you consider there are so many dangerous big hitters threatening to take her out of every event. And, (and this is often overlooked), in the past couple of seasons, she has beaten everyone. All of the top players. So it's not just a matter of her reaching the later rounds, but being unable to beat the other top players.

Does the fact that a player could hold #1 without winning a slam reveal a flaw in the system? Absolutely not. In fact, that only validates the system. Any fair, objective system has to allow for that possibility. Tracy Austin held the number one spot without holding a slam title. The system was tweaked after that. But still, Steffi Graf twice held the #1 spot without holding a slam title. That's under the old system.

Public perception? I think that's far more damning of the media's coverage of the women's tour than the ranking system. The sports media, and indeed much of the tennis media, act as if there are only 4 tournaments on the women's tour (and about 6 players). If you look at those 4 in isolation, you're going to get a distorted view. And, as is often the case regarding the WTA, media will shoot their mouths off without checking the facts. If the whole picture were presented fairly and accurately, public perception would be different. (For example, judging from ESPN's SportsCenter, you wouldn't even know any tournaments had been played since the US Open.)

The #1 ranking does reflect who is the best player, over an entire season. Key word: entire. Media who quickly pointed at Hingis' results early this year completely ignored her outstanding results after last year's US Open. And Jennifer's bad ones. They looked at Venus' second consecutive excellent summer, but ignored her winter, spring, and last fall. Hingis deserved the #1 spot as while she held it. Jen deserves it now. Unless something bizarre happens, Venus will probably deserve it at some point in the future. But not yet. The past 2 seasons, Venus has proved to me she is the best grass court player on tour. She proved to me that she is the best player on US hardcourts on tour. But she hasn't proven she's the best player on the tour. She has not won an indoor title since 1999 (the same year Hingis won her last slam). Granted, she hasn't played many. If you don't play them, you can't win them. However, if you don't play them, you can't expect us to assume that you would win them. I think Venus has all the tools to do very well indoors. But she needs to do it. And also keep in mind that the more you play, the more worn down you get. And the more your opponents get to see your game, and develop and try out different plans of attack. But that's where #1's are made. It's only by exposing yourself to that, and still conquering, that you can truly claim to be the best. Venus certainly could do it. I happen to think that she would do it. But until she does, we can't give her the #1 ranking on assumptions.

Crazy Canuck
Oct 17th, 2001, 03:42 PM
Brain Stewart: that was honestly, the best post that I have read on this topic, on ANY of the board that i have been on.
Bravo... I agree 100%. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Oct 17th, 2001, 05:00 PM
People seem to think that I don't think Venus should play more. That's not what I'm arguing about. And why do people keep thinking this is an argument for Venus? It's not. I know how the ranking system works and I know what you have to do to get to the top. What I am saying is that there are flaws in the system. If you don't see that than oh well. Those flaws do make it harder for some players than other. Why hasn't anyone answered me on why the system makes it harder for some players than others. Everyone seems to be focusing on what Venus needs to do. I don't care about that. I'm talking about all players.

Yes, Venus needs to play more. Maybe 4 more extra tournaments. Which I believe she would have played had the Sept. 11 attacks hadn't happened.

Brian, what you said still doesn't answer my question. Your saying that if two players play even tournaments they'll even out and all that. That's just not realistic. Why should one player have to play more than the other to sustain a higher point total? Why don't players enter the new season at an even point? Your saying that's a fair ranking system. Every other sport has a season. Every other sport starts every team and player at on even ground at the beginning of the season. And every champion has the same road to the end as the other players. Someone said that if your willing to take the big ranking points by winning tournaments than you have to see them drop off at the end of the year. That would be fair if all players points dropped off at the end of the year. Okay if the ranking system measures a 52 week status than those ranking points should measure your ranking for THAT year, and that year only. You work hard that year and win the big points and the big tournaments and are rewarded with finishing the year at a certain rank. Then the new season starts and everyone should be back on even ground.

But that's not how it is. So why do people keep insisting that it's fair to everyone when it's not? Basically to me what everyone seems to be arguing about is what you need to do for this ranking system. Nobody's talking about the flaws. And they are there. People can think I'm defending Venus or whatever. But that's not it at all. I'm defending every player that has to work extra harder than the rest of the field and play more tournaments because of defending points, and then play more tournaments to add on to it. That includes Martina Hingis who has been doing it for years. The real reason she's been #1 hasn't been because of consistency. It's been because she knows that the only way to get there without having to beat better players is to play more. And everyone thinks since she is doing it than all the other players shold follow suit to keep up. If your winning tournaments and have a better record then the top ranked player, and over top 10 players than that should be enough.

It's enough in every other sport. Why should this one be different. These players only get 1 month off and people are saying play more, play more. It's not right and it's not fair. Basketball players play a season, crown the champion, take between 3-5 months rest to recuperate their bodies, and then they begin again. Nobody is sitting back saying they aren't real athletes because they didn't play 11 out of 12 months a year. And to add to that they don't even travel to different countries. There are too many demands on these players, and to sit back and say that they have to do this and that, and all this in between is trully unfair to me.

A true #1 should believe they are #1 because they've beaten the best. Not because they played the rules of the ranking system better. However I'm glad to see Jennifer who played throughout the year. She had a great year and was rewarded with the ranking. However she did have an easier road. And she did play less tournaments than Martina up until the Porsche Grand Prix, and yet she still took #1. What does that tell you? She played less and won the same amount of tournaments as Martina, but she still took the top ranking. That's because Martina was held back from points she gained last year, and Jennifer wasn't as inhibited.

Oct 17th, 2001, 06:52 PM
QuennV, I'm really sorry, but you are completely wrong. The flaws you are seeing just don't exist.

Once again: you don't have ANY disadvantages if you have won a title the year before. You only have to defend your points and wins if those were the only good ones in the previous year.
And Jennifer IS NOT no. 1 now because she had a mediocre year 2000.

Please think about how the rankings work. It's like this: you look at the results and points of the past 52 weeks and you collect the best 17 results and you add them up. It's really easy.
So if you win a tournament, the points of that win are in you ranking points for 52 weeks. So the win doesn't hurt, it helps for a whole year.
But one year later, the win is older than 52 weeks, so it's no longer valid for the ranking. It's no longer part of the 52-weeks-list. So you lose those points.
That's not unfair or hurting, it's just logical and fair.

Please answer this question for me, then you will maybe understand:

In 2000, Venus won the US Open. She received 1056 points for that.
In 2001, she did the same. She received 956 points, while the points of last year dropped off, and had a ranking total of 4333 points.

Now imagine that, in 2000, Venus would have lost in the first round of the US Open. She would only have received 2 instead of 1056 points.

Question: After winning the US Open in 2001, which ranking total would she have had ?

Oct 17th, 2001, 07:40 PM
GoDominque if there aren't any flaws than please explain to me where the protection for a defending Champion is. Maybe I'm wrong. If someone explains it I'll admit that, but so far no one has. Let's say someone gained a 1000 points for winning the AO. Including quality points. Then the next year they have to defend those points. Say they make it back to the final and face a player that is 200 pts behind them. That player only made it to the semis the year before. The defending champion wins the tournament, but still loses their ranking. They did all they could do by defending their title, but were robbed of the chance to get the same quality points because of either the draw or the ranking, and were renderend completely helpless because they could gain nothing more. All they could do was wait and see if the other player did better.

See the ranking system allows players to gain points by doing better the next year, but it doesn't have protection for players that could do no better. I'm not sure, but does a defending champion get extra/quality points for defending their title? If they don't then they should. And so they have to play an extra tournament to make up for the points that COULDN"T receive by defending their title to even things out. That's unfair. Because if those two players play the same amount of tournaments the other player will benefit even if they don't do as well as the defending champion. All they would have to do was equal. Only they would get extra points for doing better than the previous year, and the defending champion wouldn't. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems unfair to me.

As for your question about Venus there's no way I could answer that. There are more factors involved than just subtraction. You have to factor in what her ranking would be, where she would be in the draw, and how many quality points she would gain depending on her ranking. Who's to say that she would have been seeded 4th?

I have a question for you. Over this past summer Venus was ranked #2. She succesfully defended 3 out of 4 of her titles. In 2000 she won Bank of the West, Acura, Pilot, and the USO. In 2001 she lossed in QF of BofW, won Acura, won Pilot Pen, won USO. Jennifer in 2000 Acura(1st), Du Maurier(3rd), USO(3rd). In 2001 Acura(QF), At&t(F), Pilot(SF), USO(SF). Now I'm sure that Venus did not gain the same amount of points for her wins as the year before. She most likely lost points considering she dropped to #4. And I'm also sure that while Venus was losing points that Jennifer gained, because even though she didn't win any she improved on her previous years performance. So where was the protection for the defending champion? How come Jennifer like other players had the opportunity to add on to her point total while Venus like many others has to play extra tournaments to make up for points lost even though she defended? And your saying that Jennifer didn't have it easier.

Don't think I'm knocking Jennifer. I think she deserves the #1 ranking even if the system is flawed. She played the great and benefited from the perks that the system gives to certain players.

Oct 17th, 2001, 07:42 PM
And yes, Jennifer played less than Martina and won the same number of tournaments (3). But how can you compare Martina 2 tier II- and 1 tier III-titles with Jennifer's 2 Grand-Slam-wins and one tier I-title ???

By saying that Jennifer is only no. 1 because of (non-existing) flaws in the ranking-system is unfair to her fantastic achievements this year. She is no .1 because she played so well, because she was the BEST !

Oct 17th, 2001, 07:50 PM
Ok, please ignore my previous post. I didn't know that you were just answering my other post. You agree that Jennifer played very well. I will try to answer your questions now.

Oct 17th, 2001, 09:09 PM
It's okay I will ignore it. I'm not trying to argue with anyone on a negative level anyway. I like hearing what people have to say. I've learned a few things in this thread already. But I still think the systems flawed. If someone can prove otherwise I will except it as an indication of a players true ranking. Even though it doesn't matter what I think, because it won't change anyway.

Oct 17th, 2001, 09:21 PM
OK, let's start with your example of the Australian Open which is a very good one.
But it's nothing or unfair about that scenario. The winner loses her ranking because:

Her results haven't been well enough the past 52 months. Okay, she has won the Australian Open last year, but she is leading only with 200 points (in your example). The second player had gained, let's say, 500 points at that Australian Open, while the winner had 1000 points (difference = 500 points). Now, the difference is only 200 points. Overall, the second player has been slightly better since the Australian Open.
The first player now has to win the Australian Open again to keep the same number of ranking points, that's right. And the second can improve by onlöy reaching the final, that's also right.
But now please remember my example with Venus' US Upen: AFTER the tournament, the previous year's result is just no longer valid. So (theoretically assuming that everything else would be the same) Venus would also have 4333 points after 2001 US Open if she had lost in the first round 2000.
The same for your example: Imagine that the first player had lost in the first round the year before. This year, she would have the chance to improve by doing better than losing in first round, BUT SHE WOULDN'T BE NO. 1 BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT. She wouldn't start with a lead of 200 points, but with being 800 points down. So the chances of being no. 1 or 2 AFTER the tournament are the same.
The first player's no. 1-ranking largely depends on that win at the Australian Open. If her other results haven't been that well, she has to repeat it.
The second player has many other good results which brought her almost to no. 1 (just 200 points missing). So her ranking doesn't depend that much on her semifinal last year. But if she now reaches the final, she replaces her semifinal with an even better result, so she improves.
I hope that's understandable. <IMG SRC="smilies/berzerk.gif" border="0">

And regarding seedings and bonus-points: maybe you only get 950 points instead of 1050 if you are higher-ranked. That may sound strange, but it's just part of the bonus-point-system. And overall, i think the bonus-points have more advantages than disadvantages, so I can live with that.

Now on to your comparison of Venus' and Jennifer's results:

Venus doesn't deserve a 'protection' for being the defender. You have to remember what she has achieved in the other months of the year: not that much, apart from wimbledon of course. So Venus' ranking points highly depend on the good hardcourt-results.

Let's have a look at the players' points before the start of this year's hard-court-season:

Venus: 4597 points.
Jennifer: 4439 points.

So Venus was leading. But what do these points consist of ?

Roughly said, for Venus:

3000 points - 2000 summer hardcourt-season
1000 points - 2001 Wimbledon
the rest - other tournaments

For Jennifer:

500 points - 2000 summer hardcourt-season
the rest (4000 points) - other tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, etc.)

You see ? And now the summer harcourt-season starts. And Venus' 3000 points have to drop off now, because they are older than 52 weeks. If Venus now loses always in the first round, she has only 1500 points left and is ranked 15 or so. So she HAS to play well and repeat her last year's results to maintain her ranking, because she doesn't have enough other results. But she can't improve her ranking, her other results are too bad. Don't forget: we have a 12-months-system; if 9 months are mediocre, even perfect 3 months won't bring you to no. 1.
On the other hand, Jennifer has many good results on many surfaces. And she has 4439 points although her 2000 summer hardcourt-season was bad; she doesn't depend on those results. But if she manages to achieve some good results there, too, then her past 12 months get better and better.
It's NO advantage that her 2000 season was bad. If it had been as well as Venus', she would already be no. 1 at that time with about 7000 points. She would have to defend some points then, but she would still have the other 4000 points, even if she doesn't defend.

Sorry, English is not my first language, so it's really tough for me; but also good practice. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Oct 17th, 2001, 10:41 PM
In my opinion, the tour ranking will never work perfectly because it is a year base system and it does take time to react

Oct 17th, 2001, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by QueenV:
Why don't players enter the new season at an even point? ...SNIP... Every other sport starts every team and player at on even ground at the beginning of the season. And every champion has the same road to the end as the other players.</STRONG>

I'm not Brian but I'll try to answer one point you made.

American football (the NFL) is not scheduled evenly. If a football team does really well one year their schedule is usually strengthened the next season. I tend to think that it's a lot like a high-ranked player having to 'defend' their points while having less to gain. So, no, they don't have the same road as everyone else.

It's more uneven in NCAA football. In fact, good Big East teams are going to be at a huge disadvantage this year due to the new "strength of scheduling" consideration because the rest of the division "sucks." Think of it as Venus Williams winning Wimbledon over the 9th-ranked Justine Henin or winning the U.S. Open over the 10th-ranked Serena Williams.

It does sound like one is being "punished" for facing what is considered "weaker" competition. (Hmm...maybe that's my problem with Quality Points: I don't like thinking of Serena or Justine as "weaker." Of course, Boston College is terrible.)

EVERY ranking system has its flaws. But no system is really bad if the same rules apply to everyone.

Quality Point allotments aside (yes, I still think they're too much), I think this is probably the best system they've had.

[ October 17, 2001: Message edited by: cynicole ]

Oct 17th, 2001, 11:22 PM
Ranking System debates get very complicated very quickly. <IMG SRC="smilies/confused.gif" border="0">

But there are a couple of points i'd like to make.

1) I don't think it's fair to have a system that starts at the beginning of the year, zeroing everybody's points. The present rolling system means that every tournament has an equal value, whenever its played. Starting in January would mean that the early tournaments would have far more value than ones in September or October. The ranking points you got in a January tournament would boost your ranking hugely AND last 11 months. Winning the same quality tournament in October would be almost worthless, since the points would drop off almost immediately. Even if points in October took you to Number One, you'd lose that rank in a few weeks.
A January-start system would also give undue benefit to Clay-court players, since their points would go on earliest and last longest.

2.) Quality Points are one of the best parts of the system. You SHOULD get a lot more points for beating Capriati in the 2nd round of a tournament, than for beating Callens. Quality points ADD to legitimacy, otherwise players could rise to the top on the basis of lucky draws without beating top players.

3.) Finally no one needs to play 11 months a year. That would be 40 tournaments! All you have to play to compy with the system is 17 tournaments. If you play fewer than that, you are dropping into part-time territory.

Oct 18th, 2001, 02:57 PM

I do understand the system perfectly. Question is "do you?"
If Jenniffer does as well at the AO as she did this year and also beats the no 1 , 2 and 4 en route then she will not lose any points. The week of the AO will be week 52 since she last won the AO. She will lose the points whe earned then and will have to work hard to get them back. If she is number 1 at the time then she will not get them all back . GET IT. The reason that Jenniffer has shot up sthrough the ranks is because she virtually had no tournament wins to defend other than the small one coming up soon.
She deserves to be number 1 for now. How was she able to achieve what she did from out of the blue and how can this be rewarded?

Venus has 2 slams and 4 titles this year includeing a tier 1 event. Capriati has 2 slams and 1 tier 2 title this year. I hope this helps you to understand their performance this year!

Oct 18th, 2001, 03:19 PM
This thread really irritates me. It is obvious that nobody will trully be satisfied with any player being ranked number 1. It's also obvious that most Venus fans are envious of Jennifer getting the number 1 ranking before their beloved Venus and therefore will come up with stupid reasons to down play Jennifer's efforts. It's because of quality points, too many tournaments to play, the systems rewards the player that plays more tournaments... on and on and on. Puuleezzz, stop all this whinning.

I don't think there is such a thing as "The Best Player in the World". On any given day, any of the top 20 players in the world can lose to one another, and that includes Venus. I'm not taking anything away from Venus, she is a great competitor and player, but Jennifer is number 1, not because of some bogus loops in the ranking system or because she played more tournaments. She is number 1 because of the results she had this year, I'm sorry she finished the year in 14th place last year, and now number 1. Give the girl credit man, just suck up your pride and give the girl credit.

Let's face it, tennis is a year-round sport and if Venus doesn't think her body can witstand playing for an entire season than it's her problem. You can't assume that Venus would have won does tournaments she decided not to play. Jennifer played solid tennis all year, from January up until now. And, I do not think she is a "transitional" number 1 either.

I wish this issue of legitimacy would go away! Jennifer is number 1 and that's that!

Oct 18th, 2001, 03:22 PM
If the thread sucks shut your butt!

Oct 18th, 2001, 03:32 PM
You see, you don't need to resort to that kind of talk. Honestly, it's not surprising it's very typical.

By the way, Jennifer's other tournament win was a Tier 1 (Family Circle Cup).

Oct 18th, 2001, 03:43 PM
And wasn't yours typical. The contributions in this thread from the williams supporters were all legitimate. You however called us jealous and have gone ahead to call my contribution typical. I will tell you that yours too is typical of generalisation. When Hingis was no 1 every questioned her legitimacy and the ranking system was brought under scrutiny not least by those in the media. I am afraid that this will continue. a leading Bristish paper the guardian said that "any system that rewards success at the bread and butter level instead of rewarding more at the majors is at fault.". The guy who wrote this does not even like the Williams.
I did say that I believe Jennifer deserves to be no. 1. Venus knows what she has to do to get there. It is also true that Jennifer is going to have a lot defend next year.

By the way if you do not like the thread the best thing to do is to vote with your feet.
If you reply to a thread you keep it alive and interesting!

Oct 18th, 2001, 03:57 PM

You said Venus had 4 events wins and Jennifer 2 slams and a tier2. Sorry, but I'm certain Venus has 5 wins, maybe even 6. Also, Capriati's other win was the tier one Family Circle. One reason Jen has gotten to #1 on the computer without so many tournament wins is she was more consistent in the big events. She was a finalist in Miami,
Berlin, and Toronto, all tier I's. Venus won a
Tier I(Miami) but fell early in Berlin. Looking back, the clay court season was the golden chance Venus let pass her by.

I myself would rank Venus ahead of Capriati by a hair, but ONLY because of their 2001 head to head(3-0 Venus). If Jen wins in Munich(with or without a win over Venus) I would consider Jen ahead.

Last computer thought-Venus would pass Jen if she plays and wins Linz and Munich. The ball is in her court <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0">

Oct 18th, 2001, 04:11 PM
If you read carefully, I said that this thread irritates me. I see a difference. Obviously I'm irritated since most of the responses in this thread questions Jennifer's rise to the top of the rankings. It's quite frustrating, because any player that makes it to the top it immediately bashed and the "legitimacy" is questioned.

How else would you explain most Venus fans' attitude towards Jennifer's rise, it's plain jealousy. Instead of giving credit where credit is due, the Venus wagon gets on Jennifer's back. Why not Hingis' fans or Lindsay's fans, don't you think it's typical of Venus fans to be aggressive? I would be the first to support and congratulate Venus on being number 1 when and if she gets there and in no way would I question the "legitimacy" of how she got there.

Sure many complained about Hingis' strong hold on the number 1 ranking and failing to win a Grand Slam since '99. Well Hingis played solid tennis those years, she made it deep in most draws. If she was able to do it, how come the other girls didn't?

As far as that quote form your "leading" English paper, well it's one more opinion that denounces the system. There are plenty of opinions that favour the current ranking system as well.

Oct 18th, 2001, 04:19 PM
Well I could also say that all Orage type people are aggressive and make denagotory remarks about others.
How else would one interpret such comments as you have made. Please not the use of the word "stupid". It was not excatly conciliatory.
"". It is obvious that nobody will trully be satisfied with any player being ranked number 1. It's also obvious that most Venus fans are envious of Jennifer getting the number 1 ranking before their beloved Venus and therefore will come up with stupid reasons to down play Jennifer's efforts.""
Talk about planks in eyes!

Oct 18th, 2001, 04:28 PM
I can't beleive I'm falling into this trap, but sure I did use the word "stupid", but for lack of a better word, those are ridiculous reasons to attack Jennifer's number 1 ranking.

I'm sorry if you feel insulted in any way, but I'm not going to take back what I said.

Oct 18th, 2001, 04:35 PM
You do not have to take back what you said but should accept the reply you've received from a person who also groped around for words!

Oct 18th, 2001, 05:26 PM

so basically you are saying 'this year, Venus was clearly better than Jennifer, but because of the bad ranking system Jennifer is ranked higher'. If that was true, I would be the first one to protest against that unfair system. Fortunately, it's not true.

There is ONE disadvantage you have by playing well and being ranked no. 1: You don't have the chance to receive 100 bonus-points(or 200, at a Grand-Slam), because you can't beat the no. 1. OK, so if Jennifer wins the AO again, she won't probably get as much points as this year. She will probably lose around 100 points. That's not that much.

You compare Jennifer's and Venus' season. Okay, Venus has 6 victories, Jennifer 3. In the head-to-head, Venus leads 3-0. Fine. But still, and I'm serious, Jennifer had a BETTER SEASON:

Grand Slams:

Jennifer: 2 Victories, 2 semi-finals
Venus: 2 victories, 1 semi-final

+ for Jennifer.

Tier I:

Jennifer: 1 victory, 3 finals
Venus: 1 victory, 1 semi-final

Fat + for Jennifer.

Tier II:

Jennifer: 2 semi-finals, 1 quarter-final
Venus: 3 victories, 1 semi-final, 1 quarter-final

Fat + for Venus.

Tier III:

Jennifer: 1 final
Venus: -

Summary: Jennifer played consistently well at the big events (tier I), while Venus has 3 titles at tier II's. It's fair to say they are evn here.

So the Grand slams have to decide. And there Jennifer is better. Venus had an early loss, Jennifer not.

Jennifer's season was better. Period.

Oct 18th, 2001, 05:46 PM
GoDominque & All4Williams -

I think that this is where your disagreement lies:

GoDom is pointing out the fact that tournament wins count the same amount no matter who wins them and no matter whether or not they won last year.

All4 is pointing out that due to the quality points system it is possible to drop in rankings despite winning the same number of tournaments.

Both of you are right. The reason behind the quality points is so that if someone wins a Slam beating players ranked #1, #3, #6 on the way they get more points than someone winning a slam beating players ranked #12, #20 on the way. This is only fair!

That does mean that someone can defend a tournament and still drop in ranking, but the reason for that is because the defence of their title was easier than the first win. If it were the other way round and they defended against a tougher field than when they won the first time, they would rise in ranking by defending a title. The point is that what the quality points do is reflect how easy or difficult a tournament win was. For example, the tournaments over the last two or three weeks will have been worth less in terms of points because the American players haven't been playing - and that is fair enough.

The point is that a player doesn't automatically drop in ranking when she defends a title, as All4 is implying, it depends on whom she had to beat to get there. It is wrong to say that a player gets no credit for winning a tournament she's won before because she does get the same number of tournament points as she got the first time. It's the quality points that are the key to it. And Venus, BTW, probably does better out of the quality points thing than Hingis does/did because Venus tends to be ranked around 4 and so has the opportunity to get points from beating Hingis whereas Hingis clearly couldn't get points for beating herself.

The debate you should be having is that of whether or not the quality points are a good idea (I think so, but others disagree), and whether or not they are too high compared to tournament points (I think possibly).

Oct 18th, 2001, 05:58 PM
sk, I agree very much. Regarding the bonus-points, this is my opinion:

1) Bonus-points in general are good. A tier II, for example like Filderstadt with a fantastic draw, is worth more than a tier II like that one in Brazil, where the draw was week. Automatically, you get more points for winning the event, and that's fair.

2) In my opinion, the weight of the bonus is good as it is right now. Just my opinion.

3) The disadvantage of being ranked highly is, as I said before, very small.
Compare no. 1 and no. 2 at a Grand slam. Both can meet no. 5 in the quarters and no. 3 in the semis, so that's equal.
If they meet in the final, the no. 1 gets 150 bonus-points for winning, while the no. 2 gets 200 bonus-points. That's 50 points difference, not enough to cause much trouble. I wouldn't call that a 'flaw' in the system.

Summary: I think the ranking system is very fine. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Oct 18th, 2001, 11:23 PM
LMAO! I'm not jealous of Jennifer. Give me a break. If you knew me at all, which you clearly don't, you would know I'm not the jealous type. I'm not dishonest or bias either, and I don't justify anything with lies or just to get my way. If I see something that puzzles me I will inquire about it. If that makes you mad ORAGE then I think you shouldn't be on a message board. Just because people are questioning the ranking system does not make them jealous. These questions have been brought up LONG before Jennifer became #1 or was even thought of becoming #1. So step off.

Sk, I have no problem with quality points. I just think that a defending champion or a #1 player that defends their title should get extra points for that. It's only fair I think to reward players who make it to the final beating higher ranked players, and players who are defending their title. Whether they have an easier road or not the competition is still there.

GoDom, There was an advantage to Jennifer having a subpar 2000 season. I'm sorry but I do have to disagree with you on that one. I'm not taking anything away from her performance this year, but the fact is by her not having as many points to defend as Martina, Lindsay, and Venus it was a big help. However she had a better overall season than Venus, even though Venus is the better player. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

As for the defending champion. I'm not talking about just Venus having protection. Your writing it like she is the only one I'm arguing for. I'm arguing for all defending champions. It's damn hard to repeat at any tournament, especially a GS whether your draw is weak or not. And I think that if players are rewarded with quality points for beating a higher seed, then so should a defending champion.

I mean quality points can be given for beating one higher ranked player, but what about defending a GS for 2 weeks 2 years in a row. Or a TierI 2 years in a row like Indian Wells or Ericsson where most of the top players enter. I understood everything else you said, but I still believe their are flaws in the system or should I say partiality. The system does year by year make it harder for some players and easier for others to move up in the rankings because of that.

Oct 18th, 2001, 11:58 PM
I don't understand why you say that defending champions should get extra points. Why should they get more than anyone else? Or, to put in another way, why should someone winning a tournament for the first time against tough competition get fewer points than someone winning it a second time against the same competition? The defending champion hasn't played any better. To reward a defending champion would also make it much harder for players to move up the rankings as the more established players would end up building up a clique at the top.

The point is that how someone played the previous year does NOT affect how many points they get this year. They get points per tournament for a 52 week period. That's it. You don't lose points by not defending a tournament you just don't gain them. The whole idea of "defending points" is the wrong way of looking at it.

Oct 19th, 2001, 04:21 AM
When I started this thread I never intended for it to evolve into a squabble between Venus fans vs Jen-Cap fans. If anything I thought people would reflect on all of the attacks that Hingis suffered as people questioned the "legitimacy" with which she occupied the #1 slot for so long. I am simply wondering if Jenny will face a similar type of inquisition. As far as I am concerned Venus is only relevant to this discussion to the extent that some may perceive her as the more "legitimate" #1. For those that do, surely there is a way to make this point without becoming aggressive?

And if the issue of the #1 position attracts such strong and divisive feelings, doesn't that help make the case for at least a comprehensive re-assessment of the ranking system?

In the end the WTA may choose to keep the system that exists right now bec it is (as Brian Stewart points out and I agree), quite "fair". But it is far from perfect. And if Capriati ends up keeping her #1 ranking despite continued lackluster performances, this will only reinforce the perception of some that the system rewards mediocrity.

As it stands, Venus (despite her protestations to the contrary) is much too intelligent not to understand how the system currently works. The problem is can her delicate wrists stand up to the pressure of having to play 17 rigorous tournies per year? I think not. And that's why I don't believe she will ever be #1. (Yes, I did actually just say that).

This does not mean however that she isn't the BEST player on the WTA right now. I certainly think she is. But for her to become #1, she will have to face a level of battering that her body cannot withstand.

Which is why the current system rewards consistency over flashes-in-the-pan kind of brilliance. The question is, should it?

[ October 19, 2001: Message edited by: TC ]

Oct 19th, 2001, 04:44 AM
I think most of the posters to this thread have been keeping to its theme. The squabbling isn't an all-out deal.

I personally don't think that the ranking system needs to be massively overhauled. (If I were to do anything, I would cut down the double slam QPs to what they're worth everywhere else and/or add extra points for reaching say the finals and/or semifinals of big tournaments.)

What NEEDS to be overhauled is the perception that the rankings indicate the "Best Player at the Moment." If Jennifer Capriati became number one after Roland Garros no one would be cutting her down. Personally, I was never wholly convinced that Venus Williams was better than Capriati until New Haven...and maybe that says something.

I blame the media more than anything. They kept pointing out things like Martina Hingis' slamless streak without ever mentioning her domination of the 2000 indoor season, a part of the year that's not adequately covered by sportswriters/sportscasters/etc. They're the ones "feeding the fire" so to speak.

These are the same people who cut down Anna Kournikova's lack of a title without considering the strength of the tournaments she chooses to play or the mostly consistent results she got out of them.

Shame on them.

Oct 19th, 2001, 07:35 PM
QueenV: At the end of the 2001 season, NO POINTS of the 2000 season are left in the rankings. Only the 2001 season counts. No advantage or disadvantage for anyone. The previous season doesn't interest anymore.
When you defend a win, should the tournament be twice in the rankings ??? The 'old' win is no longer interesting. It's older than 52 weeks. If you defend, you just replace a win which was in your rankings anyway.

QueenV: try to e-mail jhill@sanexwta.com
Maybe he will explain it better.

All who say the system is not perfect: please come up with a better one, we are still waiting.

If the WTA would promote their rankings better, there wouldn't be that much confusion. <IMG SRC="smilies/firey.gif" border="0">

Oct 24th, 2001, 10:53 PM